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  1. #1
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2010
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    233
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 3000

    Default Series 3000 Command 20 Overheating

    Hi... just picked up a used 400 hours Cub Cadet series 3000 with the
    Command 20 engine. Engine bay runs so hot that previous to my ownership...
    battery box panel melted.
    This tractor runs so hot I could not touch hood today to open it.
    Engine runs irratic and will not idle well after running for a few hours.
    I have 3 acres and a big hill it must climb.... engine gets extremely hot.
    What can I do to cool it down ? .... oil cooler with fan ?
    Got so hot today dipstick feel apart in tube... had to drill it to remove it.
    Have never seen such a heat issue before on a garden tractor.
    All the obvious has been down extreme 4 hour cleaning by me to get engine bay squeeky clean with maximum air flow.
    Any suggestions welcome.... other than sell tractor.
    Thanks.
    Pete

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2008
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    658

    Default Re: Series 3000 Command 20 Overheating

    did you pull engine shroud sheet metal to clean fins?

  3. #3
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2010
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    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 3000

    Default Re: Series 3000 Command 20 Overheating

    No ... that is one thing I did not do....
    Engine and tractor were beyond belief dirty when I got it....
    so I guess you hit on problem....
    I did not do it because I was afraid of difficulty.... how difficult is it ?
    I since posted problem , have found an oil cooler kit for these engines...
    anyone on this site have one installed ?

  4. #4
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    Location
    West Falls, NY
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: Series 3000 Command 20 Overheating

    There's only a few things that are going to make and air cooled small engine run hot 1) Like said, you need to clean the flywheel intake screen and you need to verify air can blow across the cylinder heads (areas behind the shrouding is clear). 2) A vacuum leak or carburetor issue where the fuel/air ratio is running lean. Generally the thing would be running poorly if that was the case. An oil cooler isn't going to help you if the engine isn't getting the airflow it needs from the flywheel fan.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

  5. #5
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    May 2009
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    1,616

    Default Re: Series 3000 Command 20 Overheating

    You definitely need to get into the cooling fins in detail and if that means removing all the baffles so be it. Take photos to help you remember how to get things back to gather.

  6. #6
    Silver Member
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    Jul 2005
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    112
    Location
    N. Central Illinois
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 2544

    Default Re: Series 3000 Command 20 Overheating

    I've got a 2544 with the same 20hp engine, and mine is an '05 with the full steel hood and side panels.

    It certainly doesn't run "cool", but I have no problem with being able to open the hood, etc. after an hour of mowing hard. I clean off the mower after every use with my air compressor, and take particular attention with blowing off the screens and blower intake as well as blowing around the cylinder heads to dislodge any grass. I'm rapidly approaching 200 hours, so I probably should pull the shrouding once and have a look-see.

    I do like the design of the "pre-plastic" 2500 series because all the intake paths to the blower screen have additional screening - the panel below the dash is screen as well as both side panels having a screen. This keeps a large amount of junk out of the engine to begin with. The blower screen on the Command is pretty coarse mesh compared to the fine perforated metal screens I'm used to on older engines (Kohler K series, old Briggs, etc.)

    I also believe the Commands are going to run hotter to begin with due to the lean nature of the mixture. An old K series will burn twice the fuel per acre, and a lot of that extra gas cools the engine. The Command has the advantage of aluminum heads and OHV, which allows it to dissipate that heat much better than an iron flathead, but unfortunately aluminum doesn't tolerate overheating well, loosing half it's strength at 400F.

    Aircraft piston engines allow the pilot to adjust the mixture "on-the-fly" and for takeoff and full power operation at low altitude, "full rich" is used. The extra fuel is used to cool the engine as well as give maximum resistance to detonation. It also gives spectacular fuel flows - 25 to 28 gallons per hour is typical on a 300 hp engine. However, once set up in cruise, you can pull back the mixture and on some engines with matched flow fuel injectors and CHT and EGT monitors on each cylinder, you can run LEAN of peak mixture at settings less than 75% power and get fuel flows of 11 to 13 gal/hour. Still sounds like a lot, but you are typically zipping along at 200+ mph, too, in a larger 4 to 6 seat plane (like a Bonanza), so pretty decent "gas mileage". And by running lean of peak, you actually run cooler and with less peak cylinder pressures than by running at best power mixture settings which is typically slightly rich of peak, as well as much lower fuel flow.

    Sorry for the OT sidebar - it's interesting stuff, tho.

    Chris

  7. #7
    Silver Member
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    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 3000

    Default Re: Series 3000 Command 20 Overheating

    Hi.... did remove shrouding, and cleaned fins.... lots of crap in there...engine has 405 hours on it.... and I am sure it was it's first cleaning.
    Because this tractor is new to me... I must ask if this engine has rough
    carburation from the factory... or is my carb dirty ?
    runs fine at full throttle ... but not so good at idle and low mid range.
    When I cleaned fins I notice label on new oil filter just installed was burned right off filter... also as I said the battery panel is so melted from PO , that it will not stay on.... so this engine had heat issues before me, and maybe why I got it so cheap.
    I would think a syn blend oil might be good for these engines as the run hot.
    Pete

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2008
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    658

    Default Re: Series 3000 Command 20 Overheating

    certainly wouldn't hurt to drop the carb and give it a good cleanig with carb cleaner, a small dia copper wire to probe all orifices/jets, compressed air to blow any loose crap out clean, new carb kit with new gaskets. Might also be a good time to replace fuel lines, fuel filter, etc. Make sure you replace fuel filter with Kohler OEM filter for that particular engine - Kohler engines sre picky about such. No aftermarket cheapies.
    Yeah, syn oil should work for that engine - but, best to go to kohler's website - d/l an owners manual for that engine (free) - chk their oil options.
    and do a THOROUGH inspection of the engine being clean under those cooling shrouds - that's gotta be right or you will soon be grabbing for yer purse to repower...

  9. #9
    Veteran Member JTKub's Avatar
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    Apr 2005
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    1,560
    Location
    West Falls, NY
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet Z-Force 44

    Default Re: Series 3000 Command 20 Overheating

    Quote Originally Posted by GTSRider View Post
    .. I must ask if this engine has rough
    carburation from the factory... or is my carb dirty ?
    runs fine at full throttle ... but not so good at idle and low mid range.
    Pete, I know the Command 20 on my 2005 model year always idled kind of crappy. Kind of old Harley style; ratta-tatta-tatta. The throttle control was such that there was very little mid-range, and you went from idle to full blast. In the years I owned it, I just ran it at full throttle so I never had the need to mess with it. It was always smooth as butta at max RPM. Make sure you get a good look at your flywheel fan to make sure there's not a nest or something wrapped around the inside.

    Joel
    Tractors of the past:
    2010 Cub Cadet Z-Force 44 fab
    2005 Cub Cadet 2544
    1979 Case 220
    2003 Yard Machines 17hp 42" transmatic (crap-matic)

  10. #10
    Silver Member
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    Jun 2010
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    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 3000

    Default Re: Series 3000 Command 20 Overheating

    Thanks Guys.... will keep you posted on progress.
    Yes ...I figured about the fuel filter... I think it must have a certain capacity for fuel and I think the small ones ... like the one mine has on there, can starve engine for fuel... making it run even hotter.
    And yes... mine idles like a Harley potato potato potato.....

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