Adding a hydraulic top link to your tractor is a game-changing modification. It will increase efficiency and convenience while using three-point attachments. What is a hydraulic top link? How do you measure for a hydraulic top link? How do you install a hydraulic top link? These are all good questions that are easily answered. If you would like to buy a hydraulic top link, then please visit Summit Hydraulics and save 5% on your order with code GWT.

What is a hydraulic top link? Let’s start with what comes standard on your tractor and that will be a 3-point hitch. You have two lower arms, one on the lower left and the other on the lower right. You also have one link higher up and centered between the other two. This is called your top link. From the factory, tractors come standard with a manual top link with threaded rods on both ends that you physically screw in or unscrew to change the overall length of the link. This is helpful with hooking up to attachments or changing the performance of the connected tool. You may want to make your box blade dig in at a steeper angle to scrape more dirt or perhaps a shallower angle to barely skim the top layer. Those changes are controlled with the top link.

Hydraulic Top Link For Tractors
Hydraulic Top Link For Tractors

To make these changes with a manual top link, you must hop off the tractor each time an adjustment is needed, and hope you changed the angle to the right pitch. Or, you’ll hop off again and repeat the process. With a hydraulic top link, this can all be done with a push of a lever or button on your tractor. You can make micro-adjustments on the fly to get the perfect setup without ever leaving the tractor seat. It’s a truly incredible feeling and one of the few items I’d say every tractor owner needs to install.

How do you install a hydraulic top link? This is a two-part answer, but let’s tackle the easy part first. The hydraulic top link itself is very easy to install. Summit Hydraulics will include everything you need for the hydraulic top link including the cylinder, hoses, and fittings. Simple hand tools are used to assemble the hydraulic top link in about 10 minutes. You’ll simply unpin your manual top link from your tractor and pin the hydraulic top link in its place. If you’ve ever connected hydraulic couplers on your front-end loader or grapple, then the hydraulic top link will connect the same way. Two quick-release fittings will be plugged into your tractor so that it creates a circuit and allows hydraulic oil to flow in both directions. This will allow the rod to extend or retract to lengthen or shorten the top link.

Now, for the harder part. Your tractor needs to have a place to plug in those two quick-release fittings. Generally speaking, you need to have two hydraulic ports on the back of your tractor called a rear remote. Two ports or Selective Control Valves (SCV’s) make up one hydraulic remote. Again, this allows the hydraulic flow to move in both directions so that hydraulic oil being pumped through the lines can push the rod in or out as commanded. This rear remote will have a lever mounted on the tractor operator station or sometimes a thumb button on your loader joystick to control it. If you need to add a rear remote, this is something that Summit can help you with as well. Again, don’t forget to use code GWT to save 5% off your order.

How to measure for a hydraulic top link? This is a very simple process and only requires a tape measure to complete. You want to measure the minimum and maximum length of your manual top link. To do so, first screw in those threaded rods so that your top link is as short as possible. Then, measure from the center line to the center line of the connection holes. Now, unthread the rods so it is the maximum length and retake the measurement. This is now your min and max measurements. Hydraulic top links are seldom the exact size, so match up with the closest option available. I’ve used this method many times and it works very well. For a full list of sizing instructions, please visit this link.

In summary, a hydraulic top link is a game changer and an accessory that you’ll wonder how you ever lived without. The simplicity of use and speed at which you can accomplish work every time you’re using your 3-point hitch is incredible. Soon, you’ll take it for granted and most certainly recommend one to your fellow tractor-owning friends. We’ve partnered with Summit Hydraulics to showcase their many hydraulic solutions for tractors including hydraulic top links, hydraulic side links, 3rd function kits, hydraulic multipliers and more. We’ve shown the installation and functionality of these hydraulic kits in many of our videos as well. Be sure to use code GWT to save 5% on all your hydraulic needs at Summit Hydraulics.