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Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions

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02-09-2019 05:44:30

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I am new to this forum and have found a lot of good info. I'm looking for some opinions/ answers about my 3400 backhoe. Somehow, fresh water, (I assume rain) is getting into crankcase...not coolant. Last winter, I wasn't thinking and started tractor to clear some snow. I'm guessing the water was frozen or just that amount of water in the oil caused it to lose oil pressure and seize. I've read the posts about getting pan off, best case, seized a main or rod bearing without damage to crank, Prob dreaming. While I am a certified mechanic and repair rebuild is not a problem, I just don't have the equipment to be lifting, or moving the front bucket, or engine. I'm considering selling as is but have no idea what its worth, while its worn and used, all hydros worked when it quit running. Of course a buyer would only have my word on that. Or, what is the possibility that I could repair it in frame by just dropping oil pan? I have finished the pond I used it to dig so I really would be better to have a smaller tractor with 3pt hitch for grading and gardening. Backhoe would prob just sit even if I did get it running.
I hope this post is allowed, I am not advertising as this is not for sale. If not allowed, please remove and accept my apology. Any opinions on my best course of action with this tractor would be appreciated. Thanks

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02-18-2019 08:56:33

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to gbuchholz, 02-09-2019 05:44:30  
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Adding gas to the tractor today, and couldn't help but to notice how the breather is positioned. Apparently Ford wants the breather vent positioned upwards, it is marked "Top". I can really see how a driving rainstorm could dump a lot of water into the valve cover. I have rotated mine so the "Top" mark is now at the 9 O'clock position. [img]


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02-18-2019 18:15:44

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to fredstev, 02-18-2019 08:56:33  
It was raining a bit yesterday so I opened hood. Water was running between fuel tank and hood, running down wiring harness and starting to puddle around valve cover.
Waiting for a heavier rain to see how much water puddles up.

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02-09-2019 11:04:41

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to gbuchholz, 02-09-2019 05:44:30  
We had a RT crane with a 6BT Cummins in it and it kept having water in sump after heavy rains. Tracked it down to the rocker cover gasket. A heavy rain would run in and puddle enough on the head to get in through the defective gasket. Resealed it and the problem went away. So I believe you guys, there are more ways than through the exhaust water can get in.

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02-09-2019 11:57:01

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to Jim.ME, 02-09-2019 11:04:41  
That is what I suspect with this one. The rocker cover has been seeping some oil and oil doesnt just sit against the inside of the gasket, its just slinging around off the rockers amd draining down. Water puddling up on the outside could easily seep through a bad gasket.

I guess I need to either bite the bullet and tear this thing down or sell/trade it as is.

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02-09-2019 10:22:16

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to gbuchholz, 02-09-2019 05:44:30  
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We're probably both crazy, messing with these 50 some year old Fords, but they serve my needs well. Everyone else has moved on to the 4WD compacts, right? I think you might be on to something on funneling off the hood, it'd run off the gas tank, and may end up somewhere in the vicinity of the breather. Anyone curious enough to try a test with a fan and garden hose?

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02-09-2019 09:41:01

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to gbuchholz, 02-09-2019 05:44:30  
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I had something similar to this happen to me a few years ago. 871 tractor, always lives in the barn unless in use. We hauled it over to my son's new house and used it for leveling the yard and spreading black dirt. It sat outside for a while, has vertical exhaust with a cover plus he threw a tin can over it. Had a driving rain, about 2 1/2" in 4 hours. Ended up with a quart of water in the sump and a blown head gasket. The guilty party was apparently the breather on the valve cover. When I pulled the valve cover off, there was water in every recess in the top of the head. No, I don't fully understand why/how either.

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02-09-2019 09:46:09

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to fredstev, 02-09-2019 09:41:01  
Well, that either proves 1 of 2 things.
1. I'm not crazy. Or
2. We are both crazy.
We do get very heavy rain here often, sometimes several inches at a time. I figure its got to be pudding up and running in or funneling off hood into a breather or something.

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02-09-2019 06:57:19

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to gbuchholz, 02-09-2019 05:44:30  
It would be almost impossible to get rain water down into the basement without passing through the top of the cylinders first and working its way down, seizing the pistons to the cylinder walls in the process.

How are you so sure it's rain water and not coolant? If you're not sure, then I'm gonna suspect that you have a pinhole or rusthole in the block, which is going to require a whole lot more work than dropping the pan.

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02-09-2019 07:18:07

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to Bern, 02-09-2019 06:57:19  
The tractor sat for a couple month's. Noticed oil level real high. I pulled the drain plug and crystal clear water came out. Looked like drinking water. I changed oil, put blacklight dye in coolant, which is a good mix, bright green. Used it for several hours and oil still clean. I put pressure tester on radiator, didnt leak down in a weeks time. Still, no sign of coolant in oil. Then it sat several months outside, pulled drain plug and maybe 2 quarts of crystal clear water again. No dye, no coolant, radiator still full. This happened several times. If we got a lot of rain, a lot of water in pan, if no rain, no water in pan.
If I put a tarp over it, no water. Strange, I know. But I can guarantee it is not coolant. I always cover exhaust so not getting through there.

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02-09-2019 08:40:08

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to gbuchholz, 02-09-2019 07:18:07  
So, if I understand you correctly...the coolant level never goes down, and you don't have the problem if the machine is covered with a tarp, and you always have the exhaust covered when it's parked without the tarp, correct?

Short of leaving the oil filler cap off and the hood off in a torrential downpour, I don't understand how this is even possible.

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02-09-2019 09:32:27

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 Re: Ford 3400 backhoe Qustions in reply to Bern, 02-09-2019 08:40:08  
That is correct. Yeah, it sounds crazy.
Ive seen plenty of engines with cracked heads, head gaskets blown and when coolant gets in the oil, coolant drains out, not clear water.
I havent messed with this since it seized. I just pulled dipstick and clear water came out dipstick hole.. Thats how much water gets in it. Not coolant. radiator still full of bright green coolant. We get a lot of rain here in Virginia. Maybe if I decide to tear it down, I'll be able to see where the water is getting in.

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