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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a John Deere 700 rake that is really a Vermeer R23 with different paint. Vermeer came up with new style bearings a few years back. Changing over from the old style to the new style is a bit of a problem.The new style is 1.5" diameter and the old style is about 1 3/8". I checked with the JD dealer tech and he suggested using a grinding rasp on a drill and go around and around. That is the way they do it. There is not a hammer big enough to make it fit. Last year I went with the rasp idea and just about wore myself out along with a drill and rasp. A reamer would work but could not find a 1.5". After replacing both ends on one roll bar this year and wearing out my wrist i figured there has to be a better way.

My solution was to take the end cap, knock out the grease zert, take it to the drill press with a 1 1/2" hole saw and cut a hole in the end cap. Next take another end cap and knock out the grease zert. Using the bolts on the rake attach the cutout template on the outside and the other on the inside and carefully line up equal distance around the hole. Next take your hole saw on a low speed drill and using the template cut it out. Repeat the process on the other end.

I replaced 6 bearings using this method in the same amount of time of replacing two the other way.

I ordered the complete set from https://www.shoupparts.com/SH114683-Tine-Bar-Bearing-For-Rakes for $34.95. Of course you can replace the bearing with the old style for $20.95. Me I like not having to grease 24 bearings. In time I will replace the remaining 8 then it will be totally updated.

See the attached pictures.
 

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Hay Master (Supposedly)
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This is a good upgrade for these rakes! The only real bad point of these rakes other than the manual fold is the bar bearings.
 

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This is a good upgrade for these rakes! The only real bad point of these rakes other than the manual fold is the bar bearings.
I still remember having to install many of those brgs back in the 90's on my R23. I like the newer style brgs much better. I'll choose my hyd fold wheel rake over the manual fold R23 when it comes to having to pass through narrow gates.
 

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Hay Master (Supposedly)
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I still remember having to install many of those brgs back in the 90's on my R23. I like the newer style brgs much better. I'll choose my hyd fold wheel rake over the manual fold R23 when it comes to having to pass through narrow gates.
My brother traded from an R23 to an R2300 mostly to get away from the manual fold. I figure there were times that I spent an hour a day just folding and unfolding the R23.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I still remember having to install many of those brgs back in the 90's on my R23. I like the newer style brgs much better. I'll choose my hyd fold wheel rake over the manual fold R23 when it comes to having to pass through narrow gates.
My brother traded from an R23 to an R2300 mostly to get away from the manual fold. I figure there were times that I spent an hour a day just folding and unfolding the R23.
I would love to have a hydraulic fold. But, if I had my way I would have a rotary rake with all the bells and whistles. My old JD700 is paid for several times over and that works well with the old pocket book. Beside I am normally not the one running the rake. :)
 

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Something I thought of regarding the old style bearings. They have a split inner race. If you have a rake that has bearings getting loose, it may buy you some time to tighten the inner race. You will need a combination wrench for the nut, and an allen socket and a long ratchet or breaker bar to hold the center of the bearing. Tighten the nut a little bit at a time to take up the play. Check both ends of each bar. At some point the bearings are junk and need to be replaced. We put A&I bearings in our R23 and though they were less expensive than through Vermeer I did not think they were holding up as well as the originals. Best thing to do is go to the newer style bearing.
 
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