1- Motors- I am no expert here....but from what I have been told these Kohlers can last about 1000-1300 hours and then need to be rebuilt....you can figure about 2000-2500 or more hours out of one if taken care of. These Kohlers have a decompression switch built in so in order to test the motor- a leak down test is the best way to check the condition of the motor. If the air cleaner is dirty, the oil is dirty, and the motor is covered with dirt/oil.....then figure it has been rode hard and maintenance has been half done. Mine had some tell tell signs of how it was maintained. Nails instead of cotter pins in some areas, dirty filter, etc.....first thing I did put replace the oil and filters (motor and hyraulic). Cleaned the carburetor and installed new plugs. I also cleaned out and greased ever zerk I could find. (I was able to purchase a low hours 20hp Kohler as a back up for mine at reasonable price of $400)
2- Make sure all controls are working. This is a hydraulic machine, make sure it will go forward and reverse. You will need to get under the machine and check the companion flange (located between the rear axle and the hydraulic motor)...I will post pictures of what you are looking to see in this area- first is the companion flange ears broken? These bolts become loose and can damage this part if not checked regularly. If some of the ears are broken, it is something that will need to be negotiated in the sale price. This part will cost between $200 and $280 for the part alone not counting the labor to install it. These bolts need to be checked every month or so to make sure they have not gotten loose. Make sure you use alot of lock-tite when putting these nuts and bolts on.
3- Hydraulic hoses- if they are leaking they may need to be replaced. So far the hoses I have replaced have cost under $50. For most of these hoses figure $80 or less. This system requires a 5000lb pressure hose. The owners manual for the T5C incorrectly says 2 wire 5000lb hose......you will need to be a 5000lb hose which will probably be a 4 wire hose. I have found several outlets for these hoses- take the broken hose to them and they will make one to fit correctly. (my local Car Quest does it for me). I may keep some of the old hoses as a back up when I am on my land 25 miles from my house. Would like to make sure I could get it back up and on the trailer to bring it home.
4- Cylinders- check for leaks, and bent rods. After getting mine home, I noticed the main bucket rod was bent. Luckily it is not leaking and seems to be capable of doing the work. Two of mine are seeping ....not much...but something I will eventually get done.
5- Brakes- you only have 1 brake drum on the drive shaft in the same area as the companion flange. Check to see if it is working. They seem to be a weak part of the model that I own. I may try to move it to the axle/hub area on one side when I get the chance.
6- More of a fyi- make sure you check the oil in the Dana differential- there are no good service manuals on these tractors- so check and fill with 80-90 gear oil till it runs out the top hole.
7- check the front tie rods- they can be bought at your local auto store- but on mine there are 3 - each cost about $60 a piece. My front end tie rods and bearings needed to be replaced. I bought the bearings and seals at my local auto store. They had both in stock. Tierods had to be ordered.
Here is a shot of the companion flange.
Edited by sacsr, January 20, 2013 - 07:44 PM.