bobcat for 500 dollars.. Should I buy it or ??

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wkheathjr

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Hi,
As you can tell, I am new to this forum seeking information and advice from the wise! ;-) Few years ago, I moved from Washington DC to NC so I could start few businesses and I had few resources down there that I don't have up north in DC. I own 54 acres of land so I sold trees to timber company. In 2004, I rented a bulldozer and cleared about 8 acres of land myself. Of course, it was quite expensive. I still want to clear some more lands so I could start some business such as ATV Dirt Drag Racing and few other events. Not long ago, I saw how someone used a small machine you call Skid Steer and he managed to clear two acres of land using the machine smaller than my SUV and it was a Bobcat skid steer. I talked with him and he said that he don't do it for a living so it can't be that difficult to see this small machine capable of carrying two large trees (about 8 feet each) cross the field and mount them up so he could sell the tree. And he cleared the land except for stumps all over. He said he rented it 90 dollars for a day. Needless to say, I was impressed and wrestled with my decision of renting one or buy a used one with my mortgage loan so I could clean up 50 acres worth of limbs and debris. This has been going on for few weeks now. Today, I saw a beat-up bobcat sitting in front of car shop so I stopped and looked at it. The owner of car shop came out front and asked me if I wanted it? He would sell it to me 500 dollars "AS IS!". I asked him what was wrong with it? He said that starter is missing, 2-cycle pump needs to be replaced, new belts, and few things. He bought it 500 dollars with plan to fix it up, but he doesn't realize I drive by his store everyday that it wasn't there for too long so I am not sure what really is wrong with it? It is possible that the buyer bought it thought he could fix it only to realize he can't fix it, or he just don't have time to fix it because he got a lot of cars to do in his shop. So I went to get my uncle's friend Jimmy who lives next door to me. He used to be a heavy-machine mechanic (excavator, bulldozer, etc) and I brought him over to look at it and he said that he never worked on that machine but it doesn't look hard to fix compared to excavator and bulldozer that he thinks we can fix it ourselves if we can get the owner manual. I browsed for new engine price and find many of them around 2,000 ballpark. Many parts seem to cost just as much as you would pay for car parts. So should I take the chance and pay 500 dollars for it then work on it some and get it going? Or just forget it and shop around for used one?? Thank in advance for responding to this post, and I apology if my english is bad as it is my second language. Thank for reading!
 

siduramaxde

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I would not buy this machine because it will cost more to fix than the machine is worth. You could do what I did. The first bobcat I bought was a 1998 863 with about 2000 hrs. on it and I paid $12,500. I kept the machine for 2 years and put about 250 hours on it and then sold it for $12,000. So I got the use of the machine for 2 years and it only cost me $500 plus fuel. Durring the time I had the machine I never had to replace any parts, I only had to work on it once and that was to tighten a hose. So if I were you I would look for a machine that is about 5-7 years old and have about 1700-2000 hrs. and is in good mechanical shape. You should be able to do about the same thing I did.

Good luck.
 

skidsteer.ca

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I would not buy this machine because it will cost more to fix than the machine is worth. You could do what I did. The first bobcat I bought was a 1998 863 with about 2000 hrs. on it and I paid $12,500. I kept the machine for 2 years and put about 250 hours on it and then sold it for $12,000. So I got the use of the machine for 2 years and it only cost me $500 plus fuel. Durring the time I had the machine I never had to replace any parts, I only had to work on it once and that was to tighten a hose. So if I were you I would look for a machine that is about 5-7 years old and have about 1700-2000 hrs. and is in good mechanical shape. You should be able to do about the same thing I did.

Good luck.
For 500 I wound not expect to get more then a few good parts. Parts machines needing new engine bring 3000 or so just for parts. Unless you are very good at fixing and intend to spend as much of more time rebuilding it then using it, I'd just forget it.
If he only wants 500, its either to old, or to wore out to bother with. At some point a machine gets obsolete (ie gas engine- expensive for fuel, no quick attach- not handy, non hydro drives etc
Spend 6 to 10 k on one that runs and use it. has a std quick attach bucket and hydro drives.
Resale won't be a problem as long as it runs.
Regards
Ken
 

