Coolant... after the fact

19thSF

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I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but Kubota coolant and most others are clear until a dye is added. There was a time that there different colors for different applications, and manufacturers stuck to that, but not so much anymore.
 

RCW

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I hate to burst anyone's bubble, but Kubota coolant and most others are clear until a dye is added. There was a time that there different colors for different applications, and manufacturers stuck to that, but not so much anymore.
I noticed the Extended Life ethylene glycol antifreeze I used for a flush/fill last year on my tractor wasn't the color I expected. Coolant tested fine for degrees of protection with my gauge.

Just much lighter colored than I'm used to.

Tractor does seem to keep temps better with the new coolant.
 

19thSF

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I noticed the Extended Life ethylene glycol antifreeze I used for a flush/fill last year on my tractor wasn't the color I expected. Coolant tested fine for degrees of protection with my gauge.

Just much lighter colored than I'm used to.

Tractor does seem to keep temps better with the new coolant.
Yes RCW, that is the point that I was trying to make. Color does not mean that the coolant is a particular type, although it used to mean that. You have to go by the specifications. The coolant is clear until dyed in most cases.
 

SidecarFlip

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I learned something new today...Thanks. I always thought regular AF was all green and extended life was orange or red.

Both my M's call out regular ethylene glycol (the standard stuff) 50-50 so that is what I always use. Stuff is deadly toxic however. Causes almost immediate organ failure.
 

Russell King

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Jun 17, 2012
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I just changed my fluid out on my old L185 and the specification in the owners manual talks about semi-permanent and permanent anti freeze. It requires permanent if any is used. That got me down a rabbit hole on that terminology since I had never heard of it. Seems like Prestone invented the summer/winter anti-freeze and it was permanent since you could leave it in. I am not old enough (born 1958) to remember anything before the Prestone brand and it was the only anti freeze I recall seeing for purchase until some other brand came out (Zerex blue?) in mid 60s.

Since I have dogs and the tractor is in an area with lots of wildlife I went with the safer low toxicity (propylene glycol) that is the same color as standard old Prestone

Hope the EPA makes note of my environmental sensitivity increase!
 

lugbolt

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ZG127S-54
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glad to see u guys are flushing coolant. It ages. It gets acidic. When it does, it conducts (and makes) electricity, and softens up the radiator hoses, eats up water pump seals, and a ton of other more expensive stuff. U can check your coolan't acidity with test strips, or you can test it with a volt meter. One probe in the coolant (top of radiator) not touching anything but coolant, and other probe touched to the engine block. 0.4V is the maximum, more than that and it's time to change it.

Go back to chemistry. What is a battery? It is a device that converts chemical energy to electrical energy via a electrochemical reaction. Normally that electrochemical reaction is caused by....dissimilar materials flooded with an electrolyte. Until the last 10 years or so the most common type was an acidic solution and lead plates. Similarly, you have coolant mixture inside an engine block that is made of cast iron and then a radiator that is made of aluminum, so you basically have a battery. Coolant is normally acidic anyway, it just gets more acidic as it wears out. When it happens obviously there is more electricity generated, there is also corrosion, scaling (ever seen an old chevy block that has not been maintained??? They get nasty in the cooling passages!), there is damage done to seals, gaskets, hoses, etc. Obviously we do not want this stuff on expensive equipment. So take care of it!

Brake fluid (in hydraulic brake systems) is the other fluid that never gets changed and then people gripe about the cost of abs motors, etc. Maintain it and it'll take good care of you, probably last long time.

and I remember well some of the owners that brought their stuff to the shop for "full service per hours". Well at 800 hours on some of them, calls for coolant, valve adjustment, and a bunch of other stuff. Always called customer to give them a rundown on what the book calls for, and with estimated cost. "WHAT??? How much for a #@#$#* oil change????".....90% of the time that's all they wanted. Very few wanted the whole thing done and when they did, it was obvious that they took care of their equipment. Probably more than 90% more like 99%. I can remember 2 that were what some refer to as "OCD" on maintenance but their stuff lasts longer than everyone elses too. One in particular, I worked at the dealer for almost 30 years. He had an OLD Kubota that he bought brand new in the 1970's, and traded it in on a new one in 2004 which he still has, and it still looked drove ran shifted brand new the last time I saw it about 5 months ago. L3540HST had 1700 hours on it. I had just done the 2nd big service about a week before I left the dealer. He knew what to expect and was happy that I was the one that was doing it and not the crackhead that worked alongside me.
 
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kubotafreak

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GRAND L3560, B6100, tg 1860, g1800, g1900, g2160
Sep 20, 2018
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Been a large fan of SHELL ELC(red) concentrate and distilled water from wally world. Tractor supply sells it. I personally stay away from the yellow stuff(sca) after Ford 6.0 rebuilds.
 

