Thursday, June 12, 2014


I've ordered a new operators manual for my Old Red Dragon (thanks Terri and RB), I'll have to just wait and see if it is any more use than the IT book.  I am posting these for Sheepmom... maybe you can correct me if I am wrong.... I think that the thermostat I am looking for is at the bottom of the big hose on the left here.  Do you have any suggestions on how to drain the radiator efficiently without leaving toxic antifreeze all over?

I think the water pump must be just below it where the fan attaches down on the lower right???

I know it's a crappy picture, but there is just NO room to get at anything on this thing.  I did find a small area of the radiator that was plugged with debris and an air intake that was fouled.  I have cleaned everything with the compressor, but have not had a chance to run it to see if that helps.  If you have any tips or suggestions, I'd very much appreciate them.  Thanks!


  1. I am not Sheepmom, but I can help you with this.

    From what I know about engines, which is a fair amount since I sell engine parts all night long. I would be confident in saying that the section in the front of the engine that your radiator hose is connected too is your thermostat housing. The bolts are the two bolts going straight up and down next to the hose. More than likely you will have to disconnect the hose, then unbolt the housing to get to regulator (thermostat) inside. For draining your antifreeze, what we do here in the shop is the guys use the bottom half of a plastic barrel cut low enough to fit under the radiator. Sometimes there is a drain petcock on your radiator. It will be a small valve usually with a butterfly looking handle. Turn that until liquid drains out. If there is not a petcock valve then simply loosen the hose clamp on the lower radiator hose. If you have rubber gloves, it doesn't hurt. Once you drain your antifreeze you are ready to remove your upper hose and housing. An old trick I know a lot of people used to use to test the thermostats of older cars, was to pull it out and put it in a pot of boiling water, once it hits a certain temp (250* or so) it should "pop" open. However, sometimes it is quicker and easier just to replace it. Don't forget when you buy your thermostat, to also buy the gasket for the housing. Use a putty knife or straight blade to scrape your old gasket off and make sure both surfaces are clean. Also be sure to stick a rag down in the hole while cleaning your gasket surface. Debri in your water flow can undo all your hard work and even ruin a pump. DO NOT put a bunch of sillycone on the gasket when you put it back together. You run the risk of some of it getting stuck in the new thermostat and causing it to malfunction. With a new gasket you should not need that stuff. If you have trouble finding a new gasket let me know I know some super bad ass tricks for making new ones. Before you put your bolts back in, hit the threads with a wire wheel, or brush and make them super clean. It will make putting things back together much smoother.

    You are right the water pump is right below the thermostat in the front. The two ways you determine if your water pump is bad are a) if it is leaking just a tiny bit out of the "weep hole" in the bottom. Or when you run the engine and have the radiator cap off, you should be able to see the water moving. Of course your thermostat has to be open for that to happen. The thermostat does not open to allow the water through until the coolant reaches a certain temp inside the engine. Also you can leave the radiator cap on, run the engine and then squeeze the upper hose. If you can feel water moving through it, then your pump is working. Again, your engine has to be hot. When you drain your fluid, check for rust or crud in your coolant. If you are having over heating problems sometimes a simple radiator flush will do the trick. Although usually if it is that bad, then the thermostat is probably gunked up and needs replaced too.

    I just went and read the previous post about your book and lack of instructions. How frustrating! Sometimes they call the thermostat the look for that word. But really they are one of the easiest things to replace on an engine. I suspect you will do just fine.

    If you have any questions or need to know anything more specific, Feel free to email me. If I don't know the answer I guarantee that TC does. He's been working on those old tractors his entire life.

    Oh, when you drain your coolant if it looks icky in any way, just replace it. It isn't that expensive and can make a huge difference. Also check for oil in it. That is a sign that there is something bigger going on. As far is getting rid of it, I'd call your local auto parts store and see if they have a disposal service for that. Many do. If you have a small electric pump you can even pump the old stuff in to the empty jugs that you just filled it with.

    1. Thanks so much Cindy, this is very helpful. You might be hearing from me when I get around to tackling this project:)

  2. Wow, I am so sure I couldn't do this. But if left on by myself, I might just try it.

  3. WELL SAID Cindy! I would just add: Remove the bottom radiator hose and flush out the engine block too.

  4. Wow! That is quite a response, Cindy D :-D.

  5. What an amazing community of bloggers/readers you have, Kris. I'm bowled over by the time they take to respond to your dilemma. Not to mention how in awe I am that you'll read Cindy's comment and then go out and fix the dragon.

  6. Just reading this now. Wow, couldn't add a thing. Sounds like you have super help and will get this sorted out in no time. Do let us all know how you make out!

  7. Good on you, Cindy D! I have no tractor but i still read your instructions. :)