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Hey Folks - My baler needles have been occasionally sticking, breaking the shear pin. I can usually fiddle, with helpful neighbors, and get it loose. I suspect it has something to do with the terrain; a certain angle. On inspection I can see a little divot out of each one at the same latitude. Wondering if maybe there's some kind of bushing that could be worn, allowing for play? Also thinking of smoothing them out a bit in case they now contribute to whatever is going on. I know it would have to be subtle and equal. Not sure if they're cause or effect!
I am a newbie to haying, only my 4th year, but have some knowledgeable people around. Any hints? Kath E. in Maine
 

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I think the divot you referred to in your photo will not affect baler performance or ability to complete tying cycle. I'm scratching my head trying to think what caused the divots. Technically the ends of needles if adjusted incorrectly can contact knotter frame/components but that far from end of needle. I suggest to check plunger head pitman pin(item 9) to be sure it's secured as designed although unsecure pitman pin should put divot on opposite side of needle. I also suggest to check needle brake(item 25) to be sure needle frame doesn't move too easily when knotter begins tying process.
 

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Not sure what your baler is, guessing JD from the color. If the needle pivot is sticking slightly, they may not return to the proper home position, and the safety rod that runs up to the front will block the crankshaft, and break the shear bolt. If the plunger was making contact with the needles, there would be more damage than a divot. It is also possible that the rod could be out of adjustment. I have a JD 336 and had to replace the rod and coupler a couple of years ago because the coupler where it attached to the bracket by the needles had the threads worn out. Broke several shear bolts before I got that figured out. Hope you have had better luck with the weather this year than I have, down in the midcoast.
 

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Clean out the baler.....trip the knotter cycle....hand rotate it till you reach the point that marks on needles match a spot that could produce those marks ...that point should also have marks....stop at that point and check for slop or movement in bushings etc....those old balers are not difficult to diagnose.....had a 24t for years they are simple and basic....as others have said check brakes etc
 
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