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  1. #1
    Platinum Member marrt's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    542
    Location
    Northern VA
    Tractor
    Power Trac 1845

    Default New PT, New Problems

    Well, I finally pulled the trigger and bought a new PT. Iíve had the tractor about a week and, overall, Iím very impressed. However, with a grand total of 3 hours on the tractor, Iíve had a few problems:

    Hour Meter Not Working: called PT and they said to take the front plate off and plug it in. Simple fix.

    Pedal bolt loose: I noticed a bolt rolling around in the floor pan. Traced it back to the hydraulic pedal. Took off a couple more panels, found the nut and put it all back together.

    Fan fuse blow, battery leaking: This is a more serious problem. When I first got the tractor, I was surprised at how quickly the cooling fan for the hydraulic fluid came on. However, today, I hooked the mower up and mowed my entire lawn and the fan didnít come on once. Also, the hydraulic fluid reservoir got very hot. I got suspicious and started looking under the hood. Right away I noticed the battery leak (see attachment). I also found that the fuse to the fan was blown. Now I have a real problem. What caused the battery to leak, overcharging or overheating? How do I clean up the battery acid before it eats my paint away? I didnít want to spray water on it because the engine was still hot. It there anything I can put on the acid to neutralize it (baking soda?)?
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  2. #2
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    1,896
    Location
    Arnold, MD
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT1845, John Deere 2240, John Deere 950, John Deere 755, Jacobsen Turf Cat II

    Default Re: New PT, New Problems

    Marrt: Sorry to hear you're having problems. I hope they clear up promptly.
    It is a good idea to neutralize battery acid with baking soda and a lot of water. You're certainly right, however, that you need to track down what happened. If you have a voltmeter, it would be a good first step to start the engine and check the charging voltage. I think it would have to be really high to cause the acid to come out through the caps, but a quick check would eliminate that possibility. (The only time I have seen charging put the acid out the top was on a bad battery.)
    It's possible, of course, that you just had a bad fuse in the fan circuit. If the replacement blows, however, There's a problem that has to be tracked down.
    If the problem isn't easily resolved, don't hesitate to call Power Trac. As I recall, someone else a while back reported a fuse blown in the fan circuit. I don't remember what was reported later. You might try a search.
    Good luck, and welcome aboard.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    23,710
    Location
    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: New PT, New Problems

    Sorry to hear about your problems. That makes for bad first impressions that are hard to forget.

    The hydraulic res does get hot, but probably even hotter without the cooler working. I'd change the fuse and get the battery tested at a garage or battery place.

    The warm hydraulic res is nice in the winter [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] as it melts the snow off. Also, I'm thinking of making a deflector with magnets that can be removed in summer that I can put over the fan to re-direct the hydraulic heat towards my back.

    Did you get the PT422 or the PT425. What attachments, etc...?

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    262
    Location
    Willington, CT
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425

    Default Re: New PT, New Problems

    Sorry about your problems. I would just clean the fluid out, change the fuse and just use the tractor. If it happens again maybe check something but I would'nt worry about it. I blew my fuse, a branch fell into the fan I did not see. I just changed it and kept checking for a while. Power Trac uses a quality battery, if it overflows again you should have no problem getting it replaced.

  5. #5
    Platinum Member marrt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    542
    Location
    Northern VA
    Tractor
    Power Trac 1845

    Default Re: New PT, New Problems

    Well, unfortunately, itís not going to an easy ďhose it off, throw in a new fuse, and keep on truckiníĒ Take a look at the attachment. I was worried about the acid eating away my paint and with good reason as it turns out. I decided to remove the muffler so I could remove the battery and have a look. I hosed off the acid, after applying baking soda first, and the paint came right off. So now, I have to paint this area before I put a new battery in. Also, my PT came with an Interstate battery. There are other folks on this site who have had problems with Interstate batteries leaking. So, Iím going to switch to another brand since the battery is too hard to take in and out and I donít want to go through this again. Anyone have recommendations? Anyone familiar with Optima batteries? If so, will they take the heat of the engine compartment? Also, does any company make an enclosure for the battery so, if one ever leaked again, the spill would be contained? Also, any comments on the best way to prepare the surface for painting? Just sand the rust off and throw some paint on or are there certain primers I should use?

