Sunday, August 16, 2015

Mahindra 3316 - Great tractor one problem

We use the Mahindra 3316... a great small to medium sized tractor. It has served our needs very well for several years and I would definitely recommend this or similar tractors to anyone.

That said... There is one problem to be aware of...

When using this tractor in dusty conditions (for example tilling a new pasture in the summer dry weather)... be cautious of the engine temp.  There isnt an "air cleaner" like on a car or truck, the is just a removable screen over the radiator.  When used in dusty conditions, larger items get caught in the high airflow sucking air through the radiator... and then smaller particles get trapped. Soon, a good portion of the screen is covered in thick "dust" that can totally block airflow.

For a while there is no warning.. there is enough radiator exposed to maintian engine cooling. But that can change suddenly... within minutes things can go from "no sign of trouble" to water boiling in the overflow. Once the screen gets plugged toa point where current engine load creates more heat than available airflow can remove...  it overheats. This can happen so quickly that On more than one occasion I have had the overflow blow off and start spewing radiator fluid before I ever noticed the engine heat dial was redlined.

So a word of warning... keep a close eye on engine heat while working in dusty conditions... and stop occasionally to clean the radiator screen.

And another word of advice.. should this happen to you do NOT turn off the engine... instead let it sit and idle under no load to cool down. Turning it off while overheated will immediately boil the radiator fluid trapped in the engine and potentially cause damage.  Better to let it idle down to more normal temps, then turn it off and remove the screen for cleaning.

Also.. be VERY careful with trying to remove the screen while the engine is running! The high airflow will cause the dirt from the screen to get sucked into the radiator if you try to remove it while running. That is a mess of having to wash out the radiator itself with water, which of course means waiting till totally cool engine.

Great little tractor! Just be cautious about dusty conditions.

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