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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Got my Johnny Bucket Jr! Thought I'd share my first impressions.

First, the good. The JBJr seems to work great, and I'm glad I got the Power Dump option. Makes dumping and retracting as easy as pushing a button. Carrying material is much easier than pushing it with the dozer blade, no more losing traction. I did find that trying to cut into packed material does cause me to lose traction, so perhaps there is no way around this without adding tire weights (I only have chains now, no weights).

The actuators work great. I can't even imagine using a cable winch. When you reach the end of the actuator limit, it emits a clicking sound, so it appears you cannot damage the actuator by keeping the switch down too long, or at least I hope not. The actuators give quite a great deal of fine control. They are a tad slow, however, but since the up/down distance isn't very far, it's tolerable.

In general, the installation was straightforward, and much easier than the dozer blade, which had a zillion parts. I did initially mix up the actuators, since I assumed they were identical, and had to call Johnny to set me straight. The most difficult is that the winch plate and the bucket mount were the wrong width, and it took me several attempts to figure out the best way to overcome this. More about this later.

Now, the bad. The JBJr frame brackets, which replace the factory frame brackets, do not appear to be compatible with the mower deck or the dozer blade. The mower deck has an "H" bracket that attaches from the front of the mower deck to the tractor frame. This bracket puts rearward pressure on the deck and ensures the belts are tight. The new JBJr frame brackets do not have the holes to which to attach this "H" bracket. I suppose I can try running the mower deck without this "H" bracket, but I feel keeping the tension on the belts is important, especially with tall grass. Likewise, the JBJr frame brackets do not have the holes/slots required for the dozer blade.

I suppose I can have new frame brackets created by a metal shop, but the reason I went with the expensive JBJr (as opposed to a custom Swisher bucket) was to avoid redesigning the wheel. I may have to do this, as I want to use the dozer blade for snow removal in the winter, and I really don't want to have to reinstall the frame brackets each time I switch implements.

Another problem is that the JBJr is built for a GT5000 frame of a different width. I called Johnny about this and he said that the GT5000s have different frame widths. I was able to make it work by using washers as spacers to fill the gaps. It seems to work. I have a 2004 GT5000, by the way. So new buyers, beware.

Since I'm carrying light materials (horse manure), I do wish the bucket were larger. Perhaps some sort of extension plate that bolts to the bottom of the bucket would be nice.

Anyone run into the above problems and have solutions? Especially how do you JBJr owners use the mower deck and dozer blade with the JBJr frame brackets?

Thanks!
 

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Just a thought as I'm reading this, I don't have the JBJr yet, but I do have the same model GT as the one used as a loaner for designing the JBJr. My deck doesn't have the "H" bracket but it has two seperate links that hook up the same way. Are you sure the bracket for the JBJr doesn't mount over the existing brackets for the mower? I'm only asking because you mention needing to use washers to close the gaps, are the gaps the same width as the mower mounting brackets?
I'd really be surprised to see different widths on the same series of tractor frame. I'm pretty sure all the drawbars are the same for example. so I don't see how they could fit unless the frames had the same width.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Sixchows -

Interesting thought. I tried mounting the JBJr brackets on top of the existing brackets, and discovered that the factory bolts are not long enough to go through both brackets and into the frame. These bolts are tapered (coming to a dull point, like a screw) and it appears the tractor frame itself is threaded; there is no nut on the inside of the frame. I tried using the bolts from the JBJr, as they are longer, but they did not seem to match the threads.

It is possible that the design of the JBJr is to attach its mounting brackets on top of the factory brackets and use the same holes, but longer bolts. I'm not sure if the new JBJr bracket would cover existing mounting holes on the factory bracket.

It's an excellent suggestion, and may in fact explain why the other parts (winch plate, etc.) appear to be the wrong width.

I'll go check. Thanks!
 

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After I posted, I went out and looked at the front of mine. The snowblower brackets are still on and they mount over the mower brackets and can stay on all year without interfering with the mower. The only time they would need to be removed is to change over to the snow plow/dozer blade. Those brackets take the place of the snowblower brackets and mount over the mower brackets as well.
Any auto parts should be able to match up a bolt, maybe even HD in those seperate drawers they have with hitch pins etc. Or you could put a longer bolt with the same threads in and a lock washer and nut behind if you have room.
 

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I am going to be straight up and blunt here, if it upsets some one I am sorry but this has to be done.

These tractors are the same the frames are the same and you need to stop trying to rewrite the instructions that came with your JBjr and install it as per the instructions.

You are not following the instructions and that is the reason you are having trouble, you have removed the brackets that are needed to pull the deck and you were not to do that (you can not operate the deck with out the plate to pull it), you were to replace the self tapping screws used (as per the instructions) with the ones supplied by JB, they are a bit tight but they will thread right up. The threads are the same, the difference is the hole is just a bit tight due to the self-tapping bolts that were used.

If you cannot follow written instructions have it installed by some one who can.

I am sorry if this sounds ugly but I cannot sit here and let you continue to tear up your new machine removing parts that should stay in place because you are not following the JBjr bucket instructions to the letter.

Bob
 

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I'm with MGM on this one. My JBJr buckled right up to my DGT6K, and I have the 'Canadian' model :)canada: ), which usually means nothing works out to be the same. But the JBJr did.

My first impressions of my JBJr are fantastic. My only wish is that I purchased the power dump. And may upgrade later as I return my empties. I'll be moving a truck load of gravel and dirt around the company property this week, so she'll get a good test.

So far I have torn down some pretty good sized ant hill, have dug and moved some ground, and have used it as lift to get under my tractor - deck comes off real easy now. :D

I wish it could dig a little better (not the fault of the bucket, just not a heavy enough tractor), and when it scoops, I wish the dirt would fall better to the back of the bucket. In other words, if you are digging and scooping, the dirt tends to roll out of the front of the bucket before I lift it. Anyone know if there is an adjustment for this?

It makes my little tractor feel like a big tractor.

SnowMower
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Sixchows - When I read your post a few days ago, I went out and measured the brackets, and indeed you are correct, the new JBJr brackets mount over the existing factory ones.

MGM - You are correct about using the JBJr bolts to replace the factory self-tapping bolts. Took some finesse to start them without stripping them, but they eventually went in. I got sidetracked because the winch plate doesn't match the picture in the instructions, and I assumed I was sent the wrong part. Johnny explained that the instructions (at least the pictures) are outdated. The rest is history.

Thanks, everyone, for the insights. The next challenge is to figure out how to use the dozer blade with the JBJr. The JBJr brackets cover the dozer blade mounting holes on the factory brackets. I assume the JBJr brackets will need to be modified. Any creative ideas? I'd hate to cut the brackets and find they aren't strong enough for the bucket. Anyone use both the dozer blade and JBJr?

Thanks!
 

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That is a very good question about modifying the brackets.

I am torn between my snowblower back onto my LTX1000 for which I am already set up, or trying to find a way to put it on the new DGT6K. The latter would be my preferred machine.

Will probably have to drill a few holes in the mounting bracket. Suppose I should start looking into this snooner rather than later.

Good luck.

SnowMower
 
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