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New member here and I know the rules about pictures. If there aren't pictures - it didn't happen. I am currently working out of town so I don't have any pictures of my 2305 to post yet - however.....I do have a picture of my latest addition, a new to me / used rotary cutter that I found and decided that I needed. :dance:

This is worth documenting with pictures and my be the start of a new you might be a redneck if joke as well. Anyway - working out of town I don't have my truck or trailer with me, so what does a fella do when he finds a new bush hog that he wants, but he is driving a Ford Transit..... well here you go. :lol: Some dissassembly was required.

It is a Southern Equipment 48" rotary cutter. It looks to be in good shape with the most wear being from the weather. Blades are good, and I had the seller hook it up to a tractor and it purrs like a kitten. With a little TLC and some new paint it will look and work like new.

Once I get it out of the van and cleaned up a bit (and put back togeather) I'll post some better pictures.
 

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Welcome, it looks like you will fit right in here with no problem. Sounds like you got a good deal and you are clever and industrious to get that thing in the van. A person who can make it happen! Can't wait to see your tractor.
 

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New member here and I know the rules about pictures. If there aren't pictures - it didn't happen. I am currently working out of town so I don't have any pictures of my 2305 to post yet - however.....I do have a picture of my latest addition, a new to me / used rotary cutter that I found and decided that I needed. :dance:

This is worth documenting with pictures and my be the start of a new you might be a redneck if joke as well. Anyway - working out of town I don't have my truck or trailer with me, so what does a fella do when he finds a new bush hog that he wants, but he is driving a Ford Transit..... well here you go. :lol: Some dissassembly was required.

It is a Southern Equipment 48" rotary cutter. It looks to be in good shape with the most wear being from the weather. Blades are good, and I had the seller hook it up to a tractor and it purrs like a kitten. With a little TLC and some new paint it will look and work like new.

Once I get it out of the van and cleaned up a bit (and put back togeather) I'll post some better pictures.
:lol::lol: :good2:
Yep, a real doer.
 

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rt,

Looks like it fit in there fine! At least you didn't describe how you hauled it home on the roof of a Ford Focus.:lol:
 

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rt,

Looks like it fit in there fine! At least you didn't describe how you hauled it home on the roof of a Ford Focus.:lol:
There is a problem with that?

I enjoy heading to Home Depot to get some lumber for a project, having one of the guys help me load it and stopping the cart at the first sub compact that I see... The expression on their face is priceless.

"You are going to put 14 sheets of plywood, 16 4X4's and 24 2X6X12's on/in/around THIS?"

Then take them to the pickup or trailer depending on the size of the load, :)
 
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Discussion Starter #7
Well my new rotary cutter made it home and I managed to get it unloaded. It actually came out easier than it went in.

Since I had been out of town for three weeks, I had a long honey do list so I didn't get to do much with the new addition except get it into the shop.

When I got it out of the van I stood it up on its tail and while it was there I thought it would be a good idea to drain out the old gear oil.....

When I pull the plugs it got nothing, nada, zilch...:( This can't be good. So I laid it down and decided to put some oil in it to see what happens. It came out the bottom as fast as it went in ...:gaah:, then :mad:

Before I made the purchase, I had the seller (a small used equipment dealer) hook it up and we tried it out. It sounded great and I never gave it another thought. From a little closer inspection, I don't think that it ever had any oil in the gearbox. There are no signs of leaks, etc, but the bottom seal is toast. It is great overall condition, so I don't think that it was used much either.

I put it in the shop and went to work on my list, if not just to calm down a bit.

Today I went by and talked to the gentleman that sold me the cutter and he had the same suprised look that I did. The good news is that he said that he would stand behind it and within reason, what ever it takes to make it right he will do. He will buy the parts to fix the gearbox.

The shafts are tight and it ran quiet as a mouse. My gut is telling me I just need new seals and some good oil (and maybe a little Lucas Oil Treatment) and I am back in business.

This weekend I will pull the input shaft and have a look at the bearings and gears. If they are good, I'll be hunting some new seals. On the lighter side, having to remove the blades, stump jumper / pan & the gearbox it will make it a lot easier to clean it up for a fresh coat of paint!

I haven't gotten to cleaning off the tag on the gearbox so I don't know what model it is yet. The cutter was made by Southern Equipment Mfg in Cleveland, TN. They have gone out of business and I haven't been able to find any literature about the cutter online. Anyone out there own one of these or know where I can find out anything about them, especially about what kind of gearbox they used? I know this isn't much to go from but aside from NAPA, does anyone have any recommendations for good place to go for seals? I'll post the gearbox info when I get it as well as some pictures.
 

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So here is where I am at so far...

Gears look ok to me. Bearings feel tight with no slop. The remnants of old oil, now gook, feel like it has bits of metal in it.

I am thinking of a good rinse out and flush, some new seals and give it a go at a field of grass and see what happens.

From the tag it appears that it is an Omni Gear RC-30, 1:1.47, 250001 (info on tag).

