Restoration Story: John Deere 2010 Diesel, Part 4

Submitted Article
Restoration Story
1964 JD 2010 Diesel - Part 4
by Jim Nielsen

Part One, Part Two, Part Three

Yes, It works!

The main engine components needed to complete the assembly of my 1964 JD 2010 diesel, took a couple of weeks to arrive at the 'local' John Deere dealer. The key items included the pistons, sleeve plate, con rod bearings and rings. Now for some real tractor fun - putting my 1st engine back together - and seeing if it would run!

First for the sleeve plate. I'd had a devil of a job getting the old plate out, and had been very careful to ensure that the mating surfaces inside the block were as clean as possible to take the new plate. I put some 'dish soap' on the rubber "O" rings (the small flimsy things that sit between the sides of the block and the sleeves), which are used to prevent the ingress of water. I then sat the lower sleeve gasket on the block and attempted to get the sleeves to fit. The plate is a VERY tight fit between the bottom of the sleeves and the top of the appropriate holes inside the block. I had to do a fair bit of jiggling to get it in but I managed it. The problem is that the sleeves are welded onto the sleeve deck, and the block is a 'cast' component, therefore the slightest warping in the plate or block would certainly prevent them from mating; as any movement in the plate needed to fit the sleeves in one cylinder would make the other three not fit. Also, my manual was emphatic about the need for 'ring dowels' to "locate" the plate and I didn't have any - happily I found the old ones still sitting, waiting for me in the old sleeve plate. It was great to see the plate sitting in the block - it almost made me feel like I knew what I was doing! It had been my opinion that the plate would be the hardest item to deal with - but that was before I'd wrestled with the pistons!

As instructed by the manual, I popped in a couple of short bolts to secure the plate to the block while I installed the pistons - I certainly wouldn't want the plate lifting up and unseating itself! Now I'd never seen a new piston up close before, they sure are shiny! Almost makes me think they were worth the $600 USD I paid for them! (Oh and another $600 USD for the plate!!) First the piston pins and clips. The old pins measured up ok, so I decided to reuse them (that saved me $400 USD) but I bought new clips just in case. As soon as I tried to put the pins in the pistons, I realized there was a bit of a problem. They are supposed to be a 'thumb' press fit, but my poor thumbs sure couldn't press them in - and these pins have to be 35 years old - so they must be at least a little slimmer than new ones. I took the problem to Repco, my local engineering works, and they told me that it would be best to let then ream the pins / pistons to fit each other (a mere $100 USD) so after a weeks delay I got them back. I must say that the pins were fitted to the pistons in a way that they moved freely, but without the merest hint of looseness - probably $100 well spent. While Repco had the conrods to install the pins in the pistons, some over zealous Repco engineer also decided that the conrod big ends were somewhat out of round so I let them ream them back to round as well - and trim the bearings caps accordingly. Yes, yet another $100 for that, but I didn't want to ruin the conrod bearings that I'd paid $500 for!!

Having got the whole shebang back home, I was now in a position to install the piston rings using my friend Mal's ancient piston ring expander - but I decided that one last ( I hoped) investment at Repco would pay off though, so I shelled out $15 on a shiny new piston ring expander - I didn't want to damage the $500 ring set!! Now the shop manual describes how to make a set of wooden 'teeth' so as not to damage the piston assembly as you pop each one in your bench vise to install the rings. Unfortunately, I didn't have a vise at that stage, (Mal later took pity on me and bought me one!) so I adapted a cardboard box for the purpose and it worked like a charm. Hey, who needs 'special' tools! Putting the rings on was a lot easier than I'd expected, the new tool worked very well. Now to install the pistons. It looked like it should be easy enough: oil up the cylinder bore and piston, pop on the ring compressor and slot that piston right into the hole! Yes? Well, it didn't go that way. On my first attempt to install a piston, I was quite devastated to discover that the bottom of the piston did not even look like fitting into the cylinder bore - let alone the damn rings. Remember I'm using brand new standard size sleeves and pistons. I discovered, however, after a small bout of depression that you had to have the piston EXACTLY square in the cylinder bore for it to fit. It says in the manual that the pistons are 'cam ground' and so I assumed they were not exactly round in shape - but they LOOK perfectly round. Anyway, when I aligned the piston exactly, it suddenly seemed to magically shrink in size and dropped down to the bottom of the ring compressor. It took me quite a while to get the piston rings through the compressor and into the bore properly, but I did, without too much persuasion from the back end of my hammer. It took me about 3/4 of an hour to get the 1st piston installed and the conrod bearings and bolts in - then about 3/4 of an hour for the other 3 - so I was definitely getting more used to the process by the time I was finished!

