First, I want to thank everyone on this forum as I was able to research a lot of valuable information before I “pulled the trigger” and upgrade my tractor.
I have had a 1983 JD 318 tractor for the last several years and it had been an awesome machine, however I have been “itching” for the last several months to get something with a bucket, PTO and a 3pt hitch, so I can use to do more than mowing and plowing the driveway… I looked at all color machines, but I kept coming back to Deere, based on my experience with the 318 and the resale values for their used machines. They cost more, but it amazed me that many of the used machines I was looking at are selling used for close to what they cost new, years ago… To me that is a good indicator of value.
Anyways, I finally pulled the trigger a couple of weeks ago and purchased a JD 1026R, with the 54” auto connect Deck/PTO and the H120 Loader. I figured that I am going to keep this machine for several years and the auto connect feature is going to increasingly valuable as I get older… I know the rules, so here is a picture of the tractor...
I had a 54” snow blade on my 318 and figured that with a few hours work, I could save my self some $$$ by refurbishing it and fabricating a mount for the 1026R. I searched the forums and didn't find anything on this conversion, so I thought that I would type it up as I assume that there are other people out there that have access to these old blades and would use them on their new tractor if they had the opportunity.
Based on what little I was able to find, I thought that I might have to purchase or fabricate a frame squeezer to make it work on the 1026R, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the width of the 1026R frame is the same as the 318. (13 7/8 inches)
Picture of the 318 front frame and plow mounting area
Picture of the 1026 front frame and mounting area
I wanted to fabricate the mount so that it all came off with the plow frame and nothing stayed on the tractor to interfere with the loader or deck.
I started out by drilling a 3/4 inch hole on each side for the quick release pins to fit in. I placed these holes approximately 1 inch from the bottom of the frame and 3/4 of an inch from the front cross member. Once that was done, I could “hang” the plow frame and get it level.
Next, I fabricated “wings” (see images) to weld onto the original plow frame to extend back to the front mower deck brackets. I then welded in a rod that fits into the slide portion of the front mower deck bracket.
Once these were welded onto the plow frame and reinforced, I double checked clearance and level. I then drilled a second set of 3/4 inch holes through the new “wings” and mower deck bracket. To that I added a 1 1/2 inch section of pipe on the outside of the holes, so I can place a hitch pin through the pipe/hole and lock it in place with a hairpin style cotter key. (See images) This provides for 6 mounting points for the plow frame. 4 pin style and 2 that rest on the rod that sits in the deck slide.
Once the mount was all fabricated, next came the hydraulics. First I thought that I could get away with 48” hoses which I purchased at Tractor Supply for $15 each… Found that I needed to have 2 hoses that were 60 inches and 2 that were 66 inches. I ended up having to go to NAPA and have them make me the 4 hoses. I think they must have been lined with gold as they cost me $150 for the 4 hoses and ends…. Do yourself a favor and plan ahead... Order the hoses from TSC and get them for a third of the cost…
I found that since the 1026 sits higher than the 318, I had to reverse the front brackets on the list ram, so they would have the extra travel to go low enough.
Finished up fabricating a couple of brackets out of 1/4 inch steel rod to manage the hose routing, figured out which hydraulic hose went to which port and color coded them so I can remember next time I hook the plow up.
Now if we only get some snow so I can get some seat time….
Hope this is helpful to some.