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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently purchased a later model Deere 345 Garden tractor. It has the FD611V engine. It was lower houred (540) and was in good cosmetic condition. When I purchased it smoked a bit, but owner said it was because it was sitting for a few days. I did fresh maintenance -oil, filters, etc., when I got home.
After running it for a few hours I am having the following issues. Burning about 1/4 quart of oil and 1/2 quart of coolant over the 3 hours. It smokes on startup, but isn't as noticeable after, but still some smoking. Smoke has a bluish white tint.
Did a compression test and both cylinders are at 120 psi. Did a leakdown test and left (thermostat side) is at 12% and right is near 0%. Left spark plug is cleaner than right. When I did leakdown test on left cylinder, oil came out of dipstick/fill hole.
Question: Would all problems be coming from left side head gasket? Could gasket be blown between cylinder and valve push rods thus causing the oil consumption and the oil coming out when pressurized with air?
I plan on tearing down soon. I am planning to do left side head gasket, as well as, valve cover gaskets and valve seals on both cylinders.
Any help is appreciated.
 

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It certainly could. You might google for the kawasaki fd611v service manual, it should be a free pdf download, to see if the compression psi is decent (hard to know for sure, as it has a compression release mechanism). The service manual will also have all the clearances and torque specs you'll need to do the job right.
 

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No compression release on that engine. Min compression spec is 170 psi.

I think a teardown is in your near future. Once you have it apart, your issues should be pretty obvious.
 

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Should be no coolant loss or oil loss in 3 hours of operation. I think you are on the right path with the left cylinder being suspect. Likely head gasket has an issue, perhaps rings too. However, at 540 hours I wouldn't think rings would be worn to that degree, nor on just one cylinder. Only if it were exposed to some abuse of some kind like an over heat or low oil.

Some coolant getting into the combustion chamber can "steam clean" it as evidenced by your observation about the plug on that side. Same for leak down pressures escaping to the crank case and out the dip stick tube. I'd think the most likely is a breach of the head gasket between combustion chamber and the push rod galley with a weak seal between the combustion chamber and the coolant passages.

This is all a 30,000 foot observation based on what you posted, and I just don't know enough about this particular engine model to know if this is a common problem or not. Hoping others can post specifics.

In any case the symptoms indicate a tear down and inspection of the heads, gaskets and cylinders. My bet is on a failed head gasket. Good luck, sounds like you are just about there on the diagnosis.
 
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Just curious, did you have the throttle in the full position when you did the compression test?
 

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It can alter the reading, so you might redo the test w open throttle and see.

You might test that the thermostat opens/closes in a pot of water (as you heat it on the stove) at about the right temp.
 

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I did not. Would that be the reason I am getting a lower reading?
Possibly. I'm puzzled by the low compression on the right cylinder and the the near zero leak down.

I think pulling the heads will be telling but I would redo the compression before teardown. You have really low hours for worn rings albeit the OP wasn't honest about the engine issues, perhaps not the hours either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Possibly. I'm puzzled by the low compression on the right cylinder and the the near zero leak down.

I think pulling the heads will be telling but I would redo the compression before teardown. You have really low hours for worn rings albeit the OP wasn't honest about the engine issues, perhaps not the hours either.
I was able to get the left (thermostat side) pulled today. I'm not sure if I am able to see where it would have been leaking... I attached some pictures, maybe someone is able to tell me if they see evidence.
There was some oil in the cylinder, wondering if that is normal?
I also attached a pic of the valve spring keepers. They aren't the ones that are talked about in the manual. Do I spread the clip and pop it off the valve stem?
Any thoughts or help is appreciated.
 

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I don't see a smoking gun so to speak. Not sure about the oil in the cylinder.

I think you may have a cracked head and need to closely examine it for a crack. I read that the thermostat side head of this family of engines is prone to cracking. Not sure if it was the FD590v, FD611V, or both. Perhaps @Sergeant can provide some context/history.

I don't know what the manual said about the retainers/keepers but the keepers will come out of you set the head, piston side down, with a rag balled up to support the valve, and depress the retainer (outer ring). A magnetic might be helpful to snag the keepers.
 

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I do not think you should see liquid oil in the cylinder. After launching a keeper into never-neverland, I made a tool from a flat steel bar that I had laying around. I cut a "U" shape at one end to provide room to clear the keepers. I also drilled a hole in it, so I could use the valve cover bolt as a fulcrum. It worked much better than trying to push the springs by hand while trying to get the keepers back in place. You have the head off, so Denverguy's advice about using the rag is great, but I used the hose from my leakdown tester to apply ~30 psi to stop the valve from pushing into the cylinder.
 

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If 170psi is the minimum spec and you have 120psi (and there is no compression release), then I'd say that the oil screams that you need new rings. Be sure to measure the cylinder for out of round etc - new rings will be minimal value if the cylinders aren't in good condition.

On the coolant, the only thing I might see is the dark spot on the headgasket between the water passage and the pushrod chamber.


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