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Jinma JM-354 Review

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Great Value for the Mechanically Inclined Posted by Tim Berframe on 01/10/2013

Bought new with a Koyker FEL and Chinese backhoe. From day 1 the backhoe was a major problem. It never worked right and after a few hydraulic oil soaked days trying to get it to work. I spent over $200 to plumb it through the FEL using the front pump instead of the PTO pump. The backhoe works great now.

Never having owned a tractor before, I am always amazed at the raw power this little 4 cyl engine puts out. The backhoe could easily flip the tractor or destroy itself if you aren't careful. Plowing snow and moving dirt (I also have a box blade that can be used to bulldoze in reverse) is real easy. The 4wd is awesome in deep snow or deep wet clay.

Like everything Chinese, anything rubber on this needs to be replaced---boots, air hoses, every single O-ring in the backhoe, seat covers, steering wheel, etc. I am guessing I only have 300 hours on it because the hour meter has been stuck on 8 since the first day. I have replaced a shift fork in the transmission. The 4wd / 2wd lever broke, the headlight plastic housing that the bulbs lock into crumbled so I have used silicone to glue the bulbs in. The hood shocks never worked.

I have spent a lot of time pulling wrenches. I finally started replacing nuts and bolts wherever possible because it seems the Chinese nuts will not stay tight no matter how many times I tighten them.

The electric wiring is Mickey-Mouse. There are many light gauge wires dangling in places where they get caught on things. This engine is miserable to get started when it is below -20C. Many times I have blown the main 30amp fuse trying to get the plugs hot (and yes the inline water heater works great but still not enough). The alternator works intermittently. I am surprised that the original battery is still going strong.

When this works, it is an amazing value. In boom-town Alberta, nothing used is cheap and I'd rather work on little things around the periphery of the tractor than on motors and transmissions and things on old used equipment. Despite the troubles, it is still better value than old used equipment in my location.

Model year: 2007 Date Purchased: 01/10/2013 Number of Hours: 300
Pros: Cheap, powerful, 4WD. Cons: Electrics, plastics, rubber very poor quality, vibrates itself apart. Type of User: Homeowner 1-10 Acres Location: Canada Outside of the U.S. I also considered buying: Bobcat 316
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