Brand new L3901 - Windshield Wiper Fluid as ballast in Ohio?

Outdrz

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L3901, LA525; RCF2060 Cutter, old blade, sprayer and more...
Feb 20, 2021
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As title says, This past weekend I signed a deal to buy a brand new L3901. It will have the 525 loader and some other goodies... I intend to purchase an aftermarket grapple to move logs.

In the swirl of paperwork and changing numbers - I neglected to ask the dealer about tire ballast. So, I called my dealer today - who said they certainly could add ballast and that they typically used windshield wiper fluid.

This begs some questions:
1. In S.E. Ohio, where the tractor will be stored in an unheated barn, we routinely get below freezing weather.
Is windshield wiper fluid acceptable in such an application?

Seems like frozen ballast could cause expansion damage and even a potentially unsafe condition where much of that frozen ballast is above the axle as the tire rotates during operation. Not good either way.

2. If I end up needing to pay to have ballast added (decision pending) I know windshield fluid isn't as heavy as Mag or sugar water aka Rim Guard. Would I be getting "ripped off" if I needed to pay for wiper fluid since it could freeze and is also not as heavy? Seems like in that case cheap antifreeze solution would be a much better choice.

Not sure if it matters, but I went with the R1 tires due to significant hills and no shortage of slick, clay mud.

I'm pretty handy, and would consider doing the ballast myself if it wasnt too equipment intensive.

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions/advice you may have to offer up!
 
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ayak

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Feb 16, 2018
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As the crow flies, I’m not too far from you, and I’ve never had an issue with washer fluid in my R4s over three winters, with my 3301 sitting in an unheated garage.
 

ayak

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Also wanted to say any time I decided to use my FEL with just the filled tires, I had regrets. I don’t lift much now without a rear blade or box blade hanging off the back, even with the filled tires. Sounds like you’ve got a nice setup coming—congratulations
 

timdan94

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L 2501 TLB
Oct 25, 2011
42
4
8
Liberty Pa
I'm in north central Pa and used the windshield washer fluid to fill mine also with zero issues. The tractor is in an unheated pole barn.
 

Outdrz

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Thanks ayak - I'm pretty excited to have the new 3901. Just waiting on delivery. No shortage of work to be done!

I figured the tractor might be nose heavy with nothing on the 3pt. Would probably run it with an old, heavy back blade while doing loader work.
 

ayak

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157
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Thanks ayak - I'm pretty excited to have the new 3901. Just waiting on delivery. No shortage of work to be done!

I figured the tractor might be nose heavy with nothing on the 3pt. Would probably run it with an old, heavy back blade while doing loader work.
That back blade will do nicely.
Did you get them to add the 3rd function valve for use with grapple or will you be adding that later?
 

Outdrz

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Ohio
Did you get them to add the 3rd function valve for use with grapple or will you be adding that later?
I had them add hydraulics front and rear, along with the right side handle missing on the 3901, a steering wheel knob, a QH10 quick hitch, and on the rotary cutter - front/rear chain guards and a slip clutch. Much, but not all was at zero cost to me.

Then, once it arrives I'm going to add: Saw Haul, LED lights, 3 bolt-on bucket hooks, bucket teeth, grill guard, HST filter/valve shielding on both sides underneath and a real metal toolbox to replace the tiny plastic POS that ships with the tractor.

I'd also REALLY like to figure out what I can do to upgrade the 3pt sway control and lower arms to something more like the L3560's sweet setup.

Oh and as a cherry on top of the deal, I also got a free Kubota hat thrown in before I would sign. That is probably the most expensive "free" hat I will ever own, LOL. 🤠
 

mcfarmall

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Kubota M5660SUHD, Farmall C
Sep 11, 2013
221
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Kalamazoo, MI
You just paid $25-30k for a new tractor. Spend another few bucks for Rim Guard and be done with it. Same goes for OEM filters and SUDT²
 
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ayak

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That is gonna be one tricked out setup. I had ordered the L8430 telescopic stabilizer kit, which I wonder if it is the same thing. I also added a 3rd function valve myself from Summit Hydraulics for the grapple, and a piranha tooth bar for the FEL bucket.
 

Outdrz

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You just paid $25-30k for a new tractor. Spend another few bucks for Rim Guard and be done with it. Same goes for OEM filters and SUDT²
That's precisely in line with my thinking. Do it right initially so I don't need to fix it later. Wanted to do a sanity check on here though - as I have a tendency toward being a perfectionist...

I have easy access to another tractor with a FEL, so I'm thinking that I can move the filled tires out of my truck on my own - Though reinstalling filled rear tires on the tractor seems like it'll be a pretty major pain, especially when it comes to lining up the lugs/holes.
 

Outdrz

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UpNorthMI

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May 12, 2020
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I think your post just cost me $185. Much appreciated!!!!
That’s the best $185 you just spent, I think those telescopic stabilizers should be standard.
If you are looking for a reasonable priced grapple take a look at MTL Attachments.
A ballast box is nice and compact for loader work, pallet forks.com is affordable, I added bags of gravel, the receiver mount can be useful.
Lown performance for a reasonable priced mesh grill guard $170.

Good luck with your new machine, I really like my L3901.
 
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Fastball

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L2900, rear blade, finish mower, 200l sprayer, landscape rake
Feb 9, 2017
66
15
8
North Okanagan, British Columbia
As title says, This past weekend I signed a deal to buy a brand new L3901. It will have the 525 loader and some other goodies... I intend to purchase an aftermarket grapple to move logs.

In the swirl of paperwork and changing numbers - I neglected to ask the dealer about tire ballast. So, I called my dealer today - who said they certainly could add ballast and that they typically used windshield wiper fluid.

