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  1. #1
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    Oct 2006
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    Default My new? Lenar 2004 254II tractor

    For those of you who are thinking about buying a Lenar tractor let me tell you about mine. I bought it one month ago for $7,000 + $1,000 shipping. It came with a 1000lbs bucket and had 6Hr on it.

    I now have 19Hr on it and have had the following problems. First off I must say the paint job and chrome plating are poor at best. I have already had to paint several places on the chassis and most of the chrome parts are showing signs of rust. This is not a big problem but I would have expected better. ALL of the yellow Zink plated hardware is showing signs of rust and I have had to remove several bolts and repaint them to stop them from rusting. The only think I can think of is that this tractor sat for a year outside before it was sold to me. Still it should of held up better.

    The first real problem started at 7Hr when three of the gages stop working.(water/tac/oil). The gages continue to work intermittently until at 8Hr the whole display quit working. After talking to the dealer I bought the tractor from. They had me check the ground to the fuse box and it was loose. I tighten it and all the gages worked. But this was short lived and within an hour of running the three gages stopped working again. I removed the whole display and trouble shot it and found a cold solder joint that was causing the problem. So things looked good. HA HA not so fast.

    The next problem was the front lift cylinder fitting was leaking. I tightened it but it kept leaking. I called the dealer again and he sent me a new fitting. That did not fix the problem. After removing it again and applying some liquid gasket to it seems to be fixed. We will see.

    After a long day of work I walked around the tractor only to find that both tail light assemblies had melted to the bulbs in them. I called the dealer again and he sent me two new one and asked me to make sure that the bulbs did not touch the lenses. Well guess what they where not touching in the first place. Cheep plastic I guess. So I do not have the brake light/ light bulbs in at all now. So far this is all that has happen so from what I have heard I guess Iím lucky so far.

    The transmission was very stiff and hard to shift but it seems allot better now that it has some time on it. Although I have found that the linkage is very sloppy.

    The engine seems to run good but Iím very worried about it. I have only 19Hr on it and the oil is already looking dirty and I have heard some strange noise from time to time. So I plan to change it soon with high-grade synthetic diesel oil. I would like to know if anyone else had used this type of oil. I also plan to change the hydraulic/trans oil to synthetic oil too.

    One thing I did notice about the Engine is that it looks like it was repainted. Does anyone know if theses supposed new tractors are really new or are they refurbished?

    I thought I was buying a Chevy but Got a Yugo

    If anyone know of any heads up items I should look for please let me know. I would like to see this tractor last at least a couple hundred hours.

    Anyway if I had to do it all over I would probably still buy it because it has done the job for me and the cost was right. But we will see.

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    May 2005
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    Default Re: My new? Lenar 2004 254II tractor

    No,you were wrong,you was buying a yugo instead of a chevy,[athough,the chevy I owned couldn't really tell a difference],,but you are buying cheap and taking a chance with these chinese tractors,[guess lenor is chinese??],,,if you was to buy a johndeere or kabota,,you would be taking a chance too,[not as big a one],but a chance nonethe less,,they are all mechanical,,sold by people who are sometimes not honest.
    Now,I bought a chinese tractor about 4 years ago, a jinma,got 555 hours on the meter,,has never broke down or failed to start,and I work it,so,maybe I'm just lucky,,but I took a chance too,,sometimes it works out,sometimes it doesn't.
    The problems you talk about are minor,a little rust,some bad elictrical connections that caused your gages not to work,and cheap material,,big deal,,,thats what you get and can expect,,,,main thing is to my way of thinking,,is will it run,,till,,,plow,,,,scrape,,pickup what I want,,mine has and yours might too,,,,mine has paid for itself already,,,8,000 from northern,still same price,,comes with a warrenty,,,try getting a big three that will do the same thing as mine and you will pay 16,000,,its all about money,you knew that you wasn't buying a top quality tractor,,so,,,whats the point,,now if the motor was to blow up or the trans to go out or a wheel to fall off,thats different,,,thingy

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
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    874
    Location
    Southern Tier NY
    Tractor
    Jinma 284

    Default Re: My new? Lenar 2004 254II tractor

    I would consider the issues you posted as minor, especially for a tractor that sat for a couple of years. Also sounds like the dealer tried to help you out even though it sounds like he is a far distance away. But after he reads this, maybe not anymore. I'd check around to see how many places you can get parts from before you pi$$ them all off. While there are few Lenar owners that frequent the board, most other chinese tractor owners will try to help you. There are some similarities between some of the chinese tractors, but you will need the dealer's experience for some things.

