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Good Morning having a few issues with my new-to-me 2003 6x4 Gator. Its overheating after driving it a short distance. A good friend helped me with it yesterday, and we were able to answer a few questions, but now seems to be even more puzzled? So, here goes... The Gator's red temp light on the dash comes on after its been driven just a short while. I replaced the lower radiator hose a few weeks ago (it had split open) and not certain if I now have an air gap in the system or just what is going on? This is what I do know, The radiator is filled as is the overflow tank. I've driven it over bumpy terrain in an attempt to move any air pockets. Yesterday we pulled the upper radiator hose by the carb and found there wasn't a thermostat. Huh? Now have a new one for it. Removed the small hose that carries water from one side (by carb) to side by water pump. When we did this it did seem like there was air in the line as it "poofed" and splattered a little antifreeze when it came off. Pulled the 12mm bolt by the carb and poured water in while engine was running. Both upper and lower radiator hoses are warm, so I believe water is circulating. Don't know if the fan is coming on or not? Is there a way to test the fan by jumping from the battery? Also wondered if maybe its a faulty wiring issue causing the light on the dash? Found antifreeze on the concrete slab it is parked on and have no idea where its coming from. Any guidance is greatly appreciated!
 

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Service Engine


Perhaps you have this already but it should help.

My question is does it seem hot when the light comes on? I doubt the wiring is bad but the switch could be. Was it overheating before the lower hose was changed? There is a bleed screw mentioned in this manual after the coolant is refilled.
The coolant on the driveway. I would look around the water pump, that is usually where they start leaking first but there is 2 gaskets for the water pump and it also has a gasket between the front motor housing and the block the coolant also flows through to and from the water pump.

It certainly could be the fan but on my HPX it takes quite a lot of work for the fan to turn on. The motor for the fan should have a plug with two terminals so jumping it to test it should work.
 

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It sounds like you have followed the service procedures according to the information @Herminator provided.

Could the coolant on the slab be residual fluid that may have dripped off the engine from bleeding the coolant at the bleed screw?
 

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The 6x4 has 2 temp switches. One on the engine to turn on the light and one in the radiator to turn on the fan.
If there is an air lock the hot light will turn on and the fan will not turn on due to lack of coolant flow. Getting rid of the air lock is a beach. If the engine is full and the radiator is full you can still have air in one of the hoses. Seeing as you changed the lower hose again I suspect air in system. So.. Try this.. Remove the radiator cap. Remove the bleed screw on thermostat housing. Use the lower radiator hose as a pump. Squeeze the hose like a primer bulb. Work it slow and see if any bubbles come out of the open radiator cap and/or bleeder screw. Keep topping of radiator as needed. Once that is done, start and run engine at high idle. Feel the lower and upper hoses. The top should feel hotter than bottom. It will get quite warm before the fan kicks on.
The fan is activated on the ground side by the temp switch in the radiator. It will always have battery voltage as long as the key is on. Check for voltage to fan with key on then jumper a ground to see is fan comes on.
As far as the leak goes.. As previously stated, the waterpump is a good place to look as is the hose that you just put on. Double check your work. Or could be just some residual coolant laying in the frame rail, engine skid plate area ect.. dripping out.

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Discussion Starter #5
The 6x4 has 2 temp switches. One on the engine to turn on the light and one in the radiator to turn on the fan.
If there is an air lock the hot light will turn on and the fan will not turn on due to lack of coolant flow. Getting rid of the air lock is a beach. If the engine is full and the radiator is full you can still have air in one of the hoses. Seeing as you changed the lower hose again I suspect air in system. So.. Try this.. Remove the radiator cap. Remove the bleed screw on thermostat housing. Use the lower radiator hose as a pump. Squeeze the hose like a primer bulb. Work it slow and see if any bubbles come out of the open radiator cap and/or bleeder screw. Keep topping of radiator as needed. Once that is done, start and run engine at high idle. Feel the lower and upper hoses. The top should feel hotter than bottom. It will get quite warm before the fan kicks on.
The fan is activated on the ground side by the temp switch in the radiator. It will always have battery voltage as long as the key is on. Check for voltage to fan with key on then jumper a ground to see is fan comes on.
As far as the leak goes.. As previously stated, the waterpump is a good place to look as is the hose that you just put on. Double check your work. Or could be just some residual coolant laying in the frame rail, engine skid plate area ect.. dripping out.

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Thank you all so much for the guidance. We made some headway working on the Gator today. Here's what I *think* we figured out:

-New Thermostat is opening and closing as it should based on temp to the touch of upper and lower radiator hoses. Since hoses reflect changes in temp once thermostat is open, I'm lead to believe my water pump is indeed pumping.

