Questions on buying a 99 963

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Team Craig

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Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
25
Hello all! My first post here and this looks like a perfect site for my qestions. I am looking at a 99 963 Bobcat for 4500.00 with about 3500 hrs. on it. They used it for demolition and I am not sure it that would be a hard life on a bobcat or not? The guy I am talking with said it has been serviced every 250 hours. He also said they have changed the attachment set and in order to get it back to original this guy is saying it will cost about 2 grand? I have tried to find the attachment part (not sure of the proper name) online used with no luck. Does anyone know who could make this part or where I could find one used. Also does the 963 use the same quick attachment set up that the smaller skid steers use? What problem areas should I be looking at? How do you check the pins and bushings? I was orginally looking at 7 series but thought for the money the 963 may be a better option. Is it a better option? I am planning on useing it to maintain motocross tracks and other misc. jobs. Thanks Guys for any help and I look forward to chatting more as this will be my first heavy equipment purchase...
 

Tigerotor77W

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Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
268
Team Craig -- welcome to the forums!
My first thought regarding the purchase is that the 963 is a very powerful skid-steer -- do you need a machine that weighs five tons? Secondly, I'm not sure if a life of demolition and 3,500 hours on the clock will bring you good results in terms of machine reliability. I know the 963 is designed to withstand the harshest environments, but 3,500 hours is quite a sum for any skid steer, even more deadly when considering the firsthand use of the machine. The price tag of only $4,500, less than ten percent of a new 963's value, may indicate that the owners are eager to get rid of it.
Someone will have to check me on this, but I do believe the 963 uses the same attachment plate as the rest of the machines in the 700 and 800 size. You will need to be careful, however, as the 963 will destroy a 709 backhoe. I'll leave the maintenance questions for some of the more technical people here... good luck on your purchase, whether it's for the 963 or not.
 

Eric

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Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
169
Team Craig -- welcome to the forums!
My first thought regarding the purchase is that the 963 is a very powerful skid-steer -- do you need a machine that weighs five tons? Secondly, I'm not sure if a life of demolition and 3,500 hours on the clock will bring you good results in terms of machine reliability. I know the 963 is designed to withstand the harshest environments, but 3,500 hours is quite a sum for any skid steer, even more deadly when considering the firsthand use of the machine. The price tag of only $4,500, less than ten percent of a new 963's value, may indicate that the owners are eager to get rid of it.
Someone will have to check me on this, but I do believe the 963 uses the same attachment plate as the rest of the machines in the 700 and 800 size. You will need to be careful, however, as the 963 will destroy a 709 backhoe. I'll leave the maintenance questions for some of the more technical people here... good luck on your purchase, whether it's for the 963 or not.
I think Tigerotor77W is right on all his points. I think you would be happier with an 863. The bobtach plate is also the same size as the 700 and 800 machines.
 

Team Craig

Active member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
25
I think Tigerotor77W is right on all his points. I think you would be happier with an 863. The bobtach plate is also the same size as the 700 and 800 machines.
Thanks Tigerotor77W & Eric, I did not realize the 963 is that much heavier than 7 series. I was thinking that 4500.00 was pretty cheap. It seems the 963 is a not so common skidsteer. I don't have much money to work. Give me your opinion on if I bought the 963, painted and repaired any issues what do you think I could get back out of it? I'm thinking maybe buy this one and apply any profit made towards a smaller one. Hey Eric so it looks like you ride a little motocross? Motocross is why I want to buy a skidsteer so I can build and maintain a track. I looked at your pictures. I ride an 05 CRF250f and just got rid of an 03 CRF450...
 

Tigerotor77W

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
268
Thanks Tigerotor77W & Eric, I did not realize the 963 is that much heavier than 7 series. I was thinking that 4500.00 was pretty cheap. It seems the 963 is a not so common skidsteer. I don't have much money to work. Give me your opinion on if I bought the 963, painted and repaired any issues what do you think I could get back out of it? I'm thinking maybe buy this one and apply any profit made towards a smaller one. Hey Eric so it looks like you ride a little motocross? Motocross is why I want to buy a skidsteer so I can build and maintain a track. I looked at your pictures. I ride an 05 CRF250f and just got rid of an 03 CRF450...
I'm going to second Eric on this one as well. You would be better off getting a used 863 or S220 for a few reasons:
1) better parts availability. The 963, as you mentioned, was not a big seller (relative to other Bobcat products) -- it wasn't meant to be. It sat in a nearly-undisturbed segment of the market for about four years before being pulled from the product line.
2) easier on fuel. The 963 will chug fuel, even if it's more productive. If you don't need ultimate productivity, the 963 will only increase your expenditures.
3) easier maintenance. goodtech, who is familiar with the workings of the 963, says they are difficult to service compared to other loaders.
And I still am very leery of a $4,500 963. That's just too low an amount for such an expensive loader. If you and your mechanic (or if you are the mechanic) have seen the loader and it looks fine, I hope someone else can post some inforation on what else to look at.

