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  1. #1
    Elite Member ovrszd's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    4,213
    Location
    Missouri
    Tractor
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

    Default Hydraulic Top Link "Homemade"

    Been wanting a Hydraulic Top Link for a while. Looked at several distributors. Then decided to sort of build one myself. Well,,,, I guess a better description would be that I modified a boughten cylinder to fit my needs.

    I wanted a 3"x10" cylinder to fit Cat II. So I bought a cylinder from Surplus Center in that dimension with swivel eye ends. I also bought fittings to convert the cylinder taps to 3/8 NPTF. Bought two 3/8 hoses, one 18", one 30". Bought two male 1/2" tips. I already had two adapters to go from 3/8 hose to 1/2 tips.

    Here's my invoice list from Surplus Center.
    2 - 9-6902-8-6 SAE 8M to 3/8 NPTF 90 swivel
    1 - 918-3230 3/8" x 30" 3/8 NPTM x 3/8 NPTM 4000 PSI Hyd Hose
    1 - 918-3218 3/8" x 18" 3/8 NPTM x 3/8 NPTM 4000 PSI Hyd Hose
    2 - 9-6348-A 1/2" Male Tip
    1 - 9-7261-10 3" x 10" x 1.5" DA Hyd Cyl Swivel Eyes

    Total cost with three day shipping as $258.45

    Then I went to the local Tractor Supply store and bought a CAT II Weld-On Top Link Replacement end for $8.99

    Took the brand new cylinder out of the box and whacked the barrel swivel end off with a chopsaw. The reason for that butchery was because I wanted to use all three top link holes on my tractor. The cylinder that I bought had the swivel end built too close to the barrel and would have hit the tractor bracket when in the lowest hole and lifted to the maximum. Dug up a piece of 3/4" thick x 2" wide x 2" long piece of flat bar. Welded the flat bar to the end of the replacement end I bought and then welded the assembly to the end of the barrel of the cylinder. All done with the cylinder fully extended so to not overheat the cylinder seals. I welded this all together with the hydraulic fittings on the side of the barrel to make hose placement easier. Painted the cylinder Kubota grey of course.

    Put the hoses together and hooked it to my quick hitch. Here's what I ended up with at a total cost of $267.44.

    I don't have a restrictor fitting in the assembly but the cylinder moves at a speed I think I can control so not worried about that yet. I'll know more after using it a while.

    The first two pictures show the cylinder installed in the bottom tractor hole, fully lifted 3pt and fully retracted cylinder. Nothing hits or binds.











    These next pictures show the versatility of a hydraulic top link, all adjustments made by a simple pull of a hydraulic lever.

    Down fully extended.





    Up fully retracted.






    Now for a practical application set of pictures I hitched up my brush cutter. This was the motivator for me to spend this money. I use my brush cutter in timber land, crossing ditches, up and down steep hills. I need the cutter to be versatile and easily carried thru those obstacles. Check out what I gained.

    First two pics would be with a standard length top link non hydraulic. First in lowered position, second in raised position. Not gonna cross any major ditches this way or cut over any sharp humps without the tail of the cutter coming off the ground.








    These pics show how high I can carry the cutter and how low I can allow the tail to droop if going over a hump. Major difference.









    In a do-over I might have lengthened my extension on the cylinder another 1". I'd like to be able to tilt the top of my quick hitch a bit farther away from the tractor. Otherwise works great.
    Richard
    Kubota M9540, JD2210

  2. #2
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    15,833
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Hydraulic Top Link "Homemade"

    Good job!
    Murph ------------

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    MtnViewRanch's Avatar
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    Mar 2005
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    6,985
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    4000\' mountains of Southern California
    Tractor
    Mahindra 7520, Mahindra 3215HST, Case 580 extendahoe, Case 310 dozer, Parsons trencher, Cat D6,

    Default Re: Hydraulic Top Link "Homemade"

    Very nice job at a reasonable cost. Thanks for posting all of the pictures. Lets people see what can be done and why.

    Typically with a 3" cylinder, finish grading is where it is nice to have a flow restrictor for that fine adjustment when needed.
    Brian
    Top and Tilt Kits by Fit Rite Hydraulics

  4. #4
    Banned
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    Feb 2013
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    101
    Location
    east coast
    Tractor
    2012 JD 3720 deluxe cab

    Default Re: Hydraulic Top Link "Homemade"

    The fully extended picture looks as though it is not extending enough. Or is just my eyes. Either way good job

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    1,095
    Location
    Lakes Region, Maine
    Tractor
    M 9540 Kubota

    Default Re: Hydraulic Top Link "Homemade"

