Soon to be a new FLU419 owner (maybe)

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coffeehouseforge

New member
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Alaska
I have the opportunity to purchase a 89 Flu419 with 3032 miles and a little over 3000 hrs on it. Paint, body and machanics look good on first inspection. Operated the hydrolics (no digging, just moving stuff around). Everything seemed to work as intended.
I was a Seabee for many yrs as an equipment operator, so have experience with dirt movers/diggers but not with the SEE.
I have an off grid place in central Alaska, and need to dig in water/power lines, dig an off-grid septic, remove stumbs, lift trees onto my saw mill, and of course move snow.
This seems to be a good all around machime for my personal needs. Price is around $25k, but it is sitting here in Alaska, which is a big plus. What are your thougjts as owners of these unique machines?

As a side note: a basic well used skidsteer or mini-exe runs around 20k to 30+k up here for comparison.
 

Speedwoble

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New Holland, PA
I have the opportunity to purchase a 89 Flu419 with 3032 miles and a little over 3000 hrs on it. Paint, body and machanics look good on first inspection. Operated the hydrolics (no digging, just moving stuff around). Everything seemed to work as intended.
I was a Seabee for many yrs as an equipment operator, so have experience with dirt movers/diggers but not with the SEE.
I have an off grid place in central Alaska, and need to dig in water/power lines, dig an off-grid septic, remove stumbs, lift trees onto my saw mill, and of course move snow.
This seems to be a good all around machime for my personal needs. Price is around $25k, but it is sitting here in Alaska, which is a big plus. What are your thougjts as owners of these unique machines?

As a side note: a basic well used skidsteer or mini-exe runs around 20k to 30+k up here for comparison.
There have been several parts FLU’s sold out of Alaska for a few hundred dollars because it would cost so much to ship to the lower 48. So parts may be out there. That’s the challenge of niche stuff: worthless if nobody needs it and priceless if someone does.
 

simp5782

Feo, Fuerte y Formal
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You can add a splitter valve into the rear hydraulics to be able to run any skid steer attachment on the front. Add the skid steer plate to the front arms and you can roam around with a hydraulic bushhog cutting trees 6ft in the air. And any other attachment you can think of.

There are several hydraulic welders available to run off the rear or front hydraulic pump as well.

Much more purposes than a 310/580 backhoe or a skid steer really
 

coffeehouseforge

New member
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3
Location
Alaska
You can add a splitter valve into the rear hydraulics to be able to run any skid steer attachment on the front. Add the skid steer plate to the front arms and you can roam around with a hydraulic bushhog cutting trees 6ft in the air. And any other attachment you can think of.

There are several hydraulic welders available to run off the rear or front hydraulic pump as well.

Much more purposes than a 310/580 backhoe or a skid steer really

Thanks for the info. I am looking at putting on a skidsteer plate to include their attachments. Good info on the splitter valve. I appreciate it.
 

peakbagger

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Location
northern nh
SEEs use a lot of air assist systems and they do not have air dryers. They do have an alcohol bottle for injecting alcohol to keep the air system from freezing up. I recently restarted my project to retrofit an air dryer on the air system which is preferable to alcohol if you are dealing with cold weather. Its does have an automatic ether injection system for starting. Specialized cannisters of ether are available down in the lower 48 but probably a special order up north.

There was a very rare rock bucket available to the military equipped with multiple ripper hooks, not so good for clean holes but really good on permafrost and ledge. The misc. technical manuals section has a report on the differences in capability between the stock case bucket then the ripper bucket.

3000 hours is lot of hours for most of the SEEs out there, many have far lower hours but they are down in the lower 48. Assuming you keep oil and antifreeze in the OM352 engine they run for decades before need of a rebuild. Hours is not a bad thing as it means that someone has sorted it out. Many of the SEEs were in storage for decades and suffer from lack of use. A bargaining point is definitely the condition of the hydraulic hoses, many SEEs have the original cracked and checked hoses, it is thousands of dollars to replace them all, f you see signs of cracking and checking then you would want to start at a lower price as they will fail sooner than later. The reconditioned SEEs have newer hoses.

