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Subject: 8N rototiller fabrications

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Brad    Posted 04-08-2020 at 12:39:31 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • 8N rototiller fabrications
  • Reading and educating myself about other people's successes, ideas and "things not to do," I keep running into reference to Ford 8N tractors & rototillers.

    Subject occurs often enough in forum archives, it must be a popular concept, but pretty much impractical to put into practice.

    Archive forums consensus's pretty much:

    1. Archives mentioned many workarounds, alternative implements used, dependent upon soil conditions etc, but basically "No" 8N goes too fast for rototilling.

    I have seen several 8N tractors running rototillers, but they're all using the usual work-arounds, and not solving issue of 8N tractor's too-high of forward speed for rototilling.

    You could build a tiller from scratch designed to work with 8N tractor's PTO and 3 point system, but it's not going to overcome 8N tractor's "too high of forward speed for rototilling."

    2. Only remedy (without some auxiliary transmission) is tiller itself provides forward locomotion, as 8N tractor's slowest speed is too fast for tilling.

    Most practical fabrication concept mentioned uses PTO driven tiller, having it's own crawler treads providing movement, or alternatively, using wheels, "augers" , etc (instead of crawler treads) to push tractor/rototiller along ground.

    That is a lot of work and expense that someone would go to, so most choose to use available implements, like cultivating spring harrows, that does the job "good enough" instead of fabricating something experimental.

    8N's & rototillers have been re-hashed to death on forums, and everyone knows that subject, so I'm not asking about the usual 8Ns & rototiller compatibilities.

    What I'm curious about, and would really like to know, is if anyone's fabricated a rototiller for 8N tractors, that performed and did it's job well?

    John in Mich    Posted 04-10-2020 at 17:33:04 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • The rototiller that my neighbor bought came from Tractor Supply. They used to sell King Cutter but now sell Tarter Gate. A 5', 3 point hitch, 540 RPM unit is $1530 per my local Tractor Supply information. They recommend minimuh 25 HP. He has none in stock but expects 2 around April 23. I'm not buying one and he was a bit frustrated. Oh well.
    Additional information on my neighbor. The piece he worked down the first year was a horse pasture on clay soil. He does the same piece each year so now the rototiller is not needing so much power to operate.
    Honestly, the NAA he is using is not up to factory power specs. but is doing the job.

    Brad    Posted 04-10-2020 at 18:35:12 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • Interesting information, John, and thanks for getting back with me, with make and conditions rototiller was working under, especially knowing that NAA wasn't up to snuff power-wise.

    Frankly, I'm amazed rototiller could perform satisfactorily on a horse-pounded pasture, most especially seeing as how clay is involved. I would never have guessed! :-) Just goes to show that old dogs can learn new tricks (but we probably can't remember it the next time LOL "Older I get the more I think about the "herein" and "hereafter" ... "what am I am in here for, and what am I here after?" :-)

    My tractor's bumper sticker could read "Of all the things I've lost, I miss my memory the most" >:'-D

    No way would I purchase $1,000+ rototiller, when I enjoy fabricating and experimenting so much (besides to which, I don't have a spare $1,000 to put into some salesman's pocket lol).

    Probably no one's interested in my DIY, redneck-engineered, self-propelled PTO rototiller design, but ... lol ... I'll tell you-all about it anyway! ;-)

    Northeastern Kansas, we have access to used sucker rod & casing pipe, repurposed from oil well maintenance, so that's what a lot of DIY home grown projects are made from.

    I suppose I should learn one of those 3D CAD programs, so I could paste a picture up, rather than trying to describe it? ...

    All right, all right, you win! I won't bore you-all to death! lol :-)

    My email is open if anyone wants further rendition of "redneck construction" details :-)

    Ultradog MN    Posted 04-09-2020 at 06:16:05 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • I don't understand the modern fascination with rototillers.
    I will admit they do a nice job if you have the right soil conditions.
    But if you have roots and rocks or clay soil they are pretty much useless and will tear themselves apart.

    I ran a rototiller behind a MF 35 Deluxe for half a summer when I was 16 - tilling between the rows on a berry farm near Portland, OR.
    The soil there was perfect for a tiller and it did a nice job.
    But that is still the most BORING job I have ever done with a tractor.
    I hated it.
    Give me a plow, a disc and maybe a spike tooth drag to finish with.
    It's faster, suitable for more soil types and conditions and Way more fun than the dreary task of running a tiller.

    Brad    Posted 04-09-2020 at 08:31:42 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • One thing many people have never heard of, is that below the level where tines do their tilling, a rototiller is compacting the soil, for which some folks hold a jaundiced view:


    My concept of a workable rototiller for Ford 8N tractor is a PTO powered, self-propelled version (take your pick, wheels, clogs or tracks) pushing tractor along at a proper ground speed for tilling and using tractor for steering. Like many PTO powered implements, controls from tiller would be accessible to seated tractor operator.

