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Discussion Starter #1
Introduction

Here is the saga of my backhoe install. It’s pretty long, but I hope that future readers will see that it’s possible to keep these older tractors working if you do the research. Keep in mind when you look at pricing, that the Australian dollar values are roughly double the USD when the exchange rate and shipping is included. Grab a coffee as this runs to quite a long story.
I have an early 1999 model 4300 HST with the folding ROPS. It has the 420 loader with the 300CX 3rd Function hose and piping (BW13168), a 4 in 1 bucket and R4 Industrial tyres.
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I read extensively to ensure the 485 would fit, and that the good price offered gave contingency for the unknowns. It came 2,175 miles (3,500km) from Perth, Western Australia (picture Los Angeles to Atlanta, or Paris to Athens). At $5000AUD it’s the equivalent of $2500USD.
Technically, to install a 485 on a 4200, 4300 or 4400 series, you need to install the Power Beyond hydraulics PBY (LVB25221), the Rockshaft Assist plates RSA (BM19564), the Heavy Duty Subframe (LVB24795) and the tractor must have a front-end loader attached. The 485 must have the right weldment, which is the BH side of the RSA mounting system. JD parts says LVB26163 for the 4000 series and LVB25613 for the 3x20, I assume mine has the 3x20 series, as it is a 2016 build and had the 3x20 series RSA kit, but either way it fits fine as the RSA profile is the same for the BH attachment.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Power Beyond

Bare-co have some simple diagrams to explain what PBY is. Essentially, it rediverts the pressurised oil from the back end of the SCV to the BH using QD couplers. The return oil from the BH goes back to the tank, thus disabling the RCV, but more on that later…

The first issue here was the PBY kit does not include oil line AM126985, but the catalogue says Also Order AM126985. While it is shown in-stock at several USA dealers (as I write this in 2021), it has proven impossible to get one. It is a critical pressure oil line from the SCV to the PBY coupler. I ended up buying the oil line LVA11210 for the later RCV filter upgrade and had a hose fabricated to connect the PBY coupler. Still a work in progress to get the hose right and fab a support bracket off the back of the transmission.

The orange arrow shows the oil path through LVA11210, where it would usually go through an RCV filter above the PTO guard. But mine joins the hose via an ORFS union, and then there’s a 90* ORFS fitting on the other hose end (with an orange arrow drawn on it).
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You cannot operate the tractor without the oil lines connected, so it is a call-out for an on-site hydraulics fitter, or take the tractor to a workshop. The really infuriating thing is the other oil lines in the kit were manufactured by TruLine LLC in March 2020, a few months before my purchase, the same OEM supplier of AM126985. Before you ask, yes, I tried contacting the OEM source directly, and though every channel from local dealers to USA dealers to JD corporate in Australia, but it all lead to nothing.
Oil line shown as H
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Oil line shown as K
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Finished dogs breakfast. Note that I still need to work on the fabricated hose, as it interferes with the RSA and it’s a 5/8” hose, so it is as flexible as railway iron...
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Discussion Starter #3
The RSA install

As the BH came with a 3x20 series RSA (LVB25611), I purchased the 4000 series kit (BM19564). The difference is the 3x20 has more bolts and a different profile to the bottom edge to fit the later axle housing shape. But the BH attachment hooks and holes are identical. This installs very easily once the rear wheels and fenders are off (32kg/71lb). You need a ¾” torque wrench to get the bolts up to tension. I took the opportunity to reroute a few wires and clean and grease the various linkages with the fender off and replaced the SCV bracket and bolt which were buggered. This maintenance and cleaning and greasing was dirty work, so not photos, sorry.
I have rechecked the torque after 5 hrs of BH time, and will again at 20 hrs, then at each service. Failure to maintain correct torque leads to axle housings cracking. I purchased two additional bolts (M138563), 140mm long, so I can fabricate a 10mm thick tie between the front bolts and the subframe, as the subframe does not actually attach to the RSA mount. This risk of a broken axle housing discouraged me from modifying the 3x20 RSA to fit.
Here’s an example of what becomes of a bolt failure:
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Heavy Duty Subframe

The Heavy Duty Subframe (LVB24795) install was reasonably easy, but it is very heavy at 73kg (161lb). And I had to wait 3 weeks for the subframe, then 6 weeks to get the install kit, the last two washers were killing me! My awesome local dealer ended up ordering each part separately for me, but I do the research for them (call it trust issues lol).

