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  1. #11
    Member foote2floor's Avatar
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    TYM 227hst

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    I may have found a model number. I believe it says 22-183.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -image-1385178694-jpg  

  2. #12
    Veteran Member
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    Edmonton, Alberta
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    MF 135

    Default Re: Ford 917 flail mower

    The Ford 917 mower is an OK flail but is much lighter duty than a Mott/Alamo. It's not uncommon to see dents and even rusting through on a 917. If you want to make it work better and have more power, put Mott knives on it. They will fit on the existing rings and don't require as much HP to run. They are individual and will independently swing backwards and to the side when encountering an object. The one piece Ford knives also don't self clean and will plug up in heavy grass. The reason older flails have different knives is because Mott had a patent on the individual free swing knives. You adjust the rear roller for your height of cut. For just general cutting a 917 should work good.

    Of interesting note is that the flail mower was invented by Mott when he was an engineer at International Harvester but IH was not interested in his new mower design so he went out on his own. He tested the self cleaning properties of his "Hammer Knives" in pig manure.

  3. #13
    Elite Member
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    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Ford 917 flail mower

    Quote Originally Posted by Arc weld View Post
    The Ford 917 mower is an OK flail but is much lighter duty than a Mott/Alamo. It's not uncommon to see dents and even rusting through on a 917. If you want to make it work better and have more power, put Mott knives on it. They will fit on the existing rings and don't require as much HP to run. They are individual and will independently swing backwards and to the side when encountering an object. The one piece Ford knives also don't self clean and will plug up in heavy grass. The reason older flails have different knives is because Mott had a patent on the individual free swing knives. You adjust the rear roller for your height of cut. For just general cutting a 917 should work good.

    Of interesting note is that the flail mower was invented by Mott when he was an engineer at International Harvester but IH was not interested in his new mower design so he went out on his own. He tested the self cleaning properties of his "Hammer Knives" in pig manure.


    He has the side slicer knives with the oval mounting holes on this Ford 917 so he has the right knives.

  4. #14
    Elite Member
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    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Ford 917 flail mower

    When your rotor speeds up the the the side slicer knives become
    an air foil/airplane wings and they will cut the grass smooth due
    to the infividual side slicer knive having an oval mounting hole.


    AS I mentioned earlier you can interchange the knive type with scoop knives/shovel knives
    and also use dethatching blades.

  5. #15
    Elite Member
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    JD LA115, WH 244, WH 525 hydro-pops,Original Troy Built Horse 8 HP

    Default Re: Ford 917 flail mower

    Quote Originally Posted by bubbacuse77 View Post
    I found an old 907 just rusting away behind my neighbor's house. Looks almost the same as 917. What is the difference in the two?
    If I remember correctly it is smaller in width and has the scoop knives?? Sorry but I have been away from mowing season to long and I have forgotten things :^0

  6. #16
    Member foote2floor's Avatar
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    The knives that are currently on my flail are what I believe to be called scope type. It may not be clear in the picture, but they are a one piece design. They are not two "L" shaped knives on one mount.

    Which replacement blades would be better for a nice clean finish cut?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -image-3502897694-jpg  

  7. #17
    Elite Member
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    Default Re: Ford 917 flail mower

    Quote Originally Posted by foote2floor View Post
    The knives that are currently on my flail are what I believe to be called scope type. It may not be clear in the picture, but they are a one piece design. They are not two "L" shaped knives on one mount.

    Which replacement blades would be better for a nice clean finish cut?

    Whoopsie!, my mistake, as I thought they were the side slicers from the picture.


    The scoop knives will give you a good finish as long as they are sharp and not damaged but
    it will have a bit of a waffle finish if you drive fast when mowing as the knives will not overlap
    as well if you were mowing slowly.


    The side slicers give the mower the best finish and you will need to order a small herd of D rings,
    hangers, nuts and bolts and a pair of side slicers for each knive station. You can add dethatching
    blades at the same time if desired.


    I would mow with it as it is with the scoop knives and see if the cut is rough or smooth to your liking.
    The scoop knive is a more all purpose knive for bith grass good idea to replace the nuts and bolts at the
    same time and any bad or missing hangers. be sure ot use blue loctite

  8. #18
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    Edmonton, Alberta
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    Default Re: Ford 917 flail mower

    The mower has the original Ford knives BUT the Mott knives will fit on the Ford rings. The Mott/Alamo knives will give a nicer cut, use less HP, won't plug up and are reversible if they get dull or worn. I think they are cheaper as well. A lot of the more recent flails have copied the Mott knife style because the patents have expired. I've cut a lot of acres with a 917 and Mott flails.

  9. #19
    Member foote2floor's Avatar
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    Thank you guys for all the help, I am going to try it out and see how it does. I plan to order new knives half way through the season, then over the winter clean it up and throw a little paint at it.

  10. #20
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
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    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: Ford 917 flail mower

    Quote Originally Posted by Arc weld View Post
    The mower has the original Ford knives .
    I don't think so. Not based upon the initial photos anyway. That machine was seemingly seldom used, or those are replacement knives and hangers. It's simply not possible from the photo to determine the pedigree of the knives. Given that this machine is somewhere between 29 and 40 years old, original knives would have worn/rounded tips - and the hangers would have grooves worn in them where the knives swing. The knives and rings pictured by the way, look exactly the same as the aftermarket replacements I bought for my 917H. Mine was so worn, I ended up replacing knives, hangers, brackets, and bracket bolt/nut. Got it all from FlailMaster.

    //greg//
    Last edited by greg_g; 03-31-2013 at 06:48 AM.
    USN (Ret)
    Former Chinese tractor owner (x4)
    Current John Deere owner

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