John Deere three bottom turnover plow - at least 60 years old!!

mcmxi

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I think it could be interesting to start a thread about the John Deere plow that I bought this week in case anyone else is interested in buying an old piece of equipment, fixing it up and using it. I don't farm for a living, don't intend or need to make money from plowing, and probably won't plow more than 10 to 20 acres twice a year. So the point of this thread is to document repairing, replacing, upgrading and using what appears to be a 60+ year-old plow.

So why a plow? Well, after spending 16 or more hours cutting a friend's 10+ acres of weeds a few weekends ago, we had a conversation along the lines of "we should grow something here that will be good for bees (my friend has bee hives), will provide habitat for upland birds, that could be a food source for deer, that will help keep weeds down, and that might even produce a crop to consume or sell". After that conversation I started looking at new plows, and specifically two and three bottom turnover plows that are more efficient than the fixed type. Do I need a plow to help out my friend, maybe, maybe not, but it sure would be fun to get a 60 year old plow working again, do some tillage, learn a new skill and have some tractor fun along the way.

After requesting a quote on a very nice and very modern three bottom turnover plow from Kuhn, and being told that it would be $28,000 for the base model, I decided that I should find something way cheaper, and something that would work well enough for my twice yearly "plow day". Something that I could pull behind the M6060 when needed, but something that will sit idle for 363 days a year.

As it turns out, the place that quoted me for the Kuhn also sells various used and new implements and farm equipment and they happened to have both a three bottom and a four bottom turnover plow made by John Deere. So off I went, and after looking at both, thinking that the four bottom looked way too big and heavy (Kubota states that the M6060 is rated for a 14" three bottom) and seeing some significant and poorly executed repairs on the four bottom, decided to buy the three bottom. I knew right away that the hoses were junk, but they're cheap enough so I wasn't overly concerned. The plow appeared to be complete to my untrained eye with the exception of not having any coulters, and there was one repair and subsequent failure made to a fairly small bracket/brace that I can take care of.

Things I didn't know included whether or not the vane type rotary cylinder worked (rotates the plow bottoms) or whether or not as it sat would it do a decent job of turning over a relatively stone-free field.

Running total:
John Deere three bottom turnover plow - $1,200

Pole Creek Supply Co. in St. Ignatius, MT and loading up the plow for the 80 mile trip home.

st-ignatius.jpg


plow_01.jpg


plow_02.jpg


plow_06.jpg


plow_07.jpg
 
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mcmxi

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The first step once I got the plow home was to get it off the trailer. An easy job for the MX6000.

mx_plow.jpg
 
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mcmxi

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The next step was to get the plow on the back of the M6060. After the usual back and forth I figured out that it's not QH15 compatible but had little trouble connecting it directly to the 3-point. The hole I used for the top link and pin is wallowed out so that will need to be addressed. Also, the CAT 2 pin extensions that the lower links connect to might be worn too but that's not a priority.

Next up was to remove the old, cracked and worn out hoses and nasty fittings and get new hoses/fittings made up. I didn't want to contaminate the hydraulic fluid in the M so I connected one of the new hoses between the rotary cylinder and one port on one of the rear remotes. After cutting the old Pioneer fitting off one of the old hoses, I connected it to the rotary cylinder and placed the cut end in a 5 gallon bucket. By operating the valve with the engine running I was able to force clean hydraulic fluid through the rotary cylinder and into the bucket. Finally I installed the second new hose between the rotary cylinder and rear remote and squirted grease into the two zerk fittings responsible for the interface between the inner rotating shaft and outer housing. A quick test showed that the turnover mechanism works fine.

The last step today was to clean off the plow using a pressure washer in preparation for the next phase which is repair and replace.

Running total: $1,275.90
John Deere three bottom turnover plow - $1,200
Two new hoses with NPT and Pioneer fittings - $75.90

m6060_plow_01.jpg
 
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mcmxi

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Selfishly I’d love to read a user review if you ever pull the little green goblin with the MX…also I am curious what you decide to plant. Good luck. 🥃
I don't ever see that happening. I think it'd be way too much for the MX. I'll keep you posted on the field though.
 
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mcmxi

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A slight detour, but it's interesting to think about what you have to pay for a good quality new plow. The 14" two bottom 3-point plow from Everything Attachments is a little over $2,100 not including shipping to MT. There are other options for sure, but if I were going to buy a new plow I would be looking at this model for starters.


If all in I can spend $2,500 or less and end up with a good turnover three bottom plow that does a nice job of turning over a field I'll be more than happy. Heck, if I end up at $3k I'll be happy.

OK, back to the John Deere. So before I can figure out what I need I should know what I have. I found a really good resource for John Deere plows and it seems that the plow I have is a John Deere 825 of some sort. It turns out that it was most likely made before 1960 because the main structural members are solid steel and not square or rectangular tubing.


It also appears that the plow uses HS plow bottoms which are common so I shouldn't have a problem finding moldboards, shares, shins, or landside plates. Coulters are easy to find too, but the hardware to install the coulters might need to be custom.
 
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rc51stierhoff

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Not sure if out your way it’s a popular past time to walk a freshly plowed field to look for artifacts, but if you are going to be turning soil near a river, before you get too happy with the throttle to spread seed you might want to wait for a rain after you turn the soil, put the boots on and give it a walk over and see what you turned up…might be worth a walk.
 
