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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are going to be upgrading one of our combines. We are looking most likely at a 9870, or less likely an s680. We'll be running a jd 640fd head primarily in soybeans with a little wheat, and an 8 row drago corn head.

Curious, what updates were made on the 9870s through the different model years? And can they all run the 640fd without modification? Anything else I need to know?

Used auction prices seem cheap right now, but it seems like there are better deals in the 70 series than s series. And the reviews on the s series seem a bit mixed.
 

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The Prodrive & 4x4 feeder house are a big plus, for sure look for them. The 26ft auger is not big deal, you can always buy an extension. And the SL sieve kinda suck, Deere doesn't offer them anymore.

I would also consider a 9770, the 9870s break more often, it seems like they have enough power to start tearing up belts & chains where as the 97 doesn't. The 13.5L is a thirsty engine too so unless you really want the added capacity in wheat I wouldn't bother. With an 8 row header your going to have to travel really fast to keep it full and if its not full then you may as well have a 9770. The only exception I could see is that Prodrive came on almost all 9870s of that era, it could be deducted while ordering but most didn't. 9770s are quite split on which ones have it and don't.
 

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A 9770 should offer considerably better fuel economy, has adequate power for all but perhaps super-tough wheat with a 40 footer (soybeans shouldn't be much of a problem), and offer a much larger selection pool from which to shop.
I agree that a 9770 will do the job, however when I was looking at the two a few years ago it seemed like the 9870s weren't priced much higher than the 9770s, and were often a better buy with the better standard options (Prodrive, 5 speed feederhouse drive, pre-chaffer). The threshing internals are the same between the two if I remember right, so I'd expect keeping it full with an 8 row corn head is going to be a problem with both.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Thanks for the replies guys. We currently have a '10 9870 with a 640fd, and now we are upgrading our 2nd combine to something similar. We have already purchased the 640fd, so whatever we get has to run that. We are very happy with our 9870, though it is a gas hog. We have never tested a 9770 though. We bought our 9870 used and it had already been converted to run the draper head, so I wasn't sure what all that entailed, and whether it is the same for different years. I appreciate the input.

We are currently eyeballing 2 combines. We have only had a chance to inspect 1, but from listings they appear very similar. They are both '09 9870s. The big difference is one has already been updated and currently runs a 40 ft draper, and the other will require the face plate, electronics/software, and augur extension. Does anybody have a ballpark guess what that will cost?
 

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The 4x4 feederhouse once it has a s690 (green) feederhouse slip clutch on it is worth its weight in gold. Also the tough handleing package (rice feed accelerator) is not very far behind IMO
 
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