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I would never wish anyone the experience we had with a 670 challenger for 3 years. We weren't the only ones that had a bad experience with the challenger either. Supposedly, we had more challengers running in our area than anywhere else. It is so shocking when I read other forums and even this one where people actually say good things about this combine. It would be nice if they did make the improvements to have a good combine because the challenger dealer support is great in our area. Agco has already fixed quite a few of the many problems we were having, but they still need to fix more. In a few years this could be a good machine. It seems like the agco people are concerned and want to be successful, but they still have some work to do. We used our 9510 quite a few times in the three years with the challenger and didn't have one break down. We didn't need great service with our 9510 because it never broke down. I hope the people still running challenger combines will keep us posted on how the combines are performing, and how many break downs they are having.
 

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It makes me cringe every time I hear of one of these things getting sold, no matter their brand: Massey or Challenger and now, unfortunately, Gleaner. My Cat dealer, who is also my Lexion dealer quit handling them a couple years back for the very same reasons you elude to... chronic problems that always seem to get fixed using current / existing parts, nothing new and improved to actually resolve the issues, and they aren't the only dealer to make that decision either. Like I've always said, how often do you see a late model Deere, CaseIH, Lexion or even New Holland combine sitting on an AGCO lot (within the mainstream combine distribution areas of the US and Canada) in trade for one of its own combines? It's rare and the reason is obvious (see above).
 

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A Lexion won't do its best job in wheat configured as you have said, because the configuration you mentioned is for corn.
 

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Hi, I can't really respond as far as comparing a Challenger to a Lexion, but I will report that we had good luck during our first wheat harvest with our 660. We had a bearing go out on the arm that moves the shaker shoe and that was the only problem on 600 acres.
We ran a MF 8570 for 12 years on about 1800 acres/year, and are really sold on the simple design with fewer moving parts and wear points. I wanted to buy another MF, but we got a good deal on an almost new Challenger. Exact same machine as the MF, just with a Cat engine instead of a Cummins and yellow sheet metal.
After fall harvest I will report back. I can't wait to cut soybeans with it. We had some wheat fields that froze out and weeds took over and the 4 foot tall green weeds went right through with no trouble. That tells me we will get along well with our sometimes green soybeans. The newly designed helical front beater is quite an improvement over the paddle type beater our 8570 had, there was never any rumble or banging in the rotor or beater like we used to have in green crops.
After running a nearly identical machine for 12 years, I'm not to worried about any trouble with the threshing/ separation components. I assume most problems we have will be electrical. Sometimes I think they build things more complicated than they need to.
Just my $.02. Good luck with whatever color you run.
 

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I ran and worked on the challenger 670. Our machine was an absolute dump. I am not so worked up because it has been a year since I had to use it, and I am just relieved that we don't ever have to go through another harvest with this primitive combine again. I went really melow the first time around because time helps heal the disgust. We actually had better results than most people as far as combine setup goes. We had agco engineers out numerous times wanting to know how we compensated for certain problems that all the other farmers were having with the challenger. We found things that work to give good results, but it is not our job to re-engineer the combine. When you buy a combine it is suppose to work, not break down every other day. Do you have any experience with the challenger. I am trying to figure the nature of your post out, tangemant.
 

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There is no comparison, the Lexion is a far superior machine in the way it is built to the way you adjust it to the operator controls. Challenger is coming along but it is not a Lexion.
 

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Quote:What do some of you guys think of the new Challenger combines compared to the Lexion?

I don't think you can compare the two at all really, its not a fair comparison. The Lexion and Challenger are two totally different machines in every way.
 

