jd 400
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Thread: jd 400

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    scarecrow's Avatar
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    jd 400

    hey all I found a completely restored jd400 including rebuild kohler 20hp engine with 60" deck and 54" hyd plow I read some on them and they seem to be decent tractors. I am looking for a do all tractor to cut my grass every week 1.5 acres , plow snow in the winter , drag down trees to cut up , push dirt etc. is 3500.00 a fair price? its a bit more then I wanted to spend but its a clean old tractor. any help on info about the 400 would be great.
    1940 JD B
    1974 JD 110

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    I have a 400 and 10 years ago that was a decent price depending on condition and attachments that come with it. Now a days that might kind of high but I don't know what your local market is. That tractor would have to be completely restored with a very low time Koehler for me to consider it at that price.

    Now for the tractor. The JD400 is a beast of a garden tractor. People will say it's an odd ball but it is the first model of the 400 series so there are some 400 specific features that the 420 and 430 do not have. It will do all of things you want it to do but one thing you need to be aware of is that it has the turning radius of a small battleship! Not a big deal if you have a large lawn with not much for obstacles. There is a modification that will improve the turning radius but you will have to go to Mytractorforum.com and do a search for it, if it is that much of a problem. It has never been one for me. The first year I had the tractor I mowed with it before making it dedicated tractor.

    As far as attachments goes, you generally need to find 400 specific attachments. For example you need to get a 35 tiller because that is the only one that is compatible with a 400. The rear PTO spins at 840 RPM vs 540 or 2000. If you want a plow or blower the quick hitch has to a 400 specific hitch as well due to width of the hitch. Hopefully what you are looking at has all of that or close to it. The so what to all of this is JD usually makes attachments that fit a variety of models but they didn't with the 400 so finding certain attachments can be a bit of trick. You can find attachments but you have to look far and wide.

    The Kohler in these tractors have a poor engine oiling system and the result is a rod will break somewhere around 1000-1500hr mark if you are not diligent with it. A lot of owners will put an oil pressure gauge in the dash to monitor things. Kohler no longer makes this engine so you will have to search Ebay for parts. Also not many tractor parts are carried by JD anymore but Ebay tends to have a lot of parts for the 400 for sale. There is also this place TractorSalesAndParts.com - Hundreds of Used Tractors & Parts!

    Anyways, to me the 400 is a Garden Tractor first and a mower second based on the way it performs. It is fairly heavy close to 1000lbs with the deck mounted. If you get this I recommend you buy a service manual because you will probably have to do some maintenance on a regular basis since the last 400 was made in 1983.

    Also these tractors have hand controls and the feet only control the split brakes. So things can get kind of busy when operating it. This thing will not be as comfortable as say a new X7 Ultimate series but its not $12k either. I love mine, but I only use it for ground engaging tasks like tilling or plowing although when I had it rigged up for mowing it cut grass really nice.


    One last thing is none of these attachments are easy on/off like new John Deere's. They require some grunt work to hook up and disconnect. So you need to be prepared to do things the old school way. If you are into that and need a tractor that size then go for it, they are pretty tough but probably not the best choice for someone who isn't into maintenance.
    ndrmyr likes this.
    3025e, D160 loader, Artillian Grapple, Forks, Hoe Bucket, Frontier Land Plane, Rotomec PDH300, Redline Systems 54 inch rock bucket, Heavy Hitch
    400 Garden Tractor, 35a Tiller, 54 inch plow, 60 inch deck

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    scarecrow (08-16-2018)

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    Herminator's Avatar
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    I have one as well and he is quite correct in his statements. A lot of its value depends on how throughly restored it was. They are solid and if done like new I suppose it is good for another 30 years.

    Mine was modified for the turning radius and I will take a photo. It is a simple thing.
    Last edited by Herminator; 08-16-2018 at 09:01 PM.
    Welcome to Intermission.

    2017 2038R, 400, 3020 & HPX and thingies to hook to the them.
    112 - Sold in July 2017 but took me until November to admit I just cast it out into this cruel world.
    #compactfarmer

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    scarecrow (08-16-2018)

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    scarecrow's Avatar
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    WOW.... a day and a half of searching and reading and I got more info in 1 post. thank you soo much for writing that it was a HUGE help. turning radius is a issue I have a lot to cut around. about 20 trees , rocks , old farm implements for landscape design and a swing set for the kids. I have a 60" zero now and while I do like it for its turning radius that's where it ends. I want to get back on a tractor and seeing as how I sold my atv I also need something to plow with. here is a link to the ad. i don't mind maintenance but i don't want to do it every 3 times i cut either.

    https://baltimore.craigslist.org/grd...662447095.html
    1940 JD B
    1974 JD 110

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    Honestly I think they are asking 2x it’s actual value here.

