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  1. #1
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    John Deere JD400 Tractor

    Default 1969 John Deere JD400 tractor - need parts

    I just bought this fine machine, and within days it sprung a leak in an oil line. In the process of replacing leaking section of the metal oil line with a hose and clamps, I must have jiggled the connection because when I started it back up, it was leaking from the connection with the reverser. I sprung a leak at the start of the line when it plugs into the reverser.

    I called up my official John Deere parts supplier and we tracked down the right part, to find it's been out of production since 1971. I'm guessing someone has had this same problem a whole bunch of times in the last 40 years and they aren't just using old parts from dead tractors to make this repair. Any thoughts of what they used for a work around?

    I'm attaching a picture from their parts website. It's the line at the top that has a box in-line (not with a 90 degree continuation). #3
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -reverser-oil-line-gif  

  2. #2
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    Default Re: 1969 John Deere JD400 tractor - need parts


    What does the box do? Anything more than just a form of connector?

    This is the industrial 400, and not the lawn tractor 400 (I assume by the mfg. date).

  3. #3
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    John Deere JD400 Tractor

    Default Re: 1969 John Deere JD400 tractor - need parts

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post

    What does the box do? Anything more than just a form of connector?
    I asked the parts rep the same question. He assumes it's just a connector as well. Essentially, this is the hydraulic oil on the way back to the cooler, so a couple other systems tie in at this point as well. Hopping on the wagon, so to speak. The box has a large threaded part sticking off of it that another tube connects to, then just after the box is a small connection sticking up that a hose with a clamp connects to for a bleed line I believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    This is the industrial 400, and not the lawn tractor 400 (I assume by the mfg. date).
    Yes, industrial. Big and yellow. Really, it's a slightly beefed up ag tractor. It's frustrating having two hugely different tractors with the same number. It really messes with internet searches.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: 1969 John Deere JD400 tractor - need parts

    Could you replace it with a proper combination of hydraulic fittings? Take the offending piece to a GOOD hydraulic repair shop. Or a good welding/machine shop may be able to repair/replace the offending portion.
    What could possibly go wrong? *#^@*! I think it is time for a drive.

  5. #5
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    John Deere JD400 Tractor

    Default Re: 1969 John Deere JD400 tractor - need parts

    Quote Originally Posted by SixHoeBob View Post
    Could you replace it with a proper combination of hydraulic fittings? Take the offending piece to a GOOD hydraulic repair shop. Or a good welding/machine shop may be able to repair/replace the offending portion.
    I haven't dealt with hydraulics before, so I wouldn't know a good shop from a bad one. I called up one the next town over and described the problem. He said to bring the part in and they could likely do something with it.

    Personally, I'd love to replace all the metal tubes with hoses. I realize they degrade over time, but what's under there is bent, creased, beat-up, patched and ready to spring another leak at some other point in that system. I would think a series of hoses would work just as well and stand up to the stresses better than what's there now.

    So you think for the last 40 years, everyone has basically had custom parts made to replace this one whenever something went wrong?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1969 John Deere JD400 tractor - need parts

    The factory original parts would be the best and cleanest solution. But you are finding out that they may no longer be an option. The next best solution would have the steel line/block duplicated. That might cost as much as you paid for the tractor. The reality is the oil needs to get from point A to B, etc. The bigger hopefully competent hydraulic shop would hopefully have the widest selection of fittings. The object is to end up with the least number of fittings in the replacement system. I would only replace things as they fail, that will keep you busy enough. Building a new tractor out of an old one can get to be very expensive. Run it like it is fragile, and it will last longer.
    What could possibly go wrong? *#^@*! I think it is time for a drive.

  7. #7
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    John Deere JD400 Tractor

    Default Re: 1969 John Deere JD400 tractor - need parts

    I stopped by a local shop that does a lot of tractor repairs and shot the bull with them for a while. Asking them where they get parts that are no longer made and asking their opinion of various shops in the area. They gave me some good advice and pointed me in the right direction. Once I find out how much it will cost me to come up with a customized part to replace the failed one, I'll be able to decide if I want to proactively tackle more of these lines, or just wait for them to fail.

    My issue with waiting for failure, is being in the middle of a project or in the middle of winter where it's harder to pull things apart and get them fixed. There is the delay/disruption factor as well. If you have the down time, it just seems to make sense to take care of parts you think are likely to fail.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1969 John Deere JD400 tractor - need parts

    You are absolutely correct. The tractor never breaks after the job is complete, and winter is coming.
    A pro-active approach is best. I would fix what is broke, and get some use out of the machine. Not every line that looks damaged will fail, I guess I would start with the seeping ones. The first thing I always end up doing to any machine is replacing the battery with a good quality new one. Replace the cables if they are tired or have repair ends. Use felt washers, and protective spray on the posts. Make sure the generator/alternator is charging. Then at least it should start.
    What could possibly go wrong? *#^@*! I think it is time for a drive.

  9. #9
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    John Deere JD400 Tractor

    Default Re: 1969 John Deere JD400 tractor - need parts

    Having spent some time on the underside of this beast, I've noticed a couple areas that look moist and a drip forms near a seam. It *looks* like engine oil, but maybe it's just from the transmission. It all gets a bit dirty on the underside. I'm guessing from my reading through the service book that there are gaskets where things are put together and perhaps they are just wearing out after years of use. Should I assume those are things that are OK to have occasional drips from and don't need to be addressed until they get much worse?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: 1969 John Deere JD400 tractor - need parts

    I would let well enough alone. As long as you can put oil in the top faster than it runs out the bottom, you are ok. Of course that plan gets expensive too. The important thing is to keep the oil levels up near where they belong. You don't want to run a pump dry, also the proper amount of oil helps dissipate the heat
    generated by normal use.
    Cleaning with a pressure washer also makes future repairs more pleasant. Remove the hood, grill, and cover panels. Don't spray electrical components, or cut the insulation off of the wiring. Just get rid of the big piles of dirt and grease. Don't cut holes in the radiator either.
    What could possibly go wrong? *#^@*! I think it is time for a drive.

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