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Started Installing the Sleeve Hitch

Discussion in 'Craftsman / Sears' started by FarmerDave, Nov 17, 2003.

  1. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave New Member

    37
    Sep 16, 2003
    Anyone else have trouble with the directions that came with the sleeve hitch? One thing I noticed was that one illustration didn't match my tractor, another was so light I couldn't see what was going on, so I just had to improvise. The BIG lift spring was supposed to go in through the back, but I found it was imposible to run it that way. Instead I had to crawl under the tractor and insert it from front to back.

    One problem I'm not sure about is the long bolt that screws into the end of the lift spring. It goes into the spring one half inch, but what about the hex end of the bolt? Mine is sticking several inches out from the bracket that it runs through. Is that the way it supposed to be?

    I didn't finish installing it this weekend because of the weather. Any info would be appreciated. By the way, I have the GT5000
     
  2. tjw in kans

    tjw in kans Lifetime Supporting Member

    140
    Oct 9, 2003
    farmer dave re:sleeve hitch

    farmer dave i think you are on the right track, my directions didnt match a new style gt5k. after getting it all installed you have to fugure out how to hold the nut at the end of the spring while turning the bolt in an inch or two to increase the spring tension to assit the rear lift, also the mower deck has to be removed to use the rear sleeve hitch. if the long bolt is not backed off to the original position, the mower deck will creep up to the highest setting while mowing. after one use i found this too big pain in the azz, plus trying to use a box scraper with 120# added to it was next to impossible to raise with the deck lever with the bolt ran in all the way on the spring tensioner. my solution was to add an atv winch to the rear plate behind the seat and hook to the hole at the end of the sleeve hitch, removed all the monkey bussiness except the rear pivot arms, it comes off a lot easier than it went on, also had the left rear tire removed for access. now i can scrape gravel driveway without removing the mower deck, raise and lower blade with a push of a button. hope yours works better than mine. if not, repost. good luck.
     

  3. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave New Member

    37
    Sep 16, 2003
    tjw in kans,

    So the long bolt is to adjust the spring tension. Thanks for the help. That's a great idea using a winch to lift the attachments. I figured the lever would be very hard to lift with a box scraper attached, it's hard enough with just the mowers!
     
  4. Ed_GT5000

    Ed_GT5000 Registered User

    639
    Sep 30, 2003
    Hi tjw in kans,
    I would like to see that set up with the winch. Could you post a picture of it ? I think all of us would like to see it. I have heard of this being done but have never seen it.
     
  5. Argee

    Argee Tractor Lover

    Sep 17, 2003
    Michigan
    I installed mine with the mower deck still on. That spring is a real bugger to get hooked in the front. The bolt sticks out a ways in the rear. Because the GT5000's lock the mower deck at the mowing height, it should only assist in rasising the deck. I thought the instructions that came with the sleeve hitch were pretty straightforward. Then again, I'm getting used to Sears assembly instructions lingo :smiles:. Was yours a Sears sleeve hitch?
     
  6. MGM

    MGM Lifetime Supporting Member

    130
    Sep 16, 2003
    Mine installed with out a lot of trouble, I took the deck off first thing as per the number 1 instruction. Then laid on my back and installed the lift bar and spring onto the lift arm assembly.

    The only real problem I had was getting my fat fingers between the Draw bar and the transaxle to put in the bolts for the right pivot bracket on the back, I got it done but it was finger tips only to get it started and I dropped that nut 4 or 5 time before it was done.

    To adjust for mowing: I drop the deck to its lowest level and back off on the spring bolt until it has no tension on it (just until there is no pressure on the bracket by the bolt)

    It is a good pull to lift my cultivator/chisel plow with only one concrete block on it, even with the spring fully tensioned.

    Pulled my sons S-10 4X4 from the front to the back today using the hitch and a rod I made that fits where the pin goes to hold the tow strap, worked great.

    I am also looking into finding a better way to lift it.
     
  7. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave New Member

    37
    Sep 16, 2003
    Argee,
    Mine is also a Sears sleeve hitch. I wasn't having any problems out of the ordinary installing it, I just thought some areas of the instructions weren't exactly accurate.

    This is also my first tractor, so I'm learning as I go.
     