Tazza

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For 500 I wound not expect to get more then a few good parts. Parts machines needing new engine bring 3000 or so just for parts. Unless you are very good at fixing and intend to spend as much of more time rebuilding it then using it, I'd just forget it.
If he only wants 500, its either to old, or to wore out to bother with. At some point a machine gets obsolete (ie gas engine- expensive for fuel, no quick attach- not handy, non hydro drives etc
Spend 6 to 10 k on one that runs and use it. has a std quick attach bucket and hydro drives.
Resale won't be a problem as long as it runs.
Regards
Ken
It really depends on what you expect to get out of it. Old worn out machines are still ok to do small jobs, but you are hoping to do tree clearing which isn't a small job.
Do you know what model it is? what sort of engine, petrol or diesel?
You should be able to get spare parts for this machine easily enough, it just depends on the cost. If you aren't mechanically minded forget about it, the cost to get it repaired by a *professional* will cost you way more than its worth. I'm not sure what the “2-cycle pump” is, i guess its the hydrostatic pump. If it is, this alone is worth in the ball park of $5,000.
If you had another machine of the same model, it would be worth the $500 just for spare parts.
 

wkheathjr

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It really depends on what you expect to get out of it. Old worn out machines are still ok to do small jobs, but you are hoping to do tree clearing which isn't a small job.
Do you know what model it is? what sort of engine, petrol or diesel?
You should be able to get spare parts for this machine easily enough, it just depends on the cost. If you aren't mechanically minded forget about it, the cost to get it repaired by a *professional* will cost you way more than its worth. I'm not sure what the “2-cycle pump” is, i guess its the hydrostatic pump. If it is, this alone is worth in the ball park of $5,000.
If you had another machine of the same model, it would be worth the $500 just for spare parts.
It's a 631 with diesel engine (4cyl) but I cant say what year or how many hours. Yes, it definitely looks like it needs a lot of works. The guy next door name Jimmy said we can fix it no problem because he knows how to fix excavator and bulldozer that he can tell this one is really much like a lawn mower to him. I assume that 631 should be strong enough to do a big job like picking up limbs and debris? I have thought about getting a loan to buy used bobcat and work on the land until it is done and resell it, too. P.S. Why is it that my post isn't showing a separate line (enter)? I tried HTML code and it wouldn't work either.
 

Tazza

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It's a 631 with diesel engine (4cyl) but I cant say what year or how many hours. Yes, it definitely looks like it needs a lot of works. The guy next door name Jimmy said we can fix it no problem because he knows how to fix excavator and bulldozer that he can tell this one is really much like a lawn mower to him. I assume that 631 should be strong enough to do a big job like picking up limbs and debris? I have thought about getting a loan to buy used bobcat and work on the land until it is done and resell it, too. P.S. Why is it that my post isn't showing a separate line (enter)? I tried HTML code and it wouldn't work either.
Ok, firstly your formatting.
Login and click up the top where it says profile. Tick the box that says “use HTML editor (free text box)” It should be that simple.
The 631's have a lifting capacity of 1,100 lbs and tip at 2,100 lbs. I think these run a 2 cylinder Deutz engine. The engine is really good, but pricy to get parts for and noisy. I have a spare from my old 731 thats pretty well worn out.
It won't lift as much as a 7 or 8 series loader, but if your just moving trees you will just have to make more trips.
Fixing this machine will indeed be no problem, but the costs of the parts is the issue. You sound pretty keen on getting it and repairing it. As long as you know that it will take time and money to get it going again, i say go for it. Its alot of fun getting a dead machine going again but at times it will get frustrating but in the end its worth it. Just don't hesitate asking us questions, if there is a problem, someone in here has most likley had it and fixed it.
Let us know if you do indeed get it and how its all going.
 

