I had taken the exhaust manifold off to change the gasket and ran the engine. Most of the smoke was coming out of the forward cylinder. The tractor has always smoked heavy when cool or under light load. When working hard the smoke turns from white to dark. When I had the head off this summer I checked the valve seats and they looked pretty good. For that matter when I rolled the engine over the cylinders looked decent as well but the forward cylinder did seem to be a bit more glazed then the other 5. The tractor uses little oil, still makes good power and starts easy.
Sounds like I better just get it over with and order a couple of rebuild kits. I have been limping the beasts for too long. It’s feels daunting to do a big engine when I have only done little 4 cylinder Suzuki engines up till now.
I can remember reading about some old engines that you could drop a piston out the bottom. I even remember a description of this being done in the “Grapes of Wrath” but maybe Steinbeck wrote that part as fiction along with the rest of the book? Haha