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Old 06-07-2009, 03:08 AM   post #1 of 37
rabbit rescue
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Help John Deere 400 garden tractor?

just wondering if anyone here is familiar with a JD '400' lawn/garden tractor?

I went to pick up my new (to me) zero-turn from a dealer today, and sitting right next to it was a beautiful (and rather large) JD 400 garden tractor with a 20HP Kohler, hydrostatic drive with hi/lo range, power steering, a 60" deck, front PTO (unknown RPM), brand new looking rear 3pt. with arms and dual front hydraulic circuits on it (2 levers - 4 hydraulic ports) ... it fired right up and seemed to run/ride and mow just fine with the exception of a possibly ganky deck belt that slipped a little at first - the engine was smooth and quiet and it has an obviously upgraded seat with a suspension system and arm rests, so it's really comfy to drive

while I was excited to see a new looking 3pt. on the rear, I was equally unexcited to see that there isn't a rear PTO or any rear hydraulics on this tractor ... this leaves me wondering why on earth JD would omit something like a rear PTO or at least hydraulic lines to the rear of this tractor, especially when it's obviously designed for ground engaging implements ... what am I supposed to hang on this?

one thing I'm fairly concerned with is accessories for this - I was warned that some JD tractors will only accept one or two models of snowblowers and things like that, which would leave me with a giant, powerful lawn mower that does nothing else, which I definitely do not need

so ... I'm really hoping I can get some help from the MTF crowd on this one ... I can buy this tractor for what I think is a good price ($1000 or best offer) but I just can't do it if all I'm going to be able to use it for is mowing grass

is there a FEL made that will fit onto this 400 without having to fab up mounting brackets? ... the tractor certainly seems beefy enough to handle it, and I've seen photos of 400's with loaders on them (although I'm not sure if they are home made or not) ... Johnny Bucket makes a JBsr. for the 400 that makes use of the dual hydraulic circuits, but I would want something that lifts higher than a JB

which snow blowers will fit onto this 400 tractor? ... same with other accessories like blades and tillers and such ... will the same accessories that work on the 300 series fit and work on the 400?

what's the deal with the missing rear PTO? ... do the rear implements use a drive shaft that connects to the front system somehow? ... it has a nice factory 3pt. on it that is connected to the mower deck hydraulics, but the only thing I can see it being good for is dragging around unpowered accessories or the few that have their own engines on them

overall, is this a decent tractor? ... everything seems to work really good, and it drove and mowed really nice - but I just can't see adding a tractor that size to my stable if it's only going to be able to perform lawn mowing duty ... think it's worth $1000?

thanks for any help anyone can give - I'd like to make a decision on this within the next couple days if possible



I don't have a picture of the one I'm thinking of buying, but here's what it looks like (without the 3pt. arms)

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Old 06-07-2009, 08:20 AM   post #2 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

3 point lift & rear pto were factory options. I see them on ebay quite often, but pricey. The rear pto system usually goes $400 to $700(US funds) and the rear lift $400 to $500. Very strong tractors. $1000 is cheap for that tractor even without lift & pto.
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Old 06-07-2009, 08:27 AM   post #3 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

Go to this site for the history: http://www.weekendfreedommachines.com/ and click on models and then on the pull-down menu on the left select 400 series.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:06 AM   post #4 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

While the 400 is well respected by the classic JD crowd, it is not nearly as popular as the 425/445/455 series from what I can tell.

There are plenty of uses for a 3PH without hydraulics or PTO. blades, pallet forks, plows, disk harrows, cultivators, bed shapers, ballast boxes, boom poles, and lots of creative owner built tools.

For a front end loader, or-bilt.com (right there in MN) or ironmanfabrication.net may be able to modify one of their production loaders for the 400. I believe ironman had a model #13 loader for the 400, but doesn't currently advertise it on his website.

$1000 OBO is a decent price for a good heavy GT like this one.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:19 AM   post #5 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

For $1000.00 or BO
you should jump on it!!! The 300 series attachments will not work on the 400
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Old 06-07-2009, 12:06 PM   post #6 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

The 400 is pretty much attachment specific, loaders, rear hyd. kits, etc. are available aftermarket. That being said, they are a much sought after tractor!

I have a 420, a little newer, w/20 HP Onan, instead of the 20 HP Kohler, but over all a similar tractor. ~~ grnspot110
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Old 06-07-2009, 06:18 PM   post #7 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

the 400 is kinda special in that most of it's attachments are not compatible with the later 4XX series tractors and not compatible with the 300 series machines either. The frame is bigger than the latter 4XX tractors. The rear wheels are 6 lug, not 5, but the machine when new had ALL KINDS of goodies available for it, you just have to track them down on the used market. The rear 3 point is a $400 goodie alone, so at $1000 that's a pretty sweet deal!!!! It's a standard cat "0" 3 point so any attachment that size will fit.
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Old 06-07-2009, 09:44 PM   post #8 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

Quote:
Originally Posted by D-Dogg View Post
While the 400 is well respected by the classic JD crowd, it is not nearly as popular as the 425/445/455 series from what I can tell.
The 400 was the first of the super garden tractors and it remains the heaviest of the gas powered Deeres. I have one and generally love it. While I might consider one the later 400 series mentioned above I honestly doubt they would have the brute power the old tank has.