wkheathjr

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Ok, firstly your formatting.
Login and click up the top where it says profile. Tick the box that says “use HTML editor (free text box)” It should be that simple.
The 631's have a lifting capacity of 1,100 lbs and tip at 2,100 lbs. I think these run a 2 cylinder Deutz engine. The engine is really good, but pricy to get parts for and noisy. I have a spare from my old 731 thats pretty well worn out.
It won't lift as much as a 7 or 8 series loader, but if your just moving trees you will just have to make more trips.
Fixing this machine will indeed be no problem, but the costs of the parts is the issue. You sound pretty keen on getting it and repairing it. As long as you know that it will take time and money to get it going again, i say go for it. Its alot of fun getting a dead machine going again but at times it will get frustrating but in the end its worth it. Just don't hesitate asking us questions, if there is a problem, someone in here has most likley had it and fixed it.
Let us know if you do indeed get it and how its all going.
Ok, I editted my profile so the layout looks different. It should work now.. Thank for helping on that!
I have to admit that someone made a comment that raised some concern. The hydrostatic pump that could cost about 6,000 dollars. if this is true and the 631 is missing it then that's something for me to reconsider.
Let's face two options here that I recently thought of...
A) I could borrow the money and buy used one for around 4,000 to 8,000 (That's how much they are selling out here) then make a payment of around 200-250 a month for few months. Could be 1,000 dollars in monthly payment before I resell it to pay off the loan.
B) Buy this 631 for 500 dollars, sell my old 92 S-10 to use the money to buy parts. Put some muscle to work sweating and burning/cutting hands. Maybe get it going, maybe NOT! Be lucky if get it going and make it reliable like a workhorse, but it might break too many times. What's it marketing value for rebuilding it back from the death??
Right now, Option A sounds better to me. Just get it sometime in the fall when construction companies slow down and sell old one just to get rid of some financing burden and I can work when it is cool/cold outside. After I get done with it, there will be a new construction or landscape company wanting to buy old and cheap one that they buy it off my hand and I pay off the loan. I get to keep my old truck to do some yardworks because 50+ acres is a lot and my truck could be handy until I get a tractor.
 

Tazza

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Ok, I editted my profile so the layout looks different. It should work now.. Thank for helping on that!
I have to admit that someone made a comment that raised some concern. The hydrostatic pump that could cost about 6,000 dollars. if this is true and the 631 is missing it then that's something for me to reconsider.
Let's face two options here that I recently thought of...
A) I could borrow the money and buy used one for around 4,000 to 8,000 (That's how much they are selling out here) then make a payment of around 200-250 a month for few months. Could be 1,000 dollars in monthly payment before I resell it to pay off the loan.
B) Buy this 631 for 500 dollars, sell my old 92 S-10 to use the money to buy parts. Put some muscle to work sweating and burning/cutting hands. Maybe get it going, maybe NOT! Be lucky if get it going and make it reliable like a workhorse, but it might break too many times. What's it marketing value for rebuilding it back from the death??
Right now, Option A sounds better to me. Just get it sometime in the fall when construction companies slow down and sell old one just to get rid of some financing burden and I can work when it is cool/cold outside. After I get done with it, there will be a new construction or landscape company wanting to buy old and cheap one that they buy it off my hand and I pay off the loan. I get to keep my old truck to do some yardworks because 50+ acres is a lot and my truck could be handy until I get a tractor.
You can check of the pump is missing my lifting the cab to see if there are a bunch of hoses that are just sitting under the seat. I'm really not sure what the pumps cost, but from what i was told (in .au $$) the rotating groups are 1,500 each, the swash plates are about 700 each. Each pump has 2 of each of these parts, one for the left one for the right. The hydrostatic pump is pretty well bullet proof, its rare for them to go bad. These machines did have a bronze filter that was hidden and most people never knew to clean/replace them. They gave the impression the pump was dead, it would squeel like a stuck pig and move very slowly. Replacing the filter restored full operation. My 731 has the same pump and it has done at least 10,000 hours and it still works great!
As for re-sale value, its really hard to say. It may be an old machine, but if it still runs well you should get 4-5k i would guess.
The only dead machines i have bought i had a good idea that they were running before they died.
 

m610

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You can check of the pump is missing my lifting the cab to see if there are a bunch of hoses that are just sitting under the seat. I'm really not sure what the pumps cost, but from what i was told (in .au $$) the rotating groups are 1,500 each, the swash plates are about 700 each. Each pump has 2 of each of these parts, one for the left one for the right. The hydrostatic pump is pretty well bullet proof, its rare for them to go bad. These machines did have a bronze filter that was hidden and most people never knew to clean/replace them. They gave the impression the pump was dead, it would squeel like a stuck pig and move very slowly. Replacing the filter restored full operation. My 731 has the same pump and it has done at least 10,000 hours and it still works great!
As for re-sale value, its really hard to say. It may be an old machine, but if it still runs well you should get 4-5k i would guess.
The only dead machines i have bought i had a good idea that they were running before they died.
I like the cheap machines ! Only buy one if you have mechanical ability and will not get upset if the machine cannot be fixed. Getting a low cost machine is what I call "time payments" As time goes by you pay in installments by the parts you buy. I did help a friend get a half-dead Bobcat 743 when I lived in the country, and we patched it up and he used it around the house for years, it was a great machine but always had issues. and it was bought for 900.00 from a horse breeder because it had gone into the lake and was a mess. We took it all apart, and even painted it and I made some of the parts he needed on my lathe. He loved the machine and had put another 400 dollars in hoses, filters, parts, bearings and so forth. I really enjoyed that machine and was very upset when someone stole it from him! No wonder I always had my Bobcat in dirty rusty shape, and no one took it. If I ever found such a deal on a 743 I would grab it. it's still my favorite Bobcat .
 