Lots of folks asking 25K on ebay but many of those listings never get a bite. My guess is in the lower 48 15 to 20K for a good working one, less if its a problem unit. There is a member on this site (whose name escapes me) that tracks the production of the SEEs that have come up for sale over the years and on occasion has some history on its condition at the original auction. In one case a so called running SEE was originally auctioned as a parts SEE in pretty bad shape. No problem if someone went through it but unless they had access to a parts SEE, the economics would not work out.
 

coffeehouseforge

New member
14
6
3
Location
Alaska
SEEs use a lot of air assist systems and they do not have air dryers. They do have an alcohol bottle for injecting alcohol to keep the air system from freezing up. I recently restarted my project to retrofit an air dryer on the air system which is preferable to alcohol if you are dealing with cold weather. Its does have an automatic ether injection system for starting. Specialized cannisters of ether are available down in the lower 48 but probably a special order up north.

There was a very rare rock bucket available to the military equipped with multiple ripper hooks, not so good for clean holes but really good on permafrost and ledge. The misc. technical manuals section has a report on the differences in capability between the stock case bucket then the ripper bucket.

3000 hours is lot of hours for most of the SEEs out there, many have far lower hours but they are down in the lower 48. Assuming you keep oil and antifreeze in the OM352 engine they run for decades before need of a rebuild. Hours is not a bad thing as it means that someone has sorted it out. Many of the SEEs were in storage for decades and suffer from lack of use. A bargaining point is definitely the condition of the hydraulic hoses, many SEEs have the original cracked and checked hoses, it is thousands of dollars to replace them all, f you see signs of cracking and checking then you would want to start at a lower price as they will fail sooner than later. The reconditioned SEEs have newer hoses.

Lots of folks asking 25K on ebay but many of those listings never get a bite. My guess is in the lower 48 15 to 20K for a good working one, less if its a problem unit. There is a member on this site (whose name escapes me) that tracks the production of the SEEs that have come up for sale over the years and on occasion has some history on its condition at the original auction. In one case a so called running SEE was originally auctioned as a parts SEE in pretty bad shape. No problem if someone went through it but unless they had access to a parts SEE, the economics would not work out.
Thanks for all the info. Most equipment runs higher up here I have noticed. I am meeting with the owner today to see about getting more info. From what I have been told by the cuttent owner, this unit was purchased in Colorado and he had it shipped up here. He has replaced some of the hosed and put new seals in a few of the hydraulic cylinders, and has the parts for the others. I know he replaced the fuel primer pump and a few other odss and ends. This unit is OD green with a white star on the door. Paint on buckets does not appear to be to heavly used.
I will be pulling hood today and checking hour meter and a better inspection and test drive.
Appreciate all the info 😊
 

Speedwoble

Active member
451
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Location
New Holland, PA
Thanks for all the info. Most equipment runs higher up here I have noticed. I am meeting with the owner today to see about getting more info. From what I have been told by the cuttent owner, this unit was purchased in Colorado and he had it shipped up here. He has replaced some of the hosed and put new seals in a few of the hydraulic cylinders, and has the parts for the others. I know he replaced the fuel primer pump and a few other odss and ends. This unit is OD green with a white star on the door. Paint on buckets does not appear to be to heavly used.
I will be pulling hood today and checking hour meter and a better inspection and test drive.
Appreciate all the info 😊
The red digit on the hour meter is not tenths, by the way.
Also see what the owner recommends for shut-down. If he turns the key off, then kills the engine, he hasn’t Read the manuals. Shutting the key off first can harm the electrical system.
 

coffeehouseforge

New member
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Location
Alaska
So this unit was bought by the current owner in Las Vegas and in transported to Alaska. He believed the original owners bought it in Arizona. Working to get the unit are Vin number now. Here are 2 pics from the listing. It's looking like the FLU419 my be a small community, anybody recognizes machine and have any information?
 

