Farm Pro 2420
With FarmPro 4' Rotary Cutter & 5' Finish Mower
Click on the Thumbnail for larger photo - each photo is about 850 k be patient..
June 21, 2003 I now have about 14 hours on my tractor and about 5 or so on the Farm Pro Rotary Cutter. I probably should have taken some photos while both were brand new but I just couldn't wait to try them out! These photos were taken with about 3 or so hours on the cutter. As you can see from how low I have the rear deck set, I'm mostly cutting flat ground around my house. I cut my grandmother's garden this morning and I'm very pleased with the Farm Pro cutter. Here in Alabama, the gold standard of rotary cutters is the Bush Hog brand. No question about it the Farm Pro is no Bush Hog. The deck, frame, and gear box are not nearly as heavy duty as my 5' 1988 Bush Hog Squealer. However, for my light to medium duty residential use I think the Farm Pro is going to do fine. At $350.00 it also rings in about $800.00 cheaper than the 5' Squealer. The Farm pro does have two pivoting blades mounted to a rounded pan ("stump jumper"), and a blade nut access hole in the deck just like the Bush Hog. Would I buy it again? YES! I think the 4' Farm Pro Rotary Cutter is a very good deal up to say $390.00. I think if the price got much higher than that I would start looking at a King Kutter brand cutter which I've seen for around $490.00.
I'm not sure if you can see it in the larger photo but I took the PTO guard chains off because they weren't worth a plugged nickel. They were too short to be of much use and the front chain broke the first time I spun the PTO. I replaced them with some Nylon selvage (string) that seems to work 200% better than the factory chains.
One other note. From the factory there was no grease fitting in the frame where the rear wheel vertical shaft fits through the frame. I drilled and tapped a 1/4 hole in the frame and added a grease fitting. Its amazing how much more freely the wheel shaft spins once its been lubed. I HIGHLY RECOMMEND adding a grease fitting to this model. (see photo above)
June 22, 2003 -Added a photo of my FarmPro 5' Finish Mower - I've used it once for about 3 hours. I like the mower the only complaints I have: 1) although adjustable the lowest mowing height is still fairly high for lawn grass 2) like the Rotary Cutter mentioned above no grease fittings in the vertical wheel shafts 3) the first time it was rained on all the stickers started peeling off. Once again, for the PRICE ( I paid $500 with tractor purchase) its definitely a BEST BUY.
May 12, 2004 - Well, I didn't use the tractor much at all this winter. I cranked it three or four times and let it run for 10 minutes or so to keep some oil in the top side of the motor. Probably because I didn't use it much I had to buy a battery. The factory battery is HUGE, I had to disconnect the air cleaner hose and remove the air cleaner assembly (two bolts) to get the factory battery out. I replaced it with a Walmart battery that had 630/550 cold cranking amps. The factory battery was not marked with cold cranking amps but the Walmart battery turns the starter just as strong as the factory battery did.
I now have 44 hours on the tractor and I still like it. I changed the oil for the first time at around 30 hours and it was a pretty straight forward process. Since which oil to use seems to be one of the great FarmPro/Jinma debates let me add that I used CASTROL RX SUPER 15w/40 diesel oil. I'm going to change the trans oil at 50 hours, with what I don't know yet. The tractor seeps hyrdo fluid from almost every seam but doesn't leak enough to drip. I think this is pretty common on all Chinese tractors and is one of those things I've just gotten used to. I now have another tip for anyone buying a FarmPro or any other tractor for that matter. Buy at least two extra cotter pins, snap ring pins, and clevis for every size you have on your tractor and keep them in your tool box! Nothing is more frustrating than being in the middle of a bush-hogging job and losing a pin or clevis, then having to stop and run to town to get a $0.50 part.
FINISH MOWER PROBLEM - With the tractor having 44 hours (mostly bush-hogging and box blade work) I'm guessing that the FarmPro Finish mower must have about 5-8 hours on it now. I was mowing yesterday when the weld holding the rear wheel arm set screw in place broke and the rear wheel and arm came off the mower. I've noticed that a lot of finish mowers don't even have an adjustment for the distance the wheel extends in front of and behind the mower deck. On the FarmPro (see mower photo above) the wheel is mounted to a vertical wheel shaft that runs through a tube on the back of the wheel arm. You adjust your mowing height by raising or lowering the vertical wheel shaft on the wheel arm with spacers. This is pretty much standard on all finish mowers. The FarmPro also lets you adjust how far the wheels are from the mowing deck by sliding the black wheel arm in or out of a red square tube on the mowing deck. The arm is held in position inside the square tube by a set screw that is mounted on top of the tube (see photo above). The set screw runs through a nut that is tack welded to the top of the square tube. I would DEFINITELY call this a weak point on the mower. Instead of being welded all the way around, all of the set screw nuts were just tacked on from the factory. When the weld broke it came off clean so the fix was rather simple. During the fix I re-welded all the set screw nuts to prevent this from happening again. Since I don't anticipate ever needing to adjust the wheel distance I went ahead and tacked the wheel arm to the square tube for more strength. I only tacked it so I can always cut it loose with a die grinder if I need to.
