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Thread: 54C on a 420

  1. #11
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    Display Name: Army
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    Grading story fer ya.. One of the graders I ran, a 740 Champion, had a float function that was electrically controlled. You had to flip a separate toggle switch for each side of the blade. They were twitchy and I didn't trust them at all. One guy did though, the infamous Frenchie from my fishing trip post in the 'what did you do in the shop' thread. He had the moldboard on float and flipped the switches off at the end of a run while he was still moving pretty fast. He had the Detroit Diesel engine screaming along wide open and yanked back on the levers to pick the moldboard up. With the revs pegged high like that the right side came up flying up but the switch for the left side didn't work and stayed in float mode, which disabled the lift cylinder. He buried the left side of the moldboard a foot deep in a brand new road and made a hell of a mess. It was on a road I took to work and I drove past the lumpy repair scars twice a day for years afterward. Frenchie wasn't very tall and he liked operating standing up so he could see better. He slammed into the steering wheel pretty hard when the grader came to a sudden stop. The bruising on his abdomen and chest looked like he'd been in a bullfight and lost decisively. They didn't let him operate graders after that. Wasn't just that incident. He had other competency issues. Like the time the road super found him with the grader completely sideways on a busy road ramming snowbanks into a cornfield. He had vehicles backed up in both directions for quite a ways. Exasperated people were turning around and some of them backed into the ditches making 3 point turns and got stuck in the snow. The foreman said it was slow motion bedlam. Lots of complaints from the public and some made it to the county engineer's office. Didn't go over well.

    Army

    • 1981 JD 400, 1980 JD 400, 1975 JD 400, various JD 400 attachments, 1966 JD 110 RF, 1979 JD 214, JD L100, JD 111
    • Cub Cadet Model 71, Ford 8N w/6 ft Woods belly deck, Ford 860
    • 1990 EZGO (gator wannabe), 1997 Club Car and 1970 Cushman golf carts
    • 2000 F150 4x4 shortbox stepside, 1976 Corvette, 1950 F1 Ford pickup, 1996 Splash 5.0 V8 project
    • Armstrong 3 HP antique stationary engine (runs like a top) and a couple other hit and miss type engines





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    MiniHomesteader (12-21-2019)

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  4. #12
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    Display Name: Leonard VanCamp

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    I ran a grader for a few years in the Army, we had Cat 130G graders that had a float function too, I rarely used it. Most time operated standing up with both hands on the blade controls, to steer I would either use the front wheel lean or just bump the steering wheel a couple times as needed. Getting the most out of a grader is a art form, a good operator makes it look effortless, a bad one can leave a site in a worst condition then he started with.

  5. #13
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    Display Name: Kelvin Gebhard
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    Leonard/Army/Anyone else feeling the need to chime in with "stories" to tell ... PLEASE STOP.

    I asked a technical question in a valid forum. Please stick to topic. "Storytelling" needs to be done in the the Everything Else Forum of this site. Threads get long with discussions that do not apply to the published topic. I am simply requesting information on mounting a Deere mid mount attachment to a Deere garden tractor.

    Thank you ... Merry Christmas, Gabby
    Last edited by gabby_in_wis; 12-21-2019 at 09:15 AM.
    Currently in my garages/sheds: 1967 JD112 RF ... 1972 JD 112 SF ... 1973 140 H3 ... 1977 JD 300 ... 1979 JD 216
    1979 JD 314 ... 1979 JD 317K ... 1986 JD 318 ... 2004 JD X485 ... 2011 JD TX Gator ... 2012 JD X720 ... 19XX Zennoh 7001B
    2003 HD Heritage Softail

    Deerely Departed : 1965 JD 110 ... 1967 JD 110 ... 1978 JD 316K ... 1987 JD 175 ... 1987 JD 185 ... 1987 JD 332 w/ 44 loader
    1990 JD 318 ... 2007 JD X300 ... 2015 Z930M ZTR ... 19XX MF 7 ... 1970 Harley FLH ... 1979 Harley Superglide

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  7. #14
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    Display Name: naplesjoe

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    Here's my usual two cents. I know you started this asking about mounting the device on a 400, but it soon (as usual) morphed into something else. So my comments are aimed at using the blade, not really answering your question. But perhaps you intend to actually buy and use it thinking it will do the job.

