Building a No-Till Planter from worn out Deere 7000.
Here are the before and after pictures (Click to see larger images)
Before After
This page documents my winter project-planter rebuild. When I bought this planter it was a complete disaster. It had been repainted but several bearings were out-all the chain idlers were siezed up, the meters were worn out, gauge wheels loose, etc. This page documents the rebuild process. I am starting in December 05 and plan to be done by end of Feb 06. Basically here is what we did:

1) Replaced all dual disc openers and bearings and scrapers.
2) Replaced all old style John Deere chain idlers with Shoup system.
3) Replaced all gauge wheel bearings.
4) Replaced ALL chains.
5) Replaced seed tubes with precision bullseye tubes and add Keaton seed firmers.
6) Replaced any questionable bearings.
7) Replaced old John Deere T bar depth control with Acuplant to provide independent floating gauge wheels.
8) Replaced old John Deere gauge wheel arms with Shoup easy adjust arms.
9) Replaced old John Deere closing wheel brackes with new Deere 7200 style. (To allow bolt on closing wheels)
10) Replaced John Deere bean cups with Kinze brush bean meters.
11) Replaced John Deere corn meters with Precision Planting Meters

And converted to no-till by adding:
12) Yetter floating row cleaners with treader wheels.
13) Martin spiked closing wheels
14) CaseIH reduced inside diameterIH Gauge wheels
15) Closing Drag Chain

Unplanned items we ended up doing:
16) Replacing dry rotted tires and replaced worn (rounded) drive sprockets
17) Replace all parallel linkage bushings and bolts-a cheap fix but boy did that make a huge difference!
18) Added box toppers to seed boxes
19) Repainted faded fibreglass and rusty parts 20) New wiring harness & monitor in 06 season-old one just wasn't working.

I ended up spending about $600 per row to rebuild planter and another $600 per row to add all the no-till attachments, Taking it down to the frame and back I have about $9,000 in it complete. Some would think it foolish to put that much money in an older planter that I could only sell for $5,000-$6,000 at best, but when I priced a similarly configured model a new one from Deere or Kinze was going to cost somewhere in the $28,000-$32,000 range. So from my perspecitive I basically have a new planter that will last me a lot of years with little maintenance or downtime. I am confident will do 99% of as good a job planting as a new one-and for the approximately 80 hours of labor spent rebuiling the planter I figure I saved about $20,000.

Some of the items I ended up doing probably didn't have to be done (like painting the seed boxes and rims), and I replace a few parts that weren't 100% wore out to save having to take it apart again later. I could have saved maybe $100 per row but with everything new on there is looked so nice I figured I may as well just take it all the way and be done with it. About the only things not touched was the marker hydraulic system and the clutch as they are in pretty good shape.

Only thing left to do is to get 2 more tires and paint last 2 rims.

Click on the images for a larger view.

Before Pictures-A freshly painted but very tired old planter.
This was fun! You can learn a lot about something taking it completely apart.

Replacement Parts-old and new.
Sometime you can tell when something needs to be replaced, sometimes you have to put the old one next to a new
one and it will become obvious.

Old & New Seed Tubes

Old & New Tubes Guards

Threads Worn Off Bushings

Worn and Good Gears

New Parts & Before and After Pictures

Refreshing planting tractor
Since I got the planter done a little faster than expected I went ahead and freshened up the
tractor used to pull the planter. Basically just new paint and the addtion of a much needed
rollbar for safety reasons-this tractor had new tires put on last year, only thing left to do is to
paint the rear rims and put the sheetmetal back on, it should look pretty nice.

Farming 250 acres with 52 only horsepower-you gotta love no-till!
I will post the after pictures as soon as the painted sheetmetal is back on.

Update: The planter performed almost flawlessly. I have a good stand or corn and some no-till beans that look as good or better than my neighbors conventional beans.

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