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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello, I’m new to this forum and this is my first post. I am considering a Deere 2305 and a Kabota BX2360. Both appear very comparable and the choice is difficult. I have never owned a diesel engine tractor. This is my question, recently, the government required that sulfur levels in diesel fuel be reduced to near non included levels. I have read that truckers were concerned the low sulfur content would cause problems because it acted as a lubricant. Is this an issue with small compact tractor engines? If yes, is there a build date on engines that I should avoid (example- avoid engines built prior to 01/01/2009.).
 

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We have run low sulfur diesel in our caterpillar powered trucks since its introduction,with no damage,despite all the negative hype.On average,we get around 2million miles before rebuild.I own Kubota B7500 diesel with 60 in mower and John Deere 725 with 54in mower.It is a 99 model,just had to replace cam at cost of $1400.John Deere mows better,but Kubota more economical.Welcome.
 

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Welcome to the forum. Glad you joined us.
 

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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The fuel loses a tiny bit of its lubricity with a decreased sulfur content, but you're still burning what amounts to an oil. If it makes you feel better, there are some additives available, like "Diesel Service Cetane Boost", which is available at Tractor Supply and most auto parts stores. One ounce to 5 gallons is all you need.

My '08 X748 requires low sulfur or ultra low sulfur fuel, and all automotive engines '08 and later also are supposed to use it, and here in NC, that's all you can get from the local gas stations. Older engines designed to use higher sulfur fuels are okay with the low sulfur fuel, but an additive won't hurt. I use the above mentioned stuff in my truck as well as my JD.

I'd like to go back to burning home heating oil in my tractor, but I haven't found out yet if the sulfur content is low enough for my tractor. I used it all the time in my old Yanmar. It is cheaper because it doesn't have the Federal and State highway use taxes in the price.
 

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Welcome to the forum. From my reading, all late model diesel tractor engines are designed to run on low sulfur diesel. If you're looking at new models, as it appears you are, you should be fine, But, as others state, for an added measure of safety, you can put an addative in every time you buy diesel. After some research, I decided to use Optilube XPD for some added margin of safely.

http://www.opti-lube.com/XPD.htm
 

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cvm,

Welcome to the forum! :Welcome1:
 

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cvm, :Tractor2: Get on both tractors and test them out. You can't go wrong with either of them.:trink40:
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
After taking a very close look at a new Kabota BX2660 engine I found a label that reads use only low sulfur or ulta low sulfur fuel.
 

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Welcome aboard CVM.
re. fuel, all modern diesel engines should have no problem w/ULSD fuel.
Like oil, the discusions on ULSD fuels can spark alot of debates :D

As been said, theres additives available if one is concerned about ULSD fuels but I personally don't use them in my 2004 model BX23 except in winter to help prevent fuel gelling.

re. which model, can't help you there. My advise is to go to each dealer, perhaps even multiple dealers of the same brand and test out each machine to determine which "feels" the best. The specs are so close you're not going to gain any great mechanical advantage w/going with one over the other but theres enough subtile differences, like ergonomics, to help make your decision.
Course for most folks it's the bottom line that determines the brand/model but I wouldn't go with one over the other based on price alone as it's your seat that'll have to ride in the seat of the machine of your choice and these great machines ain't cheap :D
Good luck.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Volfandt,
I haven't thought much about cold weather fuel gel (because I don't know anything about it). But since you mention it, what are some of the issues that are caused by gelling. Example, at what temperature does this happen, what does one do when it happens, any warning signs etc.
 

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Volfandt,
I haven't thought much about cold weather fuel gel (because I don't know anything about it). But since you mention it, what are some of the issues that are caused by gelling. Example, at what temperature does this happen, what does one do when it happens, any warning signs etc.
Keep your fuel tank topped off to keep moisture out. Use an additive such as FPPF, Power Service, etc. Change fuel filter in the fall and let a little of the fuel in the bottom of your fuel tank drain out as water is heavier than fuel. If you do what I've suggested you shouldn't have any issues. Water in your fuel starts the gelling/freezing process. Wind chills make a difference also in what temps you start to gel. slkpk
 

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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Volfandt,
I haven't thought much about cold weather fuel gel (because I don't know anything about it). But since you mention it, what are some of the issues that are caused by gelling. Example, at what temperature does this happen, what does one do when it happens, any warning signs etc.
Fuel gelling is technically referred to as clouding, which is the point where the paraffins and waxes in the fuel begin to solidify. Diesel fuel cloud point is around 0 to -15 degrees F or a few degrees colder, depending on what additives the fuel has, the amount of moisture in the fuel and whether it's Diesel #1 or #2. (#1 clouds at a lower temp than #2, all other things being equal). In your area, you shouldn't have any real concern under most cicumstances. Just use a good additive like Diesel Service and you should have no problems, plus the additives usually are helpful in keeping the injectors clean. Refineries blend fuels for seasonal use, but can't supply enough different blends for all circumstances because of logistics and specific use requirements, so additives by the truck owner are the best way to "custom" blend for their specific need. Diesel #2 is what we commonly use in our trucks and tractors. Diesel #1 is a lighter grade, closer to kerosene and jet fuel. It gels at a lower point than #2, but has less energy content, does not lubricate as well, and is more expensive than #2. Refineries will mix the two to lower cloud point, but then they have to worry about reduced efficiency of the fuel and increased cost to the user.

