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I have a bx2350, now almost two years old, with 35 hours on it. We use a 60” mid-mount mower on it. We live on five acres, in a dry, dusty area.

I’m thinking there’s an inherent flaw with this tractor, that makes using a belly mower under this tractor problematic. In any sort of dusty conditions, the belts of the deck tend to whip the dust/debris up towards the radiator, which doesn’t seem to have any filter on the underside to keep the said dust/debris away from the radiator. The filter that fits in front of the radiator is not designed to keep out the dust/debris that is blown upwards by the deck.

Does anyone have thoughts on this? I’m no mechanic – it’s just something I’ve observed.

Does any one have a fix for this problem?

The text below is me complaining about my dealer, but some of it is possibly relevant to the above problem.

Last week, I asked the dealer to come pick it up and service it because it was close to being out of warranty, and had been overheating all the time, since new, and the transmission now didn’t sound quite like it used to. We know about the filter screens, and clean them very regularly. They are always dusty. We also recently bought a compressor airgun to blow out the radiator. I don’t know how well it worked because we couldn’t see the bottom of the radiator very well. Before that, we used a long tail feather, shed from our pet macaw, to dust down the radiator fins every time we cleaned the screen, (except for when the radiator fins were hot). I know, not highly technical, but it worked quite well, and reached right to the bottom :)

The dealer told us he took off the radiator (wasn’t that a bit drastic?), and, blew out the debris. That’s all they told me they did. They said it was pretty clogged. However, I hadn’t blown the radiator out before they picked it up, and had cut a field with it the day before. They said they let it sit and run for an hour and a half after they’d serviced it, and it didn’t overheat. I see on this forum, todays post from Lazyman, about a similar tractor he has, with similar hours, and similar problem, and I also see the great info, and helpful advice, none of which seems to have been done by my dealer. I don’t know yet, whether the tractor is going to overheat during use, but I have a sinking feeling that it will.

At the moment, I cut (long, dusty dry grass) until it gets almost to red zone, 30 - 40 mins? then stop, turn off the mower, open up the hood, and let the tractor run 5 or so mins until it cools some - then take out the screen, dust it off, put it back in, same with exterior front screen, then cut again until it goes almost into red, etc. After about 3 times of this ritual, I usually will give up for the day.

This same dealer delivered our tractor to us new, two years ago, with only half the correct amount of transmission fluid. We didn’t check it until we’d used it some (few hours, day or two?) because we’d been told that it was ready to use, and when we complained about the lack of transmission fluid in the tractor, the dealer gave us a 2.5 gall container of Kubota transmission fluid; we had to pour over half of it into the transmission. This is why I worried when it sounded like the transmission was making noises that didn’t sound quite right. I expected that they would at least replace the transmission fluid since it has to be done at 50 hours anyway, and I’d perceived a problem, but they didn't change it out, and told me Kubota is recommending it be done at 150 hours now. Well that isn't what my manual says. They aren't saying they won't do it, only that I have to specifically ask them to do it.

They also charged me for a new air cleaner element, even though 2 weeks earlier, I’d gone into their dealership and bought a new one. It was used exactly once before they came to pick up the tractor.

They also cleaned the tractor with some sort of solvent that dulled the finish on the plastic of the tractor. The bits they missed are still shiny. I’m a bit ticked off about it. They have said they will change the hood and fender out for new ones though.

They charged me over $350 for this 'service'. $95 for picking it up, the rest for ‘servicing’.

Would any of you be O.K. with the above?
 

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I Love All Color Tractors
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First and foremost, :Welcome1: :Welcome1:

Second, to answer your question, the short answer is no, I would not be OK with that. I would find another dealer to take a look at my machine, especially have so few hours on it. It should not be overheating from normal use.

It is possible with it being nearly two years old and so few hours, that the thermostat is sticking shut or not opening all the way. I think that I would flush the cooling system as well.
 

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Welcome aboard Herrma.
The description of the way you have to run for X amount of time then shut down to let it cool is not right. The BX's cooling system is designed to run at constant pto rpm for hrs and shouldn't need to be shut down to cool. One of the main reasons for the engine being installed "backwards" with the radiator facing the operators station is to give it a better chance of not getting clogged by mowing debris.
You say you mow in very dusty conditions. So are you saying it's dust thats clogging up the radiator or is it chaff etc from mowing?

