How and When to Replace Aerator Tines


The tines on your Billy Goat aerator cut into the soil to relieve compaction, so their condition determines how effectively you can aerate. How do you know when it’s time to replace the tines, and how do you do it?

When Should I Replace a Tine?

Tines are made from alloys that are self-scouring, so they always have a sharp edge. However, impacts with rocks can roll the edge inward, widening the area that makes contact with the soil. Hard impacts can bend the tine, so it can’t punch through turf effectively. Either way, the tine will be less effective. If you avoid these problems, metal wear will eventually decrease the tine length. As a general rule, tines should be replaced if they’re one inch shorter than they were when new.

For the best performance, check the condition of the tines before you put your aerator to work. To increase the life of your tines, clean them after every use.

Replacing a Single Tine on AE400 Series and AET Towable Aerators

Chock the wheels before working any towable aerator.

1. Raise the tines to the transport position.
2. Loosen the outermost nut and carriage bolt followed by the innermost nut and carriage bolt. Do not remove these parts.
3. Use a flathead screwdriver or small pry bar to push apart the tine plates.
4. Slide the tine out of the reel.
5. Slide in the new tine and tighten the innermost carriage bolt.
6. Tighten down the outermost carriage bolt.

Replacing Multiple Tines on AE400 Series and AET Towable Aerators

1. Support the tine reel and remove the two pairs of bolts and nuts holding the tine reel bearings. Remove the four bolts and nuts, two on each side, holding the tine reel bearings in place.
2. Lift the reel up and move it to the side to separate it from the drive chain.
3. Remove the cotter pin and nut at the end of the tine reel shaft.
4. Remove the tine rows and spacers to access and replace the worn tines, keeping track of the order the spacers go on the tine reel.
5. Reassemble the tine reel in the order it was assembled.
6. Tighten the nut that holds the tines and spacers on the shaft, torquing it to 100 lb-ft. Try to move the tine rows by hand to make sure they’re fixed in place.
7. Slide the tine reel back into the aerator, fitting the drive chain over the cog.
8. Reinstall the bolts and nuts that hold in the tine reel bearings.

Replacing Tines on the AE1300 Series

On this model, Billy Goat recommends replacing tines in pairs to keep the arms balanced.

1. Remove the 3/8 inch bolt that passes through the tine arm assembly.
2. Pull out the worn tines.
3. Inspect the bolt. If it’s damaged, replace it with a Grade 8 bolt with the same thread pitch.
4. Place a washer on the tine holder and the new tine on the bolt. Install these parts on the tine arm with the open side of the tine facing the back of the aerator. Once the bolt is through the tine arm, repeat the process, sliding on another tine and tine holder.
5. Once everything is in place, install the washer and lock nut. Over-tightening the nut can bend the tine holders.

Get the Parts You Need to Keep Your Equipment Running has everything you need for your aerator including tines, small parts, and major components, and we can ship those parts to any address in the US or Canada. Our search engine can find parts based on your aerator’s model and serial number, and it can show you where each part fits on your machine using factory diagrams. Need engine parts? We’re also a certified dealer for Honda, Subaru and Briggs & Stratton so we can provide you with replacements for everything on your Billy Goat equipment.

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