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Old 02-01-2009, 07:42 PM   post #1 of 13
shenninger
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Default Melroe Bobcat M500

Not really sure where to put this, but does anyone know anything about the M500 Bobcat? I may have the opportunity to buy one of these relatively cheap, but it would need a complete overhaul. From what I can tell it's about a late '60s or early '70s model. It has a 20hp Kohler engine that would need rebuilt. It looks like the steel and hydraulics are in good shape. It's been sitting for several years, and the tires are dry rotted. They are car tires anyway so I'd replace them with skidsteer tires.

Hopefully someone has some insight as to what I'd be getting into.

Here's a picture of the model, but not the actual one I'm looking at. The one I'm looking at has a cage.

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Old 05-15-2009, 06:22 AM   post #2 of 13
Paul J
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

We had a job once where we had to replace some conveyors and in doing so, we had to clean out a lot of build up under the old ones. We needed something very small and narrow to get in there, so we rented the smallest Bobcat we could find. I remember it had a small air cooled engine, I have no idea what make the engine was, but I do remember it ran like a champ and did a fantastic job for it's size. I was surprised as to how fast it was. If it doesn't have a cage on it, make sure it has a roll bar, as the small narrow ones will flip over fairly easy on uneven ground, especially with the bucket up. Hope this helps. PJ
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Old 05-15-2009, 07:39 AM   post #3 of 13
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

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Originally Posted by Paul J View Post
We had a job once where we had to replace some conveyors and in doing so, we had to clean out a lot of build up under the old ones. We needed something very small and narrow to get in there, so we rented the smallest Bobcat we could find. I remember it had a small air cooled engine, I have no idea what make the engine was, but I do remember it ran like a champ and did a fantastic job for it's size. I was surprised as to how fast it was. If it doesn't have a cage on it, make sure it has a roll bar, as the small narrow ones will flip over fairly easy on uneven ground, especially with the bucket up. Hope this helps. PJ
Absolutely get the cage! I had a business back in the late 70s where OSHA came in and mandated the cage upgrade. A week later after the install, an employee dumped a 700 # part on the cage. A corner protruded through the steel, but he was unhurt. A week earlier, and I have no doubt he would have died. It's so easy to nudge the controls more than you intend with these machines and get a reaction you are not prepared for. Also, as pointed out, they get bouncy very easy and many end up tipping over.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:35 AM   post #4 of 13
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

That one is belt driven with centrifical clutch, which isn't a problem unless it's bad , belt is around $100.00 clutch is worse. Check that area out real good. They are good little machines for "around the house" type work.
Get a good roll cage don't make one, wouldn't be legal. You can find Bobcat junk yards all over.

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Old 06-07-2009, 06:47 PM   post #5 of 13
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

The M500 pictured looks just like mine did when I got it 20 years ago (except I have the cage). The belt drive shown doesn't actually have a clutch on it. The clutches are the forward and rearward drive clutches. It is a simple variable speed belt. Unfortunately the version shown gave me lots of trouble until I updated it to a newer version. It was fairly expensive to convert. Hopefully Bobcat still carries the conversion parts.

In case you didn't buy this machine, I'd be interested just for parts for mine. Also if anyone knows where I can get a dipstick for the Kohler K662 engine or would provide measurements off of one, I'd greatly appreciate it.
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Old 06-07-2009, 07:51 PM   post #6 of 13
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

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Originally Posted by Caseyka View Post
The M500 pictured looks just like mine did when I got it 20 years ago (except I have the cage). The belt drive shown doesn't actually have a clutch on it. The clutches are the forward and rearward drive clutches. It is a simple variable speed belt. Unfortunately the version shown gave me lots of trouble until I updated it to a newer version. It was fairly expensive to convert. Hopefully Bobcat still carries the conversion parts.

In case you didn't buy this machine, I'd be interested just for parts for mine. Also if anyone knows where I can get a dipstick for the Kohler K662 engine or would provide measurements off of one, I'd greatly appreciate it.
http://www.kohler-engine-parts.opeengines.com/
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Old 07-02-2009, 11:38 AM   post #7 of 13
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caseyka View Post
The M500 pictured looks just like mine did when I got it 20 years ago (except I have the cage). The belt drive shown doesn't actually have a clutch on it. The clutches are the forward and rearward drive clutches. It is a simple variable speed belt. Unfortunately the version shown gave me lots of trouble until I updated it to a newer version. It was fairly expensive to convert. Hopefully Bobcat still carries the conversion parts.

In case you didn't buy this machine, I'd be interested just for parts for mine. Also if anyone knows where I can get a dipstick for the Kohler K662 engine or would provide measurements off of one, I'd greatly appreciate it.
Can you talk a little more about what problems you had with the variable speed drive?

Also, I own a M500 with the K662 so I can measure the dipstick if you would like. It is getting harder and harder to find parts for the engine all the time.

BTW, if anyone can tell me where I can get a replacement carb or NOS parts for that carb I would appreciate it. I have already tried Kohler authorized dealers- apparently EPA made them phase out replacement parts for that engine since they considered it to not meet emission standards.
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Old 07-07-2009, 01:58 PM   post #8 of 13
ILL John
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

I have a M500, I've replaced the varible drive with the newer upgrade, that's a $600 operation, replaced the charging system, that's a $500 operation. It's good for what I use it for, moving wagons in tight places, loading manure, general work. I wouldn't use it to do heavy digging, it'll not hold up as well as a hyd machine. All in all, it's been a good machine.
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Old 07-21-2009, 05:20 PM   post #9 of 13
Tigerhaze
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

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Originally Posted by ILL John View Post
I have a M500, I've replaced the varible drive with the newer upgrade, that's a $600 operation,
Hi john, can you tell me what problems the variable speed drive had that you needed the upgrade? Thanks.
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Old 02-03-2010, 05:48 PM   post #10 of 13
roland drew
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

I am new to this site so if I make a mistake ignore it . I have a Melroe 500 Skidsteer and have read some of your replys . I did not know about an upgrade to the drive belt system . What is involved in doing this upgeade? I installed a new drive belt and it still does not work the way it should .
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Old 12-14-2010, 06:15 PM   post #11 of 13
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

Quote:
Originally Posted by Caseyka View Post
In case you didn't buy this machine, I'd be interested just for parts for mine. Also if anyone knows where I can get a dipstick for the Kohler K662 engine or would provide measurements off of one, I'd greatly appreciate it.
We just replaced a k662 in a 500 bobcat with Wisconsin V twin. If the dipstick you need is part of the oil fill cap I have one.

If you still need a dipstick, send me a PM with your mailing address.

Jerry Christiansen
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Old 12-19-2010, 09:14 AM   post #12 of 13
ILL John
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

Jerry, Could you tell me some more about the conversion, mine just dropped a magnet segment in the flywheel again and flywheels are hard to find. grandfieldfarm@att.net Thanks, John
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Old 08-05-2011, 10:38 PM   post #13 of 13
dave_dj1
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Default Re: Melroe Bobcat M500

does anyone have any input on one of these? I have a chance to pick one up for a song.
thanks
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