    Use a good dino oil for diesels, 15W-40 Rotella T or such.
    JohnS


  4. #4
    Veteran Member bluechip's Avatar
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    1,840
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    Arkansas, USA

    Default Re: My new? Lenar 2004 254II tractor

    First if you bought the tractor with a loader (I"m assuming thats what the 1000lb bucket you mention is) for the price you mention, you did get a very good deal and the dealer (if the original dealer and not someone liquidating the inventory of the defucnt importer) was probably shipping you some of his dollars with this unit.
    I started out as a lenar dealer in 2003, but switched to Farm Pro (because of a change in Lenars distribution policy) before the II series came out. Now the factory that made your tractor is owned by Mahindra and the new Lenars are made by a different, very good, factory in China, but the tractors are completely different than yours.
    Mahindra has even gotten EPA certification for the NJ385 engine so we may see some red FS254II based tractors in the US again soon... with red paint. This could be good news for parts availability because as far as I know, Lenar used their own unique engine, not used in any other brand of tractor. The engine is purported to be of isuzu origin, which is plausible because Jaingling and Isuzu have other joint business intrests, and is a good engine.
    I would not switch to synthetics till you have more hours. Just as the shifting is getting easier, these machines need some "running in" time before you put a stop to the wear with synthetics, which will also probably lead to more oil seepage, just as it did in American cars when they first came out.
    You can (should) expect a few bugs, glitches with any chinese tractor. American consumers have the perception that things are best when they are brand new, but in other parts of the world, especially those with less than state of the art manufacturing techniques and quality control proceesures, thing tend to get better with time. Most chinese tractors are better at 150 hours than when new. Most issues occur during the first 150 hours, then when those are sorted, you should have a good reliable unit. It is critical to change the engine oil between 35 and 50 hours to remove the swarf from break in. Pay attention to break in procedure in the manual, let the engine run at different rpms without load for a while before working it hard. drive it around in every gear, forward and reverse without working it for best results.
    You should be able to get good service and a long life. I often talk to people with 10 or more year old Taishan tractors that are still in use, and the quality back then was not what it is today.
    It might have been more appropriate to have thought you were buying a Ford instead of a chevy (some will understand why I say this).

    Post again after you have run it more and I think you may well be very pleased with your purchase!

  5. #5
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    6,026
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: My new? Lenar 2004 254II tractor

    Write this on the inside of your eyelids: You get what you pay for.

    Sounds like you got a huge discount to start with, so I'd strongly recommend you don't look a gift horse in the mouth. Anyone who does even a modicum of research before parting with seven grand would realize that a mainstream 25hp tractor w/loader would go for at least twice that.

    At $7000, the tractor probably still has the OE fluids. I'd drain/flush the front diff, the cooling system, the engine, the injection pump, the creeper/shuttle box, the tranny/diff housing, and the hydraulics (to include power steering if you've got two pumps). Refill with quality aftermarket products. Any threaded dipsticks should be set ON the hole (not threaded back in) to check levels. I strongly discourage the use of synthetics or synthetic blends till you've accumulated at least 300 hours.

    You've apparently never owned a diesel before either, because black oil is NORMAL. It gets that color after only a few hours, because a natural byproduct of compression ignition is soot. Soot is too fine to be completely captured by the oil filter, so the oil simply holds it in suspension. Synthetic oils go black even faster than regular oils. My advice is to flush/refill now - then again at 50 hours - then simply follow the maintenance sked in the manual.

    Many folks have circumvented the melted lense problem by taking the incandescant bulbs out in favor of their LED equivalents.

    Assuming you've got separate sumps, do NOT use trans/hydraulic fluid in your tractor. It's too thin for the gears and too thick for the hydraulics. Typically, 80W90 non-foaming gear oil goes in the tranny/diff and non-foaming hydraulic fluid goes in the hydraulic sump; AW46 for warm climates, AW32 for moderate and cool. Try to find gear oil that is categorized as " safe for yellow metals ".

    Fit and finish ARE typically beneath mainstream standards, but this also reflects that you get what you pay for. The price of Chinese tractors reflects the fact that the owner must expect to actually get his hands dirty once in a while. You bought a piece of basic but solid hardware, reminiscent of 50's and 60's American tractors; a " fix it in the field " approach to engineering. For seven grand, you bought a wrench turner. The sooner you accept that fact, the less hair you'll lose feigning indignation that your seven grand didn't buy something better.