My personal take is that the 963 is too big, has too many hours given its past history, and has a price that is suspect. I know you mentioned fixing up the loader yourself, but given parts and service costs associated with bringing her up to par, you may have been better off getting a $10,000 used 763 or a $15,000 used 863. (figures not actual; just to show a point.) Do note, however, that my skepticism isn't based on reality -- I don't know the ACTUAL condition of the loader; that's for you to decide. From what I'm hearing, however, something is amiss.
 

goodtech

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 22, 2005
Messages
112
I'm going to second Eric on this one as well. You would be better off getting a used 863 or S220 for a few reasons:
1) better parts availability. The 963, as you mentioned, was not a big seller (relative to other Bobcat products) -- it wasn't meant to be. It sat in a nearly-undisturbed segment of the market for about four years before being pulled from the product line.
2) easier on fuel. The 963 will chug fuel, even if it's more productive. If you don't need ultimate productivity, the 963 will only increase your expenditures.
3) easier maintenance. goodtech, who is familiar with the workings of the 963, says they are difficult to service compared to other loaders.
And I still am very leery of a $4,500 963. That's just too low an amount for such an expensive loader. If you and your mechanic (or if you are the mechanic) have seen the loader and it looks fine, I hope someone else can post some inforation on what else to look at.

My personal take is that the 963 is too big, has too many hours given its past history, and has a price that is suspect. I know you mentioned fixing up the loader yourself, but given parts and service costs associated with bringing her up to par, you may have been better off getting a $10,000 used 763 or a $15,000 used 863. (figures not actual; just to show a point.) Do note, however, that my skepticism isn't based on reality -- I don't know the ACTUAL condition of the loader; that's for you to decide. From what I'm hearing, however, something is amiss.
963, big machine pain in the butt to work on. Any demoltion machine stay away from they have been hammered to no end. yes they may of throw a new bobtac on the front, the reason is it was probally hanging there by a thread. We have 2 of the biggest demo companies up here and You could not give me one of those machines, you will spend more money on down time trying to fix everything, they will nickle and dime you to death. The 963 is a nice machine but I'm here to tell you that they are a mechanics nightmare. You take it to a shop and everything is almost doubled on labor, and parts are not a issue yet, but in a couple of years I can start seeing it being an issue. On the average when we bring in a 863 from a demo company to get it back up to snuff so it can work again for a couple of months it usually runs the company about 15,000 per a machine, but it is the little stuff, like lift arms cracked, pins and busings worn, steering bushings gone, fans and fan drives broken, drive belt tensioners, fan belt tensioners, hydraulic leaks from the control valves, bent tilt cyclinders, the list keeps going, so please take a close eye at the machine, 4500 may seem cheap now, till you have to sink a onthere 15000 to keep it working. Good luck.
 

Eric

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 19, 2005
Messages
169
Thanks Tigerotor77W & Eric, I did not realize the 963 is that much heavier than 7 series. I was thinking that 4500.00 was pretty cheap. It seems the 963 is a not so common skidsteer. I don't have much money to work. Give me your opinion on if I bought the 963, painted and repaired any issues what do you think I could get back out of it? I'm thinking maybe buy this one and apply any profit made towards a smaller one. Hey Eric so it looks like you ride a little motocross? Motocross is why I want to buy a skidsteer so I can build and maintain a track. I looked at your pictures. I ride an 05 CRF250f and just got rid of an 03 CRF450...
I must confess. I have not hit a trail or a track in over 10 months from fear of becoming injured. I simply cannot afford to get hurt once I found out I had a child on the way. I will be riding again soon. When my daughter turns 4 I'm getting her a fifty and it will be a family thing. Shes only 5 months now but I'm looking forward to the future. Why the down size on your bike? Are you trying to start your own track? Do you already have the property?
I think the 700 machines are gonna be to light for your needs. You really need an 863. Stay away from the old ones with hydraulic steering levers (not sure what you call that type of steering. Goodtech?). I cant stand those because it has a really bad response delay and it feels like your driving on ice. They suck!
 

