X7xx 3pt top link
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    BOBL's Avatar
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    X7xx 3pt top link

    Now that I have the 738 the 3pt hitch has opened a new world of possibilities for me. I'm just about done with converting my old sleeve hitch attachments, and have added a couple of 3pt attachments to the collection that includes a work platform, and a new 3pt core aerator. I'm considering a rear 2 way scoop, and I'm also considering adding the rear PTO and moving my chipper from a towed chipper to a 3pt chipper. My towed chipper is not a cheap chipper. It's 15hp, costs over $2500, and will burn through 5" logs like they were nothing. That's a tough choice, especially knowing the PTO will set me back a grand.

    So my question is this. Is there, or can there be any value to adding a powered top link. And, if so how do I add the top link? My mind is telling me I need extended outlets at the rear of the tractor and maybe a third spool.

    Any help will be appreciated.
    JD X738
    48" deck, 3pt hitch, 54" blade w/ full hydraulics, quick attach
    48" York rake, 56" box blade, mid row buster, dethatcher, aerator, 900lb roller
    Various Heavy Hitch adapters, ball hitch, hook, 2" sleeve hitch, etc..
    3200lb. hitch mounted winch
    Polar 1700 3/4 ton cart with side rails
    Power King 5" 15HP towable chipper

    Kubota G2000S w/ 4w steering, hydraulics, 60" deck

    Vietnam Veteran

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    sennister's Avatar
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    I have mentioned this many times but I don't care for just the H2 on the X Series but there are reasons people choose it over a 1 series or other machine. That is fine. Personal preference.

    At some point I will move up to a bigger machine so I haven't bothered digging too far down the rabbit hole of a H3 or more conversion but for what you are asking, it would be an option for you.

    There is a great write up on the process at the following link. Consider it, but ultimately it comes down to what you are comfortable with. You can just do the easy route and run a hydraulic line to the ports like you do when you mount a front attachment that uses hydraulics. If I were planning on keeping the X long term, I would most likely do this. My plans are to shift platforms so it doesn't make much sense for me. It might work well for you though as an option to consider.

    John Deere X Series H3 Conversion - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information


    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 48" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, 3pt Sprayer

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    It depends. Do you want to be able to operate the hydraulic top-link at the same time as the other two hydraulic ports? If so, you will need either a diverter or an additional hydraulic port. It can be mounted on the back or you can run longer hoses from one of the other outlets.

    As for the chipper, I would seriously give a lot of thought on the pros and cons of the towed chipper vs. PTO powered. #1 pro is you already own the towed chipper. The advantages of the towed chipper is they are totally independent. You can tow it anywhere with anything with no additional equipment required. You can also position them to blow into a cart and then use the tractor and cart to haul the chips away. You also don't need to have your tractor sitting there screaming away wide open the whole time you are chipping brush. Additionally, chippers can be a bit rough on a tractor's PTO, especially the brake. When you shut the PTO off it takes a lot of braking power to bring that huge chipper flywheel to a halt. Since you have a Cat-0/Limited Cat-1 3PH, you may have some issues attaching to and lifting a 5" chipper. A 5-inch self-feed chipper will usually weight over 500 lbs. Hydraulic feed will increase the weight to over 800 lbs.

    Quite frankly the only DISadvantage to a towed chipper is cost and of course since you already own one that bridge has already been crossed.

    I have a larger 2720 tractor and have considered a chipper/shredder many times. In each case I have come to the conclusion that I would get a towed chipper.
    sennister likes this.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    sennister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    It depends. Do you want to be able to operate the hydraulic top-link at the same time as the other two hydraulic ports? If so, you will need either a diverter or an additional hydraulic port. It can be mounted on the back or you can run longer hoses from one of the other outlets.

    As for the chipper, I would seriously give a lot of thought on the pros and cons of the towed chipper vs. PTO powered. #1 pro is you already own the towed chipper. The advantages of the towed chipper is they are totally independent. You can tow it anywhere with anything with no additional equipment required. You can also position them to blow into a cart and then use the tractor and cart to haul the chips away. You also don't need to have your tractor sitting there screaming away wide open the whole time you are chipping brush. Additionally, chippers can be a bit rough on a tractor's PTO, especially the brake. When you shut the PTO off it takes a lot of braking power to bring that huge chipper flywheel to a halt. Since you have a Cat-0/Limited Cat-1 3PH, you may have some issues attaching to and lifting a 5" chipper. A 5-inch self-feed chipper will usually weight over 500 lbs. Hydraulic feed will increase the weight to over 800 lbs.

    Quite frankly the only DISadvantage to a towed chipper is cost and of course since you already own one that bridge has already been crossed.

    I have a larger 2720 tractor and have considered a chipper/shredder many times. In each case I have come to the conclusion that I would get a towed chipper.
    Another issue is that it is a limited CAT-1 3PH not a full CAT-1. Where this comes into play is two areas that may or may not be an issue. Lifting weight. How much does the chipper weigh? The other day I was doing some box grading and compacting soil where I filled in where a sump was removed by an excavator. For more ballast, I took off my heavy hitch and put on my box grader. Then I hung 6 suitcase weights off the sides of the box grader. My X585 couldn't lift it. It wasn't a big deal because I could just take off the weights, lift it and then put them back on.

