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Discussion Starter #1
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...

Thoughts?
 

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I have a soft spot for these combines as well. Ran one for years never went to the 9600 because it was no increase capacity wise.

Remember seeing that article as well thinking see how it holds up a couple years down the road. That farm has some outside the box thinkers that's for sure. This is the same guys that built a planter out of an air seeder right?
 

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I had 2 of them at one time and one of them had larger rear tires which lifted the rear about a foot higher than the other. It made that machine do a better job I was running airfoil chaffers in both and put as many walker risers in it that I could. I think you can add 3 center risers per walker. One machine had over 7000hrs when sold and the other one was around 6000hrs. I run a 9750 and a 9770 now but would buy a good 8820 for backup if a good one came along. I know a fellow that has one in his shed that has around 1500 hrs on it. I was working at JD when he bought it in 1987-88 then down sized his farm not long after that and has farmed 1 quarter for many years.
 

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Still running mine at 5100 hrs. This fall went up against a 9500, 9600 and a 9650. The old girl out paced and out cleaned the newer machines. Had my younger brother running it while I was running the neighbours 9650 as he was in hospital through harvest.

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The segmented enclosed Sunnybrook with 8 bars around the circumference works well in harder to thresh crops. The 4 bars around the circumference are ok in easy threshing crops but fail in hard to thresh crops.

The air foil chaffer makes these machines much easier to set and keep a nice clean sample through out the day. Also gives them a boost in cleaning capacity. I am looking for a lower sieve currently as mine has wore to the point of needing replaced.

Walker risers,.....3 per walker is lots. I'm pretty sure that is the most you can put in them.

Still running the stock beater drive.

Concave, well, I got mad and built my own. The best way to gain capacity is to have the machine separate as much as possible at the concave instead of relying on the walkers. To separate well you have to remove the filler plates that everyone wants to put in the front 1/3 of the concave. Mine has more bars up front to hold the crop mat up in the rotating cylinder and leaves room for seeds to fall through, spacing gradually gets wider between bars as you progress toward the back of the concave. Wire spacing is 2 inches

As for capacity. You can keep her at this level in wheat all day long. Just keep an ear open for the main drive belt under the seat starting to slip.


IMG_20160831_204859.jpg


Treat the old girl well and she will pay back many times over.
 

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Oh, and if you ever have the urge to drop straw for baling and you have a Titan 2, make a panel that sits on top of the chopper so you don't have to take that heavy brute off !!!


The only other improvement is a MAV chopper from Redekop Manufacturing. Will make it drink a bit more fuel, but does one heck of a job chopping up straw.
 

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Still running mine at 5100 hrs. This fall went up against a 9500, 9600 and a 9650. The old girl out paced and out cleaned the newer machines. Had my younger brother running it while I was running the neighbours 9650 as he was in hospital through harvest.

View attachment 130033

View attachment 130041

View attachment 130049

The segmented enclosed Sunnybrook with 8 bars around the circumference works well in harder to thresh crops. The 4 bars around the circumference are ok in easy threshing crops but fail in hard to thresh crops.

The air foil chaffer makes these machines much easier to set and keep a nice clean sample through out the day. Also gives them a boost in cleaning capacity. I am looking for a lower sieve currently as mine has wore to the point of needing replaced.

Walker risers,.....3 per walker is lots. I'm pretty sure that is the most you can put in them.

Still running the stock beater drive.

Concave, well, I got mad and built my own. The best way to gain capacity is to have the machine separate as much as possible at the concave instead of relying on the walkers. To separate well you have to remove the filler plates that everyone wants to put in the front 1/3 of the concave. Mine has more bars up front to hold the crop mat up in the rotating cylinder and leaves room for seeds to fall through, spacing gradually gets wider between bars as you progress toward the back of the concave. Wire spacing is 2 inches

As for capacity. You can keep her at this level in wheat all day long. Just keep an ear open for the main drive belt under the seat starting to slip.


View attachment 130065


Treat the old girl well and she will pay back many times over.
It is kind of funny, I just posted a similar solution in a similar thread, Walker loss in 9600, while you were posting this. Check that thread out too!!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Still running mine at 5100 hrs. This fall went up against a 9500, 9600 and a 9650. The old girl out paced and out cleaned the newer machines. Had my younger brother running it while I was running the neighbours 9650 as he was in hospital through harvest.

