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Starting this thread after buying a 1980 JD-400 with both backhoe and front loader. Near as I can tell, this is the Holy Grail of attachment combo for this tractor. My intent is refurbish the rig to solid operational and cosmetic condition. Not a restoration, but bring it back to a really nice tractor without spending a stupid amount of money.

I was originally looking for a front loader which might fit my JD-318, which has a blade, mow deck and rototiller. I needed a Garden Tractor which was more Tractor than Garden. I stumbled across the 400, which was perfect for my needs. I had no knowledge of the attachments or how rare they were until posting this forum and asking if the price was reasonable. The seller is second owner and had it for 25 years. The asking was $4,900 and I purchased it for $4,200. Everything is functional with no alarming repairs or modifications except for the the 54" front blade, which he also gave me. It had been sitting outside unused and the cylinders/hoses are toast. It came with a new in the box, larger capacity, hydraulic pump to replace the undersized original. Also new plug wires, a rebuild kit for the glitchy steering control valve and original, 1979, Repair/Service manual.

The tractor is in good/fair condition for a rig often sitting outside for years. It looks a bit rough, but found no rusted out areas or severe weather damage. All the components, connections, operating linkages and running gear is in repairable condition. I only replaced the ignition switch, which failed while buying it. The motor runs amazingly well, starts right up with no funny noises. The starter Bendix hangs up occasionally, but a nudge gets it engaged. Tires are shot, but hold air.

The most obvious starting place is the hydraulic hoses. Most are original and rotted with the wire shield exposed in abrasion areas. Fittings are corroded, but only two are weeping a bit. All but one of the hydraulic cylinders are tight, which is on one of the stabilizing arms. Much to my delight, the next door neighbor has a hose crimping machine, which he will teach me how to use. The last couple days was spent identifying the required hose spec and fittings.

Hoses are 1/4" SAE 100R2-04AT (two wire shields) with appropriate fittings. Rating is 5,800 operating psi with a 4" bend radius.

I measured the hoses and logged the type fitting on each end. Preliminary pricing estimates are around $350-$400 for materials to replace every hose on the tractor!!

The next step is to drain the system and remove all hoses for use as a template, marking each for the new installation. Then the Backhoe will be disassembled in place, starting with the bucket, so the pivots and joints can be refurbished. The last piece being the attachment and control assembly. Some Zerk fittings are missing and nails used as cotter pins. Then painted and reinstalled in pieces.
 

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A few other things I forgot. The missing engine side cover and grill also came with it. The only modification is the oversized front loader cylinders, which had to have extended brackets to mount them. You can see the upper ones in the photo showing red cylinders on the bucket arm. They are made well and appear professional. Below are photos of the new hydraulic pump, along with the hoses and controls.
 

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Rebuilding my First JD GT
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Other than the price that is awesome. :fing32:
 

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Can't wait one of my favorite attachment combos!
 

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Minding my P's & Q's
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Nice machine!
Wish I had it sitting at my place. You a lucky man.
 

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Other than the price that is awesome. :fing32:
The ONLY 400 tractor I found nationwide with a backhoe just had a blade on the front. I looked at ads over a wide geographic area around me for a LOT of other brands and none had both attachments with a price anywhere near this. Figure I'll spend $1,000 - $1,500 to bring it to great condition. I have a good shop, airless spray rig, large media blast booth, MIG welder, tire changer, steel bender, tube bender and other tools for this.

Can you show me where another one is? What can you show me for comparative pricing of a 400 with backhoe, front loader and front blade? I've had 3 offers in the last two weeks of over $3,000 for the backhoe, as-is.

I need it to dig up a septic tank with possible repair to the drain field. Also going to make drainage channels for runoff to a small holding pond. Clearing about 1/4 acre, moving some dirt to fill low areas and create landscaping. Regrade and expand a driveway, including new crushed rock. A contractor wanted $2,500 to dig up the septic, not counting any repairs. Landscaper wanted between $8-10,000 for the other work. It's $1,200/week to rent the equipment. With both JD-318 and 400 I can do everything myself - at my own pace.

