Replacements Top Links for John Deere 40's

David A. from southern California sent along the following information about replacement top-links.

I called to find out about the reproduction top link. The price is $250 including shipping via UPS to anywhere in the US. I spoke with the man at IPCO Machine, whose name is ironically Mr OLIVER, last Friday. He stated that all the parts will interchange with those from John Deere. He is willing to sell individual parts depending upon whether he has extras left over from assembling complete units. The items come primer-painted. The major difference, he says, is the construction of the ends, the part which is made up of the spherical ball joint and the threaded portion. The Deere items, he says, are one-piece forgings whereas his are made up of the spherical end and the threaded portions attached together and then welded. I asked if his top link is made for actual use or just for cosmetics. He said that his are designed for actual use. For comparison, I checked with Eberhard Equipment, my closest John Deere dealer, about availability of various parts. Only one of the ends came up on the computer as still being available, at a price of over $140. The other end did not show up as being available. If I remember correctly, the equivalent part that IPCO sells is $65. Anyway, I ordered one complete assembly, so I'll get to see how the item looks first hand in a couple of weeks. Mr Oliver himself was very willing to explain its construction and spend time answering questions.

(Later he wrote:) I received the reproduction top link that I ordered from IPCO machine. I can't compare it with the factory top link but it appears to be a well-made item. The threaded items engage with each other and operate smoothly. The welds where the spherical ends are welded to the threaded rods look very clean without much spatter. The turnbuckle ( the main body) portion even has the Deere part number cast into it, similar to how the factory parts have numbers on them. The 4-winged jam nut is also a casting. The bore in this nut is off-axis by a degree or two. I asked Mr Oliver at IPCO about this, and he replied that it mimics the factory part which was made that way so that it would be easier to achieve locking force while tightening by hand. The assembly even comes with the 3/4" diameter pin with lynch pin and keeper chain for the implement end.