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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking at a 430 a buddy of mine is thinking of getting rid of. It's an 85 model with about 750 hours. Pretty good shape. His dad bought it new. Are there any issues I should look for on it that are common to these tractors? I've never dealt with a 430 at all.
 

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I'm looking at a 430 a buddy of mine is thinking of getting rid of. It's an 85 model with about 750 hours. Pretty good shape. His dad bought it new. Are there any issues I should look for on it that are common to these tractors? I've never dealt with a 430 at all.
I have one (in fact I’m working on the hydrostatic linkage, waiting on parts ugh). That’s a really low hour tractor, they are pretty tough and those Yanmars run good. I would check the muffler, as they usually crack off where they mount to the block. Mine has it, not a big deal but it will be a bit louder. I’ll keep thinking of things👍
 
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If I remember correctly the 400, 420, and 430 are all built on the same frame.
The only problem is that the attachments are specific to those tractors only. deck, plow blade, tiller.
 

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Ideal trucks,

There is a likelihood that the frame near the rear axle could have cracks, so look for that. The engine is a very stout design as mentioned above, but is sensitive to dust as all diesels are, so how/when prior maintenance was done is worth considering. It takes special gauges to test compression, but worth a try if you have access to them. Check for any issues in the cooling system, leaks in the radiator, etc.

The search engine here also can give lots of suggested reading on what to look for when buying a 430. Here are a few examples...



Chuck
 

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This is a long list that I wrote up earlier this year for someone looking at a 420. Take a quick look through this if you want. Disregard any references to the engine but other items pertaining to the electrical, steering, etc. will be similar on a 430.
Mike


The 420 is a fantastic tractor but during 1500 hours use, a number of things could have worn out and needed repair or replacement. The good thing is, just about everything on that tractor can be repaired and new and used parts are usually easy to find. In my opinion, a 420 is one of the best machines.

This is a huge list and you might not want to check everything but if you don't check it out before you buy, I'm sure you will be noticing all of these things once you get it home and start using it.

Chuck has a very good list above. With your experience restoring 300 series tractors, you may not need this additional list but this may help others too.

1. I would ask if the owner has repair records, especially service records like engine oil and filter changes, hydraulic fluid and filter changes and air filter changes. Ask the owner to tell you about all major repairs. In 30+ years, I'm certain there have been some.

2. Ask the owner if the engine burns oil and how often he or she adds oil between oil changes. Pull the dipstick and see if the oil level is full and if the oil looks clean.

3. Run the engine and see if there is any visible exhaust smoke. Look at the green side cover near the exhaust pipe and see if it is excessively sooty indicating oil burning.

4. Drive the tractor at high rpm until the engine is warm and do run the mower deck to put a load on the engine if the mower deck is attached. At full RPM once the engine is warm, does the engine RPM seem steady or does it race up and down? If it tends to race or seems like it is overspeeding, if it is a P220, the plastic fly ball governor MAY need replacing. This requires pulling the engine out of the tractor and a fair bit of engine work and expense. Ask the owner if the governor has ever been repaired.

5. Does the steering feel tight or if it's loose, look at the steering tie rods and check for wear. Check for wear on the steering cylinder ends.

6. When parked with the engine running, does the tractor have a vibration that you can feel through your legs or the seat? If so, the engine drive shaft U Joints could be worn.

7. Is the mower deck quiet? If not, it may need new bearings in the spindles or idler pulley. Is the mower deck solid or does it have rust holes? How do the mower blades look? Does the mower deck have the belt covers in place? How does the belt look? If you can inspect the mower drive shaft, check it to make sure the U Joints are good.

8. Inspect the PTO stub shaft driven off the front belts if you can and check the PTO belts and tension pulley.

9. See if the front axle pivots as it should.

10. When you drive the tractor and stop, does the tractor creep forward or backward or stay completely stopped? Does the tractor move steady forward and reverse - if not, the hydrostatic linkage could be worn and need adjustment or some replacement parts.

11. Drive the tractor in low range and high range to make sure you can shift between ranges and the tractor operates well in both ranges. The 420 also has a differential lock feature.

12. Look for hydraulic leaks under the tractor, near the power steering cylinder and on the plow if it is attached. Ask the owner if the seals in the power steering column have ever been replaced. Try to look at the power steering column underneath the tractor if you can. If it's dripping with hydraulic fluid, it may need new seals. If that is the case, the steering column has to come out of the tractor.

13. Do the electrical safeties work? With the engine running and pto switched on and if you lift up off the seat, does the PTO and engine shut off?

14. Does the engine start if the hydrostatic lever is not in the neutral position? - Hopefully not.

15. Do all the lights on the dash work? With the key switched on before you start the engine, the red OIL pressure light should be on (if equipped). When you start the engine, the light should go off.
When you turn the PTO switch on, the yellow PTO light should come on.
With the key on, the battery light should come on and go off once you start the engine.

