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After Snow blowing the driveway a week ago the remaining snow had turned to slush with the warm weather. Yesterday, I decided to try out the 318 with the 54 blade on it. The 318 doesn't have wheel weights or chains, but worked pretty good. It only spun a couple of times when the blade dug into the gravel. The main problem I had was I couldn't get the float position to work for the blade. I managed to get a lot of the slush removed and with the sun out today and 42* temps the driveway is almost clear.
 

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Float with the standard cutting edge on gravel will have you raking gravel in the Spring.
I prefer a wide rubber edge to do what you are doing. It somewhat folds under the blade while pushing the snow/slush, but leaving the gravel behind.
I hate raking gravel...but have 700+ feet of drive to maintain in the Winter.

Regardless, with the float position, there is a ball detent inside the spool valve. If its not been used much, it can be frozen/rusted in place.
Mine was, and after fixing, its a bit more effort to put into float and take out of. I could fix that by replacing the detent balls, but was in a hurry to get it up and going when I fixed it years ago.
If I recall, you can do it all without removing the valve, but its not easy, as its behind the belly pan, so that needs to come off, and its pretty tight in there working on it.
Its much easier if you can pull the whole valve out.
 
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Discussion Starter #3
Float with the standard cutting edge on gravel will have you raking gravel in the Spring.
I prefer a wide rubber edge to do what you are doing. It somewhat folds under the blade while pushing the snow/slush, but leaving the gravel behind.
I hate raking gravel...but have 700+ feet of drive to maintain in the Winter.

Regardless, with the float position, there is a ball detent inside the spool valve. If its not been used much, it can be frozen/rusted in place.
Mine was, and after fixing, its a bit more effort to put into float and take out of. I could fix that by replacing the detent balls, but was in a hurry to get it up and going when I fixed it years ago.
If I recall, you can do it all without removing the valve, but its not easy, as its behind the belly pan, so that needs to come off, and its pretty tight in there working on it.
Its much easier if you can pull the whole valve out.
Thanks, IndianaJim. Got it working.

Yesterday I sprayed down the hydraulic control valve and levers with some ATF/Acetone mix and let it sit overnight. today I went out and worked the inner lever back an forth and finally got full travel so the float function works now. When I get time I plan on pulling the levers apart to clean out any remaining rust.
 
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