Most important thing is to remember it is a big old beast, won,t work in soft ground and is hard to move unless you have a low boy type tractor trailer. Large loaders WITHOUT 4&1 buckets are really cheap at auction now. Saw a lot newer cat 963 rear engine loader with good bottom sell last week at auction for less than 10 thousand. Your 977 would need to be priced pretty cheap to make it atractive. Crank it up and operatet if for a few minutes . Listen for unususal grabbing in the rear end as you steer it. Steering clutches were really about the only thing that you could hear before they went out. You could pull the final drive fill plugs and look for water or metal in the final fluid. Being heavy they also tend to whip out the front idlers ,look for play there. E-mail is open, have owned several ot the beast. jm.
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