Overhauling a 20 year old combine?

Discussion in 'Machinery' started by Rabbit Wolverine, Sep 8, 2017.

  1. Rabbit Wolverine

    East Midlands
    We've nearly finished this years harvest with our 19 year old TX66 relevantly trouble free, but of the issues we've had, they've all been electrical.
    The combine hasn't don't 3000 hrs yet so there's plenty more life life in her yet, and to replace is stupid money.

    So, is it cost effective to get the thing completely overhauled over winter inc new electrics or isn't it worth it on a machice that old?

    Anyone done it, and rough prices would be appriciated
  2. Courier

    Courier Member

    Cant give you any idea of cost but provided a combine is dry stored a complete out of season overhaul should be very cost effective if you keep it for a further 10 years.

    Maybe an APH quote would give you an idea of cost....

  3. David.

    David. Member

    J11 M40
    The electrics will likely be the killer.
    Bearings and threshing bits are for nothing. I hate electrics, what was wrong with levers.
  4. icanshootwell

    icanshootwell Member

    I would expect there are some electrics you could do with out, i run a similar age MF, some of the warning lights dont work anymore, the stone trap door light is on all the time, so is the unloading elevator and the walker speed. I know when i have a problem when the other lights come on that do still work, O, and the header disconnect switch dont work, that works off the rape knife switch, mines done 3800 hrs, all i had go was a return elevator belt, better to have a few nicer tractors that get used more than a expensive combine sat in the barn depreciating 11 months of the year.(y)
    Peacock5305 and David. like this.
  5. essexpete

    essexpete Member

    Interesting, I know SA about combines so googled and see that Ben Burgess have a tidy 20 year old TX 66 for £37500. That is somewhat scary!
    I suppose the risk will be hidden things like metal fatigue? Will you need to up capacity in the next few years?
    The plus side you can offset the whole overhaul against tax in one year. Presumably if you change for a later machine the current one is written down on the books?
  6. Lincsman

    Lincsman Member

    How do you overhaul electrics? they work perfectly and then dont, no way of predicting that speed sensor will fail in 12 hours is there?
    Courier, simon-0116, super4 and 2 others like this.
  7. Id be tempted to get someone like aph out or someone really good on electrics to put things right for you and then go through any known issues so your a bit more savvy for the future.

    When you say electrics what do you mean? Cable damage? Relay issues? Circuit board wear? Voltage issues affecting functions? It means lots of things
  8. renewablejohn

    renewablejohn Member

    Just had an auto electrician to do my tractor. All cables inspected any damage repaired. Connectors cleaned and resealed with waterproof spray. Time will tell whether it is money well spent. I did strip off all the panels so it was easy to get at the cables and then another day putting all the panels back.
    mf298 and Courier like this.
  9. silverfox

    silverfox Member

    Where are you based, as I could put you in touch with a very good independent mechanic whose knowledge of NH combines is very good . He lives near Telford, so good access to major road network .
    Timbo and outofthefryingpan like this.
  10. Mursal

    Mursal Member

    Very hard to do preventative maintenance on working electrics.
    You could do it yourself, if so inclined ...................
    Clean all connections so they are free from corrosion (black/green stuff) you need to see the pin colour when you look into the loom connections. Any vibration points on the looms recover.

    Keep the machine dry don't wash and put it straight into storage. Consider blowing down dry and wash (if you really have to) just before you go working next harvest. Heated or at least warm storage will also help and keep the little feckers out.

    But if you have it in the head to change, why not ..........
    chris1494 likes this.
  11. Clive

    Clive Staff Member

    TX wiring wasnt great when they were new if I recall ours correctly !

    depends how far you want to go but you can get a rachem mill spec loom for a race car made for about 10k - most of the cost being in the mill spec plugs etc and not the wire, its would be bomb proof and better than a new machine at that kind of spec though

    half way house would just be to replace the plugs for better spec ones maybe ?

    A quality loom isnt cheap
  12. Rabbit Wolverine

    East Midlands
    It's the wiring and plugs which are the main issues, whenever we've had a fault it's normally the plugs, or the wire close to plugs. The wire looks as though its going brittle = more resistance = increased chance of fire???

    We did have issue with condensation is circuit board last year, so wondering whether to take the plunge and get it professionally re-wired, as the hardware still has plenty of life in it (albeit barring metal fatigue)
    fudge and TJB like this.
  13. super4

    super4 Member

    Just remember the cost to change the combine will always be there.
    The tx we ran had a few electric niggles. The cx, seems to be put together even better.
    Steevo likes this.
  14. farmingleinster

    farmingleinster New Member

    I would be a fan of overhauling machines as apposed to the expensive secondhand upgrade which migntnt be much better than what you had.
    One potential issue would be insurance in the unfortunate case of fire, say combine is worth 30k today, spend 15k on overhaul, update insurance value to 45k, will insurance pay out 45k ???
  15. Two Tone

    Two Tone Member

    Most of the electrical problems are to do with bad earthing. Check all the earth connections from any component first before looking any further. I'd even go so far as to suggest fixing extra earths from any faulty components (especially the shaft speed monitors) straight to the chassis before doing anything else. If that doesn't cure the problem, investigate further.

