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D17/D19 heads (diesel)

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04-29-2002 19:50:30

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In my search of a replacement for my old Ford diesel, I stumbled upon the AC D17 & D19 diesels. It wasn't until I started looking for one that I realized these are sometimes sought by collectors. In my case the tractor will be used frequently, if not every day. My question is this: I've always used diesels (Fords or Masseys) and when looking for a 55-65 HP tractor I looked at the AC's and naturally assumed that the diesel versions of the D17 or D19 were the ones to get. (The newer versions were too pricey for my budget.) After speaking to two retired AC personnel, both stated that the D17 gas engine is a much better and reliable engine that the diesel. They both mentioned that the heads on the D17 & D19 are prone to cracking--they even said "it's not a question of if, but when". They also said that the gas D17 "is twice the tractor as the diesel". Is this true? Is it a given that if I buy either a D17 or a D19 diesel, I may as well start stocking spare heads? Is there anything else I should know about these engines?

Seems I should reconsider my devotion to diesels and buy the gas model D17. (It's also half the price from what I've seen for sale.) I heard the D19 gas was really a gas hog, so I would avoid that one anyway. But maybe the D17 gas is the way to go for a working tractor.

Any feedback or advice would be appreciated.


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Ryan - IN

04-30-2002 13:20:35

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 Re: D17/D19 heads (diesel) in reply to kevin, 04-29-2002 19:50:30  
I have a '58 D17 gas, and my brother has a '59. . both are great tractors. about 54hp stock, but overbore sleeve kits, a AC 175 gov spring and cam, and you can really get a lot more power out of the engine.

Many of the cracks seen in heads are because people didn't allow the Diesel to cool before shutting down. Do a pressure test, if it doesn't leak, don't worry about it. Common with AC heads from what I have read & seen.

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