John Deere 440 with water in the oil

Discussion in 'Shop Talk' started by daeve, Jul 25, 2004.

  1. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    Bought a John Deere 440 crawler at auction today. Had not intended to buy this thing today and failed to check a few (very important!) things before the auction started but the bidding was really low and they started the tractor up, it started quick and ran well and I need a dozer. After getting it home and off the trailer I checked the coolant and it wasn't visible in the radiator. Figured it had a bad hose or something. Then went to check the oil and there was no dipstick. Bad sign. After pouring about 4 gallons of water into the radiator I noted it running out the dipstick hole. Very important lesson learned. :( Again...

    So, anybody got any experience with this crawler or the GM 2 cylinder diesel engines John Deere uses? What should I look for first? Cracked head? Blown head gasket? Cracked block? I think this is an early 70's model but haven't found the serial number or info plate yet.

    I would appreciate any and all hints and tips.

    Thanks,
    Dave
     
  2. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    From the info on The Johnny Popper Site the John Deere 440 series was made from the late 50's to the early 60's. I still haven't found the serial number though. Got a lot of casting numbers but nothing that is in the ball park from the numbers listed on the site.

    Guess I am going to start at the top of the engine and disassemble it in place as much as possible to try to locate the problem. Going to get the camera out and take pix as I take it apart just to make sure I can put it back together again.

    Will post more as I dig into it...

    Dave
     

  3. You're on the right track... head gasket, head, cracked block. The thermostat should be closed on a cold engine, so it makes me wonder how pouring water into the rad could immediately result in fluid exiting the dipstick tube. Cracked block and perhaps no thermostat or thermostat stuck open. ???

    With a blown head gasket, you'll have a very clean piston top and combustion chamber, and _probably_ only on one piston. If the head gasket is fine and the block is cracked, the pistons and combustion chamber may appear as usual (if it didn't burn oil, it won't burn an oil water mix). A blown head gasket also burns white and is sweet smelling (sweet smell if you're using antifreeze).

    If it were a gas engine, and you pulled the plugs... and the plugs were normal or even a bit fouled, it wouldn't be a head gasket. If they were shiney clean, it may be a head gasket. No idea about diesels and glow plugs.

    Just thinkin out loud... not sure how much it will help, if any.

    cheers,
     
  4. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    This may not apply to the 440, but to a conventional diesel engine your symptom would indicate the 0 ring sealing the sleeve to the block is defective. I have had such a problem with an International tractor. Fairly simple fix and not real expensive. I would invest in a couple jars of Bars leak and see if there is an improvement. Your leak may be too large to seal however.
     
  5. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Or cavitation, which some diesels are more prone to than others. Pin holes in the bore due to engine vibrations & hard water pinging metal off.

    --->Paul
     
  6. daeve

    daeve Well-Known Member

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    Sorry for the delay in replying. Just got the cable fixed so I could get back online. Had a thunderstorm Sunday afternoon that took down the line and killed the modem.

    Thanks to all who replied.

    I'm in a holding pattern on the crawler. I'm waiting to hear from the auction company on the seller. This machine was represented to have had the engine rebuilt a short while ago and be ready to work, when in actuality it has been pulled out of the weeds and patched together enough to run through the sale. Final drive on one side has bearings gone and the shaft is ruined. If it was sold by one of the major dealers I may have a chance of getting my money back. If it was sold by an individual I'll eat my loss and continue into the engine.

    I'm hoping that it has a cylinder seal gone. That or cavitation makes the most sense to me. It doesn't look like a crack or gasket the way the water is running out of the dipstick hole. It was running out in a stream the size of a pencil and that was with the radiator cap off so there was no pressure on the cooling system, which tells me that there is a large hole between coolant and lubrication systems somewhere. And the engine was running too good. Both cylinders were hitting and there was plenty of power and not smoking more than would be usual for an older diesel. No sweet smell of antifreeze but then until I put water in it there wasn't much if any coolant in there. But even after adding water there wasn't any additional smoke.

    So now I'm working on (between bouts of rain) a Case 310 crawler. Got it last week and found out that the radiator mount was broken right after unloading it. Backed over a bit of a hump and when the back end of the dozer came down (hard) the radiator hit the fan blades and I DID smell that (sickening) sweet odor of antifreeze as a cloud of it enveloped me. Got all the shielding off and radiator out and the fan blades were all bent up. It looks like this is an old problem that has just been patched to get by. Got all the blades straightened out and put back on. Now to see if I can get the tubes in the radiator soldered and holding pressure again. And then back to clearing until the next breakdown...

    Thanks again,
    Dave
     
  7. Blu3duk

    Blu3duk Well-Known Member

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    my dad had an old 440 when i was a pup, it had the jimmy diesel in it too, probably still have the book on it around somewhere, dad always kept those when he traded a machine off....

    Wish you were closer, would love to have an old JD jimmy crawler, almost bought one a couple years ago, fully rebuilt and running for $5500.00 but it wasnt a mandatory thing, and i took to long gettin there and it sold to someone else.

    hope you solve your problem with the auctioneer and seller, itxsounds like you might have had a deal otherwise.

    William
     
  8. blwilson

    blwilson New Member

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    William,

    I currently have a JD440IC for sale. Wouldn't you know the day I put it out for sale it started misfiring and burning oil. I also had a battery wire short out and had to replace a cable.The machine is pretty clean otherwise. I bought a couple of new plugs and noticed that the forward cyl of the 153cc gas engine fouls the plug pretty bad but still fires. It seems like it is not firing on both cylinders. I recently had shoulder surgery so it sat for a few weeks without being ran. It ran great prior to me just moving it. I only decided to sell it because I need a bigger machine for what I am working on. Any suggestions let me know.

    blwilson
     
  9. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Check the plug wire and determine that someone has NOT used one of the modern carbon resistor wires. You need an new wire type wire. Seldom does a machine go from not using oil to using, I think the plug is just fouling due to poor spark. Lets hope so anyway. :)