Has my opinion of the mower changed? No. While I'm pretty sure that all the set screw nuts would have eventually broken I'm still pleased with the unit considering that it cost about half the price of a King Kutter. I do recommend having all four nuts completely welded to everyone with a FarmPro mower because they will eventually break. The factory should address this problem as it would not take more than two minutes per unit to correct. My only other complaint about the mower so far is that I like to scalp the ground and this mower will not cut as low as some other models I've looked at. It cuts as low as you SHOULD mow your grass but like I said I like to scalp the ground.
May - June , 2005 - Well its been a year since I've posted to this page. I only cranked the tractor a couple of times in the winter so naturally the battery ran down but it charged right back up. No problems cranking the FarmPro after the down time and it ran fine for my Spring bush-hogging. At 65 hours I decided to change the transmission fluid. After searching the internet and reading as much as I can about FarmPro/Jinma tractors I opted for Shell Spirax HD 80W-90 because of its name brand reputation and anti-foaming properties. The tractors are delivered with SAE30 weight oil in the motor the transmission and the hydraulic system. Most modern domestic tractors have the hydraulic pump in the transmission and therefore use one fluid for both the transmission and hydraulics. The FarmPro uses an external pump that is gear driven off the front of the engine with a reservoir under the tractor seat. Since the transmission has its own fluid I chose to go with a heavier weight gear oil. I'd read a lot about Jinma tractors ( the FarmPro is made by Jinma) and everyone said to change all the fluids ASAP and to use kerosene to flush the SAE30 weight oil out of the transmission. I drained all the fluid out by removing the 18mm drain plug directly under the gear shifter and the two 18mm drain plugs on the bottom of the rear end on either side of the differential. The rear end and the transmission share the same fluid and since the rear end drain plugs are lower than the transmission drain plug most of the fluid comes out the rear plugs. I refilled the transmission with about 3 gallons of kerosene and backed it up about 20 feet, pulled it forward about twenty feet in creeper/low range , and re-drained the fluid. According to the Jinma boards a lot of sludge was suppose to come out but mine was really clean. There was not any sludge or gunk or anything other than kerosene and a little more fluid. After the second draining I poured about half a gallon of Spirax through with the drain plugs out just to rinse any kerosene or old oil out. The transmission only holds 11.6 quarts according to FarmPro customer service but I poured about three and a half gallons back in, ran the tractor for a while and drained out a little, ran the tractor and drained out a little until I reached the correct level ensuring that oil got everywhere it needed to be.
With 70 hours on the tractor I changed the diesel fuel filter. The tractor came with an extra screw on fuel filter but I used a WIX 33361 which is the filter that crosses to the CX0706 original equipment filter. The WIX filter appeared to be slightly shorter than the original filter and the rubber gasket was not quite as wide but it seemed to seal off and didn't appear to be leaking after I ran the tractor a few minutes. My tips for changing the filter include filling the new filter with fuel before installing it and cranking the tractor up after the new filter is screwed on and running it up to about 1500rpm for about 5-10 minutes to ensure that any air that got in the fuel lines is displaced. I would say this job took about 15 minutes and the only tool necessary was an oil filter wrench to remove the old fuel filter.
2006 - I broke my ankle in May 2006 and could not walk for most of the summer. Needless to say I couldn't press in a clutch. The tractor sat idle for the summer and I managed to bush hog just a little in the fall before the first frost.
May 12, 2007 - WARNING FOR 2420 OWNERS -----CHECK YOUR ENGINE FAN FOR CRACKS AND MISSING BLADES I stopped by to check out my Farm Pro dealer's new store in Florence, AL and he told me to check my fan when I got home. It seems that many 2420 engine fans were coming apart and several had slung blades through the radiator. When I got home I was amazed to see that my fan only had three of seven blades left on it. Its difficult for me to believe that none of them had gone through the radiator and that I had never noticed any of them slinging off. Its pretty hard to see the fan because it is 95% covered by the metal fan shroud that is attached to the radiator. I consider it a small miracle I didn't lose a radiator. I called my dealer and even though the tractor was 3 years old, Farm Pro still sent me a new (and redesigned) fan free of charge. This is the second time that Farm Pro has "gone beyond the call of duty " for me. It took me the better part of a day to replace the fan because the radiator and air cleaner assembly have to come off the tractor to change the fan. I had to take the shroud, upper, and lower hoses off the radiator and the fresh air intake tube off the air cleaner assembly. The radiator is held in place by four bolts that hold the radiator bracket to the frame of the tractor. A small support rod runs from a bracket on top of the engine to a bracket on top of the radiator. It is held in place on the radiator side by a cotter pin and is easily removed in about 10 seconds. The air cleaner assembly is attached to the radiator bracket and it is quicker to disconnect the fresh air rubber tube running between the air cleaner and the engine and just remove the air cleaner along with the radiator. Remember the Farm Pro has an oil bath air cleaner assembly so make sure to keep the air cleaner assembly upright or oil will leak out. Since the tractor now has 122 hours on it I decided to clean the air filter hosing and internal mesh screens while I had it off the tractor.
