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  1. #1
    Super Member California's Avatar
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    Jan 2004
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    5,404
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Powershift: How is it for engine braking, downhill?

    I went ahead and bought the YM186D out of Northern California that was discussed here about a month ago. It looks a little rough but the price was relative to that. And I had it checked out by Dave's of Red Bluff, who replaced the seals in the front axle plus a couple of other minor things he found. Overall it now seems to be ready for another 25 years of troublefree use. I might even paint it!

    I'm laid up with back problems so I haven't gotten up to Red Bluff to pick it up from Dave's. I'm dying to put it to use. But for the moment, about all I can do is read the Operation and Service manuals. I have a question:

    Since the Powershift engages as engine rpm increases (its pump is driven by the transmission input shaft), what happens as you slow the throttle for a steep downgrade? Will it drop out of gear and coast if the rpm's fall too low? If you downshift will it catch the lower gear and force the engine speed up to appropriate rpm, or continue to idle, never engage the gear, and maybe even die if the throttle was set too low?

    And what about the case of inching along on treacherous ground? I'm used to idling down my manual transmission YM240 to about where you can feel every revolution of the crank, and ready to kill the throttle to halt, going down anything that has some side slope as well as steep descent. How does the powershift deal with this? The last thing you want is a roaring engine and lots of inertia when inching down something where the footing is uncertain. Comments?

  2. #2
    Bronze Member ritchieb's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    52
    Location
    near Parkersburg, WV
    Tractor
    Yanmar 1610D

    Default Re: Powershift: How is it for engine braking, downhill?

    California,

    I am using a 1610D with the power-shift and honestly I think of it as a gear driven transmission in the way I go down hill here. As far as I can tell it acts just like all the gear-driven tractors I have been on. It holds you back on downhill in the same manner. I truly have some steep hills also, some approach 40 degree. I have to use the lowest gear range (creeper) to back up some slopes with a 4 foot brush-hog, then on the down hill the rear tires will lock with so much back-pressure caused by the transmission holding back. You will like the power-shift I'm sure.

    How is the apples doing? A few Yellow Delicious and Grimes Golden here but not like last year. Hope your back gets well soon. Must be terrible to not be on the 186D!
    Tell me I hear, Show me I see, Involve me I learn

  3. #3
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    50
    Location
    MA
    Tractor
    YM186D . 1957 AC CA

    Default Re: Powershift: How is it for engine braking, downhill?

    ritchieb has it exactly right. I have 186D and downhill engine/transmission braking is a non-issue . Power shift is quite rugged up or down hill.

  4. #4
    Super Member California's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
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    5,404
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Powershift: How is it for engine braking, downhill?

    Ritchie, Buppie, that's good to hear!

    I have only the manuals here to entertain me. So I guess after too much reading, I'm imagining an issue where there is none.

    It checked out excellent on Dave's dynomometer. "The dyno went great, no problems, around 15 to 16 hp at PTO. (Runs strong.)" (from an email today).
    !!! Not bad for 25 years use. Maybe the 980 hours showing on the hourmeter, is all it has.

    Buppie, I have more questions if you don't mind. I'm thinking about buying (or making) about 130 lbs of front bumper weights, and loading the rear tires with water which should give about 85 lbs per side. My primary use will be the 4 ft rotary mower, and using rear forks to carry a 4x4 harvest bin as a carryall. Also possibly a 4 ft disc for a few hours/year, or even my 5 ft tiller (RS1400) if this thing can lift it. How much ballast can I hang on this tractor before it's too heavy to maneuver? Could it use wheel weights in addition to the filled rear tires?

    The previous owner used it a season or two for snow removal with a 6ft rear blade, and he had water in all four tires. He said it was so light that it was near useless with that blade - the blade would halt the tractor in snow or gravel, with the tires spinning. (I don't see any evidence it ever had tire chains on it.) Do these small tractors need both water and iron weights for the back wheels? All four wheels? Again, any comments are welcome.

    Ritchie, the apples look small this year but maybe quantity will make up for it since they don't look sparse. These trees are about a third the original Gravensteins, many Golden Delicious and Granny Smith, and a few replacement trees in other varieties we have tried at various times such as Fuji and Gala.

    I can't wait to get up there and bring it home!

  5. #5
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    50
    Location
    MA
    Tractor
    YM186D . 1957 AC CA

    Default Re: Powershift: How is it for engine braking, downhill?

    It amazed me how much more stable this narrow tractor became with weight. I have a loader and found Yanmar wasn't b.s. ing on the need for weight in the rear (other than the obvious need to counter the loader). I put a 600lb. weight box in the rear and learned to take turns up my sloped lot very slowly. Caution, coupled with weight and a ROPS, eased my insecurity. Don't try working it across a slope. Up and down a slope slowly. Not my first or my only tractor , but my grandsons' favorite and mine.

  6. #6
    New Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    2
    Location
    central wa
    Tractor
    YM186D

    Default Re: Powershift: How is it for engine braking, downhill?

    Quote Originally Posted by Buppie View Post
    It amazed me how much more stable this narrow tractor became with weight. I have a loader and found Yanmar wasn't b.s. ing on the need for weight in the rear (other than the obvious need to counter the loader). I put a 600lb. weight box in the rear and learned to take turns up my sloped lot very slowly. Caution, coupled with weight and a ROPS, eased my insecurity. Don't try working it across a slope. Up and down a slope slowly. Not my first or my only tractor , but my grandsons' favorite and mine.
    I agree. I have a 186D and run with a front loader and 5ft box scraper most of the time. Weight balance and slow turns are the key.

    I too have steep hills. Powershift is the best!!

  7. #7
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Posts
    83
    Location
    Adirondack Mts, Fulton County , NY
    Tractor
    YM 336D

    Default Re: Powershift: How is it for engine braking, downhill?

    As regards the comment about the narrow tractor? Cann't you open up the rear wheels. I increase my 336D from 47" to 60". Big difference.

    Joe

  8. #8
    Super Member California's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    5,404
    Location
    Sonoma County
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM240, YM186D, and another YM186D

    Default Re: Powershift: How is it for engine braking, downhill?

    Tuesday I went up to Red Bluff and towed the tractor home (230 miles) behind my little Subaru Outback. The trip was flawless; the Subaru tows 2k lbs (tractor + trailer) just fine. Even in 108 degree weather! I'll start a new thread describing operating my new toy. In summary, it works great. Thanks Dave and Rob! (Dave's Tractors in Red Bluff, who re-sealed the front axle and other minor stuff for me).

    re widening the rear tires: these small Yanmars have adjustable width hubs. The wheel is bolted to the hub same as an automotive wheel, but then the hubs can be slid in/out on the hexagonal axle shafts. There is 8 inches of hexagonal axle extending beyond the bearing housing, on each side.

    Mine has the sleeve part of the hub turned inward to give maximum width with the hub slid all the way out. And the tires are installed dished outward. This gives an overall width of 50 inches across the 9.50 x 16 ag tires.

    This morning I went out in the orchard to mow down volunteer blackberry vines, that would interfere with the apple harvest. (4 ft rotary mower). It feels like setting the tires to 50 inch width is just right for this little tractor.

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    50
    Location
    MA
    Tractor
    YM186D . 1957 AC CA

    Default Re: Powershift: How is it for engine braking, downhill?

    California, mine had that max spacing of the rears when I got it. I didn't find a dramatic difference , but yes, a difference when I moved them in to stay inside the buckets' 48" width. This tractor is my snow remover and we've had nothing but record breaking snows the past two (global warming/cooling ?) winters.

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