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Anyone added a 3rd function?

23115 Views 6 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  dsevern
I may be "underthinking" this again, but after going to both ends of the internet, I've found that adding third function hydraulics to my L2800 so I can add a grapple to the FEL is going to cost between $775 for a kit, to "about $1000" to have a dealer install said 3rd function. That looks like a lot of money for what appears to me to be basically a valve, some fittings and a couple of lengths of hose.
I heard the idea of using the rear connections, but I have a backhoe attached, which is really handy for big stumps, and takes about 30 minutes to remove or reinstall, so that's too big a pain when I'm clearing brush (including trees) from my land.
Has anyone done a "self invented" kit/installation for 3rd function on an FEL that would actually recommend a fairly ignorant wrench turner (me) to try it? Or do the smarter folks here recommend I pay the dealer to install the kit and shut up?
(I feel constrained to add that I'm getting cheap because of how much I'm going to cough up to get the grapple itself, to clear the area to build a fence to enclose the well to serve the barn to...well you get the picture.)
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Thanks for the ideas and links TooMany, I followed your grapple build on here last year, but couldn't find it, your work is what got me thinking about adding a grapple. I don't have the skills you do though, when I said "wrench turner" that's what I meant. My metal working skills are pretty much limited to "gorilla welding" (strong, but UGLY!), and hitting things real hard with a big hammer. I vaguely remembered your posts about how you plumbed your 3rd function yourself, so I figured someone here would know how to do it. Maybe if I actually get a day in the shop over the next month, I'll start exploring the connections in and under my tractor to see if it scares me off. So thanks again.
Well, I figured out all the "figuring" I needed to make a decision here. Working on my 3rd retirement fund right now doesn't give me the time I'd need to build everything, and after sitting down for about an hour drawing pictures and trying to get the list of just the hydraulic fittings I'd need (never mind the hose lengths and valve and mounting and switches) and coming up with three different lists of fittings, I decided I'd go ahead and buy the pre-made kit. I also ordered a grapple, figuring a couple of semi-straight welds to fasten it to the bucket, and to fasten some reinforcement to the bucket was within my limited capabilities. I'm kind of in a rush, I need to get some land cleared to build my new "barndominium" so I can move before the city annexes their way to me. (16 years ago I was 10 miles from the city, now it's a little over 2, getting too crowded here for me, got to move out another 30 miles.)
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