“TGFI” – you may have thought this was a typo and should be “TGIF” – Thank God its Friday, but for me it is Thank God for Internet.
Most tractors have a three hitch system, which means the heavy implements at the back are hitched or connected to the tractor at three points, two horizontal at the bottom and one at the top. The top point is connected to the tractor with a top link. I damaged my top link and needed a replacement – one of the arms of the top link was bent, which meant I could not adjust its length in situ and so had to remove it each time I needed to adjust it. The top link I damaged was a replacement which cost <$30 from a local tractor dealer, now unfortunately out of business. So I was thinking in the $30 price range. With the local dealer out of business, the next closest dealers are about 30 miles away and, to avoid a wasted trip, I called ahead. I was flummoxed when told the replacement would cost $109 (before taxes). So since this wasn't time critical, off to the internet I went - even if it had been time critical I would not have paid that price!. I do not know whether the part they were selling was U.S. made or imported, and I will pay up to 20% more for U.S. made, but the price quoted did not merit further discussion. [caption id="attachment_1706" align="aligncenter" width="640" caption="damaged top link on top - note bend on right side, replacement below"][/caption]
A top link has holes on each end through which pins are inserted to connect it to the implement and the tractor. The size of the holes is determined by the size of the tractor – larger tractors have larger holes. My tractor (Case 585) is 60hp which makes it a category 2 tractor (category 2 tractors have horse power ranging from 40hp to 100hp), and the holes are 1″ and 3/4″. I found a top link with 1″ diameter holes for $24 and for $2.20 I purchased a bushing kit, which reduces the internal diameter of the 1″ hole to 3/4″ diameter. Shipping was $11, and so for $37.20 and a 4 day wait, I had a new replacement top link.
It takes a couple minutes to replace a top link and, below, you can see the new top link in place.
Now Georgia is about to pass new tax laws which will probably tax internet sales but even an 8% tax will not diminish the benefit of having an alternative source of supply for uncommon parts. TGFI!