The math works great when you consider resale price and money saved. That's not even considering the fun factor! http://www.mytractorforum.com/images/MyTractorForum_toucan/smilies/tango_face_grin.png
 

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The ONLY 400 tractor I found nationwide with a backhoe just had a blade on the front. I looked at ads over a wide geographic area around me for a LOT of other brands and none had both attachments with a price anywhere near this. Figure I'll spend $1,000 - $1,500 to bring it to great condition. I have a good shop, airless spray rig, large media blast booth, MIG welder, tire changer, steel bender, tube bender and other tools for this.

Can you show me where another one is? What can you show me for comparative pricing of a 400 with backhoe, front loader and front blade? I've had 3 offers in the last two weeks of over $3,000 for the backhoe, as-is.

I need it to dig up a septic tank with possible repair to the drain field. Also going to make drainage channels for runoff to a small holding pond. Clearing about 1/4 acre, moving some dirt to fill low areas and create landscaping. Regrade and expand a driveway, including new crushed rock. A contractor wanted $2,500 to dig up the septic, not counting any repairs. Landscaper wanted between $8-10,000 for the other work. It's $1,200/week to rent the equipment. With both JD-318 and 400 I can do everything myself - at my own pace.

The math works great when you consider resale price and money saved. That's not even considering the fun factor! http://www.mytractorforum.com/images/MyTractorForum_toucan/smilies/tango_face_grin.png
You're tractor makes me even more pi$$ed at myself for not buying the 400 my friend that had the loader and backhoe like yours for $2,000 and the even funnier thing is he would be making a $1,000 that is my lowest low in my John Deere garden tractor collecting carrier the even worse thing is I knew he wanted to sell it I even knew the price for a whole 6 years and then one night I was thinking about buying it next morning I found out that he sold it the day I was thinking about it.:banghead3:thSick::Disgus:
 

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Rebuilding my First JD GT
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TT don't get me wrong you got a good deal. I'm just a cheap skate LOL...
 

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I still want that....

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I still want that....

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........... :sidelaugh:sidelaugh:sidelaugh:sidelaugh:sidelaugh:sidelaugh:sidelaugh

You still can't have it Nick it's mine!:tango_face_devil:
 

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Hoses are 1/4" SAE 100R2-04AT (two wire shields) with appropriate fittings. Rating is 5,800 operating psi with a 4" bend radius.
The maximum pressure rating for anything that is likely to be installed for that hydraulic system will be 3500 psi. The system will not see pressures that high. At 2000 psi, the loader will lift about 1200 lb at the ends of the arms or about 900 lb of payload in the bucket. A 900 lb payload will load the front tires to about 2500 lb.

You don't need 5800 psi 2 wire hose. A set of 4100 psi single wire hoses, with terminations to match, will be more than adequate and a bit easier on the pocket book.
 

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Love the 400. Looking forward to watching this "rehab". I've looked, they're never for sale with the goodies in any condition. Great find.
 

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You're tractor makes me even more pi$$ed at myself for not buying the 400 my friend that had the loader and backhoe like yours for $2,000 and the even funnier thing is he would be making a $1,000 that is my lowest low in my John Deere garden tractor collecting carrier the even worse thing is I knew he wanted to sell it I even knew the price for a whole 6 years and then one night I was thinking about buying it next morning I found out that he sold it the day I was thinking about it.:banghead3:thSick::Disgus:
you passed on a 400 with loader and backhoe for $2K......I think you need to get your head checked Deere332 and don't give me any of this "I'm a teenager stuff":tango_face_wink:
 

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Starting this thread after buying a 1980 JD-400 with both backhoe and front loader. Near as I can tell, this is the Holy Grail of attachment combo for this tractor. My intent is refurbish the rig to solid operational and cosmetic condition. Not a restoration, but bring it back to a really nice tractor without spending a stupid amount of money.

I was originally looking for a front loader which might fit my JD-318, which has a blade, mow deck and rototiller. I needed a Garden Tractor which was more Tractor than Garden. I stumbled across the 400, which was perfect for my needs. I had no knowledge of the attachments or how rare they were until posting this forum and asking if the price was reasonable. The seller is second owner and had it for 25 years. The asking was $4,900 and I purchased it for $4,200. Everything is functional with no alarming repairs or modifications except for the the 54" front blade, which he also gave me. It had been sitting outside unused and the cylinders/hoses are toast. It came with a new in the box, larger capacity, hydraulic pump to replace the undersized original. Also new plug wires, a rebuild kit for the glitchy steering control valve and original, 1979, Repair/Service manual.

