I put new teeth on my Ferguson side-delivery rake, and they are bending. Do I need to get better quality teeth, or is there something wrong?
I’m not sure the problem is in the teeth you purchased. Here are some things you need to check.
First, there are two tooth styles, are you sure you have the correct tooth for your rake?
Second, the teeth will bend if the rake is set too close to the ground. The teeth should not scrape the ground, but just lightly brush the hay stubble, and roll the hay or straw into a windrow. The raking height is adjusted by setting the caster wheels on the back of the rake. There are multiple holes in the frame to attach the wheel assemblies at various heights and slots in the wheel mounting brackets to further adjust the height.
As I recall there is additional information on this in the rake operator’s manual. Do you have a copy of the original operator’s manual? Also which model rake do you have, the DEO-20 and DEO-25 early production models have cast spider wheels, and the later models have stamped steel wheels where the parallel bars are attached. If you do not have an operator’s manual I can either sell you one, locate one you can purchase, or scan the manual and send it to you as an email attachment.
Third, normal rake maintenance involves straightening and aligning the teeth using a set of “tooth straightener bars.” A set of these bars came with every rake. One of the bars includes a special screwdriver to remove and install the spindle bolts that attach the bars to the big wheels. If you don’t have a set of these I believe I have a New Old Stock set I can sell you. Sometimes even brand new rake teeth have to be aligned so they travel between the stripper bars without rubbing. A correctly adjusted rake should not make any tooth scraping or rubbing sounds.
I believe once your teeth are properly aligned, and the rake set to the correct raking height you won’t break anymore teeth. However, expect to regularly straighten and align rake teeth. We used to check and make that adjustment each time we set out to use the rake, and often several times during a day of raking. Using the rake on a field with stones and ruts means you will be doing a lot more tooth straightening.