Backup or small farm combine ? - The Combine Forum

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-14-2017, 11:59 PM Thread Starter
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Backup or small farm combine ?

Recently I posted that L2's are good backup combines because they are ridiculously cheap, simple, capable when refurbished, parts are prevalent, and salvage yards are full of them. I ran Gleaners as a small grain custom harvester in the 80's while I attended college, including a graduate degree in Engineering. I still have one I'm fixing up for my own hobby farm use. In my next few posts I'll reveal some of the "update kits" I install on weak design areas of the machines.

I'd steer clear of anything older than a 1979 model. That year some significant upgrades were introduced including an improved cylinder drive that enhanced capacity. Mine is a 1980 model and was essentially salvage when I started on it. About that time some very disappointing "cost reductions" were introduced including a very weak battery support deck and devastating formed channel engine support. The channel on my machine had failed and allowed the engine to drop down atop the rear beater, so watch for that failure mode when shopping. Easy to fix, once you get to it. I gave $1500 for this 1980 model.

The photo shows an in the field fix by someone else and my ugly but stout repair to keep the engine off the straw walkers. I did it on both sides.

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Last edited by wornoutjunk; 05-15-2017 at 12:04 AM.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-15-2017, 09:31 AM
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We never had an L2. We always wanted one but went to the N6. We had a C2 and an F2 gas as a kid. Hand pumped hundreds and hundreds of gallons of fuel into them for many years. My right arm got real big compared to my left and switched arms after a couple yrs to even them out lol. I loved the cylinder right at the front with the trap door. If they made that with a hyd system that closed afterward they would have been the ultimate. We went to MF 750 before going to the N. I soon found that plugging a Massey cylinder was no fun and the simplicity of the gleaner was way less stress. The "chicken plucker" rethresher (as my dad called it) was a pain. So many more design thoughts went into a Gleaner. The ability to just look out the side to see your returns being fed back to the cylinder was so simple and it worked. The Raddle chain in our old C and F never gave a seconds grief in all the years we had them. The only thing I didn't like was the fan set up. If it had been variable from the cab with the ability to see your returns on the fly, you would hardly ever have to stop, or check with a shovel as the day got drier. They did throw over some grain because of the small sieve area and fan setup but were turn the key and go machines day after day. In mud they were incredible. Light and you could go forward until it stopped and back out every time. The Massey was just a pig in mud and never could compare to the nimble gleaners for making turns.

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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-18-2017, 09:52 AM
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Do you have any before pics? that is the first time I have ever seen or heard of a failure in that area.

Now the ladder deck/ auger support on the other hand... That one is nothing new, and they have been failing since the early Ls if guys fold the auger back full of grain often. The 82 L2 and the L3s had an extra brace from factory, but even then still had a few small issues. The mexicans improved it further on the L4.

We dont unload on the go, so the auger is always empty when folded, so we never have issues.

Our farm purchases a combine soley on its ability to do an excellent job in all of our crops, while being fuel efficient, reliable, ruggedly built, and easy to repair. That is why we choose a Gleaner.
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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 05-22-2017, 08:33 PM Thread Starter
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I was never impressed with the L Series structural frame design, especially at the rear. Chopper, fuel tank, engine, pan, walkers, and 1/2 of grain weight carried to the wheels on 1 spindly angle iron column on each side. Unsupported sections of the columns are short, but still, come on engineers. The dynamic twisting loads put on that frame while bouncing around with a full grain bin must be massive. Had they had todays modeling software to simulate these stresses, I bet there would be some other members carrying the load, so I add a few just in case.

I recommend never unloading partially. As brilliant as the rotating unloader design is it cannot withstand the load of swinging an auger full of grain many times.

I don't have a pic of the unbraced engine support but it's just a formed channel welded in place. Probably strong enough when welded properly but this machine had the new guy or dude in a hurry welding on it with QA at lunch. And no motor mounts were used to absorb engine shock but I'm sure they had a good reason why, just hope it wasn't cost related.

All in all though the frame was never a common failure element, but just barely so.
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Last edited by wornoutjunk; 05-22-2017 at 08:39 PM.
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