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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Apr 2010
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    Default Radiator coolant frozen - help!?

    I just purchased a early 80s kubota last week. I went out of town for the last 2 days. While I was gone we got 20 degree weather in south Louisiana! The coolant (apparently mostly water) is frozen when I look in the radiator. Is it ok to start the tractor and let it warm up to melt the ice so I can put actuall coolant in it?

  2. #2
    Platinum Member MikeInEburg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    951
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    Emmitsburg, MD
    Tractor
    Kubota B7800

    Default Re: Radiator coolant frozen - help!?

    If it's frozen solid, I sure wouldn't! I'd throw a tarp over the hood and apply heat - making sure it's all liquid before trying to start it.
    Mike

    "As you go through life, make this your goal: watch the donut, not the hole"

    Kubota B7800
    BH-75A Backhoe
    Rhino 60'' finish mower

  3. #3
    Platinum Member spruce Deere's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    706
    Location
    Northmost Idaho
    Tractor
    John Deere 790 w/ 300 loader

    Default Re: Radiator coolant frozen - help!?

    Don't start it. Hope it didn't freeze hard enough to crack the block, head or something elts. Mike has the best idea, thaw it out first then try to start it. Check for cracks, leaks and coolant in the oil or oil in the coolant. A frozen engine is a spooky thing.
    790 JD W/ 300 loader
    Lots of implements for loader and 3pt
    Can't do it burn'n diesel, is not worth do'n

  4. #4
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
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    May 2010
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    4,226
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    SW Pa.
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson GC2400

    Default Re: Radiator coolant frozen - help!?

    Ice expands.

    Get heat to it immediately, the more it freezes, the more damage occurs.
    Don

    MF GC2400, FEL, 60in.MMM, 5ft. Cultivator, Single Bottom Plow, Bush Hog RTC48 tiller, MF 2360 front mount snowblower, 5ft backblade. BXpanded Piranha toothbar.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Mar 2008
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    208

    Default Re: Radiator coolant frozen - help!?

    At 20 I'd worry more about the radiator splitting than the block. Thaw it out, look for leaks, fire it up and look for leaks.

    Good luck!!

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    May 2009
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    Default Re: Radiator coolant frozen - help!?

    If I were you, I would thaw and drain the coolant into a bucket and refill with a 50-50 mix.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Craig Clayton's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2009
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    863
    Location
    Uxbridge Ontario Canada
    Tractor
    L2250 Kubota

    Default Re: Radiator coolant frozen - help!?

    Do not throw the antifreeze away when you thaw it out. This sounds crazy but find a good antifreeze tester and find out what the strength is. The stronger it was relative to the temperature that you froze is a factor as to any possible damage.
    Without doubt you will be putting in new and in the north we mix it 50/50. If it ever freezes at that temperature you will not be starting easily.
    Craig Clayton

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Apr 2010
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    Default Re: Radiator coolant frozen - help!?

    Thanks all for the speedy advice!

  9. #9
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    1,545
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    JD455 & JD790

    Default Re: Radiator coolant frozen - help!?

    You could start it and run it for a few minutes to generate some extra heat, but "ONLY IF" you take the water pump belt off. If you've had some antifreeze in it, things may not be solid ice. I would agree that the radiator is the weakest link and would break first.
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

  10. #10
    Super Member
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    Feb 2006
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    8,626
    Location
    VA
    Tractor
    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: Radiator coolant frozen - help!?

    Id say tent the tractor and build a charcoal fire under it right away. Warming fairly quickly from the outside in is the safest to avoid cracking. Water expands as it freezes, but pressure keeps relieving until it hardens. Once hardened in place, heating the ice to thaw causes the solid to expand. Since its hard it cant flow and will probably crack something. Rapidly heating whats holding the ice causes melting to take place at the interface before the bulk of ice heats, allowing the water to flow and reduce pressure.
    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

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