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Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze?

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WachobC
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 13, 2008 10:35 pm    Post subject: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hello,

I've read through a number of posts here but nothing seems to pertain to my situation. I am hoping that someone out there has been down this road and has insight on how I should proceed.

My Super Major Diesel ended up sitting outside over the past year. I didn't have much work for it since it is mostly outfitted to plow snow. I wanted to get it back inside (easier to start) for the winter and went to start it up and nothing.

Initially, the battery was dead, I got a new one then things started to function somewhat normally.

Where I've run into a brick wall is that the starter will turn, engage and then basically stalls out (at least that's what I'll call it), it ceases to turn.

I investigated and I am able to turn the fan (water pump?) by hand as well as the alternator. I tried putting a bar into the crankshaft bolt to turn the crank, but no movement. I have a decompression lever on this unit and I opened that up. I know from past experience that this allows the motor to turn fairly easily. Still, nothing.

After some thought, I decided that maybe something was 'stuck' and that I might be able to break it lose by putting the tractor into gear and pulling it with my truck. I was able to pull the tractor, but with the wheels locked.

I put the transmission into neutral and was able to pull the tractor and the wheels turned. My thought here is that this indicates that the transmission is not locked up.

I put it back into gear and tried pulling again and nothing. Dragging the tractor along but the wheels are not turning.

My suspicion is that somehow the engine is seized.

As an aside I did find that the "turn-up" on the exhaust was frozen solid with water. I heated it with a torch and it is now empty. Don't know if this is relevant or not.

One thought that I had was to pull the injectors and put some WD-40 or motor oil in the top of the cylinders and let it sit a couple of days to see if it will come loose. I read in the I&T manual about pulling the injectors and it appears that I need to replace the copper 'gaskets' on them. Still trying to find a source for these if I choose this route...

Another thought that I had, but can't seem to come up with a method, was to somehow get the tractor into the heated garage and see if it will start after a couple of days. The main problem being that I don't have a way to get it into the garage. I can pull the tractor, but I don't have a way to push it. On top of that I have limited 'people' resources so getting a bunch of guys together and expecting them to push this tractor uphill into the garage is asking a bit much. Not to mention that both rear tires are filled with calcium to boot.

Sorry this is long, but does anyone have any thoughts about how I might be able to better diagnose what is actually stuck?

Any other suggestions as to how to get the engine free?

Thank you in advance for taking time to read and comment.

Best Regards,
 
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ArleninOr
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:08 am    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Sounds like you might have ice in the cylinder as you say there was ice in the upturn of the exhaust. If you need to get it in your shop and it is up hill just use you truck. you can make a hitch to go in your reciever if you have one on your truck long enough to reach you drawbar on the tractor and just use a pin to join them together and simply back your truck up and push the tractor inside . Make sure truck and tractor are lined up with shop door and someone to steer.
 
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DAO
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 3:03 am    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

SOUNDS LIKE YOU MIGHT HAVE GOTTEN ENOUGH WATER THROUGH THE EXHAUST TO GET IN YOUR CYLINDERS. YOU MIGHT TRY PULLING THE OIL PLUG AND SEE IF THERES WATER UNDER THE OIL IN THE PAN THEN GO FROM THERE. AS FAR AS THE INJECTORS GO IVE PULLED THEM ON MY MAJOR AND USED THE OLD COPPER OVER AND DIDNT HAVE ANY PROBLEMS WITH THEM RESEALING.IF THE COVER SEALS ARE BRITTLE, YOU MIGHT HAVE A TIME PULLING THE INJECTOR AND SAVING THEM. I GOT ALL MY REBUILD PARTS ON THIS SITE. THEY HAVE GASKET KITS AVAILABLE. GOOD LUCK
 
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rhettcale
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 6:28 am    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

i had a similar problem with my major diesel last winter, but it wasnt ice it was antifreeze in the cylinders from a leaking head gasket. remove the injectors an try turning the engine by hand, ive had my injectors out several times an reused the seals with no problem. as for unfreezing it you could always pull it up beside a building sheltered from the wind, put a heavy tarp over the engine area an apply heat with a salamander or space heater. if you do remove the injectors be careful about the small copper washers that seal the return lines. theyre a banjo type fitting with a washer above an below, theyre small so dont drop them into the crankcase.
 
