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Thread: are there any flu419's left?

  1. #31
    Colonel Speedwoble's Avatar
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    Yeah, I have been dumb and I have been lucky in FLU acquisitions. The first I paid $8k for and it had a cracked transmission. I ended up parting it out and still have a lot of parts left. The second was running and driving and I bought it off eBay for $7K because I recognized that it was cheaper than ones for Auction at the time. I feel like some people have the fetish that they have to buy at auction to get a good deal. The fact that one with a seized engine at auction sold for similar price to a running one in the classifieds seems to support that people think there is some magic to buying at auction.

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  3. #32
    4 Star General The FLU farm's Avatar
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    It's better to be lucky than good, Speedwoble. My first SEE was clean and well equipped, but also pricey. The second one, meant to be a parts car, was quite cheap and turned out to be even better in many ways.

    Between the two, I could've almost bought one from C&C. Since I have different uses for the two, I'm quite happy to have both rather than one with nice paint.

  4. #33
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    The other aspect to consider is the dealers who sell Unimogs in general have stayed out of the military 419 market to some extent. If they do dabble in it they usually stick to the high end units and wait for a buyer that just wants to walk in and pay a premium for a "good" one. Those on the board for awhile may remember the drama associated with a HMMH from a dealer in Colorado which resulted in the dealer buying it back. It appears that that one is still listed on the dealer inventory. EI looks like they bought the US military inventory but they have only dabbled in sales, he did have an HMMH or two at one point. Vermont Unimog has rarely if ever listed 419s although given the lack of answering the phone or responding to e-mails I always wonder if they are far more of glossy website then an actual dealer. Unimog Center in NH who I bought my 1300L from has had one or two really nice ones that I suspect went directly from a total refurb to surplus but his concentration is on the SBU variants. He keeps one around for his personal use. C&C seems to be the most active but I suspect he just plays the auction game while it was good and probably either has personal experience from the military or someone who does.

    Most of the large military bases have moved to the south and the depots to support them went south also. I believe the guy who bought mine bought it from a depot in VA early on in the surplus cycle. Many of the 419s in the northeast I have seen over the years have been from state surplus programs where the states get to buy or are given surplus military equipment. The problem with these units is the states rarely had trained mechanics and spares so they were run until they were no longer reliable and then parked until the next state auction. The alternative is that my pure speculation is that some folks have figured out how to game the state surplus system and get the units direct from the government.

    Pretty much standard to the larger Unimog dealers is they would rather sit on inventory and get a serious buyer willing to pay a premium. The other standard is most want to sell them not fix them. They are complex vehicles and the only way to make a buck on service would be to have a well trained mechanic, the alternative is to have poorly trained one not familiar with the 419 and that sets things up for all sorts of bad feelings with a customer when the number of hours and delays getting parts add up to huge bills.
    Last edited by peakbagger; 12-03-2018 at 06:30.
    Unimog SEE, Unimog 1300L Ambulance

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  6. #34
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    I have just bought one from an auction house in Holland called Troostwijk it is the 3rd on I have seen go through ,in the description it said running so I bid and won it yey ! The description failed to mention no brakes,leaking cylinder on back hoe and missing hose reel but genraly looks ok

  7. #35
    Corporal lurkMcGurk's Avatar
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    Good luck UniMatt, "running" may mean different things to different people but I too also figured at least the brakes would be good if one were to say Running.. Unless they are very literal and meant running but not Stopping! Either way take some pics and feel free to explain how complicated shipping from Holland to Portugal is because that must not be easy. I shipped from Texas to Maine here in the USA and that was difficult enough. Cheers!

  8. #36
    2 Star General Migginsbros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by UniMatt View Post
    I have just bought one from an auction house in Holland called Troostwijk it is the 3rd on I have seen go through ,in the description it said running so I bid and won it yey ! The description failed to mention no brakes,leaking cylinder on back hoe and missing hose reel but genraly looks ok
    Congrats, we are very satisfied with our SEE , it was recruited from a post in south Germany. Send some picīs.

