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post #31 of 46 Old 12-15-2018, 11:44 AM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

Let's move this thread up a few years. It's now the end of 2018. Last July, I decided to go larger on my big tractor. I had a 50" Cub Cadet (shaft drive) and the deck was in rough shape (rust city). I couldn't get interested in ANY of the newer machines due to cost and uncertainty of how well built they are. I definitely wanted a deere since my LX178, a 1994, was holding up superbly....deck and engine. I found a JD445 just across the state line on craigslist. The pictures showed a lot and after talking to the fellow, I felt confident about the tractor. The tractor had nearly 1400 hours on it but everything worked. I bought it and did a full service on it. The oil remains clean and it runs very smoothly. The hood and side panels are flawless. This says a lot to me. With what I paid for the tractor, it'll take many years to spend the initial cost of the tractor when new. My experience with liquid vrs air cooled tells me NEVER go back to air. They simply run too hot. I'm a gauge watcher, so I feel confident in my decision.

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, diff-lock, hydraulic lift, power steering, fuel & temp gauges, fuel injected, and liquid cooled! This machine has it all!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!

Last edited by mowergene; 12-15-2018 at 12:15 PM.
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post #32 of 46 Old 12-15-2018, 02:16 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

I like reading this. For 15 or so years I always had 345 and GX345 liquid cooled JD I put about 150-200 hours a year on mine so when I sell them they have around 2000 hours on them. I change my oil every 75 hours and I have been using Mobil 1 for many years. My 1997 345 I sold to a neighbor it had 2078 hours on it in 2004 and he still has it to this day. My 2005 GX 345 had 1870 hours on it when I sold it just this year. So from what I have read here, my tractors would be overly used and worth much less. Well, I take very good care of my tractors and follow the maintenance guidelines for everything. I learned from my Grandpa you take good care of your JD and it will pay you back and so far this has worked for me. I sold my 2005 GX345 in about a week on Craigslist most of the early calls all said I wanted way to much for the hours that were on the tractor, the first guy that came to the house to look at it bought it for my asking price.
Point being it what condition it's in over the hours on the meter. I have since moved and don't cut 6 acres anymore so my new tractor will outlive me at only 40hours a year now.

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post #33 of 46 Old 12-15-2018, 05:19 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mcgee10 View Post
I like reading this. For 15 or so years I always had 345 and GX345 liquid cooled JD I put about 150-200 hours a year on mine so when I sell them they have around 2000 hours on them. I change my oil every 75 hours and I have been using Mobil 1 for many years. My 1997 345 I sold to a neighbor it had 2078 hours on it in 2004 and he still has it to this day. My 2005 GX 345 had 1870 hours on it when I sold it just this year. So from what I have read here, my tractors would be overly used and worth much less. Well, I take very good care of my tractors and follow the maintenance guidelines for everything. I learned from my Grandpa you take good care of your JD and it will pay you back and so far this has worked for me. I sold my 2005 GX345 in about a week on Craigslist most of the early calls all said I wanted way to much for the hours that were on the tractor, the first guy that came to the house to look at it bought it for my asking price.
Point being it what condition it's in over the hours on the meter. I have since moved and don't cut 6 acres anymore so my new tractor will outlive me at only 40hours a year now.
I'm guessing that you'll only change oil once/year. I'm happy for you since I thought 75 hrs was too long! I would never go over 50 because there is so little oil in the units.

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, diff-lock, hydraulic lift, power steering, fuel & temp gauges, fuel injected, and liquid cooled! This machine has it all!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!
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post #34 of 46 Old 07-02-2019, 12:27 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

I can now definitively answer this question, 1945 hours...



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post #35 of 46 Old 07-02-2019, 03:06 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

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Originally Posted by Cornhusker View Post
for the sake of argument lets say I come across a X595 that has 1800+ hours on it in average shape (dents, dings, scuffs etc) without knowing the maintenance history of it would you still pull the trigger and see what happens for $4000?


Depends on your level of expertise. If you are comfortable breaking down a diesel engine and working on it, plus have the time - then go for it. A X595(which I think is one of better GT’s Deere ever built) is coming up on 20 years old- besides engine other things start going, especially if tractor was neglected. Without detailed maintenance records just very hard to tell on tractor- some people have been very lucky and have had relatively few problems on high hour machines, other people have had horror stories. Myself I wouldn’t be comfortable paying 4K for a high hour machine, I know next to nothing on diesel , have very little time to “wrench” it. Having said that machine could be a total POS and some of the guys on this forum could have it “humming” within a few weeks, unfortunately I’m not one of those guys

