You Have Found the Experts!

You Have Found the Experts!

Posted by Bill Rodgers on Feb 7th 2019

Bill Rodgers has owned and operated Valley Power Products for 40 years and he is truly an expert. When his business opened in July 1979 he had been selling and repairing Troy Bilt Roto Tillers for 10 years. His passion and expertise for all lawn and garden equipment is well known in the repair community. Call him with your questions if you don't find the answer here - 800-609-5110.

Q: What is a gray market tractor?

A: Gray market models, for those who aren’t familiar with the term, are tractors that were manufactured for sale in Japan and later exported to the U S. We have identified over 75 different gray market models and a new model seems to surface each week.

Q: Do you sell used tractors?

A: Once in a while we have good used tractors to sell but our concentration has been building our parts inventory, and service and repair of these tractors.

Q: My manual says to use gear oil in the transmission. Is this right?

A: Yes. Mitsubishi recommends using 80W90 gear oil in the transmission. Most Mitsubishi tractors use a single system in which the transmission uses the same oil as the hydraulics. However, if you have a front end loader, hydraulic front blade, or have tapped into the hydraulic system to operate another implement, use AW46 Tractor Hydraulic Oil, JD Type 303 Special Purpose oil or the equivalent. An exception to this is the Satoh S650G, S670 and ST2500. These tractors have a split system with a separate hydraulic reservoir.

Q: Why is my transmission oil cloudy, sort of coffee colored?

A: It is contaminated with water, possibly from condensation or leaking shift boots on the shift lever.

Q: My hydraulics don’t work. What can I do?

A: Check your hydraulic fluid level. If low add more. If this doesn’t work, drain the system, remove, inspect and clean the filter. Pay particular attention to the condition of the filter and the oil. (If this step doesn’t work, we’ll want to know what you found.) Fill with fresh fluid and try again. If this doesn’t work email or call us.

Q: My 3 point hitch won’t work. What gives?

A: As above, your hydraulic filter may be stopped up or you may be low on fluid or using the wrong oil. You may have a problem with the control valve or you may have sheared the pin at the base of the hydraulic piston rod.

Q: My engine is hard to start.

A: You may have contaminated fuel or a stopped up fuel filter. Your glow plugs may not be working. Your starter may be weak and not spinning the engine fast enough. You may have low compression due to a leaky head gasket, stuck valve, cracked piston or worn rings.

Q: Can I use ether to start my engine?

A: Do Not use ether! It can seriously damage your engine. We have documented cases where the use of ether caused the swirl chamber to separate from the cylinder head and strike the piston, causing it to shatter. The block, head, piston and rod where damaged beyond repair just as if you dropped a hand grenade into the cylinder! See the pictures in the section on parts.

Q: I can’t shift my transmission when the engine is running. The clutch has no effect.

A: Your clutch disc is stuck to the flywheel. Try pulling a load and disengaging the clutch pedal. Sometimes it will pop loose. Ultimately you will have to split the tractor and service the clutch to avoid repeated failures. Clutch sticking occurs because moisture collects in the bell housing causing parts to rust. If you store the tractor with the clutch depressed, you can lessen the frequency of the problem.

Q: Is there an alternative to buying a new clutch?

A: Yes, if the splines on the disc are good and the fingers of the clutch plate are not damaged, we can have your clutch rebuilt. The savings over new parts are significant.

Q: I hear a squealing noise when I depress my clutch pedal.

A: The release bearing (aka throwout bearing) is dry and failing. You will have to split the tractor to replace it. Continuing to use the tractor without curing the problem will also damage the clutch.

Q: What kind of engine oil should I use?

A: A good 15w40 diesel rated oil. We like Shell Rotella but any good brand will do fine.

Q: My brakes squeal when I depress the pedal.

A: The shoes are dirty or glazed. Often just disassembling the brakes, cleaning and scuffing the shoes and cleaning the drum will solve the problem.

Q: My brakes squeak when the tractor is moving.

A: The brake(s) is stuck. As above, disassembly and cleaning usually cures the problem.

Q: My tractor overheats when I’m mowing.

A: The most common cause of overheating is a stopped up radiator. The best solution is to remove the radiator and have it professionally cleaned. Compressed air is generally insufficient and power washing should never be done. Using a pressure washer will destroy the core of the radiator. 

Avoid prolonged running in an overheated condition. It will seriously damage the engine.

Q: My tractor doesn’t have a thermostat. Is it necessary?

A: Most of the gray market models do not have a thermostat. One theory is that by eliminating the thermostat the tractor would run cooler when used in rice paddys and there would be less chance of damaging the engine if splashed or exposed to water. 

U.S. models were equipped with thermostats because it is believed that the thermostat will restrict the flow of the coolant and allow the radiator to exchange the heat more efficiently. It will also allow the radiator to come up to operating temperature more quickly in cold weather.

If you don't have a thermostat and are experiencing overheating issues, you may be able to add a thermostat. Call us for details.

Q: How do I bleed my fuel system?

A: Loosen the bleed screw on the fuel filter body (front screw) if so equipped. When fuel flows tighten the screw. Then loosen the bleed screw on the injection pump and crank the tractor. When the fuel flows without bubbles, tighten the screw. 

Sometimes, this won’t be enough and you have to bleed the fuel injection lines. As you or a helper crank the tractor, carefully open the fuel line retaining nut at each injector. When the fuel flows without bubbles, tighten the nut.

Q: How long can I safely crank the starter on my tractor?

A: Crank the starter for no more than one minute. Then let it cool for 10 minutes.

Q: Does it hurt to run in 4 wheel drive all the time?

A: Yes, this is more of a traction assist. Use it only when needed. Running all the time will prematurely wear out the pinion gears.