This begs some questions:
1. In S.E. Ohio, where the tractor will be stored in an unheated barn, we routinely get below freezing weather.
Is windshield wiper fluid acceptable in such an application?

Seems like frozen ballast could cause expansion damage and even a potentially unsafe condition where much of that frozen ballast is above the axle as the tire rotates during operation. Not good either way.

2. If I end up needing to pay to have ballast added (decision pending) I know windshield fluid isn't as heavy as Mag or sugar water aka Rim Guard. Would I be getting "ripped off" if I needed to pay for wiper fluid since it could freeze and is also not as heavy? Seems like in that case cheap antifreeze solution would be a much better choice.

Not sure if it matters, but I went with the R1 tires due to significant hills and no shortage of slick, clay mud.

I'm pretty handy, and would consider doing the ballast myself if it wasnt too equipment intensive.

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions/advice you may have to offer up!
Have you ever had a problem with wiper fluid freezing up in your car?
WWW is probably the cheapest option, with beet juiceor Rimguard a bit more expensive. Just see that they put PROPER winter wiper fluid in...not that cheap summer stuff.
 

Fastball

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Equipment
L2900, rear blade, finish mower, 200l sprayer, landscape rake
Feb 9, 2017
66
15
8
North Okanagan, British Columbia
I got that for my L2900 - despite Messick's saying it wouldn’t fit. I got ahold of a guy that manufactures these kits at home, and he said they would fit fine. Granted, i had to shave a smidge of metal off my mounting points - but all in all, they worked just fine.
 

85Hokie

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BX-25D w/ Filled Rears,2" Spacers,PTB. Under Armor, 90'-90'-92'-B7100HST's
Jul 13, 2013
8,046
414
83
Bedford - VA
Have you ever had a problem with wiper fluid freezing up in your car?
WWW is probably the cheapest option, with beet juiceor Rimguard a bit more expensive. Just see that they put PROPER winter wiper fluid in...not that cheap summer stuff.

Ditto to what Fastball said !

I have WWF in two of my tractors - works well, then again the coldest I will see is 12 F and that is rare.

At a $1 a gallon - hard to beat!!! You look kinda funny going up to the register with 50+ gallons of it !!!
But I have done it! :p
 

Outdrz

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L3901, LA525; RCF2060 Cutter, old blade, sprayer and more...
Feb 20, 2021
22
12
3
Ohio
Have you ever had a problem with wiper fluid freezing up in your car? ............ Just see that they put PROPER winter wiper fluid in...not that cheap summer stuff.
Yes, I HAVE had windshield washer fluid freeze up in my truck multiple times. That experience is why I asked in the first place.

The proper winter stuff is much more expensive, as you point out with your “cheap summer stuff” comment. I’d be surprised if they used the winter blend - but suppose I could accept that.

I may be over thinking this, but.... Cheap antifreeze seems more cost effective and is much more rubber/metal friendly than all that ammonia in WWW.

Seems like sugar water has the benefit of being even heavier and safer if there’s a leak. I assume it’s also freeze resistant but have not yet looked into that detail.
 

bam43431

New member

Equipment
2011 Kubota L3200
Jan 25, 2021
8
2
3
NW Ohio
As title says, This past weekend I signed a deal to buy a brand new L3901. It will have the 525 loader and some other goodies... I intend to purchase an aftermarket grapple to move logs.

In the swirl of paperwork and changing numbers - I neglected to ask the dealer about tire ballast. So, I called my dealer today - who said they certainly could add ballast and that they typically used windshield wiper fluid.

This begs some questions:
1. In S.E. Ohio, where the tractor will be stored in an unheated barn, we routinely get below freezing weather.
Is windshield wiper fluid acceptable in such an application?

Seems like frozen ballast could cause expansion damage and even a potentially unsafe condition where much of that frozen ballast is above the axle as the tire rotates during operation. Not good either way.

2. If I end up needing to pay to have ballast added (decision pending) I know windshield fluid isn't as heavy as Mag or sugar water aka Rim Guard. Would I be getting "ripped off" if I needed to pay for wiper fluid since it could freeze and is also not as heavy? Seems like in that case cheap antifreeze solution would be a much better choice.

Not sure if it matters, but I went with the R1 tires due to significant hills and no shortage of slick, clay mud.

I'm pretty handy, and would consider doing the ballast myself if it wasnt too equipment intensive.

Thanks in advance for any help/suggestions/advice you may have to offer up!
I live in NW Ohio and have property in SE Ohio. Just added 30 gal (220# of windshield washer fluid to each R4 rear tire of my L3200 about two weeks ago. Pretty easy to do yourself. Excellent videos online. Fluid bottle says good to -20F. We have below zero temps last week and no issues with freezing.
 
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Fastball

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Equipment
L2900, rear blade, finish mower, 200l sprayer, landscape rake
Feb 9, 2017
66
15
8
North Okanagan, British Columbia
Yes, I HAVE had windshield washer fluid freeze up in my truck multiple times. That experience is why I asked in the first place.

The proper winter stuff is much more expensive, as you point out with your “cheap summer stuff” comment. I’d be surprised if they used the winter blend - but suppose I could accept that.

I may be over thinking this, but.... Cheap antifreeze seems more cost effective and is much more rubber/metal friendly than all that ammonia in WWW.

Seems like sugar water has the benefit of being even heavier and safer if there’s a leak. I assume it’s also freeze resistant but have not yet looked into that detail.
if it was me, I’d spend an extra few bucks and put the real winter stuff in. Because of your cheap summer fluid freezes up inside your tractor tires, that’s not a good thing. How much more $ could it be? If your budget is super-tight, maybe adding a couple gallons of RV antifreeze into the mix would be an option?
 
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