Exapta Solutions is now the exclusive importer of Aricks bushing kits for John Deere 50, 60 and 90 series drills. The kits replace and upgrade the pivot points for the firming arm, the closing arm and the main pin at the front of the opener.

The firming and closing kits include special seals that are designed to run dry, so the bushings never have to be greased again.Exapta Solutions

“Keeping the firming and closing arm pivots working properly can be a real hassle on the John Deere no-till drills,” says Leah Lanie, Exapta’s sales manager. “Even after Deere upgraded them around 2009 to include seals, they still have a tendency to pack full of dirt and not take grease. But with the premium Aricks bushing kits, these pivots will run smoothly and they’ll never have to be greased again.”

The Aricks seals have a Teflon coating on the seal contact lip and are designed to run dry. They have a proven 8-year track record for durability and trouble-free nature, Lanie adds. The bushings themselves are fiber-wound Teflon impregnated, and the steel sleeve has a hardened chrome finish for silky smooth action, despite much closer tolerances than competitive products. They have proven to last at least as long as OEM (usually significantly longer) bushings.

The main pin and bushings at the front of the opener on the Deere 50/60/90 drills — where the opener attaches to the rockshaft — is another wear item, and it’s critical to maintain furrow width, Lanie says. If they get sloppy, the furrow gets narrower and the seed boot and firming wheel no longer fit, causing improper seed placement.

“The first time around, simply rotate the pin by 180 degrees,” Lanie says. “Loosen the bolt that locks it in position and put a pipe wrench on the end of the pin. If this has already been done and they’ve gotten sloppy again, the next step is to replace pins and bushings.” 

Aricks’ main pin kits have been in the field for 4 years and proven to last at least as long as OEM, often significantly longer, says Matt Hagny, Exapta’s founder and president.

“The Aricks front pins and bushings are a fraction of the cost of OEMs, and with Aussie persnicketiness for quality control,” Hagny says. “There have been plenty of issues in USA with low-quality aftermarket pins and bushings – so bad that some of them can’t even be installed. They just don’t fit.”

Aricks front pin bushings are steel with a Teflon inner layer, and the pin has a hard chrome finish. The Teflon allows smoother action and less resistance to moving.

Kits (sleeve, bushings, seals) for the firming or closing arms are $41 each. Kits for the main pin (pin, bushings) are $29 each.

In more products news, Exapta has added the Smallaire Heat Exchanger designed for air drills that have trouble keeping hydraulic fluid sufficiently cooled, partly because of the fan motor. Hagny says air drills may also have issues with gunk accumulating inside the air hoses from humidity, fertilizer dust and seed treatments.

Smallaire’s product line includes a rugged Heat Exchanger, which is essentially a radiator that hydraulic oil circulates through for cooling. But instead of venting this heat to the atmosphere, the Exchanger warms and dries the air going through the hoses to the openers. 

When cleanout is needed, there’s easy access with the hinged cover. The Smallaire unit has a huge radiator (24-in. x 28-in. and extra thick) and a plenum to utilize the full extent of the radiator area for maximum cooling of oil (typically 30 F reduction) and maximum warming of air in the system.

The Smallaire Heat Exchanger’s universal mount system uses flexible ductwork to allow the radiator to be mounted at a distance from the fan. This allows it to be mounted in a convenient location, usually to a frame tube using U-bolts. It also allows it to be mounted higher up than the fan to draw cleaner air and avoid choking the radiator with dust and chaff. For even loftier air intake, a snorkel is available.

“The Heat Exchangers have been great products for farmers struggling to keep their hydraulic fluid cool, which is especially a challenge with older tractors,” Lanie says.  “Plus, customers report that they truly do help eliminate gunk buildup inside the air system.”

Exapta’s Smallaire Heat Exchanger is $2,300 without a snorkel.