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1590 JD no-till drill


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Been looking for a CIH drill for a long time, was wanting to get a 5400 with the Early-Riser units on it.  Didn't have much luck.  Well a week ago my father beat me to the punch and bought a drill for us to use on the farm.  He scored a 15 foot 1590 JD with markers, scale kit, and Market pivot loading auger.  It has new blades and boots as well as a bunch of new trench wheels that follow the furrow over the seed firmers. Previous owner hasn't used the front rack yet so they are still new.  Gauge wheels are in good shape as well.  Barely any rust on it, only in a few spots where the paint was flaked off the edges of steel.  Nothing a spray bomb won't fix up.

Just wondering what things we need to watch out for on this unit while in use.  Know we need to tie up the hydraulic & scale wires so they don't pinch when turning - its a 2pth set up.  Likely going to add a rock box to the front of the 3688 to help in steering as it seems light in the front just moving it around the yard.  Will run it with duals, inner tires are loaded with Agri Lime.  

Anyone have any issues with their drill while using it, things they don't like about it or would change if they could?

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12 minutes ago, Mountain Heritage said:

Just wondering what things we need to watch out for on this unit while in use.  

Everything.  Can’t comment on the box part but on the openers themselves.  As good as job as they do, they are maintenance hogs and a PITA to work on.  Your father did the smart thing buying one that sounds like it’s had all the work done.  As I type this we are working on an 1890.  Don’t let the discs get past the bevel.  We spend a week getting this one  ready every year.  

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The worst thing about those drills is how the seed boots mount to the shank. Once the mount holes are worn you’re in for some work. The Aftermarket has good solutions for it. Got rid of our 1590 a few years ago. Still have the small seed box for it in the barn. 

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BBG seems to have enough rows to look at..... that thing is crazy big!  How do you get the shafts out that the gauge wheels are attached to?  The opposite end is the adjusting lever for the gauge wheel.  We have 3 that are really stiff and seem to want to stick "up" about 2" off the ground when lowered.  The rest move freely as they should.  JD service guy said you may need to completely remove the assembly and press the shaft out?  Can't get a wrench in to loosen the large nut on the gauge wheel side either.  Like you say, it is a PITA spot to work on it.  I could just imagine those coil down pressure springs would be just a hoot to get compressed enough to bolt back together if it has to be all removed!

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1 minute ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

The worst thing about those drills is how the seed boots mount to the shank. Once the mount holes are worn you’re in for some work. The Aftermarket has good solutions for it. Got rid of our 1590 a few years ago. Still have the small seed box for it in the barn. 

Aftermarket - Shoup?   This one has a grass seed box on it and I don't think its been used since it was new with the amount of paint still inside it and the amount of dust accumulated in their.  It came from a dairy guy, don't think he had much acres to run it over every year?  Not sure of the year of the unit though.  It has new tires on it too.  They put 12 ply "seeder" tires.  Very similar tread pattern as the stock ones.  I guess it is hard to find the stock ones now a days?  Supposedly these wear better according to tire guy who put them on.

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4 minutes ago, Mountain Heritage said:

Aftermarket - Shoup?   This one has a grass seed box on it and I don't think its been used since it was new with the amount of paint still inside it and the amount of dust accumulated in their.  It came from a dairy guy, don't think he had much acres to run it over every year?  Not sure of the year of the unit though.  It has new tires on it too.  They put 12 ply "seeder" tires.  Very similar tread pattern as the stock ones.  I guess it is hard to find the stock ones now a days?  Supposedly these wear better according to tire guy who put them on.


I’m not sure if shoup sells it, probably. I never bought the “fix”. Mine were in terrible shape. I got rid of it and got a Great Plains. I also had a 1990 drill with the same problem that went down the road as well. Both had been over a lot of ground. 

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5 minutes ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:


I’m not sure if shoup sells it, probably. I never bought the “fix”. Mine were in terrible shape. I got rid of it and got a Great Plains. I also had a 1990 drill with the same problem that went down the road as well. Both had been over a lot of ground. 

Just looked in Shoup book - Page 80 they show the "Drillfix Kit for JD No-till drills. $295 for kit and $14.50 per bushing/row.  Good to know they have these.  Will have to pay attention to those holes.  I suppose if they are real bad you have to replace a large part vs just a bracket!? 

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11 minutes ago, Mountain Heritage said:

Aftermarket - Shoup?   This one has a grass seed box on it and I don't think its been used since it was new with the amount of paint still inside it and the amount of dust accumulated in their.  It came from a dairy guy, don't think he had much acres to run it over every year?  Not sure of the year of the unit though.  It has new tires on it too.  They put 12 ply "seeder" tires.  Very similar tread pattern as the stock ones.  I guess it is hard to find the stock ones now a days?  Supposedly these wear better according to tire guy who put them on.

