I just purchased a JD 1025R with iMatch and a Frontier GM1048E grooming mower. I specified "iMatch compatible" on the mower, but what the dealer quoted and supplied was the standard mower with extra bushings on the two lower pins for the iMatch. This means I can back up and engage the two lower pins and lock them in, but the top pin requires that I manually flip the pivoting top connector around and insert the pin. No big deal because I have to get off of the tractor anyway to hook up the PTO, but I'm wondering if this arrangement is going to perform okay. Perusing the mower's Parts Manual after receiving the mower, I see that it shows the optional iMatch kit as pretty elaborate - replacing the bottom pins with "floating yokes" and the A-frame and top link with a different "floating top link". Also, it says it needs a longer drive line if the kit is used. Dealer says he didn't charge me for the bushing kit that's on there, but the kit as described in the parts manual is about $400. He said he'd work with me on the cost because he wanted me to be happy with the purchase, but he didn't think that the kit was really necessary. I don't want to spend the money unnecessarily, but on the other hand don't want something that's not going to perform well over the long run.
Anybody have any experience with the iMatch kit for this mower and/or have any advice regarding whether it is really necessary? I've found forum posts where others are using a pivoting top-link attachment with an iMatch, so I'm thinking it's probably okay to do so. I used a Woods finishing mower with a pivoting top link for years - but not with an iMatch.
I have the kit on mine and I feel like it floats better when on uneven terrain. You also need to consider the center gauge wheel for the front. I thought that was a must have for mine. I can take a few pictures for you tomorrow if you want to compare. I did not lengthen my driveline and haven’t had any problems. My shield is messed up from the previous owner you’ll see that from pictures.
Some pictures would be great. I mulched a few leaves with mine today and it seems to perform okay. Dealer says they will install a kit if I want but I'm undecided about whether it is really necessary. (He offered to split the cost with me.) Mine has a roller on the center front - I didn't realize a center gauge wheel was an option.
Another question I should have included is whether the optional mulch kit is worthwhile.
I call it a gauge wheel or roller same thing so you have that. I wouldn’t think I mulch kit would make much difference with these mowers. Mine doesn’t hardly discharge anything anyway. If the grass is real tall and I cut it pretty short it will leave two wind rows of grass on each side of the center blade. On the other hand a mulch kit might just be what it needs to grind up those clippings and distribute them evenly across the width of the deck. If your ground isn’t real uneven and you don’t mind messing with the top link hook up it probably isn’t worth the extra cost of the kit.