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Mike Farmer
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 7:27 am    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

My thoughts: - Whatever you do, do it very carefully or you could end up with a very serious problem like a completely busted engine. Lets assume freezing because that seems to be suggested. At the time of freezing in theory only one exhaust vale should have been open so with luck water only in one cylinder,so you may only have a stuck valve(at this stage prayer might help). Take the rocker cover off and check which one it is. Take out just the one injector. and probe with a piece of wire. If you have not already done so try gently moving it backward in high gear. This will turn the engine backward and with luck move the frozen piston down from the ice. (With the exhaust valve open, the piston had to be moving upward)Now take a pipe from your truck exhaust and blow hot exhaust gas into the injector hole. This MIGHT work, let me know if it does.You might getaway with just blowing exhaust gas over the engine anyway,or put the pipe in the exhaust elbow and leave it for a good while. If it doesn't work my thoughts are this. Don't mess with it. Pull the head and go from there. Head off, cleaned and back on 2-3 hours max, providing there is nothing nasty hiding in there: but then in that case you will need to pull the head anyway MTF
 
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Mike Farmer
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 9:20 am    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Further thoughts: - I think you should definitely check the oil if necessary drain it to make absolutely sure there is no water/ice in the sump/pan. If there is whatever you do don't try to start it until you are 100% certain its ice free or two things just could happen. One... you bust the oil pump drive or two.... you don't pump any oil around the engine. Sounds expensive. yep MTF
 
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:18 am    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

WachobC
Anytime you leave a tractor outside it should have the exhaust covered.
Another option is to install a flapper.
Get it warmed up one way or another, and soak it in a mixture of 50/50 diesel & transmission fluid; about a cup to each cylinder.
Removing the injectors will allow this on a diesel.
Let it soak a couple days, (where its warm this time of year) and it should turn over again; then put it back together.
Brian
PS on these tractors the valves are noted to stick also.
 
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Kenneth Armour
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 12:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hi:

Do you have a block heater or bottom rad hose heater on your tractor.

If you do why not plug her in for a couple of days to let the engine warm up, this should melt any ice in the cylinder.

I would also suggest that after you have let the engine warm up for a couple of days you jack up one of the tractor rear wheels and try rocking the wheels back and forth (gently)with transmission in gear which would slowly loosen the piston.

If such fails I would suggest pulling the head to know exactly what is goin on, head gaskets are commonly available on Ebay.

If it were me and it did not free up after a bit of gentle rocking I would pull the head to be on the safe side so you know exactly what the issue is.


Kenneth
 
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WachobC
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 14, 2008 1:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thank you everyone for your replies. They have been insightful...

To cover a few of the topics mentioned:

I don't have a block heater or hose heater. I'd like to know how folks install the hose heaters or the block heaters since my bottom radiator hose has an interesting curve in it and I can't see a logical place to install one. I had thought about a block heater in the past, but here again, I'm not sure how to put one in. As an attempt at a solution I had purchased a magnetic block heater but it never seemed to make any difference. I've plugged it in (thanks for reminding me I had it) and I'll see if it makes any difference. I've also attached photos of the upper and lower radiator hoses as examples of why it seems near impossible to use the hose-type heater. Feedback welcome on this.

The exhaust was covered, it has a flapper on it. I've never seen this much water accumulate in the bottom before, but I am suspecting that the drain hole that is in the upturn got plugged with something small enough to impede the flow and that was what caused the collection of water.

Along those same lines I find it hard to believe that the water backed up far enough to get into the head. I'm not discounting the possibility, but the water level in the upturn was only a couple of inches deep and the exhaust ports are maybe another six inches vertically up from there. Maybe I'm missing something but I always thought that 'water seeks its own level'.

I've noticed a couple of mentions about stuck valves. I didn't know that these tractors are noted for this. Of course taking off the valve cover is going to reveal this if I can get the motor to turn over.

There was one mention about pulling off the head and cleaning it and putting it back on in 2-3 hours. If someone knows of a FAQ on this or has hints and pointers I'd be open to that. If I thought that I could complete the job in that amount of time (or even twice that) I'd be more inclined to pull the head to see if I could find the situation. I'm open to feedback on this.

A couple of mentions here about getting parts on this site. I ended up here while looking for the copper seals and didn't find them. Also I am concerned about getting the right gasket set if I were to get a set for the top end in the event that I end up pulling it apart. Does anyone have any guidance on how to be sure I have the right set? Simply by serial number? I don't have a parts book so I can't go by the official part number.

Many thanks to all that have responded. I'll be digging into this situation more this coming week and will report back to the forum with my findings.

