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aharlan001, Here is a choice you have to make...do I spend some more money and time, or just decide to part and sell the items you can on Ebay and call it a routine of experiences.
Here's what I would do, and you don't have to bolt it all back together. If you have the time, make you a flat piece of aluminum or steel...very flat and smooth. Take the head and draw the outline of the head and the head bolt holes on the aluminum or steel and make you a test plate to find where the crack or hole is in the block. You don't have to install the radiator or any hoses, but, you must have one open to insert the air to see where the leak is. You do the same for the head that is off the engine.. same procedure as you do the block. With this procedure, you will e]certainly locate the crack or hole in either block or head. You can order a piece of 1/4" or 3/8" thickness aluminum on Ebay, and just buy you some gasket material from a local automobile store to make the gasket you need between the test plate and head or and block. NOTE: You need to take old head bolts and cut them off to length you need to mount the test plate. And with that you need to order you some new head bolts, as you have probably stressed out the old one removing and re-installing them the many times you have broke down the heads. Should you fine the head is bad, and you must decide to get a new one from Deere, or search Ebay for one, which you again take the draw of luck whether the Ebay one is also bad....trusting some people selling used parts is a risk.

But, what puzzles me, is this coolant/smoke matter occurred after the fire. Heat from a fire don't (shouldn't) destroy a head as they are heat related from the start.

I've went back and re-read all you postings on what you have done, and there is one that concerns me when you said you played with the throttle plate and the governor assembly. In one of my posts I mentioned what could happen when you get the governor arm messed up and when you start the tractor the rpms race up very high like maybe 5000-6000 rpms and that can cause some parts in the engine to break stress, or blow the engine. Lets hope that didn't happen.
 

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Discussion Starter #62
I definitely did no follow the above procedure for gradually removing the head. I did stagger torque on install at maybe 10ft lbs then 15 ft lbs then later 18 flt lbs

I cleaned up both surfaces and installed 3 bolts to finger tight as mentioned above. The .005 will not pass with 3 bolts finger tight and no head gasket. Since I only put in 3 bolts and left 2 empty bolt holes I can get the .005 in just bit enough for it to catch a little... .0025 will go in just a bit but < aprox 1-2 mm. I don't think I have a warped head. Maybe a crack I can't see???

Been There Twice, thanks for the suggestion to test the head and block. This is more than I think I'm up for. The engine never got up to 5000-6000, the fastest I could get it was 3350-3400.

Also forgive me for not being clear, the smoke did not start immediately after the fire but when I messed with the governor linkage a few days later to try to solve the high idle not reaching spec. I did manage to get the RPM up to spec (and not higher) but this is when the smoke started. As a few have hinted at I don't think this was a direct consequence of the fire but just coincidental.
 

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Here is something you can do to verify where the leak may be. Check the area inside the head where the exhaust port is. You may not have a warped head, but, you may have a crack area right at the head side where the water jacket is near the exhaust port, therefore, you are not burning (getting any coolant inside the combustion chamber, but, the leak may be flowing into the exhaust port and the heat from the exhaust is burning the coolant. If you will look closely on the left side of this photo where the water jacket is right below the exhaust, how the water jacket is coated/steam cleaned like coated. That is the highest heat area in the head, and subject to cracking.

 

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Well, that answer one question: your head has some warp, but not really out of spec. Now to find the crack or ?? Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #65
Been There Twice, good idea but I just spent 20 min cleaning and inspecting that area on the mating surface and cleaning to look in the coolant and exhaust passages... no luck.

At this point if it is the block then I'm going to part it out. A new head (especially because I can't guarantee this is the problem) isn't worth the expense since so that is out too. So I have to decide to roll the dice on an eBay head or just try again with the one I have. I feel like if the one on the thermostat side isn't leaking with my prep/install process the one on the oil filter side shouldn't be leaking so profusely if it was just poor surface prep. So with that logic I'm going to get an eBay head and see what happens. If it does not work I'm going to try k-seal. If that does not work I'm going to part it out. If anyone has any other easy ideas or things to check I'm all ears.

If it was the thermostat cause as mentioned above wouldn't that cause failure on the thermostat side not the opposite side?

I have looked into radiator and cylinder pressure testers and I'm not sure they are worth the expense but certainly a good idea. If I thought I would need in the future I might go for it but I'm hoping I never have need for such a thing EVER again. Plus from what I understand to do the cylinder tester I would need to put the head back on... something I plan on only doing one more time.

Lastly someone asked what the oil looked like, I took a bit from the drain plug and I have to admit it looks a little lighter in color than I was expecting. I'd like to think this is due to the oil stabilizer since It has a similar color.
 

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The oil you have shown here appears to have coolant mixed, but, I don't see any separation parts as water (coolant) and oil don't mix. I've never had the opportunity to view "coolant and oil" mixture, and cannot give you a accurate thought here. However, I know what water and oil mixture looks like....dirty milk colored it will appear.
 

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Ok, here's the final say... if you intend to apply some more money in the motor... go get you some... one of the items I have listed....Bar's Leak 111 Head gasket Fix, Blue Devil Head Gasket Sealer, or Head Seal Blown Gasket repair and coat both sides of the head gasket and bolt it down to specs. Note: Must re-torque head bolts after few hours running. BTW: How does the head gasket look you have removed from the head... did it remove without any damage or separation?
Here's another thing you can do. Remove the thermostat and plug the orifice (hole) with the same size thread... it might be 1/8" metric. You want to see if the engine will not heat up to full temp. and may not leak the coolant into the exhaust post.
 

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Take a good look at your intake manifold and head mating surfaces. Make sure they are flat. Coolant runs through there. But more than likely if that was leaking coolant would come out both cylinders. Do not forget to torque those bolts.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
Ok so good news and bad news. I got the 345 back together today with a new head gasket. No improvement in the smoking. I also tried some K-seal but it does not seem to be circulating. I am going to troubleshoot it with the k-seal a little more tomorrow to see if it improves but I have my doubts. Good news is I picked up a 20HP 850 hour 345 (cracked hood, roached seat, and leaking valve covers) for 400$ only 30 min away from my home this morning. I'm going to swap over my hood/seat/valve cover gaskets and commence with parting out my 18HP 345 unless something changes in the meantime.
 
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