    The last one I made is too short for my 9540 and it seems your tractor project(s) and mine are the same, you just get to it before me. (your skid plate/grill guard) now top link It seems that the TL I made for my JD 5400 is way short for the new Kub. I was thinking of a 16"-18" cly stroke. I saw where you would add 1" if you were to make another one, but would you like to have more stroke? I really like the hyd TL for mowing just as you mentioned. A lot of my mowing is more like "clearing", and I'll lift the mower as high as I can with the TL retracted (on the really tall stuff) back over it then lower the mower to mulch it up, repeat. Mowing over a bank, the TL needs to be fully extended, there fore I like to make the "normal" (vertical) position having the cyl half way extended through it's stroke for equal movement in either direction. I really like following your projects as they are usually on my to do list too! That's a NICE mower there, I have an 8' pull behind for the "nasty" stuff & am thinking about converting it to 3pt. now that I have enough tractor to hold it up! What ya think about a longer stroke?
    The pic shows the legnth of my factory TL against the last TL I made for the 5400jd
    We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
    (proven on 11/6/12)

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    MtnViewRanch's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
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    6,985
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    4000\' mountains of Southern California
    Tractor
    Mahindra 7520, Mahindra 3215HST, Case 580 extendahoe, Case 310 dozer, Parsons trencher, Cat D6,

    Default Re: Hydraulic Top Link "Homemade"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
    The last one I made is too short for my 9540 and it seems your tractor project(s) and mine are the same, you just get to it before me. (your skid plate/grill guard) now top link It seems that the TL I made for my JD 5400 is way short for the new Kub. I was thinking of a 16"-18" cly stroke. I saw where you would add 1" if you were to make another one, but would you like to have more stroke? I really like the hyd TL for mowing just as you mentioned. A lot of my mowing is more like "clearing", and I'll lift the mower as high as I can with the TL retracted (on the really tall stuff) back over it then lower the mower to mulch it up, repeat. Mowing over a bank, the TL needs to be fully extended, there fore I like to make the "normal" (vertical) position having the cyl half way extended through it's stroke for equal movement in either direction. I really like following your projects as they are usually on my to do list too! That's a NICE mower there, I have an 8' pull behind for the "nasty" stuff & am thinking about converting it to 3pt. now that I have enough tractor to hold it up! What ya think about a longer stroke?
    The pic shows the legnth of my factory TL against the last TL I made for the 5400jd
    The top links that I normally build for a 9540 have a 12" stroke with a working length of 23"-35". Only $280. One of the things that get me about some of the 75+ HP tractors, kubota included, is that they are still cat 1-2. That is just nuts IMO.
    Brian
    Top and Tilt Kits by Fit Rite Hydraulics

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Rustyiron's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    1,095
    Location
    Lakes Region, Maine
    Tractor
    M 9540 Kubota

    Default Re: Hydraulic Top Link "Homemade"

    Quote Originally Posted by MtnViewRanch View Post
    The top links that I normally build for a 9540 have a 12" stroke with a working length of 23"-35". Only $280. One of the things that get me about some of the 75+ HP tractors, kubota included, is that they are still cat 1-2. That is just nuts IMO.
    My Deere had I/II on the lower links you had to switch the balls, tl was cat II. This 9540 is cat II only.
    We need more people to WORK for a living and less people to VOTE for a living!
    (proven on 11/6/12)

  8. #8
    Elite Member
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    MtnViewRanch's Avatar
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    4000\' mountains of Southern California
    Tractor
    Mahindra 7520, Mahindra 3215HST, Case 580 extendahoe, Case 310 dozer, Parsons trencher, Cat D6,

    Default Re: Hydraulic Top Link "Homemade"

    Quote Originally Posted by Rustyiron View Post
    My deere had I/II on the lower links you had to switch the balls, tl was cat II. This 9540 is cat II only.
    Look at your top link at the tractor end, I believe that you have a 3/4" dia cat 1 pin holding it on. Yes the implement end of the 3pt hitch is cat 2 only, but the tractor end of the top link is cat 1. I can even see this in the picture with the top link next to it.
    Brian
    Top and Tilt Kits by Fit Rite Hydraulics

  9. #9
    Elite Member
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    Aug 2004
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    3,119
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    North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)
    Tractor
    MT180D

    Default Re: Hydraulic Top Link "Homemade"

    I have the same project on the go as well.
    So far the cylinder is converted and ready, the valve is on the workbench and hoses are next.
    Just waiting for warmer weather to plumb the tractor.
    Mine is for a class 1 and cylinder and valve were EBay buys.

    Nice work!

  10. #10
    Elite Member DT86's Avatar
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    Dec 2010
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    SWVA
    Tractor
    Kubota 9540, RTV 900 and David Brown 885.

    Default

    Richard here you go again about to cost me money buying new toys, err... I mean tools! lol

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