- I think we have successfully purged any air out of the cooling system by removing the bolt on top of the engine and adding water to the radiator while manually pumping the lower radiator hose. No more bubbles, system is full, so I think we're good to go there.

- Bypassed the fan and was able to make it run so we know the fan is working.

Here's what I'm not understanding just yet:

1)When we bypassed the radiator temp switch using a 12g wire to allow the fan to run constantly, why wouldn't the hot temp light on the dash go off? They cooling system seemed to be working - the lower radiator hose was moving cooled water to the motor and the upper hose was returning hot water to the radiator. No leaks were visible (I still have no idea where the coolant on the floor came from - maybe it was residual). Is my machine actually overheating?

2)If the sensor temp switch up by the motor (the one responsible for the dash light) were bad, would that be giving me a false read by illuminating the light on the dash? Seems like those switches close and complete the circuit when they warm to a certain temp. Maybe that switch is bad?

2)Wondering that same thing about the radiator temp switch? Used a continuity tester on it while both cold and while hot enough to make the dash light come on, but couldn't get a read. Seems like the switch wasn't closing?

Again, thank you all so much for your help with all my questions! Its great to have found a community of people who are so knowledgable. I'll post pics and update my profile as soon as I play around a little more and figure out more about how the site works.

Laura
 

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Thank you all so much for the guidance. We made some headway working on the Gator today. Here's what I *think* we figured out:

-New Thermostat is opening and closing as it should based on temp to the touch of upper and lower radiator hoses. Since hoses reflect changes in temp once thermostat is open, I'm lead to believe my water pump is indeed pumping.

- I think we have successfully purged any air out of the cooling system by removing the bolt on top of the engine and adding water to the radiator while manually pumping the lower radiator hose. No more bubbles, system is full, so I think we're good to go there.

- Bypassed the fan and was able to make it run so we know the fan is working.

Here's what I'm not understanding just yet:

1)When we bypassed the radiator temp switch using a 12g wire to allow the fan to run constantly, why wouldn't the hot temp light on the dash go off? They cooling system seemed to be working - the lower radiator hose was moving cooled water to the motor and the upper hose was returning hot water to the radiator. No leaks were visible (I still have no idea where the coolant on the floor came from - maybe it was residual). Is my machine actually overheating?

2)If the sensor temp switch up by the motor (the one responsible for the dash light) were bad, would that be giving me a false read by illuminating the light on the dash? Seems like those switches close and complete the circuit when they warm to a certain temp. Maybe that switch is bad?

2)Wondering that same thing about the radiator temp switch? Used a continuity tester on it while both cold and while hot enough to make the dash light come on, but couldn't get a read. Seems like the switch wasn't closing?

Again, thank you all so much for your help with all my questions! Its great to have found a community of people who are so knowledgable. I'll post pics and update my profile as soon as I play around a little more and figure out more about how the site works.

Laura
Have ya her figured out?

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Discussion Starter #7
No, unfortunately not. Picked up more parts to install - rad sensor switch, and temp switch that contols dash light and new rad. cap. Will keep trying to see if there’s air still somewhere in the system? Have driven it over bumpy terrain, etc, but still reads hot after about a mile. A temp gun would be ideal.....

Interestingly, I use this to clean stalls every am and then dump the manure. Its doesn’t run long enough to get hot this time of year. However, every 2-3 nights I’m getting a large puddle of antifreeze under it??? Like 1/3 qt! Something is not right. I cannot seem to track this leak down. To the best of my knowledge, there’s no such thing as intermittant coolant leaks, Lol!

Laura
 

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Interestingly, I use this to clean stalls every am and then dump the manure. Its doesn’t run long enough to get hot this time of year. However, every 2-3 nights I’m getting a large puddle of antifreeze under it??? Like 1/3 qt! Something is not right. I cannot seem to track this leak down. To the best of my knowledge, there’s no such thing as intermittant coolant leaks, Lol!

Laura
It may only leak when cold/cooling down. I just replaced a water pump seal on our 2320 that did his. It was hard to find the leak, once the engine was started all bets were off.
 

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The water pump seal on my HPX has started to weep a little during cool down. I just happened to see it while the box was up.
 

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The water pump seal on my HPX has started to weep a little during cool down. I just happened to see it while the box was up.
I hope it’s not catching. I did a water pump in Dad’s UTV 2 years ago and my buddy’s 445 last year but they are both older than mine..:hide:
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Goodness, as of tonight, we're completely baffled. Here's what we did:

-Replaced Radiator cap

-Replaced temp switch on motor

-Re-clamped the upper rad hose, just because

-Purged the system of air (again!) by hand pumping lower rad hose with bleed screw open and rad cap open, adding fluid till full.