Mcharley

Member
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
13
Hello Goodtech, It sounds like you know about or work on Bobcats alot. I have just recently found and joined this forum. (I wish I knew about when it started) I had some trouble with a starting issue on a 863 the other day and everybody was great in helping. I had a gut feeling that the problem was battery & connection related but this is the first machine I have owned with a computer in it and was scared to death of it. The guys that helped me out were great and it really was a relieve to get some support from people with the same kind of equipment and mindset. I have had this 863 for two (2) years and it was probably one of the last 863 to be shipped. Anyway to my point. I was talking to Eric this morning about the other problems I have had with this machine. I listed 80% of them in a post that I think is in General repairs. If you would be so kind at your convienence to take a look at it. I woud greatly appreciate any comments and or feedback you could provide. If you do make your living working on Bobcat equipment I am sure it is the last thing you want to do after working all day. Any input would be greatly welcomed. Regards, mcharley
 

Team Craig

Active member
Joined
Jan 9, 2006
Messages
25
Hello Goodtech, It sounds like you know about or work on Bobcats alot. I have just recently found and joined this forum. (I wish I knew about when it started) I had some trouble with a starting issue on a 863 the other day and everybody was great in helping. I had a gut feeling that the problem was battery & connection related but this is the first machine I have owned with a computer in it and was scared to death of it. The guys that helped me out were great and it really was a relieve to get some support from people with the same kind of equipment and mindset. I have had this 863 for two (2) years and it was probably one of the last 863 to be shipped. Anyway to my point. I was talking to Eric this morning about the other problems I have had with this machine. I listed 80% of them in a post that I think is in General repairs. If you would be so kind at your convienence to take a look at it. I woud greatly appreciate any comments and or feedback you could provide. If you do make your living working on Bobcat equipment I am sure it is the last thing you want to do after working all day. Any input would be greatly welcomed. Regards, mcharley
Thank You Guys, I am still waiting to hear back from this guy that owns the 963. He was supposed to get the info together on the service history so I could review it and I have not heard back from him. Scott sorry to hear about the down time on your bike. I am a motocross junkie. I try and get on my bike at least one day out of the weekend. I am very pleased with the 250f I have as I can ride it at least 5 times as long as the 450. I loved the 450 power but it took a toal on my arms - major arm pump. I have golfers elbow as well as carpel tunnel from riding and wrenching all these years. The 250f is so light and nimble plus it does not have all that arm ripping torque like the 450. The girls have both a Honda 50 and Kaw 110 to play on. IThank You Guys, I am still waiting to hear back from this guy that owns the 963. He was supposed to get the info together on the history of service so I could review it and I have not heard back from him. We also have a Suzuki Z400 sport quad for the wife. (Well OK me also - what can I say its a great toy in the snow) Yes I do have a small amount of land. I really want to have my own track and a way to keep it up and change it. Some day (If the good Lord provides) I would like to buy a nice chunk of land.
 

Tigerotor77W

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 29, 2004
Messages
268
Thank You Guys, I am still waiting to hear back from this guy that owns the 963. He was supposed to get the info together on the service history so I could review it and I have not heard back from him. Scott sorry to hear about the down time on your bike. I am a motocross junkie. I try and get on my bike at least one day out of the weekend. I am very pleased with the 250f I have as I can ride it at least 5 times as long as the 450. I loved the 450 power but it took a toal on my arms - major arm pump. I have golfers elbow as well as carpel tunnel from riding and wrenching all these years. The 250f is so light and nimble plus it does not have all that arm ripping torque like the 450. The girls have both a Honda 50 and Kaw 110 to play on. IThank You Guys, I am still waiting to hear back from this guy that owns the 963. He was supposed to get the info together on the history of service so I could review it and I have not heard back from him. We also have a Suzuki Z400 sport quad for the wife. (Well OK me also - what can I say its a great toy in the snow) Yes I do have a small amount of land. I really want to have my own track and a way to keep it up and change it. Some day (If the good Lord provides) I would like to buy a nice chunk of land.
Keep us posted on how it goes!
 
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