Mine gets worked in the dirt a LOT with moldboard plow(it has 3 pt), tiller (it has rear PTO as well), and loader. Probably worked well beyond what it was designed for. While it has a few quirks I could do without if I could buy one today for $1,000 (and had a free grand to spend) I would jump on it.

Some pics of it here at Weekend Freedom Machines.
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Old 06-07-2009, 10:48 PM   post #9 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

Alan, I hope you didn't think I was knocking the 400. Just saying there's not as many people chasing them down compared to the rest of the 4xx series.

Like you, for a grand, I'd be all over it if it was in VA versus Manysodas.
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Old 06-12-2009, 03:35 PM   post #10 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

well, I've done some thinking and I'm going to go pick it up this weekend or Monday

I can always just make and run quick-connect hydraulic hose extensions from the front to the rear if I need hydraulics back there, right? ... I'd still like it a lot if there was a rear PTO on it ... maybe someone makes a hydraulically run 540 PTO I could mount back there or something ...

another question though ... is there a way to check if the front hydraulics work without having anything attached to them? ... I know that the power steering (seprate system?), mower deck and 3pt hydraulics work perfectly - should that mean that the front circuits are good as well? ... the hydrostatic drive was very strong and responsive as well, and is plenty fast in high-range

Alan, I'm very impressed with your 400, it's just beautiful! ... did that JD20 loader bolt right on, or was there significant fabrication and 'customizing' that was required first? ... FEL duty is really high on my wish list for this 400

thanks for all of the advice and input so far ... and the photos really helped me make up my mind (as well as providing my wife with evidence in a possible future divorce trial if I buy many more GT's)

naturally, I will post photos of my first ever John Deere (did I mention that?) when I get it back here
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Old 06-12-2009, 05:31 PM   post #11 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

Just be careful loading her up. One little prick of the finger and it will get into your blood.
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Old 06-12-2009, 06:28 PM   post #12 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

I pay $1000 for junk 400's with no 3 points and double my money parting them.

I'd take a 400 over the 425/445/455, (I'd have to take the 430 over one though)

The rear PTO was an option as were the rear hydraulics. Whatcha need them for?
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Old 06-13-2009, 01:34 AM   post #13 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

but would you part out a perfectly working 400?

that's a tough call to make - they are almost always worth more parted out (as are cars, trucks and motorcycles etc) but it would be hard for me to part it out unless there's something bad wrong with it ... it's so much easier to sell it all at once, but with eBay I guess it could be all at once

as far as wanting hydraulics and a PTO for the 3pt., it would allow me to use so many more attachments - and attachments like a tiller or brush hog that don't use a PTO or hydraulics need to rely on a separate IC engine, often having much less power and being less capable than one powered by the tractor

plus I'd like to be able to use powered 3pt. equipment normally reserved for front use like a bucket or snow blower - it's probably easier to find a 3pt. rear blower than the one that will bolt right on to the front of the 400

lastly, I want to be able to use cool gadgets like PTO generators and PTO hydraulic pumps

I've always wanted to take advantage of the variety of 3pt implements, especially powered ones, but the tractors I have (Case 224, Kubota G5200H and a Craftsman GT5000) don't have a 3pt. hitch or extra hydraulics/rear PTO on them

it is nice to know though, going into this, that I could get my money back (and then some) if it doesn't turn out to be a great tractor for me ... that's the only I'll buy something unless it's something really have to have
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Old 06-13-2009, 11:17 PM   post #14 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

I had a 400, like someone above wrote they are serious tanks!

JD laid down the law when they introduced the 400 in 1975ish or so. I really liked the way the 60 inch deck stuck out so far on the left side. Man, talk about knocking out the weedeating to be done next to big hedge rows and such. It was great!
About the only thing I didn't like was the front PTO engagement, I had alot of problems with mine even replaced the whole mechanism a couple of times, the lever and cable that you pull to manually engage the PTO (front). Other than that, it was a monster and fun to use. For 1000 bucks it is a deal!
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Old 06-14-2009, 12:28 AM   post #15 of 37
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Default Re: John Deere 400 garden tractor?

You won't be sorry you bought the 400, I always wanted a loader for my 400 but ended up with a Case 644 which was designed around the loader so the the front end and frame is allot beefier. I know that you can get a hydraulic rear pto and 3 point for your 224 that you can run all kinds of cool attachments with. The Case tractors are really underrated. The rear pto on the 400 is unique since it turns at 800 rpm and I think the front is 2000. All the attachment for the 400 were defiantly designed only for the 400. I have an extra rear pto but don't have the drive shaft if your interested. I could probably even be talked out of my tiller and pto but you would more than double your investment in the 400.
Alan you do have a nice 400. In your picture "digger - 7" is that a post hole auger? Is it a 540 rpm that you are running a little faster or is it the one that is for the 400?
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