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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
DSCF1788.JPG I need help identifying the front end loader arms. I bought the 2040 tractor with the front end loader installed but it came with a forklift attachment. The guy who sold me the tractor had an extra bucket and threw it in, but I tried to install it onto the arms and it doesn't fit. I have included pictures and you can see that the brackets on the bucket have been cut off and re-welded incorrectly. The gap is way off on one side and close on the other. I could waste time and cut and weld again, but I don't want to do that. Instead I plan to purchase a new bucket. The problem is I have to identify the loader so I can order a bucket that will fit on it. I hope someone very familiar with John Deere parts will recognize the model number of the loader and help me figure out the right bucket for it. I have already looked everywhere on the loader for a data plate, but it has probably been scraped off over time.
 

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:wgtt:


Your loader doesn't look familiar, and I doubt even if you knew the model number you'd find a new bucket to fit.
 

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Appears to be a third party loader for your 2040. Note the bucket operating cylinder mounted to the center of the boom tube torque beam.
 

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It's hard to imagine that someone welded it up that much and then it was "off" because otherwise it seems like the correct bucket configuration for that particular loader. Since the bucket wasn't attached when you bought it, is it possible the loader arms are tweaked causing it not to fit properly?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
two_in_one.jpg Except for the center cylinder ram being smaller than what should be original, I'm pretty sure its a model 143.I just hope someone can confirm or deny definitively. It is an original John Deere FEL, but it was painted over. Under the paint I can still see a few of the John Deere logos and I've attempted to scrape paint away from most of them. Instead of the bucket, what was attached when I bought it was a forklift attachment. This is because the tractor was being used to load and transfer Apple crates. Its an awesome running machine with very low hours and lots of power. I just might have to bight the bullet and cut and move the brackets on the current bucket to match. The arms do not look out of alignment or warped. The loader works great. Actually the forklift attachment has been very useful and so far I've just put a sheet of plywood on the forks when I wanted to carry something. But now I need to scrape and push brush down. If I can't find a bucket to match, eventually I'll have to visit the local John Deere store and buy a whole new setup.
 

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It does look very much like a 143 loader when comparing to the parts breakdown pics.

It looks like the bucket you have has had quite a bit of work done on it already. Those weld marks would indicate that it wasn't an original bucket. Someone cut those mounting tabs off and relocated them. I'm kinda wondering if that bucket ever fit on that loader at all.
 

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nice looking tractor u got there, sounds like some of the deals I've run into over the years. I would think a good welder could cut the one side off and reweld it back on to fit correctly. wouldn't that be cheaper than a whole new bucket. what does jd say about what model # FIT that year type of tractor u have. good luck, big jim
 

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I would start by measuring the distance between the arms at the cross-member and then at the bucket end to see if the arms have spread a bit after years of use.

Second, if it were me, I would see if I could just coax the arms into the bucket brackets and see how much load/stress there is on the arms. If not too much, I would just go with it.

Maybe someone on GTT has something similar and can measure their FEL/Bucket for you to compare.

Just my 2 cents.
 
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Looks pretty similar to my 48 loader. Except for the way the center cylinder hooks to the torque tube. That may have been changed though. I can measure mine if you want but I don't think it will help much. You don't find buckets for that style loader to often. If it were me I'd look for an adapter to make it quick attach and get a compatible bucket for the adapter. I found it is a pain taking the bucket off and putting a bale spike on. It has to be taken off on perfectly level ground and then still figure on using bars and large punches to get it back in line to reattach. I was going to get an adapter at one time but after getting a skid steer I hardly use the loader anymore though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you all. Some very good ideas and advice. I think the first thing is getting everything on level ground and then see how far off alignment it really is. I haven't spoken to a John Deere rep yet, but I know that the 2040 tractor was set up with about five different loaders over the years that it was in production and the 143 was one of the loader assemblies they used with it. In any case, I attempted last night to remove the paint around where the model numbers are located at the bottom of the loaders vertical support. Definitely three numbers, but using light sand and paint remover, I was only able to expose what's left of the middle number which is definitely a 4. It would be cheaper to try and save the bucket if I can and it's true that it might be close to impossible to replace it unless I get lucky and find one on craigslist or sitting in the yard at a tractor supply store. In any case, I have learned more than I knew a week ago and I have a few options.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
What I finally did to fix it

I thought I would use some of the suggestions you all provided and take some action to fix this bucket. So I pulled out the sawsall, Plasma cutter, grinders and Mig welder and went to town. I posted pictures so you can see. On the left side, I had to cut the inside lapped support and put it on the outside and re-weld. On the right side, I was able to grind some and heat and bang enough to make room for the loader arm. I went to my local John Deere shop in Sumner, WA and sure enough they had my exact tractor with (would you believe it! a 143 FEL). So I realized what was wrong with the middle bracket. It was too narrow when the bucket was tilted all the way back. Normally the sides of the brackets on the bucket are wide enough to allow the entire outer shaft of the cylinder when the ram is closed. So, I cut away the top section and ground it down nicely to make a smooth rounded edge. Finally I bought a quart of John Deere paint and covered up the bad weld job. fixed.jpg
 

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Nice job Buck, that will provide many more years of faithful service :thumbup1gif:
 
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