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  1. #1
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    SC
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    Kubota L4400 4wd w/LA 703 FEL

    Default The price of grubbing with an L4400

    After learning that I could use the FEL on my L4400 to grub pine trees in wet soil, I decided to clear the hillside in front of my cabin. It was covered in planted pines that obscured our view of the 10 acre pond below. I was surprised how effective this powerful little tractor was when the ground was fairly soft. I popped many of these pines right out of the ground, some of them 8" in diameter and 25' tall. This is what I accomplished:



    I felt that at times I was pushing the tractor to its limits and worried about breaking something big. But nothing bad ever happened until I started pushing the trees into piles along the sides of the clearing. Then, out of the blue a slender snakey cedar branch went up inside the engine compartment, made a few turns, busted through the fan cowling and poked a hole in my radiator. This was part of the process of getting the radiator out:

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/photos/d...r_down-med.JPG

    And this is what the radiator looks like now:

    http://www.tractorbynet.com/photos/d...47Hole-med.JPG

    It is now Sunday afternoon so the dealer and radiator shops are closed. Anyone know if something like this can be repaired at a radiator shop? And if it can't, anyone have any idea how much a new radiator will cost?

    This obviously isn't the worst thing that could happen doing this kind of work, but its enough that I will probably not undertake any more major clearing jobs. Thanks for any input.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Sep 2004
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    2,409
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    Kansas, Butler county, Just east of DooDah
    Tractor
    Kubota L4200 GSTCA

    Default Re: The price of grubbing with an L4400

    George
    If you can find a place to close off those 3 tubes it should work … if you can’t, check with these folks
    http://www.aceradiator.com/tractor.htm
    or you may get lucky and find something at this site…
    http://www.adeptr.com/agyards.htm
    Good luck, looks like you have it almost licked. KennyV.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    12,101
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    Upper Midwest USA
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    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: The price of grubbing with an L4400

    Sorry to hear about the 'injury'. But things happen when doing work with our toys.

    (what is holding that FEL up in the air, as I don't see any safety block on the rams? I'd think removing it would make it easier to work on the tractor. Maybe not. )

  4. #4
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    SC
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    Kubota L4400 4wd w/LA 703 FEL

    Default Re: The price of grubbing with an L4400

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( (what is holding that FEL up in the air, as I don't see any safety block on the rams? I'd think removing it would make it easier to work on the tractor. Maybe not. ) )</font>

    I hoped no one would notice that. I know it is dangerous to work under a raised bucket. I was very cautious and would not do it again. I had to get the tractor out of the field and back up to the cabin quickly. The coolant was coming out fast and temps were starting to rise. So I panicked and just raised the bucket in order to work on it. The obvious thought of removing the FEL simpy never occured to me. By the time it did, the battery and radiator were already out. What a dummy. And now I'm going to have to work around the FEL when I put it all back together.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2005
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    700
    Location
    Palmyra WI
    Tractor
    BX2230

    Default Re: The price of grubbing with an L4400

    At least put some blocking in so that if the pressure goes away the bucket will not drop.

  6. #6
    Elite Member RobJ's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    Spring, TX (Houston)
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    Kubota L2500

    Default Re: The price of grubbing with an L4400

    It's all fun until something get broken. Man I hope it can be fixed because I'd hate to see what a replacement costs. I'm not sure how long it takes to remove the FEL, but if you tape up the suction side (bottom) of the water pump, fill the top you can run the tractor from a "cold" start for a couple minutes or so with basically no load to speak of. Remove the water pump belt. I doubt if the loader is going to just fall but it could happen I guess. Removing the FEL might put you at ease.

    Bummer on the breakdown. But how about a shot of the lake for us to tell you it was worth it. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] 10-15 years from now and those pines are worth something.

  7. #7
    Super Member JerryG's Avatar
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    Northwest Arkansas
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    MF 1440-4 PowerShuttle

    Default Re: The price of grubbing with an L4400

    If you have some angle iron, you can cut a piece to go over the cylinder rod to keep the loader up and safe. Another thing that you can use, but a little more work it to split a piece of pipe and use it.

  8. #8
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    South Puget Sound, WA
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    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: The price of grubbing with an L4400

    "but its enough that I will probably not undertake any more major clearing jobs."

    Bah, that would be silly. I often break little things when tractoring. Poke a stick into the grille mesh, lose a 3ph stabilizer pin, lose a light socket, bend a scarifier on the box blade. These things are not bulletproof and they are also not hard to fix. I expect small bits of damage when clearing, it's tough work.

    In the olden days, you would reach into that hole with a pair of needle nose pliers and roll and crimp the leaking passage. Only the leakers. They wouldn't flow anymore but there are at least a hundred more tubes to make up for it. It's either that or replace the radiator so you may as well do it yourself.

  9. #9
    Super Member N80's Avatar
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    SC
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    Kubota L4400 4wd w/LA 703 FEL

    Default Re: The price of grubbing with an L4400

    </font><font color="blue" class="small">( Bah, that would be silly. I often break little things when tractoring.)</font>

    But this is my new baby, less than 40 hours! Seriously though, this little event could have happened doing anything. It was actually a cedar trunk, about 3/4" in diameter than had been run over and mangled. It was flexible enough to snake up into the engine compartment but stout enough to break through the fan shroud and gouge the radiator.

    However, that particular project was still very hard on the tractor, constantly maxing out the hydraulics, bogging the engine or spinning the tires, frequently needing the diff lock, etc. The little stuff doesn't bother me that much, but the wear and tear (and near misses (bendy pines under tension popping about)). Fortunately, this is the last big clearing project for my property anyway.

    Some one asked for some lake pictures. I didn't have much but here is a shot from the hillside across the lake:



    Here is an 'artsy' sunrise shot. The cabin is up the hill to the left, the dam is in the background:



    Anyone have any guess as to how much a new radiator would cost? I'm taking it to a repair shop tomorrow but I don't know if they'll be able to fix it. I'm going to try to fix the fan shroud with some epoxy.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Oct 2004
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    Location
    Jasper, Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota B7510HSD

    Default Re: The price of grubbing with an L4400

    I have done a lot of clearing also and have learned to expect some damage along the way. Had a dent in the hood within the first 10 hours and at present need to pull a side panel and straighten it.

    Fuel filter got hit on the outflow side and broke off. I have a replacement filter in the garage waiting to be installed along with a rubber hydraulic return line that got hit by a stick and was leaking.

    Clearing brush like that is about the best way to do damage to a tractor but I bought the tractor to use so I just replace, straighten, or whatever I need to do when I hit something.

    After the first few dents and scratches it doesn't bother me as much as the first dent did.

    A radiator shop might be able to repair the radiator once you get it out. Would probably be cheaper than a new OEM radiator.

    Bill Tolle

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