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Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head

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SW EM
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:41 pm    Post subject: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Hey everyone,

I restored an MD this last year for RPRU
and it turned out really nice. Ran well, no
obvious problems. Maybe had 2 hours on it
total after rebuilding the motor. Then
during the fall I started it up for a
neighbor to show him how a gas start diesel
operated. Well, while we we talking it was
idling near by with a very noticable
blowby.

The blowby consisted of water vapor, and I
assumed it had some moisture in the block
it was evaporating out, no big deal, I
assumed it would stop. I had always been
checking the coolant level ever since I
built it since I was so paranoid about a
cracked head consuming my anti-freeze.

Well after 15 minutes of talking the blowby
never got any better (I had never noticed
this type of blowby before that day) so I
shut her down. As I was walking away I
peered over at the water temp gauge and saw
it was pegged! Oh crap, I then figured the
coolant level had dropped low enough to
stop cooling the head. I didn't take off
the radiator cap to check because it was
really hot, and I didn't want to thermal
shock the head in anyway.

I came back a few hours later and checked,
and surely enough I couldn't see any whem
peering into the radiator. I then pulled
the dipstick to see if it was in my oil
pan. The oil level was a couple inches
higher then before and now a cream color.
So the coolant had been getting into my oil
somehow while running.

Here is what I know :

1. I had never noticed this blowby before
that day. The coolant level had never
dropped before that day either.

2. I had not retorqued my head since the
overhaul.

3. Previous condition of the head was
unknown, however there were no visible
cracks when inspected.

4. I'm using the correct head gasket for 4"
flush sleeves, from Bates 305805R1

5. Has a new thermostat, operating temp was
always in "run".

6. I am going to take the head to a machine
shop to be magnafluxed. If it checks out ok
(knock on wood...) I will have it planed
and reinstall it with a new head gasket.
Making sure to retorque it immediately
after the first start-up.

7. I use coppor-coat on my head gaskets.

Was my experience the result of a cracked
head, or does it sound more like a head
gasket issue?

I had a similar experience with my 400 this
summer. Its headgasket blew while disking
and I lost a large amout of coolant very
fast. I just don't think a small crack in
the head would allow so much fluid to leae
the cooling system that fast.

Please share any related stories about
these MD heads and how the issue might have
been resolved! I know this was a long post,
so I'll attach a few pictures of the
tractor to balance it.

 
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moll
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 12:53 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I am ashamed to say i don't know if the diesel engines are dry sleeve like the gassers.
If dry sleeved, i would first drop the pan, fill the cooling system with water and pressure
the cooling system up at the cap like you would a car. Look underneath with a light to see
where the water is coming from. On a dry sleeve engine the block can be cracked behind the sleeve and leak.
 
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Oldiron29
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Location: Suffolk, NY

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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:17 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

SW EM, You will get a lot of impute over on Red power mag. construction equipment forum As a lot of gas start diesel on there. oldiron29
 
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redrandy
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:29 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Head gasket ! If you didn't retorqure after engine was fully warmed up the head gasket crush and stud stretch with metal-fiber-metal head gasket have a tendency to leak. Gasket should be coated with Hylomar both sides it's made for this and is much better than copper coat
 
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hiredman56
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 2:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I agree with the other posts. Since it has been hot I would still check the head. They were prone to crack if they got hot. Only my opinion. Best looking MD I have seen in my memory.
 
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SW EM
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 4:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thanks for the input so far everyone! It's given me more ideas to think about over thanksgiving.

Where can Hylomar be found? I jave not heard of it before.

The current engine block was a replacement for a previous cracked one like mentioned in the thread. No cracks in it and it now has new sleeves. Of course I am assuming its condition hasn't changed since I overhauled it last winter/spring.

I pulled the cylinder head today. There is still coolant in the block around the cylinders, but there is no coolant leaking around the sleeves. The coolant level had been drained to the head gasket elevation.

My #1 cylinder was "cleaner" (i.e. less carbon deposits possibly from water being in that cylinder at one point). There were no obvious indications of a failure in the head gasket, however there was an oil gallery near the #1 cylinder that was separated from a coolant port with a small sliver of head gasket. I would feel more comfortable if it was twice as wide there, it has the room.

At $300 a head gasket I want to make sure this is properly resolved before it goes back together! I want to believe it was because I didn't retorque the cylinder head sooner.

Either way, getting the head checked is priority before I make my next decision. Just in time for "a Christmas Miracle".

 
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fastfarmall
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PostPosted: Wed Nov 22, 2017 5:28 pm    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

That's a beautiful MD, i wished i had seen it in Des Moines !
 
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Jim Ma
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 2:58 am    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Copper coat works just fine as a sealing agent. The most important thing is the retorque, when I overhauled my SMD a decade ago I never retorque the head, about a year latter it just gave way. The second time I used a fair amount of copper coat and retorque it a few times after reaching temperature. After that no issues. I did have the head and deck checked for cracks and warp.
 
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nosih
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 3:53 am    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Have the head pressure checked along with the Magna flux.
 
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Oldiron29
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 4:53 am    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

SW EM, Had the head studs bine out?
What sealer did you use when you put them back?
I have had many engines apart and scene many head gaskets. I have never scene a head gasket sprayed with copper coat look so clean when taken apart. If you do spray copper coat you sure didn't put much on. That head gasket should still be covered in copper coat, I don't see any???
 
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Pembroke
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:03 am    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

did I miss picture of head gasket in this post? I saw tractor and top of engine picture.
 
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SW EM
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:37 am    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

The head gasket was still on the deck of
the block in the picture. In the bottom
right corner, you can see the potential
weak spot in the head gasket where there
isn't much thickness to separate oil from
the coolant. However, there was no major
signs of a blowout anywhere.
 
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SW EM
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

Thank you! I will get it pressure checked too.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!
 
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rustred
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:40 am    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

i was gonna suggest to retorque the gasket before tear down as with only 2 hrs on it it was worth a shot. but i see its apart now.
 
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mattofvinings
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 5:43 am    Post subject: Re: Farmall MD how to diagnose a cracked head Reply to specific post Reply with quote

I think if you made some adapters for the upper and lower radiator hoses (probably pull the radiator), one closed and one with a pipe-thread port, you could use air pressure up to around 40psi for troubleshooting the assembly. When pressure is reached, valve-off the air supply to isolate the engine. This will tell you if it can hold pressure while first assembled (no running). If not you will have to go deeper into component inspection, or try to analyze where coolant is leaking out (filling a cylinder and running out thru exhaust port or into the oil pan. I would not pressurize the radiator as I wouldn't have the confidence it has the strength for that. Of course be careful with the potential for coolant filling a cylinder and later hydrolocking the engine. Definitely recommend removing all spark plugs and cranking over to expel any liquid after a troubleshooting session.

As far as retorquing hot, I think the long studs probably grow more on an inch per inch basis of thermal strain (growth) and so naturally it loses clampload as it gets hot. But now when it cools next, everything is under more clampload than before, which I think can cause yielding in the gasket material and another incremental loss of clampload. Thus the recommended regular checking and torquing while hot until everything is stable and able to take on the thermal cycling without leaking.
 
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