Air cleaner was serviced as follows: I put both upper and lower wire mesh filters in a bucket of diesel fuel and washed them out real well. Then I took a water hose and flushed out any remaining dirt and fuel. After the flush, I put them in a bucket of fresh 15w/40w motor oil to displace any remaining water. I let them soak in the bucket of oil for 10 minutes or so and set them out on a clean surface to drain out the excess oil. I drained out all the oil in the filter housing and then washed it with detergent and water and left it in the sun to dry. The housing is made up of three pieces. The bottom cup that holds the oil bath and mesh screens, the top cover that contains the tube, and the cap that is attached to the top cover. Since mine was pretty dirty I went ahead and took the cap off the top cover for a more complete cleaning. I don't think that it would be necessary to do this more than every three times the mesh filters are cleaned. I must say at this point I much prefer a replaceable paper filter. After consulting several sources it seems that the indention ring in the bottom of the housing is the fill line. I used fresh 15w/40w for the air cleaner oil.
Since I had already flushed my cooling system (oops forgot to blog that) and replaced the Chinese mystery coolant with FLEET CHARGE coolant for wet sleeve diesel engines, I just replaced what came out of the radiator and hoses with a fresh mix of 50/50 Fleet Charge and distilled water. I also gave the water pump a shot of grease through the zirk on top of the pump.
I also changed the oil and filter at 122 hours. On the previous oil change I used Castrol RX for diesel engines in 15w/40w but AutoZone didn't have RX so I went with Castrol Tection Extra for diesel engines in the same 15w/40w. I have no idea what the difference is between RX and Tection Extra if there is any at all. The best I can tell the Castrol RX is not even listed at castrol.com anymore. I had used WIX #51381 in the last oil change but once again AutoZone doesn't carry Wix either. I had read that the Fram 3980 would fit BUT IT DOESN'T. I did use a Fram 3985 and it threaded on fine but the gasket is not as wide as the Chinese JX0706P filter. It did seem to seal off and I'll report back later if I have any problems with it. FOR NOW I RECOMMEND THE WIX #51381. I also greased the steering linkages, front wheel hubs, front axles, water pump, and rear axles.
May 18, 2007 - I started the fuel injection pump oil change that I've been planning for way over a year. This is really simple once you know where everything is. There is a breather/fill hole plug on top that takes an 18mm open end wrench and a drain plug on the very bottom of the pump that takes a 13mm wrench. There is a tiny little dipstick that you just pull out (gently) toward the rear of the pump. I put this little photo guide together to show the position of all the necessary plugs. Remember this is the TY290 engine from the model 2420. I've seen another photo guide for the larger Jinma engines that don't have the dipstick. FUEL INJECTION PUMP PHOTO. Note: You'll need a tiny kitchen funnel to get the oil in the fill hole. I bought a set of four at Wal-Mart for $1.24 and ended up using the smallest one. I also used a modified paper towel roll core as a funnel when draining the injector pump oil. I've read suggestions on what type of oil to use and it ranges from compressor oil to motor oil. Several tractor mechanics on TractorByNet.com suggested the same oil you use in the crankcase. I used Castrol Tection 15w/40.
December 2008 - My three point lift went out. Even after tearing the front end off the engine I'm still not sure exactly what happened. The pressure pump on the 2420 is an external mounted pump that is driven by a gear that is in turn driven off the timing gear of the engine. There is only one way to change the drive gear.....PULL THE ENTIRE FRONT END OFF THE ENGINE. I took the tractor to a "real" tractor mechanic for the job because it would have taken me a year to do what he did in a week. This was a major tear down. The hood and fenders had to come off, as well as, the front of the engine. Once the front of the engine is off, the pump drive gear can be replaced. While I was talking to the parts guys at FarmPro they said to make sure to check the brass screws holding the oil pump together while we had the motor apart. Sure enough the screws were loose. The FarmPro guys had received reports of the pumps coming apart and advised me to put some lock-tite on the screws.
|TRANSMISSION OIL (FACTORY SAE 30) (NOW SHELL SPIRAX HD 80W-90 )||CAPACITY (FarmPro Customer Service) 11.6 Quarts U.S.|
|ENGINE OIL (FACTORY SAE 30) (NOW CASTROL Tection Extra 15W-40 for Diesels)||CAPACITY (FarmPro Customer Service) 3.7 Quarts U.S. (closer to 4 with filter)|
|HYDRAULIC FLUID (FACTORY SAE 30) ( )||CAPACITY (FarmPro Customer Service) 9.5 Quarts U.S.|
(NEXT PROJECT - CHANGE FUEL INJECTOR PUMP OIL)
(TO BE CONTINUED)
I started this maintenance blog as a way of keeping up with what I've done to the tractor.
Hope you got something useful out of it.
Let me know if you read this page. I'm looking for any comments, tips, or proof reading.