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  1. #1
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    Kubota L5030 HSTC

    Default John Deere 655 Crawler Bucket repair

    I am looking at buying a JD 655 Crawler Loader and the bucket attachments are worn enough to cause small visible movement when using the bucket. I can't tell if it is the pins or the holes in the links/bucket that are worn. Can this be repaired if it is the mounting holes that are worn or do I have to find new/used replacement links and or bucket? Can you estimate the cost of the repair if it is possible? How available and how much would the replacement linkages or bucket cost if need be? I have attached photos showing the links and bucket.

    Any other info (good or bad) about this make/model crawler is also welcome.
    S/N T00655X378737

    Thank You!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -655-jpg   -655-2-jpg  

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: John Deere 655 Crawler Bucket repair

    Unless they are about to fall out I would not worry about those pins. There is a lot of steel around them.
    The thing that will wear-out and cause lot$ of problem$ is the undercarriage... how do those pins look? KennyV

  3. #3
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    Default Re: John Deere 655 Crawler Bucket repair

    Thanks Kenny,

    I'm no expert, but overall it looked like a 7000 hour undercarriage to me. The pins were not what I would call round but they didn't seem too bad. Both sides of the pins were wore so I think they have already been turned. The pads were excellent, and the sproket still had a little bit of a flat spot at the tips. Could this still be the orginal undercarriage with 7000hrs? How much would you estimate to rebuild an undercarriage on this machine?

    I drove it and it tracked straight and turned well. Does this mean that the hydro/drives are more than likely good?

    The engine started right up and power output seemed good while I was digging with it. No smoke. I didn't see any leaks anywhere, which worries me. I expected to see some leaks. Perhaps the owner has cleaned it up real good trying to hide something big.

    Thats about as detailed as I can inspect one of these things. So am I on the right track here or do I need to dig deeper to determine the condition?

    The machine has 7000 hours and is priced at $11.8K.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    Default Re: John Deere 655 Crawler Bucket repair

    Quote Originally Posted by Smitty 747 View Post
    Thanks Kenny,
    Both sides of the pins were wore so I think they have already been turned. Could this still be the orginal undercarriage with 7000hrs? How much would you estimate to rebuild an undercarriage on this machine?


    Sure that is not a unreasonable hours for that machine. If it had reasonable maintainance should have a lot of life left in it...
    your local dealer may be able to fill you in on it's past history, they can also give you a good evaluation and the rebuild cost$...
    What type of life was it in for the past 7000...

    what are you planing to do with it? Put it to work or just do your own personal stuff...

  5. #5
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    Default Re: John Deere 655 Crawler Bucket repair

    Undercarriage repair depends on what needs to be done when. You could just replace the chains if the pads are still good or have the chain repinned if the chains are still good. Rollers and sprockets can be changed one at a time or by the set. So, somewhere's between 2 and 8K. Do yourself a huge favor and pay a heavy equipment mechanic to check it out for you. It will be money well spent. Do they have the maintenance records for it?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: John Deere 655 Crawler Bucket repair

    Quote Originally Posted by tlbuser View Post
    Do yourself a huge favor and pay a heavy equipment mechanic to check it out for you. It will be money well spent. Do they have the maintenance records for it?


    Words of wisdom, these machines can get VERY expensive. I have seen folks end up with a fairly decent machine, but couldn't afford parts, now they own lawn ornaments. The ole saying go over it with a "fine tooth comb" applys here. Plus if you get a HEM to check things over he should be able to tell what it may need in the future and also give some other pointers that you'll need.

  7. #7
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    IH Farmall 656 gas/ IH 240 Utility/ 2, Super C Farmalls/ 2, Farmall A's/ Farmall BN/McCormick-Deering OS-6/McCormick-Deering O-4/ '36 Farmall F-12/ 480 Case hoe. '65 Ford 2000 3 cyl., 4 spd. w/3 spd Aux. Trans

    Default Re: John Deere 655 Crawler Bucket repair

    Those arms should have bushings in them. As long as it hasn't worn to the point of wearing through them, you've got it made. If it's not slopping too bad, just use a good high pressure grease in the pins..

    As mentioned, if your using it around your own place, it will last a long time. If it's for a business, just save some of the profit for upkeep...

    If it comes to replacing the undercarriage, I would definitely suggest looking into the rails/chains with the alligator type connection. It's sure better than beating out a masterlink.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: John Deere 655 Crawler Bucket repair

    Thank you all for your inputs. That's exactly what i need is advice from experience. I've read many previous posts about dozers/loaders and I am very thankful for TBN.

