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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    193
    Location
    Mexico City
    Tractor
    NH TC21D

    Default The Cardboard Trick

    In days of old, when it got cold outside, we always used to place a sheet of cardboard over the front of 3/4 (or so) of the radiator. Is this still a good trick, or are modern cooling systems sophisticated enough to properly control the heat of the engine without this trick?

    I like the idea of not having to do this, as you know what I always forget when it gets warm...

  2. #2
    Epic Contributor RoyJackson's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
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    20,055
    Location
    Bethel, Vermont
    Tractor
    John Deere 4520 MFWD, Deere 855D UTV, Z920A Zero Turn Mower and assorted implements

    Default Re: The Cardboard Trick

    Well, I see a lot of trucks and buses with cloth or canvas covers attached to the front grilles. The covers have a vertical zipper that allows full or partial cover of the radiators.
    So, reckon the cardboard may be passe, but the principle behind it is still in vogue.

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    13,624
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046 & Craftman T2200 lawn mower.

    Default Re: The Cardboard Trick

    I know of a couple guys that plow driveways w/brand new pick ups,and they even said on really cold morning when traveling to another driveway w/the plow up they get better heat.

    The card board trick still common in this parts.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Posts
    477
    Location
    Fort Kent, Maine
    Tractor
    B6100D Kubota

    Default Re: The Cardboard Trick

    <font color=blue>The card board trick still common in this parts.</font color=blue>

    Geeze, up here, they give you a piece of cardboard when you buy the truck. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Rest in Peace
    frank_f15's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
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    6,033
    Location
    BUFFALO ,NEW YORK AREA
    Tractor
    kubota b2400- R4 tires

    Default Re: The Cardboard Trick

    a lot of people still do this, asa matter of fact i have one car that i don't like the heater operation, in really cold or snowy cond, i will put a peice on cardboard over part of the rad. be advised to watch the temp gauge. but this only for extreme conditions.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    1,447
    Location
    South-central Michigan
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: The Cardboard Trick

    Steve, since you have a New Holland TC series tractor, you may want to ensure the engine is getting up to normal operating temperature. Cardboard is not necessary, but on the larger TC series tractors had been necessary until someone figured out the coolant drain lines coming from the radiator and engine block also were serving to bypass the thermostat. Make sure your temp guage rises to mid-range after about 15 minutes of operation. If no gauge, figure some way to ensure the temp get up there.

  7. #7
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
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    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: The Cardboard Trick

    I for one think it is completely not necessary Steve. I never put one over any of my cars and pickups for the last 10 years and none of them have ever had any problems with heating. My newer 4600 never has had a problem either or for that matter my old Massey that I just got rid of.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member hwp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
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    643
    Location
    St. Catharines, Ontario, CANADA
    Tractor
    Kubota F2400

    Default Re: The Cardboard Trick

    Steve, I am old enough to remember people, including my father, using cardboard to restrict the airflow through the radiator of his trucks, etc. As I try to reconstruct the need for this, methyl alcohol was used to lower the freezing point of the water in the cooling system. Glycol anitfreeze was not available at that time (immediately after WWII). When travelling at any significant rate of speed (over 30 mph) in cold weather the alcohol could freeze in the radiator from the wind chill. The engines were relatively low compression and did not run very hot. As a result there were times when the air flow through the radiator could cool the coolant to the point that it would freeze before it got to the bottom of the radiator. The point of the cardboard was to reduce the airflow through the radiator to prevent freezing. I can remember draining the radiators at the end of the day (and refilling them the next morning) so that they wouldn't freeze overnight. It was quite an art to figure out how much of the radiator to cover. I can remember having both extremes happen - too much cover and the rad boiled over and not enough cover and the coolant froze. Boiling over was the easier situation to deal with. When we switched to trucks with diesel engines, they ran 24/7 through the winter.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    686
    Location
    Westminster, Maryland
    Tractor
    Kubota B7300

    Default Re: The Cardboard Trick

    My 1950 Case DC has shutters in the front of the radiator to allow a quicker warm up at cold temps. They are operated by a hand crank on the instrument panel. When I first started using the tractor in real cold weather, I noticed the engine took a very long time to heat up, due mainly to the surface area of the engine. (Thermostat was tested and worked correctly). The Shutters were rusted open and when I got them working. . . I'd close them till the temp gauge got to warm then open them as needed.


  10. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    695
    Location
    South Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800

    Default Re: The Cardboard Trick

    With a thermostst mostly closed and little water flow, the water at the radiator outlet is cold, close to ambient temp. This makes the bottom and front of the block cold, and the top of the head at thermostat temperature.

    If the cardboard limits the heat removal it will have the water flowing into the water pump closer to operating temperature, with more coolant flow and the thermostat "fine tuning" the temperature. This should give a more uniform engine temperature. I think this is good. The cardboard sounds like a good idea to me.

    My boat motor has an alarm horn if engine gets hot. Something like that would be good on a tractor. A reminder to adjust or remove the cardboard, or at least check the gauges.

    Last month it got down to 31 here.

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