GeoHorn

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.... (ever seen an old chevy block that has not been maintained??? They get nasty in the cooling passages!), there is damage done to seals, gaskets, hoses, etc.

And THAT is why FORDS are BETTER! :ROFLMAO: 😅 😂 :ROFLMAO:
 
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SidecarFlip

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I worked at the dealer for almost 30 years. He had an OLD Kubota that he bought brand new in the 1970's, and traded it in on a new one in 2004 which he still has, and it still looked drove ran shifted brand new the last time I saw it about 5 months ago. L3540HST had 1700 hours on it. I had just done the 2nd big service about a week before I left the dealer. He knew what to expect and was happy that I was the one that was doing it and not the crackhead that worked alongside me.
Last time I had my M9000 HD at the dealer, the total bill was north of 3500 bucks and that DID NOT include changing the gearbox or engine oil.

You have to pay to play as with everything in life.
 

GeoHorn

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Last time I had my M9000 HD at the dealer, the total bill was north of 3500 bucks and that DID NOT include changing the gearbox or engine oil.

You have to pay to play as with everything in life.
There’s nothing in the regular service/maintenance schedule that any owner with a modicum of interest, a WSM, and a handful of common tools cannot accomplish without paying a dealer... unless it’s to save time and effort and money is of less interest.

I fully expect to do ALL my 600 hr service in my own workshop. It will be a cold day in hell before I pay someone to accomplish simple tasks such as change fluids and check common operations. Even the 800 hr service only adds valve clearances, a simple operation.

I can think of a lot better ways to spend $3500.
 
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SidecarFlip

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I can too but I needed a front engine seal replaced and the injectors pop off tested and the spray pattern as well and a left hand outboard bushing and seal replaced plus the valve adjustment and it's not easy accessing the overhead on an M9 anyway. lots of stuff in the way like a turbo charger and wastegate and associated air to air plumbing.

You cannot even remove the valve cover without removing all the above plus the muffler as it sits directly over the valve cover.

Better to do that stuff at my dealer's shop, which I did, plus a dyno run.

3500 bucks well spent and for me, a total write off as a farm related expense.
 

Mark_BX25D

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Bx25D
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When the 50/50 pre-mixed anti freeze hit the market I inspected multiple bottles for any mention of distilled water but to this day I still have seen no such claims. My suspicion is that the manufacturers simply use tap water.

The liability they would incur would be massive. Not that corporations have never done things that are irresponsible or horribly short-sighted or just plain stupid, but I'd have to see some evidence of them doing something this stupid before I'd believe it.
 

Mark_BX25D

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Oh and don’t ask the guy at the auto zone counter buy, that moron doesn’t know anything, that’s how I ended up with the red stuff in the first place.

Yep. It's amazing how many people assume that the guy at the local parts store is an expert on all thing automotive. It's like they assume they get some kind of extensive training or something...
 

lugbolt

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ZG127S-54
Oct 15, 2015
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maintenance on older stuff is mostly simple

try any of the common rail engines. U can't even SEE the engine, all you see it junk piled around it

doing a valve adjustment on a 4701 for instance? Remove: DPF assembly normally, fuel tank, some of the wiring harnesses, i can't remember but I think injector lines, brackets, hoses, hood, loader, THEN you can "see" the valve cover....takes roughly 5-5.5 hours for me to do it, I don't work all that fast on bigger jobs. Then there's fluids and gaskets that might be needed.

....and those are pretty easy in comparison. L3301/3901 are similar, just start taking stuff off until you can find the valve cover. Then take a break, stand there and look at the pile of parts you just took off, and wonder how on earth you think you're gonna get them back on and not end up with spare parts. Some of the bigger ones have 4 valves per cylinder, not that they're any harder, just more stuff to deal with...like injector lines going through the valve cover, etc.

THAT is one or two reasons why owners pay the dealer. Sometimes it's because they trust the factory-trained techs. Sometimes it's because they don't have the spare time to set aside a full day for servicing. Sometimes it's because they dont' want to have to deal with the hassle, like having to figure out how to dispose of 5-20 gallons of fluids, several filters, etc. Other times, it's because they don't have the tools or know-how. And oftentimes, people paid me/us to do their servicing because they could write it off on farm or business taxes.

place i worked for also had powersports stuff. You haven't lived until you have to do a valve adjustment on a crotch rocket. 20 valves packed into a cylinder head that is maybe 10" in length, 5" wide, and all 20 of them buried down in the head so far that you have to creatively make tools to reach in there to measure the clearance....and if you have to adjust? Remove camshafts (tensioner, chain, etc), change the shims, then try again. If you don't get it right, remove camshafts again and repeat until you get 'em where you want them. Of course that's AFTER you disassemble half of the bike to even access them....only job harder that I ever did was basically any engine repair on an SVL or SSV.

They aren't making them any easier to work on, which is one of many reasons I still say that a gasoline engine would be a better option for a lot of folks. Not all, but many.