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Tip To Avoid Grain Tank Gearbox Problem On Deere Combine
Roger Gutschmidt, Gackle, N. Dak.: “The grain tank gearbox on my Deere combine, which moves grain from the clean grain elevator chain to the bubble-up auger in the hopper, failed a few years ago. A new one cost more than $2,000. The housing is aluminum and the two bevel gears inside are made of steel. The gears, bearings, and shafts inside run in 80/90 gear lube. There is a seal on one end that is always in the grain. If this seal fails, dust gets inside the gear case and before long it is full of sludge and makes the bearings go out.
    “When that happens, the gears shift to the side and wear a groove in the aluminum housing and the belt that drives it comes off the pulley and you’re done combining for the day. If you fix it yourself, you’re looking at $2,500 in parts. If a Deere technician fixes it, it will cost $3,500 to $4,000.
    “My tip to avoid the problem is to lower the fold-down bubble auger and find the star-shaped drive wheel below it. Take that off and then the oil seal is easily accessible. Examine it for any kind of damage. If it looks bad, pry it out with a screwdriver and pound in a new seal. Also, check the oil in the case with the dip stick. If it looks dirty at all, dust is getting inside and that will tell you the seal is failing. Replacing a $10 seal will save you a lot of money in down time and repair costs. Also, running the hopper to overflowing – or using a hopper topper – puts tremendous stress on this gearbox, the clean grain elevator chain, and the bearings, not to mention the final drives, transmission, and tires. It might look cool to have a heaping full hopper but you’re not doing your combine any favors.”

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2018 - Volume #42, Issue #2