Buying advice needed: L2500

pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
279
207
43
SE Pennsylvania
Hi Folks,

I have a line on a L2500 4WD that will be sold next week. I looked at this tractor this morning and followed up by doing a bit of research.

Background: The L2500 was sold for only 3 years (1998-2000). It has a D1403 IDI engine (naturally aspirated). Serial Number of this one is 51099. I think that might be early in the production run. There's a date code on the rear wheels: 06/97. Has the Kubota LB400 loader, attached. And, a Kubota weight box on the 3-point hitch.

Condition: This tractor is a cream puff. Has 1393 hours showing. There was a service sticker on the hood, and the Kubota oil filter was labeled with a Sharpie pen indicating that the tractor was serviced in April 2022 with 1386 hours on it. [Just SEVEN hours' use in 18 months? Wow. AND, more importantly, it appears the hour meter is still working.] I'm presuming that it was serviced commercially, and since it has a Kubota oil filter on it, the tractor was probably serviced at a dealership. The sheet metal is a bit beat up, of course, but easily fixable. Some newer looking hydraulic hoses on it. All original paint and almost none of the factory gray paint is rubbed off. Has new front wheels and tires, good Ag tires all around. Seat is rotten, but it still looks like it has been stored inside for most of its life. It is said that the front-wheel drive does not engage. The large FEL bucket is bad rusty on the inside.

I found out that this tractor was sold a month ago for $6500. Apparently, previous buyer backed out, so it's for sale again. I think I'd be VERY happy to get it for that price!

It's not exactly what I'm looking for (I want a direct-injected four cylinder), but winter's a-comin' and I need something to drag a blade up and down my long, steep driveway...BEFORE winter gets here. [I already have the blade for it.]

If I can spruce this thing up (straighten the sheet metal, fix the 4WD) and get it ready to flip, when the 'right' one comes along, I'll be ready.

There's also an L-series basket case sitting next to it (missing some frame parts, but with a complete 4WD front axle that looks very similar). I'm sure this basket case is of an earlier vintage, but it has a disassembled 3-cylinder motor, so I might expect a few parts to be interchangeable with the L2500. If I can snatch that up for a few $hundred, I'll do that, too!

Here's a pic:
1697805000374.jpeg

Whaddaya think?
All opinions WELCOME!
Again, that LARGE bucket is toast. If the rust on the inside was chipped off, it would be full of holes.

THANKS!
-Paul
 
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Vlach7

Active member

Equipment
L47 305DT JD500C
Dec 16, 2021
290
196
43
Frazier Park Ca
How does it run? I am concerned about the guy flipping it did he find something wrong with it? Otherwise sounds like a great deal. If possible, have an experienced Kubota owner run it or make a utube video for us of it running.
 

pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
279
207
43
SE Pennsylvania
Ya Vlach7, I took the recent dealer servicing as evidence that any of those operability issues had probably already been addressed. Unless something Bad happened in the 7 hours since.... The keys were in it. I'll probably go back before the sale and test run it...

I'm guessing previous buyer backed out because he wasn't informed that the front-wheel drive was inoperable.

I get that it's not wise to "guess"!

Thanks!
-Paul
 

Vlach7

Active member

Equipment
L47 305DT JD500C
Dec 16, 2021
290
196
43
Frazier Park Ca
Front wheel drive may be a can of worms, you wonder why it wasn't fixed at the dealership, it will be interesting what the more educated feel.
 

PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
2,288
1,255
113
NZ
Still a good price for a 2wd tractor, bargain if you get the front drive fixed. You could try engaging the front and see if the driveshaft is turning. If yes, then any problem is in the front axle assembly = easier to fix. If not, then it's in the engage in the rear gearbox, which I imagine to be a bigger job.
 

pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
279
207
43
SE Pennsylvania
Still a good price for a 2wd tractor, bargain if you get the front drive fixed. You could try engaging the front and see if the driveshaft is turning. If yes, then any problem is in the front axle assembly = easier to fix. If not, then it's in the engage in the rear gearbox, which I imagine to be a bigger job.
Yes, I thought about all that, other Paul. I don't think this tractor has an exposed driveshaft for the front. And, for axles without lock-out hubs (like this one) the driveshaft should turn anytime the front wheels are turning. If it doesn't, it's a sure bet that the differential is busted (and probably, noisy). I do have some experience building axle assemblies - Dana 60s and Chrysler 8-3/4". They're simple, if not a bit tedious in the setup.

