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Teen With 318
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55 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone!
I haven't posted here in a while.
I have a chance to buy a John Deere 430 needing repairs for $1000 from a local small engine shop. I am not sure of the year of the tractor, but it is an early model. It has 17xx hours on the meter and comes with a mower deck. It appears that the tractor was strictly used for mowing, it does not have a three-point hitch or rear PTO. I was told that the engine is in good running order and the rest of the tractor is functional.
The tractor is in pretty rough shape with the following problems:
-Front grill, battery tray, and muffler are missing
-Someone cut out the TDM module and bypassed it.
-The wiring has been farmer hacked in a few spots (mostly to bypass safety switches).
-There is some play in the front PTO pulley (common issue)
-I was told that its missing the mower deck hangers (parts that hold the deck up in the back and lift it)
-The radiator drain is messed up (stripped or smashed, the radiator itself is not damaged).
-There is a considerable amount of rust on the rear fender.
-Tain lights are missing.

The seller told me that he had the engine started and running for about 30 seconds and that the glow plugs work. He did not run it any longer because there is no coolant in the machine. The engine oil looks like healthy black diesel oil. I have not found any cracks in the frame of the machine. It does not appear to have any oil leaks (from engine or transmission).

I have never owned a 400 series JD so I am not sure what else should I look for on it (I have a 318 and 322). I am pretty mechanically inclined and have some experience fixing my 300 series Deeres.

Is this a good deal for this tractor? Here in Canada, I have seen 430s sell for around $3000-4000.
Any opinions are appreciated!
 

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Are you ready/willing to spend the $$$ to go through the tractor and fix most/all the issues ? To me all cosmetic issues can wait it is most important to fix/repair all mechanical items so you have a solid running machine and a good baseline for maintenance items . Buying a machine that has been backyard hacked can be a challenge but also rewarding IF you have the skill set to fix by yourself . I would figure in a new radiator/waterpump and thermostat . The cooling systems on these is a little marginal so it needs to be 100 % up to snuff . Replace engine oil/filter and hydraulic fluid/filter . Just doing those items is a chunk of change .

There are lots of folks that say the Yanmar diesel engines are good for 3000 hours + when cared for , you don't know the history but visually it sounds like it wasn't cared for just keep that in mind . Next important items in my opinion is to look for hydraulic leaks . The transmission/power steering ram and the power steering column . Any leaks there can be $$$ to repair . When everything is fixed and she's running properly you can then concentrate on the cosmetic issues . That missing front grill is $$$ but some folks have made their own just depends on your skill set .

Bottom line is the 430 is arguably the best super garden tractor ever made , with power steering , a strong diesel engine , hydro trans with hi/lo and locking diff it is a beast . I would offer 800.00 and go from there . Good luck with your decision . I have a 330 and 332 and I love the diesel JD's .
 

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So you know a new muffler for it is about $262, and they are hard to find used. My biggest concern is the radiator, if there is no coolant in there how do you know it's a good radiator, and also if the engine hasn't been run hot due to coolant loss. If they are still available it will be another high dollar item. I couldn't find a price on the JD online parts. I would want to see it running for about 15 minutes with coolant in the radiator, not 30 seconds.
 

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430 is an awesome beast. Things that are crossing my mind...
1. Radiator / cooling system. I would assume it won't be 100% healthy - especially if there isn't coolant in the system now. Maybe a flush would get by, but I'd be prepared for more. You won't find a replacement radiator, but can get yours re-cored for $500.
2. If it is as rusty as you describe, I'd be very concerned about the hydraulics - the power steering in particular.
3. Muffler? I may be wrong, but I don't think diesels require the backpressure - the muffler is there for noise. I'm pretty sure you will find plenty of people who run open pipes. I never run any tractor without quality earmuffs, so you might be ok without mufflers.

In the end, I would go into it figuring $1000 to buy it, and being ready for at least $1000 to repair - but that could go to $2000 or more
 

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Teen With 318
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55 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
Thank you very much for the replies!

I might go have another look at it today and see if I can get a better deal on it. Are those radiators aluminum or copper? If its copper, it should not be too hard to solder a new fitting and drain plug to it. I should also be able to clean a copper rad with CLR without damaging it.
I am also concerned about the hydraulic leaks as it does appear that the machine has not been used in a while (maybe 3-4 years)... I have replaced the seals the transmission and power steering valve (what a pain) on my 318. I have also resealed the hydraulic valve in my 322. I believe the 430 uses very similar hydraulic components as the 318 so I should be able to repair it as well.

I will see if I can get a better deal on it, I am also buying a blown 316 (Onan) from the repair shop so maybe I can get a package deal for the two machines.
 

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Parts collector
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Where is that pop corn eating emoji?

