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View Full Version : Tractors 101: Never, ever let it run out of gas! Duh!



Fantastic
Apr. 17, 2009, 06:42 PM
I've owned this tractor for 8 years, never had this happen before, and had no idea about how to solve this problem:

Tractor gas tank said empty.
I expected a light or something to come on when it was REALLY empty.
Figured I could get just one more grooming pass around the outdoor.
Sputter! Sputter! Silence. Tractor goes dead.
OK. Go get the diesel can and fill the tank.
Try to start tractor, but it doesn't comply.
Great! Call DOD (dear old Dad) for help. Again.

He tells me there is probably air in the lines. Now who'd have ever thought?
So, it's just a matter of me trying to figure out where to let the air out while DOD is giving me instructions over the phone.
So I get a wrench and loosten some bolts.
Still doesn't start. Try a bunch of times. No luck.

Call a handy guy friend to come over.
Hmm. What's this knob? Let's turn it and see what happens.
Tractor started right up!

All I could say is :):):)!

Evalee Hunter
Apr. 17, 2009, 06:45 PM
There is a difference between GAS and DIESEL. I have heard that a diesel engine running out of fuel is a BIG DEAL. A gas engine running out of fuel is not a big deal, however. I plan never to learn by experience whether running out of diesel really is a big deal.

Bluey
Apr. 17, 2009, 06:50 PM
Never let diesel run out, you have to prime the fuel lines again.
Most tractors have a little bitty manual pump right by the filters to do that, a little round flat thing on top of a little cylinder.
You get your knuckles rapped every time you pump that silly thing, so you remember from then on never to let the tractor run out of fuel again.:cool:
I know about that because every time you change the fuel filters, you have to prime a little bit, to fill the new filters, although not as much as if you let all go empty.

That or letting a tractor run out of gas won't hurt the motor, but be sure to always check the motor oil level, if that gets too low or empty, it can burn your motor up.:(
Out of water, well, you will notice it getting hot, surely and out of hydraulic oil, it will seize on you and it should get hot before that.

Tractor fluids are there for a purpose, like our blood, so remember, keep them topped off.;)

What may be a real problem is to put diesel in a gasoline engine, or the other way around.
Don't go there, ever!:eek:

Renae
Apr. 17, 2009, 06:53 PM
What may be a real problem is to put diesel in a gasoline engine, or the other way around.
Don't go there, ever!:eek:

Yes! Runnning out of gas should not be a big deal. But running out of diesel is much more of a hassle. Make sure you are putting the right kind of fuel in the engine!!!

Fantastic
Apr. 17, 2009, 07:00 PM
Interesting about the priming thing. We didn't have to do that. We just had to bleed the lines and it started right up.



And then there was the time that someone (a guy, to boot!) sheared the oil pan bolt off:eek: of the tractor when he was 4-bying with the brush hog over logs, and all the oil leaked out of the tractor. The tractor was only an infant then, as in a few weeks old and brand new. The dealer came out, picked it up, and hauled it away. It did start up just fine when they added oil, but it make a slighty odd noise, so the took the whole thing apart. Never did figure out where the noise came from. Put the thing back together and it's been fine ever since. That was 8 years ago. That could have easily been a 20 thousand dollar oops!

MikeP
Apr. 18, 2009, 01:06 AM
The day I bought my first tractor, a diesel, the salesman told me all about running out of fuel and what to do if I did let it run out. I still had that happen once, but at least it was expected and I knew what do do. (Bleed the air out of the fuel lines).

ReSomething
Apr. 18, 2009, 01:49 AM
It's always going to happen, sooner or later. Hopefully later. Our tractor is old enough the gauge doesn't work anymore, so . . . . .

sk_pacer
Apr. 18, 2009, 02:45 AM
Gas tractors all used to have the gas tank drained in winter if they were to sit - we drained tractors and the combine every fall. Restarting involved recharging batteries, filling the tank, putting a little drink of gas down the carbeuretor and crank it over. Diesel equpment on the other hand is horrible to get running again if the tank runs dry or the fuel jells.