    The older TX 30 series and TF 40 series have a connector plate under the dash which is a favourite haunt for any mice. Mouse pee causes bad conductivity, when they pee on the earthing or any positive connections, due to rust and corrosion. It isn't difficult to mend any broken wires on the connector plate as long as you can see what colour pvc they are covered in. You cannot put any plug back into the wrong socket as they will not fit. Always a good idea to use to spray electrical contact fluid onto any of the plugs and sockets to help where mouse pee has corroded any connecting pins. Wire brush them first. But always remove the batery terminals before doing anything first.
    Remember to check the wiring under the connector plate too. Best thing is to soak some cloth in Moth repellent (Renadine, I think) and leave it on top of the connector plate over winter.
    But you will need a good shower every day during harvest to remove the smell - your wife will definitely complain if not!

    P.S. Oh, and remember to check the wiring under the seat too. Especially if your full tank sensor doesn't work. Drill a whole in the side of the seat base, so that your can pour some repellent into it. Use a plastic bung to plug up the hole (to prevent even more of the smell!!)

    The younger TX 60 series have better protected electrics, (the connections are in a watertight box on the tank front to the RHS side of the cab) but can still suffer from bad earthing. As with the TF 70 series, but with the added complication of the use of Fibre-optics, that often take a few days at the start of a season to settle down. Always remove (cancel) all error codes from the Intelli-view screen. This will help settle things down.

    I saw a 1991 (yes, 26 years old, probably 27 harvests!) TX 32 with a 12' header sold for £17,800 yesterday at a farm auction. I put a value on it of about £10k. It is on its way to Ireland, thanks to the strength of the Euro.

    Before the bidding started, the vendor said that he would spend a day with the new owner, to start it off next season. Hope he has got a valid passport!
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2017
    kill, 6480, former farmer and 3 others like this.
  16. That tx mustve been low hours to command that surely
    Two Tone likes this.
  17. Two Tone

    Two Tone Member

    They didn't tell us how many hours it had done. It was in superb condition though.

    I spoke with a local dealer who has strong connections in the Republic of Ireland and he said that the £ looks very cheap to them compared with last year. Approaching 30% cheaper.

    So to them £17,800 last year is only £12,500 this year. I valued the combine at £10k. Memories of harvest are still (too) fresh in peoples minds and with the condition of this combine, £12.5k was a definite possibility.

    But not £17,800!!! For a 26 year old combine having completed 27 harvest!!!!!!!!!!!

    On 10th October 1991, I bought a 5 year old immaculate 17' TF42 at auction for £15k. It should have been £30k, but people weren't thinking of combines then. I bought that same combine 5 years later to come from that farm to this one for £20k in June 1996. As a 10 yr old combine, it was probably still cheap, even if it did cause a depreciation tax problem on the previous farm!

    When I sold that combine form this farm I advertised it in May 2001 and only had 2 responses with stupid offers, We re-advertised it in July for 20% more and sold it straight away! I sold it to a farmer less that 10 miles away and he has still got it.
    I have had three combines since then!
  18. balerman

    balerman Member

    N Devon
    The TX 30 series are still well sought after,APH are still hiring them out,mostly with over 4000hrs on now,much less electrics than the 60 series which seems to be their Achilles heel.Simple mechanicals,very solidly built machines,i can see why someone would pay that for a real tidy one.
    Christopher Renner and Two Tone like this.
  19. Two Tone

    Two Tone Member

    I do often wonder if the TX30 / TF40 series wouldn't now be a better buy due to there electrical simplicity, compared to the later 60/70 series.

    Many years ago, I wrote this article in FW

    I still get farmers from all over the world contacting me for advice on buying TF Combines (3 this year!). I have now switched from advising to buy TF76/78's to the TF 42/44/46's. What is wrong with a lever, instead of a switch? Levers don't break as often as switches wires and electrical circuitry, which as you correctly say has now become their Achilles heel.

    I even find myself occasionally still reaching down for the lever, when the last time I drove one with levers was 12 years ago!
  20. Mursal

    Mursal Member

    Well when he's coming over for the holidays, it must be a fairly tight TX, he sold ................
    Usually we'd head in the opposite direction after selling anything
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2017
    silverfox likes this.

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