STILL getting an overheating dash light after driving for about 6 min. Maddening! BUT, we're now suspicious its a false read? When the light comes on, even with the brand new temp switch installed, the rad hoses can be handled. Yes, they're relatively warm, but you can easily hold onto both the lower and upper hoses. The engine block itself is too hot to touch right by where the switch screws in. Is that unusual?

Has anyone had a prob like this? Is there anyway the circuit could be grounding out somewhere else once things reach a certain temp? If the wiring was faulty, I would think the light wouldn't come on at all, but it is. The circuit is being completed by that switch completing the ground, causing the dash light to come on, but WHY when its not overheating?

We also pressurized the system cranking it up to 15+ lbs (cap indicates its rated for 13lbs.) of pressure and went over the thing with flashlights. Nothing! We even waited for it to cool further and rechecked. No coolant leaks could be found. What??!! We again wiped down the bottom plate and tonight we've decided to pack the motor base with rags to see where the heck this water is coming from. I would think if either of the water pump gaskets were leaking, it would have been revealed during the pressure test? Am I wrong?

Fascinating about others also having coolant leaks during cold/cool down. Hopefully I'll know more about the area the leak is coming from by morning. Thanks for the info!
 

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Pull your sending unit /switch and just put a cheap aftermarket Auto Part Tempiture gauge to see what it really is. Once you know that you can go from there if it is the wiring/switch or over heating. If you can hold the radiator hoses it is not over heating as long as there is water in them and it is moving thru the engine. Does the water get warm in the radiator when you stick a finger in it? Do you have a cooking thermometer you could test with? 6 mins is a real short time to over heat? Over heat you make steam and you will know it is hot the second you remove the cap or crack it open a little!!
 

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Discussion Starter #14
IMG_0515.jpg

Hey - while were at it, anyone know what this does/connects to? Hanging off the gas tank on this 2003 6x4. Thanks!
 

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Sounds like two separate problems.

I would think the simplest hot lamp set up would be a switch that was normally open and being fed 12 volts and set to close at a "too hot" temperature, therefore sending the 12 volts through the switch to light the "hot" lamp.

I would take the old sensor if you have not tossed it yet and check for continuity at room temperature and then put it on the stove in a pan of water and see when the switch closes. Salt the water and use a candy thermometer or similar if you have it.

Check on the tractor with the key on to verify that one of the wires to the switch is indeed getting the 12 volts and note which wire that is.
Check that the voltage is not leaving the switch from the other terminal by disconnecting the wire on that terminal and measuring to ground.

Get the tractor hot with the wires installed and when the hot lamp lights disconnect the other wire from the switch again and check to see if voltage is indeed going through the switch.
Also check the disconnected wire against ground to see if it is getting back fed power from some other source.

I can attest as several here already have that a water pump seal can leak after a hot shutdown to cold state condition, and it may not even do this every time.

One other thing I hate to mention because likely it is not your problem is a cracked block or casting will leak after getting hot and close up again after cooling.

I like that you are giving such good feedback. Many that ask for advice here leave us hanging after they solve their mysteries what could be learned is diluted. Good luck!
 

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I can attest as several here already have that a water pump seal can leak after a hot shutdown to cold state condition, and it may not even do this every time.
One other thing I hate to mention because likely it is not your problem is a cracked block or casting will leak after getting hot and close up again after cooling.
I like that you are giving such good feedback. Many that ask for advice here leave us hanging after they solve their mysteries what could be learned is diluted. Good luck!
That is one of the reasons the leak I had was so had to find.

Lauraleigh, In as much as the Gator did NOT have a thermostat leads me to think the cooling system really does need a flush/clean out.
 

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We also pressurized the system cranking it up to 15+ lbs (cap indicates its rated for 13lbs.) of pressure and went over the thing with flashlights. Nothing! We even waited for it to cool further and rechecked. No coolant leaks could be found. What??!! We again wiped down the bottom plate and tonight we've decided to pack the motor base with rags to see where the heck this water is coming from. I would think if either of the water pump gaskets were leaking, it would have been revealed during the pressure test? Am I wrong?

Fascinating about others also having coolant leaks during cold/cool down. Hopefully I'll know more about the area the leak is coming from by morning. Thanks for the info!
Paper towels are your friend here.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Ok - trying to change two water pump gaskets this afternoon. Any idea how the water pump comes off? Tried to pull muffler, but 1 bolt can’t be removed due to interference with primary clutch plate. Water pump doesn’t look like I can get it off with muffler in place. Help....

Thank you!!!
Laura
 
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