Mike’s Tidbit

Mike’s Corner: (submitted by Mike O’Brien):  

I know we had some cold weather, then it got nice, really nice, but it is Nebraska and we know It will not last long.  So this month we will talk about storing our prize possessions before it gets really cold.   I have to admit that a lot of this info came from an article from Antique Power Magazine. 

First fuel systems. If you don’t plan to use your tractor all winter, some people recommend completely draining the fuel system (in tractors with gas engines). Turn the fuel off at the sediment bowl or the tank valve and then runs the carburetor out of fuel. Then, after pushing the tractor back into his shop, you can place a can under the carburetor so anything left can drain out of the carburetor too. “Today’s modern fuels have a tendency to collect moisture,”  “They gum up fast. If you take a few minutes and drain the fuel out of the fuel system, it just makes life so much easier when you go to start the tractor again.” What if you plan to use a gas tractor very occasionally during the winter? An example

might be a Christmas parade.  “I believe that if your last show of the year is in August or September, and you’re not going to do anything with it until a week before Christmas, you ought to drain the fuel out and put in fresh fuel.”  Well this all sounds well, but I disagree with some of it.  I usually start my tractors during the winter for a few minutes every month.  All that exhaust keeps the mosquitos out of the shop.  Seems to work all winter.  So as from an earlier tidbit, I use fuel with one ounce of Marvel Mystery Oil (Cheapest at Walmart) to each gallon of gas.  It keeps the fuel from getting ickey and keeps the valves lubed up.

Diesels are the exception to this advice. Don’t drain the fuel from a diesel tractor or run it until it runs out of fuel. (You can also add a special conditioner so the fuel won’t gel in the cold.) Draining it can create an air lock by letting air into the fuel pump or fuel lines. Condensation is another problem.

“In a diesel system, it’s best to keep the fuel tank topped off so there’s very little or no air space,” Montague said. “Then, you don’t have condensation being created in that air space, due to temperature.”   Some people think you should drain your oil every fall.  I guess that falls into my if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.  If the oil is clean with no gray or milky look to it, I think it is fine to leave it in.  If you suspect water or gas to be in the oil, by all means change it.

Make sure the battery is fully charged, and maybe check it mid-winter if you have not had your tractor running.  A dead battery in the fall will probably not charge up come spring, and can freeze and leak battery acid all over that shiny paint.

I like to have my tires full of air in the winter.  Some people put their tractors on blocks, but sometimes on a nice day I take my tractor for a short ride to keep it limbered up.  I am sure that all of you have some special thing you do for equipment preparing for winter.  This is great as I just touched on all of the thing you can do.

 Have a question you’ve been wondering about, or a topic suggestion for the newsletter? Send them to Mike at mjsjobrien@gmail.com and your question or topic may appear in a future newsletter.