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post #36 of 46 Old 07-02-2019, 05:58 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mowergene View Post
I'm guessing that you'll only change oil once/year. I'm happy for you since I thought 75 hrs was too long! I would never go over 50 because there is so little oil in the units.
It would be interesting to have an oil temp gauge on an air cooled motor and a water cooled and see what they say during an average mow. It would also be interesting to send a sample of the oil from each motor off to be analyzed at 50 hours. Not that I will ever spend the money to do it
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post #37 of 46 Old 07-02-2019, 07:51 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

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Originally Posted by rayjay View Post
It would be interesting to have an oil temp gauge on an air cooled motor and a water cooled and see what they say during an average mow. It would also be interesting to send a sample of the oil from each motor off to be analyzed at 50 hours. Not that I will ever spend the money to do it
Ray......You and I are cheap. May be that we could talk some of these good folks here into doing such a test.

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, diff-lock, hydraulic lift, power steering, fuel & temp gauges, fuel injected, and liquid cooled! This machine has it all!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!
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post #38 of 46 Old 07-02-2019, 08:02 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

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Originally Posted by g huns View Post
I can now definitively answer this question, 1945 hours...



That is a bummer. What are your plans for it now?

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post #39 of 46 Old 07-02-2019, 09:16 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

Interesting article on LC Vrs AC engines: Appraising air-cooled and liquid-cooled engines

He keeps coming back to lesser variation in temps with the Liquid cooled. The thermostat is key! With acreage to mow, I've always asked, "How can you cool an engine with 100* F. air????????

In the past:
Craftsman, MTD, Snapper, 1961 Ford 801 Powermaster, 1992 LB 4.5HP 580546, 2003 LB 10552 6.5HP Duraforce, IH Cub Cadet 105, 2001 Cub Cadet 2146 14HP Linamar 38" deck, love of my life (Sold 10 Dec 2011), 2007 Cub Cadet 2550 22HP Kohler Vtwin 50"deck (Sold 22 Aug 2018)
In use:
1994 JD LX178 sweet little mower, only 15HP, twin cyl, 38" deck, liquid cooled!
1998 JD 445 22HP Shaft driven wheels, shaft driven 60" deck, diff-lock, hydraulic lift, power steering, fuel & temp gauges, fuel injected, and liquid cooled! This machine has it all!
2005 Nortrak NT 254 25HP Diesel 5' FEL, here's a case of cost-cutting, I only need a tractor 3 or 4 times a year

Going to try to stay Liquid Cooled the rest of my life! Hey, it gets HOT here!

Last edited by mowergene; 07-02-2019 at 10:30 PM.
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post #40 of 46 Old 07-02-2019, 09:38 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

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Originally Posted by mowergene View Post
.... "How can you cool and engine with 100* F. air????????
Best comparison which is not on a tractor was when I was building test equipment for testing telephone exchange equipment. The testing happened in the Chicago suburbs, in a typical un-air conditioned shop. Management was concerned that someone might damage the equipment and said we had to put metal covers over both sides making it a six foot tall, 2’ x 2’ chimney. When it got over 100*F in the shop, the transistors in the test equipment started failing faster than we could replace them. I put thermocouples on some transistors (small metal type) and found the temperatures went high enough to fry eggs on them (240*F). I closed off the bottom of both sides and put three 300 cfm fans on the top of one side, forcing air down, then through the circuit cards, then out the top of the other side. The temperature on the same transistors were kept within 3*F of the shop temperature and no more transistors failed. Moving air cools more than you might think. There are charts for the amount of temperature rise found based on the surface area of the cooling fins for heat sinks that can be used to approximate the equipment based on the air flow across the heat sink. I found it gives a good approximation of what to expect in other cases.

In engines, you want the engine to warm up to run its best, but without getting too hot so as to break down oils. Diesels more so than gas.

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Last edited by RT3360; 07-02-2019 at 09:47 PM.
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post #41 of 46 Old 07-03-2019, 07:25 AM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

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That is a bummer. What are your plans for it now?
Heads are off to the machine shop. I was gonna have them grind the valves. They called yesterday and said they are too thin to grind. New ones were ordered. Can't believe no local dealer has any in stock.