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peakbagger

Active member
549
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Location
northern nh
I cant give you any specific info on that particular truck but its worth determining if ts been "recapped" which is generally a total rebuild. There were several programs to rebuild SEEs as political make work programs. There is usually a plaque behind the passenger seat with the rebuild date. Few seemed to have been used after rebuild and ended up at auction. Some ended up with the desert camo paint job. C&C equipment has been dealing with a lot of these over the years, they buy the "good ones" and sell at the high end of pricing. Now that the auction cycle had dried up they list them less often.
 

coffeehouseforge

New member
14
6
3
Location
Alaska
I cant give you any specific info on that particular truck but its worth determining if ts been "recapped" which is generally a total rebuild. There were several programs to rebuild SEEs as political make work programs. There is usually a plaque behind the passenger seat with the rebuild date. Few seemed to have been used after rebuild and ended up at auction. Some ended up with the desert camo paint job. C&C equipment has been dealing with a lot of these over the years, they buy the "good ones" and sell at the high end of pricing. Now that the auction cycle had dried up they list them less often.
Heres are photos of the tags as sent to me by the current owner. Does not look like this one has been re conditioned. He said he has use it may be a total of 40 to 50 hours for doing snow removal, stump removal,l dig a few footers. Reports no issues.
I appreciate everybody's input on this, with throwing down 25K or more I'm just trying to be as thorough with my research as possible.
Hoping someone maybe familiar with this particular machine. Again he believes it was bought out of Arizona, he pick it up in Las Vegas.
 

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The FLU farm

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Considering how clean it looks, that the hours are most likely 300, not 3,000, and that it's already close to you (shipping would be a killer), I'd offer 22K and hope for the best.
 

coffeehouseforge

New member
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Location
Alaska
Considering how clean it looks, that the hours are most likely 300, not 3,000, and that it's already close to you (shipping would be a killer), I'd offer 22K and hope for the best.
I was thinking along the same lines, When I go back I'm going to pull the hood and check the hour meter. I was thinking hours and lining up would be pretty unusual. As far as price, negotiations is always part of the purchase, lol
 

The FLU farm

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This late in the game (no more auctions, really) you're at the mercy of what's out there - which is all over the place, physically and price wise.
Let's say I sold you my meant-to-be parts SEE, which turned out to be great mechanically, for the 5-something K I paid for it.
Well, by the time it got to you it would probably cost as much as the one you're looking at.

And if/when something goes sideways, the "Owners" thread has a crap load of good info in it.
 

Pinsandpitons

Member
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Central Washington
Think hard about how hard the ground is that you'll be working. This is a heavy machine, heavier than a regular backhoe of the same size, and with MUCH smaller tires = higher ground pressure. They are cool machines, but just not as good at digging and moving as their purpose built cousins. They can get from place to place on roads much easier and faster, but once there are not as efficient. Cold hard truth, sorry.
 

coffeehouseforge

New member
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Location
Alaska
The ground in our area is more sandy loan, once you get passed the duff (veg level) which can be a couple a feer deep. Spring breakup is a short period of mud, followed by a quick dry out. So don't believe moving from the place to be much of an issue. Most work will include:
* Digging up and pull g stumps (trees up here have shallow spreading roots with NO tap roots.
* Digging in the water and electrical lines
* Dragging logs to the sawmill and place on the mill
*Snow removal

This unit seems to be in stable shape and ready for work. Price-wise at 25K, a very well used Bobcat or Case skid steer with a few attachments would be my option. Case 580 and simular can be had for around 15k, but lime the skid steers are very well used up. A new 35hp tractor/backhoe is around 28k and up for what would be an under powered machine doing the work I will be doing. So that makes the SEE possibly a good option. I appreciate all the input from everyone.
 
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