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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
ok, so here's my situation. i've recently finished fixing up my 59 ford 881, but now that i'm running it more, i'm finding more issues. when i first got it, it sat outside in the cold for 5 weeks, and i started it on the first cranking after several revolutions of the engine. after sitting in my garage for several months while i fixed it, it starts much harder. the first three or four times i started it after working on it, it would start on the third cranking of 10 or 20 seconds each, and it would start fine when warm. then, it wouldn't start unless i used ether, and won't start when warm unless i used ether. i figured it was old fuel. drained the old fuel, filled it with new fuel, started it (started hard of course because of the remaining fuel in injector pump and lines), ran it for a while, killed it, immediately tried to start it, and it wouldn't. let it cool for a while and charged the batteries and it started again.

the second issue is the quantity of oil it burns. when i was testing the new diesel fuel, it was slightly overfilled with oil (15w-40) and reading 40 PSI. after about 3 hours of running it was at 10 PSI and at the "add" line on the dipstick. it also has blue smoke.

the third issue is that i saw puddles of oil collecting on the intake manifold, and oil leaking down the block.

am i right in my thinking that the oil burning indicates bad compression, which can cause hard starting? possibly a bad head gasket because of the leaking oil and bad rings? i know the previous owner used ether on it, but i don't know how much or how often.

i'd much rather spend a significant amount of time and money taking the FEL off and taking apart the engine than have an unreliable pile of steel taking up space in my garage...

any thoughts?

thanks guys,

tmm
 

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Are you idling the engine all this time you are running it? If so that is a great deal of your problem. Diesels DO NOT like to idle for extended times, up against the governor is where a diesel is happiest. The oil on the manifold and on the side of your block could very well be unburned diesel if you are idling it.
 

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The oil on the intake manifold is probably from the breather on the valve cover, which would indicate excessive blow-by. This will also contribute to your hard starting. Sounds like disassembly is in order.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
the last few times i've ran the tractor, i rarely had it idled, so i doubt it's slobbering. the fluid puddling on the manifold was thick and dark, too, not thin and clear like diesel.

rscurtis, isn't the breather on the rocker cover on the right or "passenger" side of the engine? the manifold is on the left.

tmm
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
go figure, started it today, it started within 2 seconds, but wouldn't restart when warm. also burned oil down from above the full line to 3/4 full in about 20 minutes. i'm thinking though, when i first changed the oil, it was full and dark black. the way it is now, it burns it too fast to even turn dark. is it possible for the rings to stick a bit or something if it sits for a couple months?

tmm
 

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You may have a couple of problems going on here. That "oil running down the block" could easily be a leak somewhere around the top of the engine. Doesn't take much of a leak to add up to quite a bit of oil on the ground. You might want to find where the oil is coming from and figure out just how much is running out prior to deciding it's being consumed internally in the engine.

Second problem is the hard starting. Have you had the injectors and pump checked on this tractor? If you feel the oil leak is sufficient to justify the consumption you may want to check the compression and, if it's reasonable, go thru the injectors and pump.

Mike
 

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Not sure of the answer to your question. But, if you can lower the oil level that much in a few minutes, I would remove the VC and make sure the oil is able to drain from the head back to the pan. Almost sounds like it's flooding the valve guides.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
hmm. you both have a good point. it's hard to see with the manifolds in the way, but i'm pretty sure the oil is leaking from the rocker cover. the head gasket seems relatively dry. i do think it is burning oil in some quantity, though, because it smokes blue and the smoke doesn't really smell like diesel.

curtis, what is the VC (valve cover maybe?) ? you have an interesting idea, because it seems to me, if it's flooding the valve guides, wouldn't some oil leak from the rocker cover?

i haven't done anything with the injectors or pump, because i can't really access them that easily with the FEL and would involve more disassembly than i felt like doing at the time. however, i might eventually take off the FEL to go through the engine if i have to.

tmm
 

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I've been accused of abbreviating too much. VC is valve cover, and if oil is not draining from the head that would aggravate a VC leak.
 

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Not sure of the answer to your question. But, if you can lower the oil level that much in a few minutes, I would remove the VC and make sure the oil is able to drain from the head back to the pan. Almost sounds like it's flooding the valve guides.
That's a darn good point. I saw this once on a old Ford Y block engine. Cleaned out the oil returns and the oil smoke and consumption went away.

Good thing to remember.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That's a darn good point. I saw this once on a old Ford Y block engine. Cleaned out the oil returns and the oil smoke and consumption went away.
looking at my service manual, the oil returns are just the bores that the pushrods go through, right? so i guess that would require some degree of disassembly. just the valve cover maybe or something more? i'd have to take the loader, tank, etc. off, but i could pull the injectors at the same time, which probably need servicing.

tmm
 

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There is another downside I didn't think of initially. If this engine has enough blow by, that may keep the oil from draining even though the pushrod holes may be open.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
what, from excess pressure in the crankcase?

i tried putting marvel mystery oil in the crankcase the other day. ran it a while, then stopped for the day, refilled the oil with more MMO and some regular oil. next day i started and ran it hard-ish for about 45 minutes clearing land with the FEL until i blew up a hydraulic line on the loader. got back to the shop, killed it. tried restarting it, wouldn't start. but, i checked the oil and it doesn't seem like it burned a drop. still smoked pretty well though.

i'm thinking i'll try throwing some snake-oil products at it to see if it does anything, and eventually i'll probably do some more serious engine work on it.

tmm
 
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