Jesse in WI

986 coolant leak

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I'm having a problem with our 986 dumping coolant on the ground.  We used it on Saturday and when I went to start it on Sunday morning I noticed a pool of green water on the ground under the tractor.  I added 1.5 gallons of coolant and looked for leaks without the tractor running and found nothing.  Started the tractor, no leaks.  Let the tractor run a little less than PTO speed for about 20 minutes outside with nothing noticeable happening.  Backed it into the shop and watched for the next hour or so and didn't see anything.  Checked tonight and there's a puddle of coolant under the tractor.

The following picture shows my testing setup with the coolant on the floor.  I made sure the overflow tube went into the oil pan so whatever came out of that hose didn't land on the floor.  I'm not sure if I've got a radiator problem or if the bottom radiator hose has a hole.  I'm hoping for the latter option.  Is it possible to get the lower hose off and replaced without removing the radiator?  I really need help on this one guys.

IMG_20171106_181847921.thumb.jpg.0c209612df822b41775a6c9fa220b2b0.jpg

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Can you pressurize the radiator somehow with an air compressor....(maybe wrap a rag around the nozzle to seal it)  and see if that makes the leak show up?

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8 hours ago, Jesse in WI said:

I'm having a problem with our 986 dumping coolant on the ground.  We used it on Saturday and when I went to start it on Sunday morning I noticed a pool of green water on the ground under the tractor.  I added 1.5 gallons of coolant and looked for leaks without the tractor running and found nothing.  Started the tractor, no leaks.  Let the tractor run a little less than PTO speed for about 20 minutes outside with nothing noticeable happening.  Backed it into the shop and watched for the next hour or so and didn't see anything.  Checked tonight and there's a puddle of coolant under the tractor.

The following picture shows my testing setup with the coolant on the floor.  I made sure the overflow tube went into the oil pan so whatever came out of that hose didn't land on the floor.  I'm not sure if I've got a radiator problem or if the bottom radiator hose has a hole.  I'm hoping for the latter option.  Is it possible to get the lower hose off and replaced without removing the radiator?  I really need help on this one guys.

IMG_20171106_181847921.thumb.jpg.0c209612df822b41775a6c9fa220b2b0.jpg

The lower radiator hose can be replaced without removing the radiator. Murphy's oil soap is my favorite to lubricate the new hose. Good possibility though it is the radiator.

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In the would of tractors, you have a very minor problem.   Have to clean it all first.   Some sort of degreaser and or hot soapy water. ,then get it dry, so it's not wet looking already.  The whole thing.  Down under the radiator, around that oil cooler (orings on those tubes going to lower rad house housing can leak). -Then-. Either warm it up or pressurize it while staring at it with a flashlight.  That much coolant coming out, should not be hard to see.    Worst case, it's the radiator, and that isn't too hard to replace.  Hood, shroud, air cleaner tube, hoses, lifts right out, don't hit the fan with the new one.  Replace belts and hoses while you're there. 

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I'll add that there is a difference in price, when looking at aftermarket vs case/IH  reman radiators, for a reason.  Honestly your best bet would be to have yours repaired if it needs it.  I've kept my original ones.  New ones even from Dealer, are light. 

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2 hours ago, Maynard said:

The lower radiator hose can be replaced without removing the radiator. Murphy's oil soap is my favorite to lubricate the new hose. Good possibility though it is the radiator.

I was thinking it was the radiator.  I'm going to try replacing the hose first since that's the easiest, cheapest attempt at a fix.  The bottom right side of the radiator, when looking at it from the fan side, always looks wet.  The left side of the radiator seems to be dry.  

Any tricks for draining the antifreeze out without making a terrible mess.  I drained some out of the petcock on the left side of the radiator last night but it's going to take all day to drain the radiator and engine at the rate it comes out.

Any recommendations on thermostats?  I know this one doesn't work and if I'm gonna have all the coolant drained it seems like a perfect time to replace it.

Thanks

Jesse

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Put a hose on the petcock, remove rad cap to give it a vent, shut off lines going to heater in cab,  that's the only way to drain the radiator down that low.  

 

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Try using a flash light and maybe a mirror, start at the bottom and work your way up till you find a wet spot, or drip, check to see if there is a wet place behind the fan pulley, grab a blade and see if it moves forward and backward, give it a good tug and shove, if you see or feel it move or hear a kind of click sound, the water pump bearing is loose and the seal could be leaking. A lot of money is spent replacing parts that are good trying to guess the problem. The coolant should drain faster than that, 5 or 6 minutes or so, try digging around inside the draincock opening with a pick or piece of wire, they get plugged with dirt or bug nests  

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I have on more than one occasion had that lower hose just come loose. I had to tighten up the clamp with a ratchet. You should be able to tell the difference between a hose and the radiator leaking by cleaning it up first. That may be all it is. Personally if it wasn't overheating or running too cool before I wouldn't change the T stat. I know a lot of guys will argue with me but they are expensive and I would only buy case IH. And I am not really all that happy with the newer ones. Lately the cheap parts these days have changed my mind on changing things just because its a good time. Several times the new part went bad and all of it was for nothing. The old saying ''if it aint broke don't fix it"

