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Discussion Starter #1
Just posting a bit of feedback for people interested in the Loewen threshing elements, tynes & 60 series concaves I fitted to my
STS just before last harvest. I have found the JD elements leave a bit to be desired when it comes to hard threshing crops such as rice & some cereals. I feel JD concaves are not that good because the wire is set too high in the crossbar. I realise they are a comprimise but not a very good one. Rotor loss in a standard JD setup is not aceptible. Most of you would already know this but in order to get a JD rotor to thrash you have to run the rotor at high rpm (in wheat, rice, etc.) which just pushes the material & grain out the back of the rotor.
After installing all the Loewen gear as detailed, rotor thrashing speed was reduced from 850+ to around 720 in wheat etc. Rotor loss, chaffer overloading & excess returns were all but eliminated. The biggest surprise for me was the greatly reduced HP requirement & as a consequence, reduced fuel consumption. I have installed (from new) a turbo boost gauge which measures intake manifold pressure. I use the boost gauge as an indication of how hard the engine is working. Pre fitting of the Loewen gear, boost pressure was often up to 25 psi - sometimes 30 psi under absolute maximum load. Post Loewen fitting, boost pressure is under 20 psi & the whole machine is "doing it easily".
I didn't say much in a previous post until I had again tried the Loewen gear in rice. The difference is quite amazing. Rotor speed is down to 720-740rpm. Previously I had to run it at 850-900 & not thrashing properly, rotor loss & far to much returns (unthrashed material). Now it's a breeze. The HP requirement in rice is very high but with the Loewen setup, it does a very good job, with ease. I'm still evaluating the longevity (wear factor) of the Loewen elements & tynes but I hope they last a lot longer than the JD originals. Another factor that is quite remarkable is the straw that comes out the back of the machine is nearly as good as when it went in the front. There is very little munching & roping of straw. I've attached a picture of me (DSC00931) in rice & you can nearly see what I mean about the straw. By the way, this rice was yielding over 12 tonnes per hectare which if I'm right converts to 10,680 lbs/ac. I've also attached another picture of a friend of mine in rice who is not running the Loewen setup - take notice of the straw coming out the machine. Hope these pictures work.
 

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I might not have a rotor machine but I have used loewen concaves in my 9600s with the same results you speak of. Im curious how many hours were on your original parts when you decided to switch the concaves. What type of bars did you use. In the past I never knew how bad my concave was until I changed it out. I had great longevity with their concaves. they have thicker bars, they leveled good. I did try an elevator chain from them once that had nylon or UHMW paddles in place of the rubber and that was a disaster. I broke all of them off within a few hundred acres. Installed another with rubber paddles and had no more problems. Loewen claims that the yeilds I was running in were too much for my elevator size being back in my early 9600 day. I too have not had good luch with the airfoil type chaffer and sieves. Oems seem to work the best. Great Idea sir on the boost gauge. Ive always trained my drivers to watch the engine tach not the cylinder tach when cutting to keep the engine at max rpms without too much load. Ive used loewens auger too. They are made somewhere else,, cant remember where but the ones with the super edge" or hardfaced edges seem to last pretty good and are always cheaper than OEM. Ive since been hardfacing my own now that hard face wire is available for wire feed welders. Any way I think your on the right track with their parts. Ive always felt they are cost effective.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I had done about 1200 machine hours when changing the lot. According to the the JD people the gear I threw out, was within working life. Which it may well be - but it just didn't work properly. Unfortunately, it must be difficult for manufactures to make a machine "for all seasons" but I feel there could be some large improvements with little cost. You are quite right when you don't realise the amount of wear on a concave has a dramatic affect on performance.
 

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Ive never done rice but Ive done enough heavy wheat to be able to imagine the wear on your OEMs after about 1200 hrs. Did you put the loewen helical concaves? THey look like a good design from what Ive seen of them. The big problem that ive found is that even the best concaves made with the most expensive stock still will wear, loose their square edge and create capacity and even feeding problems all the way down to the feederhouse. I feel you are absolutley correct about how these are supposed to be universal machines, to harvest all crops. However there are plenty of mods a guy can do to for specific crops to make the machines perform well. Ive made countless mods to my walker machines for small grains only, but when corn season comes around Im only going to modify one machine for corn.. My concern is that my 9600 to be fitted for corn is going to have to run a universal concave that will not only thresh wheat but the larger corn too, which ticks me off because I know I can do a better job in wheat with a wheat concave, and vice versa in corn. I cant afford to have a concave on the shelf for each crop and they are a pain to change out compared to your STS. It sounds like you were having to run the cylinder rpm so dang high to do the threshing that you were in fact overthreshing with worn concaves and causing your losses to increas. Ive seen the same problem a hundred times. If I was to so much as open the concave a quarter inch there would be unthreshed heads, lots of tailings, junk straw etc.
Ive got the equipment to basically rebuild a concave in my shop, which I might try to do myself depending on what my 9600 concave looks like. The only promblem with hardfacing the cross bars which ive seen guys do is getting back that straight edge not level but the square edge for the straw to work against once the rasp bars grab the crop. You cant machine good hardfacing so laying down a square bead is the only way. Unless I cut out the worst of the cross bars and replace them with fresh ones and cut the wires for replacement. I dont know. Maybe Im too tight with the dinero. I just hate throwing out a concave when only the front bars are wore.
 
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