Answers to common questions we get about planter maintenance and repair each spring:
-We recommend replacing disk openers when they measure 14-1/2" or less in diameter. Yes, some owner's manuals say the minimum is 14", but our experience is that the disks wear thinner as they wear "smaller." and disks smaller than 14-1/2" are thin enough at their edges so they have problems with those edges crimping or bending when they hit rocks.
-You should replace the inner scraper (the "frog" between the openers) when you replace disk openers. That scraper plays a role when planting in wet conditions, and we all know you're going to drag that planter through at least one wet spot.
-The "contact" between disk openers is from 1-1/2" to 2-1/2".
-Yes, you can reverse drill shafts that have the hex corners worn off where a bearing froze up and spun on the shaft. You may have to drill holes for drive pins, but it will work.
-Yes, you can replace gauge wheel tires by splitting the rims and prying and beating a new tire onto the rims. At the dealership, we've never been able to consistently replace those tires on split rims and get them to run "true" without any wobble. Lots of guys on the internet brag they can do it. I'm happy for them. I just can't afford to spend two hours of a customer's money disassembling, mounting the tire, reassembling and then "true-ing" each wheel.
The most common comment we get about planter maintenance is that customers "can't afford" to do all the maintenance planters sometimes require. All the nit-picky adjustment and replacement costs, multiplied across multiple rows, are intimidating. I agree. Planters will definitely plant with worn disk openers, rusty chains, and damaged gauge wheel tires. Just not as well as planters with new, well-adjusted parts.