    //greg//
    USN (Ret)
    Former Chinese tractor owner (x4)
    Current John Deere owner

  6. #6
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    May 2006
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    Location
    SW Ohio
    Tractor
    Lenar FS-274

    Default Re: My new? Lenar 2004 254II tractor

    I recently owned a 2004 Lenar 274-I and can feel your pain for all of the "little" things going on. BTW, my former tractor is similar to yours, but has a different front end, manual gear tranny and rated for a couple more ponies (emission related I guess). It had about 58 hours on it when I sold it (yesterday actually). I sold it out of fear that something major would go wrong and I would be stuck. There are no nearby dealers to my location (SW Ohio).

    For the most part it ran pretty good, but had its quirks. For background, this was my first tractor, so I am sure some of the problems were operator related.

    I had to replace the goofy fuse block, as the main fuse blew and in doing so charred the side of the hand wound fuse, seeing there are no domestic replacements, I redid all of them with standard automotive fuses.

    The first few times I used it bush hogging the motor would start knocking, but it would last a few minutes and be fine. Later on it would lose most power after running for a while (i.e. 15-20 minutes), traced it down to either being debris in the line from the tank to the filter or the fact that the shut-off valve at the tank was finger loose and was sucking air, been fine since.

    I believe the injector pump has an internal leak, as after a few hours the pump will be come overfilled and eventually would start to purge out the vent plug. I recently replaced the oil in the pump and within 10 hours was overfilled to the point when the dipstick was removed it would shoot a strong stream of diesel/oil out.

    One of the rear brakes (left side) is nearly froze up and basically useless. I tried to "adjust" it, but the ROPs frame is in the way. Overall the brake were pretty weak IMO, but then again, I don't have much to compare to.

    The clutch either needs adjusted/repaired. When trying to engage the 540 rpm pto speed with a load on (i.e. brush hog), the clutch would not fully engage and the gears would grind. If I went to 1000 rpm first, then 540 quickly I was ok, it was also ok if there was little load on (i.e. post digger). It also got to where fully pressing the clutch pedal would not stop the pto, even with no load.

    The final straw was when the starter started acting up. It got to where it would just spin and not turn the motor over. I am guessing it was either dirt or rust on the shaft as spraying some lubricant on the starter bendix/shaft and flywheel would fix it for a short amount of time.

    I also had to chase a ground problem, ended up being the ground wire that goes to the headlight harness. The metal connector in the harness had broke and when jolted would separate. When it did, I would lose the lights (very dim) and the dash lighting/horn/turn signals would go nuts. This started happening the same time the starter acted up and thought they were related at first, but they were not.

    The gears were rather tight at first, but got better with time. As for the rust, mine does it and it has spent most of it's life indoors. The rear light lenses on mine deformed as well. I replaced the sorry battery, as it could not restart the tractor unless run long enough to recharge. I had a problem with the hour meter as well. For a while it would just bounce around, but finally started registering, but in reverse (i.e. read 9942 hours instead of 58).

    I hope you have better luck out of yours, but it was enough to convince me to go name brand domestic with a nearby dealer. Now I just need to find a replacement....

  7. #7
    Veteran Member bluechip's Avatar
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    Arkansas, USA

    Default Re: My new? Lenar 2004 254II tractor

    The FS274 lenar used common trans/hyd sump, I suspect LE254 did also but do not know for sure.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: My new? Lenar 2004 254II tractor

    Yes you are all right this is my first tractor and I was just trying to point out what I have found so that other newbieís to the tractor world know what they can expect. Iím happy with the tractor so far as I stated at the end of my post. I donít mind having to work on it as I use to work on my cars before. I can fix most problems but am worried about a major problem with the engine or transmission.

    Thanks for the info on the oil, as I did not know that about diesels. Also so far it starts every time even in cold weather and has performed every task I have placed on it although I could be better at operating the tractor.

    I will wait on changing the oil until Iím closer to 50Hr and let you all know how it is going.

    Oh and to let you all know, I do know what I have gotten for the money I have paid as I looked at many tractors before buying this one. Also the Lenar dealers have been great and have had all the parts in stock I have needed so far. (The Chevy /Yugo comment was suppose to be a joke)

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: My new? Lenar 2004 254II tractor

    Well,as far as the black oil,,,,mine doesn't get black untill its old,,,brownish,,,not blackish,,I use cheveron dello,,[not that thats got anything to do with it,,,mine is a 254 jinma with 556 hours on it. thingy

  10. #10
    New Member
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    Aug 2011
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    Tractor
    John deer 6210

    Default Re: My new? Lenar 2004 254II tractor

    Quote Originally Posted by thingy View Post
    Well,as far as the black oil,,,,mine doesn't get black untill its old,,,brownish,,,not blackish,,I use cheveron dello,,[not that thats got anything to do with it,,,mine is a 254 jinma with 556 hours on it. thingy
    Your post is very usefull to me, looking for a second smaller Tractor. Any new bug with your Lenars?

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