    I've had a few of these 54c blades on 300 series machines. In nearly every case I found them to be much more useful back dragging material. Any sort of cutting seems futile especially with harder packed class 5 gravel or similar. You could do a pretty good job if the material was right out of the truck and still rather soft but at least with the 300's just don't have enough weight and traction to do any serious digging. Perhaps a 400 or larger machine would do better, but I doubt it. The blade simply floats as no down pressure is available and only the weight of the blade provides the down effort. If your patient enough and have enough fuel sooner or later you'll scrap through to the softer stuff. And I often found myself standing on the blade to get a little more down pressure on the blade to get there. Also found myself on the hood on several occasions doing that. When knocking down a pile you're better off with a shovel as you can only take a very small bite of the pile with these blades. There's very little room between the front of the blade and front tires. Again, the machine just don't have enough power to move any decent amount of dirt.

    The most success I had was spreading and leveling top soil right out of a truck for a new lawn. And that's with the driver chaining up the tail gate and spreading the load as much as possible. But again, the most success came with back dragging as it's virtually impossible to accurately control the depth of the dirt your trying to grade. Little blade control and the wheelbase is just too short. The other fairly successful use was scrapping ice off the driveway but that too more often than not wasn't all that successful as traction was soon lost. And, look out for those hidden cracks. They will get your attention for sure.

    So, in my humble opinion based on all kinds of experience is blade angle is really a moot point. These tractors just don't have enough weight and traction to do much useful blade work. Just a toy which is likely why they are so hard to find and I'll bet the farm when you do its no where near worn out. And for sure why they soon become a rusty hunk of steel behind your shed. But I always like to add my disclaimer: If you want one buy it. You'll have fun until the frustration sets in. But if you purchase thinking it's going to accomplish any real work, well good luck with that. Hopefully you won't end up like I did wondering why I pent good money on this thing? (The first I bought new, the other two I got for nothing)

    Before you guys get mad. My only intention is to give experiences and information to others who visit these pages looking for good advice. Not to be negative on any subject. But we all have to admit there is certainly a lot of BS on these pages.

  8. #15
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    Display Name: naplesjoe

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    Sorry Gabby, I added mine prior to seeing you last post. And I totally agree with you. Mine was referring to the "blade angle" thing and the functionality of the blade. I did delete a few comment referring to exactly what you are saying.

  9. #16
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    Display Name: Kelvin Gebhard
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    Sorry for delay getting back with you ... long day at my rural property.

    I already have a 420 I just picked up from member in Michigan and two 54C blades in the lower shed. The 420 is a non-runner so it will be getting tore down for clean-up and rework.

    I have no attachments for the tractor and will be needing a tractor to do landscaping work around new building net spring/summer. I have 2 skidsteers and a compact excavator to cut and fill areas and the 420 would be used to do lawn raking and blading fresh topsoil prior to seeding. I figure the 420 can safely be weighted to accomplish these jobs. It may well require modifications to work like I want it to but first I need to get the blade mounted on the tractor.

    I have briefly reviewed the 60" mid-mount for the X-Series tractors. First thing they are extremely rare so finding one will be nearly impossible. Frame and blade are still available to order but are quite pricey. And, modifications would still be require to mount it on a 420. Until I get to working on it I am unsure how I will proceed.

    Again, I want to thank Chuck and Doug for information they provided. I also need to read the thread Ryan just posted about the mid-mount he built for his 317. There will probably be some good information there.

    Still hoping someone will post some photos of blade mounted on a 420/430.

