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Implement Alley Discussion Forum

Gathering chain tension

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J.D. Jim A.

11-06-2004 18:10:31

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I have a JD 444 cornhead. How do you tell if the chains are tensioned properly? Someone told me a certain amount of the spring shold be showing?

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11-07-2004 17:34:54

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 Re: Gathering chain tension in reply to J.D. Jim A., 11-06-2004 18:10:31  
From the way you state your question, if makes me wonder if you have the operator manual for the corn head. With all due respect for Allan's answer, I've owned Gleaner heads for 28 years, and the advice regarding spring tension has never been bad. It is important to clean the area where the spring and bolt are mounted, so the tightener can work as designed. Occasionally a butt piece of cob gets stuck in there and blocks the adjustor action, but otherwise the system has worked fine. Whatever you do- do not get under a head without a MECHANICAL lock over the lift cylinder. My F2 came from the factory with a shutoff valve, and when my son was driving it to a local welding shop to get a mechanical lock installed on the lift cylinder, the hydraulic line failed, with no head on the combine! I had a dummy cylinder (only JD part on the F2)installed on an additional bracket, with a drop-down bracket like on other Gleaners. No chance of a header dropping down while making adjustments.

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Allan in NE

11-08-2004 02:09:03

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 Re: Gathering chain tension in reply to JMS/MN, 11-07-2004 17:34:54  

Yes, and thanks for the heads up. I thought we were talking about a ensilage cutter. Duh! :>)

The combine corn heads are usually spring loaded.

Thanks for the correction,


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Allan in NE

11-07-2004 06:11:56

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 Re: Gathering chain tension in reply to J.D. Jim A., 11-06-2004 18:10:31  

I've never owned a JD, but with all other makes I've had, I like to set 'em where the gathering fingers have between 1/2 and 5/8" deflection out at it's tip.

That description in the manual where they tell you to adjust so you have so much spring showing is a bit misleading, in my view.


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