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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking at a used 1995 JD 425 tractor. It has a 54" deck on it. Hours are 1454. Gentlemen wants 3K, although he says he is negotiable.

Issues I saw/noticed when looking at it:

Missing the back tail light on one side (minor)
Missing the red plastic covers for the tail lights
Deck looks to be in pretty good shape. There are some scuffs and dings etc... on it, but that is to be expected.
The throttle lever is broken, but workable.

My cursory glance seemed to be a pretty solid machine.

My concern is the engine. At almost 1500 hours, I am not sure what the life on the machine is anymore. I have heard in multiple places that these engines are good anywhere from 1500 to 2000 hours (obviously depending on how they are taken care of). The engine was a little difficult to start in my opinion. After running the tractor for a little while (5 minutes), it died and we couldn't get it restarted. The two gentlemen who own the tractor said it was low/out of gas. However after the tractor sat for a while, it started up again.

My questions:

A. Is that a good price for this model. My research indicates yes, although the hours are high. I would think 2200-2500 more in line considering the hours.
B. Should I be concerned about what was going on with the engine.
C. What else should I be looking for when evaluating this tractor.

Thanks...
 

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On a 1995 model ask if the plastic cam gear has been replaced, if it has not been replaced just be aware they are prone to failure and rather expensive to replace ($600+). If they don’t know use it to your advantage and negotiate a lower price. At 1500 hours I would say there is some life left but maybe getting near engine rebuild time. Look for the normal stuff. Does it smoke while running, leaks, whining sound from the transaxle, and check all the fluids. I’d say that $2200 – 2500 is much more in line in my part of the world.

I’ll contest the 425 is a workhorse. About a year ago I picked up a 1993 model from a JD dealer with 620 hours on it for $2200.
 

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For the hours and condition you listed I say it is overpriced at $3K... I would ask about the plastic Cam, a known problem in the Kaw engines from that era. More along the lines of $2K...
 

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Ask to do a compression test. Check it hot, and it should be 160 psi minimum. A good 425 would have @ 200 psi. The cam deal, as has been pointed out, is also a huge deal. Ignition Delay Module also like to act up at that age (@ $100).

I agree, it's way too much money for that age and with those hours. If it was a cream puff I'd say $2,500. Like this, $1,500.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks for the advice. However that raises another question for me. This tractor is really intended for my wife and kids to use. I have a larger SCUT/CUT with a 60" MMM on it, but my wife and kids don't like using it. So the whole purpose was one that they could use to mow around the house (about 1.5 acres). I am not inclined to buy a newer mower of any manf based on everything I have read about issues. I'd rather find a good used mower/garden tractor (JD is preferable). I have 5 acres, completely flat, very few trees so it is mainly completely wide open (I built a baseball field on the property as an example). I have been loooking at the old 300 series. I would like to get the Kawasaki engine and also the older transmissions as I have read there are way fewer problems with those. I don't need a project and don't really have the time, tools or knowledge (at least yet) to handle a rebuild or other major work on the tractor.

In your minds, what model and years would be good to look at?
 

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425 seems like a lot of tractor for what you're planning to use it for. How about a low hour LX or GT series (LX277, GT235, etc.). If you're willing to spend up to $3K, you could pick up a LX or GT series in mint condition for less than that. I purchased a 2001 GT225 low hour, mint condition unit for $1700 and I could have had a similar low hour, GT235 in the $2500 +/- range. The newer GT235s have the 18HP Kawasaki with the K72 hydro, very nice tractor and in your price range, you're looking at maybe 200-400 hours vs. 1400 for the 425 you're looking at.
Just some thoughts.
 

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I paid $2300 for mine this spring with under 900hrs on it. Very strong trans in it with diff lock and the power steering is something I never new I needed until I had it.
 
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