    Gabby
    Currently in my garages/sheds: 1967 JD112 RF ... 1972 JD 112 SF ... 1973 140 H3 ... 1977 JD 300 ... 1979 JD 216
    1979 JD 314 ... 1979 JD 317K ... 1986 JD 318 ... 2004 JD X485 ... 2011 JD TX Gator ... 2012 JD X720 ... 19XX Zennoh 7001B
    2003 HD Heritage Softail

    Deerely Departed : 1965 JD 110 ... 1967 JD 110 ... 1978 JD 316K ... 1987 JD 175 ... 1987 JD 185 ... 1987 JD 332 w/ 44 loader
    1990 JD 318 ... 2007 JD X300 ... 2015 Z930M ZTR ... 19XX MF 7 ... 1970 Harley FLH ... 1979 Harley Superglide

  10. #17
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    Display Name: Cliff H
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    Maybe you have seen this thread, but it details mounting a 54C on a 318. The rear of a 318 is mostly the same as a 420. Mounting points are the same, length dimensions will be different.

    https://www.wfmachines.com/forums/sh...on-on-a-JD-318

  11. #18
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    Thanks for the article Cliff. This is the first 4XX for me so will be a new experience. The first thing I saw (and had forgotten about) is 54C has skidshoes mounted on rear. That is fine if you are scraping snow off concrete or frozen gravel drive. Motor grader do no have blade skid shoes. May be a mod to remove the shoes.
    Currently in my garages/sheds: 1967 JD112 RF ... 1972 JD 112 SF ... 1973 140 H3 ... 1977 JD 300 ... 1979 JD 216
    1979 JD 314 ... 1979 JD 317K ... 1986 JD 318 ... 2004 JD X485 ... 2011 JD TX Gator ... 2012 JD X720 ... 19XX Zennoh 7001B
    2003 HD Heritage Softail

    Deerely Departed : 1965 JD 110 ... 1967 JD 110 ... 1978 JD 316K ... 1987 JD 175 ... 1987 JD 185 ... 1987 JD 332 w/ 44 loader
    1990 JD 318 ... 2007 JD X300 ... 2015 Z930M ZTR ... 19XX MF 7 ... 1970 Harley FLH ... 1979 Harley Superglide

  12. #19
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    Display Name: Cliff H
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    I have had a 54C on a 140 for years. It never had skid shoes, nor would I want them. I use mine mostly for leveling dirt or gravel in my yard, and occasionally smoothing ruts on the gravel lane. That works best when there is still a bit of moisture in the ridges, before it gets rock hard.

  13. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by cliffh View Post
    I have had a 54C on a 140 for years. It never had skid shoes, nor would I want them. I use mine mostly for leveling dirt or gravel in my yard, and occasionally smoothing ruts on the gravel lane. That works best when there is still a bit of moisture in the ridges, before it gets rock hard.
    Sounds like what I would be doing with 420 and blade. Would have 3ph to use landscaping rake. Like I said just general purpose work because I have no attachments for the 420. Pipe dream ... a model 44 loader if one came along that member cannot sell. Problem then becomes the tractor would need to be built up as a loader tractor. Just went through that with a 332 which was a sweet machine. Didn't use that enough to warrant keeping it so like I said loader is a pipe dream.

    For now 3ph hitch and 54C are my plans once I get the tractor running.
    Currently in my garages/sheds: 1967 JD112 RF ... 1972 JD 112 SF ... 1973 140 H3 ... 1977 JD 300 ... 1979 JD 216
    1979 JD 314 ... 1979 JD 317K ... 1986 JD 318 ... 2004 JD X485 ... 2011 JD TX Gator ... 2012 JD X720 ... 19XX Zennoh 7001B
    2003 HD Heritage Softail

    Deerely Departed : 1965 JD 110 ... 1967 JD 110 ... 1978 JD 316K ... 1987 JD 175 ... 1987 JD 185 ... 1987 JD 332 w/ 44 loader
    1990 JD 318 ... 2007 JD X300 ... 2015 Z930M ZTR ... 19XX MF 7 ... 1970 Harley FLH ... 1979 Harley Superglide

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