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Hitachi UH083 What should I know about them?

Discussion in 'Excavators' started by Planedriver, Jan 11, 2017.

  1. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    I have been lurking here for a long time but just never needed to post. Most everything I wondered about has been covered in existing threads until now. There is very little info here or anywhere on the net that I can find about the old Hitachi equipment.

    I'm thinking of buying a UH083 for use on the farm taking out fence lines, removing stumps [rarely over 30", normally 10 - 15"] occasional excavation for foundations or basements and cleaning of drainage ditches. The old girl has a 42" bucket with a mechanical thumb, as far as I can tell it's not the LC model and shows less than 3,000 hours!?!? Pins and bushings seem tight, it tracks straight and the swing seems tight. The undercarriage looks pretty good and I can almost believe the 3,000 hours showing [still skeptical though].

    I would like to hear from you guys who know what the good, bad and ugly is about this machine.
     
  2. Welder Dave

    Welder Dave Senior Member

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    I think the UH series Hitachi's were what really brought Hitachi to the forefront in excavators back in the day. The numbers were odd though. The UH083 (Japan) was the same as the UH07-7 (USA) and the UH122 is the next size up. In their day Hitachi sold 1 out of every 4 excavators.
     
  3. Tones

    Tones Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    land clearing contractor
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    Queensland & Far Sth Coast NSW Australia
    One of the best excavators Hitachi ever made. I put 11000 hours on the meter in 4 years with 99% availability. None of today's machines will do that, not even the ZX series.
     
  4. scholzee

    scholzee Well-Known Member

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    What type of work were you doing for 11000 hours ? That's 10.5 hours a day Monday through Friday for 4 years ? not including any holidays or maintenance.
     
  5. Tones

    Tones Senior Member

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    Occupation:
    land clearing contractor
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    Earthworks, drainage demolition, stockpile gravel. That machine never stopped. If a job site got to wet to work then it was shifted to another. A usual work day was 10 hours and 6 on Saturdays but plenty of times it was cranked at 430 am and shut down around 1030 pm for months during summer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2017
  6. Cat_man320

    Cat_man320 Well-Known Member

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    Best excavator ever built me thinks, I owned a UH081 and a Uh122 . last a life time if looked after. Hino & Iszuzu are two of the best engines built for excavators . I have three Cats now and they don't come close to the ruggedness of the Hitachis. The best on fuel out there. After have both machines for 15 yrs , I do not have a bad word for either one . . Get some qualified person to go and inspect the machine for you , it will be the best money spent .
     
  7. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    Thank you all for the input. It's going on auction this weekend and from the reports you all have offered I think I'll make a serious attempt to own it. I went with my heavy equipment mechanic to look it over a week or so ago and he thought, other than the boom seals weeping that it would be a good machine. I really have no idea how far to chase the price on it so if you guys have advise there it would be appreciated. The best I can do is offer a couple of pictures and say it looks good for an old machine.

    h3_large.jpg
    h1_large.jpg
     
  8. Cat_man320

    Cat_man320 Well-Known Member

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    Does it have joy sticks (pilot control) or is it lever? FYI , these machines are the same as a John Deere , most parts are interchangeable only difference is the engine . That looks like a fine machine and if everything is in good working condition , you will be very very happy . Although it's an older machine , if you can get it under $15-20k and everything is good . you gets a bargin .
     
  9. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    We are on the same page with the price.. That is about what I thought. It is pilot control but as you already know... Deere controls (backward to my Cat). My mechanic says he can reverse the operation of the sticks on the block but is of the opinion I'm probably going to be buying a few hoses. I guess I could operate it with my arms crossed.:D
     
  10. Tones

    Tones Senior Member

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    That look like a real tidy machine. The leaking ram seals may take up with use but if they don't it's no big drama. Changing the control pattern may be something else.The dipper control lever works 2 spools and under the cab there is a hydraulic power assist ram that makes it all happen. Throughly check out all you need to do be for making changes. It maybe best to leave as is and learn to operate it. IMHO:D
     
  11. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Tones. That is good to know. If I can't change it without major surgery I guess I'll have to learn John Deere controls..... Maybe I'll put an air ride seat in it so I don't get beat to death learning!:drinkup
     
  12. MX45

    MX45 Well-Known Member

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    G'day,

    Looking from long distance the bucket bottom looks in good order, not battered to death, and there is no over spray where a machine is made to look pretty and is actually very tired. My machine is Mitsu MX45 grey market out of Japan. All I have needed is a few hoses, etc and the fuel pipe popped off the filter - odd one! It had just over 2000 hrs when I bought it and it now has about 2500. Looks in remarkable order- worth the risk - hope you have some luck on the day. I think you would look a very long time to find that and then not find it!

