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Discussion Forum
Show Parts for Model:

Need help diagnosing white foam in radiator on a WD...

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Will Herring

08-26-2012 08:41:28
50.103.229.79



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I've got a new temp gauge and thermostat I am about to install on the WD tractor, and fresh anti-freeze. The problem I have, is that when I start the tractor (after it burns off some carbon it is up and running smoothly within 5-10 seconds of starting, we only run it once every month or so), and as I run it, I start getting white foam (air bubbles) in the green radiator fluid. I'm not sure if I have bad anti-freeze or a shot temp gauge/thermostat combo. What really worries me is that I may have a blown head gasket (or worse?). And I'd like to diagnose it before I do this small fix, in case I need to fix something bigger first.

My question is, is there a way for me to check and see if the head gasket is blown (or something worse) without taking the hood and the head off of the tractor? People seemed to recommend some sort of thing that you put in place of the radiator cap and it would turn color if it was exhaust gassing out the radiator.
If it is the head gasket, how hard is it for somebody like me, who has never done this before, to install a new one? The most work I've done on these tractors is cleaned the carburetor and put on a new waterpump.

I did pull the oil plug and had no water in the oil pan, which was a plus.
This post was edited by Will Herring at 08:44:06 08/26/12.

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Will Herring

08-30-2012 04:54:37
50.103.229.79



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 Re: Need help diagnosing white foam in radiator on a WD... in reply to old, 08-26-2012 08:41:28  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Waterpump was replaced about 5 years ago, so I should be good there. So I need to take off the upper radiator hose and all those linkages, do I have to take the exhaust manifold off? Because it was off a few years ago to replace the gaskets and I'd hate to have to pull it off again.

Do I have to take any of the internal components of the engine out? Or is the gasket basically right there under the hood? Or is it actually another level below that?

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oldtanker

08-29-2012 05:34:11
66.228.255.239



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 Re: Need help diagnosing white foam in radiator on a WD... in reply to Will Herring, 08-26-2012 08:41:28  
While you have it apart it would be a good time to make sure the valves are in good shape. Other things to check would be water pump, thermostat if equipped and inspect the sleeves for scoring and wear. If I remember correctly on most of the old AC letter series tractors you have to disconnect the throttle/governor linkages, fuel line, upper hose and the generator. Of course the muffler and hood too. I think you can leave the gas tank in place. It's been a long time so I may have missed something.

Rick

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Will Herring

08-28-2012 17:31:27
50.103.229.79



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 Re: Need help diagnosing white foam in radiator on a WD... in reply to LenND, 08-26-2012 08:41:28  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

This is my fear, I just need to go out and try this.

What all do I need to take off of the tractor to replace the head gasket? And what are the odds I need to do any other "work" while I've got it off?

Any step-by-step instruction guides to follow, or any pictures to work off of?

What should I be careful to do/not do while I'm inside?

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Fife lake fritz

08-26-2012 16:54:07
206.45.13.139



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 Re: Need help diagnosing white foam in radiator on a WD... in reply to Will Herring, 08-26-2012 08:41:28  
Hey Old, what a good idea. Ever thought about changing your handle to Wise. I've seen a few of your replies and look forward to many more.



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Zachary Hoyt

08-26-2012 08:55:01
184.12.70.98



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 Re: Need help diagnosing white foam in radiator on a WD... in reply to Will Herring, 08-26-2012 08:41:28  
The bubbles are an indication that compression is probably getting into the water jacket from one of the cylinders. My Farmall H did that and a new head gasket has held up over two years now. I bought the block tester that changes color and I do not think I would use it again. It cost as much as a new head gasket and only served t confirm what I already had been told but still hoped might not be true. I have never done a head gasket on a WD but I did take a WC apart once and I do not think it should be terribly difficult. You will need a torque wrench to tighten the head bolts or nuts.
Zach

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old

08-26-2012 08:53:12
209.86.226.58



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 Re: Need help diagnosing white foam in radiator on a WD... in reply to Will Herring, 08-26-2012 08:41:28  
Could well be a blown head gasket and to see if it is try this. Take one plug out at a time and start the tractor. If after you have done that the foam stops with one plug then you know it is a head gasket since it will not cause pressure into the cooling system and you will also know which cylinder it is blown at



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Zachary Hoyt

08-26-2012 08:55:56
184.12.70.98



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 Re: Need help diagnosing white foam in radiator on a WD... in reply to old, 08-26-2012 08:53:12  
That is a neat way to check. I was typing at the same time as you.
Zach



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old

08-26-2012 09:52:54
209.86.226.40



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 Re: Need help diagnosing white foam in radiator on a WD... in reply to Zachary Hoyt, 08-26-2012 08:55:56  
Yep and it tells you which cylinder is the one that has the gasket blown at and it works with the foam problem of the ones that you get bubbles in



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