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I'm happy to announce that I'm the proud new owner of two Firestone Flotation 23 degree tires and two 10.5" 420 rims for my 318 Snow Clearing Machine.

The main use of the 318 is to clear snow from the snow & ice covered drive and to do a bit of dirt work during the summer.

I'm having the tires mounted on the rims tomorrow and intended to have the tires filled with liquid within tubes to add extra weight to the 318.

That is until my Father-in-Law, (a lifetime farmer, that I consider very wise) advised me that filling tires with liquid negates the traction advantages of extra liquid weight, because the liquid fill, versus air fill, affects the tread and sidewall performance that Ag tires were engineered and originally designed to perform under all conditions.

I don't want to second guess a wise man, but I'm really lacking on traction and need the weight.

A second, third..... and 10th opinion is needed.

Thanks,

Dave
 

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Hi Dave,
The set up I have for my 318 is two 75 pound wheel weights and my 30 hydraulic tiller on back for counter balance for the loader. The tiller is about 300 pounds. Do you you have a 3 pt hitch, you could add 300 or more pounds on to it?
Are these firestone tires you got the 26x12x12?
I was looking at the same thing but the weight tranfer shifts more weight to the front because of the taller tires in the rear. I bought the 23x10.50x12 4 ply instead and work very well.
Alan
 

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Dave,

Your Father-in-law is nuts. Think about the physics, 100 lbs on the inside of a tire will be the same as 100 lbs on the outside of the tire (assuming wheel weights), the same proportion will be above and below the axle. Both liquid and air are fluids so the effect of additional weight from the top will have the same effect (pushing both out on the sidewall and down on the tread).

And I suspect that most ag tires are designed expecting liquid ballast.

At least that's my opinion.

Jon
 

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Hi Dave. Although I'm far from being an expert, about the only way liquid filling tires should negate traction is if you COMPLETELY fill them with fluid. On farm tractors you are suppose to only fill them about 80% full or up to where the liquid just gets to the top of the rim when the tire/rim assembly is still mounted on the tractor. This leaves a small bubble of air at the top that amounts to the sidewall height of the tire and allows for the tire to have some cushioning to it. Also, if you would use some kind of liquid that can freeze, that would also have some negative affects
That being said, I'm a cast iron weight guy myself as being around farm equipment that normally uses the corrosive calcium chloride liquid, I have seen way too many rusted out rims for my liking and when the extra weight isn't needed I can take it off easily so it isn't stressing the axles, axle bearings and other drivetrain components.

Kent

(Message edited by kkortman112 on December 23, 2005)
 

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I agree with Kent. I grew up on a farm and my dad and all the neighbors ran ag tires with fluid. But it's a pain in the rear when the valve stem leaks (rust) a little or the tire gets old or you catch a fence post while turning at the end of the field.
The tires were all filled with the valve stem on top- when the fluid level reached that height the co-op employee would stop filling. When plowing in the fall, additional wheel weights were added with more being put on the stubble wheel.
I'd not put a calcium mixture in a GT tire. I'd use RV anti-freeze which is safer and non-corrosive. FWIW

By the way, one neighbor had an hydro Case industrial loader tractor with tires filled with powdered ballast. They were tremendously heavy but you had to be careful not to drive too fast down the road or the tractor almost became airborne . . . the ballast could not "roll" forward fast enough (unlike liquid ballast) and got carried over the top like an unbalanced washing machine on spin cycle. Scary feeling when you're 10-11 years old.