To whomever has the tractor with the broken fuel gauge - get a stick that fits to the bottom of the tank, fill said tank, dip the stick, and make a mark on the stick for the full mark. Tote that stick around with you at all times as it will give you a guess as to how much fuel you have. Spent a fair amount of time poking sticks in assorted gas tanks: tractors, combine, auger motors, one poorly designed lawn mower, water pump....lots of fun!!!

Alagirl
Apr. 18, 2009, 02:56 AM
do not feel bad, others have learned the hard way, too! :lol: Not a tractor, but a car...and I didn't have to get my hands dirty, but it was a lesson in any case! :winkgrin:

Auventera Two
Apr. 19, 2009, 09:14 AM
Running out of diesel is a major no-no. Running out of gas is not a big deal. Done it a few times on the farm tractors. The gas gauges don't work that great and it's no big deal. The guage bounces up and down on the JD. The guage doesn't work at all on the big tractor. Just walk over to the shed and grab the gas can and fill it up and off you go. Obviously I fill the tank before starting work but sometimes I run out of fuel before the job is done.

cloudyandcallie
Apr. 19, 2009, 09:38 AM
My father was an engineer. He explained to me when I was a kid that I was never to let any machine run out of gas, lawn mower, tractor, car. In fact, he always said don't let the tank get below a quarter full.

MistyBlue
Apr. 19, 2009, 10:28 AM
It happens. Mine is an easier fix even though it's diesel. I just remove the fuel filter, open the lines after refilling the tank and let it run through until no air hisses through. Then I clean the filter or change it while I've got it off, curse over my scraped knuckles (seriously, it's a 2006 hydrostatic and they STILL put the filter in the dumbest damn spot) replace everything and start it right up.

county
Apr. 19, 2009, 10:51 AM
Been there done that, 5 tractors, a backhoe, 2 dump trucks, a road grator, and two bulldozers, about half the fuel gauge doesn't work. It happens you bleed the line and back to work.

sk_pacer
Apr. 19, 2009, 10:54 AM
It happens. Mine is an easier fix even though it's diesel. I just remove the fuel filter, open the lines after refilling the tank and let it run through until no air hisses through. Then I clean the filter or change it while I've got it off, curse over my scraped knuckles (seriously, it's a 2006 hydrostatic and they STILL put the filter in the dumbest damn spot) replace everything and start it right up.

Sometimes I SWEAR the manufacturers take an oil filter and start adding parts until they have a tractor, car, truck, whatever.

MistyBlue
Apr. 19, 2009, 11:19 AM
LOL..now THAT makes sense sk pacer! :lol:

Not to mention the dealership rapes you on filter costs...or even worse...to replace your filter for you. :eek:

The local Carquest can get in the same filters I need for pennies compared to the dealership. They were even able to order in the replacement fuses. $1.29 per fuse from Carquest...$6.00 from dealership. :no:

They also make the damned screw cap for the fuel filter a weird size that no tool available to the public seems to fit. And my small hands aren't big enough to grip it...so it takes a little swearing and jimmying to get the thing off.

Bluey
Apr. 19, 2009, 11:49 AM
Don't you have some of these?
If not, you can get one at any hardware store, for a few dollars, that fit several sizes:

http://www.handsontools.com/KD-Tools-2187-Adjustable-Oil-Filter-Wrench-2-34quot-to-3-34quot_p_2734.html

We generally scratch with a key or pocket knife, after it is tight, so the writing is in the front, the date we change the filter and hours, so we know when to service it again.:)

merrygoround
Apr. 19, 2009, 11:51 AM
With our old diesel, I got soo good at bleeding those bleeding lines. :sigh: :sigh:

If you go on line and hunt, you can possibly find the manual for the tractor. They usually have pictures and arrows. It can be asier than over the phone directions.

MistyBlue
Apr. 19, 2009, 12:48 PM
Bluey...I had no idea those existed! I'm running downtown Madison today later one and will definitely see if there are any hardware stores open! Thanks so much! :D