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Discussion Forum

Ford 501 Sickle Bar Mower

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10-11-2009 15:27:59

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I am looking at at 501 sickle bar mower that I would be putting on a newer JD 4720 with its 3ph. The mower appears to be in very good shape but is the pitman arm type. Want to use for road side mowing and along walls. Does anyone know if I would have any trouble using this on my JD tractor? Thanks.

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BobH in NH

10-12-2009 17:39:50

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 Re: Ford 501 Sickle Bar Mower in reply to bigblue, 10-11-2009 15:27:59  
There are two different models of the 501, a short pitman version designed for smaller utilities, like the Ford N-series, and a long pitman version, designed for larger tractors like the Ford 5000 and my JD 2010RC. The short pitman version normally was equipped with triangular shaped stabilizer brackets which pivoted on an extension of the 3pt hitch arm lift pins with the opposite point being clamped to the 3pt hitch lower lift arm. The long pitman version depended on the stabilizers built into the tractor (like the "elephant ears" on the larger John Deeres) and had a single clamp mechanism onto the left 3pt hitch arm to lift the outer end of the cutterbar when raising the mower. This clamping mechanism was designed for the larger 3pt lift arms.

That said, while the mower can most likely be made to fit your tractor, find a pitmanless mower of you want to mow other than horizontal.

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10-12-2009 04:01:17

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 Re: Ford 501 Sickle Bar Mower in reply to bigblue, 10-11-2009 15:27:59  
What I have done was get a set of Ford lift arms and put them on the tractor that I am going to be using. It took me a long tim to figure that its all in the lift arms.
I have used my 501 on different New Holland tractors. Just change the lift arms, and don't worry about the sway chains or stabilizer bars on the new tractors, the 501 has them all ready there.
You want to get a set of lift arms that fit a 600/800/601/801 or the 4 cyl 2000/4000 series Ford tractors.
I found that my 501 sickle mower works perfect on my New Holland 1520 with the Hydrostat transmission. Good luck.

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10-11-2009 19:02:01

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 Re: Ford 501 Sickle Bar Mower in reply to bigblue, 10-11-2009 15:27:59  
If I were you I would look for a 505 or a pitmanless one that will mow over a bank or up the side of a hill. I have a 14-2 dearborn which is the first 3pt model ford built . I like it, but do not like the fact that it will only mow horizonaly .

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Scott Pa

10-11-2009 17:18:36

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 Re: Ford 501 Sickle Bar Mower in reply to bigblue, 10-11-2009 15:27:59  
The newer tractors do not have the correct length or thickness 3 point hitch arms, so the pto will not be the correct length or not stay together if the cutterbar breaks back when hitting an object or the mounting clamps will not hold the mower solid, it will not mow banks or ditches since it has the pitman.

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10-11-2009 21:08:43

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 Re: Ford 501 Sickle Bar Mower in reply to Scott Pa, 10-11-2009 17:18:36  
That's disappointing but better to know now. I suppose I could double check the PTO shaft length and compare to my arms/PTO but I didn't realize the pitman arm only allows level mowing. Good to know that. Thanks

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