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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pickup reel chain on my NH311 has broken twice today. New chain I replaced last year. Have had no issues and then today broke at the master link. Replaced it and broke 30 bales later.

Ideas?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Did it break on the master link both times? If so do you have closed end of master link towards direction of travel?
It broke on the master link both times, which is the weakest link so it makes sense. But while I totally forgot about making sure the closed end is in direction of travel, I did just happen to have it that way. If I’m correct about which way the direction of travel in as I’m reconstructing it in my head.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Something in the pickup reel catching perhaps. Worn cam track catching the cam follower bearing maybe.

Roger
I checked the reel. It turns very freely by hand and no bad sounds.
I took the drive chain off the pickup so I can move the driveshaft freely to feel the bearings. A bit inconclusive too. It will turn freely for half a turn and then feel a tiny bit of resistance and then freely for half a turn, etc. i could hear a slight rubbing sound. With no working “control” it’s hard to tell if it’s correct or not or I’m being hyper sensitive. My next step was going to be to remove that shaft to inspect each bearing, I’m trying to size up how big of a job that would be.
 

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Is the chain old or stretched? You can find measurements online to find out how stretched is considered too much. I had the same issue on a round baler. Always the master link but the times I did find the link it wasn't broken. It was like the clip popped off and it just fell apart. Replaced the chain and never had an issue after that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Is the chain old or stretched? You can find measurements online to find out how stretched is considered too much. I had the same issue on a round baler. Always the master link but the times I did find the link it wasn't broken. It was like the clip popped off and it just fell apart. Replaced the chain and never had an issue after that.
No it’s a new chain I had replaced last year. I replaced it last year because the old chain had broke. I chalked it up to being an old chain but now makes me wonder if it was the early sign of this current symptom. That was thousands of bales ago though.
 

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I’ve just replaced all my chains on my 275 and what a nightmare I had timing everything up in the paddock a couple days ago. Just did 700 bales and the first 20 almost had me walking away. I did notice a bit of initial stretch on the new chains. I did the pickup bearings last year for the first time since I’ve owned the machine and it wasn’t too bad a job. Simple yet time consuming. The problem I had was I’d never seen cam lock bearings before and thought the worst when finding two little rusted excuses for bearings that I had to gas axe off. When looking down the barrel of getting the shaft remachined to suit new bearings we happened to be in the city three hours away and I went into a shop and the old guy serving a customer next to me heard my conversation with the lady serving me and said he used to have a square baler 30 years ago and knew the bearings I was talking about. Went out the back, brought them to me and I never looked back. Keep in mind these cam bearings have to be installed clamped in direction of travel.
 

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Check your idler pulley to make sure the chain is centered. Mine was one washer off and the chain kept jumping behind the reel sprocket. A little friction should have no effect on the master link, it would take some serious binding, like a cam follower locking up briefly to cause that. Once I got the pulley centered no more issues were encountered.

You can let it run and watch the chain to get an idea what is causing it, thats how I discovered why mine kept coming apart.
 
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