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Discussion Starter #1
Hi guys,

New to this forum. I joined because I recently purchased a brand new 3039R tractor. So far I'm very pleased with the tractor other then the wheel base is it little narrow. I was considering adding wheel spacers to the rear wheels but when contacting my dealer found out they are not offered for this model and adding them could void the warranty on any thing damaged as a result of the wheel spacers. After doing a bunch of research on line I plan to add the 3" wheel spacers anyway.

In my searching for information on wheel spacers I learned that my 3R tractor along with many other comparable CUT's have cast aluminum rear axle housing and transmission housings? Can anyone explain why aluminum is chosen for this application versus cast iron or steel? At the cost of these tractors I can't believe its to save money. I'm just curious to know if there is a good technical reason for using aluminum. I also wonder if that's why John Deere does not approve the use of wheel spacers on my 3030R.

I appreciate any input

Greg
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the quick reply. I have the large R4 tires and wheels. Per my manual the rear wheels are not reversible. In looking at it I don't think there would be anything gained even if I did revers the rims. But I'm past that and I have wheel spacers on order already. So widening my rear wheel track is not my concern. I'm not sure I really have any concerns. I just would like to know why aluminum was chosen for the material used in the rear of these tractors VS cast iron or steel.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Cost? I'm not sure aluminum would be a cost savings assuming the proper alloys where used and the castings size appropriately.

Weight? possibly but I paid good money to have "Rim Guard" for ballast added to my rear tires. So I wouldn't think any weight savings would be of any value on a tractor.

Strength? I would think proper cast iron or steel castings would be more rugged and durable than aluminum.

Heat? Assuming the HST generate more heat then conventional geared transmissions aluminum would be superior to cast iron or steel in dissipating heat.

This is the crazy thought process running through my head trying to understand the choice of materials used in the design. Was hoping someone here might be able to shed some light on this
 

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Aluminium is generally easier and less expensive to machine and it does not rust . . . and it looks prettier :hide:
 

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There are some high quality aluminum alloys out that are superior in strength to cast iron and some cast steel. Aluminum is easier to machine than steel, has better thermal management properties, excellent corrosion resistance, and doesn't rust. Aluminum is also less "brittle" than cast iron, and should actually be more resistant to cracking under stress vs. a comparable tensile strength cast iron product.

BTW reversing the wheels on the 43x16-20 or 15x19.5 tires won't get you much. Mine were reversed in the process of adding rear wheel weights, and I think there's less than 1-2" overall width difference (maybe 1/2 to 1" per side). Fortunately, I'm blessed with nearly flat land so no hair raising hills or berms to content with here.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
That's what I figured. I have the 43 X 16-20 R4 rear tires. I didn't get a tape measure out and check but just looking at it I didn't figure I'd gain much if anything.

Where I live its flat ground as well. But I also have a motocross track for my son that I need to maintain the jump faces and general track maintenance. So a lot of uneven terrain to navigate there. I've been using my Dad's New Holland TC35 previously to maintain it but that tractor has a considerable wider wheel base. Just a bigger frame tractor over all then my 3039R. I've been managing to do what I need with my JD as it currently is but would feel more comfortable with a wider rear track. So I've got 3" spacers coming.

I was shocked to learn that JD no longer approved the use of wheel spacers on this tractor and then learned that the rear end was constructed from aluminum. So I've been wondering if that had anything to do with JD's decision on wheel spacers for that tractor. For the price of these things I would like to think the decision to go with aluminum was for a better overall product and not cutting corners to save money. That's what had me thinking trying to determine what the upside of aluminum in this application might be.

I guess I need to get with the times when it comes to these tractors and the materials used. Outside of my JD X360 mower the only other tractor I have is a 1942 JD H. Rest assured there is no aluminum on that machine.
 

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My 2001 vintage 4200 has the cast aluminum final drive housings too. I'm guessing that die cast parts need less finish machining is the reason for aluminum being used. In other words the machining time saved outweighs the material's added cost.
 

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Love the Weight Flexibility

I want a light tractor about 50% of the time when mowing.

I want a heavy tractor the other 50% of the time when running loads of wood, front end loader work, splitting wood, pushing snow, roto-tilling, etc.