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we run the mf version of the challenger we run a 9690 and have not had the problems you are all talking about. i will say this with the new front beater now its a wear item now as to where with the old rotors it was not, but it is lots quieter with the new design so, i think it was worth it, also neighbors of ours tell us case has very high wear with the elephant ears so not a big deal to us. it works for us is all we know. some things are made cheaper but when its 20000-30000 dollars cheaper than deere or case you can take a lil bit of downtime, but about equal amount of down time when comparing to other people putting the similar hours on another brand of combine. i do know cat some cat dealers are selling the challengers and some are not. there is 1 lexion in my area is all, but that is on a lease deal and they were the cheapest one around so they bought the cheap one, dealer told them they had some news one to move so they bought one of them, but not sure about all of your problems out there with the challengers. i will say one thing if you have an early model that could be part of it we have an 03 and yeah has been some updates on it. but compare them the deere or the case and you'll see that the first combines have bugs in them and takes time to get them all worked out.

allen
 

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Steve1616

Enlighten us with your thinking when YOU purchased the Challenger 670 Combine. Despite your John Deere 9510 reliablility, YOU consciously dumped your John Deere brand loyalty. I didn't know YOU John Deere boys really could do this sort of thing. Does this mean your a fair weathered deere fan. YOU spent your hard earned money on a FIRST YEAR Challenger Product. Why would YOU do such a thing? YOU complain about having to re-engineer, but it looks to me as if YOU voluntary (no payed) to be the test dummy.

Listen the first year of every model no matter what the brand is going to have problems. It was foolish of YOU to thing your cat dealers could service the Challenger line. That is just like calling your CAT dealer to fix your John Deere combine.

No matter what brand of combine you run. You need the total commitment of the dealers to make sure the product succeeds. If the Cat dealers are not totally committed its just never going to work. The technicians need hands on experience not classroom experience with the product. Its called the growing pains of any new product.

Hey, why aren't the moderators like Lance and Combiness threatening to delete the posts for Steve and Muddys brand bashing? Or does that just only apply to John Deere and Case IH threads.
 

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Wow, this is a combine talk website, and I can't tell my own personal experience or it makes someone mad. Color bashing is a whole heck of a lot different than someone telling their own personal experience. I will clear things up first, though. How am I a deere boy? Yes, we had a 9510 because we believed it was the best combine for us at the time. Back when beans were weedy (pre-roundup), the conventional machine would gain quite a but of speed over the comparative axial flow.

Now to address the Cat crew working on the challenger. Do you think that Cat uses their non-ag mechanics to fix ag stuff? They don't, they have their own mechanics dedicated strictly to ag products. Also, the Cat mechanics and service were the one thing to brag about in this whole fiasco. There service was so much better than any other color that we have ever had to deal with. We got to see them nearly everyday. They would get us up and running in an unbelievably timely manner, but then we would be broken down again in a few hours with something new.

Now to address the other questions. Our lease was over last year (3 year lease). This means the combine had already been out for a year. We leased (not purchased) the 670 because it looked like a simple combine, and it was way cheaper to run per separator hour than any other combine at the time because agco was trying to get their product out so farmers could see it. We did know going into this lease that their could be bugs or quirks with the new combine because it had only been out for a year. We didn't have any idea that we would never harvest for 3 days in a row without being broken down. Also, I believe the 8010's came out a year after the challengers. They had a crappy couple of years also, but I have heard the bugs have been worked out. We would have at least thought that after a machine has been out for 4 years that most of these bugs should be worked out. We would have considered the challenger for purchasing if by our last year it was a decent machine, but we had still a ton of breakdowns the last year of our lease also. At least agco didn't rub salt into open wounds. They saw how bad things were and gave us a third year of free service, but that didn't matter to us when we saw our crop still in the field almost lost because we should have been there a month ago.

As for me being a deere boy. We only have one piece of green machinery (John Deere 4550 tractor) left on the farm. We have all brands because every brand has their strong suit. We try to make good purchases based on what the products looks like it could be, and what other farmers' experiences are with the products. This is why these websites are so important, and this is also why it is so important for people like me to post my experiences so that others are aware.
 

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Sad to hear of your troubles Steve. I have worked side by side with a few of the new model Masseys, one of them belonging to a friend and have found their harvesting ability to be great. My friend's 9790 has been a good machine however another 9690 spent a lot of time in the corner of a paddock awaiting service. It sounds like you got landed with one of the bad machines.One particular harvest job normally involves 20+ combines and I often saw new machines turn up and not one colour seemed without blemish and a lot of the problems are related to the electrical system on the new machines.
 

