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  1. #1
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    Default square baler plunger installation (Ford 532)

    The ongoing trouble with my Ford 532 baler is in another thread, which is getting rather lengthy. I finally discovered after several steps (broken needles, maladjusted needle retarder, knotter issues, etc.) that my plunger was bent and busted, so the safety stop no longer touched it. So, I've pulled the plunger and it is at the welder's getting repaired. One roller bearing was in pieces, and so I'm replacing that too.

    I thought I'd start a new thread as my next question has to do with reinstalling this plunger. It seems like this is the time to sharpen the knife along the edge of it? Also, I've heard talk about "wedging," plungers for adjustment. I'd appreciate any advice on how to best tweak the plunger for optimal performance while I'm up to my elbows in this project.

    Many thanks.

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

    Default Re: square baler plunger installation (Ford 532)

    Absolutely sharpen the plunger knife and the stationary knife on the side of the case. Hollow grind using a wheel on your table saw. When the plunger is back in place, the knives have to be spaced properly such that they NEVER touch and they are in good shearing condition. Most times, the so called "banana" bales result from the hay charge flake being chopped instead of sheared. There are guides and slippers on the sides of bale chambers to prevent the plunger from shifting its attitude in the event of a bad "charge" (like a fence post, tree limb, wet hay plug, ex-wife, or the neighbor kid's bike. Check the crank shaft bearings while you are at it, too.

    A manual would tell you the recommened knife spacing. My 14T begs for 1/32 to 1/16" clearance, measured at the top of the bale case.

    Does the damage to your plunger look like it came from an object that got in there by mistake or from a cutoff knife hookup?

    I hope TwinWillows is following this saga. He has a old baler to fix up, good tools and a good attitude (so far) !
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  3. #3
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    Default Re: square baler plunger installation (Ford 532)

    The damage to the plunger really looks as if it could have been caused by the safety stop itself. That point is peeled backwards which seems to have caused all the additional buckling around behind. I noticed a bit of welding has been done before on the surface in this area, so I wondered if there was an old injury that weakened that area of the plunger, and either a few good smacks into the safety (for whatever reason) buckled the whole deal, or perhaps something like the neighbor's kid's bike found its way into the area as well, adding to the wreck.

    Thanks for the info on the knives. I don't have a manual still (I was warned that the timing info in the original manual was wrong and caused guys all kind of trouble...just a side note). Perhaps I'll go with the 14t recommendations you provided and see how that goes unless I land the 532 spec.s in the mean time.

  4. #4
    Gold Member TwinWillows's Avatar
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    Default Re: square baler plunger installation (Ford 532)

    HI guys - I'm following this rebuild!!

    I just received my manual & am going thru it while my knotters are soakign in penetrating oil.. I'll try it again soon to see if things are loose & moving. If not I think I'll try more oil before resorting to diassembling things.

    Thanks for the motivation.

  5. #5
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
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    Default Re: square baler plunger installation (Ford 532)

    TW: The only things that may need to be freed up on your knotter parts are the balls on the end of the wiper arms. The knotter works without them rolling, but wear/flat spots usually form and they reduce the travel of the wiper arm.
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: square baler plunger installation (Ford 532)

    Plunger is in! Here's a few pictures of the splendid repair. Once in position, with new roller bearing and everything looking good, I was amazed at how easily the plunger rolled along without any resistance. Before I reconnected it to the crank, it literally rolled back and forth with hardly a touch. And, blades are hollow ground. Can't wait to see how this does now.

    I'm adding a picture of the little jd 850 with the jd 1217 haybine setting in the midst of its work yesterday. I mowed all day and only burned about 5 gallons of diesel. A little slow going uphill, but not bad.

    I'm headed out now to look the needle situation and figure on the retarder/brake and see how the timing and knotters are looking.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -532-plunger-reapir-002small-jpg   -532-plunger-reapir-004small-jpg   -532-plunger-reapir-0019small-jpg  

  7. #7
    Super Member flusher's Avatar
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    Default Re: square baler plunger installation (Ford 532)

    Quote Originally Posted by zzvyb6 View Post
    Absolutely sharpen the plunger knife and the stationary knife on the side of the case. Hollow grind using a wheel on your table saw. When the plunger is back in place, the knives have to be spaced properly such that they NEVER touch and they are in good shearing condition.
    I hope TwinWillows is following this saga. He has a old baler to fix up, good tools and a good attitude (so far) !

    ZZ: I'll need to shapen the plunger and stationary knives on my MF-124 baler for the first time since I bought the baler last year.

    Never used my table saw as a knife sharpener before.

    Question: how is this done? Safety issues (that table saw spins pretty fast)? What kind of grinding wheel is used in this method?

  8. #8
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
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    Default Re: square baler plunger installation (Ford 532)

    I use a standard 8" fine grit 3/4" wide wheel available from Home Depot or Lowes or Graingers (Dayton brand). I believe the table saw motor runs at 3750 rpm and its a 1/1 pulley with the blade arbor. The wheels are rated at over 6500 rpm. My Dayton shop grinder runs much faster than that, even. Use a dado cutter shroud to keep the working space tight. Clamp the blades to a a flat stock bar and run them across the wheel. Safety glasses are a must. I also use metal cutting wheels (1/8" thick) for cutting and trimming all kinds of iron, steel, aluminum and plastic stuff.

    Old Craftsman table saws go for $50 aroind here onCraigslist. If you are uptight about using your $2000 saw for metal, buy a better one cheaper...
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  9. #9
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    Default Re: square baler plunger installation (Ford 532)

    Okay...I've got a theory.

    I was just working on the needle retarder, and just as zzvyb6 anticipated, there was brake material in there, and most of it was worn away, and there was no friction happening. So I've got that repaired and hopefully adjusted, and as I was going through various things double checking, I got to the safety, checked it, it was in working order, then I slowly turned the flywheel until the plunger touched the safety stop and then it hit me--I bet there is a hardened bolt where the shear pin should be. That could have caused all the plunger wreckage, etc, I bet.

    If the safety were to engage to save my needles, the pin should shear, right? If it doesn't then what is next to give...the plunger perhaps.

    I have to investigate what shear bolt and where. On the old JD 336 I used last year, it was in the flywheel, but not on this Ford 532. If it is at the PTO yoke, I see a carriage bolt stuck in there, which may confirm my suspicions.

    Otherwise, everything is going back together beautifully.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: square baler plunger installation (Ford 532)

    Is the 532 main drive clutch supposed to take care of this kind of thing instead of a shear bolt? And, if so, perhaps mine is ceased up causing the catastrophic plunger problem?

    Any insights?

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