I'll have some time to look the tractor over again and run it before the sale. Also, the hydraulic lever that runs the FEL felt a little wonky when the tractor was not running, maybe that's just because the hydraulic pump isn't pumping...

Something that is a puzzler, logically: If the front-wheel drive was not working, why would anyone spend on brand new tires and wheels for the front axle? The front wheels still have the Kubota sticker on them with the part number. And, most of the 'nibs' on the tires are still there. Shoot, it could just be a stuck lever or something screwed up in the linkage...

PS, there was another L2500 (sans FEL) there, but not for sale. It had almost 4000 (tough) hours on it, and tread on the front tires was almost gone. Makes me think that failure(s) in the front-drive mechanism are not universal to this model..., granted, it's a very small sample size.

Also, I gotta look over the 4WD front axle in that earlier L basket case in this same sale to see how similar it is to the one in the L2500.

Anyone else here that has experience dealing with front-drive failures in 20-25 year-old Ls?

Also a follow-up Q on the FEL: I don't know what distinguishes a quick-attach loader, but this one seems very simple to remove. Two bolts in the front crossmember, and it looks like the whole thing just lifts straight up, out of the pockets in the back. There are a couple of what look like props clipped to the inside of the left loader arm.../
Here's a pic:
1697805585229.jpeg


Thanks for the replies!
-Paul
 
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GreensvilleJay

Well-known member

Equipment
BX23-S,57 A-C D-14,58 A-C D-14, 57 A-C D-14,tiller,cults,Millcreek 25G spreader,
Apr 2, 2019
10,556
4,432
113
Greensville,Ontario,Canada
re: Bucket
That's a '4 pin' version. You remove2 pins from cylinders, 2 from frame and the bucket comes off..
The SSQA version there's a 'frame' attached to those 4 pins ,and you change bucket by flipping 2 levers, same as 'skid steers' do.
The 'fun' of pin on buckets is wrestling to get them on and off. Easier on a level concrete pad using 4 big drifts to align bucket to loader. That is a young,healthy man's game NOT for the 'older,wiser crowd'.
 
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pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
279
207
43
SE Pennsylvania
re: Bucket
OK, I get it. I've been thinking all along that there was a type of loader that was easier to remove entirely from the tractor. This one looks easy enough. A chain-hoist would be a good tool for that job, the way it looks. Can't think of any reason I'd want to remove it anyway...

That bucket in the pic is used up. If you chipped the rust off the inside, it would be full of holes. May be good for stuff like sawdust and mulch, but I wouldn't think about moving any rock with it...
 

pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
279
207
43
SE Pennsylvania
This Kubota bucket is selling at the same sale:
1697813718788.jpeg

It was used to mix concrete, and not cleaned up afterwards. Will probably be CHEAP!
Few days pushing stone will clean it up! Looks decently straight, especially the front edge.

It looks a bit smaller, but given the limited lift capacity of the LB400 loader, that's not a bad thing...
I can see it's not for the LB400 loader as there are no pin holes for the cylinders. But, HEY, that's what welders are for! I'll take along a tape measure. Hope the arm slots are the same width...

-Paul


-
 

PaulL

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Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
2,288
1,255
113
NZ
That bucket is probably a BX bucket - three attachment points not 4.

The whole loader can come off, and a quick attach loader has a built-in stand and pins that easily pull out to remove it. This loader looks to be bolted on, but not unreasonably hard to remove if you wanted to.

The bucket can also come off, and a skid steer quick attach will let you swap the bucket for another implement (forks or grapple or whatever) easily. If you don't have a need to swap implements, you don't need to take the bucket off.

If you do want to swap implements, but only to one other (like a set of forks), you can buy the old-style Kubota pin-on quick attach. These work well, but the aren't industry standard (so you can't just go borrow implements from your neighbour, they'd have to exactly match the Kubota pin spacing).
 

pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
279
207
43
SE Pennsylvania
That bucket is probably a BX bucket - three attachment points not 4.

The whole loader can come off, and a quick attach loader has a built-in stand and pins that easily pull out to remove it. This loader looks to be bolted on, but not unreasonably hard to remove if you wanted to.

The bucket can also come off, and a skid steer quick attach will let you swap the bucket for another implement (forks or grapple or whatever) easily. If you don't have a need to swap implements, you don't need to take the bucket off.

