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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 1688 with single tires and 3500 hrs. At the end of harvest I noticed some oil leaking from the final drive. Well apparently the bearings were failing and the bearing near the hub had spun on the shaft. The new axle shaft is $2230. I can get it rebuilt for about $200. The machine shop has a very good track record and he seemed confident that they would be able to fix it and to also maintain the proper hardness, so it doesn't get brittle and snap off. Does anyone have any experience with this type of fix?????

Could not find a used final drive anywhere.
 

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Don't do it, you will be sorry, If anything machine it down and put oversize bearings in it. Don't build shaft back up, the welding process will crystilize it
 

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buy the used one from worthington then rebuild the used one plus rebuild your other one from the other side of the combine . I would rebuild my ole 1660 final drives every 1200 hours
 

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Are the final drives something to be concerned with on the 1600 series? My 1660 has almost 5000 hrs and I haven't touched the final drive since I bought it at 3500 hrs. I don't if the previous owner did anything? Is there any way to determine if they need work without dismantling them?
 

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And I only have 24.5 x 32 tires, no bin extension, and only run a 944 corn head and a 20' 1020 if that matters also
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Greencountry,
If the machinist says he can temper the whole thing to make it strong as original, do you think then I can trust it? This won't be just a weld and machine job. I only have basic farmers experience with metals. It crystallizing is my biggest fear.
 

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He probably can re-temper it but will it be to factory tolerances? A combine axle supports a LOT of weight. If the thing snaps you have the potential to do costly damage to the sheet metal and tire on your machine. Plus the downtime during harvest. If it were me I would find a used axle or a whole used drive. Just to much risk welding such a critical part.
 

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Jack the machine up and see if you have any movement while trying to rock the wheel. Any movement at all they need work. At 5000 hrs it would be a good idea to disassemble and inspect them tho.
 

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I dont know what the spec is for the radial play on that axle. But put a micrometer on the housing and meassure on the axle while sitting on the ground, then jack up and read out the difference.
If you can feel the movement by rocking the wheel I think you're allready long out of spec.

I've done rearaxle bearings on tractors that measured in spec but was totally wrecked when I got it apart.
And since one side is wrecked I would find replacement parts to put in and fit a new set of bearings in the other side too.

Just my two cents '-)
 

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greencountry is right DON'T DO IT!! I'm a very experienced welder and I can tell you that's not a mess you would want. They should have not even suggested it.
 

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I wouldn't weld an axle. I had a wild ride when i was young in a Gleaner G because one of the drive axle slip joints slipped off and sent us free wheeling down a rather large hill and across a high way and railroad tracks, thought my life was going to end at the ripe old age of 7.
 

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They are all question you should ask the guy rebuild the axles (temper, heat treat, tolerance, factory specs) as an experienced machinist myself with a strong interest in metallurgy I can tell you this, if they are set up to do these, heat treat processes are used, weld is done be a competent welder with the correct processes/filler, the is no reason they can not be rebuilt back to or better than factory specs. If you are concerned, call the shop that's doing the rebuilds and ask for references of people that have used their rebuilds, any shop worth doing working with will be happy to give you the names a satisfied customers are at least give your name to said customers to call you back. Also ask how many failures they had any/or who long they expect their product to last. I realize they are out to sell their product, but they are going to be able to help you with your concerns, weather justified or not, better then people that may have no experience with any type of axle much less a rebuild one in a combine... or may have experience with a poorly (home done bird crap weld job) executed rebuild... or could even by 1 out of 1000 that have failed, or maybe after talking to the company you'll decide that the rebuild isn't worth it as you'll be doing it again next year with damage to the housing as well... Just be sure the company is 100% transparent and isn't trying to hide anything that pertains to the rebuild (except processes specifics that if relieved may lose them a job to someone else)
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks for all the reply's. After some deep thought we decided to buy a new shaft. I think the machine shop could have done it right, however a failure would be catastrophic. $2000 is a lot of money, but if it broke and when, yikes!!! Tires, sheet metal, header or feeder house, and then still a new shaft. With the hopper extension, that's 6000 more pounds than it was designed for. We plan on keeping the combine for several years yet, so it has to be reliable.

Thanks everyone again as your input helped with my decision.
 

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No reason it can't be done by a shop with the proper equipment. I have had crankshaft journals built up and turned down and no problems. Lots of stress on diesel turbo crankshaft !!
 

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Final drive output shaft has a very high torque load due to low rpm. Engine crank is much higher rpm and thus much lower torque load. I may have been told wrong, so correct me if I am. Double the rpm of a particular shaft and the load can be increased something like 5 times. Look at 540 rpm pto vs 1000 rpm pto systems and the shafts are both 1-3/8" dia but you can put much more load/hp through a 1000 rpm drive.
Also seems to me combines that are two wheel drive have a much greater failure rate on final drives versus RWA equipped machines. 2wd machines put all the load through the front finals and the rear wheels will also usually turn tighter putting more torsional load on the inside wheel final drive output shaft. Then add duals to the combine and more twist on the turn results. Then stand on the inner wheel brake to make the combine turn on a dime with the bin full "snap" there goes the final drive.
 

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I would put a dial gauge on the axel base on the final drive and jack machine up, under 5" all good, under 10" keep a eye on it, under 15" not real good and under 20" its had its turn and dont try any more turns. Why dont we have magnetic level and drain plugs on AG gear?? They tell alote. Just wise I had the 5 stages of plug inspection to att for off-highway trucks, goss from all good to stop the truck know.

Madsnake
 
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