View attachment 130033

View attachment 130041

View attachment 130049

The segmented enclosed Sunnybrook with 8 bars around the circumference works well in harder to thresh crops. The 4 bars around the circumference are ok in easy threshing crops but fail in hard to thresh crops.

The air foil chaffer makes these machines much easier to set and keep a nice clean sample through out the day. Also gives them a boost in cleaning capacity. I am looking for a lower sieve currently as mine has wore to the point of needing replaced.

Walker risers,.....3 per walker is lots. I'm pretty sure that is the most you can put in them.

Still running the stock beater drive.

Concave, well, I got mad and built my own. The best way to gain capacity is to have the machine separate as much as possible at the concave instead of relying on the walkers. To separate well you have to remove the filler plates that everyone wants to put in the front 1/3 of the concave. Mine has more bars up front to hold the crop mat up in the rotating cylinder and leaves room for seeds to fall through, spacing gradually gets wider between bars as you progress toward the back of the concave. Wire spacing is 2 inches

As for capacity. You can keep her at this level in wheat all day long. Just keep an ear open for the main drive belt under the seat starting to slip.


View attachment 130065


Treat the old girl well and she will pay back many times over.
I was hoping you'd chime in.

Do you have any pics of your concave? Did you build it from scratch or just modify an old one? Id the Sunnybrook concave similar to yours or is yours better yet? What would you charge to make another one (or two)?

Does Sunnybrook still build the 8 staggered high inertia cylinder? Deere shows it to be discontinued...
 

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I have used a lot of (PFP) Mikes stuff over the years, my family has had a pretty long history with him.
I recommend buying what he's got and he will give ya a few pointers also. He's a very smart guy and very open minded.
Long time ago we had a 7720 on the farm, it didn't set any standards by simplicity or comfort BUT it was probably among the most reliable machines on the farm to date. We leased 9600's for 10-11 years running beside that old girl and it always hung in there as a reliable machine.
So moral of the story is I do have a bit of a soft spot for them old girls because of how reliable they are.
I also love modding combines, it's a interesting pass time I guess for me so I will be looking forward to seeing what you end up doing with it.
It's been so long since I was in the seat of one of them things I don't remember much about them anymore.
I do know one thing and that is every combine we leased we cut back the auger flighting on the headers, I remember one 9600 didn't come till it was time to hit the wheat and we didn't cut it right away, there was a big difference in capacity and losses.
If your board and like to read I have a thread up about modding the IH combines, you may or may not find it interesting.
 

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I was hoping you'd chime in.

Do you have any pics of your concave? Did you build it from scratch or just modify an old one? Id the Sunnybrook concave similar to yours or is yours better yet? What would you charge to make another one (or two)?

Does Sunnybrook still build the 8 staggered high inertia cylinder? Deere shows it to be discontinued...


IMG_20170103_220922.jpg
This is the 23 bar I have in the 8820 now. I built this one from scratch. No actual pictures of the finished product that survived the great phone crash of 2013. I built this one on a 22.5 inch diameter as soybeans were starting to move into the area and if I had built it on the 22.125 inch diameter, it probably would be cracking a lot of beans. I don't think the increase in threshing diameter necessarily hurts it's performance in wheat. The bars are .250 thickness instead of .375 thickness. (The drawing does not really convey the bar thickness as well as looking at the finished concave.)

Deere use to build 2 concaves for it's conventional lineup. A grain concave built on a 22.25ish inch diameter and a corn concave built on about a 24 inch diameter.

Trying to use a corn concave for threshing wheat just does not work well as the concave it too tight in the center of the concave and start to open up toward the back of the concave so the back section can not effectively separate wheat and other small grains.

Likewise a small grain concave does not work in corn as the concave has to allow stover onto the walkers without shattering the cob and overloading the chaffer while maintaining a steady narrowing of the gap down to the diameter of a cleaned off ear. Trying to open up the back of the concave to the diameter of a cleaned off cob and opening the front to allow a full ear into the concave leaves a wider space in the center of the concave and material really only threshes and separates on the back half of the concave. Either situation really diminishes combine capacity in the other crops.

