Mountain Heritage

496 non-rockflex discs

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The 496 is a the best disk for the money and unbeatable IMO. Like SDman said stay far away from the 3900. You can pull that 18 footer with your 3688. We pulled a 20' 6" 490 with the 826 for years, does have a turbo.

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7 hours ago, SDman said:

The 3900 disc was probably the biggest failure of a red product since the Case/IH merger in my area(with the MXM tractors a close second). Those discs kept our shop busy for not one, but two winters updating them. They were really a disappointment after the 496 was such a successful disc that were loved by everybody. All of the models we sold were the rock-flex discs.

It started with the redesign of the bearings and bearing standards on the 3900-CaseIH called the design "Cushion Gang II". The bearings looked considerably bigger than the ones used previously on the 496, but they failed miserably. We probably sold 20-30 of those discs, many were the 33' models. You couldn't run a 3900 an entire day without having to stop and replace at least one bearing-couldn't be done. Several of them went through more than one bearing in a day's time. We had several people from the Hamilton plant(CaseIH's tillage plant at the time) out to look at these. They were checking bearing standard alignment, tried different bearings, different standard designs, etc., but the problem remained. We used to dedicate one guy in the shop to be available for customers to go out and help with bearing replacement when everyone was using them. Finally after 3-4 years of this, CaseIH came out with a completely redesigned bearing/standard setup that was updated into all of our 3900 tandem discs. This new setup did work well, but really gave CaseIH a black eye with a poor product. In addition to the bearing problem, the 3900 had several other areas that were updated as well. The 6-bolt hubs for the wheels were replaced with 8-bolt hubs, we had several wing frames break that were replaced under warranty, the hitch had some updates as well, the scrapers were updated with a newer design along the way. We had several 3900 discs that had more $$$ in warranty repairs than what the original price of the disc was! IIRC, if you did all the updates to a 3900 you could have over $20K in repairs, while the price of the disc was around $18-19K. Many 3900 owners wanted their 496 trade-ins back, but the 496s we took in trade would be sold immediately due to their good reputation. If you want to look at what a 3900 disc is with all the updates, look at a 3950 disc. What few of those we had around here were pretty good, but they had to fight the generally poor reputation of the 3900.

Fortunately for us, no-till came on strong shortly after the fiasco with the 3900 so most of this became a moot point after a few years, but it really created hard feelings. We had one guy at our shop at this time that was around when IH had to fix all their 560 rearends in the late 1950s-he felt this rework was a bigger public relations nightmare than what the 560 mess was back in its day.

Now that is useful information!!!!  Was not aware there were so many possible problems with the 3900 series!??  I don't need to open up that can of worms then!  Will stick to the idea of searching out a 496. I have only found one 3950 so far but it's been converted to a VT unit. 

I certainly have no time to do upgrades on a unit this spring, so hopefully the unit I find will need minimal work to get it field ready?  Even though the weather guessers are calling for 3 or 4 inches of snow tomorrow 😡  Be nice if winter would give up for this year!!

what was/is the standard stock disc size on an 18-20 foot 496 model?

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Just looking at more ads on-line.  Is there a way to tell the age of a 496 disc?  I see some that have black frames (part of them), and others that the entire frame is red?  Is it like the IH plows, white and black trip spring covers determine age of the plow?

Some of them have draw pins at the pivot for the tongue where it hooks to the center frame - is that because they lost the pin or did they beat the heck out of it and break the pin off and it fell out?  See the odd one that has a draw pin in as a pivot pin for the wings too??

Pretty sad condition some of them are in!

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I had a 24' 496 for several years. Disc had duals on the wings which I think is a neccesity for that size disc or bigger as they help keep the wings more level with the main frame during operation. Mine originally had a 3 bar tine harrow on the back which I detested. I removed it, added a hitch to the disc, and pulled a "bedspring" harrow. The "bedspring" did a much nicer job than the coil tine & when you didn't want to use it, such as in the fall discing stalks, it was just a matter of pulling the hitch pin & uncoupling the hyd hoses.

For spring tillage I feel the 22' 490 I owned prior to the 496 did a much better job but the 496 was superior for working corn stalks in the fall. FWIW, both discs had 7" spacing and neither were "rock flex" discs.  personally I am not a fan of using a disc in the spring except for special occasions. Currently own a 34' 330TT that normally only gets used in the fall. I like the 330 as it doesn't turn up the corn rootballs like a regular disc does. Hate the thing to plant behind, so that's why it's mainlly used in the fall on COC stalk before disc ripping or moleboard plowing.

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I agree Boog, a disc with any sort of wing that size should have dual tires. It's gotta make a huge difference!  Some of them wings are quite large and heavy.  You sometimes disc in fall before molboard plowing?   Guessing to just chop up stalks?  If so we use a crop chopper with the back door open so it will not plug up. Does a heck of a job!  Then we will plow 'em down. Makes it nice, hardly ever plug the plow and not brining the stalks up in spring with first pass using cultivator. 