The tractor is in good/fair condition for a rig often sitting outside for years. It looks a bit rough, but found no rusted out areas or severe weather damage. All the components, connections, operating linkages and running gear is in repairable condition. I only replaced the ignition switch, which failed while buying it. The motor runs amazingly well, starts right up with no funny noises. The starter Bendix hangs up occasionally, but a nudge gets it engaged. Tires are shot, but hold air.

The most obvious starting place is the hydraulic hoses. Most are original and rotted with the wire shield exposed in abrasion areas. Fittings are corroded, but only two are weeping a bit. All but one of the hydraulic cylinders are tight, which is on one of the stabilizing arms. Much to my delight, the next door neighbor has a hose crimping machine, which he will teach me how to use. The last couple days was spent identifying the required hose spec and fittings.

Hoses are 1/4" SAE 100R2-04AT (two wire shields) with appropriate fittings. Rating is 5,800 operating psi with a 4" bend radius.

I measured the hoses and logged the type fitting on each end. Preliminary pricing estimates are around $350-$400 for materials to replace every hose on the tractor!!

The next step is to drain the system and remove all hoses for use as a template, marking each for the new installation. Then the Backhoe will be disassembled in place, starting with the bucket, so the pivots and joints can be refurbished. The last piece being the attachment and control assembly. Some Zerk fittings are missing and nails used as cotter pins. Then painted and reinstalled in pieces.
yes $4200 is a lot of money, but separate, those items are way more than that and that's if, if you can even find them. I would have found the money too, some way some how for that combo. I'm always looking for backhoes and never finding any. Loaders are rare enough, but backhoes, they just didn't make that many I guess, or the owners are holding on. I'll be eagerly awaiting your posts on this threat with every ounce of jealousy I have:tango_face_glasses:
 

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The maximum pressure rating for anything that is likely to be installed for that hydraulic system will be 3500 psi. The system will not see pressures that high. At 2000 psi, the loader will lift about 1200 lb at the ends of the arms or about 900 lb of payload in the bucket. A 900 lb payload will load the front tires to about 2500 lb.

You don't need 5800 psi 2 wire hose. A set of 4100 psi single wire hoses, with terminations to match, will be more than adequate and a bit easier on the pocket book.
Thanks much for 'finding' my new thread Tudor. I'm new to hydraulics and don't know enough about what this rig generates for pressure. I have a lot of reading to do in the manual for all three; 400, backhoe and loader.

I went over to my neighbor's big shop at his home and we pawed through all the stuff with the crimper. He has a bunch of hose and fittings, which he'll sell me well below retail. There is plenty of Parker 2-wire hose and boxes of fittings so I figured an overkill wouldn't hurt anything. I will go back through his stash and see how much 1-wire stuff there is. He owns a VW repair shop and BowWow. He bought a commercial crimper with a ton of hose and fittings from a shop going out of business. It's mounted on a big, steel table with drawers. Last night he said he'll clear a path and pick the whole think up with his forklift - drive it over to my place and plop it down in my garage . . . This guy has an acre with 4, medium size, metal buildings for storage and shop. An older, custom RV pusher bus and a dozen or so VW bugs scattered around.

My first task is to drain the hydraulic system so I can remove the hoses. Is there a process for doing that? I don't want to do this wrong and create some sort of air or hydro lock in the pistons by not knowing what I'm doing. The plan is to remove the hoses for templates, marking each for location, then remove the pump and steering control valve for replace and rebuild.

I'll have to move some things around in the Deere Barn to have enough room. Already took out the 318 and put under another cover. It was a lot of fun backing this rig into the barn. Nothing like executing a backwards, 25 point turn with glitchy steering. Managed to get it in without knocking down a wall.
 