Regards,
 
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 2:17 am    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

if your decompresion lever travels all the way up now,then your valves probably are'nt stuck.take the valve cover off and with the decom lever you should see all the valves open at once without turning the engine over. get the engine serial # off the right front of the engine block and you can order gaasket kits for the production range of your engine.the coppers for the injectors are included in the kits.pulling the head is'nt very time consuming on the sm.you might think about a repair manual.
 
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Kenneth Armour
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 15, 2008 7:03 am    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hi:

Bottom rad hose heater;

The bottom rad hose has a bit of a straight where it attaches to the water pump.

you can fit the heater there. That is where I put mine and fitted no problem.

My bottom rad hose heater works like a charm, I live in Halifax Nova Scotia Canada and can get quite cold here

NAPA carries the rad hose heaters, Take your hose with you to NAPA so you get the correct size heater.

Basically you cut the rad hose so there is a short piece that fits on the water pump with enough hose to fit over the heater, then insert the heater and connect other end of hose (with a piece removed to compensate for the length of the heater) to heater.

Was a quite simple procedure

Hope this helps.

Kenneth
 
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Mike Farmer
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 4:57 am    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Just a thought. If you have any water leaked into you transmission it could be that which is frozen up. It wouldn't be the first time. Maybe you could pull your dipstic and check it out. MTf
 
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Are you sure the starter bendix isn't jammed into the flywheel? Maybe you had watery oil that has frozen in the pto gears? Try making a tent with some tarps and put a propane fish-house heater under it? Drain your anti-freeze, warm it hot on your stove and fill the engine again. Do the same with your oil. The old bush pilots had to start their airplanes like that. I'd like to be sure some water hasn't gotten inside the flywheel housing and frozen up. Maybe squirt some hot antifreeze mixture in through the starter hole and catch the drainage.
If there is liquid coolant in one of the cylinders, you should be able to "back-up" the engine a little with a prybar on the flywheel teeth.
 
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 18, 2008 8:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hello everyone.

I thought I would update you on my situation. The results have been interesting to say the least...


A relative suggested that my thought about water seeks its own level and the exhaust ports being higher than the level of water in the elbow might be a little off. Since the muffler was installed and it is taller than most of the tractor, the water level could have been much higher. In fact it was, as it turns out. What I didn't look at the other day when I was working on this was the bottom of the muffler once I got it out. The water level that I saw when I pulled out the muffler was only what was left after I thawed out the joint between the two. In fact the muffler was full of ice as well.
This was the case because the drain hole was plugged.

The dog had to go outside around midnight on Monday and it dawned on me that it was around 60 for most of the day today and it was still in the low 50's. So I thought I would just give it a go and see if the motor would even turn over. I had opened the decompression lever (thanks to my relative's comment about water is not being compressible, or at least not very much, and how I might really break things...). Fired off the starter and nearly got a shower with the water sloshing out of the exhaust. Gobs of black water. I had the fuel cut off from my antics the other day so it was not pumping diesel into the cylinders.

After a few rounds of this and water flying everywhere, I moved the lever down half way and allowed the fuel to go to the injectors. A bunch of coughing and sputtering later it seemed like it wanted to turn over. I moved the lever to the run position and started it again. It bucked around a couple of times then started into a somewhat regular rhythm. I left it idle for about five minutes before shutting it down.

I wanted to see if there was a product out there that would help contain/remove the water that may remain in the crankcase. I stopped into my local NAPA store and watched as the counter person went through all of his chemical catalogs looking for something that might work. He had to take a call and I was reading his catalog upside down when I saw a product that appeared to be just the ticket. A product called Sea Foam. Seems like a strange name for an engine chemical, but I put some in the engine crankcase and ran it along with a shot of Power Diesel treatment for the tank. I ran it some more and the idle seemed to smooth out more than it ever had.

If weather predictions are correct I may get a snow day from work tomorrow. If that is the case I'll use her to plow the snow then while she's good and warm I'm going to change out the fluids.

Well I can say that I am feeling much better about the situation. Of course there is a lot of work ahead of me. At least I'll be able to sleep a little better knowing things are moving.

Thanks everyone for your feedback.
 
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rhettcale
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 19, 2008 11:46 am    Post subject: Re: Fordson Super Major -- Engine Frozen? How to Unfreeze? Reply to specific post Reply with quote

sea foam is a good fuel treatment but i also used it recently in the crankcase of my Major Diesel before i changed the oil. im afraid to do too thourough of a job cleaning out the gunk though for fear of it plugging the oil filter and causing bearing damage. i also use Power Service in my diesel vehicles. its a good anti gel, cetane booster, and lubricity additive
 
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