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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hello all...

I'm new to this and humbly ask for advice. I have a X300 with 276 hours and the K46 is giving up the ghost. I have learned that the X300 is the same machine as the X500 except for the 18hp kawi motor, lesser hitch plate, and of course the K46. So, I was considering the RJR (K66 Upgrade Kits) K66 upgrade with the motivation of having a entry level ground engagement capable tractor... a 18HP X500 if you will.

I can do the conversion but am a still learning about what is available to the X300 post conversion. So, my questions are what implements and attachments are other X300/K66 owners using out there and what was required to get them working? Is it safe to assume that anything for the X500 would be usable on the X300? I have seen pull behind rototillers but am not sure how they were powered. I'm looking to use it to farm a .5 acre plot and am interested in a tiller, dethatcher, and bucket. Can I install the hitch plate from an X500 on the X300?

Thank you for the help!

J
 

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Since your transaxle is showing signs of wear at this early age, how have you been using it?

Before I even joined this site, I was a reader of it and read all about the issues of the K46. I was so concerned, I bought a spare one. At that time the cheap K66s were all gone.

That was almost a decade ago. Since then, I have done the math many times. The kit from RJR looks really nice, but it is now really expensive.

I have seen older X500s for sale that are only a little more than what the kit costs (when you include the wheels/tires etc). If you value your time at all, I don't think it is a good deal.

I several times considered it, but the kit and the K66 in general doesn't get you even an X500. No differential lock and the K66 is not as powerful as the K72.

Depending on what you want to do the K66 might be enough, or even the K72 (K92 in the X700) might not be enough.

Start with the tasks you need/want to do and then figure out the machine(s) you need to do them.

Have you tried changing the oil on the K46? Some people have had good luck with just doing that. It is not easy to do, but certainly cheaper than a new transaxle. And, it will give you a taste of the job of actually replacing the transaxle. If the oil change doesn't fix it, it is easy to get parts and change out the center section (pump and motor) from TuffTorque. That doesn't make it any stouter, but it does return it to fully functional so you can sell it for a decent price and use the proceeds to help you get what you want/need.
 

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Bercomac tiller will work on it Your X300 Now with a K46 The tiller Mounts to Two Brackets that Mount to the Transmission shown Below where the the frame and Transmission bolt together and then You May or May Not Have to drill a Hole In the frame for 1 Bolt I Have a Friend who has a Bercomac tiller On His Old JD LT180 with a K46 Transmission. I plan on Purchasing a Bercomac tiller Bercomac to Use On My Cub Cadet XT3 GSX and My JD GX335. If You change out the Hitch Plate to a X500 series 2 Wheel Steer Hitch Plate You could actually Hook Up a Deere 30inch Tiller as well because it will then except the tiller Rocker shaft and with the same Hitch Plate then you Can use the Deere Manual Lift Integral Hitch(sleeve Hitch).

But If You Just want to do the Transmission Only and Not the Hitch Plate. The Bercomac tiller is a Option along with a Johnny Products electric Lift sleeve Hitch Universal Sleeve Hitch (Though You Can also use Both attachments with a X500 series rear hitch Plate as well) But They will save You some Money if You don't want to Buy the Extra Hitch Plate Because either tiller will use a Manual spring assist Lift it

K66 is Just fine for Your Intended uses The Deere G100, Sabre Garden & Scott's By JD Garden tractors all used either K65 or K66(K65 older version of K66) and they Can Handle Garden chores Just fine Using a Johnny Bucket Jrhttp://www.johnnyproducts.com/J_Bucket_HTMs/JBpage_Jr_John-Deere-GTLX.htm , Tiller or sleeve Hitch Implements (y)
 

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Bercomac tiller will work on it Your X300 Now with a K46 The tiller Mounts to Two Brackets that Mount to the Transmission shown Below where the the frame and Transmission bolt together and then You May or May Not Have to drill a Hole In the frame for 1 Bolt I Have a Friend who has a Bercomac tiller On His Old JD LT180 with a K46 Transmission. I plan on Purchasing a Bercomac tiller Bercomac to Use On My Cub Cadet XT3 GSX and My JD GX335. If You change out the Hitch Plate to a X500 series 2 Wheel Steer Hitch Plate You could actually Hook Up a Deere 30inch Tiller as well because it will then except the tiller Rocker shaft and with the same Hitch Plate then you Can use the Deere Manual Lift Integral Hitch(sleeve Hitch).

