Older MC grain dryers 400, 600, 800 etc - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 03:49 AM Thread Starter
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Older MC grain dryers 400, 600, 800 etc

I'm sure there are a bunch of these older dryers out and about... in our area they are getting pulled out and having the cobwebs brushed off and being put into use.
Perhaps a thread where owners could share tips and tricks that we have amassed over time could be beneficial to the community.
Even pictures of your set up could be useful on triggering ideas in new setups.

So here is my story.... we were sitting around feeling defeated by the weather.. days short day time temp low most of crops in the field still. A MC400 came up on kijiji and I made a deal and snapped it up... I think it's mid 1970's unit (no circuit boards) I am completely new to grain drying so in buying an older unit, I may have jumped in the deep end.

Here are my experiences.
I easily found owners manual to download and print online.
I needed to replace all belts (my wife will babysit it and I don't want an preventable problems) the owners manual actually lists all the actual belt sizes... this means i wad able to get all, even the wide 8 and 4 groove drive belts ftom Commercial Bearing (Motion Canada i believe) in Nisku the same day. The lady was very helpful in roundimg up what i needed from various warehouses. The belts fit perfectly
Directions for belt install and the important tensioning in the manual. I used a luggage scale and a welding rod bent in a triangle as a makeshift tension indicator.
The dryer is PTO driven I'm using a case 2090 with a 1000 to 540 adaptor so the tractor can run slower.
I replaced the igniter spark plug... could not find one in stock around town (Westlock) but found a BR8ES the same but just longer threads, so I installed a few washers to get it approximately the same depth, about 1/2" into pilot burner pipe. Also gapped to approximately 1/8"
It is best to start the PTO with a speed just high enough that the plenum pressure light come on.
I had problems at first with the pilot burner going out, and hard starting, and when I did get the main burner to ignite, it would go out after 2 to 3 min. Turns out the pilot orfice was partially plugged, it should be removed as there is a kind of copper tube inside with small holes to prevent clogging. I cleaned and slightly wallowed out the small holes on the copper tubing attached to the brass orfice and ever so slightly used a small drill bit to enlarge the pilot orfice BY HAND... I did not power drill it..
After cleaning the pilot orfice, the dryer pilot lit easily and quickly heated the thermocouple slowing the main burner to light and operate flawlessly.
I should mention that I blew out the main burner as there was a small accumulation of debris from rust and what not... I didn't remove it, just blew it out in place.
I just ran it successfully for the first time today... recycled the first bit of the grain that dosn't dry with this style of dryer, so tomorrow hopefully I can get it running in the automatic mode.
I will try to keep my findings posted as i go along....
What plenum temps do you guys run your continuous dryers at?

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post #2 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 07:14 PM Thread Starter
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Working today... only trying to dry my grain a single point... I have a 6" dry auger and it cannot keep up to the speed of the meter rolls as the grain is over dry... I'm running the plenum temp at 160f to see how that works.

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post #3 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 09:23 PM
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Good buy!!! I don't know anything about MC dryers, but you will be glad you have it. We have a continuous Tox-o-wik and some years put more hours on it than any other piece of equipment we own. You will wonder how you got along without it. As far as temps go, a quick look online should get all the maximums you can go. I could get the ones from our manual but it would be quicker online. We dry most of our grains in the 160-200, but mostly are drying feed grains so not too worried about grain temps. Good luck!

It's easy enough to be pleasant, when life goes by like a song. But the man worth while, is the man with a smile, when everything goes dead wrong!
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post #4 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-15-2017, 10:57 PM
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To me that looks like a MC600 with the top cross auger. I have a MC400 and it has no auger. I have only used mine one fall but it sits in the shed incase I ever need it again. I use a 7" pto auger to take dry grain away I tried a 6" but couldn't keep up when it get heated up and starts dumping steady. I ran the 7" auger with a garden tractor just had it idling. I was drying feed wheat that year and was running temp around 200-220. You can dry the cooling chamber if you take the floor pan doors out to start with but I just took first batches and dumped back into wet bin. If I was going to set up to make it more easy to use I would put hyd drive on the augers with flow controls and relief valves on wet auger so when dryer is full it would just stop. Seeing you have a tractor running dryer already you can use it to run augers.
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post #5 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 01:25 AM
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Its not a 600, this one only has 12 sections, a 600 has 16.
Been one in the family for 50 years and I've owned it the last 30.
Lots of them still around and in use. Unless they have the smaller hole screens not the greatest for canola but with some ingenuity they work

Duanne, that trick may work on the little one, but on the dual fan models it won't.

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post #6 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 06:40 AM
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I have the not so pretty twin to your unit. Bought it several years ago when we couldn't get anything dry either.

I wish I was only pulling 1%. Doing 20-24% wheat right now and it's like watching paint dry on a cool, overcast, high humidity day.

In the book it says if you want to dry the first batch through to open the door between heat and cool sections and to block the fan with cardboard and run for 1.25 hrs or so. Then reset and she's good to go. I usually just over dry the first batch through and by the time it gets handled a couple more times I call it good. It also sits in an aeration bin after the dryer for most of a day doing this wetter stuff. Maybe not the right way but works for me.

Has anyone added a burner to the cool section and dumped hot? It's coming out at 25-28*C during the day now and I have to put it on air as I don't want to bin it at those temps right now. Not to mention would speed things up a bit.

AB you mentioned about running canola through. What changes does that take? I'll hopefully be doing some in a few days and the way my luck has been this year I better be prepared. Don't even have a pail of canola around to see if these screens are fine enough in mine for it. Looks like it should work at first glance.
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post #7 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 10:33 AM
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Back in 2011 when we had canola out yet in November I check and your able to get canola screens for them but was going to be around $6000 to change over a 400
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post #8 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 01:27 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the posts... I knew there had to be lots of thses old girls around... I looked at what must have been an older model 400, in the manual it said the floor can be removed and the cooling fan covered for the first batch but that model has an interior cooling fan. On mine with the exterior cooling fan I don't think that works.

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post #9 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 01:30 PM Thread Starter
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Here's something I heard from the guy I bought the dryer from who heard it from a neighbour.... who heard it from a friend.... and any body that had heard this one about doing canola....
paint the screens... apparently a little coat of paint will close up the holes .... "just enough"

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post #10 of 35 (permalink) Old 10-16-2017, 03:16 PM
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Altona Farm supply in Altona MB is where I get my parts from.

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