Kubota BX2350 overheating after 10 minutes!!??

michellehJuly 4, 2007

Can anyone advise me as to the amount of damage done to my diesel Kubota BX2350 by overheating until the coolant boils over?

I just bought this tractor new last week and used it for the first time a couple of days back. The first day of use was spent digging out, and carting rocks over to the rock pile with the front loader. We were out there about 3 or 4 hours with no problem.

The next day of use was more rock picking, and then some mowing with the 60" mowing deck, clearing tall grasses around my property. After 10 - 15 minutes of mowing I noticed that the temp gauge was on the line just below the red area. I stopped the tractor and called the dealer. I told him that the coolant level was full, all air filters had been cleaned well just before use, and the oil level was normal. Since I had not had any coolant leak, the dealer thought it was just a faulty gauge.

So, today I was out there again and in only 10 minutes I saw the temp gauge inching toward the red again. This time, I continued running it for just a couple more minutes, until the needle just entered the red area, maybe 1/5 the distance. I turned off the mower PTO, and was driving it into the shade to cool off when I noticed steam for the first time. I immediately stopped, shut off the engine and raised the hood. I could hear the coolant in the radiator boiling rapidly, and it was bubbling out of the overflow. This happened after only running it for 10 minutes from cold. Since today is July 4, the dealer is closed, so I'll have to wait until tomorrow, but now I am wondering (and worrying!) about just how much damage this might have caused my new tractor.

Any ideas?

Thanks for any advice.

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mith(South England)

Probably no damage atall.

But it doesn't really matter, send it in to the dealer when he opens, it isnt your fault.

BTW, have you cleaned the radiator screen recently? You should be able to see through the radiator.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 2:19PM
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bill_kapaun

As long as you still had coolant in the system boiling, I think you're fine.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 3:18PM
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mownie(7)

I agree with bill and mith. While it is disconcerting to experience boil over, you probably sustained no damage for the short duration you described. You do not want to run the machine (in work) again until the issue is corrected. Running it long enough to load it onto a trailer or roll-back truck for a trip back to the dealer is all you should do.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 3:29PM
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aesanders(8b Alachua, FL)

Second the thought of checking your radiator acreen. If it was clogged by the mowing then that would be about the right amount of time before it boils over.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 7:33PM
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michelleh

Hi All,

And thanks for your replies.

We looked at the actual radiator (took out both sets of air screens so we could see the fins), and the fins were maybe half clogged with debris. The edges of the radiator grill were clear, but the middle was clogged. (It seems like the interior radiator grid screen isn't fine enough, and lets too much dust hit the radiator.) So - we knocked all that gunk off, and now we're stuck with changing out the antifreeze because the instruction manual specifies that we should NOT mix brands, and we have no idea what brand is presently in it. We wondered whether it was O.K. to put in a safer, propylene glycol antifreeze?

    Bookmark   July 4, 2007 at 9:09PM
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mownie(7)

Yes, it is safe to use propylene glycol antifreeze. Look on the engine block for a drain cock or a simple pipe plug to drain the coolant from the engine block as well as draining the radiator. Maybe some of the Kubota familiars (expert owners) can describe where the block drain is to be found? Drain the coolant when the engine is cold and then fill the cooling system with clear water (drains closed) run for about 5 minutes. Allow engine to cool again, drain water (from block & radiator) and then refill with 50% antifreeze and 50% water (experts claim distilled water is the best because of "no chlorine"). If your cooling system has a "coolant recovery jug" (overflow bottle) be sure to empty it, wash it out, and fill it to the full mark with the 50/50 mix as well, if you don't, the old ethylene glycol in it will get mixed in over time. I wonder if this cooling system has an "air bleed" or "burper" fitting that removes air from the cooling system before you crank up the engine after a coolant drain and fill service? THAT is a question you might want to ask the dealer about. Most automotive cooling systems nowadays have to be purged or "burped" to get trapped air out of the water pump after draining the coolant and refilling or the water pump will not circulate the coolant (because it can't impel the air out to draw water in). Maybe someone on the forum knows the answer.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 1:15AM
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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

The radiator drain plug is on the bottom of the radiator on the left side. You may have to remove the left body panel to gain access to it.

You need to clean the radiator screens frequently, remove the screens and spray the radiator fins from time to time with a garden hose. This is something you have to pay attention to, because Kubota will not warrant damage from overheating the engine due to a clogged radiator. It is hard to imagine how you clogged the radiator fins after 4 hours use on a brand new tractor, it must have been some severely dusty work you were doing there. I have owned mine for 6 years and not had that kind of problem. Sounds like you took care of that part of it.

I would not change the coolant unless the dealer tells you to.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 6:35AM
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michelleh

Hi again,

I just thought I'd let you all know I've contacted the dealer. They want me just to add water for now. They still wonder if the thermostat might be sticking. They said they would contact Kubota about the problem of the dustiness. Our land is so dry and dusty right now, and the grasses on it are tinder dry and yellow.

I'm thinking now that the mid-mount mower isn't suitable for this because it's throwing up dust and fine bits of dried grass, and the radiator is getting clogged from those particles being sucked in from below, where there is no dust-screen.

I have to say, I'm a bit ticked right now. Our old Sears air-cooled tractor never had a problem in 5 years, cutting the same stuff with a mid-mount mower.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 12:20PM
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srimes

Well, there you have it. Sears beats Kubota! j/k.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 12:22PM
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greenhobby(BugVille)

Was just reading on the BX2350 and it says

"The radiator of the BX-Series is positioned in the middle of the tractor rather than the front. So, airflow is taken in from the operator area and pushed towards the front of the hood. This helps reduce overheating, prevents grass from getting in the radiator grill and keeps the operator cooler."

Maybe a collection system would help with the dust? It looks like a fine machine...

-gh

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 1:07PM
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bill_kapaun

"I just thought I'd let you all know I've contacted the dealer. They want me just to add water for now"

That's what I would do, and then test it to make sure it's the radiator being clogged and not the thermostat. I'd hate to replace all the coolant and have it boil back out!

If you had to add an appreciable amount of water, you really don't want to go too long without "fixing" the coolant solution. The coolant also contains corrosion inhibitors. IF it gets too diluted, you'll start rusting things up.

    Bookmark   July 5, 2007 at 1:20PM
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kubotabx2200(Zone 5b NH)

Maybe you should listen to the dealer and have the dealer replace the thermostat under warranty at no cost to you.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 6:25AM
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nhtzer

Call your dealer, have them come pick-it up and check out what is wrong with it. Maybe it was just clogged and with no air-flow it overheated; maybe it's something more.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 7:02AM
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mith(South England)

"remove the screens and spray the radiator fins from time to time with a garden hose."

if you use a hose to clean out the radiator make sure it is totally dry before starting the tractor, or all the dust will stick to the water and it'll clog up twice as fast.

Using compressed air is better. And clean it BEFORE it is clogged.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 7:19AM
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tom_k_de

Using a 15 psi closed cooling system,and a 50/50 ratio coolant mixture,boiling occurs at about 265 degrees F.Kinda high for a system that may normally operate at about 195 F. And in only ten minutes. If it were mine,and brand new with this serious problem,,I would want a new repacement tractor,at least a new engine.Verbal telephone messages from "the dealer"mean little,if/when future simlar problems occur as a direct result of these serious overheating problems,and in/ out of warranty.Replacing /changing/diluting anti-freeze(engine coolant) may/could void your warranty.DON'T.I also would have a similar unit brought out,and perform the same duties ,and see if it also. boils over. If so,give me my money back.JMHO.

    Bookmark   July 6, 2007 at 7:22AM
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