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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I bought a John Deere 647 Tiller from my neighbor friend's estate... he passed away this past February.

I thought I got a decent buy on the tiller for $700, but have now discovered that my neighbor friend apparently did not maintain it well.... in fact, when I checked the oil (after I bought it - - STUPID of me, right??) it was non-existent. I pulled the gearbox drain plug and about a half-cup of rusty water came out.

Two John Deere dealers told me to 'just fill it back up with oil'...... that the gears are tough and I should be alright. I did that, and then noticed the following day that the oil had 'leaked out' from the PTO shaft seal....

So, I loaded it up and took it to the dealer to put what I thought would be a simple, $80 seal. Well, they called back and told me that in addition to the seal, the 'shaft' and the gears needed replacing.

I don't know what lead them to say this.... I had actually used the unit before I bought it once and it operated just fine... even with, apparently, no oil in it.

I really just wanted to know what this unit might be worth for parts.... the 'tines' are in good shape.... maybe somebody would buy it for the tines and other parts such as the hinged door, etc.

What might I get for it?

Thanks.
 

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I’d check eBay for used part prices. In order to maximize value you need to disassemble and see individual parts.

In general selling a complete anything for parts the most you will get is the used price of the part the buyer needs, and nothing for the rest.
 

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Sounds like a winter project.I'd buy the parts needed a little at a time and then repair it to use in the spring.
 

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I would look at what kind of damage the shaft and gears have. If it was working before without gear oil it’s probably going to work fine for a long time. I have that same tiller and do a couple good sized gardens every year. It doesn’t get that much run time. Maybe use cornhead grease in the gearbox, it won’t leak out like gear oil.
 

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I believe they ship without oil. I wonder if it had any put in it ever.

Dealer might just be being cautious because they probably don’t want to put a seal on it and have you come back and complain because rust off of something got in the seal and wrecked the new one. The chain and gears might be able to be cleaned up where that would not be a problem but when you figure in dealer labor it might be cheaper to just get parts. For them it’s absolutely safer.

How much did they quote for the new parts only.
 

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I would not put a part in it,,
Go back to the Deere dealer, get a tube of "corn head grease"
(Yes, that is what the Deere dealer will call it also)

Put the grease in the gearbox, the gears and bearings will last as long as if the gearbox had oil in it.

This is a common fix, I guess corn heads leak also?? :dunno:

Corn head grease is used by everybody, for every gear lube you can imagine.

I have it in the gearbox on a Gravely rotary plow,,, the parts to fix it would cost 3 times what I paid for the plow,,
I have been using the plow that way for half a decade,,,

$6 is the right cost to fix it,,,
 

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I would not put a part in it,,
Go back to the Deere dealer, get a tube of "corn head grease"
(Yes, that is what the Deere dealer will call it also)

Put the grease in the gearbox, the gears and bearings will last as long as if the gearbox had oil in it.

This is a common fix, I guess corn heads leak also?? :dunno:

Corn head grease is used by everybody, for every gear lube you can imagine.

I have it in the gearbox on a Gravely rotary plow,,, the parts to fix it would cost 3 times what I paid for the plow,,
I have been using the plow that way for half a decade,,,

$6 is the right cost to fix it,,,

Agreed. It turns to a liquid when warm but returns to a grease. When my transfer case on my car started leaking at 80,000 I replaced it. When it started leaking again at 160,000 I filled it with that. It was still in it when I traded it at 305. When it was 0 degrees it bound a little going out the driveway but that was the only issue.:laugh:
 

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I believe they ship without oil. I wonder if it had any put in it ever.

Dealer might just be being cautious because they probably don’t want to put a seal on it and have you come back and complain because rust off of something got in the seal and wrecked the new one. The chain and gears might be able to be cleaned up where that would not be a problem but when you figure in dealer labor it might be cheaper to just get parts. For them it’s absolutely safer.