    Even though this concept would be doable, it would not be economically practical from the viewpoint of using common easily obtained implements and proceeding as you've described.

    You would have to be an old curmudgeon like myself, (growing up in a world before internet, cable TV, personal computers, cell phones, and such niceties, in the day shop classes and how to do things was taught), someone who enjoys developing & fabricating, to take on such an unlikely project! :-) lol

    There exists no commercial potential for self-propelled rototiller, merely fun in designing, building and seeing results, so none are available for sale.

    Today we have computers, internet, cell phones, social media and other means of stimulation & entertainment, so no need to know how to do anything. lol ;-)

    JK-NY    Posted 04-11-2020 at 07:41:50 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • Another factor in soil compaction with a tractor mounted rototiller is that if you go over the tilled area more than one pass your tractor tires will really mash down the tilled soil. At one time I did a fair amount of garden tilling for hire with a 5’ tiller on a John Deere 950 and found that if you went over the area more than once you would usually end up with clods where the tires ran . The best results came from tilling when the soil was dry enough (but not so dry it was hard), one slow pass with slight overlapping and running at a lower than 540 pto speed which reduced breaking tines or shearing shear pins. The tractor had very slow ground speed in low range and was excellent for this application. (This is the same tractor I mentioned in my response to your quick detach loader post.)

    Brad    Posted 04-11-2020 at 14:04:02 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • That JD 950 sounds like a great little tractor.

    I enjoy my Ford 8N tractor & having fun fixing her up the way I want ... But I must admit, there just is no replacing the sound of an old Poppin' Johnny! ... Used to love hearing "Johnny" working hard in a distant field ... Nothing quite like that sound 2 cylinders made! :-) ...

    Anytime I think of John Deere, I recall that wonderful, rhythmical beat of a hard-working tractor ... Back in the day before 3 cylinder diesels tractors were made in Japan & distributed by John Deere ... Ah, well, times change & progress marches on ... Que Sera, Sera ... I can still listen to popping Johnny on YouTube :-) lol

    Bruce(OR)    Posted 04-09-2020 at 17:18:51 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • Quite totally incorrect. My asks how many men? I agreed with her. As a man I realize that most situations will change without disturbing them.
    How many WOMEN does it take?
    Come on smart guy.
    How many women does it take to change a light bulb?
    Still waiting. . .
    married. . .

    No? Can't think of it?
    None. They just look at the light bulb and say, "You need to do this, you need to do that, you need to do this, you need to do that..."

    TheOldHokie    Posted 04-09-2020 at 10:45:07 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • My concept is maybe a bit more ambitious. A 3.5:1 gear reduction which gives the tractor much better gearing in addition to facilitating roto-tilling. Every time someone starts one of these threads I do a little more. I will race you to the finish line ;-)


    Brad    Posted 04-09-2020 at 15:28:40 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • Brilliant! :-) Reminds me of joke: Man is challenged to a duel, and choice of weapons is his. "Snowballs in July" he decries. Opponent: "Its January, July is 6 months away!" Man challenged: "You may start without me." lol ;-p

    I may not quite be "unarmed" in a contest of wits with you TOH, but my "redneck-git-'er-dun-engineering" couldn't possibly compete with the fantastic machining you've pictured! lol

    My concept is totally simple: an attachment that would convert rotary mower into self-propelled rototiller. You can email for further details (not everybody on forum would care for my meanderings), if of Interest.

    John in Mich    Posted 04-10-2020 at 14:14:23 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • Somewhere, a long time ago, I saw a bolt on gearbox that fit over the tractor PTO shaft and could be used to increase PTO speed. Anyone else ever see that?

    Brad    Posted 04-10-2020 at 15:20:46 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • I second the motion, John! I too, would like to see what other folks have seen.

    Surely such a device could prove quite useful; such that there must have been some development/experimentation, If not production?

    John, That gives me an idea: I'm all for modernizing/modifying, adding live Hydraulics, power steering, cab, anything making 8N tractor more useful to my purposes.

    When I get through working on quick release front end loader and backhoe attachment rebuild, I'll take a look at casting parts to machine a device that fits on 8Ns PTO, has choices of gear ratios, and is combined with an auxiliary hydraulic gear type pump.

    Here's an aux PTO hydraulic pump for log splitters, backhoes and such: https://www.splitez.com/i//IMG_0791.JPG Never too busy to look at tractor toys (er, I mean tools ;-)

    In the meantime, I've got plenty work keeping me busy on the tractor: starting some body and fender work (each dint & ding would have a story to tell if tractor could talk:-) Just picked up Majic primer and paint (to prevent rusting), so my plate is too full. lol

    What other folks have seen out there will be a good starting point in ruminating about potential future projects, right now I'm way too busy to contemplate much more than merely considering potentials.