The test concave for the 8820 was an older Sunnybrook that I welded key stock above the wires, and between the webs. It ended up being a 21 bar. It worked well. My original R&D concave was a 17 bar in a 7721. Much easier to change the concave on the 7721. In barley the 7721 had better capacity that a 9600.

Setting the machine is a bit different as the separation starts right at the front of the concave instead of 1/3 the way back with a filler plate concave and the increased number of bars holds the material a bit longer in the concave. Cylinder speed is somewhat reduced as the crop mat is held up by the bars and receives more strikes before it can disappear below the bars and out the bottom. In wheat I usually start with the front of the concave around 1/2" open and the rear somewhere around 3/16". Cylinder speed rarely exceeds 825 RPM unless the wheat us really tough.

Being more aggressive can really overload the shoe in a hurry, so you have to watch your adjustments throughout the day as crop conditions change. Something as brittle as bone dry canola can still be threshed without overloading the shoe, it just takes some careful adjustment. (Yes we drop canola stalks occasionally.)

IMG_20150922_160049.jpg

In green stalk straight cut canola it really works well as you have to put a lot more threshing speed to the cylinder to get those pod shatter resistant pods to crack open.

If I were to build another, I would more that likely go to the 21 bar.

The sample the machine makes is really nice compared to when I started with the old beast. The air foil chaffer takes some getting use to especially in canola as I have to open the sieve up to about 5/8 inch or better to bet enough air on the airfoil to make a really clean sample.

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I don't think Sunnybrook makes the staggered 8 bar cylinder any more either. They can be found at combine wreckers for a pretty reasonable price though. It really gives the machine an apatite. Getting the machine to thresh and separate everything the first time at the concave gives it capacity like Deere engineers could have only imagined.
 

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View attachment 130129
This is the 23 bar I have in the 8820 now. I built this one from scratch. No actual pictures of the finished product that survived the great phone crash of 2013. I built this one on a 22.5 inch diameter as soybeans were starting to move into the area and if I had built it on the 22.125 inch diameter, it probably would be cracking a lot of beans. I don't think the increase in threshing diameter necessarily hurts it's performance in wheat. The bars are .250 thickness instead of .375 thickness. (The drawing does not really convey the bar thickness as well as looking at the finished concave.)

Deere use to build 2 concaves for it's conventional lineup. A grain concave built on a 22.25ish inch diameter and a corn concave built on about a 24 inch diameter.

Trying to use a corn concave for threshing wheat just does not work well as the concave it too tight in the center of the concave and start to open up toward the back of the concave so the back section can not effectively separate wheat and other small grains.

Likewise a small grain concave does not work in corn as the concave has to allow stover onto the walkers without shattering the cob and overloading the chaffer while maintaining a steady narrowing of the gap down to the diameter of a cleaned off ear. Trying to open up the back of the concave to the diameter of a cleaned off cob and opening the front to allow a full ear into the concave leaves a wider space in the center of the concave and material really only threshes and separates on the back half of the concave. Either situation really diminishes combine capacity in the other crops.

The test concave for the 8820 was an older Sunnybrook that I welded key stock above the wires, and between the webs. It ended up being a 21 bar. It worked well. My original R&D concave was a 17 bar in a 7721. Much easier to change the concave on the 7721. In barley the 7721 had better capacity that a 9600.

Setting the machine is a bit different as the separation starts right at the front of the concave instead of 1/3 the way back with a filler plate concave and the increased number of bars holds the material a bit longer in the concave. Cylinder speed is somewhat reduced as the crop mat is held up by the bars and receives more strikes before it can disappear below the bars and out the bottom. In wheat I usually start with the front of the concave around 1/2" open and the rear somewhere around 3/16". Cylinder speed rarely exceeds 825 RPM unless the wheat us really tough.

Being more aggressive can really overload the shoe in a hurry, so you have to watch your adjustments throughout the day as crop conditions change. Something as brittle as bone dry canola can still be threshed without overloading the shoe, it just takes some careful adjustment. (Yes we drop canola stalks occasionally.)

View attachment 130121

In green stalk straight cut canola it really works well as you have to put a lot more threshing speed to the cylinder to get those pod shatter resistant pods to crack open.

If I were to build another, I would more that likely go to the 21 bar.

