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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Would someone know the mounting bolt spacing on a 140, 300,...,317 rear hitch plate?

I'm interested in attaching one of these hitch plates using the existing bolt holes of an OEM Deere 318 rear weight bracket with the box structure that the weights hang from, to which the bolts attach is removed.

Thanks!

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Niel,

That bracket looks like the one for an open frame tractor like the 318, 322, 332 etc that would hang from the rockshaft and then bolt to the hitch plate. The four bolt holes you feature in each of your pictures are in the face where this bracket bolts to another part that forms a complete rear weight assembly. See this excerpt from the Parts Catalog:
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Here is a view of mine for the 322, which was made by Jim Briney and used a repurposed CUT front weight hanger (the green part) so its bolt pattern was a bit different -- but at least you can see how it hangs from the rockshaft and the foot mounts to the hitch plate with two bolts...
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Chuck
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Chuck,

Of course you're correct. Thanks for posting the figure. The piece in my photos is an OEM Deere rear weight bracket, shown as #4 "bracket" in the left side figure of the parts diagram above. I have removed the part #1 "bracket."

I need a trailer hitch that's about 15 in off the ground. The factory hitch plate on my 318 is too low to the ground to be of practical use. I have read various conversations here and understand that given an overly entheusiastic ball hitch's bending load, the hitch plate on the 318 can tear the aluminum housing of the rear diff.

My plan is to incorporate the rock shaft into bearing part of that load as it does when heaped with suitcase weights. The tongue weight will be quite modest but the pulling load might be upwards of 1000 lbs. Given how the weight bracket bolts to the 318's hitch plate more closely to the diff than a ball hitch in the normal position, the bending moment on the diff housing is reduced. Further, since the weight bracket is bolted to the hitch plate in two places, effectively stiffening the plate, the hitch plate will rotate much less than it would with the ball hitch mounted on the end.

Thaks to Mike's measurement, it looks like what I'll do is scrounge up a hitch plate like his. I'll have welded onto some 1/4 plate that has four hole drilled to match the four in the bracket shown in my photos. When it's time to use the weight bracket, four bolts and the 120, 140, 312, 314, 317, etc. series hitch plate comes off and bracket #1 bolts back on.

Someone else long before me must have followed this same sort of reasoning to use a weight bracket for a trailer hitch on a 318. Unfortunately, despite some diligent searching, I haven't been able to find their work. I know that this is probalby a bit long winded but writing, editing and rewriting helps me think a problem through. Comments would be appreciated.
 

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Niel,

Thanks for the added information -- I now understand that you have a 318 and wish to make a heavy duty ball hitch with a higher mount for a 'normal' trailer towing application. You are correct that pulling on the cast aluminum final drive housing is a bad thing to do -- see the picture:
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The correct place to both pull from and to carry weight is the cast iron axle housings of these tractors and from the frame rails themselves (or the rock-shaft...) -- that is where the 3-pt hitches and tillers are mounted.
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I have never made a hitch for my 318 or 322 for this type of use, because I had a 3-pt on the X495 for that use...
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Chuck
 
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