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  1. #1
    Silver Member jshwhite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    154
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710

    Default Help adjusting a Ford 501 sickle bar - cut lower?

    I'm having problems with my Ford 501 sickle bar - two problems.

    1. I can't get it to cut very low. It doesn't cut the lower "undergrowth" grass very well - just pushes it down, resulting in a cut that is about 4 in high and a bit ragged. Is this normal? I'm used to seeing disc mower cuts, which are very low and perfectly clean. Can I get close to that, or is it just the nature sickle bar mowers to not cut as low/clean?

    2. I'm having a lot of vibration. I've experimented with different adjustments and can seem to make it better, but still pretty bad. Is this normal?

    I don't have all the regular mounting parts that go with these mowers. The top link stabilizer is missing, as well as the link that attaches to the left lower lift arm to raise/lower the cutter bar - just a homemade bracket with a rod. (see pic)Help adjusting a Ford 501 sickle bar - cut lower?-photo0122-jpgHelp adjusting a Ford 501 sickle bar - cut lower?-photo0124-jpg

    Does anyone have some experience with knowing how to properly set these up? Between the top link and the side to side leveler, there's a lot of adjustment that can be made - what is correct? Is there some sort of procedure I can go through to get it set properly?

    Thanks!
    If you don't have it, make it.

    If it breaks, weld it.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member bucktaker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    906
    Location
    Sw Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota L5740

    Default Re: Help adjusting a Ford 501 sickle bar - cut lower?

    a top link will help adjust the angle of the blades and teeth but you are not gonna get a shave with 501. vibration is likely a issue if you arent securely mounted. They work good in tall dry grass that will fall back over the blade but dont do well with undergrowth/old growth. I made hay with a 501 and it was a bear to get it going good if the grass wasnt tall and laying the right way.
    Kubota L5740 La854
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  3. #3
    Silver Member jshwhite's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    154
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710

    Default Re: Help adjusting a Ford 501 sickle bar - cut lower?

    Quote Originally Posted by bucktaker View Post
    a top link will help adjust the angle of the blades and teeth but you are not gonna get a shave with 501. vibration is likely a issue if you arent securely mounted. They work good in tall dry grass that will fall back over the blade but dont do well with undergrowth/old growth. I made hay with a 501 and it was a bear to get it going good if the grass wasnt tall and laying the right way.
    Ok, I'll try playing with the top link a bit more. Anyone know the correct adjustment for the lower 3pt arms leveler? The 501 is offset (i think the right is higher than the left). Should I just set my 3pt level?
    If you don't have it, make it.

    If it breaks, weld it.

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
    Posts
    113
    Location
    mendon,mass.
    Tractor
    new holland and a ford

    Default Re: Help adjusting a Ford 501 sickle bar - cut lower?

    Your 2 hydalic arms should be level so your cut is level, but you say you don't have a normal set up?
    You can use a chain wrapped around the top of the mower and onto the top link psrt of your tractor (if you have one). Having said that, the 501 is not a good mower for heavy, thick grass. Clogs a lot on the points (guards) Thats why I went to a disc mower.

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