Whoops, broke the Pitman bar but kept going

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4thGen
5+ Years
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Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:32 pm
Zip Code: 06040
Tractors Owned: 1955 Farmall Cub

54A Blade
C22 Sickle mower
189 Two-way plow
59 Woods belly mower
Location: Manchester CT

Whoops, broke the Pitman bar but kept going

Postby 4thGen » Thu May 26, 2022 6:47 am

While I used the sickle bar once or twice for cutting grass and vines on a small plot (0.2 acre/ish), this Wednesday was my first foray into really cutting stuff down with a sickle bar.

My cousins have a property with a 1 plus acre field which is abuts an +11acre wood lot (theirs).. A gentleman friend of the family has been the field for the past few years, but is now getting on in his age and is unable to continue servicing them. They are kind enough to let me hunt the wood lot and field, so naturally I was more than willing to offer to mow the field.

I made 1 full pass before the grass rod came lose from the board and jumped in front of the sickle bar in between two teeth - SNAP - went the old Pitman bar!

After a relatively quick trip to the nearest hardware store - in the next town over, of course, I performed an emergency field repair so I could get the job finished. The property is just under an hour drive each way, and my schedule wouldn't let me return for a few weeks. This repair was temporary, the replacement pitman bar I had ordered in anticipation of this event wasn't going to arrive until Thursday - oops!

The learning curve for me was approximately 3 full passes, and I found that second gear with essentially full throttle got the grass to lay down nicely without collecting on the mower.

I am unable to get the alignment of the sickle to lead from the outermost end, and it trails behind a bit - the drag bar is either too long (it was obviously welded at one end) or the the block that goes inside the frame is too short to reach the clamping screw.

Does anyone know the correct end to end length of the drag rod?

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Glen
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Tractors Owned: 1956 Farmall Cub with Fast Hitch, F-11 plow, Disc, Cultivator, Cub-22 mower
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Location: Wa.

Re: Whoops, broke the Pitman bar but kept going

Postby Glen » Thu May 26, 2022 6:50 pm

Hi,
Nice pictures of mowing. :)

The rear end of the drag bar that is in your pic looks like it has been changed, the part of it on top of the C shape is longer than any I've seen.

The square bar can be adjusted in and out of the square hole, it doesn't have to be all the way in the hole.
Sliding it out of the hole some makes the mower bar go ahead.
Don't slide it too far out of the hole, it has to be far enough in that it is solid.
Maybe you knew this already.
Your pic doesn't show the front area of the drag bar.

Usually in heavy grass like in your pics, the Cub needs to mow in 1st gear. :)

4thGen
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:32 pm
Zip Code: 06040
Tractors Owned: 1955 Farmall Cub

54A Blade
C22 Sickle mower
189 Two-way plow
59 Woods belly mower
Location: Manchester CT

Re: Whoops, broke the Pitman bar but kept going

Postby 4thGen » Thu May 26, 2022 7:52 pm

Thanks, I had a blast mowing! The square bar is half the length of the hole, and it doesn't reach the tension/lock screw when the sickle is properly positioned - it falls out.

The top half of the drag bar (the round bar, loop end) where it meets the connector which mounts on the square hole of the tractor frame has been welded and apparently extended, that's why I was wondering what the correct length is.

Edit #2 - trying to mow in 1st gear had more grass going forwards than backwards, regardless of throttle. I had to stop several times to clear off the sickle, and I left a lot of "beards" or tufts that needed to be cleaned up at the end. See right side of below photo :tractor:

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Last edited by 4thGen on Thu May 26, 2022 8:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.

JustJim
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Re: Whoops, broke the Pitman bar but kept going

Postby JustJim » Thu May 26, 2022 7:59 pm

Love your field repair! Adapt, improvise, and get the job done!

