Posted by Will Herring on November 18, 2012 at 17:36:12 from (18.104.22.168):
I was having some foaming antifreeze problems this spring, and was told that it may just be old/bad antifreeze. So I flushed the system a good 3 times, put fresh in, and all seemed to be well once the radiator found it's "level".
Well, I noticed when hooking up the mower last weekend, that after the tractor sat idle for about 5 minutes (as I tried to hook and grease the mower), when I got on it and pulled the throttle lever down, I got a good blast of white smoke. Didn't think too much of it, though. Noticed the same thing again when hooking other equipment later on that day. Only got "momentary" coughs of white smoke like that, never constant.
So yesterday, I'm out moving some equipment around to be ready for winter, and it was a pretty cold day. So I started the tractor, fired right up and ran great. Was out about 20-30 minutes, and put her away until after lunch. She never sputtered, coughed, or missed a lick.
Came back from lunch and noticed that the overflow had spit out quite a bit of fluid. Fired it up to finish the afternoon chores, and didn't have any more overflow stuff come out. However, as soon as I put the tractor in the shed and shut it off, I pulled the radiator cap -- and there it was, white foamy bubbles on the top!
I also noticed that the upper hose where it comes out of the thermostat area, fluid had seeped around it and onto the valve cover. I can only assume the pressure that pushed it out the overflow that morning had also pressurized that hose and found an "out" there as well. Fortunately I don't seem to have any issues with antifreeze in the oil (but I'm sure if the head gasket is blown I'm getting combustion gasses in there as well as the antifreeze, but who knows). I'm sure it is probably burning oil, too, but with only 14 or so hours on her this summer I haven't run her hard enough to tell. I do try to run her up to operating temp whenever I get her out, though.
So... I think I am going to order a head gasket kit and hopefully work on the tractor this winter and next spring before gardening season. I just put manifold gaskets on it about 5 years ago along with a new waterpump. I've got a thermostat and temp gauge ready to go on it. Anything else I need to replace while I do this? I'm sure I'll have more questions once I start working on it, but I want to order some parts first. Also, should I be worried about the oil pan gasket?
This post was edited by Will Herring at 17:39:02 11/18/12 2 times.
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