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IH 531 plow problem

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John LaBoyteaux

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 1:58 am    Post subject: IH 531 plow problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My IH 531 3pt Plow pulls way to the left and the tail wheel wants to climb out of the furrow. Local opinion is divided. One says this is corrected by adjusting the cross shaft on the plow similar to a pull plow. Another says tractor must have sway bars adjusted tight to prevent this movement. Pulling with an IH 686. Sway bars and brackets not easy to find. Need advice from experienced plowmen.
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Tractor Guru

Joined: 25 Feb 2010
Posts: 14269
Location: Delta,colorado

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 7:50 am    Post subject: Re: IH 531 plow problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

A properly adjusted plow does not need 'sway chains/blocks.A worn plow will have some 'issues'.Check the landsides,and shares,too.HARD ground can contribute.But your biggest problem is your plow is not properly adjusted.Is the front bottom going deeper than the other,are your tractor wheels set to correct width?
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Longmeadow farm

Joined: 11 Nov 2010
Posts: 285

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 22, 2013 9:47 am    Post subject: Re: IH 531 plow problem Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I own a restored IH 531 that I use annually for family plow days and perhaps cover an acre or two with my grandchildren in the cab of one of my tractors. In my judgement you have a cross shaft problem. From your problem description your right hand link is too short relative to your left hand link and is pointing the plow to the left. While a slight left bias is usually maintained for 3pt plows you need to keep the plow from moving too far over to the left with a chain link or sway bar. The cross-bar should be used to provide a fine adjustment after proper wheel width has been established. Swing the cross-shaft down so you have approximately 20 - 23 degrees of lead, off the perpendicular... And use a chain to restrict leftward drift of the plow. You also need to level the plow in the plowing position. This is usually achieved with a right hand lift link about 1 inch shorter than the left hand lift link... if the cross shaft is adjusted properly. Many folks will tell you that a properly adjusted 3 pt plow doesn't need sway block or chains or tight sway bars. Maybe so on perfectly flat ground using something like a Ford 8N.. with superior draft capability. AC snap coupler plows didn't need any sway "stuff" either. However, most of us don't plow flat ground and in my case I contour/side hill plow and adjust my semi-mount cross-shaft hydraulically to maintain proper per width of cut, ..and use sway block as per my operators manual. Oh, yes..I mount my 531 to a JD 5320...and keep it rigid with sway bars... it works rather well and rivals my much newer plows. I've been plowing since 1954, so I think I've learned a thing or two about the art.If you don't have a manual..go out and get one.
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