4thGen
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:32 pm
Zip Code: 06040
Tractors Owned: 1955 Farmall Cub

54A Blade
C22 Sickle mower
189 Two-way plow
59 Woods belly mower
Location: Manchester CT

Re: Whoops, broke the Pitman bar but kept going

Postby 4thGen » Thu May 26, 2022 8:05 pm

JustJim wrote:Love your field repair! Adapt, improvise, and get the job done!



Thank you! As luck or common sense engineering would have it, the holes in the repair steel lined up perfectly with the bolts on the inner end of the Pitman, so I used 2 of them instead of just the outermost one - I don't know if you could ask for a much easier way to get the strongest possible repair with off the shelf materials.

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tmays
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Re: Whoops, broke the Pitman bar but kept going

Postby tmays » Thu May 26, 2022 8:40 pm

If grass was falling forward in first, then it could be because lead isn’t correct. I meant to get a measurement before dark for you on the drag bar. There were two or three different drag bars. I don’t know if the lengths are the same or not. Since the lead isn’t correct, then the register is probably wrong also. Should be easy enough to come up with your own measurement. Slide the drag bar into the hole so that set bolt is about halfway on the bar then measure for the drag bar link.
Did you not get a lot of vibration running it almost full throttle? I use mine a little above low throttle in first or second. Usually first. Good sharp knives make a world of difference in combination with everything else tuned correctly. Also, the pitman arm is relatively easy to make. Good idea to keep at least one extra on hand
Thomas

4thGen
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:32 pm
Zip Code: 06040
Tractors Owned: 1955 Farmall Cub

54A Blade
C22 Sickle mower
189 Two-way plow
59 Woods belly mower
Location: Manchester CT

Re: Whoops, broke the Pitman bar but kept going

Postby 4thGen » Fri May 27, 2022 6:25 am

tmays wrote:If grass was falling forward in first, then it could be because lead isn’t correct. I meant to get a measurement before dark for you on the drag bar. There were two or three different drag bars. I don’t know if the lengths are the same or not. Since the lead isn’t correct, then the register is probably wrong also. Should be easy enough to come up with your own measurement. Slide the drag bar into the hole so that set bolt is about halfway on the bar then measure for the drag bar link.
Did you not get a lot of vibration running it almost full throttle? I use mine a little above low throttle in first or second. Usually first. Good sharp knives make a world of difference in combination with everything else tuned correctly. Also, the pitman arm is relatively easy to make. Good idea to keep at least one extra on hand


The drag bar I have is 36-1/2" end to end, and appx 35" at the longest point inside the rings.

I'll have to mock up the bar on the ground later tonight or this weekend and take a measurement of ideal length, I took the sickle off for easier trailering.

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Glen
10+ Years
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Posts: 5394
Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:33 pm
Zip Code: 00000
Tractors Owned: 1956 Farmall Cub with Fast Hitch, F-11 plow, Disc, Cultivator, Cub-22 mower
Circle of Safety: Y
Location: Wa.

Re: Whoops, broke the Pitman bar but kept going

Postby Glen » Fri May 27, 2022 8:27 pm

Hi,
I measured the drag bar on my Cub 22 Mower. It's 32 1/8" long, from the rear side of the bracket welded on the square bar, that is just to the rear of where the front loop in the bar is, to the rear side of the C at the rear end of the drag bar.

It is sort of hard to measure assembled on the Cub.

My front bracket coming down from the square bar in the square hole is 6 7/8" long.
Some of them were shorter, I have seen on here. :)

4thGen
5+ Years
5+ Years
Posts: 33
Joined: Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:32 pm
Zip Code: 06040
Tractors Owned: 1955 Farmall Cub

54A Blade
C22 Sickle mower
189 Two-way plow
59 Woods belly mower
Location: Manchester CT

Re: Whoops, broke the Pitman bar but kept going

Postby 4thGen » Sun May 29, 2022 6:38 pm

Those are slightly different locations from where I measured mine, but yours is still short enough that I believe mine either needs to be cut and welded or simply replaced.


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