The sample the machine makes is really nice compared to when I started with the old beast. The air foil chaffer takes some getting use to especially in canola as I have to open the sieve up to about 5/8 inch or better to bet enough air on the airfoil to make a really clean sample.

. View attachment 130097

View attachment 130105

View attachment 130113

I don't think Sunnybrook makes the staggered 8 bar cylinder any more either. They can be found at combine wreckers for a pretty reasonable price though. It really gives the machine an apatite. Getting the machine to thresh and separate everything the first time at the concave gives it capacity like Deere engineers could have only imagined.
Great post chance! And great work on designing and modifying the all important threshing system on your combine! And looks like you have your own touch on a few other areas too. This is a really good understanding and description of how a cylinder and concave need to work to properly do their job in the vastly different crops these machines are sold to harvest. I really believe most combines are not set up properly to work at their best potential and it is refreshing to see your approach and then to follow up and actually build a properly designed wheat concave. Good for you!! Some of the problem with anyone selling a concave is that most buyers do not totally understand what they really need and would not accept that two different concaves would be ideal. So making one concave that suits your needs like threshing wheat as the biggest challenge, and then accepting a decent compromise on the easier to thresh crops seems like a pretty good fit. You have some very good engineering detail in your design. Is your design better than the many aftermarket concaves out there? Your logic seems in line with what I have found which is to thresh all the grain the first time through and maximize separation before it leaves the concave. As soon as a kernel of wheat is freed from the head it should have the opportunity to drop to the grain pan. Filler plates stop that. Is there any way that making the concave slightly longer at the front, even 2 or 3 bars, could help without restricting a smooth flow of crop? Like Class intensive threshing segments that bolt in for hard thresh crops and help a concave that was designed for everything to thresh wheat. It is great to see some reliable old machines brought back to life with new parts that makes them work better than when they were new!!
 

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Great post chance! And great work on designing and modifying the all important threshing system on your combine! And looks like you have your own touch on a few other areas too. This is a really good understanding and description of how a cylinder and concave need to work to properly do their job in the vastly different crops these machines are sold to harvest. I really believe most combines are not set up properly to work at their best potential and it is refreshing to see your approach and then to follow up and actually build a properly designed wheat concave. Good for you!! Some of the problem with anyone selling a concave is that most buyers do not totally understand what they really need and would not accept that two different concaves would be ideal. So making one concave that suits your needs like threshing wheat as the biggest challenge, and then accepting a decent compromise on the easier to thresh crops seems like a pretty good fit. You have some very good engineering detail in your design. Is your design better than the many aftermarket concaves out there? Your logic seems in line with what I have found which is to thresh all the grain the first time through and maximize separation before it leaves the concave. As soon as a kernel of wheat is freed from the head it should have the opportunity to drop to the grain pan. Filler plates stop that. Is there any way that making the concave slightly longer at the front, even 2 or 3 bars, could help without restricting a smooth flow of crop? Like Class intensive threshing segments that bolt in for hard thresh crops and help a concave that was designed for everything to thresh wheat. It is great to see some reliable old machines brought back to life with new parts that makes them work better than when they were new!!

Most manufacturers use to build for their major market. In the case of Deere, their biggest market segment is corn and soybeans in the US. Anything that gained capacity in corn or beans went into their machines.

European machines are predominately small grain machines and are designed to put through a lot of material and separate well in tough conditions.

With the rotary machines in North America came the ability to change and customize concaves for changing conditions. The Sunnybrook box section concaves are probably the best design for quick turnaround when changing threshing and separating needs depending on the conditions of the crop as well as year to year conditions.

Ideally, I would like to come up with a way to quick change sections of a conventional concave very fast. I have been working on some ideas as time allows, with half width strips that could be pulled out the stone trap and then pushed back in and locked in place. Hard thresh sections could be put in the front and large open separating sections could be placed in the back to tailor the concave to different crops instead of the one concave fits all approach.

There isn't a whole lot of room in the machine to add much to the front of the concave. (I really like my rock trap.) If it would be possible to add a 3 to 6 inch section between the feeder house and the cylinder / concave, then some work could be done to make the concave longer and wrap a bit more around the cylinder. If that were the case, then add a whole section with a second cylinder / concave and make the machine into a T670,....which might be doable, or an APS like Class uses might be better.

