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  1. #1
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Default bill hook cam?

    I have a question about a NH 326 baler. Im looking at a used unit thats supposed to have a worn bill hook cam. When I say 'look' I mean from afar...its in another state and Im trying to decide whether its worth an inspection trip. When I called the seller (a dealer) he had his shop foreman give it a quick look over and the only issue found was the part mentioned above -- the bill hook cam was worn (badly grooved). How much of a job is it to replace this part? That is, does it require extensive disassembly? Given this wear are there other parts I should also look at? Im trying to understand what the cost of this unit is really going to be.

    As an aside has anyone trailered a baler? From the specs in my operator manual its about 9' wide. Seems it would need to go crossways or at least diagonally across the trailer. Did you find that the tongue needed to be removed?

    Since Im asking questions...was a service manual printed for the 326?
    Last edited by jimg; 11-09-2007 at 12:28 PM. Reason: NH 326 baler questions

  2. #2
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
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    jd 1070

    Default Re: bill hook cam?

    Not sure Exactly which part is bill-hook CAM because the bill hook is worm gear driven. I just changed a bill hook last July when too much twine got wrapped up in it from 1 too many bad ties. That cause was another easy problem to fix. It broke the actual hook in the "bill hook" mechanism. I could have welded it bacj but for other reasons I changed it. Its so easy that you can change it in the field if necessary:

    Each knotter is on its own frame. Remove 1 bolt to allow the frame to rotate upwards so you can access the bill hook. Drive the worm gear retainer out with a 1/8" drift. The bill hook will drop thru and into you hand. Watch the spacers, they need to be put back together in the same shim pack thickness.

    However, I suspect that what the dealer is describing is actually the bill hook wiper. The wiper rubs the completed knot off of the bill hook after the tie is complete. The wiper is supposed to rub a bit against the hook so wear is expected. After so many thousands of ties, you need to bend the wiper back to station so it will again rub the bill hook. Now, the wiper looks like a casting, so most operators are afraid to bend it. You can buy a special tool to bend it (its actually malleable iron) or do what I do: use a small pipe wrench sideways on it to snuggle it back to operating condition. If the wiper is completely worn away, you can push in a new one (or a used one) at the same time you have the knotter frame flipped up. I have seen a few on eBay from parted out balers. Even older JD bill hooks and wiper assemblies are interchangable (best to repaint them in factory colors to keep the peanut gallery quiet).

    The pix from the NH site for the 326 knotter drive show parts that look like my JD. In fact, I bought a NH bill hook because it was a shorter drive to get it. Now I have ag parts shipped to my nearest lawn mower dealer who accepts them.

    A 326 is a great baler (as are all the NH jobs). I have a JD because that's what came up at a farm auction).

    see attached. Have the dealer confirm the part description number of the "worn" part.

    As for trailering, just pull off the tongue and drive shaft and shove it on your trailer sideways.
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  3. #3
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Default Re: bill hook cam?

    Thanx Bill,
    Got a hold of the seller finally and it turns out the bad part is #51, the knotter cam (P/N 645745). Guess theres a roller that runs on it (them actually) which caused the wear. The pics I have of that part dont show any wear though (that I can see). At any rate the cams by themselves are $600+ which doesnt include other parts youd replace along w/ them or labor. From what I can tell it looks like the stack has to come apart to do the replacement.

    That said I cant ever recall seeing this part worn on any baler Ive worked around. I wonder if this is a normal wear item or symptomatic of poor maintenance?

    THanx again for your help...

  4. #4
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
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    jd 1070

    Default Re: bill hook cam?

    This what you are wondering about? There are some partial gears on the inner hub ring to engage the billhook twisters. Also the wiper arm has a ball on it that rides on a smooth part of the inner cam. When the ball hits a lobe, the wiper arm pulls the knot off the billhook.

    When the ball seizes up, it usually wears the ball flat until the wiper no longer is effective.

    I find it hard to believe this has worn out, but.. Lets see the pix the dealer sent. These parts are all over the place in junk yards for JD, NH, MF, etc balers. The 326 bare (chute, no hydraulics, lights or hydraulic tension are in the papers 200 miles around here for $2800 to $4000.

    Make him a lowball offer and walk away. If he calls back have him deduct cost of new parts. Then find them in a junker and fix it yourself. Once you have had it apart, all kinds of oportunities for improvement appear: new twine knives, free up stuck swivels, new springs, etc. Then it will ALWAYS behave.
    And, you can sell it for premium money. Especially if you paint and re-decal it.
    Show me the metal....
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  5. #5
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Default Re: bill hook cam?

    I wondered if it was that small ball as well. Sadly the pics so far dont really show any wear. I agree, Ive never seen this part worn in that way. Im going to ask the seller to pass some pics of the exact wear point. If indeed there is excessive wear it would indicate that its been going on for a long while which brings into question how well the baler has been maintained over its life.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Default Re: bill hook cam?

    After looking at the diagram I dont see any roller ball exc on the bill hook (#44). I think this is the one running on the inside of the cam. If it is I really dont see how this could have caused a problem b/c its brass. Unless they ran it down to the rivet I really dont see how damage could have occured.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member jimg's Avatar
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    Default Re: bill hook cam?

    Got my NH knotter service manual yesterday and it shows the procedure for removing/installing the bill hook cam. As near as I can tell the parts blow up lists it as the knotter hook which looks not much like the part in the service manual. Its also not clear how it interacts w/ the rest of the parts esp the knife arm. It would help to have a real knotter to look at.

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