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rc51stierhoff

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A slight detour, but it's interesting to think about what you have to pay for a good quality new plow. The 14" two bottom 3-point plow from Everything Attachments is a little over $2,100 not including shipping to MT. There are other options for sure, but if I were going to buy a new plow I would be looking at this model I'm sure.


If I can end up spending $2,500 or less and end up with a good turnover three bottom plow that does a nice job of turning over a field I'll be more than happy.

OK, back to the John Deere. So before I can figure out what I need I should know what I have. I found a really good resource for John Deere plows and it seems that the plow I have is a John Deere 825 of some sort. It turns out that it was most likely made before 1960 because the main structural members are solid steel and not square or rectangular tubing.

According to EA spec both your machines would be over powered…unless you have some way to limit the speed/horsepower…although maybe the R4s do that for free…although I am not sure an HST would be the right to for the job either way😂. That’s where I wonder would the MX even lift your plow off the back end, and it you tried to pull it would it even keep the front end down, assuming it have the weight / traction to try to pull her.
 
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mcmxi

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According to EA spec both your machines would be over powered…unless you have some way to limit the speed/horsepower…although maybe the R4s do that for free…although I am not sure an HST would be the right to for the job either way😂. That’s where I wonder would the MX even lift your plow off the back end, and it you tried to pull it would it even keep the front end down, assuming it have the weight / traction to try to pull her.
It's hard to find a new three bottom plow it seems, unless you want to pay a lot of money. If you look in the MX6000 manual in the Implement Limitations section, it states that the max. size of a bottom plow is 16in. x 2 so the EA one above would be fine. I wouldn't pull it with the M6060 for sure, but the MX with the HST and less weight would probably be a good match.
 
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mcmxi

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Figuring out what you don't know.

I'm sure some here are very experienced when it comes to plows and know every single part, but that's not where I'm starting from. So for those of us that don't know, here's an image with some parts of an HS type plow bottom called out. These are all parts that can be readily purchased if necessary.

It amazes me but John Deere actually has some parts diagrams for this old plow on their website.


plow_parts_2.jpg


plow_parts.jpg
 
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mcmxi

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The biggest challenge now will be figuring out the coulters. I can buy new moldboards, shins, shares, and landside plates if needed, but the coulters are nowhere near as simple. Pole Creek Supply Co. has a bunch of coulters and brackets laying around the place so it'll probably mean spending a few hours there one morning figuring it all out.
 

D2Cat

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If you have an abandoned RR track, dragging that plow through those cinders will clean it faster then anything, and make it much easier to pull.

Can't you remove one bottom on each half to make it a two bottom and much easier to pull?
 
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GreensvilleJay

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OK, gotta ask, just how far away are those pretty little mountains in the first picture ?
Your 60hp (?) tractor should pull that plow just fine. My 60 year old Allis-Chalmers D-14 pulls a 'normal' 3 bottom plow all day long in OK soil.
You may not need coulters, providing the grass is low and dry. But, once you know the model number, you may be able to find the coulter parts as those were probably used on lots of plows.
Looking forward to seeing it in action !!!
 
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mcmxi

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If you have an abandoned RR track, dragging that plow through those cinders will clean it faster then anything, and make it much easier to pull.

Can't you remove one bottom on each half to make it a two bottom and much easier to pull?
Yes, it wouldn't be too difficult to remove the rearmost bottom, but I'm going to pull it with the M6060 which is much better suited to ground engaging work compared to the MX and it should manage just fine.

I'm not aware of an abandoned railroad track near me but interesting idea for sure.
 

mcmxi

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OK, gotta ask, just how far away are those pretty little mountains in the first picture ?
Your 60hp (?) tractor should pull that plow just fine. My 60 year old Allis-Chalmers D-14 pulls a 'normal' 3 bottom plow all day long in OK soil.
You may not need coulters, providing the grass is low and dry. But, once you know the model number, you may be able to find the coulter parts as those were probably used on lots of plows.
Looking forward to seeing it in action !!!
How far away from what? From where I live, from the place I bought the plow, from you? :LOL: Those mountains are part of the Mission Mountain range that runs from the North end of Flathead Lake all the way down to Missoula.

I think just about any coulter of an appropriate size will work, but the hardware to mount them to the plow might be tricky. I'll be looking into that this weekend. I'm not concerned with maintaining any historical accuracy with this plow, I just want it to work and work well. I've already started to paint parts of the plow Kubota orange! (y)

I find painting helps me spot issues more easily and will help during the tear down. I plan on removing all the moldboards, shins, shares, landside plates, frog, supports etc. CHS in town is a dealer for Wiese Tillage so I'll get pricing on various parts tomorrow.

Yeah, I'm looking forward to using it in October or November.
 
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mcmxi

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Here's what looks to be a nicely restored John Deere 825 showing the coulters, coulter brackets and the placement of the coulters.

825_2.jpg
 
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BAP

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Reach out to the Plow Guy that you put the link in from. He may know of or have the coulters and brackets you need. He has been buying and selling used JD plows for years plus providing new parts he has had made. Really good guy and has done a lot of research on the various models.
 
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