With the subframe, you need to block it up as you go and keep your fingers clear. I used a hydraulic floor jack to get two opposing bolts in front (to hinge it on), then jacked the back to get a couple in there. You’ll need a deep socket (24mm IIRC) for the rear bolts, and I needed the ¾” torque wrench again.
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Then I got them all finger tight then torqued them up.

I also gave the subframe a liberal coat of Lanolin (Aussies and New Zealanders love sheep) to protect it from rust. It will collect a lot of mud in there, but hey, what’s another few kilos of ballast…. The subframe is ‘required’ for the 448 and 485, my recommendation to fellow 4000 series owners, while it’s available you might consider it peace of mind to not break your tractor in half, even if you don’t have the BH. If you do heavy digging or lifting with the FEL and have correct ballasting, you will appreciate the stresses put through the chassis are massive. Just my 2 cents.
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The Subframe offers great protection under to tractor, I love it. Servicing will be a challenge, the access to the filter is OK, but the suction strainer and drain will be a PITA. I don’t have a MMM, but there looks to be adequate room for the PTO shaft.
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This last two shots show the spacers I waited 6 weeks for, the slim one the left (obscured) and he's rough cut shiny brother on the right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Preparing the Backhoe
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Where I mentioned in the intro about the change between the RCV and the BH, the importance of this should now becomes clear. I began by fitting the weldment and seat, so I could hook it up and move it to a clear area, where I had to raise and lower the BH a few times to get the latch plates right and the 3PL arms high enough. If you purchase a new, crated BH, or are fitting a new weldment to an older one, it can be difficult and dangerous. You really need a clear, level (preferably concrete, but I only had dirt) area to fit it up. For the initial hook-up, you need to swap hydraulics between the 3PL and the BH via the PBY hose couplers, because you need the RCV to lift and lower to get the latch plates (M137999) in the right spot, but you need the BH connected to get the stabiliser arm cylinders out and attached. You also need the hose extension from the PBY kit to hook up.
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During this back and forth with the hydraulics, the BH slipped off the 3PL arms. This was a little scary, it’s pretty heavy to be lifting up and it’d give a serious or fatal crush injury… also, I still didn’t have the stabilisers attached because I couldn’t get it hooked on right to safely work on the sides of it. Lucky I was on a level clay surface, so the BH just sat in the dirt and I was able to get the BH chocked up, stabiliser arms on, hooked up and lowered down, before a little breather.

I found one photo of this, which I forgot I took...

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I purged some Hy-gard though the lines before hooking up to the PBY (I don’t trust anything after water in my 4 in 1 bucket) and then went through adjusting the RSA plates so it’d fit right. To purge the valve block, I removed the return QD fitting and put the hose line in bucket. I started the tractor and ran it until my dyed (MT3668) Hy-gard started coming out, then shut off the engine. I checked closely, but no signs of any water or contaminants. I bought a new BH, but it had sat on the lot for 4 years. I didn’t check my 4 in 1 bucket and had to do a few Hy-gard changes and a full FEL line flush. Lucky my old 420 FEL has the top fittings for a perfect purge, but it’s a filthy job none the less.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Finally, fit the bucket and do a test dig…

Except the supplied bucket was for a 375 BH! The ear spacing is narrower and the pin centers are closer on the 375, although the pins are the same 31.75mm or 1.25".
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A few more emails, a few more weeks, and finally a 12” bucket was at my local dealer! So I picked up, fit up and had a dig.
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I don’t have photos of the bucket fitment, has it’s hard when you have Hy-gard and grease everywhere and working alone. I can’t wait to see what @sdavilla and @rjt come up with for QD for the buckets, and I can’t wait to get the time to build a nice mud/ditching bucket to swap out.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Final thoughts?
Time wise, it was 159 days from the purchase to the digging. This was due to COVID-19 delays as well as those reoccurring PITA with the JD Parts catalogue, where the pictures are not reflective of the actual kit contents, items listed as available are actually NLA, and the excuse of ‘well maybe you need a newer tractor’… If I could get a low hours turbo diesel 3720 cab tractor like @Kennyd then of course I would :bang head: but my 4300 serves me well and mother Deere should support those who are great advocates of their brands’ longevity.

As for the 'would I do it again?’… I would.

