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  1. #1
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    1983 Ford 1700, 4WD, 770 Loader, Woods backhoe, Woods brush hog,etc.

    Default 1983 Ford 1700 - possible thermostat problem; gauge shows overheating...

    Hi all,

    I recently inherited an '83 Ford 1700 and love it. What a great yard tractor. While doing light work the other day, I thought I noticed steam coming up from the front of the tractor. I immediately glanced at the analog gauge which showed the temp all the way to the right of "H". I immediately shut her down. Ironically, I had just checked the coolant level, and it was full and brilliant optic green/yellow (new). Regardless, I let it sit overnight. When I started it the next day, it immediately went from left of "C" to pinned up at "H" ...which it obviously can not be over heated at that point.

    I assume I need a new thermostat, but, can someone comment and let me know if I may be missing something? I'm more of a car-guy when it comes to mechanical things, but, this seems pretty straight forward to me.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jay

  2. #2
    Elite Member JC-jetro's Avatar
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    3,192
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    Kansas
    Tractor
    Ford 1700, Kubota MX-4700

    Default Re: 1983 Ford 1700 - possible thermostat problem; gauge shows overheating...

    Quote Originally Posted by jpilk99 View Post
    Hi all,

    I recently inherited an '83 Ford 1700 and love it. What a great yard tractor. While doing light work the other day, I thought I noticed steam coming up from the front of the tractor. I immediately glanced at the analog gauge which showed the temp all the way to the right of "H". I immediately shut her down. Ironically, I had just checked the coolant level, and it was full and brilliant optic green/yellow (new). Regardless, I let it sit overnight. When I started it the next day, it immediately went from left of "C" to pinned up at "H" ...which it obviously can not be over heated at that point.

    I assume I need a new thermostat, but, can someone comment and let me know if I may be missing something? I'm more of a car-guy when it comes to mechanical things, but, this seems pretty straight forward to me.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jay
    Jay,

    On 1700 in particular the analog temp gauge needle is on " HOT" with the ignition key out, as soon as you put the key in to ignition and turn to the right the idiot lights (oil pressure and alt) will come on indicating the circuit being intact. The temp needle will jump all the way to the left (Cold) as an indication of unbroken circuit but as soon as you start the tractor it will slowly creeps up based on the engine block temp. You do not have a problem with your temp gauge from your description. You over heat might be due to several other things.. If you have a broken wire from temp sending unit to the gauge needle will register HI all the time

    1-not enough flow, stuck thermostat ... may be.
    2- slipping flan blade, lose belt.
    3- Air restriction at the screen.
    4- leaky radiator cap, causing the water to boil a2 around atmospheric and 212 Deg. Fahrenheit.

    Do you have non contact infra red thermometer? if so , what reading do you get?
    with the radiator cap open , can you see water flow in the radiator? Please make sure not to open the radiator cap when engine is hot. Start with cold engine with the radiator cap open and let it warm up. As t-stat opens up you should be able to see tell tale sign of water flow in the radiator.

    T-stat under $15 is really easy to replace. make sure you buy the gasket for it if o want to go that route. Taking the old t-stat and and dunking it in ice water and then in boiling water should give yo visual clues if t-stat is opening g and closing like it should.

    JC,
    Ford 1700, 2wd.
    Kubota MX-4700DT, Gear transmission with LA 884 loader, Q/A and HD bucket.
    60" Woods Rotary Cutter, home made (3-pt boom and a Row Hipper) ,King Kutter( 5 ft Tiller,Middle Buster,Single Row Cultivator,Carry-all, 5 ft blade, 6 ft Landscaping Rake ,30" Dirt Scoop and a 4'x4' Drag Harrow)

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: 1983 Ford 1700 - possible thermostat problem; gauge shows overheating...

    From original post......"Regardless, I let it sit overnight. When I started it the next day, it immediately went from left of "C" to pinned up at "H" ...which it obviously can not be over heated at that point."....my reply next line.
    I am a little confused by this quoted statement. If the tractor was started and running and the guage immediately showed Hot, it could not have been hot. A question came to mind about how much tractor experiance the OP has. Is it possible that the OP is turning the key to the off position after starting the tractor which would return the guage to the hot position. If not, it is possible that there is a loose wire, electrical problem instead of an overheating problem. I am reading that overheating has not been established positively yet. Some clarifaction is needed for a few more facts, Maybe I don't quite understand the problem myself. He may not need a thermostat or have any heating problem.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member Notforhire's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    Southwestern Virginia
    Tractor
    JD 5055E

    Default Re: 1983 Ford 1700 - possible thermostat problem; gauge shows overheating...

    If that tractor is wire like most autos ect; If you turn on your ign. switch W/O starting the engine does the temp guage go to HOT, when you know that the engine is actually cold? If it does disconnect the wire from the temp sending unit. The temp should stay on cold with the ign on. If these are the results you get I would say that you most likely have a bad sending unit.

    Bill

  5. #5
    Member
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    Location
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    1983 Ford 1700, 4WD, 770 Loader, Woods backhoe, Woods brush hog,etc.

    Default Re: 1983 Ford 1700 - possible thermostat problem; gauge shows overheating...

    Sorry for any confusion. My point was, after letting the tractor sit all night and starting it up the next morning - COLD - the temp gauge did as everyone says, when you turn the key on it goes to H, when you start it, it goes to C. Fine, mine did that. But, right after it went to C, 5 seconds later it had climbed right back up to H again.