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you passed on a 400 with loader and backhoe for $2K......I think you need to get your head checked Deere332 and don't give me any of this "I'm a teenager stuff":tango_face_wink:
But I'm a Teenager!:sidelaugh Trust me I was pi$$ed when I found out it was sold I would of bought it if I hadn't had a 332 taking my money and no money coming in. But the tractor was toast the backhoe needed to be completely rebuilt the loader also needed a crap ton of work but still I could of bought it and sold it and made a crap ton of money. :banghead3
 

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My first task is to drain the hydraulic system so I can remove the hoses. Is there a process for doing that? I don't want to do this wrong and create some sort of air or hydro lock in the pistons by not knowing what I'm doing. The plan is to remove the hoses for templates, marking each for location, then remove the pump and steering control valve for replace and rebuild.

I'll have to move some things around in the Deere Barn to have enough room. Already took out the 318 and put under another cover. It was a lot of fun backing this rig into the barn. Nothing like executing a backwards, 25 point turn with glitchy steering. Managed to get it in without knocking down a wall.
You probably don't realize it, but a back hoe equipped tractor steers at both ends. Put the hoe down hard enough to lift the back tires just clear and use the hoe swing cylinder to move the rear end to either side. You can turn the tractor 360° around the loader bucket, or the front tires if the axle is wedged to prevent it from pivoting, whichever works better for the space available.

That's something that you need to be able to do when digging a trench for underground wiring between buildings. When the trench is done, the tractor is straddling the trench. Use the hoe to swing the tractor to put both rear wheels on one side of the trench with the loader bucket flat across the trench. Lift the hoe and back up using the loader bucket as a skid until both front tires are on the same side of the trench. You do have to make sure that you leave a break in the dirt pile so that there is room for this maneuver.

Draining the system for plumbing replacement:

- Ground the attachments, including the stabilizers.

- Shut off the engine and remove the key.

- Cycle all valves several times to ensure that there is no pressure in any lines. Go through them all, then do it again to ensure that there was no back flow to create pressure in a line already relaxed.

- Disconnect the rod ends of all the cylinders.

- Set up the drain pan under the reservoir and remove the plug to drain the fluid.

- Disconnect the pressure line from the pump and place it in the drain pan above the level of any fluid in that pan or in a second drain pan.

- With a helper to work the valve handles, extend and retract each cylinder to full movement a couple of times. For the twinned loader cylinders, leave one cylinder rod connected while draining the other, then reconnect the drained cylinder's rod and disconnect the other rod and do the same.

- The hoe swing cylinder may need to be removed and the lines disconnected at the valve in order to manually extend and retract the rod to purge the fluid. It all depends on how much working space is available.

- Reinstall the reservoir drain plug so that you don't lose it.

Besides the fluid in the reservoir, there are several more quarts in the cylinders that will end up in the drain pan. Keep that in mind or you will have an awful mess to clean up.

This procedure will drain most of the fluid, but you will still get some spillage when the lines are disconnected. There is a cubic inch of fluid in 20" of 1/4" hose. Have an abundance of rags and a portable drain pan handy and disconnect the low end of a line before the high end. Think drinking straw full of liquid with your thumb covering the top end.

No worries about hydro lock or air in the cylinders. When you put it back together and start the engine, the pump will push the air out as you cycle each valve to fill the cylinders. You do need to keep close tabs on the fluid level in the reservoir during the charging process. Cycle each cylinder full stroke several times until it moves smoothly, then continue with the next cylinder.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
HA! Bob, you made coffee come out my nose!!
Obviously you've not seen me work the backhoe . . . I would have knocked down the barn if I tried that maneuver! As you well know, the backhoe has a lot more moving parts in a lot more directions than a loader. When I tried to do a little 'digging' for fun right after getting it home - it was a comedy. The tractor was a rock'n and bouncing and banging the bucket off whatever was in reach! It's going to take some practice to smoothly manipulate the controls for a coordinated movement. Since that experience I've been thinking about welding up a roll cage for it . . .
 

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SIDE NOTE:
I checked out the MTF manuals and didn't see one for the JD-400. The 1979 repair and service manual came with the tractor. I'm going to copy it into a PDF format and post it. It's fairly lengthy and double-sided, so it will take a bit of time to complete.
 
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