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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Long story short... I have an '83 212... I have a 31 tiller plus the helper spring kit and the manual rear lift kit. I am trying to get this all to work.

I have read, over and over, the John Deere instructions for each kit. I have installed the spring kit and manual rear lift kit exactly how the instructions are written. (Or I believe I have.)

Issue(s) I am having-

1.) The helper spring doesn't seem to actually help. I have seen videos where folks are moving the lift lever with ONE hand. That's not the case for me... it's like it's not even helping at all. It's all I can do with 2 arms to get the tiller to move up or down. I have adjusted the spring adjustment rod all the way in and all the way out. (Weird enough all the out seems to be the easiest.

2.) If I attach the rear lift rod to the closest (closest means the existing hole in the rear lift bracket closest to the center of the tractor) the rod seems to be too long as it doesn't actuate the lifting/ lowering of the tiller BECAUSE the 'slot' of the long rear lift rod when attached to the primary lift arm never reaches either solid end of the slot.

If I attach the rear lift rod to the top, most rearward location in the rear lift bracket (the tiller rod would attach with a pin directly below this hole) then the slotted, long, rear lift rod seems to work ok. But depth of the tiller seems to be an issue here (or it could be height... can't remember exactly because I have been fooling around with this for 2 days and have changed around many things.)

I'm not the smartest guy on the block... but it seems to me I have a geometry problem or something incorrectly attached somewhere. BUT the 2 kits (helper spring and manual rear lift kit) seem to only go on ONE way... so I don't seem to see where I could have attached something in the wrong place.

Finally, I don't understand 'why' the instructions for the helper spring kit want me to attach the original deck lift rod from the primary to the secondary lift shafts? I don't see this actually achieving anything. I do have it attached by the way.

I have searched google to no end. Posting here for any insights.

Many thanks in advance for any help.
 

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Lower the tiller and disconnect the lift rod between the tiller and the rear of the tractor. The remaining connections can stay in place.

Then try to operate the lift. Without a load on the lift, you should have to "fight" the spring to push the lever forward. If not, you have something in your linkage wrong.

I had a lift assist on mine before installing an electric lift. From my memory, the assist spring attaches in addition to all the factory linkages.

Does your helper spring look like this one?
Font Line Gas Coil spring Nickel
 

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Lower the tiller and disconnect the lift rod between the tiller and the rear of the tractor. The remaining connections can stay in place.

Then try to operate the lift. Without a load on the lift, you should have to "fight" the spring to push the lever forward. If not, you have something in your linkage wrong.

I had a lift assist on mine before installing an electric lift. From my memory, the assist spring attaches in addition to all the factory linkages.
Must of had the wrong spring???? Pulling instead of pushing
Does your helper spring look like this one?
View attachment 283787
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for all the feedback... and sorry for the delay in replying.

The original way I installed everything was correct to start. The 'helper' spring just doesn't "help" like I anticipated.

My helper spring assembly looks like the one posted in this thread.

I just finished putting the tiller back together as I completely disassembled it.

Hopefully, I can try it out at some point tomorrow evening after work.
 

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Are you using the installation instructions from wfmfiles.com?

If everything is installed correctly, you should get more assistance from the spring as you tighten the adjustment screw CCW. That being said, it still isn't easy to lift the tiller. That's why I swapped for the electric lift.

That tiller is a game changer, especially if you're used to walk behind tillers. It doesn't take you for a ride if you hit a rock or root. I actually enjoy prepping the garden every spring, and we even started tilling it in Oct too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
MJK-

I am glad to hear your comments regarding the tiller operation... I am at the point where I am tired of using the old 'Till-N-Plow' walk behind tiller I have. I was originally considering a 6' Land Pride for my 43hp Massey Ferguson compact but... my dad had two 212's sitting around. He wanted to sell them... but I said I would take one and make it my tiller mule. So, that's what I did. (And I didn't exactly want to drop $4k for a 6' tiller.) I keep reminding myself of that every time I was purchasing "something else" to mate the 31 tiller to the 212. I think I have $600 in total in the 31/ mule drive/ spring & lift kits... but that's much more manageable than $4k.

I actually used the original JD pdf 2 page document... wasn't the best haha. Had no idea there was file here. I'll check it out if I can find it. Thanks.
 
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