Is your Billy Goat aerator not performing like it should? In most cases, problems with hole depth and placement are caused by worn or broken aerator tines. Whether you have an AET aerating trailer, a Hydro Aerator, or a PL PLUGR aerator, these tips will help you find and replace worn tines on your machine.
When Do I Replace My Aerator’s Tines?
Tines are made of a self-scouring metal. This causes them to wear in a way that keeps the tips sharp while maintaining their overall shape. Eventually, tines do wear down to a point where they’re no longer effective at cutting through the soil. On Billy Goat machines, you should replace tines that are more than one inch shorter than their original length.
Impacts are inevitable, as tines strike rocks hidden beneath the soil’s surface. This rolls the tip of the tine, widening the cutting surface. Hard impacts can bend tines. Damaged tines aren’t just less effective, they can tear surface soil. In either case, the tine should be replaced.
Always inspect the tines on your aerator before each use. To get the most life from your tines, clean them after every use.
Even damaged tines are sharp, so you should wear heavy gloves while handling them. Here’s how you replace tines on every model of Billy Goat aerator.
Single Tine Replacement on the AE400 and AET Series Aerators
1. Lift the tines into their transport position. 2. Loosen the nut and carriage bolt on the outside of the tine, followed by the nut and bolt on the inside. Leave these parts in place. 3. Push the tine plates apart with a pry bar or a screwdriver. 4. Remove the worn tine from the reel and replace it with a new tine. 5. Tighten down the inner carriage bolt, followed by the outer bolt.
Multiple Tine Replacement on AE400 and AET Series Aerators
1. Use blocks to support the tine reel. Remove the bolts and nuts holding the reel bearings to the frame. 2. Lift the reel and slide the drive chain off of the sprocket. 3. Remove the cotter pin and nut at the end of the reel. 4. You can now slide the tine rows, spacers, and tines off the reel. You may want to take a few photos before disassembly since these parts need to go on in the same order they were removed. 5. Reassemble the tine reel, replacing worn tines with new ones. 6. Tighten the end nut to 100 lb-ft. of torque. Try to move the tines by hand to make sure everything is seated. If one of the tines moves, check the nut torque again. 7. Slide the reel into the aerator, wrapping the drive chain over the cog. Bolt the reel bearings to the frame.
Replacing Tines on the AE1300 Aerators
To keep the tine arms balanced, always replace tines in pairs.
1. Remove the bolt that passes through the tine arm assembly, along with the washer and lock nut. If this bolt is damaged, replace it with a Grade 8 bolt with the same length and thread pitch. 2. Pull out the worn tines. 3. Reassemble the tine assembly, alternating between tines and washers. All tines should be turned to face the rear of the aerator. 4. Insert the bolt, add the washer to the end, and tighten down the lock nut. There is no set torque for this nut, but you should avoid overtightening, as this will bend the tine holders.
Do You Need Parts for Your Billy Goat Aerator?
You can get anything you need for your Billy Goat equipment from Billy Goat Parts. We’re an authorized dealer for the brand, as well as their manufacturing partners including Honda and Briggs & Stratton. We carry a full selection of spike and hollow-core tines, as well as replacement parts ranging from washers to wheels. Our search engine lets you find parts by model and serial number, so you can be sure what you order is compatible with your machine. Visit us online at www.billygoatparts.com. We ship across the United States and Canada.