How much did they quote for the new parts only.
if it was me-----i would do what cadplans said and put the corn husk grease in it. i think jd just wants it to be brand new inside and fresh for u. as they are suppose to warranty it for a yr-i think:think:

go get it haul it home-clean everything up good-stick a new seal in it--and fill it with the grease and use it-u already are into it for $700--u can work cheaper than jd can for sure. go for it:good2:
 

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I would not part out that tiller. Brand new they are well over $2k so it's worth putting a little money in it. I would replace the seals myself and then put oil or the grease as others have suggested. Unless the gears are broken and the chain (I assume there is a chain with this tiller) is stretched nothing was probably hurt too bad by it being run dry or getting corroded. It's not a precision assembly like the internal parts of an engine or transmission. They are great tillers, so worth putting some money in it, if you are a DIYer. If you are not, buy the parts and then go to a small engine repair shop that isn't a JD Deere dealer and have them fix it. The busy season is just about over so those shops will be looking for work.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
I believe they ship without oil. I wonder if it had any put in it ever.

Dealer might just be being cautious because they probably don’t want to put a seal on it and have you come back and complain because rust off of something got in the seal and wrecked the new one. The chain and gears might be able to be cleaned up where that would not be a problem but when you figure in dealer labor it might be cheaper to just get parts. For them it’s absolutely safer.

How much did they quote for the new parts only.
I believe the shaft was $480 and the seal was $80.... can't recall how much the 'gears' were.

I was a 'little' surprised, because, like I noted in my post, it ran perfectly fine the last time I used it prior to purchasing the unit..... even with no oil in the gear box. There WAS oil in the Chain Guard Case.

I am half-tempted to have them replace the seal.... oil it up and see what happens. I probably would use it 6 times a year at the most. My garden is about 20' X 20'...... and I would till it once in spring and once in fall, and I use a small manual TroyBilt tiller to till between the growing rows of vegetables the rest of the season.... and then, maybe a neighbors garden or two.
 

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I believe the shaft was $480 and the seal was $80.... can't recall how much the 'gears' were.

I was a 'little' surprised, because, like I noted in my post, it ran perfectly fine the last time I used it prior to purchasing the unit..... even with no oil in the gear box. There WAS oil in the Chain Guard Case.

I am half-tempted to have them replace the seal.... oil it up and see what happens. I probably would use it 6 times a year at the most. My garden is about 20' X 20'...... and I would till it once in spring and once in fall, and I use a small manual TroyBilt tiller to till between the growing rows of vegetables the rest of the season.... and then, maybe a neighbors garden or two.
I'm going speculate the shaft is rusted/pitted within the area the seal would ride against. If so, replacing the seal without a new shaft will damage the seal quickly and you'll be back where you started from. $80 seems like an awful lot of money for a seal---even from John Deere.

At this point, I would probably investigate a "speedy sleeve". They are a thin, round, ring that is pressed over a worn seal surface of a shaft to provide a smooth surface for the seal lip to ride up against. They are made in a number of diameters, so it'll take a little homework/research to see if there is an appropriate size sleeve available. The next question will be if you can install it without damaging it. Often they come with a driver or the sleeve has a score line allowing you to peel away the area that was driven against. Whenever possible, I try to install them utilizing a press, rather than a hammer, so as not to distort or damage the sleeve.

The 647 tiller is not built by John Deere, but an Italian company. I believe they market nearly the same tiller, if not the same, under another brand name. So that could possibly be a more cost effective source for repair parts.

I'm glad I store mine indoors.....
 

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I'm going speculate the shaft is rusted/pitted within the area the seal would ride against. If so, replacing the seal without a new shaft will damage the seal quickly and you'll be back where you started from. $80 seems like an awful lot of money for a seal---even from John Deere.

At this point, I would probably investigate a "speedy sleeve". They are a thin, round, ring that is pressed over a worn seal surface of a shaft to provide a smooth surface for the seal lip to ride up against. They are made in a number of diameters, so it'll take a little homework/research to see if there is an appropriate size sleeve available. The next question will be if you can install it without damaging it. Often they come with a driver or the sleeve has a score line allowing you to peel away the area that was driven against. Whenever possible, I try to install them utilizing a press, rather than a hammer, so as not to distort or damage the sleeve.

The 647 tiller is not built by John Deere, but an Italian company. I believe they market nearly the same tiller, if not the same, under another brand name. So that could possibly be a more cost effective source for repair parts.

I'm glad I store mine indoors.....
Maletti? Something like that?
 
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