On the 7721, I changes the beater grate and beater drive. I went for the 150% drive speed, and made it an 80HD chain, I made the beater grate into a second concave just to increase seperation. The final version had 4 rasp bars on a solid drum. Side by side with a 9600 the 7721 would throw less over the walkers at 0.75 mph faster that the 9600. It would go through wheat, barley and oats to the point of running out of cleaning fan, but was a disaster in canola. Changing sprockets to make the beater 75% cylinder speed and dropping the bearer grate to it.s low position helped some.
 

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it is great to see some reliable old machines brought back to life with new parts that makes them work better than when they were new!!
thoughts?
I was able to dig up an archive of the AutoCad drawings I used to modify the old 7721 PT R&D machine.

This was how it was originally set up, and was an absolute ******* to try to get to thresh wheat, barley and oats without overloading the return. Would have probably done alright in corn and soybeans.
20171129_145043 (2).jpg


This was the final design that put the 7721 a ways over the capacity of a 9600. There was a lot of careful cutting and welding that went into this build to try to keep this thing as balanced as possible. Walker loss was never an issue as you could load the long chaffer up to the point of plugging the clean grain elevator especially in oats and barley. This thing was a real blast to run with the old 6030 in front. It was more fun to get wind of the coffee shop talk.
20171129_145058 (2).jpg
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I was able to dig up an archive of the AutoCad drawings I used to modify the old 7721 PT R&D machine.

This was how it was originally set up, and was an absolute ******* to try to get to thresh wheat, barley and oats without overloading the return. Would have probably done alright in corn and soybeans.
View attachment 130281


This was the final design that put the 7721 a ways over the capacity of a 9600. There was a lot of careful cutting and welding that went into this build to try to keep this thing as balanced as possible. Walker loss was never an issue as you could load the long chaffer up to the point of plugging the clean grain elevator especially in oats and barley. This thing was a real blast to run with the old 6030 in front. It was more fun to get wind of the coffee shop talk.
View attachment 130289
So would you be willing to build a concave, beater, beater drive, and beater grate?
 

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I can remember a 7721 kicking the pants of a 7720 and pretty much keeping up to a 8820 in swaths.. Wish I could see this again. They were all stock. On swathed cereals the 8820 often can’t utilize ihe extra width in the combine. Actually double swaths can make an 8820 perform.
 

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I can remember a 7721 kicking the pants of a 7720 and pretty much keeping up to a 8820 in swaths.. Wish I could see this again. They were all stock. On swathed cereals the 8820 often can’t utilize ihe extra width in the combine. Actually double swaths can make an 8820 perform.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
I can remember a 7721 kicking the pants of a 7720 and pretty much keeping up to a 8820 in swaths.. Wish I could see this again. They were all stock. On swathed cereals the 8820 often can’t utilize ihe extra width in the combine. Actually double swaths can make an 8820 perform.
I could see where that could be the case. 24 foot head in 100+ bu irrigated cereal grains should keep an 8820 full - we run only 30' heads on our 9860's.
 

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The 7721, depending on how you had the hitch set up on your tractor, could lift the back of the combine up pretty good putting the whole combine at a 2 to 3 degree incline. made an improvement in capacity like putting bigger rear tires on a 7720.

Here we have no problem packing a combine full. 25 foot windrows of canola. that cover 6 out of 7 belts on the pickup on the 8820.

IMG_20150908_153630.jpg
 

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Back in the day we swathed with 18, 19.5 and 21 foot swathers that made narrow swaths especially the IH 5000 and old Heston. John Deere made a reverse flighting that you put in the middle of the table auger. It was meant to split the swath a bit. Some say it didn’t work but looking at thr wear on the concave I think they did work. 8820 works way better straight cutting. Always trying to make a big combine out of a small one!
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Oh, and if you ever have the urge to drop straw for baling and you have a Titan 2, make a panel that sits on top of the chopper so you don't have to take that heavy brute off !!!

8820 T2 in Wheat August 28 2015 - YouTube
Off topic a little, but why does it have to be a Titan 2 to drop straw like that? I thought the only real difference in a titan 2 was the chaffer and sieve were 6" longer?
 
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