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One of the many good points of a forum like this; being able to hear the plus & minus sides of machines from 1st hand operator experience
 

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Steve

I'm not mad. It's really hard to read your comments like when you say the combine was a absolute dump or primitive combine. If you truly want to inform us the members.

Talk specifically about your leased combine problems. An example would be talk about the rotor intake bending. What did AGCO do about it? How did you know it was bent?

I know you said the combine would break down every three days. Please explain what was the problem area's and what you or your technicians do to fix the problems.

I have personally put 1500 separator hours on my 1998 Massey Ferguson 8780. The 8780 is the little sister of the MF 9790 and Challenger 670. I have harvested about every crop and in the hardest of conditions. My combine has been every bit of the workhorse as the man who directs it down the field. I have broken feeder chain bats, smoked return grain belts, sheared of roll pins in the clean grain auger. Lost of few bearings but never had any major problems.

I am firm believer of maintaining my equipment. During winter months, I take the extra time to throughly inspect and repair my combine. Keeping up with all the latest updates.

I want your input on your experience leasing your challenger combine. Just want more than it was a absolute dump of a combine.
 

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Sorry it has been so long for my reply, but I do a lot of service work that takes me out of town, and my days have been long enough that the bed is all I have time for when I get home.

I will go through a list of things that I wrote to an agco engineer after the first year of the lease. I don't know if we ever got half a day without a breakdown at this point. I am going to copy paragraphs and quotes that I wrote to him because it would take to long to retype everything.

The very first problem that we had was more associated with CAT than AGCO. The engine seemed to run funny from the minute that we received the machine. Of course, the salesman just said that all CAT engines sound like that because of how the injection is timed. I laughed and asked how injection timing can possibly sound like a dead miss. Some of us asked the salesman to humor us and send a mechanic out to check it out. The mechanic found out that one of the injectors was not working at all.

The rest of these problems are completely associated with AGCO. The first thing that was wrong was rather minor but this problem was found before we even got to the field. The combine would make a chirping noise at an idle, and this noise became very loud and annoying when the engine was at full throttle. The noise was coming from the rotary screen which sits in front of the radiator and the oil cooler. The CAT mechanic came out and replaced the entire assembly, and it sounded a little better, but it still had the same problem. This problem has probably been long forgotten though because so many problems were yet to come. Something also worth mentioning is that this rotary screen would plug and not let any air pass through to cool the radiator. We didn't want the engine to overheat so we fabricated a brush setup that works great and keeps the rotary screen clean. This should be put on from the factory just like John Deere and Case does with their rotary screens.

We also didn't have any brakes for our first 500 acres of harvest because our CAT dealer had to order in 3 master cylinders before we finally got one that worked.

The next problem is a dangerous problem and must be fixed by AGCO right away! This problem has to do with the unloading auger. It is hard to unload on the go in a field when the auger comes and goes as it pleases. It would fold back to the combine without touching a button. It would also go to the unloading position without touching anything. Thankfully it did not do this when we were working by telephone poles or when we were on the road. If it were to come out when a semi passed by it could even be life-threatening. To fix this problem, the mechanic had to put a whole new dash with a new computer in the combine. This helped a lot, but now the auger won't fold back completely. It stays a foot away from the completely folded position. Also, we grease the auger zerts 2 times a day so it isn't that.

The next problem we had was a bearing problem. I'm not sure what the name for this part is, but we call it the shaker. This assembly went out on us right away. The CAT mechanic replaced it with another assembly from a combine they had on the lot. The mechanic looked into the situation and found that AGCO recognized this problem already, and they were already making an updated version. He replaced this assembly a week later with the revamped part and just in time because the other replacement was already going bad also. My question is "Why wasn't this part already installed if AGCO knew of the problem and had already made an updated part well in advance of the introduction of the Challenger". At least they found a solution to one of the many problems.

I wrote the paragraph above after the first year. This shaker bearing continued to fail on us even in the third year.

The feeder-house chain is next on the agenda. The feeder-house chain would skip teeth at one side or another. Even though the chain was adjusted by the book it would always skip teeth. We had to realign the change once to twice a day. We remedied this by tightening it an eighth of an inch tighter than what the book called for and never had any problems again. When we looked in at the feeder house we also noticed that the rubber guard between the feeder chain and the beater was torn to shreds.

