John Deere Maintenance Monday: Replacing the exhaust system | Living the Country Life

John Deere Maintenance Monday: Replacing the exhaust system

At the first sign of rust or leaking, it's time for a change

Radio interview source: Tim Hale, Program Chair, John Deere Tech, Vincennes University

Listen here to the radio story (mp3) or read below

In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Mike in Rhode Island. He has his eye on a used compact tractor, but the tail pipe looks like it's rusted through. Is this something he can repair himself?

Tim Hale is the chair of the John Deere tech program at Vincennes University in Indiana. He says when the exhaust system is rusted and corroding, it develops holes and makes a lot of noise. But even if it's quiet, it could be leaking. This is a safety concern because carbon monoxide can seep into the tractor cab, putting the operator at risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

It's possible for you to replace the exhaust parts. The tools you need include wrenches to loosen the clamps, and an acetylene torch to heat and expand the metal so you can get it apart without damaging other pieces. Hale says it's extremely important that you replace the piping with the exact size.

"Research has shown that as much as 2 psi of back pressure or restriction can cause a loss of engine horsepower," he says. "So, if we have too small of exhaust pipe or muffler on there, we restrict that pressure back, we can really reduce horsepower of that tractor."

Along with having the correct tools and pipe sizes, Hale says you should also wear gloves and safety glasses. Then, you can begin the replacement process. "Remove the clamps, perhaps heating and expanding the metal so it comes apart without damaging the other parts," Hale says. "Cleaning those surfaces, cleaning the old parts that we might not be replacing so we get a good seal and prevent those leaks. And then make sure we tighten the clamps and torque those to the manufacturer's recommendations."

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