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Re: Thermostat removal, MF165

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02-17-2013 19:13:18

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So, turns out that changing a thermostat on a 165 is not exactly straight forward. The bolts that you need to take out are right up against the bottom of the fuel tank under the hood. Taking the hood and fuel tank off is a rather large job. I didn't want to take them right off so here's what I ended up doing.

I removed the grill and took out all the bolts holding the hood down. I also took the battery out and removed the bolts holding down the instrument panel (and hood). I propped up the hood with a broom handle.

There is 4 bolts on vibration isolating rubber standoffs the hold the fuel tank up. I took the two in the front of the tractor right off. I loosened the two towards the drivers seat all the way without removing the nuts.

I disconnected the two fuel lines. The supply line and the return line. Make sure to shut the fuel valve off at the tank prior to breaking the line.

Now I lifted the front of the fuel tank right up out of the bracket. I used a couple of wooden blocks to support it up off the block. I was careful not to let the wood project out to the left side too far so as to put any weight on the injectors. Don't forget, I emptied the fuel tank, so it wasn't too heavy.

From there, two bolts to remove the bracket that the fuel tank sits on. Two more bolts on the top of the water pump to get at the thermostat.

Changed the thermostat,

Rebuilt the gasket,

Replace the bolts in the water pump housing,

Replace the bracket the fuel tank sits on,

Drop the fuel tank back into place,

Reconnect the fuel lines,

Drop the hood back down.
Replace the battery.

Bolt everything back up.

Now before starting the tractor, remember you can have air in the fuel lines. The return line disconnects right after the last injector on my tractor. The supply line disconnects right after the valve on the fuel tank. I opened the bleeder on the first fuel filter and pumped manually until there was only fuel coming out. Since the air in the return line just goes back to the tank, that's all there was to it.

Hope this helps you save some time getting your thermostat changed!


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DavidP, South Wales

02-18-2013 12:48:18

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 Re: Thermostat removal, MF165 in reply to jwillett2009, 02-17-2013 19:13:18  
Hi Jamie,
Well done for removing the thermostat without removing the tank etc fully. Looking back, was it really worth not removing the bonnet (hood) and fuel tank fully? Removing the tank has added benefits. As the tank was already empty you could have flushed it out and checked the tap strainer at the same time. An important job that is frequently overlooked is tappet adjustment. This would have been very easy at this time. A bit of a save ,yes, but long term not so sure.
DavidP, South Wales

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02-18-2013 17:20:54

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 Re: Thermostat removal, MF165 in reply to DavidP, South Wales, 02-18-2013 12:48:18  
Hi David, the main reason I wasn't keen on taking the hood and tank right off was because I was alone and in a hurry because it was storming. I need my tractor to blow snow. This is admittedly the minimalist approach. I have zero experience, figuring stuff out as I go, kind of winging it I guess. I figured this might get someone out of a jam, so I posted.

Unfortunately, I've got some bigger issues brought on by the overheating. I am getting smoke coming out the breather and am leaking a lot of oil. It always dripped a bit, but its leaking profusely now. Overheating may have damaged a gasket further. Not sure what to do now...

I bought a repair manual and i'm contemplating whether or not I can tackle a rebuild on my own...
The winter's almost over and I could basically spend my summer on it. If certainly need to draw on the experience of guys like you in the forum to have a chance. I wish I could just download your knowledge :).


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DavidP, South Wales

02-19-2013 08:36:41

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 Re: Thermostat removal, MF165 in reply to jwillett2009, 02-18-2013 17:20:54  
Hi Jamie,
Fair comment about being in a rush.
Hmmm a pity that you have more problems to contend with. Dieseltech has covered most of the potential damage that could have occurred.
Have you removed the engine oil dipstick when the engine is running? A small air/oil spray is not uncommon but if there is a specific blow of air and oil drops coming out that would confirm that compression is passing the piston rings.

Has the thermostat change cured the overheating problem? I assume that North American 165 radiator necks are the same as ours in the UK. It is not easy to look down them to see the end of the tubes and if there might be any blockage. This of course only allows a very small area to be seen. Have you used any radiator flushing product? Is there free passage of air through the rad fins. Is your water pump and fan belt OK?.

The '203 engine is almost bombproof but like everything else has a limit.



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02-19-2013 08:10:10

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 Re: Thermostat removal, MF165 in reply to jwillett2009, 02-18-2013 17:20:54  
Excessive blow by fumes are usually signs of pistons/ring failure from overheating. Sleeves will show damage too. Overheated my S90 puller on the dyno once, melted 2 pistons, stuck the rings and scored sleeves. After it cooled it started back up,lots of blow by though.

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