When I mentioned moisture in the fuel, keeping the fuel filter up to date by changing it whenever it's scheduled, or when you see evidence of water in the filter bowl, will help prevent problems from water in the fuel. Diesel fuel filters are designed to help separate water from the fuel, and trap it in the filter bowl.

If you keep your machine in a closed-in garage where the temps don't get as low as they do outside, you should never have a problem with gelling fuel, especially if you use an additive during cold spells.
 

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I'm not sure at what exact temp that untreated diesel fuel starts to gell but I'm going to guess it's somewhere between freezing (32 degrees) and 0 and it's probably closer to 0. Another term thats used is the cloud point and I believe this is when the fuel starts to gell and is visable in clear fuel bowls/filters etc.
What happens is some additives (parafins etc) start to crytalize and this crystlization is what starts to clog up the fuel filter(s) and passageways/fuel lines. This in turn starves the engine of fuel. At 1st it causes a dramatic loss in power and decreases to the point of the engine not even running.

Normally, the colder weather states start selling treated or winterized fuel earlier than warmer weather states and the refined fuel lowers the cloud point but doesn't totally eliminate gelling at extreme cold temps.

This is where the additional additives/treatments are marketed to further lower the cloud/gell point to well below freezing.
In my area, I could probably get away without using an additive but once the 1st frost hit's I start adding Power Service in the white bottle for insurance against gelling.
I've had many folks tell me that the higher grade/treated fuel, both gas and diesel is distributed to the states in the colder climates 1st and that we may not always get the "premium" grades down here, as our weather generally isn't as harsh. Whether this is true or not is debateable but I still add the PS for "just in case" it is true :D

If per chance your fuel gells, theres a couple different ways to clear the problem and get your tractor/diesel powered machine back into service.

1) totally drain and discard all the fuel in your machine, replace the fuel filter(s) and add new treated fuel. Even in doing this you'll still probably have to add additional treatments.

2) Add a fuel treatment for de-gelling the fuel such as Power Service 911 or similar, heat up the area the tractor/machine is sitting in and wait for the fuel to de gell. You'll probably still have to replace the fuel filters tho, and from what I've read most have had to do both 1 & 2 and they had to change out the fuel filters a couple times.
Basically, you don't want to have to deal w/gelled fuel in below freezing temps.... In this case an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure :D

Some of the folks that live in the colder climes and have had to deal with gelling may add and/or correct my ramblings. Thankfully I've not had to deal with it yet :D

edit, I see wher a couple knowledgble folks posted while I was, GTG :thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thanks for the info about gelling. As I said earlier this will be my first diesel engine and that issue was not on my radar screen.

It seems as though I've heard that a type of bacteria can grow in diesel fuel. That seems really weird to me. Is that a fact or just some nonsense I might have overheard?
 

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re. diesel fuel bacteria, nope, it's not hype, it's yet another scourage that can choke down a diesel engine just like gelled fuel.
Normally, bacteria contaminated fuel isn't that prevalent but it is common. Diesel fuel has got to have been sitting a long long time, perhaps 6 months or longer before it can start to form. With that said theres been many posters that have stored fuel for a yr or better and not have any problems.
The most common way one gets contaminated fuel is from a gas station that has contaminated tanks and or little traffic. Your chances of getting good clean fuel increases when you purchase from gas stations or other suppliers that sells alot of fuel so theres alot of fresh fuel turnover in their tanks.
A fuel treatment like Power Service or similar added to diesel fuel thats going to sit along time will help to keep the bacteria at bay.

Your fuel filters are the 1st to clog when bacteria attacks and it's plain as day when you inspect the filters. It forms a nasty black sludge type of slime.....
Like gelling, the filters will need replacement as part of the treatment.
Most tractor supply outlets as well as OTR outlets carry fuel treatments for bacteria contaminated fuel so it's fixable should one get attacked. I've yet to experience it and hope to leave that pleasure to others :D

There is one other scourage that attacks a diesel fuel system and thats water. Theres always a slight bit in your fuel but there comes a point where it highly effects your engines performance, often times either causeing intermittent engine dieing or killing the engine and not allowing it to start.
Condensation is a source but it takes quite a bit to contaminate a fuel can or tank thats holding 5 or more gallons of fuel. But when the cans and/or tank is kept at very low levels for extended times the condensation can build up to the point of being a problem.
Most times it takes quite a bit of water to kill the engine and like gelling and bacteria, you'll need to completely drain & discard the contaminated fuel, change out the filters and add all new fuel. As with the others, theres fuel treatments for this malady too and depending upon the amount of contamination the treatment alone "may" correct the problem but most times a drain and refill is the sure fire way to fix it.
The most common cause of aquiring water contaminated fuel is from the source you purchased it from. Like the other contaminates, buying from a supplier that does alot of business will probably have the better fuel.
 
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