Buyer beware on Used 2012 JD Gator 550? - John Deere Gator Forums
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post #1 of 2 Old 08-12-2019, 07:02 PM Thread Starter
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Join Date: Aug 2019
Location: Maryland
Posts: 2
Buyer beware on Used 2012 JD Gator 550?

Will be looking at a used 685 hr 2012 JD Gator 550 at my local JD dealer tomorrow. I've educated myself on all the possible failures with this model. Previous owner traded in for a bigger one is what I was told by the dealer. Also was told that the engine head/gaskets, cables, and new shifting arms have been replaced after trade-in. Will test it out at the dealership but I'm also thinking of having it delivered to my farm for a more thorough test drive. From what I read most problems occur with low hours. Im hoping they fixed a few things just to be on the safe side with 685 hours on it. Possibly those were two of the worst failures on this model and John Deere had them do that?
Looking for advice on how to approach looking over this model and all its possible shortcomings.
Thanks in advance for any replies.
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post #2 of 2 Old 08-13-2019, 08:24 AM
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Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: PA
Posts: 614
Originally Posted by Colbrigg View Post
"Possibly those were two of the worst failures on this model and John Deere had them do that?"
John Deere doesn't make the dealer do anything with respect to fixing a used Gator unless there was a safety recall. After the short warranty period is up, JD doesn't care if anything breaks as they have a virtual lock on the replacement parts and make considerable revenue from it.

My guess and that's all it can be, is there were considerable issues with this machine making it impossible for them to sell it without fixing it.

The head gasket didn't just go bad without some other issue occurring, such as over heating. The shifting arms likely broke because the clutch didn't release as it should. etc.... Are they willing to warranty the repair work?

Only you will be able to determine if the price to purchase risk is at the threshold to move forward or not. Any purchase is a risk.

The idea of using it for a longer period of time to verify its state of operation sounds like a great idea. A good thorough inspection to check for leaks, bad bearings/bushings and other operational performance parameters is encouraged. JD Parts are expensive as they go to great lengths to ensure a lack of competition.

Good luck!

2012 JD855D OPS Black Poly Roof, Deluxe Cargo Box, Front and Rear Protection, Power Lift, Front Hood Rack, Rear Screen (homemade), 800 Watt Inverter, 2500lb Winch installed in cargo bed, Front and Rear LED auxiliary lighting (4" square 27 watt), Front and Rear CV Guards, Koplin Side Mirrors
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