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Things To Look For When Buying A Terramite

27208 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  damiller47
Thought we could start a thread on what to look for when buying a used Terramite. I just bought a used 1996 Terramite T5C. It has a Kohler 20hp Command motor in it now, but I think a Kohler Magnum 20hp was what originally came in it. Mine has power steering. From what I have read about the manual or power steering in these tractors....they are expensive to repair. Rear end is a Dana 44. I will also start a thread on what parts can be bought locally and hopefully we can put together a good list of part numbers to make it easier as repairs are needed.

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 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 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. Automotive tire Motor vehicle Yellow Tire Bumper
Automotive tire Camera lens Camera accessory Lens Wood


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Here are a few pictures taken while I was pressure washing it.


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33 years ago a friend had a machine very much like yours. He used it in his orchards. He said that the company was out of business. His machine was only a couple of years old at that time. He was disappointed that it didn't have bushings in the various pivot pins. Good advice you are giving. Keep it up.
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What did you ever figure out about the tie rod end situation
Yes the guys at the factory said that the ones I got are incorrect. They said they have bought them before and that they got the same ones, they sent them back and had NAPA resend the right ones. The part number is supposedly right, just should not have that much bend in it. They do bolt on from the top in my model, but some of the earlier models did bolt on from the bottom.
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Here is a link to the Terramite web site that is good information regarding buying a used one.
Saw on the site that I bought my companion flange they now have a MUCH CHEAPER possible alternative....can we say $96 versus $188.

I can not say for sure it will work, but for half the price would be worth looking into. The link is below.

If anyone does go this route, please give us some feedback.
I have owed a terramite for over 20 years. the terramite Corp. is still running fine today, I drive passed their place daily.

they are @ as for your brakes, you can use the hubs and back plate from a older ford pickup

or most older ford cars, the differential is the same as a lot of fords too, No big deal it's just a Dana44. As for your hoses, 5000lbs working hoses pressure is a 2 wire brad, not 4.

if you want to check your hydraulic pressure, put a gauge on one if your out riggings, and hold it. your pressure should be

around 2000 psi if it is more than that. YOU WILL damage the machine to test your pressure you hold the control & put

on your gauge, you should be able to hold that pressure for 1 minute & not drop any or hurt anything As for the hydraulic cylinder,

that EZ get rebuild kit runs around $20 as for the bent rod. spend the money replace it, it could buckle under a load, hurt you or someone you care about. because a bent rod is playing hell on that cylinder walls, pistons seals you scare your cylinder walls

and then you get to replace the hole thing (what a joy) the best thing you can get/have is a welder, this machine has NO hardened

steal to it (other than the cutting edge and the bucket teeth) not the booms, buckets the pins or the bushings. been-there done-that

I love my terramite. I call it my "Lawnmower on steroids." one more note. did you know, You can push start it. pull it with a pickup

or something push the peddle all the way in the direction you are goes and it makes the axle motor a pump and the engine pump a motor. don't believe me try-it.
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I bought a 1996 T5C a few months ago and have been very pleased with it ... until yesterday. Something is going on with the drive mechanism that prevents it from moving forward and backward. The bucket and shovel work fine but it won't move, just makes a clunking sound. I'm sure it's a simple fix but I don't have time to dig into it. When I call the factory to find out where I can get it repaired, they direct me to several places that, when I ask, have no idea what a T5C is and have never worked on one. Does anybody know of a dealer or repair facility within 100 miles of Manassas, VA?


For what it's worth, I found a tractor equipment dealer who works on T5Cs. It's an equipment rental, sales, and service company called Skyworks, with locations in NY, TN, OH, PA, VA & NJ. They completely replaced my rear end, gave me back the old parts so I could see what happened and stand behind their work. Apparently the rear end hadn't been lubed in the 20 years of it's life. What was left in it was a small amount of a pasty substance and a lot of metal shavings. It set me back about $1500 but it was worth it to get my tractor back.
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