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dtallon

Finally got a sickle!

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:handgestures-thumbupright: On every horseman's bucket list!

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In my experience you kinda need a dedicated tractor for the sickle. It doesn't pop on and off like a mower deck. I'm thinking if you don't have a tractor to dedicate for this you should go back and make an offer for the charger 12 especially since they were originally married at one time!!! Whatever you decide we would like to see pictures of it mounted and working! I have not run mine a whole lot but I do know they don't like to run fast. When I got mine the yoke in the wobble box was broken, so welded it up. After running it, I could just tell that lower RPMs made it happier. I'm not sure but I think that maybe how it blew up. Also a VERY IMPORTANT THING TO REMEMBER  while running a sickle bar on a Wheel Horse, can't do this with a throw away box store tractor!!! 

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Yeah, I may end up kicking myself for not getting the Charger too.  The guy seemed to have more of a sentimental attachment to the tractor though, and I think he had more seat time with the regular mower deck that was on it than the sickle.  

 

My plan is to put it on my B100.  It's a nice tractor but I need more justification for keeping it around than pulling carts and things around the yard.  I know it won't be straightforward since the PTO setup is a newer style than the sickle was designed for, but I'm not opposed to converting it to the old style either.  I have seen some other posts too about PTO speed, so I will have to be mindful of that as well.  I will be sure to post updates along the way, and hopefully pictures of the finished product.  

 

Dave

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I am not speaking from experience, but if at all possible I think you should try to buy the Charger 12. I think in the end you will find it was the best thing to do with this attachment. You are already missing a part to make this work, I think adding the Charger 12 will in the end make the job of putting your bar to work  easier than if you had passed on the tractor. One or more less problems to overcome if you will.

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I adapted my sickle bar to a C-121 8 speed and wasn't sure about the PTO To the implement pulley size but I think I found it . Just one more tractor I wish I could have taken to the big show. Another unmolested C-series I have. I have to get my ass in gear and post some pictures of these C-series I  have, most are quite nice. 

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I would like to see a member do a vid on install of one of these...........I wouldn't mind a sickle either!

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10 hours ago, dtallon said:

it all leaked out through the bottom the next morning.

The fellas say this is a common issue with all of them even with a new seal. Yes please keep up updated! :)

@wheelhorseman Note the outside grass bar on his Lowell. We were discussing how some had it and some don't.

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I have seen some comments about the oil leaking.  I have had this apart so much I think there was only one night I had it together with oil in it since I replaced the seals, but for at least that one night the new seals seemed to do their job.  

 

I dropped the yoke off at the weld shop this morning and to my surprise they called later this afternoon to tell me it was done already.  My wallet is lighter, but the yoke is noticeably heavier and all one piece again. I had told the guy there was room around the yoke for him to reinforce it.  He added more than I expected, but I test fit it and it didn't look like it interfered with anything.  If it was rotating like a u-joint typically does, I'd be more worried about it being out of balance with one side being so much bigger than the other, but in this application I don't think it will matter that much.  

 

sickle_17.jpg.8b771355466a964da93b86a8831a67ed.jpg

 

Since it was most likely already broken when I got the sickle, it is hard to tell if it broke due to a mechanical issue or operator error.  I don't see any obvious issues other than a little play in the bushing the yoke inserts into.  That may have occurred after it broke and not before, but if I can find one I should probably replace that bushing to reduce the chances of it breaking again.  Does anybody know a source and substitute part number for the 2693 bronze flange bushing, #15 on the SMS parts breakdown?

 

I didn't get an action shot, but here is a demonstration of what the sickle can do.  It's hard to tell from the picture, but there is about a foot drop from the grass down to the field where it eroded this Spring when we got a big rain after the farmer had tilled it all up.  The drop is too uneven and steep to mow with the regular mower deck.  My travel chain is just the right length to suspend the sickle level with the tractor, and it did a great job cutting off the grass and weeds.  I just need to get it fixed so I can finish the job.

 

sickle_18.jpg.564a338e61e8e6f4cec35ffbede8d143.jpg

 

 

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That is a typical failure when the sickle mowers are operated at too high a speed. Every time the mower sections move they need to stop before changing direction. Slow slow slow is the key to a longer life.

 

Garry

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As the others have said, LOW RPM. I wasn't much above idle speed with mine. I used a chain connected to the steering tower like yours and had an eyebolt installed on the bar. That way I could hold the bar at about 45° to clear the paths of briars. :)

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Posted (edited)

Try McMaster Carr with a part number of 6338K431 for that #15 2693 bearing/bushing. https://www.mcmaster.com/#catalog/123/1185/=191ty5d

Might want to verify the correct dims.

