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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    227
    Location
    Shortsville, NY
    Tractor
    New Holland TC21D

    Default top link

    I quit using the top link on my rotary cutter. Its a fine line to get it ajusted to the point where the top link pivots to far and locks up either way while mowing uneven ground. Any help would be great. What use is this link with a rotary cutter? I get alot more done not using it. Plus when it locks up im afraid im going to bust it or bend the threaded rod. Im listening to any comments. Is it dangerous to use it like this. The only thing i see the link doing is stopping the whole cutter deck from flipping right up torward the back of your head......OUCH. Can that even happen? I figure the pto shaft would stop that from happening. My tractor seems to handel the cutter just fine not using the link,
    Larry


  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,239
    Location
    Eastern Virginia
    Tractor
    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: top link

    Does your rotary cutter have a pivoting bracket at the top of the hitch that the top link attaches to? This is supposed to be there to give the top link 6" or so of play to keep what you're describing from happening, if I understand the problem correctly.

    MarkC

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    320
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710, JD5300, AC D19, IH 806, IH 8950, Ford 8N, Farmal Super M, several others in the past.

    Default Re: top link

    I use a short length of 3/8" chain for a toplink on my bushhog. My bushhog does not have the ability to float over uneven terrain without using the chain. The chain still gives the ability to lift the mower high when needed and the mower is easier to turn when lifted. I use a slip hook on one and the third link pin on the other. When I unhook the mower, I use the chain to hold up the PTO shaft out of the dirt, weeds etc.


  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    227
    Location
    Shortsville, NY
    Tractor
    New Holland TC21D

    Default Re: top link

    It has that pivoting bracket like you ask. Its a kingkutter brand. That swivel does help. Ive kinda given up on it. Ive had to climb off to many times to lossen it up and play with the highth at the same time to get it to unlock. I like the chain idea. Although the top link does no lifting and not alot to benifit sideway movement. I take that slack up in the turnbuckles on the sides of the lower arms that connect to the frame from the lower arms. You can tweak any side movement right out of a attachment with these. Thats what they are for....right? So really why even a chain? I hope i dont draw my questions all out. This is new to me. Ive never had a tractor. The uses of a 3 pnt hitch fasinates me. All the stuff you can do with it,


  5. #5
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,239
    Location
    Eastern Virginia
    Tractor
    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: top link

    Larry - Don't worry about asking questions - that's what TBN is for!

    Here's the way I used to set the top link (when I still had a tractor [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img]): I wanted the top link at the longest position that would still allow it to tighten up enough to pick the rear of the cutter up off the ground when the front of the tractor dropped over a hill, into a ditch, etc. I never had a problem with it trying to "jam" the top link when I set it this way. It could be that you could have a welding shop make up a longer pivoting bracket, if necessary, but I don't see why it should be. You shouldn't have to worry about the cutter flying up in the air with no top link installed at all, but there may be another reason for having it that hasn't dawned on me (I'm a little slow...), but if so, somebody else here on TBN will think of it. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    MarkC

  6. #6
    Veteran Member GlueGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    1,659
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area California (CA)
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500

    Default Re: top link

    The top pivot on my cutter gives about a +/- 6" amount of "play" in for-aft movement. I set the pivot for straight down when I'm on a flat. I figure this gives me the maximum amount of play before the cutter is either lifted, or it lifts the 3PH. Since I have a hydraulic top link, I use that for some other "unusual" situations. If I need to lift the mower "extra high", I'll shorten the top link. If I need to drop the mower over an especially steep drop-off, I'll lengthen the top link.

    But to answer your question, I don't really know what purpose it serves, other than what I do with it. I suspect that if you came across an especially nasty up/down change in contour, you might damage the u-joints on the PTO shaft.

    The GlueGuy

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    13,658
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD_4x2_Gator, JD_4300, JD_X485, JD_425, JD_455, JD_110

    Default Re: top link

    I use the top link just to get the rear of the mower off the ground, for road travel and such. My present rotary is a JD513, and it has the connector plates on the top link to keep it loose for normal cutting. I previously had a chain for a top link, and liked it very much.The chain would not bind and offered lift of the cutter when needed. I may switch back to the chain, as now when I back into a bank to mow brush, the cutter rear comes up and tends to bind the steel brace brackets (when the top link is tight) that angle back to the deck from the top lift point. I may even exchange these steel brackets with chain, and keep the top lift the way it is. One way or the other, I will use a chain(s) to make the cutter work better for me.


  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    1,396
    Location
    Queensland, Australia
    Tractor
    Kubota L1-20 DT

    Default Re: top link

    Radman

    I too have a chain top link on my slasher (bush hog) and I now see a lot of new slashers here have chain from the top link point on the slasher down to the rear instead of solid steel to allow for the same movement as our chains.

    I can't see a drawback with the chain. It seems to work fine and allows the slasher to kick up if I hit a stump or tree with it.
    I hate to think what would happen with a solid top link???

    <font color=blue>Neil from OZ.</font color=blue>

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