John Deere Gator Forums banner

1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can I remove 1 set of tires and turn a 6x4 into a 4x2? If so, could I cheat and remove the rear set, put it in 4 wheel mode to get a shorter turning radius by running with the tires on the front axle?
Regards,​
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
First off, your gator does not have the ability to shift between 2 and 4 wheel drive. The rear 4 wheels are always driven. The lever next to the shifter locks the differential--meaning all 4 rear wheels are driven at the same speed. This does make the ute very hard to turn. With the differential lock out, it can still be hard to turn. Here are some ideas: adjust tire pressure so that the rear tires have a bit more pressure than the middle ones. This increases weight on the front wheels. If there is a load in the box, try to keep it forward. The same reasoning applies. If your front shocks are adjustable for preload, try increasing the preload on the front shocks. Again, the more weight on the front wheels, the better it will turn. If load carrying and traction are not an issue, remove the intermediate wheels. This will make the turning quite positive, but be advised your braking and traction will be reduced. This doesn't cost anything to try. There is no power to the front wheels, and there is no suspension on the rear. There are no brakes on the front wheels. The rear wheels (all 4) want to go in a straight line. The less weight on the front, the less steering ability you have. You might also try adding some weight to the front, or installing slightly taller tires on the front.
Hope this helps
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,659 Posts
Do you have a load on the rear of the Gator when turning?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Have a load on...ahh, the Gator that is.

Usually...few hundred pounds of soil and some tools for Gopher hunting and hole filling.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Cripes; I've had the 6x4 for years...I guess it's time to pay attention to what I have.
I'll try your suggestions, look for an Owner's Manual, maybe a service manual, and perhaps customize the front bumper to weights and receivor hitch.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,659 Posts
Usually...few hundred pounds of soil and some tools for Gopher hunting and hole filling.


Do you usually have the “few hundred pounds of soil” in the bed or do you tow a trailer of sorts to carry the soil?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
2,659 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
First off, your gator does not have the ability to shift between 2 and 4 wheel drive. The rear 4 wheels are always driven. The lever next to the shifter locks the differential--meaning all 4 rear wheels are driven at the same speed. This does make the ute very hard to turn. With the differential lock out, it can still be hard to turn. Here are some ideas: adjust tire pressure so that the rear tires have a bit more pressure than the middle ones. This increases weight on the front wheels. If there is a load in the box, try to keep it forward. The same reasoning applies. If your front shocks are adjustable for preload, try increasing the preload on the front shocks. Again, the more weight on the front wheels, the better it will turn. If load carrying and traction are not an issue, remove the intermediate wheels. This will make the turning quite positive, but be advised your braking and traction will be reduced. This doesn't cost anything to try. There is no power to the front wheels, and there is no suspension on the rear. There are no brakes on the front wheels. The rear wheels (all 4) want to go in a straight line. The less weight on the front, the less steering ability you have. You might also try adding some weight to the front, or installing slightly taller tires on the front.
Hope this helps
Took off one set of tires. What an improvement in steering that is.
Thanks
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
I'm sure it steers differently but you just added some real restrictions to capabilities which my come back to haunt you in time. As suggested above, just add some weight. Years ago I added a receiver to the front coupler and strapped a 8x16x4" cap block to the guard, resting on the receiver. And the receiver comes in real handy for other stuff. It solved most of the steering issues and also helps to keep the front end down when climbing with a heavy load in the back.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
By restrictions are you thinking carrying capacity and traction? When firewood cutting in our steep woodlot, I'll put the tires back on.
Receiver hitch front (and back) is a good idea. I can then add a chainsaw winch...the Lewis brand even has a receiver hitch adapter.
https://www.loghomestore.com/product/lewis-winch/ (I'll read up on how to add an image, rather than a link to a page...sorry).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
17 Posts
With the middle wheels removed, if you lose a chain for some reason, you will only have braking and traction on one wheel. A front receiver hitch and some ballast with the middle wheels reinstalled would probably be your best bet for rough duty. I know ours, with only me onboard, will loft the front wheels climbing a hill onto a road. Judicious use of the differential lock can help with directional control. If you're pointed in the right direction, and you lock up the diff., you're probably going to go straight where you want. A Lewis winch with a receiver mount would be very handy, and you wouldn't need to worry about having wiring on every rig you use. If you don't already have one, a good snatch block is a must with any winch. I prefer the Warn style for ease of use, and there are no pins to lose. A snatch block and a good length of chain in an ammo can would give you a bit of ballast to start with. Nice thing about the Lewis units is you can put the winch wherever it's most convenient or safest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
19 Posts
By restrictions are you thinking carrying capacity and traction? When firewood cutting in our steep woodlot, I'll put the tires back on.
Receiver hitch front (and back) is a good idea. I can then add a chainsaw winch...the Lewis brand even has a receiver hitch adapter.
https://www.loghomestore.com/product/lewis-winch/ (I'll read up on how to add an image, rather than a link to a page...sorry).
For starters, the load max is a bit over 1000# on our 2007 diesel. You already know that bouncing happens. So cut your load in half and know that the rears are gonna take all the bounce load, if and when it happens. The limits expect that both rears are sharing the load. By removing the frt rears, you just moved a bunch of weight to the rear hubs and front suspension which you now know solved your steering issue. We got 8 years out of the front shocks and that was stretching it. So get ready to replace them more often and also the front swing arms loosening - say bushings. Speaking of that, cranking the steering wheel is often worth a grunt as it is stock. How do you like it now? Add steering hardware to the increased wear and tear list.

If you haven't dismissed me by now as being nit-picky, well I guess I am. My 'ol LandCruiser has a broken left front birfeild so the Gator is the next best option - so I am cautious. So consider this in addition to the suggested moderate weight on the front: a set of v-block tire chains on the fronts. I use them all the way around in the winter. If you don't go too fast, the weight and chains could be the best and cheapest way to improve your steering and not affect longevity and engineered performance.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top