View Full Version : Late 80's early 90's 953

07-18-2012, 07:24 PM
Hey guys,
My neighbor has a cat 953 that him and his hunting club bought a couple years ago to do some clearing. It does have a 4 in 1 bucket on it. I believe that the machine had 7??? Hours on it and I recall him saying that the whole under carriage was redone about 750 hours ago. Any how he was using it clearing a while back and he threw a rod. I haven't looked at it but I will if this is going to be affordable. The loader has been broke down for about 8-12 months sitting in the woods. What would be a reasonable offer for the loader? I know he wanted 25000 when it was running....... Ow and last thing is it was freshly repainted about 1.5 years ago. Thanks guys!!!!!

Georgia Iron
07-18-2012, 09:44 PM
The cheapest running 953b I have seen sold for $9500.00. Most running 953b with good under carraige and no cab go for around 22,500 to 26,000. Cab with air can add 5k to the price.

953a models can be found from 12,000 to 20,000 pretty commonly. A cab with air and good under carriage can take the machines price above 20k. The tighter the loader and if it runs strong makes it worth more. Most machines priced in the 15 to 17 range have 40% or less under carriage. Most machines under 15k have floppy buckets with worn pins and bushings and leak oil. A motor rebuild can cost upto about 8k and the under carraige is around 12 k installed new. New paint is $2000.00 to $2500.00 if the machine is taken apart and sand blasted. A home paint job is worth at least $400.00 if nice. New cat exhaust will cost $700. A rear hood is $2500 and the manifold is $2500.00 So check that stuff well. Damaged hoses can fetch up to $600.00 each.

To haul out and move a damaged machine might cost you $1200.00.

It will be hard to give an offer on a machine that you cant move around and check out. The track seals may have siezed up sitting out in the weather for so long. If it has lost the seals in the tracks the machine will sqee eeic and drive you crazy wishing it did not.

Back to your offer if the under carraige is prefect as you think ... the sprocket teeth will be thick a fat on the end of the teeth at least 1/2 or so thick at the ends, the idlers tension rods on the sides will be not extended much and all roller surfaces will be flat and not worn.

Scrap for the machine is $4500.00, the under carraige is worth at least 5K used. I would start around $8500 and go maybe to $15 k if he fixes the engine so you can pay more and test it out. The best thing about the A model is that it uses a lot less fuel than the Bs and Cs. But it has a little less power. But most customers would not know the difference. Kind of like a single axle dump vs a tandem. They can make the same hourly rate.

Keep in mind that not to many years ago a 953a would have set you back at least 40k for a good used a model. I think new D models are $220 to $250 k currently.

07-18-2012, 11:01 PM
Georgia Iron your the man! Thank you for taking the time to explain that to me. Im going to go look at it as soon as I have the time. I will get the product I'd number and figure out weather it is an A or B model. I will also look at everything you pointed out to me. Thank you alot!

08-01-2012, 03:24 PM
I'm not yet allowed to make new posts so I'll ask this here since it's kind of related. There's a 953 for sale locally with 6000 hours. I haven't yet seen it but the man says the tracks are 30%. GI answered my question above about what it would cost to someday replace them. My question is, I don't at this point have anything to haul this creature, if I had to drive it from one of my farms to the other, a distance of about 13 miles, is this a really bad idea? I can make it there on gravel roads. How fast will they go? Would this cause more wear on the tracks than an equal amount of time working?
Also, it doesn't have AC. Has anyone ever added it on?

08-03-2012, 09:24 PM
Ok guys, I went and looked at the loader today and got some pictures. The machine actually had 9??? hours on it. The Paint looked good, the sprocket looked around 50-60%, and rollers were not great but not terrible. Iím not completely sure whatís going on with the motor (cat 3116). The owner told me that the operator had something go wrong and cut it off immediately. He didnít really know exactly what happened, but he and his operator said that they noticed the crank was sticking out a little bit (1/4"). The exhaust will have to be replaced. I'll post the pictures and tell me what your opinions are. Many Thanks!











