If you recall, I added Pat’s Easy Change hitches to the lower lift arms on the 3 point hitch. Without a doubt they make it quicker and easier to hitch and unhitch an implement. But there is a potential issue that you should consider.
The Pat’s hitches move the attachment point about 4″ further from the tractor, so the amount you can lift goes down a bit. It probably won’t be an issue for most of us, but for those that are wringing every bit of performance out of their tractor it could cause a problem. Secondly, due to the 4″ extension to the left arms, the top link may now be too short to properly angle the implement. Even if the top link is actually long enough, you may not have enough threads engaged in the body. This will weaken the top link and could cause it to pull through. My original top link body was 13 1/2″ long, so I decided to pick up a new, longer top link. The body on the new one is 16″ long. Not the full 4″ that the Pat’s hitches added to the lift arms, but is definitely longer and will have more threads engaged.
Going over the bush hog more carefully, several items need attention. The original blades are rough, mostly from striking objects while mowing. The blades pivot when they strike an uncuttable object to prevent damage to the PTO shaft and gearbox, but the cutting edge takes the brunt of the strike. They can be ground back to a serviceable cutting edge, but I chose to replace the blades. They’re not overly expensive, and If I’m careful they will last a long time. I’ll grind the original blades so that I will have a spare set.
The tailwheel yoke axle and spindle need greasing. I removed the tailwheel yoke and checked it over. The spindle is bent to the side a little, but the bigger worry is that the top part has worn down to 1 1/8″ from 1 1/4″. I also decided to replace the yoke. The wheel, hub, and axle are fine, just need a little cleanup and some fresh grease.
Once these items are finished, the bush hog will be ready to go for a long time, and periodic regreasing will keep it running smoothly.