I normally keep my grass regularly mowed and I try not to let it get too tall. This helps to keep the chaff down. I've mowed in the dead of summer in upwards of 90+ degrees and not had any overheating problems unless the operators screen gets totally covered. When this happens the temp will climb up near the red. Once it starts this I'll throttle down to near idle ( the smoothest and lowest rpm the engine will run at) disengage the pto and put the tractor in neutral (this relieves all load on the engine) then clean the operator screen and prescreen off while it's idling.
I can see the temp needle start to drop within a minute or two. In less than 5 minutes it's cooled down enough to continue mowing.
A unique attribute of an unloaded diesel is that it'll cool itself down at idle as the fan is pulling cooling air through the radiator and the water pump is still circulating the coolant. Shutting off a diesel when it's hot actually takes longer for it to cool down........
The cooling fan is also blowing cooling air over the hydraulic pump while it's circulating it's oil and this helps to cool it down also.
It's always good practice to "idle down" a diesel tractor for a couple minutes before shutdown as this cools it down faster.

All that said, IF the reason for overheating is built up chaff on the radiator screens, then idleing and cleaning off all the screens is a procedure you'll need to do, especially if it chaffs up often, when you mow in those dusty conditions.

If the temp drops when doing this you've found the problem. Theres not alot you can do to avoid chaffing up unless you mow more often so you're not cutting it so tall.

If the temp doesn't start to drop then theres a mechanical problem with your cooling system.

Does the BX run hot when your working for extended times other than mowing?
 

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Also, Kubota DOES want the oils and filters changed at 50 hours. After that, some can go many hours. My dealer told me that if I NEVER changed the Trans. oil again, DO IT AT 50 HOURS.

I would like to know how you can have a tractor for 2 years and only put 35 hours on it. I got my BX2660 in Feb. and already have right at 30 on it.
 

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I have a MX5000, when i bush hogg in the summer it is the same. the seeds form grass and weeds plug up the grill and radiator screen. i carry my hand held blower and blow it out proir to the motor getting hot. it is a 2003. that is my only complaint about my kubota
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Well thanks to you all for your input and advise that you've kindly given. Much appreciated.

I called Kubota today, about changing out the transmission fluid, and the kubota rep did say that they've changed the requirement to 150 hours now. Nevertheless, I'm still having it changed at 50 hours or before - it'll make me feel better to do it. - and then I'll wait 150 hours before I do it again (if I live that long; at the rate we've been using the tractor, I may not be...)

I asked the rep what he suggested to keep the radiator fins clean, and he suggested using a water-hose (on a cool radiator). He didn't sound keen on using a compressor airgun tool, saying that 80lb of pressure could be enough to bend the very fine fins. The thing about using water is that I'd then have to leave the radiator to thoroughly dry - overnight probably.

To Kenneth, who wants to know how we only put 35 hours on in two years, I think the truthful answer is - we're a bit lazy about yardwork :) Another thing is, we have a heavy star-thistle infestation in our area, and in order to deplete it, we have to let it grow tall, try to flower, then mow off the flowers before they can seed. If we keep cutting it short, in response, it flowers very low, so we can't cut them off. It's a "devil weed".

I'm going to have to be more vigilant about the actual radiator fins being cleaned - I've always been vigilant about the screens, and I'll be mowing lots in the next couple of weeks, in order to test things before my warranty runs out.

Volfandt asked - is it dust or chaff? You know, I think it's both. We hadn't been using a water-hose under the hood of the tractor before, but it seems like we probably should be, so we will in future. The rep just said to keep the air filter dry.

Although we'd been running the tractor with no load, to cool it, we hadn't been doing it at idle speed. My thought had been that the faster things were running, the faster the fan would spin, and the faster it would cool down the radiator. So we'll let it cool at idle speed now. What seemed to really help it cool off was to open up the hood so the hot air could escape more easily.

The dealer rep also said that the way the gauges are set, they tend to be closer to the red mark, at normal operating temp, than you'd expect. Hmm, that seemed odd to me.
 

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I don't think I'd trust your dealer much farther than you can pick him up and throw him!!! Sounds to me like he's trying to help you blow it up so's you can buy another one from him! As to the normal operating temperature, my BX2350 runs just about dead centered on the gauge. I've never seen it run noticeably hotter or cooler, regardless of the temperature.

As to the 150 hour service they now recommend; is that only for their newer equipment, or do they specifically say it's retroactive to their older models as well?

I noticed some chaff in the lower part of my radiator last time I cleaned it, appears it blew up under the screen on the radiator. I'll have to look into fabricating up some type of guard/plate to cover that opening under the radiator. Only makes sense that ANY opening behind the radiator will draw in air, and that particular hole has no screening whatsoever over it!
 

