The most common cause of premature wear in the picker bar is a lack of grease being evenly dispersed, especially to the lower section of the bars. While the bearings are vital to the function of the bar, they are the main culprit in limiting the grease to flow throughout the bar. R.M. King Company has addressed this issue by designing a proprietary grease bearing (JD8804G).
After a year and a half of research and development, we came up with a simple and effective solution, a new bearing! The R.M. King’s proprietary bearing, JD8804G, allows grease to easily flow to the bottom of the bar and therefore extends the life of the complete bar. These bearings are installed as a standard update during an overhaul.
In order to understand how our grease bearing works, it is important to understand exactly what the problem was to begin with. Grease will take the path of least resistance as it flows through the bars. As the grease is pushed down the bar it must pass through the first bearing. The pressure required for the grease to continue to travel down the bar is then increased. With each consecutive bearing, the pressure is increased further. Eventually the pressure required to pass through the remaining bearings becomes greater than the pressure required to pass the thrust sleeve and thrust washer at the top of the bar. This results in grease being pushed out the top of the bar while the bottom of the bar is still not adequately lubricated. It is a common misperception that when grease comes out the top of the bar, the bar is full of grease.
Our solution was to add notches to the bearings allowing the grease to flow through the entire height of the bar with little resistance. The end result is grease reaching the bottom before grease comes out the top of the bar.
It is important to note that because grease will take the path of least resistance, the use of the grease bearing should only be done when all the bearings are replaced. A mix of standard and grease bearings in the same header could further decrease the lubrication in the bars still using the standard bearing.
To demonstrate the benefits of the grease kit, we ran a test of two bars side by side while viewing through a plexiglass side. When seeing the comparison it quickly becomes clear which bar contains the grease kit and which one is a standard bar. View the video here.