You may have seen  this thread...

 

Edited by WHX12
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Thanks guys - I knew I had seen that picture with the reference numbers written in the margin, I just couldn't remember what thread it was in.  I should have remembered that one.  I was surfing Craigslist farther out than I normally go and saw that ad about the same time you posted it here.  I had a similar reaction to the picture and price, but totally missed that there was a sickle with it.  Glad you got it and are giving it the attention it deserves.  

 

Dave

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Dave... Kudos to @dclarke for sharing his notes .. appears he saved us all some grief and wrong orders!

BTW I did get my lower and side seal from local Toro dealer... Somewhat reasonable $$ wise. I lucked out and all the other bearings were in real good shape. I will continue that thread once I get going on it again.

Edited by WHX12
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Lots of great info in this thread...

thanks for sharing it here.  :clap:

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I compared the dimensions of that McMaster Carr part with the bushing I have now, and there are a few differences.  Mine is 3/4" long overall, and the flange is 1.5" dia.  I am not sure it is original though.  The one yoke ear had obviously been welded by a previous owner, and I also noticed the yoke pin has been modified with a washer welded on one end so it only needs one snap ring.  After taking this bronze bushing out, I can see tool marks in the bore, so the bushing that was in there was at least taken out, if not replaced.  All of the other bushings seem to be pretty tight given the unit's age.  I'm guessing the whole wobble box has been repaired/rebuilt before.  

 

The 1.5" flange dia. seems to be the tricky part for replacing the bushing in question.  Other than that detail, they ended up having one at our Menards here in town that matched the other dimensions and what McMaster has.  I picked one up to try.  For anybody curious, it was Handi-Pack part #83938.  It does eliminate the slight amount of play that the one that is in there now has, but the flange is only 1.25" so there is less bearing area there.

 

sickle_19.jpg.1e06cbdfd8c248ef825ada2affb15a27.jpg

 

Given that trade-off, I'm not sure one is all that better than the other, and you guys are probably right, it was running at too fast a speed that was the real problem.  The Charger 12 that was for sale with the sickle had a clutched PTO pulley on it.  Those seem to be about 3.5" drive dia. Pictures I have seen from the manual show the smaller PTO pulley.  The PTO pulley from a Lawn Ranger I had for comparison is only 1.5" drive dia.  Using those dimensions, that means the clutched pulley on that Charger 12 and on my B100 will run the sickle over twice the RPM it was intended for.  A PTO pulley swap may be in my future, although I'll have to figure something else out for the clutch if I do that. 

 

I'm holding off on putting the sickle back together.  I actually thought the weld shop would just laugh at me wanting to fix that yoke, so I ordered a u-joint yoke that I think matches the dimensions thinking I might have to cut the broken ear off and weld a whole new one on.  I'm curious if the dimensions actually do match, and if so, we may have an alternative for these yokes if they are too far gone to repair.  It is supposed to arrive tomorrow or Friday.  I will post what I find when it comes. 

 

Dave

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Thanks for the info Dave, given the age I would venture to guess that the wobble box has been into many times by a PO. I would think the Menards bushing would be OK if you don't  horse it...no pun intended :lol:. Good luck on the yoke tho .. I would be tempted to put the repaired one in, looks like your weld shop really beefed it up but if you go with a modified u joint let us know how it pans out. ;)

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To my surprise the yoke I ordered arrived already today.  (2 day shipping and it wasn't even Amazon Prime!).  If I hadn't been able to get the original welded up, I highly suspect I could have had this one turned down to use as a replacement.  I will definitely be keeping it just in case.  It is Neapco part 10-2817 and is made to weld onto the end of a driveshaft.  I started by finding the specs for a Dana-Spicer 1000-series yoke matched the spread and hole diameter of the Wheel Horse yoke.  The Dana-Spicer equivalent to this part, however, has the machined end hollowed out.  This one is as-cast on the end so you could turn it down to 3/4" if you needed to.  As an alternative to turning it down, they also make these to go on 3/4" keyed shafts, so I suspect you could cut the end of the yoke at the appropriate place and then weld a piece of 3/4" round stock into the hole.  

 

sickle_20.jpg.d487f72df816ca35a575e74fc61e85d6.jpg

 

 

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