1996 - Volume #20, Issue #2, Page #04[ Sample Stories From This Issue | List of All Stories In This Issue | Print this story | Read this issue]
Souped Up Combine Powered By Cummins
"It's equivalent to putting a 350 cu. in. V-8 Chevy engine in a lawn tractor," says Marvin Helland, an Anamoose, N. Dak., custom cutter. "It has enough power and hydraulic capacity to last me far into the next century."
Helland repowered the 1978 Massey 760 V-8 Hydro with a Cummins 903 cu. in., 320 hp V-8 engine out of a Massey 4840 4-WD tractor.
Helland bought the combine for $4,000 in 1993. In 1994, he replaced its 11-bar con-cave with a 12-bar concave out of a Massey 860 and lengthened its straw walkers 12 in., boosting capacity about 10%. He also re-painted the machine, replacing the 760 decals with 860 decals.
Last year, he and his son Marvin, Jr., decided the only thing that limited the combine's potential was power. So they bought the big Cummins for $500 from clients in South Dakota. They completely re-built the engine before installation.
"The Cummins was actually the perfect engine to replace the Perkins 540 cu. in.,160 hp V-8 that was in the combine," says Helland. "It was only about 1 in. wider, only 3 or 4 in. longer and higher, and weighed only about 300 lbs. more than the Perkins. Installing it was a piece of cake."
For the drive train, the men used a 19-in. long 1700 series driveshaft out of an overthe-road semi. It connects with a U-joint to a homemade solid shaft fitted with combine pulleys.
Next, they rebuilt the single pump hydraulic system into a dual pump system. The original pump now drives only the hydro, while a second 30 gpm pump controls the machine itself.
They moved the radiator from behind the cab to the right side of the machine, in front of the engine. That's so it's easier to work on the radiator, oil cooler, and air conditioning condenser.
A rotary screen off a Massey 8590 combine mounts in front of the radiator on a side panel that's hinged to swing open for easy access.
They replaced the worn sieves on the Massey with an air foil chaffer sieve off a 1680 Case-IH combine to increase capacity. That only required trimming the framework off the air foil to fit the Massey. Grain tank extensions increase capacity from 200 to 240 bu., and they fitted the combine with home-built shallow-dished rims and 30.5 by 32-in. 12-ply tires to handle the extra weight. They also replaced the Massey's original 90-gal. fuel tank with a 100-gal. aluminum fuel tank off a semi truck. They mounted it behind the grain tank instead of on the left side as the original had been.
"We relocated it to better balance the combine. Masseys were always a little heavy on the left side," Helland explains. "Plus, this way we have easier access to drive belts." Finally, the Hellands added an additional exhaust stack to the combine and placed a Massey "9" decal in front of the model 860 so it reads "9860".
"It's got more power than I'll ever need," Marvin says, "and it uses less fuel than many of its competitors - about 8 gal. per hour." The Hellands have about $10,000 in-vested in the project.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Marvin Helland, RR 1, Box 60, Anamoose, N. Dak. 58710 (ph 701 465-3812).
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