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I am doing a budget cleanup on my dad's old gator. Was debating getting a newer one but this old 1995 is still running great. Going uphill, the chains grind a bit. Probably need sprockets, but they are $500! I am out of town for a few weeks before I can really get to it, but my guess is that it will need chains and sprockets. I don't put a ton of hours on it, so I was thinking about trying to put generic size 50, 112 link chains on it. Tractor supply sells them for $39 each. I am wondering if anyone has tried this and what kind of results I should expect? Unless the sprockets are totally destroyed, I am going to try to avoid replacing them. If the cheaper chains from Tractor supply work, I can afford to replace them more frequently without concern. Any input is greatly appreciated. BTW... I got the chain specs from the dealer.. Size 50, Roller. 112 Link.
 

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I’ve used the generic roller chains on several commercial rated snow blowers and never had a problem with them.
 

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Chains are standard items. Buy chain in bulk and save a ton as compared to precut chains from Deere. If the sprockets don't have hooks worn in them you probably can reuse them. They may be JD specific items.

Hope this helps.
 

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All chains are not equal. If you go generic there are many options. The best have O-rings under the side plates to hold the oil and keep out dirt. If you are using old the sprockets, that may affect the life of your chains. Worn sprockets will cause faster chain wear. Look closely at the sprocket teeth. If you can see uneven wear with the eye, they need replacing.
 

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Years ago I tried a bunch of different chain experiments with my motorcycle. I was then a journeyman maintenance machinist at production facility that had a LOT of chain driven equipment. I tried commercial American made quality chain - nope. I tried the maintenance free O-ring chain - nope. This type and that type but finally I found a solution and it was extra heavy duty #50 that had thicker plates, larger diameter pins and the rollers were hardened tube, not rolled with an open butt edge. That chain held up to the heavy loads without stretching. Even at that I ended up going to #60 in the same style.

As was said above, all chain is not created equal for a given application. For a M/C or ATV/UTV I consider this as much more severe duty than what bulk chain for a conveyor is expected to do. Will it work? Yup, but you'll be doing a lot more adjusting and replacing more often and with higher sprocket wear. Also know that even though a sprocket 'looks' serviceable if you install a new chain to a worn but seemingly good sprocket the new chain will quickly wear to seat with the old sprocket's profile.

OEM Gator chain is really good stuff. Our 6x4 is over 10 years old and has a bunch of hours on it. I've adjusted the chains ONCE. At least twice a year I lift the back with a floor jack and spray the chains/sprockets with a little bit of engine degreaser and lightly pressure wash them and the area clean. I let them dry off for a day or so and then brush them with chain saw chain lube and leave it up on the jack until I need to use it again, spinning each side a few rotations when I walk by it to work the oil in and let any excess drip off. Lastly, then the rig is lifted I use a wide blade tape measure and adjust the tire pressures so EACH one is the same diameter. Then with a good quality low pressure page I compare it with the last reading/diameter written on the frame rail with a felt tip and update it if necessary. It still has the original tires too.
 
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