So, IF anyone has been following, I have had several posts this summer regrading the knotters on my New Holland 273 hanging knots on the bill hook. I believe we have finally reached our conclusion.
Quick background: NH 273 has been on our farm since new, has performed flawlessly for over 40 years. This year on our first loads out, it started to hang knots on the bill hook every 15-20 bales, sometimes more frequently, sometimes less. It seemed (on the first couple) to be on the left knotter, but then it was hanging both pretty consistently. The baler had ended up outside this winter, and the tarp was lost partway through the winter. This will never happen again.
We assumed that the bill hooks had gotten corroded over the winter and started by shining those up, tested on a few broken bales, all seemed good, took it out and it started hanging knots.
We sharpened the twine knives, re-sanded the bill hooks, sprayed a little WD 40 on them, tested it out, seemed ok, next good weather, started hanging them up even more frequently.
Now we replaced the bill hooks, timed the twine discs, replaced the brass roller on the back of the wiper arm, checked adjustments and clearances on that, waited for some good weather and started to hang up knots again.
This time on the way into the shed I noticed 2 things when comparing it to our 311;
1. The twine finger on the LH side did not move or rotate easily, seemed jammed.
2. The welded lever which actuated the time finger had a pretty good bend in it.
Pulled the lever out, straightened it, the twine fingers were quite a bit to the left of the curved rods, as opposed to on the opposite side and lined up with the needles. LH side, when turned by hand, was too far from the needle, RH side was brushing the needle. Got everything freed up, straightened and timed. Took it out for a test, agreed that if it hangs one, it heads right to the shed, baled 300 without a miss.
Our thinking; parked outside caused corrosion and the LH finger to get stuck, first bale of the season, attempted to rotate properly, did not, cause the lever bar to begin to bend. Sometimes it rotated smoothly, sometimes not, particularly at PTO speed as opposed to hand speed. As our tests went on, the bend got worse, causing the knot hanging to get worse. Without noticing that bend, we were chasing a lot of loose ends.
The parts we replaced, definitely needed some replacing but they were not the true criminals.
Thank you to everyone for the information and suggestions. It was frustrating to say the least but every time I posted with our progress, there were tons of ideas and leads to look into. Once we saw the bent lever, there was a wealth of info about that issue even. As always, the people on here have great knowledge both tractor, implement and anything else.
As an encore, when I got inside, I flushed the toilet and water did not go down. Septic is plugged. Such is life.