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Discussion Forum

420 John Deere crawler

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Brian Allen

12-27-2009 17:55:27
216.59.246.88



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Hi all!

I am Looking for some help with this!

I found a (1957?) 420 (5 roller) gas crawler with a bucket for sale near here.

What is the weight of this machine?

He is asking 3G's for it not running.

Owner states it is stored inside; is not stuck, but has no spark; hydraulics are strong and the drive system still in good repair.

What should I be looking for in this crawler?

Thanks in advance.

Brian

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M Diesel

02-02-2010 13:13:32
12.24.61.12



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to AJ., 12-27-2009 17:55:27  

Brian Allen said: (quoted from post at 15:28:27 01/09/10) I went and looked at the 420 this morning.

He stated that they did have some trouble with the main clutch sticking; not the steering clutches.

Tracks are at 75%, according to the chart I printed.

The owners did not like my $1000.00 offer; told me to think about it and call them back!

Oh well.

Brian


I think that was for the best. You will find something much better for a little more money.

A couple of things to think about with crawlers. One is that any sticking clutch means work and money. Always. And soon. Two is that small machines like these will only work loose dirt and brush. Thats it. Anything hard packed is gonna take something way bigger, or else you need a scarifier to loosen it up first. It gets old real fast when you are just scratching and clawing for every little bit you gain. For comparison, a modern D4 weighs almost as much as an early D8. Weight is everything to a non-ag crawler. And them slick pads on a loader are a real liability for anything other than scooping gravel from a pile. Rebar is cheap though.

Please don't get the impression that I'm putting them down. They are fun to play with in certain situations, but have very real limitations.

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Brian Allen

02-01-2010 14:10:48
216.59.247.248



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
I'm not sure if that 420 ever was sold, or not.

I am looking at a 440 tomorrow, rebuilt engine, drives repaired, etc, etc.

He is asking $3750.00 Canadian; I'll give the news when I get home.

Brian



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Brian Allen

01-09-2010 14:28:27
69.63.60.253



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
I went and looked at the 420 this morning.

He stated that they did have some trouble with the main clutch sticking; not the steering clutches.

Tracks are at 75%, according to the chart I printed.

The owners did not like my $1000.00 offer; told me to think about it and call them back!

Oh well.

Brian



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Brian Allen

01-03-2010 08:18:58
216.59.246.88



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
I am still going to have a look at this, as soon as the weather warms up a bit.

Just too darn cold for me here right now; -10 Celsius or 14 Fahrenheit.

Might be better if that darn wind would quit blowing.

Brian

PS Notice how tight the right track is, and how the left one is more normal.
They were having trouble with the right side steering.

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730d se

01-04-2010 14:12:38
205.188.117.76



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 01-03-2010 08:18:58  
Thanks for posting the pictures, that always helps.
Just looking at the two sides and at that distance, that is not a $3,000 unit, even if it was running.
I would still say either pass or offer him something a little more than scrap metal price to get it out of his way.
People that have these get all excited thinking they are going to get big bucks for them because people like us collect them. The problem is, we like to collect decent ones. Others are just parts donors and do not bring much money.
If you wait, you will find a nicer one and your wallet will thank you.
I am not sure that is a JD bucket, could be a Henry or other. If not JD, that brings the value down even further.

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LOU from Wi

12-30-2009 18:30:07
174.124.66.152



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
Many years ago I had a J.D.420 with a loader bucket. Paid $1,500.00 for it.knew the guy who used it to back fill his basement. went to pick it up and had to dig a pit to back the ton 1/2 truck into.Got it loaded and home. Then the right steering went out. Into the shop .J.D.shop. Another $1,500.00 to do final drives. axles was peined to hold the bearings on.Worked fine for years,then needed rollers. Ordered em(pricey).Carrage is truly a weak feature.Did a lot of work with it , Graded homesite. pushed small trees, dug footings, Carried block etc. Engine was in good shape. Issues with final drives and rollers are a fact of life. Lots of good advice on this forum. Luck to you, LOU

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Brian Allen

12-30-2009 06:51:15
216.59.246.88



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
Thanks, I will think this over.

It will probably make more sense to buy a running unit; that I can have checked over by some-one who knows what he is doing.

Happy New Year all.

Brian



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Brian Allen

12-29-2009 19:47:24
216.59.246.88



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
Thanks for the help.

I talked to the owner tonight.

he mentioned there were steering issues, so may walk away; (after I look at it.)

Happy New Year

Brian



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Brian Allen

12-29-2009 14:46:39
216.59.246.88



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
It goes against my grain to pay others to do what I "might" be able to do myself.

The satisfaction of getting the job done properly myself; is what I enjoy.

