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Aquired a retired Ford New Holland 555B TLB

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Join Date: Mar 2014
Posts: 2 TN/GA/NC Tri-State area
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster

2014-03-29          189842

Last week I bought a used/abused 4WD 1988 Ford/New Holland 555B loader/backhoe with enclosed heated cab, for use around the homestead. It has a lot of wear & tear, but still operates ok. I was pleasantly suprised to find that she has the torque converter drive instead of a clutch. That info was missing from the listing.

I joined this forum with the hope of finding other like-minded individuals that have purchased retired construction equipment for homestead use. I hope I'm posting this in the right section, since she is a loader with wheels ;-)

I used to have a 4WD New Holland TC-25 with a loader and backhoe, but it was just not up to the task of digging in this rocky ground. It was crushed by a large tree that was blown over during a storm.

The first thing that I noticed with the 555B is that none of the guages on the instrument panel are functional. When she was delivered, the battery was low, so we had to jump her off just to get her off of the trailer. The alternator output was not making it to the battery, the fusible link from the alternator was open. I replaced it temporarily with a short length of #10 stranded wire. I intend to troubleshoot and repair all of the electrical issues, but it may take some time. There are so many wires unplugged and hanging loose, it will take time to sort it out.

I don't yet have a service manual, have been looking around for one that I can afford, but I am comfortable with working on things without manuals. The truck driver that delivered it said they used starting ether to get her started... I prefer something safer for diesel engines, so I gave her a shot of throttle body cleaner and she fired right up.

I was told that she was fleet maintained and that the engine was overhauled 2 years ago. Engine oil is clean and the oil/fuel filters were changed less than 6 months ago. Hydraulic oil and coolant levels are good. All grease points are well greased. She fires up and runs fine, though in the extreme cold weather we've had she is hard to start unless I give her a small shot of throttle body cleaner. I think that is related to the electrical issues, ie no operational glow plug.

The most major issues that I have found are some worn out bushings/pins on the loader bucket and some on the backhoe. Minor issues are electrical, missing cab door, a few missing windows, and some rusted out spots on the cab. I spent some time over the past week taking out trees and grading to get familiar with how she operates.

I don't plan to work her too hard, but I did have a need to get something to replace the TC-25 that was totalled. I have been putting off a lot of work around here because of no machine to do it. I rented a machine 2 years ago, a Ford 575E, but it broke down 3 times with hydraulic pump issues. It took me almost a week to do 2 days worth of work, waiting for repairs.

Thank you for the forum, and I hope to make a lot of friends here.


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