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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    64
    Location
    Southeast Iowa

    Default Help with connecting my rotary cutter

    I have a new 3720 with iMatch and a MX5 rotary cutter. Today was the first time I tried to hook up my MX5. I couldn't get the cutter driveline to insert into the PTO. I finally ran out of time and decided I'd do something else and get a fresh start tomorrow morning. I would greatly appreciate any tips from those who have done this many times. Here are the problems I encountered:

    The iMatch makes it easy to hook up the cutter, but blocks easy access to the PTO area. What's the best way to reach and make the connection? Do you raise the hitch high or drop it low? Reach in or crawl under? I've got jack stands I could use for safety.

    Do you have to pull back on the driveline collar and push forward on the driveline at the same time. Or can you start mating the spline with the PTO and then pull back the collar to push it in all the way?

    I know you need to rotate the driveline so the splines match, but it's hard to do this because I can't see very well because of the working angle? Any tips about matching the splines?

    All the following conspired to make what I thought would be a 5 minute job a very frustrating experience:
    The awkward access and working angle forced by the iMatch.
    Having to support the weight of the driveline.
    Having to pull back the collar while you push forward the driveline.
    Having to rotate the driveline to make the splines match.

    Please help a newbie! Help! I really need to cut some brush tomorrow.


  2. #2
    Elite Member rockyridgefarm's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    4,455
    Location
    Road 4310
    Tractor
    Deere 4310 HST MFWD

    Default Re: Help with connecting my rotary cutter

    I don't have iMatch. But it can be hard enough without it. I am sorry to hear that it makes things harder!

    Have you tried hooking up the MX without the quick hitch? Maybe having done that it will make doing so with it easier...

  3. #3
    Banned HomeBrew2's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    1,896
    Location
    Dunlap, CA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23

    Default Re: Help with connecting my rotary cutter

    Disclaimer: sorry to invade Green space with an Orange guy.

    I had the same prob with my new tractor and new bushhog ... in addition to every new PTO implement/connector.

    First, yes, you "MAY" get the coupler to start before you have to pull the collar back (but you don't get much play). I don't know crap about JD's but if you can put the PTO control lever into any position that will make the rear shaft free-wheel ... do so. That way you can twist it to get the hog shaft to mate.

    Second: harder and more annoying, take a file and remove all the burrs that don't exist and that you can't see or feel from all PTO shaft connectors. Most likely the problem splines will be on the implement end not the tractor end ... but, no guarentees. I know it sounds goofy. Hopefully you find a solution that doesn't take as much beer as the one I had to endure.

    YES, all things conspired to preempt me from mowing too. I won.

    Cheers!

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    3,193
    Location
    Red Oak, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 5525 and 5093e Kubota SVL75

    Default Re: Help with connecting my rotary cutter

    I had issues with my mx6 and my 4720. Are you pulling up the PTO shield on the tractor? I find it is easier if I hook the imatch up first and then lower the deck all the way down to give me more room. Also, cleaning up the PTO shaft and the driveshaft can be helpful. I used brake cleaner and then I put white lube on both items - helps a bunch. On my tractor I have to pull the collar back and line up the splines at the same time.

    New equipment can be tight for awhile. After some hours and some experience, it will go on much easier. When i first got my 15' MX-15 batwing it was horrible to hook up - I have it down now.

    Best of luck,
    D.

  5. #5
    Super Member ronjhall's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    7,241
    Location
    SE Michigan, TX when its cold in MI.
    Tractor
    Kubota 2910 HST

    Default Re: Help with connecting my rotary cutter

    I do not have <font color="green"> JD </font> tractor. But do have a <font color="green"> JD </font> rotary cutter. It was hard to get PTO shaft hooked up until I realized that the tractor PTO guard would flip up giving me better access to the PTO shaft. Yours may flip up also.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member jeffinsgf's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Posts
    1,256
    Location
    Springfield, MO
    Tractor
    JD 4410

    Default Re: Help with connecting my rotary cutter

    I had a very similar experience about 10 months ago, and you can still find the thread started here on TBN by my panic and frustration.