Did you notice much difference in design or build quality between the 490 & 496 Boog?  Much improvements ?  What you figure made the 490 level things better - gang angle?

Anyone use rolling baskets? Like or dislike, worth the money?

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I replaced the 496 with a 340- now that's a whole different animal, also replaced a sunflower soil finisher with a 3900 disc on 7 1/2 inch spacing. I took the harrow off ( which was junk ) and mounted a Remlinger double basket, by far the best finishing tool I've ever had. This disc is a rock flex but must have had the bearing updates as I have had no trouble with them, I do wish it had the 8 bolt hubs on the center frame due to the weight of the crumbler when folded for transport. Narrow spacing discs are hard to find so I took what I couldn't get, but in our hills and soil type the soil finisher leaves the ground too loose even if you pull a basket. I get much better emergence and far less erosion with This disc combined with the mounted baskets .

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Went disc shopping yesterday....come home empty handed. :wacko:  What a bunch of CRAP out there to choose from!!  Went to one dealership to see two specific units they had listed - confirmed Thursday afternoon that they were still there and for sale.  Yep! Ok, "I will be there on Monday between 10:00 - 12:00 to see them".  Yeah,  Got there, salesman was busy - no big deal, didn't expect him to NOT help anyone else while waiting on me to arrive.  Ended up dealing with another salesman...couldn't find the one unit I wanted to see.  OMG!  And the other unit that was more money - found it on our own, it was NOT worth what they were asking for it.  Not to mention the fact that the pictures they have on their web-site are WAY out dated.  Likely when they brought the unit in from a sale in the USA.  Doesn't look like that now!  A lot more rust on it, 4 flat, rotting tires, and a whole lot more moss growing on it from sitting under the trees.  I'd say they have been there for at least a year or two with the amount of moss on the disc blades and the amount the rims are into the ground.  Good Grief!

Ended up going to 9 dealerships yesterday looking - a lot were "cold calls" in hopes they would have something just traded in or show up on consignment that they haven't yet put on the web-site.  No such luck.  Found one nice 22' unit that was reasonably priced, but it will be too big for my tractor.  I don't have the time to cut down the wings to make them about 2.5-3 feet narrower before spring work.  That SUCKS!

So back to looking again.  Going to be pretty bad if I have to buy a set of discs in the USA because there isn't any small enough in Canada.  Talked to a buyer/seller of equipment today locally to see if he still had a guy in the US looking/buying for him when needed.  Told him what I was looking for, he kind of laughed and said they basically don't exist!  He has 4 guys now counting me who are looking for good discs in general - he is having a hard time finding them at decent prices and in good enough shape to bring North and be able to sell them.  He said its terrible to try to find good stuff anymore.  Certainly not what it used to be like.

I did see yesterday what others have said on different sites about what to look for when buying used.  WOW!  There are some nasty looking discs out there that have been ABUSED!  The bends, cracks, bends, and then the attempted repairs - I think my neighbors 6 year old could do a better job repairing them with bubble gum.  Have found when looking at used equipment, some people shouldn't be allowed to pick up a welding rod and helmet.  Terrible!

 

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No where near enough tractor for a 19 foot .

 

Got a 20 and it will work a weighed , dualed 5088 plenty if any moisture .

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3 hours ago, tommyw-5088 said:

No where near enough tractor for a 19 foot .

 

Got a 20 and it will work a weighed , dualed 5088 plenty if any moisture .

Think so Tommy?  Where are you in the country - we don't have hills here at all.  Biggest hill I have to climb could likely be done on a tricycle if the ground was hard enough.  I do have the odd wet spot to go around, but I wouldn't be venturing out into them anyways - would be hitting them with the cultivator first to get some air in there to dry it up.

Was your disc measured at the front or back out of curiosity?

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4 hours ago, tommyw-5088 said:

No where near enough tractor for a 19 foot .

 

Got a 20 and it will work a weighed , dualed 5088 plenty if any moisture .

We have pulled a 475 18' behind a 1066 hydro with 18-38 original bf Goodrich , no duals, BIG hills. All depends on the soil

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On 3/31/2017 at 5:25 AM, Mountain Heritage said:

I agree Boog, a disc with any sort of wing that size should have dual tires. It's gotta make a huge difference!  Some of them wings are quite large and heavy.  You sometimes disc in fall before molboard plowing?   Guessing to just chop up stalks?  If so we use a crop chopper with the back door open so it will not plug up. Does a heck of a job!  Then we will plow 'em down. Makes it nice, hardly ever plug the plow and not brining the stalks up in spring with first pass using cultivator. 