But If You Just want to do the Transmission Only and Not the Hitch Plate. The Bercomac tiller is a Option along with a Johnny Products electric Lift sleeve Hitch Universal Sleeve Hitch (Though You Can also use Both attachments with a X500 series rear hitch Plate as well) But They will save You some Money if You don't want to Buy the Extra Hitch Plate Because either tiller will use a Manual spring assist Lift it

K66 is Just fine for Your Intended uses The Deere G100, Sabre Garden & Scott's By JD Garden tractors all used either K65 or K66(K65 older version of K66) and they Can Handle Garden chores Just fine Using a Johnny Bucket Jrhttp://www.johnnyproducts.com/J_Bucket_HTMs/JBpage_Jr_John-Deere-GTLX.htm , Tiller or sleeve Hitch Implements (y)

Wow! Thank you so much, Sergeant. That is the exact sort of info I am looking for. So, I'm thinking X500 hitch plate with either Bercomac or JD 30in tiller? I'm gonna chew on this a bit...

Thank you again for taking the time! 👍👊
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Since your transaxle is showing signs of wear at this early age, how have you been using it?

Before I even joined this site, I was a reader of it and read all about the issues of the K46. I was so concerned, I bought a spare one. At that time the cheap K66s were all gone.

That was almost a decade ago. Since then, I have done the math many times. The kit from RJR looks really nice, but it is now really expensive.

I have seen older X500s for sale that are only a little more than what the kit costs (when you include the wheels/tires etc). If you value your time at all, I don't think it is a good deal.

I several times considered it, but the kit and the K66 in general doesn't get you even an X500. No differential lock and the K66 is not as powerful as the K72.

Depending on what you want to do the K66 might be enough, or even the K72 (K92 in the X700) might not be enough.

Start with the tasks you need/want to do and then figure out the machine(s) you need to do them.

Have you tried changing the oil on the K46? Some people have had good luck with just doing that. It is not easy to do, but certainly cheaper than a new transaxle. And, it will give you a taste of the job of actually replacing the transaxle. If the oil change doesn't fix it, it is easy to get parts and change out the center section (pump and motor) from TuffTorque. That doesn't make it any stouter, but it does return it to fully functional so you can sell it for a decent price and use the proceeds to help you get what you want/need.

Hey Frogmore,

I bought the X300 w/200 hours on it. When I did, the K46 was whining a bit but still had good bite and didn't slow down under nominal load. The property I bought was in rough shape and I used the tractor to pull impacted debris/fencing from out of the dirt, move 10 - 18 inch tree stumps around the yard with a tow chain, and pull a garden trailer with rocks and such to a dumpster. Admittedly, the first 20 or so hours I put on it where I suspect out of the K46 duty rating ;). From there, I use it to mow a slightly uphill yard, pull the trailer with either light debris or my daughters around in it. I have put 76 hours on it since purchase and its starting to slow down.

My needs now are changing as I've entered into a partnership to farm a small 6000 sqft plot and am responsible for ground prep and maintenance. So, I will be tilling, dethatching, cultivating, and moving hay and pine bark mulch around. Nothing as punishing as pulling crap from out of the ground and I'm pretty sure anything I'm looking to do will be within the K66 and 18hp Kawi iForce duty rating. I think with weights and my 270lbs FA on it I'll be able to get by without a locker especially if I put lugs on it. I do agree with you; the kit is really expensive and takes 4-5 hours to do. That is the downside and very much brings to mind upgrading to a new (used) tractor altogether.

So, I have been keeping my eye open for X500s in my price range and did find one for $3k with 490 hours. I'm cautious about that cause that seems like a bit of usage and without knowing the history or maintenance of the tractor it feels risky. Johnny Products mentions that the pre-2007 X500 has a stronger frame than ones made 2007+. So, if looking to move into a X500, I'm torn between old and new and don't really have the budget to get into anything $3.5K or above as I need to get implements as well.