    Unlike you, I did not know that the tractor spindle would turn -- until I turned to TBN. The trick I discovered for getting the two properly aligned, since you cannot see the implement end, is to stick your finger into the coupler and feel for a groove. Get in your mind whether the groove is at top dead center, just before top dead center or just after top dead center. Now turn the tractor spindle so that a spline is at the same orientation. You can slip the coupler on about an inch or so without having to pull the collar back. Once you tweak the tractor spindle a few times and get it started, you can pull back on the collar and slide the coupler home.

    I know that iMatch is in your way, and I feel for you. I ended up taking mine back for different reasons (too many non-JD implements). I sure liked how quickly it hitched, but PTO implements are tough to hook up with the extra hardware in the way.

  7. #7
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    7,186
    Location
    Northwest Arkansas
    Tractor
    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: Help with connecting my rotary cutter

    Hi Jeff, how is it going?
    I do it pretty close to the way you do except. I hold the shaft up with my right hand. Then hold the coupler straight with my left hand and use my thumb and index finger out in front to turn the tractor shaft to line it up. I know that some compacts don't allow for the PTO shaft to be in neutral. It yours does it sure works a lot better.

  8. #8
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    380
    Location
    WA
    Tractor
    JD 3320

    Default Re: Help with connecting my rotary cutter

    Curse, yell, pinch, pull, curse some more until it goes on. You get better with time but I just spent about 15 minutes trying to get my posthole digger PTO shaft on. The shield on the tractor side is on a hinge and can be lifted up somewhat out of the way. It is bad form and I don't reccomend it- but a neighbor just removed the tractor side PTO shield from his kubota- lots more room to work.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member BillyP's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Posts
    1,769
    Location
    Eagletown, OK
    Tractor
    JD 4610 ehydro MFWD

    Default Re: Help with connecting my rotary cutter

    Does the tractor PTO splines have black paint on it? If so, it makes it a lot easier if you scrape the paint off. Also, if you'll turn the cutter's PTO shaft as you push it toward the tractor it will make it easier to line up. Turning the PTO cutter shaft is easier if you raise the cutter so the shaft is more in line with the PTO.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    64
    Location
    Southeast Iowa

    Default Re: Help with connecting my rotary cutter

    With the help of suggestions from TBN members, I solved the problem. In case anyone else has this issue, here is the easiest way to hook up your cutter. The equipment the solution worked for was a JD 3720, an iMatch, and MX5 rotary cutter.

    The main problem is the iMatch. The manual says to hook iMatch to the cutter first, and then hook up the driveline. But the iMatch blocks easy access to the PTO shaft and makes a tricky task really difficult. Try these steps instead.

    1. Back the tractor up to the cutter and stop the engine, but leave enough room to stand between the cutter and the iMatch. Now you can work in a more natural, comfortable position.

    2. Raise the PTO shield on the tractor.

    3. Suspend the driveline with a strap just a little below the height you need to mate with the PTO spline. This takes the weight off of you and makes it easier to manipulate the parts. Extend the driveline. The driveline on my MX5 has enough extension to reach the PTO even allowing for the added distance for standing room. I don't know if this is the case for other implements. If anyone else knows, I would be interested to hear.

    4. Check the splines for smoothness, burs, or rust. If necessary, brush with a brass wire brush or whatever to smooth them.

    5. Mate the splines. In this position, standing up and looking down and able to use both hands, it's possible to turn and adjust both the driveline and the PTO shaft so they can be pre-aligned as much as possible.

    6. You don't have to pull back on the collar to start the join. The splines will go together an inch or so without doing so.

    7. Finish seating the splines. To do this, you need to pull back on the collar and push forward on the driveline at the same time. Depending on the condition of the splines, this may be hard to do. I found it helped greatly to have a helper. One person holds back the collar, while the other pushes forwards on the driveline. Since one person can push the driveline from a ways back, there won't be a workspace conflict. Don't forget to lower the PTO shield.

    8. Now start the tractor and back up and connect the iMatch to the cutter as usual. I had someone watch while I did this very slowly just to make sure nothing went wrong.

    I hope these instructions are useful and help save someone else from the frustration I had yesterday. Thanks, TBN. And especially, thanks to jeffinsgf.

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