Anyone have any suggestions about a good place to get parts? I'm gonna need seals, a new snap ring for the input gear and a new gasket. (so far)

Three of the input shaft cover bolts broke so today I picked up a blind tap and an easy-out. I've also ordered a set of snap ring pliers for the bigger rings.

This weekend I'm gonna pick up Dad's impact and sockets so that I can get the pan off of the bottom and get the gearbox off the deck.

Any suggestions or advice is welcome.

Thx
 

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Seal numbers

If you remove the seals carefully you may be able to read the numbers on the side of the seals. If you get a number NAPA can usually cross refernce it. Might be a transmission seal from a Nash Rambler who knows. Quite often they can cross reference it by size as well. A good transmission shop or gear shop may be able to do the same. With the advent of computer referencing they can go by dimensions and get you a new seal. Same with the snap rings. Be careful when you take it apart because what is left of the old parts can give you dimensions and/or numbers. Most US made gearboxes will use a fairly standard seal used in many applications. I hope you find it.
 

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rtgt,

The 2305 had an issue with rear PTO powered implements and a relatively weak aluminum case around the PTO. I believe later models were reinforced, but in any case, BE ABSOLUTELY SURE that your PTO shaft is short enough to NOT bottom out when you lift that mower up. You could end that great tractor in a second if you don't.

I'd say have that dealer do some leg work on part sourcing for that mower deck. They ought to have some resources if that's their business. It seems to me that they are lucky you aren't dropping the whole carcass back off it at their doorstep. But then, I don't know your whole situation so I might just be beating my chest. Or perhaps you could bring them just the gearbox to get back into ship shape?
 

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Well I found source for parts. Powell Equipment in Ohio. Their website has a parts diagram/breakdown (which will be real handy once in get into the lower half. I am waiting on a quote from them.

Fuel Hoser - now that I have the correct size snap ring pliers, I can get to the input seal and will try and get it out without any damage. Lately I have found O'Rileys and Car Quest to be more willing to research a part than NAPA. Maybe it is just my local NAPA... Good point about preserving the other stuff.

Artillian - thanks for the tip on the rear housing on the 2305. Haven't got to the PTO shaft yet, but I will to make sure to measure it before connecting it.

The "dealer" I bought it from just deals in used equipment. He is not a big time outfit. So far he has treated me more fairly than most would have. I am confident that he will follow though and pay for the parts. The rest I am just writing off to the school of hard knocks. Actually the tools are going to cost more than the parts. At least I'll be better equiped to fix my next blunder.... I mean learning experience.
 

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rtgt,

Just to make sure the message sinks in, there are a number of threads on the internet about the PTO case being damaged, such as one here which will lead you to others:

John Deere 2305 Compact Tractor Transmission and rear PTO failure

I don't necessarily share the sentiments of the complaints toward Deere being responsible if the shaft is too long and frankly, these rotary mowers are really a heavy load on the 2305. Just because the attachment fits dimensionally doesn't necessarily mean that it fits mechanically. Not meaning to sound holier than thou, I had a 2305 and ran my Deere 413 (4ft) rotary mower on it. And it worked well, but it had a clutch which was very helpful.

I don't see a clutch in the photos of your mower. If there is no clutch, you are going to notice a pretty good jolt when you pull that PTO knob. If you try to engage the mower at idle, it is probably going to stall the engine. And of course, you shouldn't engage it at PTO speed. You will probably find that you will need to be around 1200-1500 rpm to engage the mower successfully. Try to find the lowest speed without stalling. If you do have a clutch, I highly recommend loosening it up and letting it slip just a bit during starts. Even with this, it's still a pretty good shudder.

It's possible that the 413 is a heavier unit than the mower you got. That 413 has 1/2" thick blades. It's a ferocious beast for a 4ft mower.

Hope this helps and I'm glad you found a source for parts!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Artillian,

thanks for the info on the engagement. You are correct, the cutter does not have a slip clutch, it has a shear bolt. The bolt that was in the yoke was a grade 5 which I know isn't right. I will be installing a grade 2.

Once I get it back together I will try it out. If I have issues with the startup I will consider your suggestion and change to a clutch.

I also run a 60" Befco rear mower deck and it starts up pretty easy at idle. I'll just have to wait and see.

I will have completely checked, measured and double checked the PTO shaft before connecting it to the tractor. Measure twice, cut once, don't break anything!
 

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Wow! I just read the thread that Artillian posted regarding the 2305 transmission...

Mine is a 2010 model so it has the new case design but it doesn't sound like it is much better.

I am re-thinking the slip clutch suggestion. I am also re-thinking the whole bush hog idea. At this point, I am not sure I want to put it on my tractor.

I have also been reading alot of threads about 1 series issues like the loader failures, rockshaft issues, etc.

Bottom line is I am seriously re-thinking the whole JD purchase. One of my first thoughts is that perhaps I should consider a 2320 or 2520, but then thinking about the lack of JD support for its products and customers has me seriously looking at Kabota. I guess I will poke around some Kabota forums and see what, if any, issues they are having.

