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2305 Brotek Thumb adapted to the 2520's 46 hoe

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Hey All,

Left laying on a shelf after the departure of our 2305 with 260 hoe was a Brotek Thumb which was destined for a tug of war in an online auction. At the last minute, I got the idea to adapt it to the 46 hoe and after a few new bolts, some sawing, drilling, grinding, and a fresh coat of John Deere green paint from the base metal on up, the thumb fits the 46 like a siamese twin separated at birth.

We're going to be building some landscaped stone steps into a hillside soon which ought to be the perfect use for it.


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Looks good, are you going to make it hydraulic someday?
I'd give one of my thumbs :lol: to have it be hydraulic. I was barely able to make time to get this one done!

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I know JD has several rear add on hydraulic kits for the 2520, but I'm not sure which one I'd need for something like that. Dang it mjncad, why did you have to go and mention that? Now it's got me thinking!
Your in luck, current thread:
I know JD has several rear add on hydraulic kits for the 2520, but I'm not sure which one I'd need for something like that. Dang it mjncad, why did you have to go and mention that? Now it's got me thinking!
Interesting - it looks like the 46 bucket is significantly shorter than the 260 bucket. My thumb sits just inside the teeth of the bucket; it looks like the 260 thumb on the 46 has an underbite.
Thanks Ken, I figured that was going to be the kit to get. I just haven't had time to look at all of the add ons offered.

NC, the the bucket looks pretty close to me. Here's a photo of it on the 260 with a 12" bucket. Maybe I'm missing something.


I figured it out. It's the length of the top link that forms the brace. When it's longer, the thumb sits farther inside the bucket. When I use mine I set my thumb fairly far out.

I guess the buckets are about the same.
So... I "Googled" JD backhoe 46 thumb... and viola' the first hit was this forum... astonishingly, no manufacturer seems to make a mechanical thumb for the 46... so good work in your fabrication...

I have a question please. the 46 arm dimensions are 3" x 4"... isn't the bro tek made for the BX series, and the arm has different dimensions? So, your fabrication was pretty intense I think. For mere mortals like, me, I need to bolt it on and get to work...

Again, great job, and thanks for any advice.

Plus, I need to get those chain plates like yours on the bucket... 3 of them makes sense.

Hi Andrew,

Thanks! I can't comment on the dimensions of a <gasp> Kabota backhoe at this time, but Richard at Brotek certainly could. I recommend getting in touch with him to ask about the differences. It's been a little while now, but I think the only changes I had to make was to get some shorter bolts, cut down a shaft, and mill down the bushings on the thumb itself. Last, I had to drill some new 1/2" holes on the thumb mounting sideplates. Everything else I did was fluff, I believe.

I'd bet Richard would be happy to adapt his 260 thumb for your 46. I'm sure he'd like to be able to add to his product line. I've been meaning to let him know about this adaptation, but haven't had the time to do it thoroughly.

Regarding hooks for your bucket, those in my photos are ones I welded onto that old bucket long ago. If I could do it all over again, I'd get Ken's Bolt On Hooks (scroll up for link).

How do you like your 46 hoe?
Thank you for the advice Ensoll....

The 46 backhoe has been used for a total of 1 hour... all practice. My 12 year old was a pro... I struggled.

I close on a house in early September, it is a PROJECT... the 2320 will be put to great use. So, gearing up for the big event, need to get forks, a thumb and a 48" brush hog rotary.

Selling the almost new belly mower... the zmower has a few years left in her...

Thanks, Andrew

I know this is an old thread. But how is this working for you? I have been eyeing the BXexpanded 260 to modify for the 46.
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