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Farm-Aid Hydraulic Lift Reborn

• CATEGORIES: Features

John Ittel bought this hydraulic lift a few months ago and has already restored it. This unit, sold through Mellen, began life on a 1948 CJ-2A from Northeast Washington State. The jeep and lift were barely used before the jeep and hydraulic unit were stored. There they sat for decades. Eventually, the lift was removed. Note that the green dual hydraulic piece shown was not a part of the system, but reportedly was installed on a different jeep that ran an extra large post hole digger installed on a 2A that operated in the Seattle area.

BEFORE RESTORATION (see more pics at the end of the post):


John provided details on the restoration:

I started the final mounting of the Farm Aid Lift. It is attached to a ’46 CJ2A. The rear unit mounts simply by using the existing bolt holes for the jeep draw bar.

The only problem was the two center bolts. This unit was designed without a consideration for using a PTO. I had to notch (cut off) one of the mounting holes on the lift because the PTO used this hole.

Since the hydraulic valve mounted between the seats I decided that rather than drilling holes in the floor for the hydraulic hoses I would run them along the floor and up through the firewall. The engine compartment is getting rather cramped.

Since the jeep has a Koeing crankshaft driven winch in the front I couldn’t use the crank to drive the hydraulic pump. I fabricated a bracket for the pump and strapped it to the generator. This is similar to the way a Hi-Low pump mounts.

The hydraulic reservoir is well designed.
–Unbolt the voltage regulator from the fender.
–Attach the tank to the fender using those holes.
–Mount the regulator to the tank by the provided tapped holes.
–Attach one tank bracket to the air cleaner bracket.
–Then attach the other to the battery hold down stud on the fender.

I had to have a new barrel made for the hydraulic cylinder because of severe pitting. I put in oil and fired up the jeep. Everything works.

1. I see no way to mount any 3-Point tool (plow, post hole digger) to this unit.
It only extends about six inches beyond the rear bed of the jeep.
2. The hitch points are too high compared to other jeep hydraulic hitches.
3. There is no provision to bolt the front of the unit to the bed of the jeep.
4. Perhaps the only designed use is with the Mellon plow that is on your site.

After spending a few sleepless nights trying to figure out some good use for the Farm Aid I decided to make a little boom pole for it, but it only lifts about 18″. I can see why the previous owner removed it from his jeep.

The good news – This most likely is the only working Farm Aid Lift in the world, and is the fifth, now known, factory designed hitch along with Love, Monroe, Newgren and Stratton.

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6 Comments on “Farm-Aid Hydraulic Lift Reborn

  1. Bob

    That really is pretty cool. Funny that they made it non-standard for common three point implements. Maybe there was some kind of adaptor involved?

  2. Doug In Ohio

    John,Very nice job on the restoration!
    Bob, I was thinking the same thing,could be another part to make it work with three point equipment.Or possibly there were just a few implements that were designed to work with this lift only.Nice piece!

  3. Lew

    This is a puzzle. The way it lifts to keep the back four points plumb leads me to conclude there is more to this for a universal lift mechanism. I cant see being limited to just one manufacturer’s implements or they wouldnt sell to any farmer. If you think in terms of a quick-tach implement currently used on front-end loaders, think bale forks for example, it would allow the use of this lift for other implements. The six inches or so it lifts as measured at the bed would be magnified at the end of a typical implement. Given this is all flat stock, if you can just find a picture of something on another tractor or another jeep I dont think it would be difficult to duplicate the capability. I like it a lot and look forward to seeing what it can do once the mystery parts are located.

  4. Lew

    Another possibility, although it doesnt explain why there are four lift points, is that the two lower lift points could be the motive lift for traditional lift arms that would have been mounted at the ends of the draw bar. It actually looks like you have almost a foot of lift there, meaning at the ends of the traditional lift arms the lift would be much more like you would expect. That only leaves where the center-point would be. Were it not for the fact the hydraulic ram is mounted where it is at the aft end, I would think that an ideal location for the center adjustable top-link. But there is so much pulling force supported at the top-link that it would have to be much more substantial than what that ram is attached to. Im still thinking…

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