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1 hour ago, Missouri Mule said:

I have on more than one occasion had that lower hose just come loose. I had to tighten up the clamp with a ratchet. You should be able to tell the difference between a hose and the radiator leaking by cleaning it up first. That may be all it is. Personally if it wasn't overheating or running too cool before I wouldn't change the T stat. I know a lot of guys will argue with me but they are expensive and I would only buy case IH. And I am not really all that happy with the newer ones. Lately the cheap parts these days have changed my mind on changing things just because its a good time. Several times the new part went bad and all of it was for nothing. The old saying ''if it aint broke don't fix it"

The too cool thing is why I would change it if I had all the coolant drained.  It never really builds engine temp, even in the summer, and I use this tractor to run my snowblower in the winter.  I'm sure its not good to be running ice cold when I'm trying to throw snow from an 8' wide snowblower at 2200rpm.

Jesse

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On those hoses, we used to have to go out and tighten the new tractors hose clamps as they would start to leak while standing in the lot during cold weather.  Also, the castings the hose fits on normally has a casting seam that is pretty rough on some and I would file or grind that seam ridge off so hose would seal properly.   On the engine temp, a new thermostat would most likely not help you.  Probably  putting a orfice in the bypass hose would help as the bypass is so big the thermostat doesn't even need to open during cold weather.  BUT,   those temp gauges don't start to even come off of cold until maybe 150 degrees so engines aren't running as cool as it seems. 

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Update: I got a new lower radiator hose today and replaced it. As I'm filling the radiator with new coolant I checked my hose connections to make sure they weren't leaking. It was green on the radiator side of the hose so I cleaned it off real good and watched. I see the leak is happening somewhere in front of the lower hose as I could watch the coolant dribble down under the lower radiator tube on the cast piece the radiator sits on. I cleaned and watched this happen about 3 times to make sure.

Looks like I'll be getting a new radiator. What is the opinion on purchasing from an after market company like A&I vs OEM?

Jesse

Edited by Jesse in WI
Autocorrect was not correct

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The A and I ones aren’t very good in my opinion.  The only ones I have dealt with are John Deere ones and there is a noticeable weight difference between the two.  They tend to develop leaks where the tube meets the core.  Our local radiator shop builds good heavy ones.  You may want to check that if you have one near you. I have gotten radiators from radiator supply house in Oregon for trucks and they are very well made.  I priced one for a 4450 but with the freight the new one from Deere was cheaper.  This is just my experience.  The tractors I work on get used every day.  If you are not as demanding as we are you may get along fine with one.  

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We ALWAYS have ours rebuilt by a reputable radiator shop. I have bought a used radiator on eBay once to use as a core for a tractor I was repairing. If there are quality aftermarket ones I have not found any yet 

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You guys said same as what I've seen and posted above, but I think he was ignoring me when I said to wash it and clean it first. 

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Have yours fixed if possible, I have not found a quality aftermarket one yet either.

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16 hours ago, stronger800 said:

You guys said same as what I've seen and posted above, but I think he was ignoring me when I said to wash it and clean it first. 

the highest temp we've had here since last Saturday when I noticed the problem has been 22°F.  I don't have access to a heated shop big enough to fit this tractor in so any water I would have used on it would have just ended up making a giant radiator shaped ice cube.

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Been there done that.  I forget, as I've gotten used to being spoiled with a small section of heatedvshop.  Should warm up next wk I think.   If not, maybe run it so its warm and then hit it with decreaser and water

 

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I got the radiator out last night and found out there's already an aftermarket radiator in the tractor. It was stamped with a sticker that said Northern on it.

Is it worth having an aftermarket rebuilt?

Jesse

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Make sure your radiator mounts are good..if they are garbage they will allow the radiator to come in contact with the cast iron at the bottom of the radiator.  We had the same problem with our 1086..took it out and brazed a good heave piece of brass shim stock on it as well as replacement of the mounts

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3 hours ago, doo_hicky said:

Make sure your radiator mounts are good..if they are garbage they will allow the radiator to come in contact with the cast iron at the bottom of the radiator.  We had the same problem with our 1086..took it out and brazed a good heave piece of brass shim stock on it as well as replacement of the mounts

The 4 rubber mounts seemed to be ok when I took them off.  I did notice there was not any of the foam gaskets the parts book calls for in items 9 and 10.  I'm not sure if these are supposed to dampen any radiator movement against the cast iron or if they are just to stop the air from leaking around the sides of the radiator.

 

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Could be..but not entirely sure..I do know that there is probably only about 1/8" gap between the radiator and the superstructure...not a whole lot wiggle room...flip your radiator mounts upside down also..if you look at them you might notice that they "dropped" within the rubber from years of down pressure from the weight 

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Flipping them over, I suppose is a good idea.  I've replaced several, but I bet they cost a lot more than they use to.  A few good strips of weather stripping stuck to the bottom of whatever radiator you decide to,put back in, wouldn't hurt. 

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