  8. Argee

    Argee Tractor Lover

    Sep 17, 2003
    Michigan
    Did you get it fully installed? Pictures Please
     
  9. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave New Member

    37
    Sep 16, 2003
    Argee,
    I will try to finish installation this weekend, couldn't finish last weekend because of the weather. I do need to take some pictures of my tractor before I get it dirty. I haven't got a digital camera but do have a 35mm. I'll try taking some this weekend. Is there somewhere on this forum that tells how to upload a photo into my message?
     
  10. Argee

    Argee Tractor Lover

    Sep 17, 2003
    Michigan
    Over on the Tractor Pictures board, Jody posted a FAQ that's right on top. That should address your questions on how to post a picture. Not sure, but if you take a standard picture with a 35 MM I would imagine you would have to scan it in.
     
  11. PeteNM

    PeteNM Lifetime Supporting Member

    428
    Sep 18, 2003
    I didn't have any trouble installing the sleeve hitch on my GT3000 and the directions were OK. However, when I later installed the electric lift, that was altogether a different story. I finally took the whole seat, fenders and gas tank off so I could get at things. It was easy after that but seemed like lots of extra work I hadn't counted on. It really works good now that it' installed....
     
  12. Argee

    Argee Tractor Lover

    Sep 17, 2003
    Michigan
    That reminded me of the time I was going to drop the differential on my Case 446. By the time I was done I had just about disassembled the entire tractor.
    :smiles:
     
  13. leolav

    leolav Lifetime Supporting Member

    Sep 16, 2003
    No trouble installing my sleeve. Did you get an older unit?
     
  14. FarmerDave

    FarmerDave New Member

    37
    Sep 16, 2003
    I finished installing the sleeve hitch today with no problems. I can certainly see the advantages of being small when working on this tractor. A larger man would have problems getting his hand and arm into some of the small places.

    The sleeve hitch is done, now I need to get an hour meter installed then get a box scrapper. Maybe a set of chains and weights a bit later.

    Is there something I can put on the inside of the mower deck to keep grass and dirt from sticking to it. I haven't cut grass with it yet so it's clean and while I have it off the tractor it would be a great time to put something on it. Any ideas? Something that came to mind ( it's probably a dumb idea) is the stuff that is made for windshields that keeps frost from forming on the glass. Do you think it would work? How about spray on teflon like is used on skillets, is that available somewhere? Just clutching at straws here. Any ideas?
     
  15. jodyand

    jodyand EX Super Mod

    Sep 16, 2003
    Glad to hear you got it on

    Farmerdave here is a link for a product call mo- deck I'm sure there are others out there to but this one i know of.
    Jody
    http://www.mo-deck.com/mowers.html
     
  16. Old_Nodaker

    Old_Nodaker Lifetime Supporting Member

    212
    Nov 1, 2003
    Pete - could you give some details on the electric lift you're talking about? I'm needing a third powered cylinder of some sort so I can rig my blade to tilt, as well as angle and raise. Also, WHAT THE HECK IS A SLEEVE HITCH??
     
  17. Argee

    Argee Tractor Lover

    Sep 17, 2003
    Michigan
    A sleeve hitch is what allows you to attach to some of the implements available for garden tractors. ie: mouldboard plow, disc, cultivators, etc. These attachments have a common universal mount.
     

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  18. PeteNM

    PeteNM Lifetime Supporting Member

    428
    Sep 18, 2003
    The electric lift is nothing more than a linear actuator. Sears has one that is made to bolt on their GT's to lift the mower deck or sleeve hitch. I built a counter shaft that runs from the sleeve hitch linkage with a rod running under the tractor to the front that raises my dozer blade. It works pretty good but doesn't allow for anything but up/down movement.

    Since I haven't found an easy way to add hydraulics running from the engine, I'm wanting to add an electric power unit. That would allow for moving the blade as you want to do (and lots of other things) with hydraulics. It could be done with a linear actuator but may be more expensive and you'd have to have several.
     
  19. Old_Nodaker

    Old_Nodaker Lifetime Supporting Member

    212
    Nov 1, 2003
    Thanks RG - I've constantly heard about sleeve hitches but had never actually seen one. Appears to be basically do the same thing as 3 point hitch.

    Pete - I have hydraulics already, but only enough to run two cylinders. I've been looking for an electric one of some sort to do the third operation. I'll go take a look at Sears.
     
  20. Argee

    Argee Tractor Lover

    Sep 17, 2003
    Michigan
    The difference is it only attaches at a single point.