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Late 1640 intermittent feeder disengage

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This issue is starting to get me a bit frustrated. 1992 model year 1640 SN 97327 (important because there are numerous details on this combine which are 1644 upgrades and not necessarily listed correctly in the parts book) The issue I am having is that the feeder will randomly stop (disengage) while combining through the field. Almost always; stopping, slowing the machine down and flipping the switch will restart it. There seems to be no rhyme or reason to how frequent it happens, it started probably 5 years ago with only happening twice in 200 engine hours per year, perhaps. The last couple fields last fall (2019) it became a problem, acting up frequently enough to be concerning. The feeder would always restart again and I didn't want to mess around with lengthy troubleshooting on the last day of harvest. However, a few times on 2019's last field, it became concerning that it wouldn't restart, which was new. I've thrown a few parts at it and inspected the wiring....thought I had it fixed before this season started, it seemed to work flawlessly in the yard in 20+ tries.  Then yesterday it acted up once. All the rest of the electronics work as they should, to the best of my knowledge.  I'm almost certain the reel stops also when the feeder disengages. There is no bin level monitor switch on this combine, although the harness is in place.  it looks like that is part of the feeder circuit also.


I've replaced the following over the past few years, mostly on the advice of various techs who I trust. (not throwing anyone under the bus at all, I know how hard it is to diagnose something like this that rarely happens and when it does, reverts to normal almost instantly)

Feeder speed sensor-twice (I thought it was fixed after replacing the first one, so when it became more frequent again, I tried another)

Feeder cutoff module - this was suggested as a potential problem and the old one smelled like hot plastic so strongly I replaced it last fall after I was finished, then I helped a cousin do his last field of corn and it happened a couple times again.

Coil on feeder engage valve- I replaced this just before starting this year, it was suggested that maybe it was drawing a few too many amps once it gets hot.

I've also bypassed the operator presence switch.  And replaced the cab solenoid.

I have a new time delay relay... but it blows the fuse instantly when installed, even with the wires hooked according to the updated service bulletin.  grrr  .. If I switch back to the old time delay relay, it's business as usual.


Thank you for any help!

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First off, are you sure the clean power/ground wires at the batteries are in good condition? Not the big battery cables, but the smaller wires that are directly hooked up to the battery bolts. Many times they get overlooked, and now that they are nearly 30 years old, a lot of them are in deteriorating condition. If they are not in good shape, you can have either voltage supply or ground issues.

Have you tried bypassing the AFC module to see if it makes any difference? You should be able just to hook the connectors of the combine harness together(AFC was an option on those machines). 

Have you checked to make sure the feeder engagement switch is working properly.

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I am not 100% sure this is correct, but all of the clean power/ground wires on my combine are going to the battery ground. I was surprised by this and assume it's correct... yes they seem to be in excellent condition. Everything else works as it should....


I have not bypassed the AFC module, but I did replace it. I will try this if it acts up more seriously. I hesitated to do so because in tough beans the feeder does plug occasionally and I didn't want to smoke the slip clutch.  The bypass procedure is in my OP manual.


 I haven't been able to check the switch when the circuit is incomplete. But it checks okay when it's working :) It does have a lot of cycles in 5000 hours.  I am leaning towards the switch being the culprit.


Thank you for the suggestions!

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