The pros: I have a brand new BH which I can transfer to a 4x10 or 3x20 series, or even a larger 45-4700 or 4x20 series, I have a bomb proof sub frame which makes the tractor more stable and rigid, which is better for all tractor uses (except transport- below), I can run a number of rear hydraulic implements (wood splitter etc) and the ballasting that the BH offers for digging is second to none.
Cost wise, I’m a few thousand under the RRP of the BH, and the only labor charge was with the hose to replace AM126985 and a huge amount of time chasing things up (or just chasing my tail).
I have so much more versatility, with the ability to still use all my 3PL attachments.
The performance of the BH is awesome. It has plenty of power, the manual valve block will challenge many operators but it’s no different to the HST and the FEL on the 4300. Some people will pick it up easy, some will always be challenged, but IMHO it’s a fair dinkum rip snorter.

The cons: Towing. The combination mass is greater than my Toyota Hilux (Revo in the northern hemisphere) and trailer can tow. I can load it on my FIL’s trailer and Toyota LandCruiser combo, but it’s too long… do I plan on lending out my new combo? Absolutely not! So is it a problem? Not really, in fact, it's a blessing.
I can still tow it without the BH, too.
Storage. I need to fab a trolley, as it’s too heavy to move when off the tractor and it takes up a fair bit of room. It’s a big BH!

Overall, it is a beauty. It really makes BH work child's play.
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Discussion Starter #8
PS: Thanks @Kennyd for moving this to the right area and everything you've taught me about hydraulics and tractors over a few years of lurking and learning.
Thanks to @sdavilla @mjncad and @dvice for great advice, wisdom and inspiration throughout this saga. True gentlemen.
And to the GTT forum, what a great community we have, united by Green and Gold!
Aussie, Aussie Aussie! Oi, Oi, Oi!
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2013 4120 eHydro, 400x, 448 backhoe
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Introduction

Here is the saga of my backhoe install. It’s pretty long, but I hope that future readers will see that it’s possible to keep these older tractors working if you do the research. Keep in mind when you look at pricing, that the Australian dollar values are roughly double the USD when the exchange rate and shipping is included. Grab a coffee as this runs to quite a long story.
I have an early 1999 model 4300 HST with the folding ROPS. It has the 420 loader with the 300CX 3rd Function hose and piping (BW13168), a 4 in 1 bucket and R4 Industrial tyres.
View attachment 773578 View attachment 773579
I read extensively to ensure the 485 would fit, and that the good price offered gave contingency for the unknowns. It came 2,175 miles (3,500km) from Perth, Western Australia (picture Los Angeles to Atlanta, or Paris to Athens). At $5000AUD it’s the equivalent of $2500USD.
Technically, to install a 485 on a 4200, 4300 or 4400 series, you need to install the Power Beyond hydraulics PBY (LVB25221), the Rockshaft Assist plates RSA (BM19564), the Heavy Duty Subframe (LVB24795) and the tractor must have a front-end loader attached. The 485 must have the right weldment, which is the BH side of the RSA mounting system. JD parts says LVB26163 for the 4000 series and LVB25613 for the 3x20, I assume mine has the 3x20 series, as it is a 2016 build and had the 3x20 series RSA kit, but either way it fits fine as the RSA profile is the same for the BH attachment.
Awesome series of posts! Congrats on a job well done...

Sounds like you got a great price on the 485, at the current exchange rate that’s about $3900 USD. I paid a similar amount for my 448 recently and had to drive 12 hours round trip to pick it up 😬

Cheerio!
 

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Nice, you even have the newer 485 version that has the thumb mount on the dipper stick.

Lifting with 3pt arms (on or off) the first time is a real sphincter tightening experience. My JD4500 does a slight squat as it takes the weight of the backhoe. Just love the 180 degree swing for side digging.
 

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Glad you made it happen👍
 

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Awesome write-up. I read this as an educational experience (I have a 4700 and a 48 backhoe) and learned a number of random factoids.
One thing I (think I) learned was that a 4700 is a '4' series frame, while the 4300 (and presumably 4200) are of a '3' sized frame (with the '3' and '4' being todays naming).

Another thing - I think I need a cheat sheet on the abbreviations.
I think I know most of what you mention, but then you mention a 'RCV' right after an 'SCV selective control valve'. I thought a typo until later you mention RCV again showing I have no clue what RCV is.

