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Discussion Starter #1
John Scheele has been keeping me informed on his development work regarding a more positive control of the bucket, plus the addition of the downforce feature.
He has adapted the Bear Linear actuator to his existing design, and he did it in a very clever fashion. The upgrade kit includes a new front mounting plate and a new swing-arm frame.
He is now a dealer for the Bear Linear actuator. Don't be surprised if he also announces an electric sleeve hitch.
He sent me some photos that he'll use in his instruction manual. The photos indicate that the kit is very well executed, and it uses the same 4" stroke actuator that is used in the Sears electric sleeve hitch(the latest one). Naturally, I'm very excited about this, since I've been working on this feature already, AND since I already own a 4" actuator.
SSSOOOOO, I will be receiving my upgrade kit in a few days, AND I will post a report as soon as I get it, or as soon as I try it out.
There are many implications to this new feature. First of all, one of the reasons the winch cable breaks is because the cable-strands rub hard against each other whenever you try to make the bucket "dig", and the front of the tractor starts "climbing" the swing arm frame. At this point, the cable wants to stretch and dig itself into the rest of the cable that is wound on the spool. That's the point where the cable breaks. With the actuator, you will end up with a "rigid" link between the tractor and the swing arm. And, this has all kinds of advantages, including downforce capability.
Things are looking up.
 

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Cant wait for your pictures Willie and your testimony.
 

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I had been waiting for the down force modification to be ready, and I got the e-mail day before yesterday that it is, so I placed my order yesterday. Most anjxious to get it! Soon as I get it and get it installed, I can post some pictures...
 

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If he does, indeed build the hitch, I will likely get that also. I'm presently using a 1700# Warn winch and springs...It ain't bad, but could be better.
 

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So, does the actuator replace the primary winch? Or will there be one winch to raise and lower, another winch for power dump, and an actuator for down pressure?
Any idea how much more it will add to the price?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Me, help John Scheele...?? Actually, I think he did it just to get rid of me :)

The main winch that lifts the bucket is replaced by the actuator. The side winch that dumps the bucket stays, as it actually works really good, and you can see the slack in the cable and therefore is easy to control.

Right now, I'm experimenting with a momentary DPDT 20 amp toggle switch($5 from Radio Shack) mounted on top of the dashboard. It's starting to appear like this might be the best of the 3 switch systems I've tried. I'll have photos soon.
 

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Thanks for the heads up

I just E-mailed him for more info on the retrofit


Bob
 

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The amount he charged me when I ordered is exactly the same as shown on website for present design. I won't worry too much about switch configurationj until I am certain what I'll do with the sleeve hitch (leave it as I have it or change it). But...I ajm anxxious to get it installed and try it out.
 

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I got a reply this morning and the upgrade kit looks great, I will be ordering it next week.

Willie, thanks again for the info, I have been following your posts on how the bucket works for you and your sleeve hitch mod with great interest. And I want to thank you for your posts on how it works good or bad, happy or sad, we are all learning just where the limits on these new machines are and it will only serve to make the machines stronger pinpointing the weak spots in the design.

Bob
 

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Well I guess that changes everything. At first, I wanted one for my craftsman, but after reading about the cables breaking decided on the bolens instead. Even though the bucket is smaller, I figured I had two bolens tractors and it mounts with quick connect pins. But now with the actuator replacing the winch and adding 4" of over travel instead of 1" on the bolens and being a larger bucket this seems like the better choice. And I can mount my tiller on the rear at the same time which is raised and lowered by an actuator also.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Folks,
I've been giving my cable J-B Jr a real workout. I've improved it a little bit by reversing the cable winding on the lift winch. This results in a better geometry for the cable(more vertical for lift direction), it doesn't seem to strain the cable as much.

Also, the toggle switches on top definitely work better than the other locations I've tried.

Also, while my mod on the tranny lever gate worked out good, it turns out I need MORE. I'm going to try an all-new straight-line gate, with slight detent at neutral and at the forward zig.
I really require a very fluid fore/aft motion for the lever. And, right now, mine requires constant hard pull to keep it all the way in reverse(the fastest reverse speed, which BTW is still too slow).
 
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