I'd start at $600 with all you say is wrong with it. You can buy a running working 430 around here for under $3K You will have almost that much in this one after you replace parts. $400 for just a rad rebuild, then a water pump, a muffler, fix the wiring, a grill.
 

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FWIW: Be WARY of fuel system issues!
According to tractordata.com, the 430 was produced from 1984 to 1992. That's TWO generations of diesel fuel ago. In the late '90s, and again around 2006, the amount of sulfur in diesel fuel was reduced to the current level of 15ppm. While that old Yanmar will run on ULSD, it WILL have a detrimental effect on rubber parts of the fuel system, if they haven't been updated!

I speak from first hand experience! I have a 1985 vintage 430 (that I'm still deciding if I want to restore/rebuild or not - that I replaced with an x540 and later, an x748 Ultimate). A few years ago, I had a leak on the return side of the #1 injector on my 430. I bought a kit (AM100757), from J-D, to replace all of the o-rings, banjo-fittings, and hoses on the return side. I fixed the problem on the #1 injector but, after finding all of the rubber components petrified I quit. I didn't want to exacerbate the problem!!!

Having said that, if you can get the 430 at a price you're comfortable with, AND you are capable of doing your own work, BUY IT!!! The 430 is a helluva machine!

My 430
2449959


My x748
20180306_094509MTF.jpg


BTW: If anybody has some intelligence on the ULSD problem, I'd appreciate it! :)
 

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Where is that pop corn eating emoji?

I'd start at $600 with all you say is wrong with it. You can buy a running working 430 around here for under $3K You will have almost that much in this one after you replace parts. $400 for just a rad rebuild, then a water pump, a muffler, fix the wiring, a grill.
OP is in Canada. Adding 45% exchange to your suggested starting offer brings it to C$870 as a starting point.

A new rad (aluminum doesn't repair easily) for my MF SCUT cost me US$629 at the dealer. The nearest Canadian dealer listed it at C$802 plus shipping. The exchange rate was much better at that time making the US dealer's price more advantageous.
 

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Personally, if I had the thousand dollars, it being a diesel, I'd take the chance on it. Tractor value is more than resale value, but that's just me.

Something must have caused the former owner to bring it to an engine shop. Did the drain valve damage run it out of coolant and it overheated? Engine damage would be my first concern. The other stuff is fairly small potatoes. If you found the engine cooked, could you get $1,000 worth of parts out of it?

Let us know what if anything you do.
 

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As PA318 recommended....unless you see that engine running for at least a half hour with coolant.....forget about it, unless you can get it really cheap...cheap enough that the usable / sell able parts will recoup your money...if you are a teenager, you could rebuild it and get your use out of it....but I don't think you would get your rebuild money back
 

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Bottom line is you will end up with about $3000 total when you are finished. There are running and in better shape 430's available for that or even less. You will never get your money out of it and there will be things that you will run across that will fail because it has not been taken care of. The fuel shutoff solenoid. The glo plug timer. Water pump, injector pump, power steering ram. Injectors, radiators and PTO's. Ask me how I know this. Too many 332's!
 

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Teen With 318
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55 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Personally, if I had the thousand dollars, it being a diesel, I'd take the chance on it. Tractor value is more than resale value, but that's just me.

Something must have caused the former owner to bring it to an engine shop. Did the drain valve damage run it out of coolant and it overheated? Engine damage would be my first concern. The other stuff is fairly small potatoes. If you found the engine cooked, could you get $1,000 worth of parts out of it?

Let us know what if anything you do.
So I went and had a second look at it. The seller said that originally the tractor had electrical issues (explains why the TDM is missing). The drain plug for the radiator went missing later after it was parked. There are no other known issues. I was able to turn the engine over by hand (slowly) and compression feels good (I have a Kubota B7100D with a 3 cyl diesel and compression feels the same in both engines). The engine oil in the 430 looks healthy and does not smell burnt and does not smell like coolant either.

I will have to wait before I will have a chance to buy it since it's sitting outside and there is about two feet of snow on the ground around it.

As PA318 recommended....unless you see that engine running for at least a half hour with coolant.....forget about it, unless you can get it really cheap...cheap enough that the usable / sell able parts will recoup your money...if you are a teenager, you could rebuild it and get your use out of it....but I don't think you would get your rebuild money back
Yes, I am a teenager (18) and I am willing to mess with it. I believe I will be able to recoup my money, here in Canada those Sunstrand 15U pumps go for around $500. The mower deck alone is worth another $500 .
 