    Since I have the battery out and canít start the engine, I havenít had a chance to check for any electrical problems. Whether the battery was overcharging or not (and whether there is a connection between the battery leaking and the blow fuse), I think the battery would leak because of overheating (from ambient temperatures or overcharging) or from loose caps. Sticking with the overheating scenario for a moment, I wonder if this may have been the problem. At one point, I removed the rear hitch pin to hook up my trailer. The pin was so hot, even on the outside on the tractor, that I couldnít hold it in my hand for more than a second. Has anyone else noticed this level of heat? Since the battery is close to this pin, Iím sure it must have been just as hot. Iím now worried that I may have damaged more than the battery. I wonder if I also overheated the entire hydraulic system? If so, what are the ramifications?
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  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Apr 2001
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    777
    Location
    MI
    Tractor
    Cub Lawn Tractor

    Default Re: New PT, New Problems

    Have you contacted Power Trac about these problems? What did they say?

    KCook

  7. #7
    Platinum Member marrt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
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    542
    Location
    Northern VA
    Tractor
    Power Trac 1845

    Default Re: New PT, New Problems

    I havenít called PT yet since is serious problem, the battery issue, just happened this weekend. I will be calling them Monday for sure.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Charlie_Iliff's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
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    1,896
    Location
    Arnold, MD
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT1845, John Deere 2240, John Deere 950, John Deere 755, Jacobsen Turf Cat II

    Default Re: New PT, New Problems

    Marrt:
    You should be able to get a battery box at any marine store. If it will fit in the PT, it will completely enclose the battery.
    I am certainly no hydraulic expert, but I can't imagine you could damage the hydraulic system with heat. The hoses should be designed to withstand the maximum heat the oil can take. If it got hot enough, the oil would boil and come out somewhere. The process of boiling would absorb heat very fast, so unless flow stopped and you got some kind of local hot spot, nothing should have gotten over the boiling point of the oil, which certainly shouldn't hurt any metal. If no seals blew out, I'd bet nothing was affected at all, but you certainly want to talk to Power Trac, and I would suggest writing a letter to them candidly stating that it is to put them on notice of the incident in case it did cause some problem that will become a warranty claim.
    It's true that Power Trac buyers need to take care of minor problems themselves. At some pooint, however, you may have to call on Power Trac for more than phone help. From what I have heard here, they respond well.
    Incidentally, PT Rich's experience is the one I was thinking of. If a motor is stopped, of course, it becomes a near short circuit, and will blow the fuse. If someting got yemporarily caught in your fan, it certainly could explain what happened.

    I am glad to hear that the capability has seemed satisfactory between the problems. A 3/5 use to maintenance ratio is not good, however. I hope it improves quite soon.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member wasabi's Avatar
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    Mar 2002
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    717
    Location
    Cullowhee Mountain, NC
    Tractor
    PT2445 and PT1850

    Default Re: New PT, New Problems

    I'm not even a power-trac user yet, marrt, but I wanted to at least lend some moral support...

    I had a similarly frustrating experience with mechanical glitches in a fairly new Kawasaki Mule (see: Stubborn Mule Saga thread). At the time, the hassles seemed to overshadow the joy of ownership, but in hindsight, it became an almost necesssary right of passage. The upside was that we came to know the machine from top to bottom. Now, I wouldn't trade the mule for two good looking women with strong backs!

    Chin up, dude! This too shall pass.

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor MossRoad's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    23,710
    Location
    South Bend, Indiana (near)
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT425 2001 Model Year

    Default Re: New PT, New Problems

    Definately call them on Monday and give them the link to the picture so they can see first hand what happened. And write them a letter, just to be sure. That kind of thing puts a sour note on what should be happy day.

    I'm guessing they will replace the battery and send you the paint. They sent me some touch up paint without even asking. I just told them it got scuffed up during shipping and they offered before I could ask.

    I doubt that you damaged the hydraulics with the heat. The old PT418 didn't even offer a hydraulic cooler and was rated at the same flows and capacities as the PT425. I hope that puts your mind to ease on that issue. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    I've never seen a battery boil over except from overcharging or a bad battery. If it is a problem with the charging system, your Kohler warranty should cover that. Do you have any Kohler authorized shops near you? You might want to start checking before Monday to get your ducks lined up, so to speak.

    Keep us posted as we are all concerned. Thanks,

    David G.

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