I am still leaning towards buying it, if the price suits me.

Brian



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Brian Allen

12-29-2009 07:57:47
216.59.246.88



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
I forgot to mention the reason for wanting a crawler.

I have purchased a 125 acre farm, and have about 12 acres of thornapple to clear, fence lines to clean up; about 5 acres of cedar bush to remove, and at least one large pond to dig, along with ditches to divert the water flow.

Time is not an issue (money is) and I do like those old two cylinder track machines.

(My late brother- in law had one with a blade)

Which would be better a crawler or a dozer?

Thanks again

Happy New Year!

Brian

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JMS/.MN

12-29-2009 16:17:54
209.237.107.155



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-29-2009 07:57:47  
UC is the money pit. To learn how to measure wear, go to crawlerheavendotcom.



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135 Fan

12-29-2009 10:07:08
68.149.56.30



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-29-2009 07:57:47  
For overall versatility a bucket is better. A small dozer doesn't have enough weight to do a lot of digging/heavy work and you can't carry material with it. Get a machine that's easy to get parts for but also keep in mind that crawlers can be big money pits. If money's tight, you might be better off just hiring someone to do the work in stages. Dave



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Brian Allen

12-29-2009 07:46:13
216.59.246.88



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
I live on the edge a bit; most of the equipment I buy is like this. I have had pretty good luck (so far).

I judge the people selling, to see whether I can trust them, and go from there.

I am a millwright, by trade; so tearing it apart to rebuild is not a big issue, as long as the price is right to start with.

I want something that has re-sale value, is considered a good unit, ETC.

Thanks all.

Happy New Year!

Brian

PS I would appreciate any other comments.

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730d se

12-29-2009 19:58:13
75.138.98.81



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-29-2009 07:46:13  
Brain,

I agree, the sense of satisfaction of doing the work on tractors is hard to beat.
I understand that you are a millright by trade. The only issue is, unless you are going in to business making chains, pins, bushings, pads, rails, sprockets, rollers, etc., you will have to do what everyone else does on crawler parts - buy them.
Do what you wish, just don't get suckered in to a crawler thinking you can "repair" everything.
At $3,000, you will be upside down when you get it home as soon as you spend much on it. I have found that even good honest people do not always know everything that is really wrong with a tractor or crawler. You can bet that it needs much more than you are going to want to spend on it, especially if money is any issue at all.
The only time we get "lucky" on an old crawler is when they hand you all of the receipts for the parts that were replaced.

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Lavoy

12-29-2009 15:04:35
208.107.81.158



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-29-2009 07:46:13  
IF resale is your worry, then definitely pass. Even if you do the work yourself, it is easy to bury a couple thousand into a crawler so fast it will make your head spin. Then you will have $5000 into a crawler that might still be only worth $3000.
Lavoy



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Lavoy

12-28-2009 18:58:23
208.107.81.158



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
A 420 crawler with #90 loader and a rack of 5 weights weighs right at about 9,000lbs.
Unless you can drive it around and try it out, I would pass.
Lavoy



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Billy C.

12-28-2009 14:11:55
208.148.199.28



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
My 1956 420C weighs 6060# with a heavy cage on it. It is a 4 roller. I paid $2400 for it a couple years ago, running but not moving (stripped drive shaft). It also had pratically new pins and bushings in it. Should have put new clutches and brakes on it, but I just play with it so no real problem. AS the previous poster said undercarriage repair is costly. Pins and bushings $1200-1400 installed.

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CHinNY

12-29-2009 08:14:55
64.136.26.230



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Billy C., 12-28-2009 14:11:55  
Who has pins and bushing for that machine?? I have one set left and can't find any in the WORLD !!



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730d se

12-27-2009 18:32:02
64.12.117.11



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 Re: 420 John Deere crawler in reply to Brian Allen, 12-27-2009 17:55:27  
Unless you are very familar with crawlers and under carriage wear, I would never consider buying one unless it runs.
Crawlers have many things in common with tractors, but then the under carriage and steering clutches are a world to themseves.
For instance, these crawlers use dry clutch packs for steering. They get oil soaked over time as seals begin to leak, or someone over fills it.
They will steer OK when cold, but as the packs heat up from use, you begin to lose steering control on one or both sides.
Here is the tough part. No matter what they tell you, this is not "an adjustment", there is only ONE way to fix it. You have to tear it down and replace the disk. There is a lot of labor if you do it yourself, and the disk are not cheap either.
Unless you really know this owner or know for a fact that it is just missing spark, I would wait on a good one.
Depending on the sheet metal, $3,000 is not far from what you would pay for a good running crawler.
Have you measured the chains? Look at the bushings and pins? Deep cleats are not always the sign of a good under carriage.

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