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So you know a new muffler for it is about $262, and they are hard to find used. My biggest concern is the radiator, if there is no coolant in there how do you know it's a good radiator, and also if the engine hasn't been run hot due to coolant loss. If they are still available it will be another high dollar item. I couldn't find a price on the JD online parts. I would want to see it running for about 15 minutes with coolant in the radiator, not 30 seconds.
Ebay has on for $45. Looks rough but it is a muffler
 

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Consider it the cost of education. You will get a lot of learning. If you have the time, skill, and inclination you could end up getting something great out of it. It might be worth the dollars you put in to it, but it is unlikely you would be able to recover much, if anything, for your time. That is why you should consider that the cost of your education 😉. Good luck and report back regularly. I know it will be interesting to many people. There was a thread some time back from someone in a similar situation. It was not a financial success, but it was a really interesting story.
 

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Teen With 318
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Discussion Starter #17
Thank you very much for the replies! I will definitely purchase the tractor once some of the snow is gone (assuming that it's still available which it should be)!

I have mechanically restored my 318 for a far worse condition 4 years ago so hopefully, I will be able to repair the 430 as well. My John Deere 318 Story and Problems (Lots of Pics)

I should be able to make the necessary adapters to mount a different muffler onto the machine (assuming I can find a muffler that will fit between the frame and the oil pan).

It also appears that the battery tray form 314, 316, 317 and 318 will fit into the 430, but if I can't find one I will simply make it.

Form my research, the TDM modules interchange between all open frame 300 and 400 series tractors, but I found them with two types of connectors (early and late version?). Please correct me if I am wrong.

Where is the glowplug module located on the 430? I am not sure if this one still has it since like I said earlier, the electrical system has been messed with.
 

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Parts collector
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Good luck to you on this journey.
 

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I have owned my current 430's for more than 6 years and when I first purchased them they needed tons of work. 1st one was about 6 solid weekends to straighten everything out. The 2nd one was far worse. I have a chance to trade the 2nd for a zero turn but cannot bring myself to do it.
If the rad needs work then use a SMALL amount of the powdered rad sealer - make sure you follow the directions to a tee - in it after you replace the drain valve. I have never had to do any more than that on any of them and most of the ones I have sold and still know where they are are still running with the original rad. The recores work for a few years but seem to suffer cracking at the soldered joints. A flush and fill with JD long life antifreeze and a little sealer and Bob's your uncle. Or brother or cousin.
Once you learn how these tractors work you will have a good reliable 30+ year old tractor.
Just remember to add some conditioner to the fuel.
Almost all of the repairs I have had to do was because someone didn't know what they were doing and made a complete mess. Fuel hose for power steering hoses, cutting another slot in the hydro lever panel for "N" instead of repairing the worn out linkage and adjusting the rod, leaving the hydro unit to frame bolts loose and wearing out the frame holes making it impossible to eliminate the "creep" everyone talks about, adding weld to the slots in the mower lift brackets instead of shortening the flat bars that go to the rock shaft, not checking the rear axle nuts and wearing out the key way in the rear hub / shaft, not checking clearance on the 2 pipes at the top of the hydro unit and leaving them till they wore holes in the pipes, ....................... and the list goes on.
Simple little things like lots of grease, setting PTO clutch clearance saving it from burning out, greasing the driveshaft u joints (a pain but necessary), adjusting the front axle pivot bolts, oil and filter changes with good quality oil and filters, making sure the rad stays clean (super important when using it as a mower), changing the hydro filter and fluid with proper LoVis (twice if necessary because someone will pipe in and say otherwise. I have never had a hydro apart even tho I bought 'em with hydro problems), installing good coolant, lots of grease, setting valve clearances and all of the regular stuff including lots of grease :))) will go a long way in giving you the same service I have gotten out of all of mine.
Not everything has to come from mother JD. Their glow plugs = mucho donero. Replacement NGK's = cheap like beer. Cleaning the headlight lens with a toothbrush or stiff nylon brush, some good cleaner and a little chrome paint and voila you can see at dusk again. Putting new orings in the hydraulic couplers = fiddely but cheap and fixes most. Or find a hydraulic supplier and replace couplers for a LOT less. And there is lots of used available from the usual places.
If you can get it for a good price and are prepared for a little work (Ok, probably quite a bit of work) you will end up with a great unit. If it was closer I would jump on it in a heartbeat. Not for $1k but $600 for sure. But that is purely my opinion (yes we all know THAT joke) from way over here in the west and am not sure what you should pay based on seeing it. As long as it runs and moves on its own that is where I would deal on it.
Good luck
One thing I forgot - get a workshop manual. Consider shop labor at really high $ rates and the amount you will save doing it correctly yourself it will pay for itself very quickly. The old adage "If you want it done right do it yourself" has nothing to do with doing it correctly. It just means you did it your way. Right or Wrong!
Ok, I just remembered. Get really familiar with the JD parts on line diagrams. They are the things I use most. Print them or save them as PDF's and create a shortcut. You will use them lots.
Sorry for being so long winded but as you can probably tell I am a huge fan of these old beasts.
 
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