    Really fascinating concept John, pleased you've brought subject up & I'm looking forward to hearing other's responses :-)

    John in MIch    Posted 04-08-2020 at 20:08:07 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • My neighbor has an NAA. It has no aux. transmision. 2 years ago his son bought a rototiller, at Tractor Supply I think, and asked for my help to hook up to their tractor. I said the NAA was basically the same gearing as an 8N and ground speed was too fast.
    Boy, was I wrong! I don't know the brand or the mechanics of the rototiller but he is now in his 3rd year and it does churn the ground.
    I can't tell you any more than that. I don't know if it would tear up sod or weed patches.
    I suspect that the 540 RPM PTO speed is being geared UP to rotate the tiller splines faster than our old rototillers. This would allow it to work.
    I have tried to contact my neighbor's son to verify where he purchased it and brand name.

    Brad    Posted 04-08-2020 at 22:18:15 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • Interesting information :-) Might help clear up a bit of a mystery, by finding out where son purchased, rototiller's model, make, any information that could be tracked down.

    I must admit that what's got me puzzled, is tractor's ground speed issue. 8N (& NAAs) slowest speed is reportedly too fast for allowing tiller's rototines to do a deep, thorough job of it.

    Conceivably, one could upgear PTO speed on rototiller and that would make tines turn more quickly at tractor's lower forward speed, and that would take care of the RPMs needed, but what about necessary power?

    Gear tractor is in and throttle setting both affects tractor's speed, but it also affects PTO speed on 8N (no live hydraulics, but there is a "How To" article to provide live hydraulics: http://www.ntractorclub.com/howtos/pdfs/How-To-Provide-Live-Hydraulics2.pdf)

    At lower engine speeds, and lowest gear, 8N can be made to move slowly forward, at the sacrifice of power and torque (which comes with higher RPMs). Reportedly, even in the slowest gear available, 8N is moving faster than the one to 1 and 1/2 mile per hour "creep" best served for rototilling.

    With such opposing information: 1) you having personal experience showing NAA can effectively run this particular rototiller in those specific conditions, and 2) opposing information from folks who couldn't get their tillers to work satisfactorily?

    Definitely a conundrum! I'll be most curious indeed, finding out how this "mystery" plays out :-) Where's Jessica Fletcher When you need her? (Don't think I'd want to live in Cabot Cove; Maine: that place's got to have the highest per capita murder rate in the world! ;-p ...Now Jessica's gone & disappeared and we can't find her?!! No way I'm going to Cabot Cove looking for her, got enough of a mystery here to solve. ;-) lol)

    Typically what's reported: needing previously worked soil, soil type sandy or otherwise conducive towards rototilling, low depth of tilling cut per pass, multiple passes required for adequate depth and soil texturing.

    steveVa    Posted 04-08-2020 at 16:00:57 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [No Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • I use a Kubota w/hydrostatic trans to till with 60" tiller, works great.
    I often wonder about trying the tiller on the Jubilee with the Sherman Trans on low range, but they say it also slows down the pto. so no go. I also wonder if you had a hydraulic drive pto you might then run with a sherman at low range.
    But from my experience with a tiller you really want a crawler type trans, because I really crawl along with the Kubota in order to get a finely tilled dirt.
    The tiller does almost push the tractor along by itself.
    Get a variable speed electric motor with a small but fat tire and use that small diameter tire to drive the rear tractor tire. Then you could run the pto at a high speed with the tractor motor and drive the tractor wheels separate with the electric.
    TOH will figure it out for you... lol...

    Brad    Posted 04-08-2020 at 17:52:29 [URL] [DELETE]        [Reply] [Email]  
  • Re: 8N rototiller fabrications
  • "Get a variable speed electric motor with a small but fat tire and use that small diameter tire to drive the rear tractor tire"

    Interesting reply and intriguing suggestion :-)

    I have seen electric bicycles set up such as you've described: a small electric motor turning a wheel which rubs on and pushes the bicycles tire 'round, but I must admit I never would have thought of applying concept to tractor. That is thinking outside the box! :-)

    None doubt Ford 8N's 540 PTO capably powering rototiller's tines with sufficient power, problem comes in with too high of ground speed, where your method could certainly get around speed-restriction issues.

    It's all about slowing tractor's speed down, while maintaining PTO speed and giving tiller tines sufficient time in performing their function.

    With a walk-behind garden tiller, to keep tiller from taking off & "walking" across ground instead of tilling, you have a flip-down "leg" keeping tiller in place & forcing tines to remain in place so they do their job of digging/tilling/chopping. This is the phenomenon behind Bruce's #74 of "Tips for Ford 8N Tractor Owners" quote: "..sandy loose soil and putting the tractor in neutral and letting the tiller push the tractor."

    I can conceive a number of applications maintaining slow ground speed desired, while PTO remaining at required 540 RPMs for rototiller usage, I just can't see any cost-effective way of doing it, versus purchasing a "good enough" used cultivating-spring-harrow (different names for this implement in different parts of country) that will get the job done. There's an old Russian proverb: "Perfect" is the enemy of "Good Enough."

    Come to think of it, according to proverb, I'm so far from "perfect," I should have lots of "good enough" friends ;-) lol

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