Did you notice much difference in design or build quality between the 490 & 496 Boog?  Much improvements ?  What you figure made the 490 level things better - gang angle?

Anyone use rolling baskets? Like or dislike, worth the money?

We disc stalks in the fall before plowing / disc ripping, that are going back to corn the next spring.  Other stalks we usually either run the disc ripper on, or in some cases will disc & leave till spring for beans.  Main reason for discing COC is to break down residue as much as possible as residue ties up nitrogen the next year. Not sure what you mean by "crop chopper"? Is that similar to a bat wing mower or a flail shredder. Use to use a flail chopper years ago to break up stalks enough to get thru the old moleboard plows (#16s, #60s, %00s, etc) but the newer plows, we run 720, 700 trailer, will handle stalks fine without doing anything ahead of the plow. Problem with a mower / chopper is they are slow & too much maintenance.

 

The 496 is a heavier built disc than the 490, which is why I feel it cuts better in the fall. . Wings on the 496 are controlled by slave cylinders while the 490 uses one main cylinder on the main frame  & mechanical linkage to the wings. JMO, I think the wings on the 490 "float" with the ground a little better because of the mechanical linkage. Seems in the spring we always had issues with our 496 wings wanting to gouge unless we ran the hyds in "float" & then they didn't want to go in as much as the main frame.  I never did care for the way the 496 had two adjustments for leveling front to back. Always seemed like the  crank for the tongue would bind and eventually get to where you couldn't adjust it. . IIRC, we replaced it a couple times. Plus you had to fold the disc up & raise it where it would "teeter" to adjust. The 490 was a simple spring loaded crank on the tongue. Never has issues trying to adjust it.

IMO, you 3688 should handle a 19' 496 as along as you watch how deep you work. Our 496 would stop our dualed 1486 in it's tracks if you would raise the wheels all the way up  in stalks in the fall. Also had a 4640 at the time & it would handle the 496 with the wheels all the way up though you could tell the disc was back there.. Years ago I pulled a 18 1/2' 480 with an 806. Got along good on bean stubble but it was a load on plowed ground in the spring, couldn't work much more than 2-3" deep.  Te 8 handled a 18 1/2' #45 field cultivator much better on plowed ground.

 

FWIW, most of my soils are Sable & Ipava silt loams. Ipava is black & Sable is blacker. & heavier.  and tends to be poorly drained. Both are highly productive soils as long as they are drained. Hopefully in the next 4-5 years will have all of it grid tiled. .Just takes time & money

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By crop chopper, yes I mean a flail chopper.  We have an old Gehl crop chopper, think its about 8 feet wide, with the curved flail knives on it.  We just open up the back door that covers the auger across the back of it and chop corn stalks with that.  It will blow it out over the auger and sometimes up the chute too.  Does a heck of a job on the stalks.  We do it mostly to help the stalks break down over winter and into the next year.  Plow can bury the stalks okay without, but in the Spring when we hit it with the cultivator to start drying it out, we end up dragging up the long stalks then it is a mess on top of the ground.  This way with them chopped, we hardly have any trash on top of the ground.  Planting with only a seed drill (IH 5100), we don't have to worry as much that the discs won't get the beans into the ground with less trash.  Dad changed all the opener discs this spring on it, so it will make it even better hopefully!  Should have a lot less beans left on the ground not covered up.  Time consuming chopping stalks, yes but in the long run, we find it worth the time.  Mind you, we only chop about 100 acres or so each year.  For those guys who have hundreds of acres, I could see them either buying the 15 or 20 flail choppers or not doing it all.  Wouldn't blame them that way.

Got thinking the other day, what about turning the "screw" up on the 3688 to handle any extra width on the disc?  If was to do that, would it beat the crap out of the tractor that much quicker?  How hard is it on the transmission and the engine?  Can I get another 10 to 15 hp on the drawbar our of it without damaging things?  How much more fuel consumption would I have to deal with if I was to do that?

Our soil here Boog is sandy/loam to clay/loam.  Have two fields that are heavy clay at one end - maybe 4 or 5 acres max to deal with.  I too would love to get some of it tile drained, but that will be down the road.  Think I will be spending the money on ditching around two sections first to get rid of the surface water, that will make a big difference for sure!  With it being lighter soil, it seams to dry out decent if we have drying weather in the spring.  Hit it with the cultivator first to get the air into it and we usually are off to the races.  Wet springs, well that's a challenge just like everyone else runs into.

As far as how deep I would be working with the discs.  Really can't see any point in working much deeper than 3 to 4 inches max.  All that does is suck all the moisture out of the ground.  No need for that in the Spring.  Wouldn't want my seed in the ground past 2 inches, heck it would never see day light before July! 