I did investigate the K46 rebuild kit. It is fascinating how these hydrostatic transaxles work. I had thought about maybe going that route and just burning it out again, but besides the renewed usage, I think I will need the added torque. So, even though the kid is $300.00, if I'm going to take the time to pull it out I figured I might as well be doing so to replace it with something more in line with my needs. But, rebuilding it to increase resale is not something I had considered because I have only been flirting with the idea of replacing the tractor all together... and that's a good thought.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate you doing so. You have given me things to think about.
 

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WIth that much garden to take care of you might want to look for a 600-800 Series Ford tractor. Tilling that much area will take a long time. For $3,500 you can probably find a package with most everything you need. Just leave the X300 to mowing duty and use a tractor for the heavy work.
 

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... So, I have been keeping my eye open for X500s in my price range and did find one for $3k with 490 hours. I'm cautious about that cause that seems like a bit of usage and without knowing the history or maintenance of the tractor it feels risky. Johnny Products mentions that the pre-2007 X500 has a stronger frame than ones made 2007+. So, if looking to move into a X500, I'm torn between old and new and don't really have the budget to get into anything $3.5K or above as I need to get implements as well....
For the tasks you describe... and the thought process - which is all valid... led me to think about when I was in that decision point... for $3k, I got a 455 with 1550hrs. I was thinking about the 1550hrs like you are thinking about the 490 hours.... I bought it - put about $250 worth of oil, filters, seals and worn AWS parts into it (if it was non-AWS the bill would have been $50). I had since logged about 100hrs on it and I can tell you it is 2x the tractor that the X500 is. If i was at the decision point again - without a doubt I'd put my money on an older gen machine like that, and never look back..
Plus you can spend some more money (or if you get lucky it will already be there) - and get a 3PH and PTO....
And the 455 comes with all the benefits... pedal control, diff lock, cruise control, tilt steering, suspension seat... but then it has a bonus: hydraulics!... for whatever you want to hang off the front quick hitch. Best of all - it's a diesel!
... man i'm drooling just by thinking about and typing this message.... time to get another beer....
 

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Here is a link to a handy specifications chart from Kanzaki.


I'd pay attention to the torque ratings etc. of the various Kanzaki models, and the recommendation difference between "lawn mower/tractor" and "garden tractor/mower". My X500 has the K72 but with only 230 hours on it, I haven't tested it much beyond mowing, snow plowing, yard cart and aerator work on about an acre lawn. I did pull some old shrub stumps with no issues. Trac lok was nice on that job, and is good when I get it buried in the spring time gumbo out back.

Sounds like you are debating whether to spend a bunch on parts and upgrades versus a complete upgrade to a more capable model. Personally, I love to work on stuff, but also value my time. When I need a tractor to work, it has to be there ready to go, not in pieces or awaiting kits or parts. So.......If it were me, I'be be shopping for the best deal I could find on a used X5xxx or X7xxx with most of what I need to do my work. Price pains are temporary and relief is immediately felt with that first use of the new or new to me equipment that actually does the job and more. Just my thoughts on it.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
 

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Hey Frogmore,

I bought the X300 w/200 hours on it. When I did, the K46 was whining a bit but still had good bite and didn't slow down under nominal load. The property I bought was in rough shape and I used the tractor to pull impacted debris/fencing from out of the dirt, move 10 - 18 inch tree stumps around the yard with a tow chain, and pull a garden trailer with rocks and such to a dumpster. Admittedly, the first 20 or so hours I put on it where I suspect out of the K46 duty rating ;). From there, I use it to mow a slightly uphill yard, pull the trailer with either light debris or my daughters around in it. I have put 76 hours on it since purchase and its starting to slow down.

My needs now are changing as I've entered into a partnership to farm a small 6000 sqft plot and am responsible for ground prep and maintenance. So, I will be tilling, dethatching, cultivating, and moving hay and pine bark mulch around. Nothing as punishing as pulling crap from out of the ground and I'm pretty sure anything I'm looking to do will be within the K66 and 18hp Kawi iForce duty rating. I think with weights and my 270lbs FA on it I'll be able to get by without a locker especially if I put lugs on it. I do agree with you; the kit is really expensive and takes 4-5 hours to do. That is the downside and very much brings to mind upgrading to a new (used) tractor altogether.