08-28-2012, 12:33 PM
Hey guys,
I have had many questions answered about this loader from y'all already and I appreciate it allot! This is what it has all come down to, and I would like your advice! This machine was built in oct of 95 and sold in jan of 96. It has 9066 hours on it. The undercarriage is 60% and the paint is in good shape and it does have a 4 in 1 bucket. The motor (3116) is the main problem of this machine. The crank is sticking out about 1/8" out of the block. The oil is clean looking like it looks new and unused but it seems to be high. The radiator is a little low on water, about 1" low from the cap. There doesn't appear to be a noticeable external crack in the block, just normal external oil signs. The exhaust on this machine is rusted out at the bottom wear it goes through the engine compartment and it is tilted over to the side. The reason I am telling y'all this is because I figured that it would have an effect on how much water was able to get into the motor (there was never a bucket placed over the exhaust). The loader has been sitting for a little over 12 months. Last time it was ran the operator said he herd a pop and he amedeatly shut it down and it's been sitting ever since. I have talked with over 5 mechanics and all but one has told me that they can't give me a price until they tear into it to see what's wrong. One extremely nice and smart mechanic is leading me through the process of finding out if the motor is gone for sure due to water in the motor. I took the plug out of the exhaust located right behind the turbo and water started coming out. I put the plug back in after several seconds so he would have an idea of how much was in it if I end up paying him to come look at it and work on it. He just told me to put a bucket under it and drain part of the oil to see how much water comes out at the bottom of the pan. I will let y'all know what I find out.

A new cat warranted motor will run me over 13,000.

As of now I have negotiated with the owner to $9000 (with out the water in the motor part). Now I under stand that I can have the motor rebuilt and swaped for around 8000-9000 if I use cheep aftermarket parts. However if I buy this machine I want it to be rebuilt right so it will last me a long time, but I don't want to end up having more money in this loader than it will be worth.

Here is a link to my past thread about this machine with pictures of it.

I really appreciate all the help you guys give me on this forum! I just want to make sure that this is a good investment for me and my hard earned money. I am 24 years old and I have a 4 year degree in construction management. Several good job offers have arose for me in the past, but I prefer running my own company. As of now I own a compact track loader and compact excavator. The main reason I'm wanting this loader is to clear lots faster and take on bigger jobs.

What are your opinions on this situation? What would you do?

Many thanks!!!!

Sorry about the spelling mistakes! I'm doing this from my phone.

08-28-2012, 07:47 PM
I merged the two threads together since you are looking at the same machine. It will help you get better answers from our members since your pictures were in the original thread.

The cheapest insurance at this point, other than having a good mechanic check it out for you, is to take an oil, hydraulic and coolant sample and take it to your local Cat dealer for analysis. The last samples cost me $20 or so per sample. This might answer a lot of questions before you get deeper into the deal.

Best of Luck!

08-29-2012, 10:19 AM
Any easy way to get a hydraulic oil sample?

08-29-2012, 01:44 PM
If you're hiring all the engine work done then you're not going to have much of a buffer before you're in the machine at a price of one that runs decent. Are you willing to commit roughly $20k for this machine without a test drive? That'd be hard for me to get past. What if you get it running and find out the pump(s) are shot/weak or it won't steer. I would want some sort of guarantee from the owner that the rest of the machine works before I bought it. Is he willing to fix it so you can test drive it? If not, I wouldn't pay much over scrap price. Remember to factor in your time, labor and headache to orchestrate an engine swap. Who knows, you might get lucky. Best case you're in the machine for under $20k with a rebuilt engine. If everything works, you saved a few thousand plus you have a good engine in the machine.

Georgia Iron
08-30-2012, 12:53 PM
Here are couple of more points that I have found out the HARD way.

A 953 is large and moves fast.

An open cab machine has an advantage and a dis-advantage. On dry dirt it creates a large dust cloud to the point that it will amaze you if you travel a lot in the work area. I have not been bothered to much buy this on a skid steer, the loader on the other hand just lets the dust roll up into your face. It really sucks bad when it is dry.

The advantage to the open cab is you will not bust out your windows when you begin to learn how to drive it and you can see better around you.

As far as your deal. I think I would buy it if you have another 15K to support the use of the loader. Maybe you could get the hauling in to for that price. When you get jobs hauling will eat your profit till you get a truck to move it. It will rule out little work cause you cant take it out to make a quick $500 or $1000. You will need larger work to pay for the trips there and back.

I so far have found that working on the 953 is somewhat easy and expensive. A busted hose can cost you $800 in a hurry if you lose your fluid and need new fittings to replace. By far the fuel cost sucks. It will go through $300.00 fast. That is the main draw back for me. I would buy the large service manual and use my mini ex to remove the engine assuming it is strong enough. I would either rebuild it myself or get it done then drop it back in. When you rebuild something you really know what you have. Most lie about there equipment and you never know the problems till you jump in.

I would not buy the loader unless I was ok with being the guy working on it. If you dont want to turn the wrench I would not even think about it. I would just buy one that worked from the get go. They are easier to work on than skid steer you have more room. The low water in the rad is normal I think my manuel for the A model says it runs about 1" low.

Good luck.