Tazza

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I like the cheap machines ! Only buy one if you have mechanical ability and will not get upset if the machine cannot be fixed. Getting a low cost machine is what I call "time payments" As time goes by you pay in installments by the parts you buy. I did help a friend get a half-dead Bobcat 743 when I lived in the country, and we patched it up and he used it around the house for years, it was a great machine but always had issues. and it was bought for 900.00 from a horse breeder because it had gone into the lake and was a mess. We took it all apart, and even painted it and I made some of the parts he needed on my lathe. He loved the machine and had put another 400 dollars in hoses, filters, parts, bearings and so forth. I really enjoyed that machine and was very upset when someone stole it from him! No wonder I always had my Bobcat in dirty rusty shape, and no one took it. If I ever found such a deal on a 743 I would grab it. it's still my favorite Bobcat .
Thats true, i spent around 4,000 on my 743 that was burnt out. I spent about another 6,000 on it plus many many hours. It has turned out to be a great machine. If you don't have any mechanical experience or the tools for the job, don't even try it. If i have to buy new genuine parts i would suspect my bill would have at least trippled.
If you have the time and gear, i say go fir it. Its very rewarding when it all comes together and works as good or better than you expected.
 

m610

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Thats true, i spent around 4,000 on my 743 that was burnt out. I spent about another 6,000 on it plus many many hours. It has turned out to be a great machine. If you don't have any mechanical experience or the tools for the job, don't even try it. If i have to buy new genuine parts i would suspect my bill would have at least trippled.
If you have the time and gear, i say go fir it. Its very rewarding when it all comes together and works as good or better than you expected.
Tazza, if you put that much into it you basically have a new machine! The 743 is a nice Bobcat, and if it's not rusted out should be relatively easy to make right. The machine we worked with had rust, mechanical problems and a tired engine. We salvaged a lot of stuff from tractor junk, and I have a machine shop at home as well as electric furnace so I could cast and machine some pretty nice stuff on the cheap. Didn't make one trip to the Bobcat dealer, and probably never want to. Burden's surplus center came in handy, as well as the airport scrap dumpster. I was looking at a 763 for sale for 8,000 recently and the guy told me his last repair for a directional valve was 2,000 dollars! If I can't fix something myself I won't own it. It would be cheaper to rent as necessary. So far my favorite machines are Bobcat M610 ( love it!) Bobcat 743 , I like the look of that Bobcat more than any other, Case 1845 ( used them when I had my first job) and whenever I get to chance to run a skid loader I am there. They are my #1 favorite type of all purpose machinery. After rebuilding your burned out Bobcat I bet you're an expert at that machine. It will probably never break down because you can sense when problems are starting. That's how it's been with my M-610
 

Tazza

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Tazza, if you put that much into it you basically have a new machine! The 743 is a nice Bobcat, and if it's not rusted out should be relatively easy to make right. The machine we worked with had rust, mechanical problems and a tired engine. We salvaged a lot of stuff from tractor junk, and I have a machine shop at home as well as electric furnace so I could cast and machine some pretty nice stuff on the cheap. Didn't make one trip to the Bobcat dealer, and probably never want to. Burden's surplus center came in handy, as well as the airport scrap dumpster. I was looking at a 763 for sale for 8,000 recently and the guy told me his last repair for a directional valve was 2,000 dollars! If I can't fix something myself I won't own it. It would be cheaper to rent as necessary. So far my favorite machines are Bobcat M610 ( love it!) Bobcat 743 , I like the look of that Bobcat more than any other, Case 1845 ( used them when I had my first job) and whenever I get to chance to run a skid loader I am there. They are my #1 favorite type of all purpose machinery. After rebuilding your burned out Bobcat I bet you're an expert at that machine. It will probably never break down because you can sense when problems are starting. That's how it's been with my M-610
You must have some pretty nice gear if you can cast your own parts!!
The machine is basically like new now, there wasn't any real rust but the bobtach pivots were drilled out and bolts were thrown through, which caused massive wear. This was the hardest part of all to fix. I did have to pay my local dealer quite alot of money for parts, there are always parts that you just can't make or buy from another place. One thing i would really like to find after market are the bushings for the steering.
I really did want a later model machine but then you start getting into electonics and electro-mechanical spool valves. This is where it starts to get more expensive.
 

