Should I buy this thing?!? Lol

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SoCalPharmin

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Hey guys new member here. A guy down the road has a flu419 see for sale. I'm pretty sure I can get it for 10k.

Long story short I bought a new property and I need to dig a septic tank hole and leach line trenches, dig 30x60'x4'deep crawl space for a mobile home, pull some trees out the ground, and grade some dirt roads.

I went and looked at the truck last week before doing any research on them ( only thing I knew is I need a backhoe and there's a badass looking military truck with one attached parked right up the street lol). I'm hoping that some of you more knowledgeable folks could tell me if the truck is worth buying and also other certain things to look at and check up on before I make an 10k impulse buy.

First thing I noticed was the guy had to take off the inside engine cover to hand pump the gas to build pressure to start it. It did start and idle fine afterwards. Is this normal?
Second thing was the hydraulic rams on the driver side stabilizer and one on the backhoe were leaking a decent amount from the shafts. Can these rams be replaced fairly easily?
Also there is a control box mounted on a cooler of some sort on the rear driver side, I believe it is to control the front loader from the rear and also to control the engine RPM, but the control doesnt work and I saw 2 disconnected wires on the top of the cooler.
Lastly I kept hearing what sounded like an air compressor leak coming from under the truck on the rear drivers side.

Are any of these issues big concerns?!!
 

Bill Nutting

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I agree with NDT. If I need a “power tool” like a log splitter or something, I rent it. I don’t have to store it, repair it or maintain it. I get my job done and take it back to the rental store and they do all the work. Another benefit is if you start doing your project and something breaks, you just take it back and get another one. We sometimes think our time is free. I don’t see it that way anymore. Perhaps it’s my age showing...
 

SeeNebraska

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you can most likely rebuild the rams pretty inexpensively. i'm working through the leaks on mine as well. the control box to set RPM and raise/lower the front loader isn't required to use the backhoe. you just have to climb up and down a lot more to adjust your RPMs or raise the bucket. you shouldn't have to prime the fuel every time you start it, there must be a leak there but it doesn't sound like it impacts the function at all. your brakes, clutch, and other systems need air to operate, I'm guessing leaks are pretty common, mine has a slow one that doesn't affect operation but does mean i have to sit and wait for a few minutes when i first start it because you should let the pressure build up high enough before moving.

i bought mine because i need a way to move snow and have some future excavating work that i want to do at my own pace. the quotes to have someone do the excavating work were as much as the unimog cost and i still would have needed to buy a plow truck. even with the need for repairs, i was able to do the work i wanted and now i have a pretty fun toy/tool that i keep finding more uses for. i think the answer to whether you shoudl buy it or not depends on if you like messing with this kind of stuff.
 

peakbagger

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northern nh
If you have only have a short term need rent something. If you have long term need and am willing and able to work on it yourself then maybe. The problem with SEEs are some got beat up hard and put away wet by the military, others just sat in storage for years. Both will need sorting out which requires time and money but the beat up ones are going to get real expensive if major components need replacing. Just dealing with leaky cylinders and replacing all the hoses is not cheap.
 

The FLU farm

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If you have future uses for it, and it's in decent shape and you want one, buy it. We only live once.
Obviously the current owner isn't all that familiar with the machine (or logical thinking in general), or he'd reach in over the tire to prime it instead of hassling with the dog house, so the more "problems" he has encountered, the better the price could be for you.
 

The FLU farm

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...mine has a slow one that doesn't affect operation but does mean i have to sit and wait for a few minutes when i first start it because you should let the pressure build up high enough before moving.
I know it says to wait, or serious damage can occur, or something to that effect. But why, or how?
Having never waited for the pressure to build up (if it's low or zero to begin with), the FLUs and I are still alive and here to tell about it.
 

SoCalPharmin

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I appreciate all the replies. I do have ongoing needs for a machine which is why I want to buy rather than rent or hire. It honestly downt matter to me whether I buy an actual backhoe or the 419. What does matter to me is 4x4 and cost, and for a 4x4 backhoe in my area I'm lookin at around 20k. But I can probably get the unimog for 10k.

Any estimates on price and time to rebuild or replace the rams?


@the flu farm you're right the guy seemed just as lost as me when it came to the machine the only thing is he knew how to drive it and how to use the backhoe that's it. He says he bought it to bury animals on his farm and possibly do farm work with, but he bought it online without ever seeing it and once he got it he saw it was leaking and didnt want to mess it up by using it too much.
 

Karl kostman

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I have been eyeing a 419 for a long time now and still have not pulled the trigger on one and since I am a true blue UNIMOG lover they fit right in with my other Unimog. OK back to the subject, it sounds like you have work that needs to get done ie. septic system dug, thats cool but that is also NOT the time to be wrestling with problems with the SEE, the machine your talking about is going to need some time to sort out and correct all the issues both seen and the ones that your going to see as you start using it and you dont want to be in a big rush to sort them out. Rent the big excavator to get you work done. Then go talk to the fellow with the 419 and offer him 9K for it and if he takes it your golden, best of both worlds!!! Good Luck
Karl
 

The FLU farm

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One of the costlier mistakes I've made (and there has been many) was not buying a backhoe several years ago.
Conversely, eventually buying a SEE was one of the better moves I've made.
 
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