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Tractor Happy
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The wife and I have decided to try a garden this year and I wanted to try breaking the ground using a brinly plow on a sleeve hitch. After finding out how much the CC electric hitch is and how much the Johnny hitch is, I decided to see if I could adapt the MTD/Arnold manual hitch to my 2500 series. I just couldn't spend over $1000 for a hitch and a plow...Not right now anyway.

I picked up a hitch at Lowes on clearance for $30. When I mocked it up, I found the biggest problem was the lack of holes for the hydrostatic dipstick and the transmission release lever.

Once I cut the two required holes everything lined up almost perfect.

I replaced the two upper bolts for the hitch plate with grade 8 hardware, 5/16 x 2 1/4 with 5/16 x 5/8 spacers to adapt to the shoulder bolt slots. I slid two 5/8 ID locking collars over the spacers to prevent any side to side movement. I also backed up the factory welded nut in the frame with another nut and washer just in case.

I then mounted the sleeve hitch as usual and it works!!!

I usually dont have good luck with these things, so I didn't take pictures while I was building this, only when I was done.
 

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Tractor Happy
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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Here's the bolt and spacers I used to approximate the shoulder bolts found on most current MTDs.

I think that the grade 8 bolts will hold up even though they are kinda long. If they bend at some point I will have to reinforce them with some kind of bracket.
 

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Tractor Happy
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
And here's the holes I cut to allow access to the transaxle dipstick and release lever. The dipstick hole is approx 2 1/2 x 1 3/4 and needs to be up higher than it looks because the dipstick come out on an angle.

I did test the setup with a Sears/Brinly subsoiler I picked up on clearance for $9 the other day. Still looking for a moldboard plow.
 

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Retired Aug.31 2007
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Where there is a will there is a way. Good fab. Looks as if it will work just fine.
 

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jesemd very nice mod. When you do some plowing take some pic's and post here...thanks. I suppose you'll leave the chains on to plow? May as well.
 

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Tractor Happy
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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
jesemd very nice mod. When you do some plowing take some pic's and post here...thanks. I suppose you'll leave the chains on to plow? May as well.
:thanku:

I may take them off. The Carlisle All Trails (John Deere calls them HDAPs) seem unstoppable, but then again I haven't tried pulling a 10" plow through a muddy yard yet...

Anybody got any advice for finding a plow....other than Craigslist and Ebay?
 

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Super Moderator
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You can get the same Brinly plow that is sold at Sears over at Home Depot for about a $100.00 cheaper then buying it new at sears and here is a Cub Cadet bone yard that has several used brinly plows for sale. http://www.rfhoutzandson.com/ContactUs.aspx Hope this helps.
 

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nice job, it looks like it was made for a direct fit, I had to cut holes in mine too, one right in the center for the gas level window, and also for the trans release rod, I paid fifty for mine, for thirty bucks you will be patting yourself on the back every time you use it:congrats:
 

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Tractor Happy
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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Somebody asked on another thread if this would work, so I thought I would give an update.

I found a great old moldboard plow from the 70's on craigslist for $50.

I plowed up a 20x35 plot this year with no problems. Then I used the Sears furrower to create rows and it all worked great. Its actually very easy to lift the plow with the hitch.

There are two things I don't like about this sleeve hitch...

First, you can remove the lift for towing a cart. The plate with the hole for towing is on a wide plate that limits how tight you can turn with the cart. It will be an easy fix as soon as I decide to trim it into a more tapered profile like the green lines below. The plate doesn't give the hitch any strength, so it will eventually get cut off.

Second, the range of lift is limited. There are three holes on the lift that allow you to set the hitch to high, low or in between. With these, I think you could adjust the plow to any height, but you only get about six inches of travel at any time without getting off and setting the lift in a different hole. All that really means is you sometimes need to set it at one height for transport, then get off and adjust for plowing, then adjust again to transport back to the garage.

For the $30 I paid, who cares if I need to get off the tractor twice now and then.

Definitely recommended.
 

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One other item to think about. I have the agrifab leaf vac (trailer system) when turning short because of the 12" turning, I can hit the tongue of of the trailer with the rear wheels so you still have to be careful.....
 

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Tech Nerd Tractor Convert
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Nice job, Jamie. Nothing like taking some tools to something that doesn't fit up and showing it who's boss.

Was any cussing involved?:banghead3
 

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jesemd, can you post some pictures of your moldboard plow mounted? Also, does the sleeve hitch that you have lock in a down position, or does it float?
 

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Tractor Happy
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Sorry for not getting back to you guys, I've been super busy at work with not much time for surfing...

Toolin - Yes, there was a little cussing.

CCinCT - When in the down position the hitch floats. Really, there is no position control. When the hitch is fully "up", the handle just goes over center and keeps the hitch up. The plow is packed away in the back of the shed for the season, but I'll try to dig it out soon and hook it up to snap a photo.
 

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Tractor Happy
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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The All Trails are 23x10.50x12s on the stock wheels. They are a little wide on the rims, but after almost 100 hours there have been no problems.

As for the tires, I would never go without them again. Great traction on wet grass and no damage to the grass ever. They even worked great plowing in the mud.
 

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Hey i just got sent a link to this thread. I was hoping you could tell me about the spacers you used. Are they homemade or something you purchased. I just got a 2165 and I'm hoping to order the sleeve hitch this coming weekend. The plan is to have this ready to go to plow my garden this spring. 50x50 is a little large to break up with a walkbehind rear tine. I have the tractor and the plow, just need to be able to link them up.
 

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Tractor Happy
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The spacers are just something the local True Value had. They were in the chrome hardware bins. I basically just used them so the hitch would not rattle on the bolt, which is smaller than the cut-out in the hitch.

So far the hitch has held up well with no problems. Good luck and let me know if you have any other questions.
 
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