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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower

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James Howell

05-25-2010 15:59:47

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Repaired and serviced our JD 350 sickle mower over the past two weekends.

Last year the spring broke on the bottom end and had to use "farmer tech" to finish the season.


Decided to replace the spring and chain this year.


New OEM spring and OEM chain made a huge difference in the "float" on both the inner and outer shoe.

Also added a new OEM tilt screw and OEM lever for adjusting the yoke/cutter bar.


Drive belt had some "slack" so tightened the drive belt.


Inspected the knife and noticed that the knifehead was cracked and was secured by only one rivet.


Installed the new spare knife.


Removed last section and replaced with new section-and-a-half.


Removed an old grassboard from another JD 350 mower.


Removed all the "farmer tech" and cleaned it up.


Adjusted the lead from last year's setting a bit more than 90o as recommended by the Operator's Manual.


Applied grease to all the fittings, belt dressing on the belt, and WD40 liberally on the cutter bar and knife.

Ran the mower to check for noise, heat, and/or wear.

Used it last weekend to cut Rye grass at the old Ragan house.

Worked really good cutting the tall Rye grass.

Only hit one tree; but no damage to the mower.

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05-27-2010 07:00:14

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to James Howell, 05-25-2010 15:59:47  
How is the needle bearing under the wobble arm? If that bearing is gone mow just fine but eat drive heads.

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James Howell

05-27-2010 10:59:07

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to ET, 05-27-2010 07:00:14  
To be honest I haven't removed the cover and inspected the bearings on this mower.

If another knife head cracks, then I'll know what to check.

Thank you for the information; it is greatly appreciated.

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05-26-2010 20:32:32

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to James Howell, 05-25-2010 15:59:47  
James, when you say you changed it from 90 degrees, does the grass head point closer to the front of the tractor or further back from the front? Looks like in the pictures that it is still pretty close to 90 degrees of the rear wheels?

How did you adjust it from 90 degrees? Looks like you did something to the break away?


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James Howell

05-27-2010 05:41:41

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to Dweitzel, 05-26-2010 20:32:32  
Got to thinking about the reply from GordoSD about 90o being zero ( 0o ) and I agree with him.

Operator's Manual "generally" states that the mower should travel at a 90o angle to the tractor.

Increasing the lead causes the outer shoe (the grass head point) to be closer to the front of the tractor.

The break-away bar is threaded on the end that "locks" on the yoke.

Increasing or decreasing the lead is done by adjusting the length of the break-away bar.

On this 9ft mower, the break-away bar was detached at the frame end.

Turned the break-away bar clockwise which shortened the length and increased the lead.

Hope this helps.

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05-26-2010 11:09:10

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to James Howell, 05-25-2010 15:59:47  
so will the grass grow back there in Texas? or is too hot now and it will wait until fall to grow much?

I THINK I have my last 350 mower problem figured out - we will see.....

if you still have that broken spring a guy with a torch can heat up the coil get it to just about melt then grab hold with vise grips or something and put a new hook on it

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James Howell

05-26-2010 11:48:52

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to ChrisLSD, 05-26-2010 11:09:10  
That's the problem with several areas of our farm not used for hay production; cut the grass and it keeps growing back.

Hope you've got your 350 mower problem solved; if not maybe somebody on the forum can help out.

The broken spring that was replaced had a chain link welded on it.

Problem was that one link made the difference of too loose with no float or too tight with outer shoe off the ground.

With the correct spring and correct chain, the float was great.

Followed setup steps in the operator's manual and worked great.

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05-26-2010 04:30:06

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to James Howell, 05-25-2010 15:59:47  
Cutting short light grass like that is a real test of a sickle bar. looks like you got it working very well.

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James Howell

05-26-2010 05:12:40

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to Showcrop, 05-26-2010 04:30:06  
Sometime during that cutting, sheared one rivet on a section.

Same section also was "chipped" on one side.

Removed and replaced it later that afternoon.

Was well pleased with how the mower was cutting.

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05-25-2010 17:10:19

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to James Howell, 05-25-2010 15:59:47  
GREAT job, James!

Wanna tune mine up a bit... it needs a new tube for the PTO shaft and the shields replaced.

I don't make hay, just trim roads and around the farmstead, so I don't need it for a while!

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James Howell

05-25-2010 17:52:27

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to Bob, 05-25-2010 17:10:19  
Thank you for the compliment; we like to keep/maintain our equipment in good working order.

Sounds like a lot of work, but basically did the same service and adjustments on this one last year.

Was really pleased how much difference the new spring and new chain made on the float; money well spent in my book.

Cleaned up the PTO shield on this mower and put it back on.

We have a 2nd 9ft mower that came with this 9ft mower.

It is next in line to be reworked.

We bought a 4th 350 mower (7ft) a few weeks ago down near Huntsville, TX.

Right now it is too ugly for photos.

At some point in the future I'll rework it and put it back in service.

Took the PTO shaft off it and used it with this one.

Previous owner had a new shaft with new universal joint for the tractor side hookup.

Also came with a new 7ft knife in the box.

As you know these mowers really work good if they're set up right.

Appreciate all the help you give me and others on the forums concerning all the various JD sickle mowers.

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05-26-2010 07:30:01

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to James Howell, 05-25-2010 17:52:27  
Agree with the lead. 90 degrees is zero. But disagree with the WD-40. It's NOT a lubricant. Try a rattle can of chain lube, it's available at you local IH dealer:) Going to knock down my alfalfa this afternoon. Have a new to me Gehl 2160 haybine that I went through this winter. Oh and yeah a new (2010) Farmall 95 CAH MFD. What a nice ride.


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James Howell

05-26-2010 13:12:11

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 Re: John Deere 9ft 350 Sickle Mower in reply to GordoSD, 05-26-2010 07:30:01  
The WD40 is used primarily to check for "tight" hold down clips on a new knife.

If the hold down is too tight, the WD40 turns a light chocalate brown on top of the two new sections.

When finished cutting will check the top of all sections under hold down clips for wear and adjust if necessary.

Really like working the sickle mowers, but I pay a lot more attention to how they're cutting than any other mower.

Good luck with your alfalfa this afternoon.

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