We liked the corn head, but it also was not without fault. There is a shaft on each side of the corn head. They spin the gearboxes of the row units. We have already replaced both sides once. They both break at the same point along a collar. This is a problem that our mechanic said has happened to everyone in the area.

The next problem is just due to a very poor design. The clean grain cross auger located close to the bottom of the machine was letting a bunch of grain out. This was caused by the cut corn stalks. They would rub the tubing outside of the auger and push the tubing up causing it to separate from where it connects to the clean grain elevator. We alleviated this problem by building guards to protect the tubing. This should have been taken care of when this machine was in prototype form. Other companies move this cross auger up and out of the way so corn stalks can't get to it. Our John Deere has guards on it and it is moved up higher. I'm not trying to always compare it to a John Deere, but it is all we have ever operated until now.

The cleaning fan is the next problem in line. It isn't nearly as bad in corn, but in beans it is a problem that is just relentless. When you are cutting beans the cleaning fan will plug up and you lose all of your cleaning capacity. You have to quit cutting really early at night because any dampness at all will cause the fan to plug every 5 minutes. This is a problem we deal with everyday and it is driving us crazy. We are tired of hooking an air hose up to the semi twice a day to blow the darn cleaning fan out. The Challenger people said that we were the only ones having this problem, but we know the other farmers that have the Challenger combines and everyone of them have had this problem. Actually, all these problems I'm naming have happened to almost everyone we know so AGCO must do something quickly before they find themselves without customers. Agco did redesign the fan material for year 3 and it helped tremendously.

I wish I was done naming the problems, but unfortunately the list just goes on. The next problem is also a poor design, and this would definitely be a good time for me to point out where AGCO skimped. The tailings elevator has an auger at the top of it. This auger will pile tailings up at the end of the auger, and since there is a small void at the end, there is no way to accelerate this material back into the rotor. This shouldn't really cause a problem though unless the auger is not supported properly. If the auger is supported properly, it will have a small amount of back pressure and then push the material through as the auger builds up enough material to displace the material that is stuck in the void. On the Challenger combine, when it creates this back pressure the auger just pushes itself right out of the side of the combine taking a lot of metal and a belt and pulley with it. This has happened to us 2 times now. The only thing that holds this auger in is 1/32 inch sheet metal and a small bracket. If you are wondering if too much tailings return is causing the problem I will vanish that thought by telling you that even if you set the combine to have almost no tailings return, the auger will still push itself right out the side of the combine. I was told just a couple of months ago that the Cat mechanics found out that this problem was because agco put the wrong return auger to feed the rotor in this 670. I was told that somehow the shorter auger from the 660 somehow got put in our machine.

This next issue is probably the most important issue on the whole entire combine. This has to do with the rotor. As ------ ----- (I left the name blank to keep this persons name private) can tell you, when you grind the grain you throw a lot out of the back in fine looking dust and your seed quality gets really bad. When you set the rotor to a lower speed (still well within the recommended operating ranges though), the rotor just doesn't have enough power. This in turn slows the engine down 2000 RPM's and ruins all of your settings because now the cleaning fan becomes drastically slower. This rotor is just not setup to handle the lower RPM's that make it way more efficient because the 2 speed hydraulic pump for the rotor has too high of a ratio at slower rotor speeds. It would help if it were a three speed pump or even if the power bulge on the combine wasn't spaced so far from the normal operating RPM's. It doesn't make since to me to have such an RPM drop anyway because of how drastically it affects every setting when the RPM's drop, and this is a very common scenario if your unloading on the go. So if the combine spends just as much time unloading on the go as it does in normal operation how do you set the machine, because the drop in engine speed affects hydraulic pressure and fan speed and in turn affects a lot of settings on the machine. By the way, we have found that the common belief of spinning the rotor faster and opening the concave to gain capacity doesn't work at all on this combine and it probably would affect other combines the same way. When the concave is open to to the maximum of the recommended settings, it causes the material in the rotor to bunch and not spin through quickly. It also forms too much of a mat that doesn't let the threshed grain escape. When you speed up the rotor, not only do you grind grain but you don't gain anything either (except for more power getting to the rotor). The extra speed actually causes the crop to feed through the rotor more erratic. When the rotor speed is slower and the concave is closed more, the rotor grabs the crop better and feeds it through more evenly and consistently.