Phil Needam is the expert on these drills.  Just google him and you will know everything on these openers.  JD has added some of the stuff he designed or marketed as standard on these openers.

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2 minutes ago, Mountain Heritage said:

Just looked in Shoup book - Page 80 they show the "Drillfix Kit for JD No-till drills. $295 for kit and $14.50 per bushing/row.  Good to know they have these.  Will have to pay attention to those holes.  I suppose if they are real bad you have to replace a large part vs just a bracket!? 

There is no bracket to replace, which is the problem. It is the holes in the cast row unit shank. When they get worn you cannot control the depth at all. I couldn’t think of the name, @Big Bud guy is right.

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7 minutes ago, Dirt_Floor_Poor said:

If you are not aware, you also need to make sure that the down pressure valve matches your tractor. There are open center and closed center valve options. Probably 99% of them have a closed center valve. 

Yes, we are running it on the 3688 instead of his Maxxum because of the hydraulics.  I have ordered a new sticker for on the gauge so we can see where the needle is running as far as green vs red areas for the pressure.  Need to get the manual out and make sure we are running it at the correct setting once the snow takes a hike.

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Had a 1560 from '99-'07, similar to what you have. Deere salesman told me every year just automatically replace those bolts on the center rockshaft cap. I did, and never had a problem with probably around 8000 acres on it when I got rid of it. Saw a neighbor who had the back gang laying in his yard once when I drove past repairing it because of those bolts breaking

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We have had a few 1590 over the years, we don't have the problems everyone else has but we seed pasture only and we only run one dept so after awhile the depth adjustments wear and break on the he last two we welded it up and that stopped that problem, keep a had full of springs for the shoe they like to break from time to time easy to fix but can be a finger smasher only had one we had problems with the two point hitch but all the rest did great just remember to grease every other day with good grease, we got a khun now and I really wish we had a 1590 back 

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I have a late 750 that I pull with a mx120 using a closed center adapter I got from my case new holland dealer years ago.  I did run it with a 1086 by using a Deere open center kit on the drill, but I think depth pressure in no till conditions was better with the adapter.  Will try to get a picture of the adapter later…pretty simple.

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What about weight issues?  Did you guys find your steering was hampered without weights or a rock box?  I'm pretty sure I'm gonna look at making a box and load it with cement block to help with that "light" feeling in the steering?

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21 hours ago, Big Bud guy said:

Phil Needam is the expert on these drills.  Just google him and you will know everything on these openers.  JD has added some of the stuff he designed or marketed as standard on these openers.

X2. We have Needhamized our 1590 after the first year we owned it. Biggest problem we have is getting it properly calibrated. Just when you think you have it dialed in , the rate is way off. 
Use ours for new seedings, beans and cover crops. 

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Did you ever figure out what is messing up the calibration?  Seed size changing too much between varieties or even the weight of the seeds?  Or other issues?

We've been told by a few people now that the scale system is what is worth it?  We've never had a scale on a planter so no idea what we have been missing I guess?  I'm pretty sure we are both going to enjoy the loading auger to dump bags of beans into on ground level instead of boosting them onto that catwalk.  Certainly a bonus as we get older.

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5 hours ago, Mountain Heritage said:

What about weight issues?  Did you guys find your steering was hampered without weights or a rock box?  I'm pretty sure I'm gonna look at making a box and load it with cement block to help with that "light" feeling in the steering?

Can't speak for a 15 but a 10 foot is pretty well balanced 986 1086 5088 all two wheel drive do fine, once we were running low on tractors we hooked it to a Deere 5083e fwa with a loader, on flat ground it did fine but you wasn't going to win any races

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On 4/19/2022 at 5:40 PM, Mountain Heritage said:

Did you ever figure out what is messing up the calibration?  Seed size changing too much between varieties or even the weight of the seeds?  Or other issues?

We've been told by a few people now that the scale system is what is worth it?  We've never had a scale on a planter so no idea what we have been missing I guess?  I'm pretty sure we are both going to enjoy the loading auger to dump bags of beans into on ground level instead of boosting them onto that catwalk.  Certainly a bonus as we get older.

Not yet, its been 10 years so doubtful.We have tried just about everything. Going to get traded for a air drill at some point. It is too small for what we need. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

How many suit case weights ya need to hold front down and be able to steer??  The 3688 can handle pulling it, lifting it, backing up - but when comes to going forward and turning, its a bit of feat!

12 weights on the front, will they hold it down enough to be able to steer?  Normal suitcase weights are 100lbs for these tractors right?

Which styles will fit a 3688?  Think there was 2 different styles or are there more?

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Spent last evening and this morning replacing the discs.  Fun thing to do with only 1,000 acres left.  Backing it up to a ditch made it easier

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