    The other issue that I found out with my Fimco 3pt Sprayer with the limited CAT 1 is that it is limited in not only lifting weight but lifting height. As I try and spray around my ditch and other areas where there is a steep transition in slope, I can't lift it high enough and it digs into he ground. If you are taking a chipper back in a wooded area, you might get into this situation where you can get stuck. It wouldn't be an issue with a towed version.

    A little different case but might apply. My Brother-in-law as a 2505 or is it 2305. I forget the number. It is the one they had for a few years that was replaced by what became the 1 series. Anyhow he wanted a log splitter and was going to get a 3pt one. Then luckily he realized how much he uses his FEL and how it is a back saver to lift a heavy log up to the splitter. While you won't be lifting heavy logs up to a chipper, you might want to station a chipper while you or someone else is using the tractor to collect things and bring it to the chipper or haul the chips away to where you are going to use them. While another person is running the chipper.

    Not to mention as pointed out you already have the towed chipper.
    TJR345 likes this.


    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 48" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, 3pt Sprayer

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sennister View Post
    Another issue is that it is a limited CAT-1 3PH not a full CAT-1. Where this comes into play is two areas that may or may not be an issue. Lifting weight. How much does the chipper weigh?

    Not to mention as pointed out you already have the towed chipper.
    I also suspect a gasoline X700-series is going to be a bit underpowered for a 5-inch chipper.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Quote Originally Posted by BOBL View Post
    So my question is this. Is there, or can there be any value to adding a powered top link. And, if so how do I add the top link? My mind is telling me I need extended outlets at the rear of the tractor and maybe a third spool.
    I use my hydraulic top link all the time for grading so for me it was worth the effort. Plus you get the bonus of easy implement hook ups with a quick hitch since there is no need to get off the seat.

    For the work I do I've never needed a 3rd spool but I suppose if a hydraulic side link were possible then it would be needed or a diverter valve.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails top link 044.jpg   top link 026.jpg   X739 hydraulics 019.jpg   X739 hydraulics 014.jpg   IMG_20180724_111835714_HDR.jpg  

    Last edited by eric102; 09-27-2019 at 10:28 AM.
    TJR345 likes this.
    2008 3320 -- 2014 X739

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    sennister's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric102 View Post
    I use my hydraulic top link all the time for grading so for me it was worth the effort. Plus you get the bonus of easy implement hook ups if you have a quick hitch.

    For the work I do I've never needed a 3rd spool but I suppose if a hydraulic side link were possible then it would be needed or a diverter valve.
    The biggest advantage for the 3rd spool is you can separate the rock shaft from the other hydraulics. The bypass valve and lower limit adjustment on 3pt only do so much for you when doing a lot of work. It can also be tricky when you are using stuff on the front and the back of the tractor at the same time. For instance a FEL and a box grader at the same time doing a lot of dirt work which is a pain with the X Series.

    It really comes down to the attachments you have and what you are trying to do at the same time to see if it is worth the effort to add another spool, live with the limitations or go up to a bigger machine and deal with entirely new trade offs.
    Last edited by sennister; 09-27-2019 at 10:32 AM.
    TJR345 likes this.


    JD Z950R 60" Deck with DFS Collection System

    JD X585, 54C deck,
    CTC Model X4750 F.E.L - Modified Imp Pressure Relief from 900 to 1175PSI, Power Flow and MC519 cart, 54-inch Quick-Hitch Front Blade, 47-inch Quick-Hitch Snow Blower, 3-pt hitch, HF Quick Hitch, Heavy Hitch, 48" box blade/rear blade, Dethacher, 3pt Sprayer

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    Quote Originally Posted by sennister View Post
    It really comes down to the attachments you have and what you are trying to do at the same time to see if it is worth the effort to add another spool, live with the limitations or go up to a bigger machine and deal with entirely new trade offs.
    Yeah I'm fortunate to have a 2nd larger machine to do those other tasks so the little X739 doesn't have to be a jack of all trades.
    2008 3320 -- 2014 X739

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric102 View Post
    I use my hydraulic top link all the time for grading so for me it was worth the effort. Plus you get the bonus of easy implement hook ups with a quick hitch since there is no need to get off the seat.

    For the work I do I've never needed a 3rd spool but I suppose if a hydraulic side link were possible then it would be needed or a diverter valve.
    While I do have a hydraulic top-link, I find that once the length is properly adjusted, implements will attach and detach smoothly without any further adjustments. Even though I can reach the quick hitch release levers from the seat, I still have to get off the tractor to deploy and stow the parking stand on implements. :-(
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    While I do have a hydraulic top-link, I find that once the length is properly adjusted, implements will attach and detach smoothly without any further adjustments. Even though I can reach the quick hitch release levers from the seat, I still have to get off the tractor to deploy and stow the parking stand on implements. :-(
    I'm really lazy and don't bother with the fiddly parking stand on my rake :-) I just drop it on some pre-positioned wood blocks that are at the approximate height needed to unhook from the quick hitch.
    2008 3320 -- 2014 X739

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