16. Check for engine oil leaks and engine blow-by. Open the hood and see if the engine is clean or dirty and oily. Does the engine still have all the "sheet metal tin covering"? These "tins" help direct air across the engine for proper cooling. Take the air cleaner cover off and see how dirty the air cleaner is and if there is a build up of dirt or oil near the filter. and then you might need a 3/8" wrench, small crescent wrench or pair of pliers to unscrew the nut holding the gray cover on the air cleaner. Look for cleanliness in that area.
Look at the carburetor and see if the choke butterfly is opening and closing with the cable. The carburetor will most likely need some disassembly and cleaning if the engine only runs on choke.

17. Look through the front grill to inspect the engine block, especially the cast in cooling fins. Are they clean or are they packed with dirt and grime. The engine needs clean fins for proper air cooling. After 30+ years if the tins have never been removed there is a good possibility there is caked on dirt and grass in there that should be cleaned out.

18. How is the condition of the seat? After 1500 hours, an original seat could be in fairly poor condition.

19. Shake the front wheels to see if there is excessive play - you may not be able to shake them but look at them when you turn the steering wheel and try to determine if the wheel bearings are tight or if they may need replacement.

20. Ask the owner if the engine ever shuts itself off after it gets hot and needs to cool down before it will restart. If it has an ONAN P220, the electronic ignition module can sometimes quit when the engine gets hot and won't let the engine start again until it cools off. The module is located under the flywheel so in order to change it, the engine has to come out of the tractor.

21. Take a voltmeter along with you and measure charging volts on the battery with the engine running. If it's more than say 14.5, the voltage regulator might be overcharging. If it's not over 12 or 12.5V, the regulator may not be working and the battery light should be illuminated on the dash.

22. Check the fuel lines to see if they are original.

23. I realize in 30+ years, it's likely the machine has had multiple owners and the current owner may not know the whole history but I would also ask if the owner knows if the wiring is still relatively "factory". It is difficult to troubleshoot an older machine that has wiring modifications that are not documented. Wiring modifications are sometimes OK but it helps to know what they are before you have to troubleshoot. For example, many machines were modified to add a "Starter Improvement Relay". If the tractor does not start some day, it could be the relay has failed. It's nice to know the tractor has that modification ahead of time and will save time troubleshooting later.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for the info guys! I'll have to see what he has in mind for it now and see if I can afford for it to join my fleet of 400's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The tractor looks pretty nice. No rust. Good seat. Has a problem with the fuse block right now, needs a new one. Needs a deck belt, battery cables, and battery. Comes with rear wheel weights, and some of the 3 point hitch (no arms but the rest of the mounts) He's asking $2500 obo.
I've looked at parts on ebay and they are expensive. I'm a little worried about the price. I know my 400 is reliable and parts pretty cheap. Thoughts?
 

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Sounds like some initial investment just to have a diesel version of your 400, so it depends on what you do with your tractors. The 430 is a tank, but I only use mine for dirt work, etc. Otherwise it sits patiently waiting in the shop for another chore...while my 212 or 322 take care of mowing, etc. All I have to do to the 430 is check fuel level, fuses and battery/cables and it always fires right up, tears through the chore/work at hand and then sits quietly until next time. Wish I had reason to use it more, but that's how it plays out. So, do you need the 430 or just want the 430? Either way, it's a good purchase if your wallet allows...they are the Cadillac of JD GTs of that generation IMHO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, more of a want I'd say. I mow around 2.5 acres weekly. The 400 does great and has never let me down. It has about 1900 hours though. I also have a 318 but it's only a 50" deck.
So...I don't "need" it I'd say. haha
 

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But everybody needs a third tractor, just don't ask me why! It's a very, very, very long story with a great ending and why I now have 4. Plus it keeps me out of trouble taking care of them as I tell my spouse.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yeah...another tractor never hurts. I actually have 3 400's. Another that I completely restored and am afraid to mow with and get scratched up with all my apple trees, and a 400 that serves garden, scraper duty. There would probably have to be 1 or 2 leave since the garage is full
Does the price sound too high?
 

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From your description of it, I'd say the price is high.
Doesnt run.
Batt, cables, fuse block = over 100 $.
3 pt arms, depends cat 0 or 1, new, used?
Maybe 100 to 300 $ more.

The not running condition is the big issue.
That can hide many expensive items.
 
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Ideal - not sure where you are located but I saw a 430 with 60" deck advertised for sale on Facebook Marketplace in Edwardsville, IL. for $3100.00 Hourmeter shows 534 but may not be accurate. Something has been modified under the hood because the exhaust points out the left side instead of right but they don't show photos under the hood. I also saw another 430 advertised in Viola IL with a deck and 54" snow plow for $6000.00 Prices are sort of all over the place.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, that does seem all over the place for sure. I'm in Virginia and they aren't as common around this area as they seem to other places.
 

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I also saw another 430 advertised in Viola IL with a deck and 54" snow plow for $6000.00 Prices are sort of all over the place.
That is because of the frame extender and the possible QH for the plow! Those items are gold and in high demand.
 
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