    The turning radius is big compared to all newer models but it can be improved a bit, and after mowing with a 69 112 for years I did a first round hitting the odd side of trees so I could finish with striping and just have to get the easy side of trees while blowing by.

    For comparison I dug out a driveway extension about 12” and had a 400 with loader and tiller to break it up and a 420 with loader only and a friend to run the second tractor. From the ramp I left getting into corners with the 420 was make the turn and scoop, the 400 was a 3 point turn every time.


    420/430 front attachments are really easy to convert for use on a 400 including snowblowers. There are actual JD adapter straps to put a 46 or 47 blower on a 400.

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    scarecrow (08-16-2018)

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    Herminator's Avatar
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    Here is a photo showing the steering mod. The arm the cylinder mounts to has been lengthened about an inch so it moves further pushing the wheels farther. When I restored mine I put it back to the original hole.


    I attached a photo of mine, as was said before 10 years ago or so it would’ve been worth that, today not half but less. Around here they do hold their value well though and I would not sell mine for 3500 but a lot of that is emotional. I think some of that is playing into this one from reading the ad. I rebuilt my engine 3 or 4 years ago. It is a very expensive engine to rebuild but I use genuine Kohler parts and I think the pistons for this cost more than an aftermarket small block Chevy rebuild.

    The only thing I don’t like about this one is no PTO and more than that no three point hitch. Most do not have the PTO but a lot of them have the three point, again maybe that’s just a regional. I would be sure to check out how sloppy the front axle is and the front spindles in the axle ends. They will tell you a lot about how it was used or maintained. It will mow and acre and a half a week no problem.

    My 2 cents.

    Odd the pictures are attached but not showing up
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails 2018-08-16 22.33.44.jpg   2018-08-16 22.34.38.jpg  
    Last edited by Herminator; 08-16-2018 at 11:54 PM.
    Welcome to Intermission.

    2017 2038R, 400, 3020 & HPX and thingies to hook to the them.
    112 - Sold in July 2017 but took me until November to admit I just cast it out into this cruel world.
    #compactfarmer

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    scarecrow (08-17-2018)

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    scarecrow's Avatar
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    thanks for the pic Herminator. I really like the tractor my only hold up on a older tractor is the hand controls as mentioned things can get a bit busy. I can see the hand controls being a pain while plowing. trying to turn , lift or angle and not drive completely up the snow mound would be challenging. found a nice 455 all wheel steer but priced too high for my pockets.
    Last edited by scarecrow; 08-17-2018 at 08:01 AM.
    1940 JD B
    1974 JD 110

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    A lot of good information here. The 400's were cutting edge in their day, but, that was a long time ago. You are paying a premium price for this machine, but, if it is in top mechanical and cosmetic form, the seller probably has that much invested, and, if you were to replicate the efforts, so would you. I would prefer a 445 or absolutely a 455, but they are selling well even now due to popularity. My BIL picked one up at an auction for $1700 (a 445) that only needed a battery but has done a fair amount of repairs since. But it is the only thing his wife will mow with.

    https://rockford.craigslist.org/grd/...658437756.html

    Here is an AWS 455 for $4000. Sorry, but that is a no-brainer. (Approach with caution, there are so many scammers, it's hard to tell the legit offers)

    I have great confidence that I could find a better value for the money than the 400, and remember, regardless of what condition it appears to be in, there isn't a guarantee and parts beneath the paint are still 40 years old. I have done a lot of mowing with the 400 and a 60" deck, and, I think the 20HP Kohler is marginal power for that size deck. Newer models were increasing power by 10-20% for that size deck, and it was well deserved. Finally, while you may not think the hand hydro control is a deal breaker, once you are used to foot controls, you would have a hard time going back. Just sayin'

    In the end, were I you, I would either look for a better value for the same dollar, or, a better price on this machine.

    Best of luck.
    rydplrs and Herminator like this.
    Jim
    USMC 73-77
    1026R, H120 Loader, 53" Bucket, 60" 7 Iron Auto-Connect MMM, Artillian Forks, Artillian Front Hoe, King Kutter 48" Tiller

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