m610

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You must have some pretty nice gear if you can cast your own parts!!
The machine is basically like new now, there wasn't any real rust but the bobtach pivots were drilled out and bolts were thrown through, which caused massive wear. This was the hardest part of all to fix. I did have to pay my local dealer quite alot of money for parts, there are always parts that you just can't make or buy from another place. One thing i would really like to find after market are the bushings for the steering.
I really did want a later model machine but then you start getting into electonics and electro-mechanical spool valves. This is where it starts to get more expensive.
Basically since I collect so many odd machines I built a small foundry, and collected machine tools for cheap. I can make almost anything in cast steel or cast iron or cast aluminnum or bronze. On the machine I fixed there was rust through the gas tank and even under the engine, the machine was ready to burn up it had bad wiring and grease everywhere. I really liked the way that machine performs, it's got responsive steering and is more powerful than my 610. It doesn't stall even if you turn with a full bucket on concrete.My friend also liked the fact I volunteered to use the machine for him because the controls wore him out. When you mentioned steering bushings, which parts are those exactly? From hand levers to control or hydrostat motor ? That part of the machine was in surprisingly good shape other than rust in the contaminated parts.
 

Tazza

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Basically since I collect so many odd machines I built a small foundry, and collected machine tools for cheap. I can make almost anything in cast steel or cast iron or cast aluminnum or bronze. On the machine I fixed there was rust through the gas tank and even under the engine, the machine was ready to burn up it had bad wiring and grease everywhere. I really liked the way that machine performs, it's got responsive steering and is more powerful than my 610. It doesn't stall even if you turn with a full bucket on concrete.My friend also liked the fact I volunteered to use the machine for him because the controls wore him out. When you mentioned steering bushings, which parts are those exactly? From hand levers to control or hydrostat motor ? That part of the machine was in surprisingly good shape other than rust in the contaminated parts.
That sure would be handy, not that i have ever really needed to cast anything but if i had the gear i'm sure i would find many things to do with it.
It is amazing what some time and effort can do, you can generally fix just about anything.
I'll have to add that to my wish list :)
 

Tazza

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That sure would be handy, not that i have ever really needed to cast anything but if i had the gear i'm sure i would find many things to do with it.
It is amazing what some time and effort can do, you can generally fix just about anything.
I'll have to add that to my wish list :)
OOH the bushings, these are like a pressed metal outer and inner with rubber in between. They use these on the 73x and 74x series for the steering levers and food pedals. Every machine i have picked up has had the bushings totally stuffed. @ $25 each plus 10% tax it quickly adds up, especially for something so simple.
 

m610

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OOH the bushings, these are like a pressed metal outer and inner with rubber in between. They use these on the 73x and 74x series for the steering levers and food pedals. Every machine i have picked up has had the bushings totally stuffed. @ $25 each plus 10% tax it quickly adds up, especially for something so simple.
I remember those bushings. Luckily I found a substitute for them from some kind of air conditioning vibration isolators. On my car I have made similar parts from steel tubing and urethane filler, and it lasted longer than the rubber. Fixing up junk has been a learning experience, even on my Mustang loader I cast my own sheave for the variable belt drive and had success, it still works! It's frustrating that after all that work someone had to steal the 743. I am going to look for the supplier who sold those bushings, they were 4.60 or something like that, and fit almost perfect. The older machines like 610's don't use them as far as I have seen.
 

Tazza

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I remember those bushings. Luckily I found a substitute for them from some kind of air conditioning vibration isolators. On my car I have made similar parts from steel tubing and urethane filler, and it lasted longer than the rubber. Fixing up junk has been a learning experience, even on my Mustang loader I cast my own sheave for the variable belt drive and had success, it still works! It's frustrating that after all that work someone had to steal the 743. I am going to look for the supplier who sold those bushings, they were 4.60 or something like that, and fit almost perfect. The older machines like 610's don't use them as far as I have seen.
If you do find those bushings i would be interested in details to see if i can find them locally.
Yeah, it is horrible when all that work that you spent on your machine was wasted. I'm sure the lucky burgular was happy with all the hard work you put in!
I agree its all a learning curve, i had no idea just how much work i could do with my lathe. You do one job and think, hey, i could do that with it too! then you get to know what it can and can't do. No matter what the job is, there is always a way!
You find a problem and have a sinking feeling, then you think about it and think i can fix that!
 
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