When i want weight, i throw on 10 or 12 70 pound suitcase weights. When i want light, i take the suitcase weights off. I am so happy that I can control the weight and not have a heavy tractor shoved down my throat with no "adjustability". And when was the last time a rear end or front failed? I have never seen it personally or even heard of it every happening 2nd or 3rd hand.

Bret
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks for all the replies.

So aluminum is a non issue and in this case should provide as good or better product then cast iron or steel. Does anyone know why JD does not approve the use of wheel spacers on this model tractor then? In searching and reading though may threads there seems to be a lot of people using wheel spacers on this model tractor and I've yet to run across anyone having had problems in doing so. That's why I made the decision to order a set of 3" spacers.
 

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I want a light tractor about 50% of the time when mowing.

I want a heavy tractor the other 50% of the time
I think you hit the nail on the head. You can always add more weight to a light tractor, but you can't take the weight off a heavy tractor. The 3R has a MMM option and obviously fits the role of yard mower for a lot of people.

So aluminum is a non issue and in this case should provide as good or better product then cast iron or steel. Does anyone know why JD does not approve the use of wheel spacers on this model tractor then? In searching and reading though may threads there seems to be a lot of people using wheel spacers on this model tractor and I've yet to run across anyone having had problems in doing so. That's why I made the decision to order a set of 3" spacers.
My cousin's brother's friend's uncle said it was because the spacers could possibly cause the rear housing to crack under extreme circumstances. Keep in mind a lot of people abuse their tractors with improper ballasting, overworking beyond specifications, 800+ pounds of extra wheel weight with rim guard, and fail to check basic things like wheel lug torque, etc. I don't personally think you'll have an issue with spacers, especially if you keep weights and limits within the design of tractor.
 
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Discussion Starter #12
Here was the formal responce from my dealer:

Yes, Deere does not approve axle spacers for the unit due to added stress on the axles. There may never be a failure but if there was a failure on that unit and it had axle spacers on it, it would NOT be covered by warranty.



Dan Koziczkowski

Service Manager

JD-R&S-Email-Signature-JPG

Riesterer & Schnell Inc.

6832 Johnnies Lane | Stevens Point, WI 54482

P 715.592.4300 | C 715.340.0997 | F 715.592.6116


I read between the lines and decided if by the very unlikely chance I had a problem that could be considered to be related to the wheel spacers they would not be on the tractor when taking it back to the dealer.:mocking:
 

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Cast aluminum is cheaper to make. No other reason.
 

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Aluminum is cheaper for a finished product.
Aluminum is molded in a precision mold very close to finished size with less machining required and it machines easier than Cast Iron.
Cast Iron is cast in a rough mold that requires more machining.

Properly designed an aluminum housing can be just as strong as a Cast Iron one.

Lots of technological advances in manufacturing over the years.
Engines and Transmissions are made to tighter tolerances. this allows for more efficient and better running and longer lasting product.

Of course it all relies on proper design that takes advantage of the current tech.
 

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I put 4" on each side of mine today. Works fine. Dealer told me that mine was the last one they will sell without adding them. Just too tippy! The dealer sent me the info for the guys I bought the spacers from. Mine looks 100% better with the fronts reversed and the spacers installed. I havent gotten to use it much, but I did intentionally run it up a ditch that I mow a couple times a year and the pucker factor was much better. YMMV.

Jason
 

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Simple, add the spacers, if it breaks pull spacers off before calling the dealer. :)


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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when considering which tractor to buy I read somewhere about the aluminum frame and immediately went to the 4052 r which is what I bought .....with factory 9in spacers and I am a happy (not tippy) man.
The extra width means I have run over stuff due to the wider stance, but what a difference on the hills....which is everywhere in my yard. Extra weight with tires and implements adds to the overall stability and safety of this unit.
Karl Olson, 4052r with front loader and BH
 

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It is disappointing to see comments, that if a person knew that Deere would not warranty axles issues on tractors with spacers and the put spacers on anyway, they would just remove the spacers and bring it to the dealer if they had an issue. (bummed)

I used to work for an ATV company and we had this issue with axles. People would come in with broken axles and say they didn't have big mud tires on when the axles broke. All the while the stock tires they brought the ATV in on still had the knobs on. Those are not fun conversations for the service manager or the customer service rep at Deere that has to either call you a liar or pay you warranty knowing you are getting away with something.
 
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