Refurb: JD-400 with backhoe/front loader
Starting this thread after buying a 1980 JD-400 with both backhoe and front loader. Near as I can tell, this is the Holy Grail of attachment combo for this tractor. My intent is refurbish the rig to solid operational and cosmetic condition. Not a restoration, but bring it back to a really nice tractor without spending a stupid amount of money.
I was originally looking for a front loader which might fit my JD-318, which has a blade, mow deck and rototiller. I needed a Garden Tractor which was more Tractor than Garden. I stumbled across the 400, which was perfect for my needs. I had no knowledge of the attachments or how rare they were until posting this forum and asking if the price was reasonable. The seller is second owner and had it for 25 years. The asking was $4,900 and I purchased it for $4,200. Everything is functional with no alarming repairs or modifications except for the the 54" front blade, which he also gave me. It had been sitting outside unused and the cylinders/hoses are toast. It came with a new in the box, larger capacity, hydraulic pump to replace the undersized original. Also new plug wires, a rebuild kit for the glitchy steering control valve and original, 1979, Repair/Service manual.
The tractor is in good/fair condition for a rig often sitting outside for years. It looks a bit rough, but found no rusted out areas or severe weather damage. All the components, connections, operating linkages and running gear is in repairable condition. I only replaced the ignition switch, which failed while buying it. The motor runs amazingly well, starts right up with no funny noises. The starter Bendix hangs up occasionally, but a nudge gets it engaged. Tires are shot, but hold air.
The most obvious starting place is the hydraulic hoses. Most are original and rotted with the wire shield exposed in abrasion areas. Fittings are corroded, but only two are weeping a bit. All but one of the hydraulic cylinders are tight, which is on one of the stabilizing arms. Much to my delight, the next door neighbor has a hose crimping machine, which he will teach me how to use. The last couple days was spent identifying the required hose spec and fittings.
Hoses are 1/4" SAE 100R2-04AT (two wire shields) with appropriate fittings. Rating is 5,800 operating psi with a 4" bend radius.
I measured the hoses and logged the type fitting on each end. Preliminary pricing estimates are around $350-$400 for materials to replace every hose on the tractor!!
The next step is to drain the system and remove all hoses for use as a template, marking each for the new installation. Then the Backhoe will be disassembled in place, starting with the bucket, so the pivots and joints can be refurbished. The last piece being the attachment and control assembly. Some Zerk fittings are missing and nails used as cotter pins. Then painted and reinstalled in pieces.