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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,
finally looks like I'm going to get my hands on a 455, rare as hens teeth in Colorado so I can't wait to see it. Jumped on the craigslist post about 20 minutes after it went up and driving down with a trailer tomorrow afternoon to check it out and hopefully buy it. I would love to have any suggestions on issues to look for. It apparently sat for 5 years, fired right up with a new battery and has been running and mowing for several months. The owner told me about some what sounds like electrical issues related to the safety ignition lock out with the parking brake. the headlights don't work and the tail lights are missing. He says the motor is strong and the hydraulics are all functioning but maybe are a little weak. Any suggestions/information would be appreciated. He wants 3600 - a good deal here in Co.
Thanks for the help!
 

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Look for leaks from the steering box and rearend.

Plastics on the hood, grill and side panels can be broken, they are available still, but no cheap.

How many hours? If its in good shape 3600 is a decent price.
 

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Sounds like the ad hasn't any pictures if the owner had to tell you the tail lights are missing? Don't be surprised if a lot of things aren't 100%, sellers sometimes "forget" or leave out a lot of details. I don't understand weak hydraulics?
 

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I am surprised nobody ( seller or buyer ) mentioned the hours as they are such an indicator of wear. I know the hours on a diesel are not as critical as on a gas, but it still indicates wear on the drivetrain.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
As soon as I hit the "submit post" button I realized that I didn't mention hours. The machine has 960 hours on the original motor. The reason I mentioned the hydraulics was when i asked him about the mower deck lift - since that is the only thing currently hooked up to the system, he said that it only had a few inches of travel but that he hadn't really messed with it. - he bought this machine from a client a few months ago and it's a little big for his 1 acre. There are photos - will post when I can, thanks for the advice!
 

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I moved this to the Late Model Forum, the 455 is considered by WFM as "Late Model" since they were made after 1992.
 

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960 hours would probably be "low" for as old as these are getting. I just purchased another 455 AWS this spring and it had 1007----that was about as low as they came in Minnesota. This one was a mower only, no signs of other attachments such as a blower or 3-point. It was parked on the gravel and not the concrete when I bought it. That should have been a sign of an oil leak----that I didn't catch until I saw the puddle on my garage floor. They "JB Weld" around the oil pan drain valve I missed because the mower deck was on it. The rest of the story is in my WTB 455 oil pan post. I ended up pulling the engine, removing the pan and welding the crack in the pan around the valve. It cracked because a spot weld on a brace internal to the pan broke.

At 960 hours, you'll likely need a water pump in the near future, if it hasn't been replaced already.

The headlight issue is probably related to the missing tail lights. Loose taillight wiring may have become tangled ion something, shorted, and blew fuse. For some, a difficult problem, for others, fairly straight forward.

I added a rear PTO to the one I bought. For some reason, someone had the rear transaxle cover off before. There are two small, special O-rings that sit in a groove that were not in the groove and rather mangled. This will result in weak hydraulics. I wouldn't expect this unless it appears to have been apart before.

Mine also had some cracked plastic on the side panels. I cut pieces of galvanized sheet metal (flashing) and formed them to fit the back side of the cracked area. I then glued the sheet metal into place with 3M Structural Adhesive (can be sourced at auto parts stores, it is a two part adhesive) and clamped overnight. Made for a stronger than original repair.

I also replaced the belt, when I replaced the water pump, when I had the engine out ( sounds like a Johnny Cash song!) I ordered an OEM Deere belt, but they have an issue with the belt being marked correctly, but the wrong size and wouldn't fit. There was also a post about this on that "other" forum (My Tractor). So beware of any belt from JD. I ended up acquiring the NAPA belt referenced in the post on My Tractor.
 
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I have 2 455's, one dedicated for snow removal, the other for all the other chores, I would definitely do a transmission fluid change along with a new filter, side panel plastics always seem to break, check the air filter system, these diesels will run forever if properly maintained. What shape are tires in? Good luck with everything, these are great tractors
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks everyone for the information. Side panels were in great shape, the only issue is the black plastic moulding on the hood the surrounds the instrument cluster has several broken clips and will need to be replaced. The mower deck was missing the front guide wheel and needs new blades, otherwise some rust and minor issues that can wait for a rebuild this winter. Haven't figured out the light issue - starting a new thread with photos to try to get some help with that. Motor actually had 914 hours - hour meter does work , engine tight hydraulics just fine - operator error on the mower deck issue. Been in the garage all afternoon going over it, fun times!
 

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Atta Boy!

Sound like you found a prize.

Rather than replace the hood molding, you may want to give some thought to utilizing some glue. The broken clips are a common problem. I've glued mine on using 3M Plastic & Emblem adhesive. I cleaned both surface up with enamel reducer then applied a bead of glue, on the inside edge, so it wouldn't ooze out when compressed. I taped in place with masking tape overnight.

3M adhesive products are available at most auto supply stores. Not cheap, but they always seem to work.
 

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Ha! I was totally going to glue it. I'll look for what worked for you for sure. Being new I wasn't sure how serious/militant people were here. I have a buddy that restores hot rods and if I told him I wAs going to glue something and not replace it he'd start throwing wrenches at me. Better safe than sorry....
 

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Well.....I've been known to be a tad bit anal about such things and called a perfectionist in less than a glowing tone. Most of the time I would be singing from the same sheet of music as your buddy. For example, I tend to get rather livid when somebody "repairs" something and has a hand full of leftover fasteners. My response to them is usually something along the order that manufacturers like to make money. If they could have left out $0.85 of fasteners per unit on a production run of several hundred thousand units, they would have. It would have added several hundred thousand dollars more of profit. They're there for a reason.

On the other hand, when I repair anything, the first step in the process is determining why it failed. The next step is develop a repair plan that not only corrects the problem, but makes sure it does not reoccur. In the case of the hood moulding, those clips that broke are actually part of the moulding. Simply replacing the moulding will result in the clips failing again, in time, and we're back doing the same repair. Securing the moulding with a quality adhesive is a permanent repair. As an added bonus, the glue is a far more cost effective repair.
 
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