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Lets throw something else out....has anyone every narrowed a 496 disc?  Knock it down from 19' in the front & 21' in the back?  Say knock a foot or so off it?  Thinking as long as I could get the hanger for the bearings lined up "inside" the wing frame then and cut off the gang bolt for each row of discs - in theory it should work??  Anyone every tried this and succeeded?  Huge job or decent if you have the tools to cut it down and do any welding needed?

Back to the same old question - where the heck do you measure the disc from - front or back?  Was told today by a salesman at IH that you measure the front - its the working width, the back really isn't working?  IF true, then...??

 

Seen something neat today.  Modified 496 for the lift cylinders on the wings.  Owner didn't like the "X" arms at the back, so converted it to one large cylinder to raise and lower each wing.

 

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5 hours ago, Mountain Heritage said:

Lets throw something else out....has anyone every narrowed a 496 disc?  Knock it down from 19' in the front & 21' in the back?  Say knock a foot or so off it?  Thinking as long as I could get the hanger for the bearings lined up "inside" the wing frame then and cut off the gang bolt for each row of discs - in theory it should work??  Anyone every tried this and succeeded?  Huge job or decent if you have the tools to cut it down and do any welding needed?

Back to the same old question - where the heck do you measure the disc from - front or back?  Was told today by a salesman at IH that you measure the front - its the working width, the back really isn't working?  IF true, then...??

 

Seen something neat today.  Modified 496 for the lift cylinders on the wings.  Owner didn't like the "X" arms at the back, so converted it to one large cylinder to raise and lower each wing.

 

You'll have to get different arbors for the gangs.

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6 hours ago, jass1660 said:

You'll have to get different arbors for the gangs.

Yeah either that or trim the one end of the ones that are on it and reweld the cap on the end.  Originally was thinking cut end with threads on and rethread but figure easier to weld the other end??

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19 minutes ago, Mountain Heritage said:

Yeah either that or trim the one end of the ones that are on it and reweld the cap on the end.  Originally was thinking cut end with threads on and rethread but figure easier to weld the other end??

 You'll be looking for trouble if you tried that stunt!!! 

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12 minutes ago, Qc.Can.IH man said:

 You'll be looking for trouble if you tried that stunt!!! 

Which, rewelding it or threading it?

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2 minutes ago, Mountain Heritage said:

Which, rewelding it or threading it?

 Either one... if you start messing with the gang bolt you will end up never being able to keep it tight, i've seen some guys tighten them up as tight as possible and even weld the nut....before you know it it's loose again.

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Just now, Qc.Can.IH man said:

 Either one... if you start messing with the gang bolt you will end up never being able to keep it tight, i've seen some guys tighten them up as tight as possible and even weld the nut....before you know it it's loose again.

Ok, good to know. Would stick with buying new gang bolt then if I was to do that then!

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How long do you want it narrowed for?   I know a fellow that got a good deal on a larger disk before he had enough tractor for it.  He was planning on getting a larger tractor, then a larger disk as time and money permitted, but could not pass up ad smoking deal on a disk that was what he wanted.  So he removed the four (or six) outer blades on each side front and rear to narrow it down to where his current tractor could handle it.  He put cut down disk centers back in place of the "missing" disks to maintain the spacing required to keep the gang bolts tight.   When he bought a larger tractor he simply put the disks back in.  Actually, I think that he had already used the removed disks for replacements due to stony ground, then replaced the front gangs using the takeoffs to fill in the back gangs, then changed the back gang the following year.

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21 minutes ago, 1586 Jeff said:

How long do you want it narrowed for?   I know a fellow that got a good deal on a larger disk before he had enough tractor for it.  He was planning on getting a larger tractor, then a larger disk as time and money permitted, but could not pass up ad smoking deal on a disk that was what he wanted.  So he removed the four (or six) outer blades on each side front and rear to narrow it down to where his current tractor could handle it.  He put cut down disk centers back in place of the "missing" disks to maintain the spacing required to keep the gang bolts tight.   When he bought a larger tractor he simply put the disks back in.  Actually, I think that he had already used the removed disks for replacements due to stony ground, then replaced the front gangs using the takeoffs to fill in the back gangs, then changed the back gang the following year.

This is sort of something I was thinking about today.  Instead of cutting down the wings on a disc to make it narrower.  What about just removing them and then either making or buying the wing frames for a smaller disc (18 foot or even make it into a 16 foot).  Then buy or make the gang bolts the right length then use the spools and discs that came with the disc when I buy it???  Looking on "parts look up", they have part numbers for the wing frames for an 18 feet disc.  Only thing is I can't add them to my cart??  It says to contact dealer.  It doesn't say they are are NLA??  Might not be ready for this year planting - but would be a more manageable size???  Need to figure out the price it would cost to do and see if it was even realistic idea?

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You're going to have three times the cost of a disc tied up in it with labor and parts versus traveling farther and just getting what is ready to go. 

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