I felt quite a sense of achievement, after installing the pistons; at last it looked as though this engine would one day, again roar into life. Before I called it a day, I installed the oil pump, and then enclosed the whole bottom end of the engine with the sump and its gasket. The I&T shop manual that I've been using goes into great and specific detail as to exactly how to install the oil pump. It is an important procedure because when you mesh the oil pump gear to the drive gear on the camshaft, it must be done in a specific manner, as the timing of the diesel injection pump depends on it. I didn't know it at the time, but following the instructions in the manual would later lead to several weeks of frustration as I tried to get the diesel injection timing to work. Blissfully unaware of what was to befall me however, I felt the full satisfaction of one who has - (almost) - brought an old engine back from the dead. The following weekend I hired an engine hoist, and proceeded to remove the engine (as yet with out head etc.) from the engine stand and reattach it to the front of the tractor. Firstly we attached the clutch carefully to the flywheel - only to find - (obviously enough) - you can't attach the flywheel to the engine if the clutch is already on it! Oops! So after removing the clutch from the flywheel again so that it could be attached to the engine - we got started. The flywheel has a locating pin, which made it easy to place it the correct spot. The clutch, which we centered by 'sight', was also easily attached. The hoist made it quite easy to maneuver the engine onto the rear of the tractor, and we had it bolted back on again in a matter of minutes. The 2010 has a number of very foolish design features, but the most foolish of all must be the studs on the top rear of the engine. These studs slot into holes at the top of the clutch housing, yet there is not enough clearance to get the nuts onto the studs once the engine is attached to the clutch housing, so you have to slide the engine in just far enough to get a couple of threads of these studs exposed - while still leaving enough room for the nuts, then little by little you snug up the bolts as the engine is attached. I'm sure there MUST have been a reason for designing it this way? All in all the engine was reattached to the tractor without incident within an hour, start to finish. Next - while we still had the hoist - we picked up the front axle assembly and reattached it to the front. The result was a machine that for the first time in months looks like it might actually be a tractor!

With the device now sporting all its major components, we installed the head gasket and head, being sure to torque those bolts down to 150lbs - I don't think they're going to come loose any time soon. Next came the rocker gear and the rocker cover - or so I thought. As I was attaching the rocker gear back to the head - which I'd never disassembled - Mal noticed that one of the rocker arms moved about 1/2 an inch side to side, making it impossible to set any sort of sensible valve clearance for that valve. So despite extreme reluctance on my part, I was persuaded to disassemble the rocker gear to see what was causing this problem. I was shocked to find that the rocker shaft had almost worn clear through! It had just a 1/16 of an inch of metal remaining. I am sure if I'd gone ahead and reassembled the engine with this faulty component it would never have worked correctly, and it would've taken a lot of time to solve the problem. I was glad to have caught it at that stage. Unfortunately the rocker gear problem was not in my budget and my wife was losing patience with the amount of money I'd been spending on this green devil. I called my JD dealer, hoping for some good news. The rocker shaft was $200 USD - well could be worse; but the rocker arm bushings - all worn beyond use - were $50 each and I needed 8 of them. Ouch. Well necessity being the mother of invention I would need to invent something to salvage this project. I decided to buy the rocker shaft, then see if I could have the rocker arm bushings made locally. Repco agreed to make them for me, and found some that fitted with minimal reaming for the princely sum of $3 each! Hooray! $3 each!! So I was saved. It took about two weeks for JD to get the shaft ordered in and another two weeks to get the new rocker arm bushings made, but soon the new rocker gear system was installed and we were really getting ready for an engine test run!!

Having installed the rocker gear, and sealed it in with its gasket, I then set about readying the tractor for an engine test. I decided to do a basic engine test before proceeding further with the restoration, as despite having already spent thousands on the engine, I was still considering the possibility of total failure of the project. I didn't want to commit any more money to it until I could see some light at the end of the tunnel. To get the test done, I made up a temporary wiring loom by simply unraveling the old one and making an exact copy, with little labels on the end of each wire to tell me where to connect them. I also temporarily installed the diesel fuel tank, radiator, battery-box, seat, throttle links etc, in anticipation of taking the 2010 on its 'maiden' voyage. This process would take longer than I'd anticipated. The diesel injection pump I had tested (but not overhauled) at a local diesel mechanics. The test showed that the pump was operating fine, so I planned to reinstall it on the tractor. I set the timing marks on the pump, as outlined in the I&T manual, and went to install it on the tractor, but to my horror the slot on the top of the oil pump designed to engage the diesel pump was 90 degrees out; there was no way the thing could be bolted in. As I'd read the manual many times, I was absolutely convinced that I'd installed the oil pump correctly, so I immediately blamed the mechanic that had tested the pump, assuming that he'd put it back together incorrectly. He could not understand how it could be 90 degrees out - 180 yes - but not 90 degrees.

It would take me three frustrating weeks to find out the answer. I called my JD dealer, who put me through to a mechanic that had the JD manual for the 2010. We went through the manual line by line, and I was still convinced that I had installed the oil pump correctly. It was not until he faxed me the relevant pages that I saw what I had done wrong. I had installed the oil pump incorrectly because the I&T manual contains a grave error in the section that tells you how to align the oil pump - the proper JD manual makes it obvious. So I was on the one hand very disappointed to have to remove the sump and adjust the oil pump, but on the other hand very relived to have the problem solved. It looks like my decision to save a few bucks by not buying a proper John Deere manual had proven a frustrating mistake. It took about three weeks to resolve the problem with the oil pump / diesel pump, but finally I was ready to give the engine a try with my friend Mal assisting. We put a little diesel in the tank and gave it a shot. It took us a couple of goes to get the fuel system free from air, but as soon as we did the engine roared back to life, just as sweetly as could be. There was not even a hint of the black smoke that had been the original catalyst for this project many months ago. As we were driving it out of the workshop, I attempted to try a left turn, to avoid the garden fence - and discovered to my surprise that we'd forgotten to attach the steering drag link - so I almost ran right over the fence. Happily the brakes worked well. With that little problem attended to' I then carried out a number of tests with the tractor including brush hogging a field just to make sure the rest of the tractor was operational.

When I was satisfied the engine was going well - not a leak anywhere - I returned it to the workshop to commence the long process of painting and reassembly. I'm hoping that in a month or so, I'll have it looking great as well as running great! And hey - remember I'm new at this! (Well relatively now I guess!) If you want to leave me some helpful information, please feel free to email me at [email protected].

We sell tractor parts! We have the parts you need to repair your tractor - the right parts. Our low prices and years of research make us your best choice when you need parts. Shop Online Today.