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Restorable L2900

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stewco422
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 13 South Carolina
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2008-11-13          157865


I am looking for a tractor for various types of work around the yard. A friend of mine has an older L2900 (1994??) that needs some work. The front pinion shaft is broken. The rear PTO works when it wants to. And the engine has an over-heating issue (unknown reason). It has been sitting for at least the last 4 years in his field. When it was parked, the loader and 3-point hitch both worked. It has about 2000+/- hours on it. What would be a fair price (to each of us) for me to take this off of his hands? I know Kubota's hold thier value. I'm pretty sure I could do the repairs myself.

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-11-14          157868


Offer to get it out of his way. Seriously. For me, I learned my lesson (which took awhile, granted) buying higher than I should have only to take a loss or not make as much as I needed or should have. My rule is pay no more than a few hundred bucks.

Doing your own work is one thing---paying for the parts at 50-60% or more of retail is another. And that is what will kill you.

Case in point: I had a New Holland skid steer that had a Perkins that needed rings. The local dealer was going to give me $5000. My buddy got wind of it and decided to give me the $5K instead. He bought $800 in parts. At the time the market was strong for equipment and he figured he could get $7-10K which was high at the time. Not so now. Every year that passes makes it worth less. Equipment prices in my area have taken a huge dive and I doubt he'll ever get his investment back.

And what I have also seen in this area is used, old tractors used to fetch high prices. Then dealers started offering deep discounts, zero-interest rates--all that made used tractors nosedive in price.

I recently traded $100 in excavating work for a 1947 Farmall A thinking I should easily get $800. Wrong. I was offered scrap prices of $100. Eventually I got $300 only because a guy had one identical to it that he wanted parts for. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5242 South Carolina
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2008-11-14          157869


First welcome neighbor.

No price expert but for my nickel, you could be spending serious money in the PTO and in the engine as overheating could be caused by serious problem or simple one. It could also have done a lot of damage even if the cause was simple. At same time sitting is not helping such as cylinder walls and other machined parts and four years for rain on it and into it. He may be insulted but too me $2,000 the top I would consider.

If he sells it and when all repairs are made and you find they were on the low side in cost, then pay him another $1,000 or $2,000. You can be sure if you open it up to find a cracked block you will not then be able to ask for a refund.

Before you buy it, look at all fluids carefully and you may even wish to open the engine and transmission drains to look for water there.

Just wondering, how do you know the PTO worked when it wanted to? Is this his memory and has it been fired up and used recently?

It is possible both the PTO and overheating are due to him using too large a cutter or such on the tractor to where it damaged the PTO clutch and over loaded the engine. But the damage still would be there even if the load were removed.

Good thing you are a tractor mechanic. Breaking a tractor into is not something I would enjoy nor have tools for.
....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2008-11-14          157873


I've restored quite a few old Farmalls in the past, so I come from experience here. Stitting in a field for four years hasn't done the tractor any favors, along with everyting from cracked blocks to etc., etc. My experience is that if he gave it to you it may still be a money pit. Your chioce, but experience would tell me to say thanks but no thanks. Frank. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7209 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2008-11-14          157875


As Frank and EW touched on, it may be a BIG job, it might not.

However, the big question mark in all of this is "How much is your time worth?".

I've seen people buy junk and spend (literally) thousands of hours rebuilding it, but it was a hobby, something to do instead of watching television. Case in point, a neighbour at my summer place was given an old pony (small size) road grader. He spent two entire winters rebuilding that thing from end to end, top to bottom. Right down to buying a lathe to make replacement parts for ones that were too far gone.

In the end he had a nice machine, but he could also never sell it and expect anything more than about $0.25/hour for his wages of doing the machine up either.

Best of luck. ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2008-11-14          157876


Thr trem "Restored" has many meanings, I've seen people spray can a paint job around old faded decals, maybe patch a fuel leak, etc., and call that restored. Then on the other end like Murf's friend with the grader. I've got two fully restored "H" Farmalls and a Farmall cub that are total inside and out, new tires, etc., I really doan'r know how much I spent, but a ton more than they can ever be worth to anyone else. Frank. ....

