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I did not like having to use tools to remove the engine side covers, nor do I like the idea of simply leaving the bolts out. As a simple upgrade, I found a couple 3/8" x 2" pins that I had and drilled new holes about 3/4" from the head. I then had to file down the nubs on the black plastic that held the bolts in place and then the pins fit perfectly. Well, they could be cut down to 1" long but the extra length is not in the way at all. In reality the hairpins are not needed because the hood will prevent the pins from backing out, but this is easy enough to use.

I really liked the design on my previous 425 where not only did it not require tools, but the fastener stays in place so there's nothing to drop and lose. Maybe someday I'll improve it to that level. It does seem a little odd that Deere had a great solution from 20 years prior.

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I removed the bolts 2 years ago, left it fastener less, I haul it on the trailer often and have had no issues , they don't slide out as of yet on their own, I would not think twice about doing this again.
I did have reservations about doing this to start with, but with the results I would not hesitate to do it again.
 

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I removed the bolts 2 years ago, left it fastener less, I haul it on the trailer often and have had no issues , they don't slide out as of yet on their own, I would not think twice about doing this again.
I did have reservations about doing this to start with, but with the results I would not hesitate to do it again.
Three years ago did the same thing with 1026r and now a year later with 1025r. Haven't lost a side panel in guessing 300 + total hours.
 

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You guys sure know how to ruin a guy's bubble. I kept mine as is just so I could have extra tools in the tool box. (2--10mm wrenches) :laugh: Besides I needed some place to use the metric tools. :nunu:
 
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You guys sure know how to ruin a guy's bubble. I kept mine as is just so I could have extra tools in the tool box. (2--10mm wrenches) :laugh: Besides I needed some place to use the metric tools. :nunu:
Plenty of places on a 1026 to use those wretched multi-micro scaled EU (pronounced "Eeeuuww") metric wrenches. I always have my 200mm adjustable with me in case I didn't pick the right one out of the five different ones I crawled under with...

Let's all sing, "Gimme that ol' time religion, it's good enough for me!":laugh:
 
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