Cylinders look good. When the heads come back, I'll slap them back on and keep on mowing.
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post #42 of 46 Old 07-03-2019, 01:25 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

The way I evaluate hours is who has owned it and what did they use it for. Many homeowners are terrible maintenance people and just add a little oil once in a while and never look at the filters air/fuel/oil. They may wash it and shine it up but many do not ever raise the hood. I am not a fan of 1,000 + tractors because I sell them and most people do not understand hours. The old 300-400 hour tractors are becoming much harder to find as those models are being phased out like the X 540 etc. I too look at the sellers garage and surroundings to get a feel for their knowledge and treatment of their other stuff. If a guy shows me a nice looking tractor but has no tools around then I know he is not "Into" machines and can look at them as just tools that work until a light comes on. The only tractor I ever bought with over 1,000 hours on it was a JD 400 with a 20 loader and a JD 48 tiller. It was owned by an aircraft mechanic that worked for Delta Airlines like I did so I knew it was babied. It ran like a watch but needed cosmetics. I know many do not think that the cosmetics are that important but for me they represent the owner as well as the tractor. I understand that when we make a mistake and run into the mailbox post and crack the lousy hood, that we have to live with it. But I can't resell it. I can't tell you how many tractors are for sale with no hood at all because they are so expensive to replace. Good luck with your search. Now is the best time to buy since most people already have the mower to get them through this season.
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post #43 of 46 Old 07-03-2019, 01:59 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

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I am not a fan of 1,000 + tractors because I sell them and most people do not understand hours.
Kind of like 100K + cars. I'm a big fan of 1000 + tractors because it gets me into a lot more machine for the money and I have no intention of ever selling them. Until I inevitably do decide to sell them and then they suck. I'm getting ready to sell my now 2600 hour JD 4410 and guaranteed its going to be painful.

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post #44 of 46 Old 07-03-2019, 03:15 PM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

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Originally Posted by Cornhusker View Post
This may be the biggest rhetorical question but I feel compelled to ask it. I've been looking to upgrade to a larger machine out of pure want. I plan on buying new this time, however, I see these older machines and cant help but ask myself how many hours is too many? I have seen several X585/95's and X7xx with 700, 1,000, 1,400, 2,000 hours on them and they still look like decent clean machines. I realize I get what I pay for but how long are these machines designed to last? Lets just pretend for a minute maintenance is regular and there is no physical issues. no oil slicks, leaks or unusual oil burn etc....what do you all think?
Personally, I think regardless of the machine and engine type 1,000hrs is pushing my personal comfort zone of reliability.
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Originally Posted by RBRONKEMA GHTFD View Post
I've got a 585 with over 2600 hours ….. I am a firm believer in if you take care of it daily it will take care of you for well beyond its typical life span.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cornhusker View Post
for the sake of argument lets say I come across a X595 that has 1800+ hours on it in average shape (dents, dings, scuffs etc) without knowing the maintenance history of it would you still pull the trigger and see what happens for $4000?
For diesels in particular, I'd say 3500+ hrs should be expected with regular, recommended period maintenance. Diesel fuel is itself a lubricant, and one of a diesel's hallmarks is greater longevity than a similar design gasoline engine. Once you get into the 2000 hour range when shopping for one, I'd certainly be looking at things like maintenance history, as well as how easily it starts, when and how much it smokes, listening for abnormal knocking and other noises indicative of mechanical wear issues.

I'm "only" at 1500 hours on a ten-year old X748 that gets maintained by the book (label under the hood). I fully expect this machine to last as long as I do. I'm 65, bought it new; 1500 hours in ten years would equate to 4500 hours in 30 years at present use, and in 20 more years I wonder if I'll even be able to let go of my walker and climb aboard the tractor.

My uncle had a 1960 Ford Powermaster 881 diesel he bought new. He used it daily on his dairy farm and put just over 10K hours on it before it finally quit.

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post #45 of 46 Old 07-05-2019, 11:05 AM
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Re: How many hours are too many?

I do fluids, filters, and grease my x485 once a year, but I only put about 50 hrs on every year. I bought it in June 2015 with 240 hrs and I just passed 440 hrs last week, almost exactly 4 yrs after the purchase.

To me a used machine doesn't scare me much but I prefer spending a little more for something I am sure is going to last, and use that approach on cars as well. I tend to find something a bit older but with fewer miles/hrs on it than it should. It indicates lighter use and better care. My 2006 Silverado had 96,000 miles on it when I bought it 3 years ago when it was 11 years old. That's less than 9,000 miles a year. Same with the x485, it was 12+ years old and only had about 20 hrs a year put on it.

I haven't been afraid of high hour JDs in the past but at my stage in life now (young kids) I don't have the wrench time like I used to. If I had time high hours is fine as long as the seller took care of it from what I can tell. Never had terrible luck. It does increase the chance of failures happening though. 1,500 hrs later on an air cooled gas engine and you just have things with wear on them, no matter how well taken care of.

Also, many here have no problem with 2,000 hr diesels, and while the engine may be fine and only be through 50% of its effective life, I worry about the rest of the machine. The deck may have a lot of wear and other parts could have seen a lot of degradation over 2,000 hours. Outside of the engine much of the same parts are used on the diesel models as the gas models, so it's not like the dash cluster, frame, and all types of other parts won't go bad. If a lot of those parts go bad on gas models by 1,000 hrs they will on a diesel at 1,000 hrs as well.

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