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I am making an offer on a GT3235 that comes with a blower (and wheel weights & chains) and seems to be in very good condition – no obvious signs of abuse or lack of maintenance. I have driven the tractor and checked out the controls and everything seems fine, but there are a number of things I have questions about:

1. Is there is anything to look for regarding the hydraulics? It has the blower mounted and it raises and lowers quickly.

2. It has a solid strut installed where I believe the angling cylinder would go. Was that a separate kit? Can they still be had?

3. What about the diff-lock? The pedal engages and I don’t hear any noises, should I look for anything else?

4. The seller says the deck (48” ground contact) is difficult to get off without raising the front end because the angle drive gearbox contacts the lift linkage. How big an issue is that?

5. The steering is sharp, but the wheel is off center. To straighten, is that a simple R&R like most Cubs?

Thanks for whatever advice you guys can offer.
 

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1. Is there is anything to look for regarding the hydraulics? It has the blower mounted and it raises and lowers quickly.
My only caution is about any obvious hydraulic leaks. A "wet rear end" should be recognized as a repair that can be done, but it's a bit painful. Look up the thread about replacing o-rings on the spool valve stack. It's a weak spot, but only if you really, really push the machine.

2. It has a solid strut installed where I believe the angling cylinder would go. Was that a separate kit? Can they still be had?
I've been told that blowers should never be angled. (Don't know, but been told.) The angle kit was separate and dependent on having an other hydraulic control that you could run it with. If I were looking at at, I'd skip the hydraulic angle control for the blower. If you're looking for a plow, I'd consider a Johnny Product arrangement. I have the Johnny Bucket with electric dump on my hydraulic lift and love it. PS. There is a float setting on the front lift.

3. What about the diff-lock? The pedal engages and I don’t hear any noises, should I look for anything else?
I'd try to make sure that it engages and disengages. Do some reading or ask advice of the owner. With it engaged, you really can't turn since the back wheels just push you along!

4. The seller says the deck (48” ground contact) is difficult to get off without raising the front end because the angle drive gearbox contacts the lift linkage. How big an issue is that?
I place 5 2x4's in a stack under the front hydraulic lift and use down pressure to lift the front end up. That provides enough clearance on the 60" deck to clear the gearbox with mower set to 3" height. Not a big issue for me.

5. The steering is sharp, but the wheel is off center. To straighten, is that a simple R&R like most Cubs?
Mine had that problem, I tweaked it a few times to get it "right". The most important thing about steering is to set the toe angle correctly. There's a nice description about using couple pieces of wood.

Thanks for whatever advice you guys can offer.
Hope this works out for you!
 

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Steve has it right.

Regarding deck removal, I just roll over a few 2x6's (the one one the bottom is about 2 feet long and the one on top is about a foot). That give me plenty of clearance. I attach a tie-strap to one side of the deck (there are two holes in the top) and just pull it out.
 

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On my 44" deck I jack up the rear of the tractor under the hitch plate.

Steve is right on. The aluminum rears can be resealed, (usually need new bearing blocks and rear cover gaskets) but it is a time consuming process for sure. Easiest thing to look for is the dark colored rear wheels. If there's a leak, it will gather crud easily on the wheel of the affected side.
 

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2. It has a solid strut installed where I believe the angling cylinder would go. Was that a separate kit? Can they still be had?

The angle cylinder is an option, and Steve is correct, you do not use it with a snow blower. The manual explicitly states that you're to use a solid strut with a snow blower.

4. The seller says the deck (48” ground contact) is difficult to get off without raising the front end because the angle drive gearbox contacts the lift linkage. How big an issue is that?

I've installed and removed 44', 48", 54" and 60" decks on the 3000 series tractors. They're all the same, and they're easy to take off and put on. Once you have the arms fully raised, there's a tab on the left side arm that you pull up on, and then can slide the arm up on the shaft to an area of the shaft that's narrow, that will then allow you to slide the arm up and out of the way so it clears the gearbox on the mower deck.

All that being said, I've found it easier to just raise the arms up and then jack the rear up a few inches with a floor jack to allow the clearance needed to slide the deck out.

The owners manual explains the process on how to slide the arm up on the shaft, but if you have a floor jack, just use that, it's much easier.

5. The steering is sharp, but the wheel is off center. To straighten, is that a simple R&R like most Cubs?

Yes, setting the steering straight is simple.

Thanks for whatever advice you guys can offer.[/QUOTE]
 
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