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  1. #1
    Silver Member TomOfTarsus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    217
    Location
    North of Pittsburgh near Airport
    Tractor
    1999 New Holland TC18 HST

    Default Dry grass in the air intakes

    Hello, all!

    I'm finally starting to get some real use out of my little TC18 (see avatar & sig). So I'm in the seat mowing yesterday, really enjoying taking down stuff that had gotten ahead of me and would have been a bear to mow by hand.

    Before I started, I cleaned the removable screen in front of the radiator, etc. did my usual "preflight" walk around and off I go. We've had plenty of rain, so the grass was lush and while it was dry, still fairly heavy and moist when you cut it.

    I mowed at the very most an acre, likely less. I was about finished, and had pulled up to clean it off before I take it back to the garage, and I noticed antifreeze dribbling out. That's when I saw dry grass almost completely blocking the air intake screens built into the hood, and when I lifted the hood, the screen in front of the radiator was a good 60-70% plugged, also with fine, dry grass.

    And I'm stumped. I made very few backward passes, usually just very short for turning around. The ground is not dry, the grass lush. The mower discharge is out the side slightly to the rear as usual for a belly mower. How in the world did that much dry grass get airborne and around the front of my machine AND sucked onto the screens so much as to cause me to overheat? Is this a common experience? I sure don't recall a lot of stuff swirling around as I mowed.

    I posted this here instead of in the NH owning/operating because I wanted to get a cross-brand representation of answers. Looks like from now on I'll have to get off and have a look once in a while!

    Well, thanks all. I don't think it overheated until I stopped it, but I'll have to watch the temperature gauge more closely and I'd probably better change the oil.

    Best to all,

    Tom
    Newbie 2/9/08! With his vewy foist twactor!
    1999 New Holland TC18, NH 7106 FEL, NH 914A 60" Mower Deck, Box Scraper, 60" Woods Back Blade, homemade lawn roller, 3PH Loader frame, and one (dear) disgusted wife (DDW)!

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Posts
    646
    Location
    The real central PA everything else is philly or pittsburgh
    Tractor
    DK45 SE HST

    Default Re: Dry grass in the air intakes

    I'm no expert, but the grass always collects on my prescreen in the front of my tractor. I don't mow in reverse. Doesn't matter if it is wet or dry, but when it is dry I collect more.

    Don't know if this helps or not. I make a habit of cleaning the prescreen regularly. I mow about 8 acres at a time. My mower is rear discharge, so you wouldn't expect to see it clogging the front. Also, the exhaust is routed forward.
    DK45 SE HST, RFM, BB, FEL, PHD, toothbar,rear blade, canopy, pallet forks, 6' tiller, and now I need an addition on my pole building

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    437
    Location
    Central Texas
    Tractor
    Kioti DK45SE HST

    Default Re: Dry grass in the air intakes

    I get grass on my screens as well. Some when its wet out a LOT if its dry.
    On my Kioti there is a mesh on the hood and pull out screens that sit in front of the radiators.
    If the ones in front of the radiators get clogged the engine temp goes up fast.

    Warhammer


    Quote Originally Posted by TomOfTarsus View Post
    Hello, all!

    I'm finally starting to get some real use out of my little TC18 (see avatar & sig). So I'm in the seat mowing yesterday, really enjoying taking down stuff that had gotten ahead of me and would have been a bear to mow by hand.

    Before I started, I cleaned the removable screen in front of the radiator, etc. did my usual "preflight" walk around and off I go. We've had plenty of rain, so the grass was lush and while it was dry, still fairly heavy and moist when you cut it.

    I mowed at the very most an acre, likely less. I was about finished, and had pulled up to clean it off before I take it back to the garage, and I noticed antifreeze dribbling out. That's when I saw dry grass almost completely blocking the air intake screens built into the hood, and when I lifted the hood, the screen in front of the radiator was a good 60-70% plugged, also with fine, dry grass.

    And I'm stumped. I made very few backward passes, usually just very short for turning around. The ground is not dry, the grass lush. The mower discharge is out the side slightly to the rear as usual for a belly mower. How in the world did that much dry grass get airborne and around the front of my machine AND sucked onto the screens so much as to cause me to overheat? Is this a common experience? I sure don't recall a lot of stuff swirling around as I mowed.

    I posted this here instead of in the NH owning/operating because I wanted to get a cross-brand representation of answers. Looks like from now on I'll have to get off and have a look once in a while!

