If you're talking about the 8820, I beg to differ. I think we view it through rose-colored glasses. The 7720 wasn't that much different from the 8820. I remember watching my dad fix holes in the clean grain elevator and various other wear surfaces that wore clear through the thin tin. My dad also wore out the pickup after just a few years and had to rebuild it. At least a couple of bearings failed every year, and belts broke, and it was quite a difficult job to replace them, given how many belts and chains were on that machine. I remember the cylinder taking pretty serious rock damage, requiring a rebuild. If I recall the 7720 cylinder was made of just stamped steel spider assemblies. Feederhouse tin wore through and the chains certainly didn't last longer than they do today.
In my mind that combine ran still ran forever, but if I'm honest, I recall that it was wore out after 7 or 8 seasons. Our current machines seem to wear out fast also, but they each do 2-3 times the work that the 7720 did. They are made of sheet steel that's at least double or triple the thickness of the 7720. I also haven't lost any bearings in several years now; probably about due for one to fail. Haven't had any major breakdowns in several years either, which used to be at least a once a season thing on the 7720. There's no question my current machines are more reliable than our 7720 ever was.
Perhaps the 8820 was a completely better machine.
Last edited by torriem; 06-24-2019 at 03:45 PM.