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Subject: Ford 501 sickle mower /breaking pittmn arms

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Bill Redmer    Posted 07-06-2015 at 14:38:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Ford 501 sickle mower /breaking pittmn arms
  • RE: 501 Ford Sickle Mower attached to Ford 8N : Just acquired Mower and appeared in good shape ready to go except it seem to hang low off the 8N . So far while mowing have broken 3 pitman arms as they all have broken (split) away from the flywheel box attachment . Finally on the 4th arm, the attaching flywheel box straps actually pulled off or were broken away from the box unit but the pitman arm wasn't broken. I have checked the obvious but can only conclude that maybe the mower frame itself drops to almost ground level impeding the push pull function of the pittman arm during mowing. Appears to run good for awhile and then when I make a random right hand turn trouble. ??????????

    help Bill Redmer

    Zack(NC)    Posted 08-29-2015 at 09:09:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Ford 501 sickle mower /breaking pittmn arms
  • Are you sure the kick back or break away part is not back straight after hitting an obstruction? If you do knock it back & don't back up against something as a tree & get it back straight that will cause them to break also

    Adam    Posted 07-14-2015 at 14:08:25 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Ford 501 sickle mower /breaking pittmn arms
  • I too am having a similar problem (without the breakage yet). I cut last night for the first time on the 8N and it seemed like it kept dragging the ground and kicking back. I used it originally on my 801 and it cut great but overheated due to a tractor issue. So I moved the mower to the 8n and fought it all night. Finally gave up. It could only cut 30 feet and it would bog down, change height (usually drop), drag, swing back, etc.

    Roger ID    Posted 07-07-2015 at 22:20:56 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Ford 501 sickle mower /breaking pittmn arms
  • What are you mowing (grass variety)? I have some grass in the fields I mow called Ventenata or wind grass by some local farmers. Terrible stuff when it's heavy. It makes the mower hammer and lugs the tractor down. Under worst case scenarios, this has broken the pitman and/or sickle drive heads on my mower.

    The pitman drive should hang low allowing the pitman arm to run nearly level with the sickle. I have welded heavier arms onto pitman drives that are stronger. I also drill 3 holes in the pitman through the wood in 90 degrees to and between the original bolts that hold the pitman wood to the pitman drive. This keeps the pitman wood from splitting as you described. They will however change the balance and create more vibration if I run the mower too fast. That being said, don't run your tractor at a higher RPM than you need to keep the mower cutting

    Are you cutter knives sharp and the rock guards/ledger plates in good shape? I have found that at times I need to remove the sickle and wash it and the bar/guards a couple times a day to keep it moving freely.

    I mowed about 45 acres with my 8N and 501 mower this spring without breaking anything. Didn't have to sharpen my knives or wash the sickle and bar at all.

    Also when you turn, the mower will do a better job of mowing if you raise the mower and back up to get in line with your corner rather that try to turn sharp with the mower cutting. Figure 8 turns work great if you have the room. Just raise the mower each turn. Try not to drag the cutter bar through a lot of grass that you have cut. Tends to plug and drag.

    AL CT    Posted 07-06-2015 at 15:49:25 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: Ford 501 sickle mower /breaking pittmn arms
  • Do you have the two arms with clamps that clamp to the lift arms? One is attached with what looks like a tie rod end and the other is slightly different. They prohibit the mower frame from rotating on the lift arm balls. The top link is also special to the 501 mower. Check the manual in the red bar on the top of the page /mower section. If all the parts and pieces are correct the mower should give you years of good service without breaking.
    Hope this helps, AL CT

    Sammy    Posted 09-10-2015 at 22:10:06 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: Ford 501 sickle mower /breaking pittmn arms
  • This great information because my dad wants a sickle and it will go on a 8n. How do you get the manuals to open on the 501? Thanks

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