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caterpillar 303 cr - gr opinions merits defects performance experiences

Discussion in 'Compact Excavators' started by trombeur, Aug 6, 2021.

  1. trombeur

    trombeur Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,117
    Location:
    italia
    hi excuse me if I disturb, at a tractor mechanic in the area there is a caterpillar brand mini excavator model 303 for sale, I think the series is CR or GR, I don't remember well, the livery and paint of the machinery in question is faded and discolored scratched by wear from time and blows. it has rubber tracks with traces a little worn, by eye I moved the arm with my hands and I noticed a bit of play in the connection of the fifth wheel support arm, very evident, what do you think of this machine? what merits and fears it would have. what market price would the engine be a mitsubisci, I did not ask the mechanic with interest, I thought before I inquired, we will have to transport it on an old Fiat truck for agricultural work in the countryside. thank you.

    caterpillar 303  cr   2.png

    caterpillar 303.png
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    [​IMG]
     
  2. scottwolowich

    scottwolowich Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 31, 2019
    Messages:
    71
    Location:
    ontario canada
    I have one, it is a strong machine for its size and i have no complaints about it. Some hydraulic hoses are hard to service due to the small construction of a zero turn mini excavator. My machine is also worn at the swing frame and when I get it repaired it will probably be in the $1500-2000 range for bore welding and a new pin there. In regards to the coupler/bucket pins and bushings those are more easily replaced, and can be workable as long as the play is not making the machine difficult or inaccurate to operate or wearing into the bushing boss.

    I am not sure of the specifications of your truck or if you plan to have it on the deck or on a trailer behind, but my 303 is quite a bit heavier than 3.5t more like 4t or a bit more. Make sure you can transport it safely before purchasing.
     
  3. John C.

    John C. Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2007
    Messages:
    10,171
    Occupation:
    Machinery & Equipment Appraiser
    Location:
    Northwest
    If it is a plain 303CR I would not recommend it to anyone. If it is a 303CCR, that is after a major redesign and I would recommend it over many other machines.

    The original CR machine has all the valving, tubing and hose connections under the floor plate in the cab. The cab does not tilt and there are problematic hoses that rub though or come loose over time that are a big hassle to tighten or replace.

    The CCR machines have the valves all mounted on the right side of the house with easy access under a door that opens by raising it.

    The turret area you have highlighted in your photos normally have a lot of play back and forth. If you look at the vertical pin that holds the turret to the main frame of the house, there should be two hold down bolts keeping that pin in. The holes in the pin flag are slotted. The machine is perfectly fine to operate as long as those two bolts are not being contacted but the pin flag. It seems odd but that joint can be all kinds of sloppy and still be OK by the factory.

    Good Luck!
     
    skyking1 likes this.
  4. trombeur

    trombeur Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2014
    Messages:
    1,117
    Location:
    italia
    thanks for the valuable suggestions I will treasure your words.