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Show Parts for Model:

Loss of compression

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Greg in SC

07-07-2014 17:48:47

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I noticed while bush hogging today that I did not have the power I was used to. Engine revs up just fine but stalls under heavy load. After I stopped, I pulled the plugs and did a finger compression test. Three cylinders blew my finger out of the hole but one barely puffed. The engine starts and I hear no slapping or clanging noise. I am guessing a broken compression ring. I did notice a little more than usual white smoke but still not enough to be a mosquito killer machine. I plan on trailering the tractor home tomorrow. What other possibilities are there for this symptom. Should I check something else prior to pulling the head? This is a front mount distributor 8N.

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Greg in SC

07-12-2014 13:44:38

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 Re: Loss of compression in reply to Royse, 07-07-2014 17:48:47  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

Removed head today after cleaning tractor. Valves move but head gasket was breached. I drained coolant prior to removing head and I found coolant in #3 cylinder even though #2 was the one with no compression. I cleaned head and deck. I placed head back on block and it had a slight wobble. I laid a straight edge on the head and could see some light thru the middle section of the head. I did the same to be block but did not detect any problem. I am leaning toward trying a new gasket without getting the head shaved. If I lay the head on the block, it wobbles if you press down diagonally on one direction but not diagonally in the other direction. It does not wobble if pressed down straight down the middle from front to back. I did see a slight nick on top of #2 valve. If I can get someone to take photos I will post. The tops of all valves have Ford logo, making me think there never has been any recent valve work done on this tractor.

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07-08-2014 16:28:34

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 Re: Loss of compression in reply to Greg in SC, 07-07-2014 17:48:47  
ditto what zane said. verify valves moving..

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Greg in SC

07-07-2014 19:32:33

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 Re: Loss of compression in reply to L.B,, 07-07-2014 17:48:47  
OK I will look at that tomorrow. If the head gasket has an internal failure (I saw no external leaks) with a breach from the water jacket to the cylinder, shouldn't it suck water into the cylinder during the power stroke (both valves closed)? If there is a water passage into the cylinder, I should be able to crank s few cycles and swab inside the spark plug hole to test for moisture, correct? I know I will have to remove the head no matter what the problem is - I just want to go slow and check things before I do that.

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Ultradog MN

07-08-2014 00:42:05

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 Re: Loss of compression in reply to Greg in SC, 07-07-2014 19:32:33  
Yes you could do that though it's a bit of extra monkeying around.
Another way to check would be to fill the radiator real close to the top and look inside for bubbles when it's running.
A real bad head gasket leak will blow a lot of water out of the radiator.

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Colin King

07-07-2014 18:59:31

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 Re: Loss of compression in reply to Greg in SC, 07-07-2014 17:48:47  
I think Ultradog has you pointed in the right direction. You shouldn't be seeing any white smoke. That you do could indicated had a failing head gasket but didn't know it.

Colin, MN

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Greg in SC

07-07-2014 18:56:56

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 Re: Loss of compression in reply to Royse, 07-07-2014 17:48:47  
I had the hood off and with the spark plug out and using a flashlight I can see one valve opening and closing. Is this the exhaust or intake valve?

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07-07-2014 18:47:06

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 Re: Loss of compression in reply to Greg in SC, 07-07-2014 17:48:47  
I would pull the side valve inspection plate/s and see if one of the valves is stuck. I have also seen cases where the valve seat has come loose and holding the valve open. Most likely an exhaust valve as if it were an intake it would cause it to be very hard to start and really run bad.


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07-07-2014 18:39:26

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 Re: Loss of compression in reply to Greg in SC, 07-07-2014 17:48:47  
Just a compression ring failing would NOT affect it popping your finger off of the plug hole.

(ASSUMING the side of the piston and the other two rings aren"t "toast", as well.

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Ultradog MN

07-07-2014 18:27:32

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 Re: Loss of compression in reply to Greg in SC, 07-07-2014 17:48:47  
White smoke is usually indicative of burning water/antifreeze.
You quite likely blew your head gasket.
Pretty easy fix on those flatties though.

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