If you do want to swap implements, but only to one other (like a set of forks), you can buy the old-style Kubota pin-on quick attach. These work well, but the aren't industry standard (so you can't just go borrow implements from your neighbour, they'd have to exactly match the Kubota pin spacing).
Oh, THANKs, other Paul.
Again, the only attachments seeming to hold this loader on the tractor are through the cross member at the bottom of the radiator. The back ends of the loader arms are seated in 6" deep pockets, with no apparent restraint. So, seems pretty simple, regardless of its classification.

I get the relative advantages of the QA systems. Funny, after being actually farming or closely associated with the community for over 50 years, I don't have to think twice about bucket attachment methods. Been there, done all that. You learn to compensate for design shortcomings. Like, being fussy about blocking up a detachment, so that next time you want to use it, you can just drive up and shoot the pins. Not a particular challenge, it just takes modestly careful preparation for what you know you're going to want tomorrow... There's always tomorrow.

-Paul
 

Fordtech86

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
L3200
Aug 7, 2018
4,959
5,869
113
Pineville,LA
Also a follow-up Q on the FEL: I don't know what distinguishes a quick-attach loader, but this one seems very simple to remove. Two bolts in the front crossmember, and it looks like the whole thing just lifts straight up, out of the pockets in the back. There are a couple of what look like props clipped to the inside of the left loader arm.../
I think the two “props” on the loader arms go on the bucket maybe, and allows you to curl it to lift the loader frame off the frame mounts and these

0D976142-8ACD-4D13-98D0-7872524F7872.jpeg

Are the stands to hold it up when removed I believe.

@Flintknapper had a good thread (or maybe he posted the process in an existing thread?) about removing the loader on his older L.

edit:


That’s the thread I was thinking of. I think I got it backwards up there, the pieces across the top of the dash go on the bucket to curl it off and the pieces on the loader arms are the stands.
 
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pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
279
207
43
SE Pennsylvania
I think the two “props” on the loader arms go on the bucket maybe, and allows you to curl it to lift the loader frame off the frame mounts and these

View attachment 114291
Are the stands to hold it up when removed I believe.

@Flintknapper had a good thread (or maybe he posted the process in an existing thread?) about removing the loader on his older L.

edit:


That’s the thread I was thinking of. I think I got it backwards up there, the pieces across the top of the dash go on the bucket to curl it off and the pieces on the loader arms are the stands.
Thanks for all the info Fordtech. I gotta chuckle in that I'm a ways upstream from worrying about how to implement that stuff. But, it's good to know!
 

pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
279
207
43
SE Pennsylvania
Buying Advice. Now, moot.

I bought this tractor today. Got for WAY less than I was willing to pay. I stood nearby for an entire hour before it sold, just scoping out the interest by others. Seemed like very few interested buyers. Couple guys played with the hydraulics, nobody sat on the seat. The guy I was most worried about clearly knew where to find all the controls.

I had driven this thing around the yard yesterday, and there were no vices. No strange sounds or vibrations or grinding noises. Shifting on all levers (gearbox, H/L, 2/4WD) was smooth, and felt normal.
It has the 8-speed manual with High/Low ranges, for 16 forward speeds. Sits there at 3000 RPM, asking for work. Just would not engage 4WD. I tried moving that lever when the tractor was moving, and...nothing. We'll take a look at that. Soon. Hydraulics were good, all around. And the machine was parked with 500 lbs in the air on the 3-point, and was still at full-high. The actuator for the FEL is a bit sloppy/wonky. It looks like the original Kubota unit... I figure to update that with something more modern. [Suggestions welcome.]

Auctioneer started it at $10K. It quickly dropped to $3K with no bids, and then two of us came in at once. A couple of bids later, the other guy was done. And, then, nobody else came in with a bid. Mine! I thought for sure there would be a reserve, but no. What a CHERRY this tractor is!

The sheetmetal on this thing is very straight. Just needs some minor cleanup underneath the rear fenders and some tweaking on the bonnet to be ready for final sanding. I could have all the sheetmetal painted with 40 hours' work. Will probably hold off on that until next summer.

Stay tuned!
I'm SO excited!
-Paul
 
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PaulL

Well-known member

Equipment
B2601
Jul 17, 2017
2,288
1,255
113
NZ
Congratulations. Sounds like good buying. Good luck on the FWD.
 

Runs With Scissors

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Equipment
L2501 TLB , Grappel, Brush Hog, Box Blade, Ballast box, Forks, Tiller, PH digger
Jan 25, 2023
2,043
2,182
113
Michigan
Congrats man!

