I've decided to retired my NH balers and went that other shade of green... (Ok, I just like the way it looks behind my 1800)
I have an Oliver 520, that makes a same size everytime, honest square bale. After 340 bales I only had 1 that I might consider a "bananna" and thats a stretch. It made no difference baling if I had a fat windrow or nearly nothing (It actually hates the big windrow - chokes on it).
Now the problem. Of 340 bales so far (give or take a couple) about 10% end up with only 1 string. The left knotter fails to tie. To me, it appeared that the knot was hanging on the billhook. Now, I have the NH knotter guide (Like the NH, the oliver uses "Deering" knotters) and the 520 manual. I had checked the obvious stuff I saw wrong before I ever started baling like twine finger adjustment and timing. After the first 118 bales (I had to get that field in) I took apart both knotters, compared billhooks (both looked ok), polished off the rust, sharpened knives, checked twine disc timing and tension etc and I still have the same problem on the same side. It might go 10 - 15 bales, fail, then go 2 - 3, fail etc. No consistency.
When I watch it tie, (from the wagon) the left knot emerges from under the twine disc a second or so after the right side, yet they tied at the same time. The twine has slack, with the knot at the top of what I'll call a bottomless triangle.
Both knotters will do this, but the left is more prevalent. As the bale is pushed out of the chamber away from the knotters, the strings pull down and this "triangle" disappears. This doesn't seem normal, compared to my NH balers. When it doesn't tie, usually the string is tied with the next bales knot or if it stays with the bale, the knot is only half formed with the loose end coming under then over the top of the bale.
I tried tweaking billhook tension (up and down)and twine tension (from the box - tighter only)in the field but niether made any difference (twine tension at the box is about maxed, I still have plenty of threads if I want to crank down the billhook). I didn't mess with bale tension. I'm guessing I'm at about a 60lb bale or so, it's perfect shape at about 36 - 38 inches, the strings only give about 2 - 3 inches when picked up so I know it's not to tight.
With the way the string "slacks" I'm starting to wonder if my "perfect" bale tension is the problem. I plan to run back through the troubleshooting guide in the manual as maybe I missed something. I need to get a spring scale to check twine tension, (thought I could just use the NH method for the billhook - compress the spring then 2 turns more, maybe not.)The only other obvious thing is the twine finger for the left side is missing the very tip (point), but it still has what looks like a point and I set it with what is there per the manual. Just what does the twine finger do - other than guide twine to the knotter?
It's got me... anybody have any Oliver baler experience. My NH's never gave me knotter problems like this and there the same knotter! I couldn't be happier with the quality of bales this thing spits out, but I hate having to kick the broken ones into the next windrow.