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Hydraulic 3-Pt. Hitch Stabilizer
“I love my 1968 Ford 4000 tractor, but I had a problem with the 3-pt. mounted rototiller I used with it jumping all over from side to side. I didn’t like the 3-pt. stabilizers on the market, so I made my own using a hydraulic cylinder. It’s easy to use and very effective,” says Larry Wood, Waldo, Ohio.
  He bought a 2 by 8-in. stroke hydraulic cylinder equipped with a 3/4-in. dia. rod and attached one end to the tractor’s right rear axle and the other end to the right side lift arm. He also bought a pair of 3-pt. ball ends and welded one onto the lift arm and the other to the rod end of the cylinder. The rod-mounted ball end goes through a clevis that’s welded to an angle iron bracket at the bottom of the axle and is held on by a 3/4-in. dia. pin.
  He also mounted a pair of ball valves on the cylinder ports. A 1/4-in. dia. nylon hose connects the ball valves and runs up to a small oil reservoir he mounted on the axle.
  “It works great. I use it any time I need the 3-pt. hitch to stay put without any movement from side to side,” says Wood. “The ball ends allow the cylinder to swivel in any direction without binding. I mounted the cylinder even with the 3-pt.’s lower lift arm where it hooks under the tractor’s axle, so that whenever the 3-pt. is raised or lowered it will go straight up or down. It works better than 3-pt. hitch stabilizers that use pins because I don’t have to line any pins up with holes. I just close the ball valves wherever I want the lift arms to be, and they stay put.”
  Operating the stabilizer is a simple job, says Wood. “I open both valves before I hook up the implement, and once it’s hooked up I close the valves to lock both lift arms in place. The oil reservoir makes up for the difference in the oil volume in the cylinder as it’s extended or retracted.”
  He made the reservoir by welding up a piece of pipe and then installing a big bolt on top to serve as a cap. “I didn’t need to use high pressure hoses with the ball valves because there’s no pressure on the oil as it goes in and out of the tank. I made sure I got all the air out of the cylinder before I installed it so the cylinder isn’t ‘mushy’.”
  He uses the stabilizer with other 3-pt. mounted implements, too. “It really helps keep my backhoe from jumping around as I’m driving down the road. I also use it with my flail mower and bushhog mower, as well as a 5-ft. grader blade. It only takes about 30 seconds to remove the cylinder and oil tank, but so far I’ve never had to do that.”
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Larry Wood, 2081 Newmans Cardington Road, Waldo, Ohio 43356 (ph 740 360-1956; lawpressman@aol.com).

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2017 - Volume #41, Issue #4