So, I have been keeping my eye open for X500s in my price range and did find one for $3k with 490 hours. I'm cautious about that cause that seems like a bit of usage and without knowing the history or maintenance of the tractor it feels risky. Johnny Products mentions that the pre-2007 X500 has a stronger frame than ones made 2007+. So, if looking to move into a X500, I'm torn between old and new and don't really have the budget to get into anything $3.5K or above as I need to get implements as well.

I did investigate the K46 rebuild kit. It is fascinating how these hydrostatic transaxles work. I had thought about maybe going that route and just burning it out again, but besides the renewed usage, I think I will need the added torque. So, even though the kid is $300.00, if I'm going to take the time to pull it out I figured I might as well be doing so to replace it with something more in line with my needs. But, rebuilding it to increase resale is not something I had considered because I have only been flirting with the idea of replacing the tractor all together... and that's a good thought.

Thanks for taking the time to reply. I appreciate you doing so. You have given me things to think about.
My $.02, consistent with the other comments, is to put the $300 K46 rebuild kit into your X300, sell it and buy a bigger tractor. And, 490 hours is nothing to be concerned with if the tractor was maintained...

With that said, it sounds like you need something bigger than the X500 class even.
 

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For a Half acre Plot a X300 with a Upgrade kit will more then Handle his Needs or a X500 series

I use to Garden with a JD240 for 12 years with a 30inch Tiller, Brinly Cultivator & a Old Brinly Vegetable Planter On a Much Bigger Plot of Land 4 acre Garden to be exact. My current Home My Garden is 1.7 acres and I Can actually Take care of all of it with My GX335

I do Have a a JD X748 & a JD 2025R If I had a Tiller for the GX335 I wouldn't really need the X748. I used the X748 to till with a 42inch Hydraulic Tiller. Prior to tilling I did Plow with a 10HP 1969 JD 112 with Manual Lift(had spring assist On it). I did Pick Up two Bucket Loads Of Manure from the Neighbors with My JD 2025R with 120R Loader with 53inch Bucket. Didn't really have to as we could Have Just dumped The Manure over the fence right Into the Garden I used a 10 Hp Cub cadet 106 with a 42inch Blade to spread it Out. If I Buy a small Manure spreader would never Need a Loader or Front Blade as we Just shovel It In the spreader. I then re tilled the Garden to Mix it In But a 30inch Belt driven tiller would Have don't just as Good a Job as the 42inch Hydraulic tiller I Plant using a walk Behind Vegetable Planter then a Hand Held Jili Planter as I Lay Plastic mulch down for the Beans as I hate to weed Though Out the rest of the Growing season I will use two Walk Behind tillers a Husqvarna DRT and a Honda FG110. In the Melon Patch I will till with the 42inch Hydraulic tiller Until it starts to spread then Use a Walk Behind tiller Until the Vines Have Taken over. My goal is to get a Bercomac 30inch tiller to Use On My Cub Cadet XT3 GSX to Handle the Melon Patch tilling and to Get a BCS walk Behind Tractor(853) to Handle Most of the Cultivation once the Garden is Up and Really Can't use a Garden tractor anyways.

For the OPs Intended Use He'll Be Fine with a X300 series with a K66 Up grade kit or a X500 Model and Not Have a Issue On a 0.5 Garden Plot (y)
 

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Hey Frogmore,



So, I have been keeping my eye open for X500s in my price range and did find one for $3k with 490 hours. I'm cautious about that cause that seems like a bit of usage and without knowing the history or maintenance of the tractor it feels risky. Johnny Products mentions that the pre-2007 X500 has a stronger frame than ones made 2007+. So, if looking to move into a X500, I'm torn between old and new and don't really have the budget to get into anything $3.5K or above as I need to get implements as well.
You Have to Under stand the X500 series John Is Talking about as Pre 2007 is the X575, X585 & X595 which Became the X728/X748 or Today's X738/X758 He is Not Talking about the Current X500 series Made from 2006 till Present There two different Tractor series Called the X500 series The Older Prior 2007 which should actually be Prior 2006 X500 series Took the Johnny Bucket Sr. The X500 series ie X500, X520, X530, X534, X540, X570, X580, X584, X590 are a Belt driven Class Of Garden tractor and Take the Johnny Bucket Jr (y)
Screenshot_2020-06-11 Johnny Bucket Jr John Deere GTLX.png
 

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I wouldnt fool with it...sell it and upgrade to a bigger machine if that one is inadequate. If current x300 has failed transmission (as in it doesn't work), then you'd have to fix it via rebuild kit. From what you're doing, it sounds like you need a real tractor (1038r or larger). X500 is basically an X300 but it can handle hills and pull things...at best front snow blower or light duty shovel...rear tiller or light duty ground engagement implement. X300 is basically a lawn mower with can pull something light on wheels.
 

