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Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick

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Tom Bond
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:15 pm    Post subject: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I'm looking at an 861 available locally that's in nice shape. Starts right up, 6V, straight tin, nice paint, good rubber, everything seems to work. The seller changed the oil in October and the tractor has been sitting ever since. I ran it for 1/2 hour with no issues. Gears all sounded good while driving, PTO works and 3 pt. works also. When I looked at it before running first time, oil was clear. I went back to check it again with intent to buy and rechecked everything. This time after I checked, the oil on the dipstick had a light tan color to it. When I ran it, it was about 30 out. Is this something I need to be concerned about? Just wonder if it could be condensate in the oil from warming it up in the cold? Like I say, it seems like a nice tractor and the seller seems like a straight up guy. Anything else I might look at? Or should I take a pass?
 
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awhtx
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 8:50 pm    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That sure looks like water in the oil to me. I'd certainly investigate it further before I bought it. A radiator pressure test will tell you if there's a leak from the coolant system into the engine (blown head gasket, cracked head, etc.).
 
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old
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 11, 2013 9:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

One like that can be very hard to say for sure. With out knowing where it was parked and what the weather has been like etc you never know. So now if the cooling system as full as it should be?? Has it been raining there?? Also have you had a lot of days where it was cold then warm then cold etc. That is one you would have been ahead to have tried to open up the oil drain plug just till it started to drip so you could have looked for just clear water or green antifreeze but you would have had to do that before starting it up
 
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Ultradog MN
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:19 am    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

This is good advice Old. Might not be a head gasket but condensation, etc.
Let the tractor sit for a few days and then crack the drain plug and see if any water or antifreeze drips out.
 
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andyin ct
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 3:54 am    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I had one that had water in the oil. Assumed it was a head gasket but coolant level never dropped. I took motor apart and I think the whole problem was condensation. The previous owner must have stored it out doors or in an area with big temperature swings and never ran it long enough to burn the condensation off.
 
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john in la
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:41 am    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I have a real problem calling that water condesation because you said the oil was changed in October. That is only 3 months ago. Now if it had been 3 years; then yes but not in 3 months.

It could be something as simple as the owner has the crankcase breather on upside down and rain water is getting in or a major problem of radiator water leaking into the crankcase.
A radaitor pressure test may not even answer your questions because a lot of internal leaks do not start till the engine is warmed up.

If it were me I would pass.
 
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old
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thank you Ultra. Yep very hard to determine where water comes from in a tractor that you know very little about and could be nothing or a money pit
 
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Texasmark1
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:37 am    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

One test is to run the engine and look for bubbles in the radiator
reservoir. That means a leaking head gasket.

Another is to pull the plugs and ensure they all look just alike
and are carboned up. Any nice and shiny means water.

I learned the hard way about yellow oil on a boat engine. Yours
doesn't seem to be that much milk.

Remove the oil fill cap and look on the bottom side of it and on
the walls of the fill pipe. If you see white goo and you pass the
other tests, probably just condensation.

Best way to stop that is to put cardboard in front of the radiator
and run the engine till it warms up every time you start it in the
winter. I do and never even go up the oil fill cap.

HTH,
Mark
 
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shaun wallace
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That looks more like hyd dipstick more than engine.
 
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Tom Bond
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 6:31 pm    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

After all the input I went back for another look today. Here's what I found. The guy is very open to let me look at what I want. The plugs were all dry although a bit carboned up. I cleaned them up and re-gapped them for him. There's a slight coat of white film under the oil filler cap. Not much at all. The radiator seemed the same level when I first checked it although I measured this time. The level is exactly 3/4" above the core. I didn't want to restart it again just yet. We ran it Wednesday, maybe Thursday, not sure. Is that enough time to let it sit before I crack the drain plug to see what comes out? Hopefully just oil. If there is anti-freeze, head gasket or worse in my future? To be honest, I'm probably just going to buy it anyway. The elderly guy is around 80+ and really needs the cash just for living expenses. I can bite the bullet on this one. Just curious to find out how much trouble I'm getting myself into.
 
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showcrop
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:47 am    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Tom Bond wrote:
(quoted from post at 19:31:29 01/12/13) After all the input I went back for another look today. Here's what I found. The guy is very open to let me look at what I want. The plugs were all dry although a bit carboned up. I cleaned them up and re-gapped them for him. There's a slight coat of white film under the oil filler cap. Not much at all. The radiator seemed the same level when I first checked it although I measured this time. The level is exactly 3/4" above the core. I didn't want to restart it again just yet. We ran it Wednesday, maybe Thursday, not sure. Is that enough time to let it sit before I crack the drain plug to see what comes out? Hopefully just oil. If there is anti-freeze, head gasket or worse in my future? To be honest, I'm probably just going to buy it anyway. The elderly guy is around 80+ and really needs the cash just for living expenses. I can bite the bullet on this one. Just curious to find out how much trouble I'm getting myself into.


Tom, Does the owner have anything to put on the tractor to load it? It looks to me like condensation. I have experienced this many times. The oil in my 6 cyl Chrysler in my forklift is almost always like that. I have to work it for an hour for it to get hot enough to drive the moisture out, then it will clear right up. The story with the tractor that you are looking at sounds ideal for condensation, and it can happen in one condensation event. If you can run it with a load for awhile so that the temp gauge comes up to mid range for a half hour it should clear up.
 
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Texasmark1
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:56 am    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Running the engine will homoginize the water/oil until it has
time to settle out. I'd say that could possibly take a week.

Did I see bubbles in your radiator fluid shot?

Otherwise things look just fine. As I said, there is not that much
water in that oil and the oil is clean. That speaks volumes.
Usually you could use it for black paint.

I hear you on helping the guy out, but that is a gift of charity,
not common sense, so are you prepared for that?

Mark
 
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sotxbill
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:40 pm    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Tom Bond wrote:
(quoted from post at 23:15:03 01/11/13) I'm looking at an 861 available locally that's in nice shape. Starts right up, 6V, straight tin, nice paint, good rubber, everything seems to work. The seller changed the oil in October and the tractor has been sitting ever since. I ran it for 1/2 hour with no issues. Gears all sounded good while driving, PTO works and 3 pt. works also. When I looked at it before running first time, oil was clear. I went back to check it again with intent to buy and rechecked everything. This time after I checked, the oil on the dipstick had a light tan color to it. When I ran it, it was about 30 out. Is this something I need to be concerned about? Just wonder if it could be condensate in the oil from warming it up in the cold? Like I say, it seems like a nice tractor and the seller seems like a straight up guy. Anything else I might look at? Or should I take a pass?





Got all the symptons of a blown head gasket, or cracked head or cracked block...

Probably was over heated or no antifreeze. Your buying trouble..

So be prepared for a easy $1000 to fix it up..
 
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old
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:55 pm    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

As long as no one tries to start it yes that is enough time for it to sit to check for water drips. The oil filler cap says condensation and it does not take a lot of that to cause oil to like as you have seen it. If you get a few clear or almost clear drips then it is just condensation but if green yep has a problem
 
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Texasmark1
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 13, 2013 5:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Tan Colored Oil on Dipstick Reply to specific post Reply with quote

After reading this reply of yours, I looked at the caps again and on second look, yes I see a slight indication of it in the upper picture. I guess I was expecting to see a big pile of goo and looked too fast. My experiences with it were much worse than this.

What's funny is that even with a few really gooey caps over the years, I never had yellowing oil (on a tractor or car). Figure that one out if condensation is his problem.

Mark
 
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