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Harry Ferguson Tractors Discussion Forum

Head Gasket? More Diagnosis, or Just Do It?

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Tom in MO

02-11-2013 18:22:22

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Ferguson TO-20, starts and runs good.

No water in oil, and no oil in water. (No loss of coolant, and nothing extra in the crankcase, either.)

No white smoke from the exhaust.

BUT: 1. I checked the radiator to make sure thermostat was opening, and noticed a few bubbles in the radiator.

2. A couple of times, I"ve noticed a very small, intermitttent, external coolant leak on the left side of the head gasket, between cylinder 1 and 2. (Just a few drops.)

I know from reading on the forum that it"s probably a head gasket. (I also know it could be a cracked head or a cracked block.)


1. Should I just go ahead and replace the head gasket? (And of course, check the head and block for cracks.) Or forget it, and run it until something bad happens?

2. Would a compression check tell me anything I don"t already know?

3. Would it be worth trying any of the leak-stopping products? (My local auto parts store likes K-Seal.)


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02-11-2013 19:41:36

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 Re: Head Gasket? More Diagnosis, or Just Do It? in reply to Tom in MO, 02-11-2013 18:22:22  
take a double boxed end wrench. Preferably a short one. One end fits head bolt. Put a allen wrench or piece of hex stock thru other end of wernch. Put torque wrench with socket on allen wrench.
Pretest the set up to allow for sdjustemnt of torque reading.

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02-11-2013 19:25:02

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 Re: Head Gasket? More Diagnosis, or Just Do It? in reply to Tom in MO, 02-11-2013 18:22:22  
Doesn;t sounf too awfully bad. If it is something u can live with then just live with it.
2 tractors recommendation to retorque the head is an excellent idea in any case.

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Tom in MO

02-11-2013 19:34:37

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 Re: Head Gasket? More Diagnosis, or Just Do It? in reply to PackardV8, 02-11-2013 19:25:02  
I can live with it, Packard. I just wanted to make sure wasn"t doing any harm.

And, 2Tractors, I noticed that getting a socket on the head bolts would be a problem. Is removing the gas tank the easiest way to reach them?

Thanks for your help.

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02-11-2013 18:33:00

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 Re: Head Gasket? More Diagnosis, or Just Do It? in reply to Tom in MO, 02-11-2013 18:22:22  
I'd at least do a compression check to see if there is a drop at 1 and 2 from the other 2.The head gasket is an easy fix to replace but i'd try a re-torque. The tricky part is the bolts along the left side where the socket won't fit.

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Jason S.

02-12-2013 05:55:26

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 Re: Head Gasket? More Diagnosis, or Just Do It? in reply to 2tractors, 02-11-2013 18:33:00  
I always used an 11/16 crow foot on my torque wrench for those. I turn the crow foot until it is turned to a 90 degree angle to the handle of the torque wrench. Supposedly having the crow foot at a 90 degree will keep the extra leverage playing into the torque readings.Thats what I always read anyway.

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Tom in MO

02-12-2013 06:26:57

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 Re: Head Gasket? More Diagnosis, or Just Do It? in reply to Jason S., 02-12-2013 05:55:26  
Thanks, Packard and Jason.

I"ll probably just get a crowfoot and a torque wrench (I don"t have either one), since I"ll need them one way or another.

Packard: IF I had a double box-end wrench and an Allen wrench/hex stock that would work, I"d sure give your "homemade crowfoot" a try!

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