RCV ?
RSA ? RockShaft Assist Plates
RRP ? (australian for MSRP? )
3PL ? 3 point something but not hitch? Lift?
HST ? hydrostat tranny

For the initial hook-up, you need to swap hydraulics between the 3PL and the BH via the PBY hose couplers, because you need the RCV to lift and lower to get the latch plates (M137999) in the right spot, but you need the BH connected to get the stabiliser arm cylinders out and attached.
Now this I don't think I understand. My 4700 has the BH and PowerBeyond (PBY), but if I play with the rockshaft I can see that it moves up and down.
(the 3point stabilizer arms and top link are in the garage - the tractor delivery truck driver forgot and had to make another stop to drop them off)

So, what I think your saying is that you had to move hoses to get each (PBY and rockshaft) to work individually. Confusing, because mine both work without moving hoses.
 
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It all depends on where the BH drain goes :). It is recommended to return to tank and not back to PBY. The thought is, the rockshaft should only be used to lift on/off the backhoe. Running the backhoe drain back to tank will disable the rockshaft so accidentals can't happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Another thing - I think I need a cheat sheet on the abbreviations.
Good day, @Tonkabot ! Mate, you nailed it! And I've clarified some below:
RCV - Rockshaft Control Valve?
RSA - RockShaft Assist Plates
RRP - Recommended Retail Price - Australian for MSRP
3PL - 3 point linkage
HST -HydroStatic Transmission.
PRV - Pressure Relief Valve

My 4700 has the BH and PowerBeyond (PBY), but if I play with the rockshaft I can see that it moves up and down.
@sdavilla answered this. Once that initial fit is done, you shouldn't need to move the Rockshaft. I guestimate it's so you don't knock the Rockshaft level to the top and have the RCV operating the PRV. At least on the 3 series frames (4200, 4300, 4400) the RCV is 'topping out' to get enough lift to hook up the BH. So when installing, you raise the RCV up then turn the tractor off while you're ginning about putting pins in and stuff.

So, what I think your saying is that you had to move hoses to get each (PBY and rockshaft) to work individually.
Exactly, mate, Spot on.
And it's really crowded in between the BH weldment and the couplers, so on the 3 frame tractors you need to use the extension to install and remove, but once it's on then you can take it out to neaten things up. But once it's set up, it's pretty easy to get on and off.

The 4th/5th SCV install taps in to the PBY, then feeds back in to the RCV circuit. I've been playing with some ideas to do a similar thing with the later 3x20 series ROPS mounted 4/5th. I like the ROPS mount to free up space, the float capability would be versatile and I'm curious to run a circuit for a hydraulic thumb... but that's a long way off, I'm still writing Ministerials to explain the current budget situation!
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Discussion Starter #16
Nice, you even have the newer 485 version that has the thumb mount on the dipper stick.

Lifting with 3pt arms (on or off) the first time is a real sphincter tightening experience. My JD4500 does a slight squat as it takes the weight of the backhoe. Just love the 180 degree swing for side digging.
Thumbs up! A second-hand 485 came up for sale a couple months back, but the non-thumb early one. There's some Chinese thumbs for mini excavators I've been looking at to Frankenstein into something to suit. But I reckon I'll draft up something on AutoCAD and get it cut.... need some financial delegation for that though...
Yes, almost bit a hole in my shorts...
The 4300 has a definite bum drag going on, I love the weight of the 4 in 1 bucket to keep it on the level. If you only had forks, then people would think your tractor has worms or something.
And the full 180 degree slew is crazy... The Operator Manual says 'adjust the seat so your knees don't get hit' and when those few hundred kilos come swinging, you get what they mean!
It's been a challenge to get the ducks in a line, but I'm 100% happy with it.
 
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Awesome write up. Congrats on a job well done.

BUT This makes me appreciate my decision to buy a dedicated backhoe all the more. I use the 3point on my 4310 all too often to have one hanging off the back . When I need or want a backhoe I just back it out of the barn. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
When I need or want a backhoe I just back it out of the barn. :)
Slightly jealous, but only slightly...

So I was reading the local planning scheme, trenches for waste water need to be 450-500mm wide, looks like I've got a size for the second bucket.
 

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Lol, yea, first time I did the full 180 swing, my kneecaps screamed in fear. Nothing like a few hundreds of (pick your weight symbol) moving towards body parts to get the heart rate up. Works better than a treadmill....
On my 46 BH on the 4700, I was never in fear of my knees, and I thought I did swing it the full 180 a few times. Is it different on the 485? Did I just not notice?
 
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