You are referring to the tractor in your original post, correct?
 

fried1765

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Equipment
Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
7,225
4,582
113
Eastham, Ma
Buying Advice. Now, moot.

I bought this tractor today. Got for WAY less than I was willing to pay. I stood nearby for an entire hour before it sold, just scoping out the interest by others. Seemed like very few interested buyers. Couple guys played with the hydraulics, nobody sat on the seat. The guy I was most worried about clearly knew where to find all the controls.

I had driven this thing around the yard yesterday, and there were no vices. No strange sounds or vibrations or grinding noises. Shifting on all levers (gearbox, H/L, 2/4WD) was smooth, and felt normal.
It has the 8-speed manual with High/Low ranges, for 16 forward speeds. Sits there at 3000 RPM, asking for work. Just would not engage 4WD. I tried moving that lever when the tractor was moving, and...nothing. We'll take a look at that. Soon. Hydraulics were good, all around. And the machine was parked with 500 lbs in the air on the 3-point, and was still at full-high. The actuator for the FEL is a bit sloppy/wonky. It looks like the original Kubota unit... I figure to update that with something more modern. [Suggestions welcome.]

Auctioneer started it at $10K. It quickly dropped to $3K with no bids, and then two of us came in at once. A couple of bids later, the other guy was done. And, then, nobody else came in with a bid. Mine! I thought for sure there would be a reserve, but no. What a CHERRY this tractor is!

The sheetmetal on this thing is very straight. Just needs some minor cleanup underneath the rear fenders and some tweaking on the bonnet to be ready for final sanding. I could have all the sheetmetal painted with 40 hours' work. Will probably hold off on that until next summer.

Stay tuned!
I'm SO excited!
-Paul
It is so pleasing when a hoped for deal comes together.
Congratulations on your find!
 

pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
279
207
43
SE Pennsylvania
Thanks, guys!
Yes, the tractor I was seeking advice on is now MINE, all MINE!
I came, I saw, I conquered.
Veni, Vidi, Vici.

Hauling the tractor home on Saturday.

-Paul
 
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pigdoc

Active member

Equipment
G1800S L2500
Aug 19, 2022
279
207
43
SE Pennsylvania
Just an update.

Got the tractor home, on Halloween. Ooo, orange tractor?

Unloaded it at the foot of the mountain and drove it on up. No vices.

Last Saturday, I hooked up my rear blade (no parts needed!) and graded the driveway. First thing was, once I had the weight box off the 3-point, there was VERY little weight on the rear wheels. Ooof. I had to use the BUFF to drag the blade up to the tractor. Once the blade was in the air, it was better, but still lacking.

So, first order of business is to get some rear wheel weight on this thing. I may make adapters for the Farmall Cub weights I have, which are about the right size, but need to have an adapter to mount 4-bolt weight to 6-bolt wheel (Kubota).

Come to think of it, Kubota rear wheel weights seem to be RARE in the marketplace.

Could put fluid in the rear tires, but that's a last-resort thing...

And, for traction, of COURSE having functional front-wheel drive would be nice.

61" of wheelbase is not a lot to work with, when you're hanging heavy stuff off both ends.

I have a strategy for addressing the front-drive problem, after looking at the parts diagrams. I'm going to drop the front drive shell to get a look at the shift lever. My best case is that this is just sheared off. It's a $15 part. OTOH, it feels like the spring-ball detent is still providing feedback....What's stopping me? The flood of trans fluid to catch and manage. Holiday coming, Friday.

It's a SWEET runner. Just purrs at 2500RPM with a load. Temp gauge hugging mid-range. No serious drivetrain vices, hydraulics all work. Power-steering! Needs a new seat. I froze my ass, sitting in a wet sponge all day.

I spent some time playing with sheet metal alignment. Something is seriously wonky with the lower grill attachment. And another front bonnet support needs a 1/2" spacer. The grill support is just made from sheet metal. In my perfect world, the grill would be cast iron! Looking for a stylish plug for that FIVE-inch stamped hole in the bonnet, right above the radiator cap. Really? Thinking maybe a chrome semi-truck hub cap...

-Paul

PS, Wanna say that PJ-1 spray rubbed in with 000 steel wool polished up the factory paint on the hood and side covers VERY nicely. Removed all the moss and chalking with very little rubbing. Left a nice sheen. That's just temporary, until it's time to repaint. But, big HINT here. NEVER use anything containing silicone (e.g., WD-40) on anything you ever want to paint. Silicone residue plays hell, and is about impossible to effectively clean.
 
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