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You Have to Under stand the X500 series John Is Talking about as Pre 2007 is the X575, X585 & X595 which Became the X728/X748 or Today's X738/X758 He is Not Talking about the Current X500 series Made from 2006 till Present
yea - i am familiar with the differences.... and to be honest the OP message was not so clear... he said:

Johnny Products mentions that the pre-2007 X500 has a stronger frame than ones made 2007+. So, if looking to move into a X500, I'm torn between old and new and don't really have the budget to get into anything $3.5K or above as I need to get implements as well.
I supposed I could have said - go for the Old 500 series, or go even older and get the 455 (the pre-decessor to the "old X500 series")....

cheers!
 

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You guys are great. Thank you so much for taking the time to help me.

I thought about it and decided to move off the X300 and go with something bigger. Wally2q's post on the 455 rang like a bell so I started researching and found one with 680 hours 2 hours away. This morning I spoke to the owner and he said he knows the guy who bought it new 22 years ago and it had only mowed grass. I believe him... He is running his dad's equipment sales business of 30+ years after his dad died and has been there for 20+ years. The hydraulic actuator lever for the front was frozen from non-usage so we used pen oil and got it free. He gave me $600.00 for the X300 even though I let him know that even thought the K46 still had bite, it was fading and I was just using it for mowing my yard. I paid $3400.00 plus the X300. $1400 more than was going to spend on the upgrade, but I can't help but to think that the 455 is easily worth more than $1400.00 over an X300 w/K66.

What a tank. It runs like a clock and the frame, engine, transaxle..etc are clean. Everything works except for rear lights as they cut the wires. =>? Power steering is awesome... locking diff, etc. Some of the plastic is rough so I ordered new sides and will probably replace the throttle lever. I can't get over how heavy it is built. It was the youtube videos of the Model 40 loader and little bucket loader and backhoe that got me. I'm very excited about it and love the diesel. Its currently at local TriGreen service center for a full maintenance, run though, and blades.

However, after talking to two different buzz kill dealers, I'm now concerned about parts availability and am wondering if I should have gone with a X700 or something newer? I see them out there for around the same price range in the 2006ish -2012ish year range. I've guess I always thought that good tractors were meant forever and subsequently parts would be there. Either way, the 455 is freaking awesome and I can't wait to get it back.

Thanks again for the advice. Like I said, I'm new to this and got excited so if buying the 455 wasn't the play don't flame me. (y)
 

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Wow, you move fast.

Smart move, congrats on the purchase.
 

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Boooooh-yea!!
Well for sure there will be some maintenance items to deal with - it's got a bit of age - but yea the K92 is a beast [edit: albeit not identical to 2305 as I originally noted....]
But I gotta say only 680hrs is 1 in 1,000,000. You've gotta run your machine for 900hrs before it reaches the hours that mine had when I just bought it!...
As for parts - K92 parts are everywhere. Bearings and other things are "generic" off-the-shelf. Motor - similar/minor variant to all the 3-cyl diesels in the Deere GTs - but it will run forever anyway. Hydraulics - maybe the power steering valve and a handful of other things are unique, but that's about it.... and failures there are not that common at all. On mine, the biggest expense was a set of new tires - and only because I didnt like the original ones.....
By the sounds of it, the machine you picked up is in decent shape.

"...the 455 is easily worth more than $1400.00 over an X300 w/K66..."
Yes it is.

"...X700 or something newer? I see them out there for around the same price range in the 2006ish -2012ish year range..."

The lower priced units are gas, and are probably all around abused and beat up to woop-woop and back. If you found a 680hr diesel in that family/generation of machine, it would probably be 2x the price..... at least that is the case where I live.

Congratulations!
 

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You guys are great. Thank you so much for taking the time to help me.

