Replacing a broken fan belt on a new tractor

We came mighty close to overheating our tractor engine.  If it wasn’t for all the electronic sensors, we might have had a real problem.  The tractor is not only our work horse on the property it is also our backup power plant in the winter time during the seemingly endless cloudy days.


Watching the video, you will see how a modern day tractor looks under the bonnet.  There isn’t much room to work and what was once an easy fix has become way more complicated.  Today, it is becoming extremely difficult for a home amateur mechanic to fix simple issues with their tractor.  It would be nice if there could be a blend of modern and an owner’s ability to work on their own machines.

There has been much debate on farmers not being able to do what their father’s once did.  If the tractor broke, the farmer fixed it sometimes right in the middle of the field. Today, specialists needs to be called, and a computer hooked up to the tractor that a farmer is not allowed to purchase or possess to diagnose their own problems.  Some farmers are relying on computer hackers to give them access to their own tractor’s computers, so they can fix their own problems without paying expensive rates.

Luckily today’s issue was a simple belt replacement.  If it was anything computer related, I would be at the mercy of the dealership.  My wife and I have debated purchasing an older tractor just to use as a generator and leaving the Kioti tractor to continue the ground and tree management on the property.

We love our tractor and it has saved our backs from much wear and tear.  We use it to do our heavy lifting, moving dirt, cleaning the chicken coup, logging firewood, and grading the land for our future shop pad.  My only regret about my tractor is I should have purchased it sooner.

10 thoughts on “Replacing a broken fan belt on a new tractor

      • 9N was in the 1950s…although old doesn’t completely equate to easy to fix.

        You don’t want to put too much tension on the belt…it’s one of the Goldilocks type of things. 🙂 Too little and the belt slips and the belt wears. Too much (tension) and the bearings are stressed (by the belt trying to pull the pulleys/bearings closer together) which makes the bearings wear more quickly.

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      • I think the 9N has more space to work around than mine. The new tractors are covered with environmental restrictive technology, computer sensors, and computers only the dealer can access. However, that same technology saved my engine from overheating. I have debated buying an old diesel tractor, putting it on blocks, and using it as a stationary power plant. That way I can put less wear and tear on the new tractor.

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      • But then it’s, the usual…find one that works and get it there, or find one that doesn’t work, get it there and fix it.

        Would it be cheaper to just get more solar panels to reduce the need for running the tractor so much? Some of the local solar places are advertising solar panels for a bit less than $1 per watt (not including shipping).

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      • During the winter up north, we don’t get enough sun to generate enough power to maintain even if I added more solar. January we had no “full” sunny days, and we have at most a 2 – 3 hour window of required sun position to hit our panels. Sometimes I stand in awe that we have a clear night sky and all the next day clouds. The panels make about 1.5 amp hours on days like that x 3 hrs. The backup generator is usually necessary and called upon every 4th day of solid winter gray skies. If full sun does make an appearance during our window of opportunity, we can extend that time. I have considered a wind generator, but on cloudy days we are in an inversion in which there is no wind. Once a shop is built I plan to try a TEG generator to create a trickle charge into the battery bank. I have also toyed with the idea of creating a steam engine from a repurposed motor. I have the bicycle generator which can charge a 12 volt battery, and I can hook internet and a few lamps to that in case we want to play the game and stretch the power a few extra days hoping for that next sun window, but it’s easier to fire up the tractor and run the well pump, vacuum, washing machine, and entertainment center. Now, if I lived in a sunnier climate, more panels would definitely help our situation.

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      • Is the PTO generator AC or DC?

        How much output does one get from a modern TEG? My EE school was “a bazillion” years ago and back then they didn’t seem useful. I’m sure, just like with solar, there have been a lot of improvements since then.

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      • The PTO generator is AC. I want to experiment with building a TEG. If I can get above 24 Volts, I could trickle charge the batteries at night off the wood stove. I am unsure if it is even possible; my electric bicycle generator can only charge a 12 Volt battery and that was a fun experiment to try. I was hoping to trickle charge the battery bank with it, but that is a lot of pedaling.

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