I have been borrowing my neighbors Terramite T5C for the last few weeks, and despite the work it needs, it's a capable machine. I have been fixing little things on it in exchange for borrowing it, the most complicated was brazing the radiator, the fan shroud was twisted and rubbing into the fins.
The motor is a Perkins Diesel, as best as I can tell, but I only hear about Kohler diesels in these, or gas engines.
My neighbor bought the machine from another neighbor that ran the machine without an air filter for some time. I think it's wreaked havoc on the motor, it takes a bout 20 seconds of cranking to get it to fire after you give the glow plugs 10-15 seconds. And I swear I see as much smoke coming out of the rocker cover vent as a I do the exhaust. I almost think I should route the vent back into the induction for fuel savings..
Anyway, the hoses were nearly all replaced, the cylinders appear good and functional, 1 needs a new hole drilled and a grease fitting installed. I recently discovered oil running down the steering column, I can only assume the seal for the input shaft on the steering servo is bad, and hemmoraging.
Here's the thing. My neighbor is offering me the machine for $2000. I am on the fence about buying it, refreshing the motor and fixing the few issues with it, using the tar out of it for a few years doing pond work, ripping up my driveway, and stuff like that, then selling it.
Looks like a basic Perkins 100 series rebuild kit is about $500 or so, not including any head or valve work that might be needed. I wonder when the injection pump will go ($500 from what I see). And if the hydro unit is as good as I think. I am wondering if repowering with a 22 HP Honda GX might be a better option. Since it's not a full time use machine, I wonder if the cost of a diesel rebuild is worth it.
I really like the machine, and being on 2 acres, having to spring for a driveway repave or concrete job that this machine will help me save a ton of money on... I'm on the fence with buying it. The upside is that I've had hours of time running it as a "test drive", so I think I know the machine much better than I would if shopping for something in the funny papers. Thoughts?