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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    31
    Location
    north carolina
    Tractor
    kubota 2350

    Default Kubota, Rotella, and engine temp

    I'm getting ready to change the engine oil in my Bx2350. It was new last year and I'm assuming came with kubota 10W30 oil. And after the 50 hr service, again with Kubota 10W30, the water temp consistently ran above normal all summer and the rest of the year with extended use. I've read a thread or two here which stated that by switching to Rotella 15W40, the engine temps ran lower than with 10W30. I've done a half dozen searches and have seen the cooler running temps with 15W40 observation only a couple of times.

    My question is--should I switch to Rotella or continue with the Kubota oil--if engine temp is an issue?

    By the way, my dealer said that the reason my tractor ran on the warm side was because of the location of the temp sensor relative to the radiator. Anyone heard of this?

    tractoring in North Carolina, oledocward

  2. #2
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Posts
    193
    Location
    Falling Waters,WV
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: Kubota, Rotella, and engine temp

    I doubt that two different oils of similar viscosity will cause a difference in operating temp. More likely your radiator, or prescreen os obstructed with dust/dirt. Until you exceed the capacity of your cooling system, the operating temp is determined by your thermostat. If the oil is really causing you to run hot, it would mean it wasn't lubricating adequately, in which case your engine wouldn't last very long. I use Rotella myself in my BX2200. It only runs hot when the screen becomes clogged with dust & it's under heavy load. I just clean the screen & the temp immediately falls back to where it belongs. The screen & radiator tend to plug up quickly when mowing in dry conditions.

  3. #3
    Silver Member drtydeed's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    149
    Location
    Nazareth, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23

    Default Re: Kubota, Rotella, and engine temp

    Can't answer for sure about the temp thing, mine never runs hot (and I've always run Rotella 15/40). The tech that dropped off my machine crossed out the spec in the owners manual and wrote in 15/40. You may want to check over in the O&L forums.
    Dirty Deeds
    Bx23, 60"MMM, Woods Toothbar, 60" RB, weights
    00 GMC 3500HD 6.5TD Dump Crew Cab "one ugly orange truck"

  4. #4
    Elite Member Skyco's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    2,718
    Location
    SC/NC

    Default Re: Kubota, Rotella, and engine temp

    Quote Originally Posted by pdowling1
    Until you exceed the capacity of your cooling system, the operating temp is determined by your thermostat.
    Exactly right. The oil has almost nothing to do with your operating temperature, something else is going on....

  5. #5
    Veteran Member Volfandt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    1,879
    Location
    TN
    Tractor
    2004 Kubota BX23, 1966 WheelHorse 856

    Default Re: Kubota, Rotella, and engine temp

    Likes been said, a clogged or partially clogged intake screen is the primary cause for a BX (or any tractor for that matter) to overheat. I can see immediate temp gauge deflection to the cooler side once I swipe the screen clean.

    As to the oil, yes the oil does effect engine temp., but not to the degree of reduced air flow through a radiator and/or through the engine cowlings of an air cooled engine. Course this is more relevent to air cooled engines but it is still applicable somewhat to liquid cooled engines.
    In liquid cooled engines the oil is cooled somewhat by having as large of an oil sump (oil pan) as the engine can have and still fit in it's compartment whereas high performance liquid and air cooled engines add external oil coolers. I added a thermostatically controlled oil cooler to my former Harley Davidson. The benefit of having it thermostatically controlled allows the cool oil to bypass the cooler which gets it up to operating temperature quicker. It was advertised as an addon to help keep the engine from overheating by cooling the oil. Later model models added these coolers as OEM, so they must have worked pretty good in helping to keep the engine(s) from overheating.

    I don't know if 15w40 will cool any better than 10w30 and it won't hurt to try it. You're only talking about the cost of 4 qts of oil and a filter
    BX23 w/60" MMM & thumb.
    1966 Wheelhorse 856, Gear drive.
    1966 Wheelhorse 876, HST drive.
    w/50"sickle mower, 36" RDM, snow/grader plow, Alternator welder.

  6. #6
    Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Posts
    31
    Location
    north carolina
    Tractor
    kubota 2350

    Default Re: Kubota, Rotella, and engine temp

    The first thing I did was clean the radiator screen and made sure there was nothing blocking the air flow around the radiator--and cleaned it over and over, even when it was not dirty. Still runs above normal, about half way between normal and hot. The dealer says nothing is wrong, just the location of the temp sensor. Maybe he's right, maybe my tractor just runs warm. I don't know.

    Does the BX have a replaceable thermostat. I can't find it listed as a part anywhere.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member big bubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    744
    Location
    arkansas
    Tractor
    m8540

    Default Re: Kubota, Rotella, and engine temp

    Could be a temp sensor related issue, would be good to get an actual degree reading with a high temp thermometer. perhaps at operating temp place a towel over the cap and SLOWLY open cap (some coolant loss) then take a direct reading. BE CAREFUL bb

  8. #8
    Platinum Member big bubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Posts
    744
    Location
    arkansas
    Tractor
    m8540

    Default Re: Kubota, Rotella, and engine temp

    Naturally check coolant temp w/engine off. what about defective thermostat....these things seem unlikely (but possible) with a new tractor. even if you clean the radiator screen, also be sure to see that the radiator fins are clear. blow them out with low pressure from engine side out. surely the radiator itself is not restricted being that new? worth a flush?

  9. #9
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    90
    Location
    SWMissouri
    Tractor
    BX2350

    Default Re: Kubota, Rotella, and engine temp

    From the posts I've read on here, I suspect a lot of the problem is a wide variance in temp gauges and sensors (why else wouldn't they put numbers on the temp gauge). Because of that, I bought a infrared thermometer to watch the temp on mine, the hottest I ever got it was on a 95 degree day, mowing hard. The temp gauge was getting close to the red when I checked it and the engine was 204 degrees and the hydrostatic was 185. I don't have a clue as to what temperature is considered "overheated", but I'm guessing that anything under 230 with an antifreeze/water mix is ok.

  10. #10
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Posts
    2,931

    Default Re: Kubota, Rotella, and engine temp

    IF you have a problem changing to an oil that reduces or masks it would be a marginal solution at best. I would check the thermostat first, just put it in a pan of water on the stove. Auto thermostats tend to either fail open or open at lower temperatures as they age.
    If that is OK, maybe the water pump - IF there is a real problem.
    After that I guess just throw parts at it, starting with the temp sensor.

    OTOH, I wouldn't buy a KooBooBoo anyway (-:

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