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JDreher

Rotary cutter for sunstar

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JDreher
I have a 3 acre pasture that I mow a couple times a year, and I would like to find a rotary cutter that would work with my 20hp sunstar. I have the engine speed rear pto, and I have seen rotary cutters with a pin hitch so I don't need the three point hitch. I also found an adapter for the cat0 pto spline to convert to the cat1 shaft size, so no problem there. The thing is most cutters are 540rpm, and mine is turning about 3400rpm. I know the Legacy offers a 540rpm gear box, I don't know how much modification it would take to put on my '95 sunstar. Any ideas on the best way to accomplish this? Or maybe modify the gear box on a standard cutter? I know I could get a rotary cutter with an engine installed on top, but I hate to get another engine to maintain and not use the 20hp I have. John

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gretsch
Do you have the rear clutch on your Sunstar? My 94 20hp Sunstar has the spline shaft that exits from the top rear of hydro unit (I assume all Sunstar's do) but you need the clutch and gear box to use rear pto impliments (for the shear pin attribute, the gear reduction, and ability to turn it on and off. It takes a lot of torque to get a bush-hog going also, so I am not sure that the tractor would even start if one was connected straight on. With this setup, the pto speed then should be ~2000 rpm and a bush-hog made for that speed would work (look for a Powermax or AC 620/720) on this site from time to time. Wheelhorse used that speed also on a lot of their tractors. I've heard that you can buy them new for that speed, but I have never run across one. If you mount it to the rear in someway that the front height is constant, it should work ok without a 3-point or other type lift. You just could not adjust the height while on the tractor. If this is an incorrect assumption on my part, I sure hope someone shed's some light on this matter that knows more about it. Take care and good luck.

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JDreher
Yes, the rear pto does have a clutch to turn it on and off. It's a mushroom push/pull control on the front control panel, next to the one that controls the front/mid pto. I was aware that the sunstar did have an option for a 2000 rpm rear pto gearbox, so thanks for the info that the powermax and AC 620/720 brushhogs used that rpm. I do have a cat 0 three point hitch, and it's my understanding that the 2000rpm rear pto is compatible with the three point hitch (unlike the 3400rpm pto). Do you know what sizes these brush hogs came in? I think 20hp is good for 5 feet max. John

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gretsch
Did I type too much or what! You have one of the rare Sunstars that actually has a rear pto and 3-point hitch. I have looked till I got tired of thinking about it. The bush (or brush) hogs were made by Danco as far as I know and only came in 4' cut. You may check with an Ariens dealer. I do not know if they offered a bush-hog as an attachment, but they used an engine speed rear pto on some of their tractors. Take care.

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JDreher
The sunstar came with the engine rpm rear pto and tiller. I bought the 3-pt hitch separately with the intent of using it with a rear blade to grade my gravel driveway. Unfortunately the engine rpm rear pto is not compatible with the cat 0 three point hitch. The 3pt cross bar goes across the pto. However, the 2000 rpm rear pto is compatible with 3pt hitch, but if I installed that pto gearbox it wouldn't work with the tiller. Seems like a lot of switching pieces. Interesting that the 2000 rpm rear pto is a female connection, not male, so I assume I would also need an adapter for the rotary cutter pto shaft. And I wound up using the front plow to grade the driveway last fall, and it worked great. I figure my next step is to cut off the flare tips on the end of my mower blades to reduce the clogging potential while mowing the pasture, and see if that helps. John

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