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Army Truck Axle Gibes Combine 4WD
Missouri farmer Carl Dodd converted his 1976 Gleaner M combine to 4-WD by replacing the rear axle with the front axle off a junked-out 2 1/2-ton Army truck and connecting it to the combine's transmission.
Dodd used a front-end loader to lift up the rear of the combine to remove the old axle and slide the new one in. He widened the truck axle by 2 ft. so the rear wheels would follow in the tracks of the front wheels, then welded the centers of the 20-in. truck wheels inside 13.9 by 26 combine wheels salvaged from a Deere 45 combine. A 24-in. long pipe welded horizontally across the center of the truck axle allows it to pivot sideways.
"I built it in the fall of 1985 which was so wet I couldn't get into fields to harvest," says Dodd. "It cost only $700 to build versus a commercial 4-WD hydraulic assist which would have cost $7,000. Since I installed the truck axle I've re-placed the combine's gear-driven trans-mission with a hydrostatic transmission. The combine's original rear axle did turn sharper and was lighter. To compensate for the wider turning radius I just make an extra pass along the ends of fields. When harvest conditions are dry I replace the Army truck axle with the combine's original rear axle."
The front drive wheels on the modified combine are bigger than the rear wheels so Dodd had to find a way to synchronize them. He mounted a gearbox removed from an old pull-type Allis-Chalmers 66 combine on the frame between the trans-mission and right front wheel. A 1-in. dia. shaft runs from the gearbox to the rear axle. A roller chain connects the end of the shaft to the transmission brake drum. Dodd installed a small sprocket on the transmission brake drum and a larger one on the end of the shaft in order to slow the rear axle down.
He bolted the combine's 9-in. hydraulic steering cylinder to a steel plate that he welded to the truck axle tie rod.
Contact FARM SHOW Followup, Carl Dodd, Rt.1, Leonard, Mo. 63451 (ph 816 762-4460).

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #1