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Discussion Starter #1
So the other day I decided to wash my Deere and noticed that there were cracks in the tie downs on the back of my machine. Not only are they cracked but they also are bent. What I don't understand is why did Deere use such thin metal for the rear tie down points? I have never pulled with my machine, this is only from trailering on occasion. I havent measured it but I believe the metal is somewhere around 1/4" thick, I would think 1/2" would be much better suited for securing a 6700 lb machine to a trailer. So all in all, I will be beefing up my tie downs soon, I need to come up with a design that will fit with what is existing and look factory (I am kinda a perfectionist):lol: but it also has to hold up to the job. Any ideas? Here are some pictures for reference, the tie downs were also bent when I got my Deere however i straitened them out which probably influenced the crack between the tie down and it's gusset. As you can see I have ran my Deere since I washed it, yep it's dirty again. I have used red lines and red boxes to show the overall condition of my tie downs.

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I am curious what it measures, it looks thicker than 1/4" in the pictures-at least 3/8". If it was mine, I think I would just re-weld it. You don't know how it was abused by the previous owner.
 

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Ditto to Kenny's remarks...........

I am curious what it measures, it looks thicker than 1/4" in the pictures-at least 3/8". If it was mine, I think I would just re-weld it. You don't know how it was abused by the previous owner.
However- I know my limitations, and with something as important as 'Tie-Downs', I'd take it to a certified weld shop, or Kenny's house! :laugh: Someone obviously has over torqued the chain binders........just to be "extra safe"! I thought they typically cross chained the rear tie-down I.E. left machine side to the right trailer corner, and right, to left trailer corner.......~Scotty
 

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I would just get another piece of plate the same thickness and cut a piece that matches with the bottom half of the existing tie-down point, and weld it to the existing one. All you really need to do is reinforce the bottom of the loop to keep it from bending and fix the crack. If you do a neat job it will look factory installed.

The strength on the factory welds should be something like 60,000 psi or something, right? That bottom loop will break long before the entire tie-down bracket pulls off the frame. As long as you only use the tie-down points to secure the machine on a trailer for hauling, and not to tow stuff around, it should last as long as the machine.
 

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Yup, I would get out the grinder, the blue wrench (torch), drilling hammer, and my trusty welder and repair what's there. You could reinforce it if you wanted to, but you shouldn't have to. I'd be interested in the thickness measurement as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for all the suggestions guys, i really appreciate it! I will measure it when I get home tonight, I too am curious on how thick it is. I also have been thinking of beefing it up by slapping another plate to the outside (laser cut so it looks factory) to ensure my rear tie downs will last a long long time. I will probably look into getting a quote on a couple pieces of steel lasered out just to see what my upgrade would cost me. I have the access to the proper tools as well. I will keep you guys updated!
 

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Before you buy any parts, wash it off and hit the suspect areas with a wire brush. The bends aren't a big deal in my opinion, that happens on machinery that's hauled a lot and chained down improperly or too tight. It might not be cracked at the bottom, at least not all the way across. It looks like that may be a chip of metal coming loose on the top portion of the bottom, where the chain hits when you fasten it down. If that's the case, as long as the chip isn't very large and doesn't have further cracking around it, you could leave it alone. Maybe hit it with a grinder if you wanted to smooth it out some.

Interested in seeing what you come up with!
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
Last night I went out and did some measuring. My rear tie downs are 5/16" thick. Not really thick enough if you ask me...
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So what did I do? In 2007 Deere upgraded several things on the 300 series, beefing up the tie downs was one of them. So since i have access to a 2007 Deere I got to do some measuring. Turns out they doubled the thickness of the tie down, 9/16" thick. This particular unit has been trailer quite a bot and tied down in the same fashion as my 317.
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So what is next? Well this weekend I will be able to really take a look into it, if it is truely cracked it will definatly be welded, I am really thinking about having a couple 5/16" thick plates made so I can give the 317 the "2007" upgrade, however it will likely be a bigger plate of steel for extra strength. I will keep you guys updated as things progress. :thumbup1gif:
 

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If you want to "get" plates made, you will have to be able to supply them with a .dxf or .dwg file for the best price, if you give them a hand-drawn drawing you will have to pay them to draw it for their machine. Just getting two plates cut (plasma would be cheaper than laser, and perfectly adequate) will probably not be cost effective.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If you want to "get" plates made, you will have to be able to supply them with a .dxf or .dwg file for the best price, if you give them a hand-drawn drawing you will have to pay them to draw it for their machine. Just getting two plates cut (plasma would be cheaper than laser, and perfectly adequate) will probably not be cost effective.
Thanks for the advice. Sounds like a slight change of plans but gotta do what you gotta do. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well guys, this morning I had a small job to do with my 317 so I got it out and greased it. I also drained the water from the water separator filter, primed it with fuel, started it up, ran for 15 seconds and died. Basically, when I primed it there must have been air in the fuel lines so it acted as if I had run it out of fuel. After cranking it over i knew I would trash my new battery so I hooked up the diesel pickup to it and jumped the battery. I really wanted to bleed the injectors but of course they are located towards the front of the engine in a place where you cannot possibly get your arm and a wrench to, let alone see what you are doing. Fortunately, with the pickup hooked up to it I got it fired up and let it run for a while to charge up the battery. Now I know what it is like to run a Diesel out of fuel, I never will do that again. :hide: Anyways, I also got some better pictures of the cracks in my rear tie downs. They appear to be pretty deep, maybe 50% of the thickness of the tie down loop itself. Now that the job is done I have it around some real welding equipment so hopefully i can get this thing welded back together this week. Still need to decide if i am gonna do the double plate idea, i like it but my Grandpa thinks just a couple welds will work fine. I think i am gonna trust his word on this one.
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Discussion Starter #13
Okay guys, yesterday it was Labor day and my grandpa said i needed to work. So I thought for a whole 25 seconds and numerous projects popped into my mind. :lol: I decided top priority was getting my rear tie downs welded. I also decided I would take my grandpa's advice on just welding the cracks and not adding plates. So I got out the wire wheel and cleaned up around the cracks as best I could.
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Next Both I made 1 weld and my grandpa wanted to make 1 weld. I made the weld on the right tie down. They aren't that pretty but as long as they hold up that is all that counts.
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