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stewco422
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 13 South Carolina
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2008-11-14          157885


Basically, I'm looking at this in the "nice to have" list, not the "need to have." I have used this tractor many times, which, unfortunately, is how I know that the pinion shaft is broken. The PTO would sometimes "engage" and sometimes not. We were told by someone that there is something like a woodruff key that may need to be replaced (old one sheared???). When I operated it, I had to keep an eye on the temp gauge. I'd really only "need" to have it all working when my wife and I build a new house in the woods and I need land cleared a few years down the road. If I got it from him, I'd put it in my side of the garage, park my truck outside and work on it when I had time. ....

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Restorable L2900

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-11-15          157890


I haven't seen you property that needs to be cleared but if it's anything nmore than light brush you will end up destroying it. My New Holland is about the size of yours (33hp) and I use it commercially. I do lite to medium land clearing---and the tractor is not used OTHER than to do final-final cleanup.

And you'll need to get the machine running, perfected and ready for when the house is to be started. Unless, that is, time and delays aren't factors.

I hate to say it--and I could be wrong--but this could be one of those coulda-woulda-shoulda things.

My suggestion: If you do buy it, look at it as an investment: Don't get attached to it. The love you put into it may not be appreciated dollar-wise by the next owner. Be as frugal and thrifty as possible--but do it right. If you get too far into and find too much will be spent on it--off it. If you see a light at the end of the proverbial tunnel--and it's not a train--continue fixing it and then off it at a good price. Take the proceeds and put that toward a new tractor--with a warranty, zero interest and plenty of trouble-free life. ....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6898 Waterville New York
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2008-11-15          157892


Most of us do like to get dirty so lets look at this to find the real value. This unit when all is right should retail around the 10,000 mark plus or minus on cosmetics with all working..

The over heating, head gasket, possible radiator cleaning, possibly 1,500 to 2,500.

Front pinion, not sure here but lets just put 1,000 for it.

The PTO, let's throw 1500 at that ofr a random number, if it is a full split you might just do a clutch job too!

So that takes care of over 5,000 dollars of worth of value!

Could you get by cheaper, sure you could but you also might find more that you might want to take care of while you are there! Don't short change yourself on your time that this will take or figure your time is free! You only get life one breath at a time!

....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2008-11-15          157895


I just noticed you said on my "side of the garage"

Rut-roh! One might get the indication wifey could have more to say about this decision? :) ....

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stewco422
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 13 South Carolina
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2008-11-16          157908


Well, maybe if she's lucky, she could be sharing the garage with something painted orange and blue, not just the boxes that are currently there!!! ....

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mchmj1
Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 12 sc
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2010-02-06          168433


Good dialogue and advice, but I have a question about something that I didn't see addressed here, "the hours". Isn't that a large amount of hours; like slap worn out or do Kubota's still run great after 2,000 hours? I recently looked at a L2900 with 2,000 hours that's for sale that is running, but that amount of hours concerns me! Just asking?

Thanks ....

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auerbach
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2168 West of Toronto
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2010-02-07          168439


My similar tractor has twice those hours and works like new. Mind you, it's used regularly and maintained by the book, and non-engine bits have been replaced or repaired. But the total engine work has been one minor valve adjustment.

If he's a friend, you could offer to fix it, then get it evaluated, and pay him, say, 80% of what it's worth, less your outlay in time and materials. That way, you get paid for your time and get a decent deal without taking much risk. If after starting it proves to be not worth continuing, one of you could part it out. ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7209 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2010-02-07          168441


First off, welcome to the forum!

Have a read through the thread below. We run every machine in the fleet well past double that many hours.

I know of machines we've sold out of the fleet that are still in service today and are now well past 12,000 hours. They're still going strong.

Maintenance is the key. I know of people who have killed machines in under 1,000 hours also.

Best of luck. ....


Link:   Tractorpoint thread on Engine Life

 
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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2010-02-07          168447


This may be in that thread, but my dealer showed me a book for resale and trade-in prices that stated 600 hours per year is the norm. 2000 hrs would be less than 4 years by that figure. ....

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