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My dealer called and said my Kubota L4300 F will be delivered in the morning (7-16-04). A co-worker of mine has a John Deere tractor that is about 3 years old. He told me that I should wait a little while before putting a heavy load on the engine to allow the piston rings to seal with the cylinders- says this is a good idea on all diesel tractors to prevent oil leakage.

Is there anything to this, and how many hours should I wait till I put some strain on the engine? I've got a small field that needs to be plowed and disc harrowed in the next month or so. In the meantime, I have about 3+ acres to bush hog to help get the tractor "broken in". I'll check the owners manual when I get it to find some info on this too.
 

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I wish that Kubota would be generous enough to allow the owners guide to be available on-line and it would allow you time before you bought it to really read it prior to delivery. I think that it is crazy to not have all the resourses available to the folks who buy these fine tractors to be really ready for the tractor when it is deliveried to new owners.
As a mechainic in the past I also recommend that it allow time to use the tractor gently but also to work it. I would think that 5-10 hours of running time and then changing the oil should be plenty.
Now with that I also to follow the owners manuel completely to its recommendations.
 

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NCBill, congratulations on the new Kubota! Hopefully it arrived today and all is well.

First advice is to closely follow the recommendations for operation in the owner's manual.

With respect to the engine oil; many manufacturer's factory fill their diesel engines with a break-in oil which is required to be run in the machine for a specified period to ensure proper piston ring break-in and seating. Changing out this break-in oil prematurely can lead to issues with the piston rings not properly seating and potential oil consumption issues later on. Again, I would suggest following the owner's manual closely on this. Deere engines come with break-in oil and specify that it be run for the first 50 hours in many cases as was the case with my 4410. I changed it out along with all of the other fluids and filters at the 50 hour break-in service. As was the case on my 4410; this will be the most important service you pull on your machine as this will give you an indication of what is going on inside the machine and change of oil and filters ensures that all break-in particles and debry war removed with the original oil.

In my opinion, the best things you can do to properly break-in your tractor is to ALWAYS allow a reasonable warm up and cool off period prior to and after each use. When the machine is fully warmed up to operating temp.; placing a load on the power train and engine has the least impact as compared to a cold or not fully warmed up machine. Make sure to do a good visual inspection after each use during this period to check for any potential leaks, problems, or loose hardware. Again, follow the owner's manual on the recomended warm up procedures.

Actually a diesel engine is aided and benefits from a reasonable load placed on it during break-in to help raise cylinder pressures and temps. Within reasonable limits, this aids the piston ring seating and break-in process. NEVER lug the engine down to low rpms or at low rpms, especially during the break-in period. Some diesel engines require no break-in period or process such as Cummins and they mearly specify a period of 10,000 to 20,000 miles depending upon load placed on the engine to get things seated. As a general rule, it is best to vary rpms and load on the engine without over doing it during the 1st 50 hours. Brush Hogging provided that you are cutting reasonable height grass and NOT heavy brush or tree sapplings would not hurt the machine and would more than likely aid the break-in.

Closely follow the owner's manual and you will never be wrong. Establish a good repour with your dealer and run your questions by him as he is most likely the best source of the best advice to follow and knowledgable about the individual characteristics and propeties of the machines he sells. Good luck with your new machine and have fun! Enjoy the seat time and "tractor therapy"! :D ;)
 

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Other than what chief and others have stated, I would not be too concerned with putting it to use, as all the tractors I have ever had, had in their manual that the biggest thing was to check fluid levels daily for so many hours, and not to run it for exctended periods of time at a set throttle setting, but to vary it up and down for so many hours. MY little JD GX335 had a statement in it stating it can take 50 hours or more for the engine to stop using any oil and see an increase in fuel savings. I followed my manual to the letter on what they required for break in. During those first 50 hours (actually it took 57 hours) it blew some black smoke on occasion, and used a little bit of oil, not ebough to worry about but used some just the same. Now it just runs like a champ and blows no black smoke or does it use any oil, and I have approximately 90 hours on it now. The only variation I made from manufact recomendations was in my oil change interval, I changed it sooner and more frequently along with filters, which of course will not harm anything. Main thing is follow your manual. Breakin is about the most critical time in your tractors life and will determine how long it lasts and how well it runs later on in life.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My Kubota L4300 has arrived. It had a mere 1/10th an hour on the meter as it sat on the trailer. The delivery man who also was the salesman said to immediately put it to use and to put a load on it right away to seal the piston rings.

The manual does state to let the tractor "warm up" before operating the pto/hydraulics- but in my climate the warm up time is just 5 minutes. Barring rain tomorrow, I'll be bush hogging about 3 acres.

I'll be 37 next month, and this is the first time I've ever used a modern tractor. I've used a '52 Case, '60 Farmall, and my uncle's old Ford Jubilee and 2000.

Man- power steering, live pto, canopy, and adjustable seats are great. Next thing ya know they'll be putting radios, tilt steering, and air conditioning on tractors.
 
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