View Full Version : Looking at getting used Citizen L20

05-22-2009, 04:18 PM
Hi all, my shop is looking at getting a used Citizen L20 made in 1998.

The salesman is sorta pushing for a new A20, and as much as I'd like to see that, i don't think it's gonna happen in this environment. (though at about twice the price of the used one, it seems like not a bad deal, and i'm sure we could haggle a little bit. Though I've never bought a machine....)

Is there anything I should know about this machine, cautions to watch out for, etc?

I run a B12 from 1994 and an A16 from 2005, and have a bit of experience with swiss stuff.

any and all comments would be appreciated!

05-25-2009, 09:34 AM
FWIW, that year/model is destined to become a classic. Very solid machine with a great control and good array of features. Look out for mashed ejector assembly, worn guide bushing bearings, loose linear guide way bearing blocks and noisy (worn) live tools. Also look for evidence of the subspindle having been crashed into the guide bushing. Tell-tale signs of realignment will be wrench marks on the big bolts that hold its frame to the main machine casting. You can only see this area clearly if the coolant tank is away from the machine.

Is it coming with a magazine loader? If so, look for trashed pusher end bearing assemblies, and overall condition. Al lot of the reliability of the machine and bar loader can be predicted by the overall cleanliness of the machine. If it was well-maintained and cleaned occasionally, it's a fair chance of being a good machine. OTOH, if either the machine or the bar loader is caked with way lube/goop in the nether regions it was probably "ridden hard and put away wet."

While the L20 of that vintage isn't capable of some of the things a new 3-channel M machine can do, it can take care of over 90% of the work a typical Swiss-type machine should be able to do.

BTW, if you're shopping bar magazine loaders for either this one or a new one, go FMB Turbo! I've used their latest, and they are simply the best design out there.

05-25-2009, 07:37 PM
For what its worth, I just bought a new A20 and we're loving it so far. It's super quick, which may be a consideration against a '98 machine. We went new instead of used for reliability concerns and speed. Which isn't to say we don't have our eyes open for a good deal on a used L in the near term as well... good luck with your decision!

05-25-2009, 08:17 PM
I'll agree that the newest machines are, as we say here in New England, "wicked fast". When you have 3200 inch per minute rapids in a machine where the longest axis stroke is under 12"', that Big Red Button is of little use when you see an impeding crash. By the time you hit the BRB, it's too late.

But when they're running....so cool. The latest one I've run is a Star SR20 RIII. With it's optimization software, it took the fastest cycle I could write for one part and reduced a 20.3 second cycle to 17.4 seconds. That's HUGE with a 50,000 piece run.

05-31-2009, 05:53 PM
Pixman, thanks a lot for the info!!

I showed my boss you comments and he seemed to be happy and educated :)

I think the machine os coming from far away, (we wont be able to look at it) but my boss said that our citizen rep will be able to look it over for us.
The machine also is coming with a "startup warantee" so if anything is wrong with the machine when we get it the seller will pay for repairs....
THis seems like a good bit of confidence on the seller's part, and a bit of stress taken away for us.

When(fingers crossed) we get the machine i'll be sure to post back here and let you all know what I think....
thanks again! =D

06-03-2009, 09:55 PM
Here we run L20's(2007 and newer) A20's(2007's) and the new A2-20's. Depending on what the L20 your looking at is priced at I would suggest buying a new A2-20, I’m assuming an 98 L20 which is i think 1or2 gens, older than ours runs about 80k-90k with bar loader, the mits control is very nice, better than the Fanuc controls in my opinion, and the rails are heavier duty, therefore making the L20 a more rigid machine, if you run 5/8 or larger stock the L20 will be the best way to go, and the higher spindle speed than the A2-20's. But with the new A2-20's priced around 1200k-140k with bar loader, will be so much faster and dependable, I think standard is 6 turning tools, 3 live tooling on the x axis, 4 main I.D. tooling, and 3 sub I.D. tooling, this may not be exact but close to give you an idea, and you can get additional live tooling on the x axis or on the sub I.D.

The A2-20 will run much faster, having a close layout to the L20, but will machine much faster and be under warranty, However L20 would be a better machine if your on a low budget, Need a higher RPM, and more rigid for the larger stock.