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Thread: Fox self propelled chopper

  1. #1
    Senior Member Monte1255's Avatar
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    Fox self propelled chopper

    I know a few of you guys have been interested in this little number. This is a Fox Maxx II full power four wheel drive self propelled forage harvestor. I bought this as a fixer up unit about four years ago and completely went through the cutter head with new bearings and pillow blocks. I installed new universal joints on all cross shaftsfrom gear boxes, checked over seals, installed new twin disc clutch and drive belt that runs from twin disc to input on cutterhead gearbox. This chopper runs with a 6v-71 Detroit and from what I can see on the nomenclature on the engine it puts out about 238 HP.
    Which by todays standards is small, but back in the day (1973) this thing was huge!
    Some of the changes that I made to it when I went through the cutterhead was to revamp the blower. By using the plasma torch we manufactured our own paddles, blower bands, rear blower panel, spout converstion (located in pictures just behind the cab and below yellow blower spout)
    When new, the blower bands originally joined together at the bottom, the only problem with this is that the joint is a stress point for the band and frequently would wear holes through the metal band. by putting the joint on the back and top side of the blower we removed this problem and also where able to install a top hatch for added clean out in case of plug ups. All the metal in the blower, and spout was cut from 3/16th's inch plate and welded for rough service as we use this chopper for chopping corn stalks for animal bedding as well as other forages.
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    Senior Member stumpjumper83's Avatar
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    i can hear that thing from here... Back in the day, those and field queens were the choppers of choice.

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    Senior Member stock's Avatar
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    Very similar to this old dog that I worked with in my youth.

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    Senior Member Monte1255's Avatar
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    stump jumper

    huh????? didn't catch that wha????
    one of the things that Fox did to lessen the noise was the rezonator(sp?) right behind the operators seat located on top of the hood, without it, it would be unbearable to operate for any length of time. I wish I had a vid camera to show ya guys some sights and sounds, but unfortunatly that is not the case.

    I had one guy speculate that Fox also made the Oliver self propelled choppers, but that is not the case Oliver made their own machine, using a 478 Hercules engine however the attachments were so similar that the heads would fit either base unit.

    I think if it comes to it, and parts become scarce for this unit, I can switch the cutter head from the one I've got now to a 900 new holland and make that work with the new holland style heads. But for now I would like to keep it as original as possible and just keep it in the field, who knows, it may be worth something to keep it that way.
    original purchase price on this unit for me was $3500.00 stuck about 1000 into it (plus a few weeks work) and had an offer of $16500.00 for it already which of course I couldn't accept. (sentimental value I guess)
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    What drives the electric motor in the second pic? 24v? generator? inverter?

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    Very nice. I had the chance to see one that was restored to "showroom" condition last year at the Wisconsin Farm Technology Days show. They are pretty cool machines, but I can't imagine screwing with the band the way it was before you modified it. We had the band break last year on our Gehl 1250 chopper, and even with the attachment point on top, it still sucked to fix it. How wide a hay head do you run on it?

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    Senior Member Monte1255's Avatar
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    the electric motor shown is for the purpose of sharpening the knives, it uses 120v electric motor to spin cupped shaped grinding wheel and the knives are sharpened by the use of a cam action connected to the outside splines of the cutter head, then ya simply crank and crank and crank until the knives are sharp. I usually take the heels of the knives back first and then take the tips back to even them up so that they all contact the shear bar evenly.
    at one point I got tired of the cranking and decided to set up with a hydraulic motor to run the grinder across, and had it set up so there was a catch to hold the knife at the end of the grinder travel and with some modifications to the indexing plate the grinder would come back across the top of the knife and cross over to the next knife, in doing so it would pick up the next knife and sharpen across the second knife. and so on and so on. this automatic ratchet would keep the knives all trimmed to the same angle and same length on the carbide and would eliminate the cranking. I'd simply hook up the hydralic motor, release the gearbox shearbolts and turn on cranking motor and grinding motor and go to geasing the machine in the about 1000 grease points. When I was done the knives were razor sharp and all we had to do was set shearbar and off to the fields.
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  8. #8
    Super Moderator willie59's Avatar
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    Very nice machine Monte.

    And be thankful it has a 6V-71, if that's what it is. They're no where near as noisy as a 6V-53.
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    Senior Member Monte1255's Avatar
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    thanks Atco... if I ever get time, I'd like to go through it again and do a full restoration, but for now we're just glad to have it operational and relatively free of problems.
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    Senior Member Monte1255's Avatar
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    Trukfan:
    the hay head is 8 ft. and for the most part this machine will swallow hay from a 9 ft windrowed swath no problem. I spent most of this morning running the ole girl at ground speeds of about 6-7 miles an hr. pulling a 20' ft. rear unload box.
    the main problem now is second crop hay, and the blower is gettin gummed up inside so the stream out the blower is gettin fuzzy I guess the best course of action is to find some way to inject some water into the blower once in a while to free it of the residue that is getting built up.
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  11. #11
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    You done a great job restoring the Fox chopper Monte1255.My buddy had some Fox equipment,pretty good stuff.Heck, from what I can tell Fox has forgotten more about harvesting forage then most company's will ever know.Do you have the corn head for the Fox? My buddy handed me a interesting magazine the other day,It's called "Heritage Iron".They focuse on vintage farm equipment from the 1960's to the mid 1980's The website looks fairly new but should be interesting. http://www.heritageiron.com/

  12. #12
    Senior Member Monte1255's Avatar
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    heads for the fox

    Yup Td: We have in inventory currently five heads for this ole girl. (hay head, two row corn head, three row corn head, flail head, and snapper head for doing snaplage) four of the heads are operational right now (but could use some TLC) and the ear corn head needs a full restoration. I think when things get a little better and money is not so tight I will pull that snaplage head into the shop and strip it down to the frame and redo all the bearings and throw the gathering chains into a bucket of diesel fuel to loosen them up. outside of something getting dropped on top of the ear guards around the top edge, I think this head was used very very little. most of the wear I see is a direct result of sitting idle and in the weather. which is why I need to replace the bearings. We've been chopping second cutting alfalfa here these last three days, and that chopper has proven to be a real asset. with my 953 pushin bunkers I can usually have plenty of time to keep ahead of our NH 790 pull type, and so I'd take the Fox and fill two more wagons while My brother was fillin his two (two rear unload wagons makes for fast turn arounds) we beat the rain here last night about 11:00 and so we're happpy
    when I can get a decent picture of each of the heads we'll post them here soon.
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    Thanks, that's neat, I didn't know you could sharpen the blades without taking them off.

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    Senior Member Cretebaby's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Monte1255 View Post
    Trukfan:
    the hay head is 8 ft. and for the most part this machine will swallow hay from a 9 ft windrowed swath no problem. I spent most of this morning running the ole girl at ground speeds of about 6-7 miles an hr. pulling a 20' ft. rear unload box.
    the main problem now is second crop hay, and the blower is gettin gummed up inside so the stream out the blower is gettin fuzzy I guess the best course of action is to find some way to inject some water into the blower once in a while to free it of the residue that is getting built up.
    I think you will find you need to run water constantly.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Monte1255's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cretebaby View Post
    I think you will find you need to run water constantly.
    Most of us seem to do well with a light spray for a duration just long enough to clean out the spout and bands.
    Last edited by Monte1255; 07-06-2010 at 02:17 PM. Reason: spelling
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