Deere 950 drinking coolant

   / Deere 950 drinking coolant #1  

hondo964

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I have a 30 horse JD 950 from the late 80s. I'm noticing that this summer (after the usual winter storage) it is consuming coolant every time I run it - which is maybe 4 times.. Before brush hogging, I fill the reservoir to full, when I get back from 2-3 hours of work, the reservoir is still full but then the next day after it cools off, the coolant is at the low mark in the reservoir.

I don't see any signs of a leak and there is no white in the exhaust. I know that temp light bulb works - but that has not illuminated while working. Any thoughts?
 
   / Deere 950 drinking coolant #2  

5030

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I'd have a look at the engine oil first. Sounds to me like a failed head gasket or possibly a cracked head. Conversely, the water pump seal could be shot. if it it, there will be coolant tracks under it. Hopefully it's the water pump.
 
   / Deere 950 drinking coolant #3  

5030

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I put absolutely no credence in idiot lights. If it comes on, usually it's already too late. Why they call them idiot lights. Lights for idiots.
 
   / Deere 950 drinking coolant #4  

rScotty

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I put absolutely no credence in idiot lights. If it comes on, usually it's already too late. Why they call them idiot lights. Lights for idiots.

Yep, it lights up to give you a visual dope slap for not paying attention to maintenance before it broke. Sounds like you still have time to fix it. That coolant is going somewhere. Check everything. They simply don't make tractors as simple and as good as yours anymore.
rScotty
 
   / Deere 950 drinking coolant
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hondo964

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I'd have a look at the engine oil first. Sounds to me like a failed head gasket or possibly a cracked head. Conversely, the water pump seal could be shot. if it it, there will be coolant tracks under it. Hopefully it's the water pump.
Thanks so much! Can you help me understand what you mean by "coolant tracks" under the water pump?
 
   / Deere 950 drinking coolant #6  

4570Man

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I put absolutely no credence in idiot lights. If it comes on, usually it's already too late. Why they call them idiot lights. Lights for idiots.

I’m tearing down a skid steer with a blow head gasket that probably happened as the result of overheating due to a bad thermostat. The gauge never showed hot but it reads from the thermostat housing. If they had a sensor that read from the block or the head this whole problem could have probably been prevented. They also should add low coolant sensors. There’s been plenty of post on here about people running their tractors without coolant and that whole problem could be prevented when a simple sensor. Vehicle have had low coolant sensors since at least the 90s if not before.
 
   / Deere 950 drinking coolant #7  

Carl_NH

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The reservoir tank should have cold/hot marks low mark is cold typically. It could be when it gets warm/hot it overflows or leaks out, and I would make sure the radiator is clean, and replace the radiator cap as a starting point.

Get or borrow an electronic temp probe/meter used in the oven and tape it to the radiator hose and when running see what the temp is - should be 170-180 under load.
 
   / Deere 950 drinking coolant #8  

5030

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You can buy a non contact IR thermometer at HF for around 30 bucks. Point the laser dot and shoot.
 
   / Deere 950 drinking coolant #10  

ROUSTABOUT

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Thanks so much! Can you help me understand what you mean by "coolant tracks" under the water pump?
A track of drops like bread crumbs. Or, put something solid under it when you park. So if it leaks you can see it. Or dried coolant where it made tracks to run off the engine to drip or evaporate away. New thermostat cures it sometimes. Neighbors wasn't getting hot enough to seal sleeves in the block.
 
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