A little back story:
Growing up, we had two combines: an 8820 and then later we added a 9600 when they came out as well. I learned to drive on the 8820 and for some reason, even preferred running it over the 9600. The 9600 eventually got traded for a 9750 STS and then an 8010 Case was added to the fleet for two years which then got traded on a 9860. We held status quo with the three combines for a year or two and then my still favorite combine, the 8820, got traded on another 9860.
Fast forward a couple years to 2016 and we are still signed on with the Deere camp running 3 STS's. (Lexion parts and service are non existent and we still have a horrible taste for red from the 8010). I have been starting to add a few acres of my own to our operation and we are in the market for another combine. As we all know (here in the US at least), the bottom fell out of the used combine market in 2015 - which was great for anyone looking to buy a combine outright. This, coupled with the passing of time, has made the price of 8820's dirt cheap.
Come spring of this year, an add in the paper caught my eye - a pair of 8820's, with headers, for $24K. While I knew it was a bad idea from the beginning, I called on them just for the heck of it. Turns out they both had about 5,000 hours but were well cared for. They had been for sale for the past two or three years and the price had steadily been lowered by large amounts. Turned off by the hours, I put them out of my mind - or at least tried to. But still, my infatuation with 8820's kept nagging at me until I finally went and looked at them hoping that I would better remember the belt and chain nightmare and the noisy cabs and the miserable serviceability that time had seemed to downplay.
Long story short, I offered the guy a lowball price for the pair (I was sure he would turn it down, but he didn't) and brought them home. I ran them through the shop, changed a belt or two and a feederhouse chain and put them in the field beside our STS's. Out of all 5 combines, the 8820's had the least downtime (not a single breakdown or mishap) and for some reason, I still get a kick out of running them.
Anywho, If they are here to stay, I would like to ding them up a bit and hopefully increase the capacity as much as possible.
One could use rasp bars and a concave. How much capacity would a solid staggered cylinder (PFP or Sunnybrook/Deere) add in wheat and barley?
How about the beater speed up kit offered by PFP?
I have added a couple more walker risers to each walker - how many is too many?
Currently have airfoil chaffers and stock sieves... is there better for small grains?
Any other little tips and tricks to get these things up to par? I ran across THIS ARTICLE
which really peaked my interest but my BS meter started to scream at some of the claims...