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1486 foam in radiator

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Good day,

Having an issue with our 1486.  Brother was disking and noticed coolant coming out of the radiator overflow tube.  When he got it back to the shop and I allowed it to cool a bit, I noticed the radiator neck was full of foam.  Searching around in the old interwebs, the common consensus was bad head gasket.  Just to be certain, I wanted to check with you all before I sent it off for repairs.

Here is what I have so far:

No coolant in oil

No oil in coolant

I had him run it different throttle settings, level in radiator didn't move, and the remaining bubbles didn't get any bigger.  

No white smoke

The tractor doesn't get used as much anymore, maybe about 10-30 hours per year.  I last changed the coolant "filter" in 2019 after it came back from the dealer (not a lot of hours since it was last changed).  It had a shifting issue, but they found the radiator had a small leak and replaced it.   It is also possible that I didn't put the radiator cap back I tight after I checked the coolant level earlier in the day...

I plan on getting a new coolant "filter" (conditioner?) and maybe a test kit.  

Just looking for possibly something else to look at...

Thanks much!


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I’m not an expert but I would change all coolant and run it again. If the shop just changed the radiator there is a small possibility they used some type of soap to help installing the hoses. It’s a long shot but it could be Dawn dish washing liquid some yo-yo used on the hoses.

also you can’t fill the radiator completely and not have some coolant pushed out as it heats up.

good luck.

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Well any tractor,diesel or gas I had with  head gasket issues you will know for sure.White smoke,running poorly, getting hot very fast,and pushing coolant out the radiator.I would run it, watch it,it could have been just air locked after radiator change.You also/or might have a small crack in the head,it expands under work load  and allows air,compression into  the cooling system.I would run it and watch it,it will get worse if it's a  headgasket or cracked head.If not just air belching out.Was the thermostat changed?

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Get a cooling system tester and test your radiator cap as well as running a test of your cooling system. I remember @pete23 saying to remove fan belt and start engine watching for compression in cooling system. To do this test he always said that system needed to be cold and coolant level up in filler neck so you can see the bubbles. Not sure without looking but would guess an 86 series would run around a 11-13 lb cap. 


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Many possibilities. Did you add coolant when you checked it. They will find their own "full" level. The excess will be pushed out overflow. What was coolant temp. when this happened? Was it getting to the high side? It may have been a normal event.


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Thanks for the replies, not much I can do for a couple of months...my company is sending me out of the country for a couple of months.

I did some checking, luckily we saved the bill, the thermostat was not replaced, just radiator and both hoses.

The coolant level was normal when I checked, 6 inches below the top per the manual?  When I replaced the coolant filter I checked it was still in the same spot.  

I think my radiator cap is shot I found a crack that I didn't see the other day, I'll try and post a picture.  I know that can cause issues, but could it cause foaming?


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No can't see wear either one would cause foaming,  hate to say but you are getting air in your system.  Really only one place it would come from.  Hope I am wrong 

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