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Check Your Coolant

Being the first of November, it s time to check your coolant. If your antifreeze is funky looking, old, or doesn t give the necessary range of temperature protection, its a good time to change the coolant. Most tractors Fords especially have the automotive type drain valves, one at the bottom of the radiator and another one somewhere on the block. These valves have a wing on either side to enable you to loosen the drain with a pair of pliers. The problem is that these drain cocks are sometimes in a very inconvenient place like up under the front grill or in next to the starter motor to get a pair of pliers on them and force may be applied in a manner that may break off a wing or even the valve. An easy solution is to get an old socket that is large enough to fit over the shaft or barrel of the drain valve. I used an old 9 16 socket from a box of tools I got at a yard sale. I put the socket in my bench vise and used my angle grinder to cut a slot across the business end of the socket big enough so that the socket will fit down over the wings of the valve.Then it is simply a matter of putting the socket on the appropriate extension and ratchet handle and reaching up and opening the valve. Since the force can be applied evenly to both wings, there is less chance of bending the wings or breaking off the valve. It also doesn t hurt to spray a little bit of Kroil or Liquid Wrench on the valve shaft a day or so before you want to open it. Hope this saves someone a headache.

Bill Radford, NC, entered 2011-11-02
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