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I've been using liquid cooled engines on tractors sine 1997 all JD's and they will do the same thing if the screens and fins aren't kept clean. I've been using an air hose and long hand nozzle to get into the areas that need cleaned out. I've never had a problem bending the radiator fins with just air pressure. If you get to close to the fins and accidentally touch them with the end of the nozzle you'll bend the fins. Just keep your nozzle back a few inches and you won't have any problems. I would be looking for another dealer. slkpk
 

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I just called my dealer. He said "GO BY YOUR MANUAL". Some of the larger, NEW, farm tractors are being extended out to 150 hours, NOT the BX's. They said if the tractor can be extended it will be in your owners manual. I guess my BX2660 will be changed in about another 20 hours.
 

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On the service interval, I just looked in my manual yesterday for what get's changed at 50 hours and was surprised to see that the transmission fluid didn't call for changing until 400 hours. It's a BX1860 new in November. Now I'm going to go back and check this since you all are saying the new requirment is 150 hrs, but I'm pretty sure mine said 400. Doesn't matter since I plan on changing the oil at 50 hours anyway. By the way, no issues with overheating, but I haven't mowed with it in dusty, dry conditions yet.
 

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WELL, I just looked at the manual on my new BX2660. It says at 50 hours change the engine oil and filter...then at 200 hours.

Transmission: change filter at 50 hours, then 200 and every 200 after that. Change oil at 400 hours and every 400 after. Clean strainer at 50 and then 400.

I KNOW on my BX1850, it was change trans. fluid at 50 also, because I did it.
 

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WELL, I just looked at the manual on my new BX2660. It says at 50 hours change the engine oil and filter...then at 200 hours.

Transmission: change filter at 50 hours, then 200 and every 200 after that. Change oil at 400 hours and every 400 after. Clean strainer at 50 and then 400.

I KNOW on my BX1850, it was change trans. fluid at 50 also, because I did it.
That's my recollection too on my BX1850. Thanks for the clarification -the 400 hr interval is for the fluid but the filters/screen gets done earlier. Still think I'll change the trans fluid at 50 hours but we'll see when I cost out several gallons of SUDT.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks to all for the interesting discussion. Isn't the internet (and discussion groups) a wonderful thing.

The dealer clarified for me that the timeframe for changing the transmission oil is now longer, but that the transmission oil filter needs changing, and the transmission oil suction screen needs to be cleaned out, at 50 hours, just like before.

From the comments, it seems to me that certain, individual tractors run hot, and reading back over older threads, this has been an issue with the bx 2350. I'm not O.K. with this, but it seems like I may have to accept that my particular tractor is one of them.

To JRC0528, I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on fabrication of something to try to stop the dust/chaff from rising up into the radiator from below. I've tried to think of something myself, but haven't managed to think of anything yet. I'm not mechanically minded enough to be able to figure this one out.

It doesn't make sense to me though, that the underside of the radiator would be open like that when it's so close to the dust/chaff kicked up by the mid-mount mower, because the air is bound to be to be drawn in from below, and maybe even more so than from the front, since the open space below is closer to the fan. But...how would one clean the radiator out if there wasn't that space below. There has to be some sort of space under the radiator, so the 'crud' build-up has somewhere to fall through when the fins are cleaned, right? Maybe the removable screen needs to be adapted somehow, so it closes the bottom space up more when it's in place.
 

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Hey Herrma,

I've got a Kubota G1900 that is 12 years old and has 1600+ hrs on it. You can cut green grass all day long with it - no problem. But when cutting under dry conditions, where the grass growth is not dense, the dust and chaff from cutting will plug the screens as you observed. Dense grass growth tends hold moisture and contain the chaff and dust from billowing out from under the deck.

I go to the barn and use my air compressor to clean it up whenever I see the temperature gauge rising toward the red zone. If I fail to see it getting hot, I sometimes clean it by hand to reduce the temperature before going to the barn.

Mulching tree leaves creates the same problem, particularly where the grass growth is not dense. The leaves are ground into small particles and billow out from under the deck. I get dust and debris all over me as well. I don't like mulching!!

I have a large lawn and a large sprinkling system. If it has been dry, I can sprinkle the yard before mowing to alleviate the dust.

In thinking about it, the fins of an an air-cooled engine must become plugged with this dust and chaff as well.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
hi sixbales,

you're right - the billowing dust/chaff is a huge problem, but we don't water most of our 5 acres - we're on a well, so we'll lose pressure if we water too much; plus, the water police will be after us for being wasteful. Around here, in California, we don't see rain for a solid three months in the summer. Everywhere gets brown and crispy very quickly here, so we can't get away from the dusty conditions.

