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

    Default Dissappearing Dipsticks

    Went to check the oil yesterday on my Cub Cadet series 3000, with the 20 hp
    Kohler V-twin...... and once again the dipstick broke off, leaving the plastic dipstick , about 2 "
    from the top.... going to be a bitch to get out.
    This is my 3rd dipstick in 3 mowing seasons ... what's up with this ?
    The one in there was about a year old, maybe less.....
    I ordered another new one today...which will be dipstick # 4 since 2010.
    Exactly a year ago I tore engine top end down when head gasket blew....
    installed new gaskets , and new crank seals.... as both were dried out and leaking badly.
    Since then, put nearly 200 hrs. on engine , and it runs strong and smooth.... but always thought it ran
    hot, as hood can never be lifted without gloves on after mowing for an hr or so.
    I do mow 2 -3 hr.s straight with it...mowing 3 acres.... so engine does work hard...this includes a big long hill.
    Are dipsticks routinely breaking off tops do to excessive heat ?
    Anyone ever seen or heard of this problem ?
    Thanks,

    Pete
    Hudson Valley , New York

  2. #2
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Central Texas, Jarrell
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    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: Dissappearing Dipsticks

    Never had the problem.
    Never seen the problem.
    Never heard of the problem.
    Never heard/seen/had a plastic dip stick, either.

    What about getting a metal dipstick from some other source and cutting it to proper length and using that??
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  3. #3
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Windsor, CT.
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    Kubotas: L3240GST B2320HST B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: Dissappearing Dipsticks

    Quote Originally Posted by texasjohn View Post
    Never had the problem.
    Never seen the problem.
    Never heard of the problem.
    Never heard/seen/had a plastic dip stick, either.

    What about getting a metal dipstick from some other source and cutting it to proper length and using that??
    ^ my thoughts, exactly.
    Plastic is the wrong material for something with a long overhang (cantilevered load) in a high temperature, high vibration environment. But the designer probably got a good parking space for a month for making his cost goal.
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  4. #4
    Super Member
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    Feb 2006
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    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: Dissappearing Dipsticks

    Is that a short dipstick that screws in low in the crankcase. I have had the top tab/handle break off on old ones. Never down inside. Perhaps you are tightening it more than it can tolerate. I know the worry about them coming out, but I see most have an oring that they snug against. That gives some resistance in the 1st 1/4 turn or so, and is probably the reason even those lightly tightened dont back out.
    larry
    This side of 40
    JD2010, Kubota L3450/FEL w SK QC, L2550 w FEL
    Mahindra 7520 [Pinky] /FEL w Skid Steer QC/w Tilt Tatch & BH, BX1500 [Mighty Mouse]
    IH37 Baler, CCM165 Drum Mower, JD Rake
    JD 127 bushog, Flail, SK Tilt Tatch , KK tiller, Rhino rear blade, Post driver, post auger, chipper, pallet fork, Grapple/Loader Buddy, Homemade Splitter/DC Welder

  5. #5
    Super Member Gary Fowler's Avatar
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    Bismarck Arkansas
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    2009 Kubota RTV 900, 2009 Kubota B26 TLB & 2010 model LS P7010

    Default Re: Dissappearing Dipsticks

    I have never seen a dipstick break off on a lawnmower and the hood shouldnt be getting that hot. Check your cooling fins on the cylinder heads and make sure they are free of dirt and grass. There should be some good under hood air circulation also to help keep engine cool.
    Finger tighten the dipstick is all that is required. If that is what you have been doing, I would search for a metal dipstick, or maybe fashion one of my own and attach it to the bottom side of the plastic plug with a Loctite fastened screw.
    If this is the long 12" or so dipstick that comes to the top of the engine then I can understand it breaking from that much heat, but if it is the stubby little 2" or so crankcase one, then it shouldnt be breaking. I would discuss this with the local dealer and see if they cant get Cub Cadet to fix the problem or supply a metal dipstick.
    2010 LS P-7010C 20F/20R gear tractor & FEL, 2009 Kubota B 26 TLB, RTV 900 Kubota,17 foot Lund boat with 70HP motor, 2012-20 ft 12k GVW trailer, 2011- 52" Craftsman ZTR mower, 2013 Ferris Zero Turn, 3 weed whackers, pressure washer, leaf blowers, 7 foot bush hog, 8 foot landscape rake , 8 foot 3 PH disc, 2 row cultivator, 350 amp Miller AC/DC welding machine and all the tools needed to keep them all repaired and running.

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Spencerport,NY
    Tractor
    Jinma 284

    Default Re: Dissappearing Dipsticks

    My 18 hp Kohler (cub 1863) Runs hotter than a pistol too.I have checked the cooling fins/air intakes etc. all been clean.it just runs HOT.had it for 8-10 years now.How about keeping the broken dipstick top on the engine and just use a real one for checking oil of course then ya gotta remember wher ya put it. I know it's not the answer your looking for but it'll save buying dip sticks.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    587

    Default Re: Dissappearing Dipsticks

    My 2004 3235 blew a head gasket in 2010 and during the tear-down I found that the dipstick had broken off. I was able to remove it easily and don't know if I bumped it during the repair but the plastic was extremely brittle, apparently from the heat. I routinely remove the air cleaner cover and blow out the grass that accumulates between the sheet metal guards and the finned cylinders * heads after mowing now.

    Bob B.

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    235
    Tractor
    Cub Cadet 3000

    Default Re: Dissappearing Dipsticks

    Thanks guys for all your responses.... my engine has the long dipstick which does NOT screw in, but just inserts down , with an
    O-ring at the top portion to keep oil in.... it seems to always break at the O-ring.
    I already ordered new factory dipstick # 4.... but I must say I like the idea of cutting a metal one ...
    and using that. Cooling fins are clean...this sucker has always run hot , and I am using Rotella 15-40 in it.
    I may try their synthetic next season...maybe that will help.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member Zork's Avatar
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    '04 Branson 3520, '51 Fergy, '96 MTD 18/46, '02 Craftsman GT5000/48

    Default Re: Dissappearing Dipsticks

    Since your air screen is clean you might want to check the oil weight to make sure it isn't too heavy. Most of the newer equipment uses 10/30 or straight 30. Additionally, overloading, timing, and a malfunctioning carb or a lean carb can contribute to heat. If the plugs are too hot you can always get a cooler running plug. Maybe an oil filter cooler band or larger filter might help as a last resort.
    He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: Dissappearing Dipsticks

    GTSRider - one other wild thought - you may be getting a harmonic vibration into that dipstick tube assy at higher RPM's - if you can detect same, might look at bracing or dampening that tube assy somehow ? Would seem to me that long dipstick sittin in place inside that tube might just have it's weakest spot up there at that o-ring?

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