    I called my local dealer to ask about major repair risks and the costs associated with them for this machine. The basic answer for all of it was "I'm not sure, I would have to look that up" or "it depends". I did actually get a number for a remanufactured engine (15-20K). I guess that my future business was not enough to motivate this guy to put any effort into finding answers for me.

    The machine is about an 1.3 hours away I was given an estimate of $1000 for them to drive 1.3 hours one way and do an inspection including oil samples. It would cost extra if I wanted them to check pressures. Seems very high to me. Could be worth it I guess.

    I also gave them the serial number and asked them to tell me anything that he could about the machine or service history. He said that he would look it up and call me back. That was 2 days ago with no response yet.

    Overall as usual I have found myself disappointed with customer service. I'm sure they do good work when you are paying them. Today I am going to try to find some small town mechanic to help. Seems like the hardest part of this job is going to be buying the machine.

    I plan to use the machine for personal use. Here is a list:

    Move a bunch of dirt to build up a gravel driveway approach and culvert
    Dig up an old block foundation
    Break up an old concrete driveway and pad
    Dig out an old dangerous seep well
    Clear about 1/2 acre of trees

    The "economy" estimates that I got for all of this work was $13-15K. The estimates I got to do the job "right" were around $20K. So there began the motivation. I hate paying labor for something that I would enjoy doing myself.

    If I get real motivated I may dig a pond in the 1/2 to 1 acre size. Seems that the great "Eddie Walker" has infected me too. I love that guy.

    I wouldn't mind putting $10K into this machine if I ended up with a reliable machine in the end....

    Worst case scenario...how much can a guy get selling these machines for scrap or parts?

    Off subject here a bit--I love DIY projects. Plus nobody ever does as good of work as the person who owns the project. Hired work has the huge disadvantage of requiring a profit to be made. I've often found that extra time and effort are sacrificed for profit resulting in sub-standard results. As an example, all four contractors said there was no need to compact my driveway approach which will be nearly 8ft high when complete. I found this suspect from what little research I have done on the subject. Perhaps this soil does not need compacted, but if I do it myself, you can be assured that I will rent a compactor for a day or two. Save money and do it right (or over do it) the first time.

    Thanks again for any advice.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member jimmysisson's Avatar
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    Default Re: John Deere 655 Crawler Bucket repair

    A crawler loader is different from a dozer - basically smaller grousers on the tracks, and the bucket is always in plane with the tracks. On a dozer, the blade is (usually) adjustable for tilt and angle. That lets you do grading, like driveway work, a lot quicker and easier. For pushing out stumps, the view might be limited by the bucket.
    For filling in a well or digging a pond, the bucket is very useful. What's your experience operating? If not much, you will learn a lot. That may be worth $10K. You may not want to learn a lot about maintenance, so the check-over is crucial. I'd be really tempted, but is there any way you could run that machine and a dozer for a little while to see what you need?
    Jim
    "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly" Mae West

  10. #10
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    Default Re: John Deere 655 Crawler Bucket repair

    Jimmysission,
    I have no real experience operating heavy equipment. I have however done quite a bit of digging and grading with my tractor FEL and blades. I have tested operated 1 dozer and 2 track loaders while shopping for equipment. I was surprised at how similar it is to operating my small tractor.

    Thanks for pointing out the different capabilities and limitations. This type of information is invaluable while trying to make my decisions. I am torn on whether to buy a dozer or a loader. I am leaning toward the loader mostly because it seems to be able to do everything with at least mediocre results were as the dozer really cannot do some tasks. Another thing is that my driveway is mostly very flat and I can build the ditches and do final grading with my tractor. The tricky part of the driveway is building the approach. The first 50 feet needs to be brought up 8 ft to be level with the county road. I have plenty of dirt about 150ft away. I believe that I could use either a dozer or a loader to move the dirt this distance. So once again I am leaning towards choosing the loader because of its versatility, not because either one would be better for my current specific tasks. In a year or two I may be digging a basement for my house. Here the loader would be the tool of choice. Hard decision.

    I am still thinking about hiring it all done as well. The maintenance risks with buying an old machine really are the only thing stopping me from pulling the trigger right now. I said it before; I don't mind buying this machine for $12k and then dump 10k into it. However, if I buy it for $12k and have to dump $20k into it then I would definitely regret the purchase although I feel that it is unlikely to have to put $20k into this machine. I hear people throw those large numbers around but reading other threads I have yet to find an engine repair or undercarriage repair that cost more than 5-8K. Perhaps I am naive. I believe that I could fix most anything that goes wrong with a piece of equipment but like you said, do I want to learn HE maintenance.

    One thing for sure is that it really helps to hear other peoples experiences and opinions.

    All comments are welcome. Thanks again.

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