I thought about it and decided to move off the X300 and go with something bigger. Wally2q's post on the 455 rang like a bell so I started researching and found one with 680 hours 2 hours away. This morning I spoke to the owner and he said he knows the guy who bought it new 22 years ago and it had only mowed grass. I believe him... He is running his dad's equipment sales business of 30+ years after his dad died and has been there for 20+ years. The hydraulic actuator lever for the front was frozen from non-usage so we used pen oil and got it free. He gave me $600.00 for the X300 even though I let him know that even thought the K46 still had bite, it was fading and I was just using it for mowing my yard. I paid $3400.00 plus the X300. $1400 more than was going to spend on the upgrade, but I can't help but to think that the 455 is easily worth more than $1400.00 over an X300 w/K66.

What a tank. It runs like a clock and the frame, engine, transaxle..etc are clean. Everything works except for rear lights as they cut the wires. =>? Power steering is awesome... locking diff, etc. Some of the plastic is rough so I ordered new sides and will probably replace the throttle lever. I can't get over how heavy it is built. It was the youtube videos of the Model 40 loader and little bucket loader and backhoe that got me. I'm very excited about it and love the diesel. Its currently at local TriGreen service center for a full maintenance, run though, and blades.

However, after talking to two different buzz kill dealers, I'm now concerned about parts availability and am wondering if I should have gone with a X700 or something newer? I see them out there for around the same price range in the 2006ish -2012ish year range. I've guess I always thought that good tractors were meant forever and subsequently parts would be there. Either way, the 455 is freaking awesome and I can't wait to get it back.

Thanks again for the advice. Like I said, I'm new to this and got excited so if buying the 455 wasn't the play don't flame me. (y)
Parts are Pretty Much still available for the 425 thru 455 Many Parts from It were used In the X465 thru the Current X700 signature series . Loaders there are several available The Model 40 Can be found But something Like this JOHN DEERE 415 425 445 455 front end loader is easier to come buy If You want a conventional Loader Then There is a the Little Buck https://www.littlebuckloader.com/ and The Johnny Bucket SR or the Buford Bucket Honestly if You want a Backhoe You go with a Sub Compact or Upgrade to a X475 thru X700 signature series Because Wallenstein Makes a Backhoe to fit those tractors. Trying to find a Kwik-way Backhoe will be a Hard find for the 425 thru 455. There are Kits for a Backhoe from PF engineering & Cad Plans But Honestly Upgrade to a Sub Compact if You want a Backhoe as the Sub Compact will support the use of a Backhoe Better. Than any Super Garden tractor. Kwk-way Makes Both the Loader & Backhoe for the Simplicity Legacy XL But a True Sub Compact will still run circles around it for ease of Use (y)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks again, guys. Everyone helped me get to this point and I appreciate it. You put me at ease on the parts concern and I contacted 3 more dealers and they concurred that the 455 is a great investment and parts will be there.

Right now my budget is blown with the irony that I won't be purchasing any attachments anytime soon for my new kick *** tractor that I bought for attachments. :cool: I can rent a tiller for the time being and the wheelbarrow works just fine. I hope the butchers bill from the dealer isn't too bad. They said $250.00 for typical service with fluids. I need to verify if that includes trans fluid and filter. I also requested a hydraulic system service.

What a great board. I just can't convey how excited I am! You guys know your stuff and whats better are willing to share the knowledge with noobies like me. Wally, thanks for the 455 nod. Sergeant, your #10 post explaining your equipment and methods is inspiring. You, sir, know your stuff.
 

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Congratulations on the new tractor! I think that will be several-times the tractor that an upgraded X300 would be.

From what I've read, the 4xx series are tanks, yours in particular. Sounds like it should be an extremely capable machine. Diesel, differential lock, hydraulics, geez, what's not to like??

That should be awesome. Keep us updated on how it goes, and hopefully you'll get to really put it to work soon! Take care of it, and it should take care of you for a long time.
 

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Well, you certainly solved your transmission issues. Congrats on the new machine!!!! If you're worried about parts join the GreenFarmParts mailing list. Their prices are usually pretty good to start and they send coupon codes for additional discounts on main't parts, holiday savings and occasional site-wide 5-10% off. I tend to support my local dealer but sometimes it's just easier to have items show up at your door. Some parts are good to have in the garage because things always break after 5pm or on Sunday.
 
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