Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Welding on the corn head

Purchased a used John Deere 443 corn head for my combine; but apparently the combine that it had been used on was set up differently than mine.  So I've had to cut off bits that they added, and to modify it so that it fits on the front of my combine.  The first issue to deal with is the pulley that is shown above.  It's the left-front corner of my combine, and if you look carefully at the belt you'll notice an odd indent.  The clearance hole in the head isn't big enough, so...
...out comes the tape measure and the cutting torch, and with a little bit of work and grinding, the hole is big enough.  I'll weld in some flat stock equivalent to what they had there before and then paint the whole thing green.
They also added some odd "improvements" to the implement.  On general principles I'll leave them there, but you can see the original JD green below the area they added, that little ramp-looking thing.  And the final change was the location of the PTO shaft.  They'd lowered it 3.5", so to fix it took a couple of days -- take it apart, drill the holes that they'd filled in, and then grind and clean the area and bolt it all together with gasket sealer to hold oil around the gears.

For all of these modifications you could see where the orignal parts had been installed; wear marks and drilled holes and so on, so I wasn't working blind -- I had a template where to put things, but I didn't expect to have to do this work; I figured if it was a JD 443 corn head it would just fit a JD 7720 combine.  Silly me!

I'm still 2 to 3 weeks away from combining, so this isn't an emergency; I'll put the whole thing together tommorrow and test it on some corn to make sure it works.  Hopefully after this harvest season I'll clean the combine out, grease the head and then park the whole thing in the barn until next fall.   I need it to work for about 15 hours this year.  I'm looking forward to it!

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