This combine also has some issues with the contour master bouncing up and down and side to side at all times. It makes the heads just jump all around. Even after the CAT people came out and made it better I still don't find it to be satisfactory. You can turn the sensitivity all the way down or up and the head will just keep bouncing so hard that the combine shakes.

There are a few more problems, but I feel that these problems mentioned will keep you guys busy for a while. The other problems have more to do with the flex head than the combine anyway. For example, the sickle on the flex head will not cut green stem beans at all. The drive belt will just slip and it is plenty tight. A lot of flex heads have this problem, but I know a lot of farmers that are tired of this delima. When I told the Challenger people of this problem they ignored it by saying that every combine uses this same small belt setup and they all slip so it isn't a big deal. I was wandering if they just wanted to copy everyone else's bad idea because it sure didn't sound like they were interested in innovating and making something better. If a company is satisfied to be only as good as their competitions worst ideas, than I don't want anything to do with them. When I wrote this paragraph I pointed out the small belt, but a week later I noticed that John Deere and Case IH did use this small width belt, but they had way bigger pulleys so the wrap was way greater. They had almost twice the area to grip with this same size belt.

I promise that I wrote this article only to inform you of the problems, and not just to shame AGCO. Please feel free to make comments, suggestions, and even e-mail me back if you have questions or concerns. I hope AGCO can find solutions and become the best combine manufacturer around. I hope that someday we can run an AGCO combine and be proud. Best of luck! Bye the way, Cat has the best service and the best mechanics. We are very impressed with their courtesy, promptness, and quality of labor.

These paragraphs were all written after the first year with this combine, and we found out that these things were just a glimpse into the dark future for the three year lease. I actually kept a log of the problems on what dates, but this is getting long enough. I will try to just name a few more problems that also happened to us in addition to the ones mentioned already. I will also point out that a lot of the problems that happened the first year just kept happening day after day.

Some of the other problems were springs going out on us. I am refering to the springs that just hold belt tension. These went out on us even on the very last day of the lease. A small section of the sieves just decided to blow out of the back of the machine one time.
The fuel tank had a vent problem that would let a bunch of dirt into the tank and plug filters. This even happened on a machine they let us demo. The rotor impellor got bent on us, and obviously it created very dramatic feed problems. The metal behind the beater had to be replaced twice because of wear issues. It also seemed like the beater did way more threshing than it should of before the grain ever got to the rotor. The terminals came undone on the electric clutches all the time. The sensors always caused us problems. Something was wrong with the electronics. The cab was not supported properly and it leaned way down on the feeder house. The auger head had to have 3 different cranks put into it. This might be because other companies design fingers that break off and agco uses thick steel so that everything else gets ruined instead. In corn the concaves would always plug with corn cobs no matter what setting the concave was on. We added wires to the first 3 concaves and the problems went away. Agco thought we were crazy also the first year when we got tired of to much cleaning system load in soybeans so we added wires here also. This helped keep the mog going out the back of the rotor and not so much in the cleaning system. Everyone in our area added wires after this and had much better luck. Their standard large wire spacing is 1.25 inches. If you add the wires it makes it really close to the stock Case IH configuration. The new challenger manuals now say that you can put these wires in for soybeans also. I could just keep going, but I am getting super tired. This is as good of detail as I can offer. I just don't have the time to take everyone through the day to day experiences that we had, but this should definately be enough of a glimpse as to why I don't ever want another challenger in my field. I am sorry for typos, and grammar, but wanted this done quickly so I can go to bed. Hope you can understand it all.

Thanks
 

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Combiness how do you get a 3.411 post to karma ratio. Sight un seen. Has to be the highest. Of the 1897 members are 19 female(1%) I really enjoy this sight. I know wrong place but short.
Green lights.
 
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