    Well, thanks all. I don't think it overheated until I stopped it, but I'll have to watch the temperature gauge more closely and I'd probably better change the oil.

    Best to all,

    Tom

  4. #4
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    176
    Location
    PNW
    Tractor
    B7800

    Default Re: Dry grass in the air intakes

    Yup, similar experience here. I pay close attention when Brush Hoging land, dry/damp/wet... it doesn't seem to matter. There is enough blowing up arround that it collects in the screen due to the fan on the back side sucking all the air through.

    Check your Air filter element too! I find mine is clogged with the fine stuff after a day hogging arround

    We all learn a little each day.

  5. #5
    Silver Member TomOfTarsus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    217
    Location
    North of Pittsburgh near Airport
    Tractor
    1999 New Holland TC18 HST

    Default Re: Dry grass in the air intakes

    Ok, so I'm not knutz!

    Well, maybe I am, but apparently this is just the way the air swirls around these beauties!

    Thanks, I'll check my air filter!

    Tom
    Newbie 2/9/08! With his vewy foist twactor!
    1999 New Holland TC18, NH 7106 FEL, NH 914A 60" Mower Deck, Box Scraper, 60" Woods Back Blade, homemade lawn roller, 3PH Loader frame, and one (dear) disgusted wife (DDW)!

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2004
    Posts
    325
    Location
    Washington State
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: Dry grass in the air intakes

    Has anyone ever installed a screen on the front of their tractor?

    The front of my kubota gets clogged too and it is a royal pain to clean.

    I was thinking about adding a screen to catch the stuff first that would be flat and easier to clean (possibly removable). My worry is that it would restrict air and cooling.

  7. #7
    Silver Member TomOfTarsus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    217
    Location
    North of Pittsburgh near Airport
    Tractor
    1999 New Holland TC18 HST

    Default Re: Dry grass in the air intakes

    I have a removable flat screen directly in front of the radiator. Not only was that mostly clogged, but the more decorative inlet areas on the hood were even more so.

    But it would sweep off easily with a whisk broom, so I think I'll be packing one of those the next time I'm mowing!

    Happy seat time,

    Tom
    Newbie 2/9/08! With his vewy foist twactor!
    1999 New Holland TC18, NH 7106 FEL, NH 914A 60" Mower Deck, Box Scraper, 60" Woods Back Blade, homemade lawn roller, 3PH Loader frame, and one (dear) disgusted wife (DDW)!

  8. #8
    New Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Posts
    7
    Location
    Whidbey Island, WA
    Tractor
    New Holland t2310

    Default Re: Dry grass in the air intakes

    I've made several for dodge trucks, out of window screen kits from the hardware store. As soon as I find the leftover kits in the garage, I'll be making one for my (brand-new) tractor.

  9. #9
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,039
    Location
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: Dry grass in the air intakes

    Oh yes, this is common. This is why the radiators have those screens. My Kioti will get plugged up to overheating if I don't clean the screens every acre or so when the conditions are right.

    What happens on mine that contributes to the debris is that the loader bucket knocks all the light debris up as it pushes the grass over. The strong suction created by the fan running at PTO speed pulls in any available debris along with lots of air.

    I propose that a tractor without a loader would pick up less debris. Also, I propose that if the grass was shorter it would be less of an issue as well.

    I don't use a wisk broom. I use the leaf blower. Blow out all the screens and the radiator at regular intervals to keep everything cool and by all means keep an eye on the temp gauge.

    The trick is that you aren't supposed to shut off an overheating engine but if you try and remove the radiator screens while the engine is running then you will suck major debris into the radiator. So you want to keep it clean to prevent the overheat.
    Kioti CK30HST, FEL w/toothbar, 60" RC, 60" BB, PJ 10k trailer. Weekend warrior hauling 50 miles each way.

  10. #10
    Gold Member Whitey's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    250
    Location
    Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania
    Tractor
    Kabota B21 TLB

    Default Re: Dry grass in the air intakes

    Every time.......and I mean every time my wife cuts the grass the front of her JD 425 has grass stuck to the side intakes, pre-screen and all over the engine compartment. I showed her how to disassemble the side covers, screen and even the air cleaner and she uses compressed air to clean the tractor off. Note, every time that tractor is used to cut grass this is done. We have noted that the tractor runs cooler and more efficient if it is kept cleaned.
    John Deere 425 AWS / 54" MMM / 54" Sno Blade / Kubota B21 TLB

    A patient man has great understanding; but a quick tempered man displays folly.

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