(Message edited by daves on December 23, 2005)
 

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I'll throw in my 2 cents here. Personally, I run calcium chloride in my tires and have been very pleased with the results. The fluid is in tubes, which negates any fear of corrosion unless I somehow spring a leak. I prefer liquid ballast because it is cheap (about $12 a tire) and I don't ever need to mess with installing and removing heavy cast iron weights. Guys like to talk about the strain on axle bearings as well, but I cannot picture how liquid ballast puts additional strain on the axles or bearings. In fact, I think it would be less stress than weight added DIRECTLY to the axle or hanging on the rear. The weight is pushing down on the contact surface of the tire, not on the axle or bearings themselves. I run with the tires approximately 80% full, like mentioned above, and to me that means there is generally only "air" above the axle shaft or bearings at all times. The tires filled with fluid weigh just over 100lbs a piece, and make a tremendous difference in terms of traction. Even liquid filled turf tires work much better when filled with fluid. So, in essence, I guess I would say I'm in favor and a big fan of liquid filled tires. We have a 140 with calcium filled Goodyear Terra Grip bar tires that have no tubes, and they've been holding air and liquid for over 20 years with no rust outs (yet). Just my opinion.
Neil
 

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Dave,

Whether it is air or fluid, the pressure inside the tire will have a similar effect on the tread or sidewall.

I agree with Kent that calcium chloride is nasty. I also agree with Neil that it can be used in tubes. If you do not want to unmount the tire to add a tube, I agree with Dave that antifreeze is a good solution since it will not damage your rims.

I always put Ethelene Glycol (Automotive type) antifreeze in my GT tires. I used to work for a Deere dealer and that is what we used. RV antifreeze is non-toxic (and cheaper) but I am not sure it has any corrosion inhibiters.

The bottom line is that farmers have did this for years on very large tractors. I grew up on a farm and never ran a tractor without fluid in the tires.

Just my opinion,

George of Buford
 

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Merry Christmas!!! You will have more weight per wheel if you use calcium chloride than RV or automotive anti-freeze. How much will it cost to replace a rim if/when it leaks. I have seen ag rims leaking calcium for years before it gets so bad that rim must be replaced. It will only rust where the air gets at it. You will want to use tubes with CaCl
 

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Rob I suspect the people who make kits might sell you the adapter but often the only way they will do it is if you buy their kit. Other will sell just what you need. You most likely will have to start e-mailing or phoning to see what they can do for you. Roger
 

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Thanks Tim. I phoned Jim at Jims repair and he has the coupler and will sell it to me. He is very helpful and obliging. However the cost is about 200.00 which is fair but I am hoping I may be able to get one made locally.
 

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A local machine shop made me a coupler. Material and 2 hours labour for $125. It is like a spool. 1/4" thick by 4" round plate on each end with a 2" pipe in between. Trued up in a lathe, it runs straight and vibration free.
 

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Hi Rob I read your post and can't offer any help on the adaptor but I have a quick question for you. I have a 445 with a bad Kawasaki engine and the replacement cost for this engine is around 2500.00 I have heard of tractors like yours with a repower like the kohler. I am curious what they did to cool the trans since the Kawasaki was water cooled. thanks David
 

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hello sorry If I confused people by what I asked, the transaxle is indeed connected to the radiator but not with water lines there are oil lines that connect the two together and the radiator is used to help cool the transaxle. I was asking how this is altered when a air cooled engine is used instead of the water cooled Kawasaki thanks david
 

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If you are worried you can buy a separate transmission cooler that will meet your needs. Any auto parts store can get you one. They are designed for supplemental cooling when pulling a trailer or the like. Roger
 

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My 1993 brochure on the 4x5 tractors says that the transmission lines run in the radiator lower tank to aid in warmup at lower temps. I don't think it has anything to do with cooling. The X series that replaced the 4x5 series have dedicated trans coolers.
 

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Alan it isn't something I would loose sleep over. I would still add the cooler for the summer mowing season. If you start the tractor even when very cold you will not have problems with it if you let is warm up a couple of minutes. My 345 the baby brother to the 445 has a small cooler but nothing to warm it up in the radiator. It takes about 2 or 3 minutes for the engine to warm up to get the choke all the way off and and then its ready to blow snow with. Started when it was -12 the other day. Roger
 
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