I've always owned a JD and most folks that know me wouldn't recognize me without a JD hat or on an orange tractor, but I cannot afford to own weak crap or something that the manufacturer will not stand behind.

I guess for now I will take my time and "restore" my new rotary cutter, but for now, I think it will stay in the garage.
 

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One thing to keep in perspective is that these smaller machines are being bought by lots of people who don't have a lot of experience with this kind of equipment and on top of that they are trying to make them do things that they weren't designed to do. We're probably all guilty. Add to that that people are far more likely to speak up when something is wrong rather than something right.

If Deere were to recall every problem that arises, they'd be out of business. With the 2305, there were a number of complaints and Deere stepped up and came out with the 1026r, which answered every single gripe I ever had with that machine. I personally congratulate Deere for doing their best to continue to make innovative quality products in the face of rising competition, domestically and internationally. Dollar for dollar, they still make the most capable and long lasting machines on the market, aka, you get what you pay for.

Sorry if I got you a bit shook up there good sir. Just trying to keep you away from the parts counter! :hi:
 

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If I spent all the time to take that apart and wait on parts and......and.....and...and I found metal in it as you said you did, I would sure as heck be changing out all of the bearings while I was in there.
 

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Artillian - I appreciate your comments and concerns. While I do not abuse equipment, I use it and I expect it to perform. I try and buy the very best I can afford be it a tool or a toy. I agree that it is the operators responsibility to know how to fit a PTO shaft for a new implement and how to properly operate the equipment, however; these are tractors and stuff happens. My expectation is that if I do everything right, the weakest link (i.e. the shear bolt) should do its job and protect the rest of the equipment. The weak link should not be my PTO drive. (and JD lists this tractor capable of a 4' cutter so I'm not putting anything behind it that it was not advertised to be able to use)

If JD did resolve serious issues with the new 1 series, they should still stand behind the earlier models that were not as well designed. Making a profit on a part that has a known failure issue is not a good thing in my book. A good example is if you own a mid 80's Ford PU with a clutch, the firewall will crack by the clutch cylinder. Even though most of the parts for the truck are obsolete, you can still get the repair bracket/kit for $16 from your local dealer. Some would still want the part for free, but I am satisfied that they aren't gouging the customer.

My concern over JD quality and support is not necessarily new. I've seen and heard several things that have for a while caused me to re-think my original perception of JD. I think they have gone the way of Walmart and Wall Street.

Another suggestion I got was to consider buying an older model JD. The ones that JD built their reputation on.

My wife has put me on 'tractor probation' after my latest purchase and I don't like the taste of the egg on my face either. The last thing I want to do is spend the $ to put this cutter togeather and one oops later trash a $6,000 PTO. I would get the chair for sure! :nunu: So for now, I am going to enjoy rebuilding my cutter, but I'm not in a hurry to put it behind my tractor.

RShrimp - The bearings will be removed and inspected very closely (and before I order any parts). If there is any abnormal wear then the gearbox isn't worth the rebuild. I have found two sources where I can buy a new gearbox for less that it would cost to put bearings + seals in this one.

BTW - the seller has already reimbursed me the $70 for the new seals, gaskets, c-clips, etc. His handshake is as good, if not better than most warranties. Thanks my good thought for the day.

Thanks everyone. Your thoughts, opinions, and comments are appreciated.
 

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FWIW, I'd fix your RC, install a clutch, and wouldn't hesitate to go a cutting with it. The 2305 is a phenomenal tractor. We have tons of members who can vouch for it. Just because it has some drawbacks (everything does, and at least you know about them.), I'd go about my business and work my way around them. The clutch, installed and adjusted properly, will protect you, your cutter, and most importantly, the tractor.

And try to remember, everything you read about these issues on internet forums is magnified. There are thousands of these tractors in service. Only a very small percentage have been effected. Back in the days before the internet, you wouldn't know about defects until it's too late or your dealer told you about it. Today we are armed with tons of information. Use it to your advantage.:thumbup1gif:


Just my .0000002 cents.:good2:
 

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rtgt,

All good points. You sound like a respectable and discriminating fellow. I hope you'll be a regular here at GTT, if I can manage not to steam your kettle on a regular basis. :laugh: FWIW, the 2305 is an excellent machine. The gripes I had were only minor with functionality, not quality. Features like the drive over/auto connect mowing deck & folding ROPS. With things like forks and the 260 backhoe on that tractor, it is really a marvel in a small package. It can get where many others can't and kick some serious buttocks while there.

Jason,

Thanks for articulating some points better than I am able. They should sell sneakers in sets of three for me. :laugh:
 

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I switched from the 2305 to the 1026R for the position control. In all other aspects I really loved my 2305 and ran a 4' KK rear cutter over a 2 acre field every couple weeks for two years without a hint of complaint (It was a heavy fella too with 1/2" bars). I also used it to clear several overrun trails and recover the edge of that field when I first got the property.

Don't be silly and pop the PTO on at full revs, and size the shaft properly... and it'll run forever without issue.

Enjoy!
 
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