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425 + snowblower == frustration

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#1 bacos OFFLINE  


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Posted November 21, 2011 - 09:25 PM

Hi folks. Yes, I'm new here. And new to Deere(*), having inherited a 425 from my dad. It's a nice piece, he rebuilt the engine and repainted it and it's in pretty good shape.

But, I need a snowblower. So off I go hunting for information on snowblowers. I learn they're pricey. I learn there's a 46 single stage and a 47 dual stage. I learn there's a quick-hitch thingie that I don't have, and the 47 dual stage has been pretty much the same from the 425 on up to today, and they're all compatible.

I didn't learn the bit where there was a 47 dual stage for the 318/420 pre-1999, and oh yeah, it's completely different from all the rest... which I learn by, well, buying it. (Have I mentioned that the tractor and I do not reside in the same state on a regular basis, so much happens via google, craigslist, and remote-action?) So now I have a nice yellow in great shape 47 dual stage blower sitting in the garage, which will fit really nicely on the JD317 sitting next to the 425, but not on the 425 itself.

(And that's not counting the bit where you also need more wheel weights and the poor 317 will still steer like a... anyway. Or the bit where said 317 already has a perfectly-serviceable 46" blower head. And before you ask, the 317 will devolve to my bro-in-law.)

So, here is the bit I can't figure out. Well, two bits.

1) How do you sort through all these part numbers and manuals to actually find the bits you need to buy, short of having a very knowledgable dealer? I have the manual for the 425, but it doesn't say anything about attachments. I saw a manual for the 47, but it doesn't say much about attaching it to anything.

Are there ANY usefully-definitive manuals or catalogs that allow the technically-savvy but non-JD-skilled to maneuver their way through the maze to figure out what bitsnparts I actually need? Or is all just a mystery that I have to sort for myself?

2) Should I waste ANY time attempting to adapt the 318/420 blower head to the 425? I now actually have a quick-hitch to fit to the 425... of course the blower head won't attach to it, but I could see where one could fabricate a couple of brackets and get it to fit. But then there's the matter of getting the PTO shaft (which I don't have yet, but can/could) to match up to the drive input on the blower... and whether or not the PTO spins the right way for it to even work. (A shaft, one MIGHT fabricate. a gearbox to reverse the spin, um, no.)

Please be nice to the deere-builder novice...

(*) I've been driving tractors since I was a kid. There's a Farmall H sitting next to the 425 and 317 which I also get to claim, with a brush hog and a front end loader. We had a JD B when I was younger. I've worked on 'em. We built a chop saw to go on the 3-point, and the brush hog's off a Case. But Dad got into the smaller tractors after I left home, and from the looks of it they're much more complex than the big ones....