L235 - Fire recovery

Unfortunate Bystander

New member

Equipment
L-235
Oct 15, 2020
10
0
1
Santa Cruz County, CA
I've owned an L-235 for about 4 years. Lost my house in the recent California wildfires. The tractor was parked in the 'woods' and the duff burned up to and around the tractor. The front tires burned, the rear tires melted where they were in contact with the ground (they were filled with water). Half of the hydraulic hoses on the BF400 loader burned. The battery was hot enough that the battery post mushroomed over the terminal. The lenses on the lamps on the read fenders melted. BUT: It still looks like a tractor, I can grab the fan belt and the engine turns, there is still coolant in the radiator, fuel in the tank, hydraulic fluid in the resevoir, etc. I'm hoping to salvage it, get it running again. I've removed the three-point scraper and the loader bucket, I can lift the forks and block then with prop so they stay up. I can winch it to a road. What steps to take before trying to turn it over? Don't want to spend a ton of money if it's not salvageable.

Also, not an expert on hydraulic systems. There are three lines along the right side of the tractor that led to hoses that fed the loader. Other the removing the quick disconnects is there anything I need to do there to keep hydraulic fluid from spraying out if I try to turn the engine over?

Thanks!
 

torch

Well-known member

Equipment
B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, B4672, RC54-71B, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL and Cab
Jun 10, 2016
2,198
435
83
Muskoka, Ont.
The 3 hoses between tractor and FEL are probably the supply from a hydraulic block, the Power Beyond back to the other side of the hydraulic block, and the Return to the tank. Is there a bypass valve incorporated into the hydraulic block? If not, or if you are unsure, then temporarily re-route a hose from one side of the hydraulic block to the other side.

If you are not sure, post pictures. As a new member, you will need 5 posts before you can post pictures, so get talkin'. ;-)

If it was me, and based on your description, I would very carefully check the condition of all wiring and isolate or repair any suspect insulation if things are not too bad. If that is possible, the next thing I would look at is the air filter and change it if necessary. Then I would bypass the FEL or re-route the hoses as above, swap in a new battery and see if it fires up before committing to other repairs.
 

torch

Well-known member

Equipment
B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, B4672, RC54-71B, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL and Cab
Jun 10, 2016
2,198
435
83
Muskoka, Ont.
The link worked. How about a shot of the valve block?
 

torch

Well-known member

Equipment
B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, B4672, RC54-71B, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL and Cab
Jun 10, 2016
2,198
435
83
Muskoka, Ont.
Enough pictures for us to trace the hydraulic tubing to and from the block.

I would also check the rubber segments of the tractor's hydraulic return lines. If those hoses melted then maybe other bits did too. And check the level of hydraulic fluid in the case. If the return lines burned through, the oil level may be low.
 

Jim L.

Active member
Jun 18, 2014
759
57
28
Texas
I wouldn't think that anything engine-wise or frame would have been damaged.

Anything rubber has just exceeded its life expectancy and needs replacing.

As torch said, electrical insulation has also hit its life expectancy. Heat and ultraviolet are what kill electrical insulation.
 

torch

Well-known member

Equipment
B7100HSD, B2789, B2550, B4672, RC54-71B, 48" cultivator, homemade FEL and Cab
Jun 10, 2016
2,198
435
83
Muskoka, Ont.
In the picture below, #2 is the Return line to the tank. I'm not sure which is which, but #1 and #3 are the Supply to the spool valves and the return from the Power Beyond port.

00_pump.png


If there is a hypass valve on the hydraulic block that can connect 1 and 3 internally, all you have to do is operate that valve, however I don't see one in your pictures. So you need to connect 1 and 3 externally with a short piece of hose. before attempting to start the tractor.
 

ki4dog

Member

Equipment
L2501, Loader, DH1060, Titan 1205 rotary cutter, Titan pallet forks, TERYX
May 30, 2020
47
30
18
Kingston, TN
I'm very sorry about your loss in the fire. It's a good sign that the fan belt survived. Could indicate that the temps didn't get high enough to affect o-rings, etc..
 

coachgeo

Moderator
Staff member

Equipment
L225 w/woods Few Mowers & Back Blade, D722 in Motorcycle (Triumph Tiger), LMTV
Nov 16, 2012
2,464
20
38
Southern OH
amidst the embers and flames..... a tractor emerges.

may this project bring you some solace.

next step is to get a team of friends with tractors together and start maintaining the lands near you?
 

Unfortunate Bystander

New member

Equipment
L-235
Oct 15, 2020
10
0
1
Santa Cruz County, CA
If there is a hypass valve on the hydraulic block that can connect 1 and 3 internally, all you have to do is operate that valve, however I don't see one in your pictures. So you need to connect 1 and 3 externally with a short piece of hose. before attempting to start the tractor.
Thanks for the pointers. I'll see if I can use one of the remaining hoses on the loader to do that...
 

Unfortunate Bystander

New member

Equipment
L-235
Oct 15, 2020
10
0
1
Santa Cruz County, CA
amidst the embers and flames..... a tractor emerges.

may this project bring you some solace.

next step is to get a team of friends with tractors together and start maintaining the lands near you?
Thanks. This project is mainly a way to focus on something other than the enormity of the project ahead. In our area homes that were well prepared suffered as well as those that weren't. Sadly you can't get all neighbors to agree on anything...
 

Unfortunate Bystander

New member

Equipment
L-235
Oct 15, 2020
10
0
1
Santa Cruz County, CA
Got the hydraulic plumbed as Torch described, tried jump starting the tractor with a good battery and nothing. Need to trace down the wiring next... Stuff near the bottom of the tractor is suspect. Bushings in the joints of the steering are gone, starting to look like much more of a project...