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Truck Axle Converts Combine to 4-WD
Kansas farmer Lawrence Penka converted his 1971 Ford 622 combine to 4-WD by replacing the rear axle with the front axle off a junked-out 2-ton 4-WD truck.
Penka paid $200 for the axle. He completely removed the original axle and mounted the truck axle, welding the centers of the truck's 20-in. wheels inside 13.9 by 26 wheels (salvaged from a Deere 45 combine) so that the rear wheels would follow in the tracks of the front wheels. He mounted a gearbox (salvaged from an Allis-Chalmbers pull-type combine) between the transmission and driveshaft, using a short length of driveshaft to connect the gearbox to the transmission. The back end of the driveshaft is connected to the truck axle by a double 13-tooth sprocket and another larger sprocket. They chain-drive a short length of driveshaft that's hooked up to the truck axle.
"It was a fairly simple job. By using a driveshaft to connect the rear axle to the combine's transmission I don't have to synchronize anything," says Penka. "The gear-box slows down the driveshaft so that the rear axle doesn't run too fast. It runs a little faster than the front axle to help it steer. It keeps running at the same ratio as the front drive axle even when I shift gears. A steel rod extends from the gearbox up through the bottom of the cab so that I can put the gearbox in gear. When the ground is hard and dry I remove the chain and put the gear-box in neutral so that the driveshaft doesn't run. Saves wear and tear."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Lawrence Penka, Rt. 1, Box 194, Garnett, Kan. 66032 (ph 913 448-6501).

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1995 - Volume #19, Issue #3