    Now, I'm not sure if I'm turning the key from the "on" position to "off" - i was actually confused on that myself, not know what I should do. With that red light on, I thought I should turn the key to "off"... even while running. The tractor kept running, so, I wasn't sure.

    So. I definitely need to document exactly what I'm doing with my starting and running procedure, and also monitor what the coolant is doing in the radiator. I will report back shortly with that.

    Thanks all!!!

    Jay

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1983 Ford 1700 - possible thermostat problem; gauge shows overheating...

    After you start the tractor release the key and it returns to the run position. Then the temp gauge, oil lights will work properly. Battery only charges in this position also. Only turn the key to off after stopping the engine. The alt, temp light and oil pressure light will go off and the temp gauge goes to full hot position when the key is off even though the tractor is not hot as you said. Your tractor may not need any service, don't start changing anything until you determine it there is a problem or you just need to get more familiar with the controls.

    Note, no red lights should be on after starting the tractor engine. If a red light stays on post back and tell us which light is on. You may need service.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Southwest VA

    Default Re: 1983 Ford 1700 - possible thermostat problem; gauge shows overheating...

    sounds like an electrical problem not a thermostat.

  8. #8
    Member
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    1983 Ford 1700, 4WD, 770 Loader, Woods backhoe, Woods brush hog,etc.

    Default Re: 1983 Ford 1700 - possible thermostat problem; gauge shows overheating...

    Hi all, I'm back :-).

    I may be good. I took the radiator cap off, checked my level is great. Put key in, turned to "on" position and both lights lit up. STarted and released key to "on" position, and the temp gauge went to C and stayed, until after a few minutes gently warmed to 1/3 of the way up. Normal. Coolant didn't flow, but, I wouldn't have expected it to after 3 minutes. Yes, no?

    Question: Should the battery light have stayed on while the tractor was running with key in "on" position?

    Thank you!!!

  9. #9
    Elite Member JC-jetro's Avatar
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    Ford 1700, Kubota MX-4700

    Default Re: 1983 Ford 1700 - possible thermostat problem; gauge shows overheating...

    Quote Originally Posted by jpilk99 View Post
    Hi all, I'm back :-).

    I may be good. I took the radiator cap off, checked my level is great. Put key in, turned to "on" position and both lights lit up. STarted and released key to "on" position, and the temp gauge went to C and stayed, until after a few minutes gently warmed to 1/3 of the way up. Normal. Coolant didn't flow, but, I wouldn't have expected it to after 3 minutes. Yes, no?

    Question: Should the battery light have stayed on while the tractor was running with key in "on" position?

    Thank you!!!

    It's all like I suggested. The radiator cap pressure rating allows coolant to boil above 212deg Fahrenheit , so if you had steam coming without overheating might be a sign bad radiator cap. Run the engine for not more than one or two minutes with the radiator cap on. Put a heavy towel on radiator cap and with gloves on slowly remove the cap and inspect water flow in the radiator. Two minutes would be enough to get the t-stat open and you should be able to see water flow. May be about 5 minutes with the cap removed you can see water flow. "On" position and "start" position are two different things. While key in "on" position light should illuminate. Once the engine starts and key back in "on" position the light should not illuminate. If you turn the key to off position while tractor is running* tractor charging system will not work without any lights"illuminating". You do not want to operate your tractor like that as you'll end up with a dead battery.


    JC.

    * Ford 1700 does not have fuel solenoid kill switch so tractor will not dire if you turn the key to off position or by removing the key.
    Ford 1700, 2wd.
    Kubota MX-4700DT, Gear transmission with LA 884 loader, Q/A and HD bucket.
    60" Woods Rotary Cutter, home made (3-pt boom and a Row Hipper) ,King Kutter( 5 ft Tiller,Middle Buster,Single Row Cultivator,Carry-all, 5 ft blade, 6 ft Landscaping Rake ,30" Dirt Scoop and a 4'x4' Drag Harrow)

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Default Re: 1983 Ford 1700 - possible thermostat problem; gauge shows overheating...

    Quote Originally Posted by jpilk99 View Post
    Hi all, I'm back :-).

    I may be good. I took the radiator cap off, checked my level is great. Put key in, turned to "on" position and both lights lit up. STarted and released key to "on" position, and the temp gauge went to C and stayed, until after a few minutes gently warmed to 1/3 of the way up. Normal. Coolant didn't flow, but, I wouldn't have expected it to after 3 minutes. Yes, no?

    Question: Should the battery light have stayed on while the tractor was running with key in "on" position?

    Thank you!!!
    The battery light should go out after starting, however your battery is probably low charged because of running the tractor in the off position as it does not charge in that position. You might want to charge the battery or use the tractor for a while to recharge it. Now back to the original problem of maybe seeing steam, not for sure. If the temp gauge runs over the center mark while working the tractor you could have 2 things causing it. 1) Alt belt needs tightened or 2) water pump soon to need replacement.Depending on the number of hours on your tractor your alternator belt may be loose enough that the alternator is not keeping up with the needed charge, but time will tell on that. Water pumps are a weak link after 30 some years so if the fan starts wobbeling when the motor running the pump will need to be replaced. They are not rebuildable. A new water pump will run you about $100. Keep an eye on your temp gauge and alternator light to see if you need more service.

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