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Show Parts for Model:

Massey Ferguson 124 Baler

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07-12-2009 08:33:51

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I have inherited an older MF 124 string baler. The problem I am having is the string on one side is coming out longer than the other side. It is not so noticable on alfalfa, but when I use it on any type of grass hay it makes a mess. I guess the grass is slick and the bales break regularly when falling off the back. I spent most of the day yesterday following the baler while we used it. The needles are coming up at the exact same time. The knotters twist at the exact same time, but then the right knot slips off of the knotter about 5 seconds before the left side. My bales come out banana shaped and break when they twist out and hit the ground. Everything is lubed, and but may need to be sharpened. I do not have an opperators manual so I am not sure of all the adjustments. My grandpa who was the original owner is now dead, and I have a long list of questions I wish I would have asked him. I cannot figure out what else to do. I would appreciate any help on this topic.


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08-04-2009 08:17:53

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 Re: Massey Ferguson 124 Baler in reply to Jon.Graf, 07-12-2009 08:33:51  
Managed to get mine working over the weekend and pump out about 500 bales. Knotters worked after I cleaned them very well and sprayed them thoroughly with WD40. Found that I needed to stop every 100 bales or so, clean out the knotter chamber and spray again. Had to replace the shear bold once while baling a couple of broken bales. Any ideas on how to adjust the PTO clutch? Plan to sharped the twine knives as well now that I have a manual.


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07-27-2009 23:06:53

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 Re: Massey Ferguson 124 Baler in reply to Jon.Graf, 07-12-2009 08:33:51  
This is going by what I have learned with our new holland hay liner bailer but they are all pretty much the same. We ran into a similar problem last year when we bought string from tractor supply. They were always popping, or it was making bananna bails. Buying good twine (not the plastic stuff but good biodegradable twine) from a local john deere dealer rather than tractor supply fixed the problem. I have never tried running plastic twine through our bailer. I have also learned to keep absolutely every moving part lubercated well. I lubercate all of the chains with wd-40 along with the knotters. Be sure to hit all of the grease fittings with grease regularly. Also make sure all of the knotters are clean from dirt, I use a cheap paint brush to brush off all of the dirt and apply a good coat of wd-40.

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07-27-2009 18:08:42

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 Re: Massey Ferguson 124 Baler in reply to Jon.Graf, 07-12-2009 08:33:51  
I bought one of these balers on the weekend. I am also having problems with the knotters. I don't have an operators manual yet (I found one on ebay that should arrive early next week) but would like to get it working this weekend.
Basically I am having two problems:

1) When the knots are tied a lot of twine is getting twisted up under the knotters where it is very difficult to remove. I'm not sure I even have the twine (natural) threaded properly through the needles, although when I manually cycle it it seems to at least get started correctly. I've seen some talk about sharpening the twine cutters but have no idea where to start.

2) Bales are short. There is an L shaped arm (that trips the knotters) driven by a cogged wheel that measures the length of the bale. Where the cogged wheel drives the L shaped arm there are small teeth, but the L shaped arm is smooth and falls with vibrations of the baler. Should there be ridges or teeth on the edge of this arm? Can I use a file to put some back in the edge?

Does anyone have a manual that they could scan a few pages out of and email to me. I really need to get this hay in.



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07-12-2009 14:19:23

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 Re: Massey Ferguson 124 Baler in reply to Jon.Graf, 07-12-2009 08:33:51  
This kinda sounds like your packer tines needed to be adjusted so as to deliver the hay into the center of the bale chamber. Look at the top of the finger hinges for several adjustment holes so the hay can be delivered farther into the chamber, or not so far, as the case may be.HTH

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DavidP, South Wales

07-12-2009 09:55:21

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 Re: Massey Ferguson 124 Baler in reply to Jon.Graf, 07-12-2009 08:33:51  
Hello Jon,
My thirty years experience is confined to mainly New Holland balers but the principles are very similar.
First of all you will need to check the twine tensioner. This is normally found at the end of the cord box. Ensure that it is intact and that both cords run between the plates and require a similar amount of effort to pull the cords through. I have a feeling that this may be where your problem is. Follow the cords down to the china eyes and up to the needle eyes and then to the knotters.
We need to identify the cords now. The end that is held in the knotter and runs along the top of the bale is referred to as the number 1 cord. The cord that the needle places in the knotter is referred to as the number 2 cord. The number 1 cord is held in the twine disc/s. Compare the faulty side to the good one. The knotch should be in the correct position to accept the No 2 cord when it is brought up. If necessary empty the chamber and have an assistant turn the baler over by hand at the flywheel. Carefully holding the cords inside the chamber to simulate a bale watch the operation. The needles will come up and lay the No 2 cord in the twine disc. The twine disc will turn to grip the cord. The twine finger on the case will move to ensure that the cords remain in contact with the billhook. The billhook will turn and open and close on the cords forming the start of the knot. The knife arm will cut the cords as the knot is being swept off the billhook and the knot is formed.
From your description the number 2 cord has no tension;
In summary;
Check the twine tensioner.
Check the threading of the cords.
Check that No 2 cord is being laid in the twine disc and that it is being held there.

Let us know how you get on.
DavidP,South Wales

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07-12-2009 09:52:11

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 Re: Massey Ferguson 124 Baler in reply to Jon.Graf, 07-12-2009 08:33:51  
Jon If you're using plastic twine, this maybe your problem. Some of the older balers don't like plastic. We have to run silas( or how ever you spell it) in our 124

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DavidP,South Wales

07-12-2009 09:57:34

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 Re: Massey Ferguson 124 Baler in reply to ILLEFTY, 07-12-2009 09:52:11  
I would agree with ILLEFTY that plastic cord can be a real pain in some older balers but this will normally affect both knotters.


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