suspect possible antifreeze in oil

Tue Nov 27, 2012 6:34 pm

i changed the oil in my cub, i went from SAE 30 to 10W-30 because the tractor didnt like to start in the cold weather. i think that might help. anyways i drained the oil and it had a little light brown appearance not really bad but it did look a little milky. it didnt look like snot but i didnt really like it. i'm a little anal when it comes to my cub. do these tractors have a known head gasket problem, where they just fail for no good reasons. it's not steaming out of the exhaust except for on cold start and that is just condensation. it also has never been overheated either, its a healthy running engine as well no smoke or knocks. does anyone have any idea why this might be? i have another head gasket but would like to avoid tearing down the head due to the nightmare pictures that were posted on another thread in this forum. dont want to deal with any bolts snapping off. if i truely suspect that i have a head gasket failure of course i will replace it

Re: suspect possible antifreeze in oil

Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:02 pm

Did you drain the oil after working the tractor? If not, it's probably just condensation. There is no oil circulation in the head, so a head gasket leak (and no, Cubs are not notorious for blowing head gaskets) is not likely to lead to intermix.

Re: suspect possible antifreeze in oil

Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:43 pm

there is no oil circulating through the head but are there water jackets in the head? still if there is no oil flowing through the head then it is unlikely that the antifreeze could reach the oil even if the gasket did leak, correct? it must be condensation then, what should i do? not worry about it unless it gets really noticeably milky?

Re: suspect possible antifreeze in oil

Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:50 pm

If you can't decide if the oil is contaminated, before spending the time and cash on an overhaul, send out an oil sample for analysis. You will receive a printout back containing more facts about your engine than you knew existed.

Re: suspect possible antifreeze in oil

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:26 pm

i dont think it is anywhere near needing an overhaul since it doesn't run like it is tired, no smoke, no knocking, and oil pressure runs on the L portion of the gauge (no numbers on this gauge just the word OIL) i was just concerned that perhaps it needed a head gasket but it seems that antifreeze cannot get into the oil through the head; this is after all an L head engine and is not like a modern car engine that is overhead valve design that has oil flowing through the heads. oil analysis might not be a bad idea anyways just to know more. what does it cost and where would i get it done? it probably is just condensation anyways. it wasn't like it was whipped cream it was just a little discolored.

Re: suspect possible antifreeze in oil

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:33 pm

Couple links that were posted on the forum a while back...I have no experience with them...I just had the links bookmarked.

Re: suspect possible antifreeze in oil

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:34 pm

I agree with Michael on the condensation. Just look what it does to transmission oil. If it is performing as good as you say I wouldn't spend money on an oil analysis just yet. Change your oil and run it just as you have been, but keep a check on it. If the problem disappears then you can be pretty safe in thinking it was condensation.

Re: suspect possible antifreeze in oil

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:54 pm

i checked the antifreeze level in the radiator and it appears to be full or very close to full. i know these machines don't have a coolant recovery tank like a car so a little goes "overboard" and if you fill it right up to the top it wont stay there but it appears to be safe to say im not loosing any antifreeze. if i remember correctly i have actually had oil out of a single cylinder kohler that looked like this oil looked... a slight grey color, those engines dont even have antifreeze as they are air cooled. i think im worried about nothing

Re: suspect possible antifreeze in oil

Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:57 pm

They used to be a lot cheaper... $20 or $25 today.

Here is a link to a joint in Ft. Wayne, In. that does them. ... report.jpg

I know this is a one shot deal but that's what analysis is for. The reports are actually quite interesting.

If you analyze oil samples throughout a vehicles history, the time line print out will tell you when its major time or gives you a warning before a major dump is predicted, compared to industry wide comparisons.

Remember anti freeze mixed with oil has less milky characteristics as oil mixed with pure water.

One additional trick for identifying water in oil is to coat the dip stick with a thin coating of water detector. This stuff was used on underground storage tank dip sticks to estimate the level of water in underground storage tanks. When it touches water it turns red.

I don't know if this stuff is still around as most underground storage tanks are now electronically monitored for water level.

Re: suspect possible antifreeze in oil

Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:03 pm

I had a similar occurrence one time with one of my Cubs. After every winter when they sit, I change the oil after running the engine awhile. I drained the oil and it was milky the way it looks when water gets in the oil. I was worried it needed a new head gasket and wasn't looking forward to doing that so I checked the head bolts and re-torqued them to spec, a few were well below spec. After that year, which was several ago, I haven't had any more milky oil so I'm thinking re-torquing the head bolts fixed the leak.