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Old 01-23-2014, 10:46 AM   #1
Snow VP
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Default Tractor #5 repair

Well as most of you know, we had engine problems with our #5 tractor. The story is, that machine has been a little hard to start over teh last year, maybe jst a little off from what it should be. On Jan 1, #5 was brought to Iggy in bitter cold temps to rescue #6, which had frozen fuel out on the trail. I had difficulity getting the fuel filters off, and ultimatly broke the filter mount which required teh tow. Bob noticed that #5 had started blowing a little oil out the breather overflow that night, and the issue got worse during the following 2 runs. Total oil loss was around a quart - not bad for a diesel, but not right for one of our tractors. We decided to have the dealer do a compression test, and the results came back that #2 cylinder was down to 15% of normal compression. They also check #6 while there were here, which received a clean bill of health.

Bader's sent up a semi the next day and #5 is currently down in St.Louis getting a full engine job. Since once it is tore down, you almost have to do everything, they are putting new sleeves in all the cylinders, along with pistons and injectors. The head was sent out to be checked and will likely have a valve job. The fuel system is being flushed and then everything is being cleaned and replaced. They are planning on doing a minor engine break-in, and then putting the tractor on the dyno to make sure it is pulling the kind power that is is supposed to.

What was the cause? Well still tough to tell for sure, the issue seemed to be overheating of the #2 cylinder, which may have been caused by either a plugged injector, or more likely a eroded or faulty injector which dumped too much fuel into that cylinder. The piston overheated and the result was some called piston de-bonding. All new to me, but apparently it does happen on occasion, and costs $20-$25k to fix.

The dealer got right on the issue, and is on tract for a 1 week turnaround, which seems pretty good for a job of this size. I will post up when I know more, but in the meantime, I thought that I would post up the depressing pics that I got yesterday. You never want your tractor to look like this:
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:17 PM   #2
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

Wow! It sure does sound like a big job. Do you pull oil samples when you change the oil? Im not saying that would have prevented it, but you can get a lot of information on how the engine is feeling from the oil samples. We regularly take samples on our truck fleet and have caught some pretty big issues before they get to that point, on the other hand we have had instances where we could see the problem evolve but there was simply nothing that could be done besides wait till it stops running and then replace the motor. Just something to think about doing. Hope it comes back running better than ever, especially with the season that we are having.
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Old 01-23-2014, 06:37 PM   #3
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

Yes we do pull oil samples in the fall oil changes. Haven't seen any issues on that. What boggles my mind is the tractors supposedly have 7 computer, or processors in them. They get seriously pissed when you do certain things and will light up like a Christmas tree, but there were no warning codes at all on this issue. You would like the tractor would have sensed the low compression, and licked out some sort of warning! The tech did not do a physical compression test while he was here, he hooked a laptop to the tractor computer. So why didn't the tractor tell us something was wrong?
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Old 01-24-2014, 10:18 AM   #4
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

Yea I know your frustration, the computer tells us when we have a light out on the truck or when the windshield washer fluid is low but when it comes to the big important stuff like the motor it always seems like we get a phantom code. I think its a ploy by the manufacturers to get the tractors back to the dealer instead of fixing the underlying minor problem yourself. lol
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Old 01-24-2014, 11:19 AM   #5
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

Got an update, and they did send the heads out for work, which they just got back yesterday. That means that we will not have #5 for the weekend, and will likely get it back on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Guess I would rather see it done slow and right then fast and have to send it back down.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:28 PM   #6
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

sounds like #5 may have very well been trapped south of the bridge anyway Neil. Hope she runs better then ever when ya get her home.
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Old 01-24-2014, 06:35 PM   #7
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

Just got word that it was on the dyno this afternoon. Plan on trucking North on Tuesday.
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Old 01-24-2014, 08:41 PM   #8
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

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Just got word that it was on the dyno this afternoon. Plan on trucking North on Tuesday.

Just in time for us next weekend!!!!!
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Old 01-25-2014, 02:20 AM   #9
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

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Just in time for us next weekend!!!!!
Me too!
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Old 01-25-2014, 08:38 AM   #10
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

Too bad we aren't closer to you Neil. Con-fusions brother in law is probably the best John Deere tech in the state of Ohio. Darn good snowmobiler too if we can ever get him to ride again.
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Old 01-25-2014, 11:07 AM   #11
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

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Just in time for us next weekend!!!!!
Ditto!!!
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Old 01-26-2014, 10:56 AM   #12
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

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Me too!
Me Three!
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:16 PM   #13
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

Bring on the snow and smooth trails! Chomping at the bit to get up there! Wheels up friday!
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:20 AM   #14
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

Sorry to say that due to some unforeseen circumstances, that we will continue to be on one groomer for about another week.

I will give some updates when I can.
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Old 02-04-2014, 03:53 PM   #15
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

The latest update tells me that we should be getting a groomer back on Thursday, Friday at the absolute latest. We should be up to full song for the weekend... finally!
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:38 AM   #16
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

Final word is tractor will be back tomorrow.

We should be running both tractor on Friday and Sat nights.

Still can't release any more info then that.
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Old 02-08-2014, 01:30 AM   #17
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Default Re: Tractor #5 repair

Due some even more unforseen circumstances we are still running one groomer.
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