I've just been inspecting underneath the tractor, whilst it's still clean from being serviced, and I see now what might be a bit of an ongoing problem. At the bottom corners of where the removable radiator screen sits, are two small blocks of foam (1" square or less), one at each side, and stuck onto the tractor. That's all that's stopping the dust/chaff from being sucked up through a similar-sized gap between the screen and its housing, and into the radiator fins. Even though my tractor had just been steam cleaned, and the radiator apparently removed for cleaning, I still saw largish wads of old packed dust/chaff down in the corners, at that location. It seems to me that a 1" square of foam isn't enough to protect that gap.

We actually had an air-cooled Sears garden tractor before this, and it never seemed to overheat when we used it for hours. This Kubota tractor has better much traction, and can be used for more things, but watching for the inevitable overheating can get wearing.

We are definitely going to be even more scrupulous about keeping the actual radiator clean now, and see if that can fix our problem, but I'm thinking those foam covered gaps at the bottom of the screen housing are not doing a good enough job of keeping out the dust/chaff, and are at least part of our problem.
 

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Hi Herrma,
Your Kubota mower with a water-cooled engine may not be the right application for dry, dusty, mowing conditions. You can block leakage around around the radiator but the outer screen will then plug faster?
Kubota mowers are really great machines, but this is a drawback you will have to evaluate and decide upon. Good luck. Ed Fulton
 

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Interesting thread. I brush hog with a B7510. Some of the stuff I mow down is taller than the hood of the tractor. I do this in the winter months when it's dead and dry. The radiator and screen collect junk where the temperature will start to climb in three or four hours. As soon as the temp starts up I quit and head for the air compressor. I don't let it climb to anywhere near to the red mark. I hold the nozzle 6-8 inches away from the radiator because I learned long ago that high pressure air WILL bend those flimsy little fins if held very close. I blow from the fan side of the radiator to blow the trash out the way it was sucked in. After it seems clean I hit it from the front. It's worked so far.

Why would you want to let the radiator dry after flushing the fins with water? Fire it up and go. The fan will suck the water right out. In fact a very quick way to cool that engine down is spray water on the radiator with the engine running.

My air cooled 26 HP mower doesn't have a heat guage (and I've never had one that did) so it's hard to tell how hot it is getting. My experience has been that the air cooled engines suck junk in and clog up the cooling fins on the heads and plug the intake screen worse and quicker than the radiator on my Kubota tractor does.
 

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After removing the screens I blow compressed air threw the fins...back to front first. You can see a noticeable amount of dust come out.
 

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Another check I don't see here is whether the temp guage is reading accurately. I'd check the fluid temp with another thermometer. DON'T open the cap, use one of those new laser temp gizmos.
I do keep my screen and fins almost sterile clean but the temp guage reads slightly high.
 

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To JRC0528, I would be very interested in hearing your thoughts on fabrication of something to try to stop the dust/chaff from rising up into the radiator from below. I've tried to think of something myself, but haven't managed to think of anything yet. I'm not mechanically minded enough to be able to figure this one out.

It doesn't make sense to me though, that the underside of the radiator would be open like that when it's so close to the dust/chaff kicked up by the mid-mount mower, because the air is bound to be to be drawn in from below, and maybe even more so than from the front, since the open space below is closer to the fan. But...how would one clean the radiator out if there wasn't that space below. There has to be some sort of space under the radiator, so the 'crud' build-up has somewhere to fall through when the fins are cleaned, right? Maybe the removable screen needs to be adapted somehow, so it closes the bottom space up more when it's in place.
Ok, I was looking at my radiator screen this weekend and one thing stood out in particular. At the bottom of the screen is a piece that appears to be a sheet metal angle about 1/2" x 1/2" running the length of the bottom of the screen. Attached to this angle is a plastic seal strip that appears to be for the purpose of closing the gap at the bottom; only problem is it is on the BACK of the screen!!! :duh:

While overall the Kubotas are well engineered, I think a few of their engineering staff need woke up!! :00000060:

Anyways, the screen provides NO protection between itself and the radiator, where it counts most!! I'm thinking perhaps a small piece of foam weatherstripping attached to the other side of the angle such that it NEARLY seals this gap. I say nearly as I feel that any piece big enough to completely fill it would likely get pulled off while re-inserting the screen. Perhaps it even possible to put the weatherstripping at the bottom of the radiator so that the screen slides down and seals against it.

Once the screen is removed, there should still be enough room for debris to fall through the slot during routine cleaning.

If any of you beat me to trying this, post your results so the rest of us can get to work!!
 
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