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I ran across a old Ford Flail mower in rusty cosmetic condition but in good mechanical condition (actually first time I have actually seen one up close!) while visiting at a friend's place last night. It appears to be a Ford 72" mower (still has Ford metal plate decal with part and serial number etc) that was used to maintain athletic fields and golf course areas. The mower still works and the roller unit was replaced last year and the current owner doesn't use it enough to justify keeping it. Even with the rust, there is only a couple places where I might like to weld a new plate for support etc.

I was thinking in lieu of having a nice finish mower, that this unit might provide me a nice cut on some of my open pasture areas. Perhaps even a better cut than my bushhog. I really want to get some insight on flail mowers in general as I am not familiar with them. I do understand that in the drum construction they spin off of the differential with the 540 PTO speed and the chains spin around and "flail" the ground/grass and make a pretty decent cut, supposedly much cleaner, quieter and less dangerous to use near people and houses, public places etc. Anyone have any insight into operating, cut quality or anything else? Parts availability? Who made these units for Ford?

I was going to see about cleaning it up, restoring and painting this unit (preferably to match my 8N --- red) -- I know it was originally the Ford xxxx series blue, but you all know how I love Ford Red! :D

Thought it might be a good addition to the barn stuff. ;)

Thanks,
Andy


:tractorsm
 

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My Dad had one on an old Farmall C. worked good. Don;t realy have anything to compair the cut to though, he used it to keep the brush down in a junk yard he owned. It WAS noisy though. Thoses flails make a racket.
 

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Andy

A flail would sure be a nice addition, and I think it will do a nice job on your converted pasture area. As to the noise Paul mentioned it is not an issue if you use it for grass and weeds, they are not meant for cutting brush. On the end of each chain is a replacable knife and if they are sharp it does a super mow job.
The flail will not pick up and throw rocks like a brush hog but like any mower you do not want anybody in harms way when you run it. I have my eye out for a Mott flail to fit a cub.
 

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Thats what the city uses to mow with here does a good job.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
You think it is worth the $200 asking price for a working good condition flail in need of some TLC on the exterior (it is rusted all over and will need a complete resto for looks) There is one spot near the hitch where water must have stood for periods of time and that has a couple holes through the metal. Was thinking I could get it blasted (if there is enough metal left - haha) and then repaint the unit and keep it stored.

Any concerns with the extreme exterior rust and/or ideas for best restoration on it? I think replacement blades/parts are available and if not already --- this unit should be an antique soon! In its exterior condition it looks like one right now! :D

I think it would be a fun unit to have around the place and would love to give it a go on some of the low-cut pasture grass areas. At 6' wide it should get it cut pretty quickly and nicely. As far as the racket, well its gotta be less than my wife can muster.
:furious: :furious: :furious:
 

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I think it's well worth $200....if you get it, rather than having it sandblasted try some of that Ospho on the rust...it neutralizes and stops it...leaves the surface black and paint ready with no removal of material.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Ospho? Do you have any link, supplier or pricing info on this?

Thanks!
Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I found it!

Ospho
Stops rust, prepares rusted surfaces for painting. Ospho is a primer-not a paint. You do not have to remove tight rust. Merely remove loose paint and rust scale, dirt, oil, grease and other accumulation with a wire brush. Apply a coat of Ospho-let it dry overnight, the apply the paint. Whe applied to rusted surfaces, Ospho causes iron oxide (rust) to chemically change to iron phosphate-an inert, hard substance that turns tne metal black. One gallon covers 600 square feet.

I can order a quart of this for about $12.00 (I think 150sq foot coverage will be ok) --- Thanks for the insight on this, Argee. I was concerned about losing too much metal with the blasting.
I will still weld a support plate over the corroded areas and then coat it and then paint it. I need to find a good paint that will yield decent results. I was thinking about going red to match all of my other Howse implements and my 8N but the "true" color scheme of course is Ford xxxx series (NH) series blue. Any comments on this? My opinions is that it is not a collector item but merely something for me to use. Seems like a good fun project. :D

:D

Andy
 

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If your not concerned about keeping it "pure" then go for it!!!

A lot of farmers use to buy new equipment and paint it to match their own color scheme.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Good condition. Blades, belts, roller were replaced recently. It looks pi$$-poor as an implement (I am not one of those that thinks that rust makes something look nice and aged) The side Ford script decal is still in great shape as well as the original Ford metal data plate. I think a good loose rust brushing, prep, treatment and painting will really make this unit shine. Should I paint/treat the underside of the implement likewise? I would guess Yes --- as rust will continue to eat from the inside out.
The chains links (??) that hold the blades are all rusty colored likewise. It simply appears that it was left out and not cared for by someone or some department. In any case, it should be a cool project and learning experience.

Are parts (replacement blades, chains, rollers, etc) readily available still for this early Ford Flail mowers? (I don't know the part number yet)

Thx,
Andy
 

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If in good mechanical condition and the rust is just cosmetic; that is a heck of a bargain. A new flail mower can cost upwards of $4,000 or more.
 

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Flail mowers for garden tractors cost more than $200. I think that if it is in currently useable condition, it is a bargain. From your description, it sounds like mostly it just needs cosmetics.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Well this unit is a little larger than anything that a simple garden tractor can handle. It requires 3pt & at least a decent PTO HP and ability to pull it and its 750-1000#s. I think it is a really good deal and I will keep ya'll posted. I think once it is done it is really going to make a nice extra implement and due to the relatively compact drum size of it --- it shouldn't take up too much room (at least in width)

Andy
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Good recommendations! I am going to look at getting it home, pressure-washed (Thanks Chief for this idea), cleaned, dried and treated with the Ospho, then painted with Ford Red Enamel rattle can. I usually use a HVLP gun but that is for bigger projects and it is over at my neighbors place. I think with that and cleaning of metal plate and logo, it should really make a nice piece.

Thanks for the insight.
Andy
 

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Well we want pictures of before during and after:D
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well, since I have yet to get a utility trailer of my own... I guess I will have rent one and then hightail it over there (about 20 miles) then drive it back home, return the rental trailer and then get back to taking pictures! :D
 

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CHOP CHOP what are you waiting on:lmao:
 
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