Keeping an eye on coolant temperature is very important. Regular cleaning of your radiator is a vital part of caring for your machine. In severe dusty conditions, this may need to be carried out each day. Usually blowing out the radiator core with compressed air or even a garden leaf blower – in the opposite direction of machine air flow – will make a huge difference.
The problem with air that is pushed through the radiator core during machine operation, is that there are contaminants that come with the air – grass, grass seed, feathers, leaves, paper, plastic, etc. If you have an oil or fuel leak, the problem can be even worse.
The way most machines are configured today, there are multiple cores stacked in front of each other – coolant; hydraulic/transmission oil; air con. Unfortunately, even regular cleaning efforts will not keep these cores clear. Grass & leaves tend to get caught up in between these cores & the only way to clear them is by complete removal.
Small excavators are very susceptible to this problem. I have also seen this occur on backhoes, dozers, skidsteer loaders, to name a few. Recently a customer with a Case CX50B was complaining about his overheating problem & couldn’t understand why, as he was very conscious of blowing out the radiator on his machine. As soon as I walked past the rear of his machine at full RPM, I could tell it was not pushing out enough air. I convinced him to remove the radiator & separate the oil cooler from the radiator core to see if there was any restriction.
As you can see, there is quite a bit of restriction occurring here. This was just enough to push the temperature gauge into the red after about an hour of digging.
After a clean out & refitting the radiator & cooler assembly, we checked the air flow at full RPM again, well, he was lost for words, he just kept shaking his head in disbelief, – another happy ALR customer :-).
In summary, these problems don’t happen overnight. It slowly changes the conditions of the machine, sometimes over 2-3000 hrs – even if you think “it should be OK, I clean that out all the time!” – Be assured, if you have multiple cooling cores on your machine they will eventually look like this!