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Thread: Cat 938g series II

  1. #1
    Probationary Member
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    Cat 938g series II

    I'm looking at a 2003 cat 938g series II. It has 6,600 hrs and is priced at $55k. It's in good shape. The hours concern me a bit. What are some things I should do to check on the condition of the machine?

  2. #2
    Senior Member Nige's Avatar
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    Simple question and not wishing to offend. Are you competent enough to judge the condition of the machine and its components..? If the answer is no or not sure then for what you are planning to spend it would be well worth your while contracting the services of a competent professional service technician to inspect and provide a service report (TA-1 & TA-2 in Cat terminology) for the machine in question. So what if it costs you $500, that's less than 1% of the asking price and would be money very well spent IMHO.

    Other thoughts. Does it have any service/maintenance history and can you get to see it..? It may look to be in good shape but does it look from the outside at least like someone's taken care of it, for example are all the linkage pins oozing grease and are all oil levels in the correct range..? Do all the oils (except the motor of course) look clear and bright..? Is there any trash in the belly guards..? Things like that can be good indicators of how well a machine has been cared for in its previous life.

    I don't see why the hours would be a concern if you go into the purchase with your eyes open. However I would think about planning to spend money on overhauling major/minor components in maybe the 10-12,000 hour range. So long as you budget for that everything should be fine. All the components on a 938 should be capable of being rebuilt at least once.
    I'd love to see things from your perspective but unfortunately I find it impossible to get my head that far up my a$$.

  3. #3
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    Do you know what this machine was being used for prior to going up for sale? As I recall these machines didn't have a display that you could manipulate to check actual hours. They just had an analog hour meter. When looking at equipment I generally figure someone spending that kind of money on new would put somewhere between 1,500 to 2,000 hours on the meter a year. That could put the hours up around 18,000 to 26,000 hours. If this machine is a cream puff it might pay to find out what kind of marshmallows it was loading and the brand of mattresses it was working on. Those hours if correct are nothing. I've been onto dairy machines with twenty thousand hours in five years and no major component rebuilds. But then again they did smell a little funny.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Nige's Avatar
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    938G has an electronic digital hour meter built into the dash panel. Hour meter reading shows on the screen after the system self-test when you switch the key on. If the panel ever went U/S and was replaced then the hours could be left at zero and accumulate from there. SOP is to use the external electronic diagnostic tool to set the hourmeter at the same hours as the master clock buried in the machine electronic control but it'snot always followed. The hour meter reading on the control panel can be increased but not decreased, before anyone asks, so you can't "turn the clock back" unless you replace the dash panel with a new zero hours one.

    That's why I asked above what maintenance history is available for the machine.
    Last edited by Nige; 09-19-2013 at 07:54 AM.
    I'd love to see things from your perspective but unfortunately I find it impossible to get my head that far up my a$$.

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