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Nifty wire stretcher
A Manitoba farmer who converted his 1982 New Holland TR85 combine to 4-WD says he'll never again be slowed down by wet conditions at harvest.
Brian Yokimas says that 3 out of the last 15 years have been so wet equipment couldn't get into the field. So even though the last two years have been dry, he decided to make the conversion so he'd be ready for the next wet season.
He first looked at a Deere conversion kit but it cost $13,680, not including wheels and tires. He decided to come up with his own 4-WD conversion package.
The first step was to convert the machine's standard transmission to hydro-static drive. Yokimas bought a used Deere hydrostatic unit for $1,600 from a combine salvage yard and a new set of drive belts. Then he bought the wheel-drive units from the same salvaged combine for $5,500. Before settling on the Deere drive system, he carefully studied all makes of combines with driven rear axles. "I wanted the Deere drive axle because of its cam lobe hydraulic motor," he says. "All the other bands use a hydraulic motor to run a gear reduction unit. The cam lobe has one large, slower turning motor which forms the inner hub. There are 12 pistons working on 15 lobes for continuous power, plus it freewheels instantly when disengaged.
"One thing I really like is that the Deere axle can engage without slowing the combine suddenly. I hardly feel it when it engages. The hubs have a small pump which parks the pistons, allowing the axle to freewheel. This way it doesn't cost a lot of fuel just dragging it around."
To mount the new wheel-drive components, Yokimas first had to build a new rear axle. He used two 4 by 6-in. square tube beams with 3/4-in. thick steel plates welded to the ends. The hydraulic drive hub assemblies attached to these plates. He made the axle wider than the original NH axle.
Two main hydraulic lines run from each wheel motor, and these four lines run to a shift control valve mounted on the side of the combine. The valve, which turns the axle on and off, is engaged by an electric solenoid operated by a simple on-off dash switch. Two main hydraulic lines run from the valve to existing ports on the combine's "new" hydrostatic drive unit.
Yokimas fitted the combine with the larger size tires - 16.9 by 26 - compared to the 14.9 by 24 tires that he found avail-able on most drive axles. "I'm ready for the worst that can happen. In 1985, we had to give up and shut down. I don't want that to happen again," he says.
As a finishing touch, Yokimas replaced the single steering cylinder with a set of matching Deere steering cylinders, providing an extra steering boost.
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Brian Yokimas, Rt. 1, East Selkirk, Manitoba Canada ROE OMO (ph 204 482-7252).

(Reprinted from Grainews, Winnipeg, Canada)

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1991 - Volume #15, Issue #6