    Go for it, Regards, MX45.
     
  13. Tones

    Tones Senior Member

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    Leave the seat as is ,it'll make you learn faster;-)
     
  14. Cat_man320

    Cat_man320 Well-Known Member

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    Are the joy sticks manual or are they hydraulic controlled ? . if they are hydraulic , all I would do to change the pattern is change the hoses up under the joy sticks . If they are manual , that can get complicated as said above some controls move two spools . I changed my old 3964 International from six levers to two plus travel . Almost put me in "the padded cell" Good luck with it . You checked for a pattern changer I assume, but I don't think they had one . Both my Hitachis were same as cat .
     
  15. Tones

    Tones Senior Member

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    All the controls are linkage to the control banks. The dipper are uses 2 spools, one on each bank so when you pull the lever half way only 1 spool opens. Pull the lever all the way opens the second spool with the help of a power assist ram. Changing the pattern is not quite as simple because of this and also there are no hoses (all pipe work) coming off the control bank from memory. The UH083 was the last of this system. The EX series was the first to use pilot hydraulics in this size Hitachi excavator.
     
  16. Planedriver

    Planedriver Well-Known Member

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    I owe you guys an update at the very least. My heavy equipment mechanic and I went to the auction this morning. The weather was foggy but pleasant for Michigan in January. The mud... that's another story.

    The sale was not an equipment sale but rather a low rent auction that should have been a yard sale. Turns out the guy who owns the property where the sale was held was selling a bunch of household items along with a 1963 XKE for a friend who had the stuff stored there. The residence owner had recently experienced a stroke and decided to include the Hitachi in the auction along with a few pieces of small farm equipment. After enduring two and one half hours of watching household goods being sold they finally got to the excavator.

    The excavator turned out to be a 1986 model and included a mechanical thumb, owners manual and service manuals (no parts manual). After a brief demonstration, I opened the bidding at 10k. After much waving of arms and gnashing of teeth by the auctioneer I own the old girl for 21k. Now I have to wait until frost restrictions are lifted to take the lowboy up there and bring her home.

    As a side note. Both of the owners sons (in their 50's I reckon) offered their congratulations and assured me that they thought I got a "hellava deal". They seemed genuinely sorry to see it go but realized it was time. The bonus came with the manuals! I have all of the service records and receipts on the machine back to 1992!

    Oh yeah Tonnes. the seat is a little ragged and you know the machine has an onboard compressor....:rolleyes:
     
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2017
  17. MX45

    MX45 Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations,

    Stuff that gets old anyway might be your ports of call for a while, ie oils seals, radiator hoses, etc. That goes with owning any machine just a bit more on an older one. Just been replacing oil seals on a Massey 3090 around the gear change levers - nothing leaking to lots leaking in a very little while. Big drive train sump so cost a bit in lost oil when you develop a leak. Servicing other stuff nearby while replacing and will replace second seal on other shift lever although only weeping at this time.

    Hope it spends more time in the field than in the workshop. Worked at Hayo Went Ha on Torch Lake a couple of times!

    Regards, MX45.
     
  18. Tones

    Tones Senior Member

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    Yep, it should be driven off the back of the alternator.;) You done good, congrats:D
    Just a little side note cause the memory aint quite so good. The UH083 I operated was one of the first sold into NZ(1983).There machines were worked real hard compared to to day. We used to swing a 2 yard bucket when ever possible and only used the standard bucket for rock,demolition and drainage. The Jap's got pretty concerned about the way the machines were being treated and sent a bloke out with a sonic tester to go over all Hitachi excavators in the country. At that time none had cracked anywhere. Hitachi had 97% of the NZ market in those days.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2017
  19. chickenminer

    chickenminer Member

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    Location:
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    Congrats! Fine machines. First excavator I ever bought for my gold mining operation. Now I have
    an EX200LC and a EX300LC but my favorite is still the 'ol UH083.
    Simplistic operation and excellent on fuel economy. They just keep going.
    UH083.jpg