    Greatings,
    Migginsbros
    Last edited by Migginsbros; 12-21-2018 at 14:15.

  9. #37
    Corporal jstark45xd's Avatar
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    Mine is for sale in northern Nevada. Email me at jstark45xd@yahoo.com

  10. #38
    Sergeant patrol578's Avatar
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    I believe I fall into a category which has been mentioned several times in this thread: those who have been out using their SEEs without too much trouble, lurking on this site more than than posting about issues they were having.

    I read the entire SEE owners' thread a couple of times prior to winning an auction on GovPlanet in early 2017. We were getting ready to build a house, and my plan was to use the SEE to accomplish as much of the excavation and landscaping work as I could. Having run a vehicle maintenance shop in the Army in the not too distant past, I was not intimidated by having to track down parts, and knew how to use the various maintenance manuals. I was also well aware that the SEE I eventually took home would likely have a history of being ridden hard and put up wet. Add to that the effects of sitting several years under the hot Texas sun, supplemented by rat infestation, and it was virtually guaranteed that any wiring or parts made of rubber or plastic would be suspect, and of limited remaining lifespan. You could say I went into the purchase with open eyes.

    At the time, there was still a good variety of SEEs coming up for auction every few months. I clearly recognized I would not be able to win a truck with the coveted RRAD Rebuild plate. I identified a few possible candidates from what remained, and eventually exchanged $8,400 for my "mid-life crisis" as my wife called it. Another bunch of cash and two weeks later, Wes Simpson delivered it to our homesite in western Massachusetts on a frigid Saturday morning.

    With the exception of an air system problem which needed solving before she would build pressure, and the fuel lines which I completeley replaced, nearly everything worked, and most of what didn't came to life over time.

    The following summer I logged the lot, using the SEE's hydraulic chainsaw exclusively to drop and limb the trees. The SEE got a workout skidding and stacking the logs, and digging up a couple of dozen stumps. Clearing the land uncovered a boulder which, like an iceberg, hid most of its mass out of sight. Too big to lift out of its hole by all but the largest excavator, the only option was to break it up. I bought a used hydraulic rock drill and a set of wedges and shims and many holes and hours later the job was done thanks to the SEE's hydraulic tool circuit.

    Since our general contractor was not too keen on my unproven digging skills, we ended up hiring a couple of pros to excavate for the foundation and most of the utilities. The SEE got a few more chances to show its worth when it did all of the trenching work for our gas line, and for a water drain and 12x12x7 foot dry well.

    During that time I replaced two hydraulic lines, a stabilizer cylinder, a male quick-disconnect hydraulic fitting, the batteries and starter. Over a year ago the rear wheels lost power (another story for another posting), but even with only front wheel drive, the SEE kept on working.

    To date, the SEE has saved us about twice its initial cost in invoices related to the construction of our new home. Even including fees, initial transportation, additional hydraulic tools, and repair parts, we have come out well ahead.

    That's not to say everything is perfect...just a couple of days ago, when breaking up the last few chunks of a dirt pile which I had unwisely allowed to freeze (while blocking our driveway). The SEE died without warning. All symptoms point to binding within the transmission...not good.

    Patrol578

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  12. #39
    4 Star General The FLU farm's Avatar
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    Glad to hear that you, too, got use and some fun (I hope) out of your SEE.
    Like with most older vehicles, there will be some tinkering along the way, but now it sounds like you're in for some more serious work.

    Looking forward to learning from your experiences with the drive train.

  13. #40
    Corporal lurkMcGurk's Avatar
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    I bet several people that do not have major issues spend time Lurking in the threads both prior too and during ownership. I know I did. It is a great resource for folks like me with less experience on the mechanical side of things. Show some pics of the work if you get a chance! Also PICS of any necessary work you unfortunately now seem to have on your FLU. Very COOL you got your $ worth even if its no go time on a major repair!!! (that's a deal) also, a dead SEE could be very well be the opening to a semi lucrative SEE parts business for US New Englanders, good luck.

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