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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I recently bought a John Deere 2030 from a local in my area for 950$. Now all that I knew is that it was was used heavily and the motor is seized pretty good. I've now had the tractor for about 3 months and I've slowly been working on it piece by piece on a 0$ budget and let me tell you it's a big project. The first thing i did was put a good battery in it and try to start it, with no response other than a clicking noise from the starter so it is seized for sure. The next thing I did was remove the hood, and body panels to see what i was working with, about 30 years of built up oil, dirt, grease, and birds nests which i was expecting other than that every thing was there. So I remove the starter and proceeded to put, what i refer to as a "beaver tail bar" but is similar to a crow bar with a flat end, on the flywheel gear and tried to pry both directions but the motor was not moving at all so with that out of the way I check the oil and notice water leaked from the dip stick hole when i removed it which explains the motor being locked up. So what I think is that someone left the exhaust uncovered for years while it was sitting outside but no big deal I can deal with that Right? Well maybe. I removed the cylinder head by detaching all connections, removing the head bolts, and using strength to lift the cylinder head from the motor which I believe is a John Deere 4.219 4 cylinder gasoline motor which i assume is hard to find parts for since it is gasoline and not diesel. Upon removing the cylinder head I was met with a gush of water and coolant mix which poured out for a good 30 seconds as if it were pressurized which raised red flags for me because if there is that much water then the motor could be a loss but I'm no expert. So I knew I had to drain the oils to get an idea of what the internals were looking like so I remove the drain plug for the oil and it was 90% water and 10% oil, at this point I regretted buying this tractor but I fell in love with the look, and history of it. So I moved the tractor into a larger shop space that I had and filled all 4 cylinders with engine oil and PB blaster And it was about this time i noticed all 4 pistons were at the same level in the cylinders half way through the compression stroke, like i said im no expert but I don't think that's normal. After letting the oil sit and soak the sleeves and pistons I tried the beaver tail bar on the flywheel teeth again with the same result so i thought the only solution was to get the motor out and by itself to free it up. After splitting the tractor into 3 sections (1.front wheels and fuel tank, 2.engine and 3. Rear wheels and transmission) I put the motor on boards and Jack stands for further evaluation while storing the other sections until i needed them. So my question is, where do I go from here the tractor is gonna need rewiring, New gauges and probably some other odds and ends. Is it worth it? Should i keep working on it or sell the parts?
 

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Your answer to keep or scrap is really dependent on your desires. What you are facing with the engine is a daunting task. That is a wet sleeve lined gasoline engine. When the liner seals fail they fill the cylinders and crankcase with coolant. Sometimes damaging the crankshaft and connecting rods along the way.

The major downside to repair is the condition of the block. If it is rusted at the cylinder seal surfaces it will not be salvageable. John Deere was still selling both complete engines and short blocks the last time I checked.

If you restore or replace the engine, they take diligent attention to proper coolant maintenance and head bolt torque or you will be repeating the failure.

The bottom line, in my opinion, is that particular tractor was not that durable because of the engine. The coolant of the era was prone to corrosion of the engine, and owner failure to properly maintain them led to failure. However, given the price of a new tractor in the 60 engine horse range, it may well be in your interest to repair.

Spend some time pricing what you need at your local John Deere dealer's parts department before you jump either way.
 

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Once you pull the sump, you will get a better idea of where you are at after looking at the mains and big end journals and general condition of the crank.

As for the pistons being at the same level, that is from the throws on the crankshaft and it is normal for the pistons to be level, this depends on how the crank is sitting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Well I'm not planning on using it for any heavy jobs, my reason for getting it is because I obtained a farmall H a year before the John Deere and really liked having a tractor so when i saw a 60hp tractor for 950 I snatched it up. And it seems like the motor is very unreliable but i think the block and pistons are salvageable so far but I haven't seen the inside of the sleeves because the piston have not been removed but i will post some pictures tonight. Stay tuned and thank you for the help.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Once you pull the sump, you will get a better idea of where you are at after looking at the mains and big end journals and general condition of the crank.

As for the pistons being at the same level, that is from the throws on the crankshaft and it is normal for the pistons to be level, this depends on how the crank is sitting.
Just a beginner question, but what is this sump you are referring to? Thank you for replying to my post
 

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I did some searching and I was looking at rebuild kits and am not sure how to tell the difference between diesel and gasoline kits. Thank you for replying
Sorry mate !!, we call what you call the oil pan a sump housing.

Not to worry though, I read some strange words to me from your side of the pond too.

When you get the "oil pan" off and pull the pistons and rods, you will see the difference in gas pistons as to diesel pistons, vastly different with a diesel engine piston being much longer and heavier built.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Sorry mate !!, we call what you call the oil pan a sump housing.

Not to worry though, I read some strange words to me from your side of the pond too.

When you get the "oil pan" off and pull the pistons and rods, you will see the difference in gas pistons as to diesel pistons, vastly different with a diesel engine piston being much longer and heavier built.

Haha ahh now you're speaking my language haha it works both ways i guess but yeah thats the truth. Thank you for replying
 

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The cylinder liner and piston kits will clearly state whether gasoline or diesel. I recommend taking your tractor serial number and starting with your John Deere dealer for engine parts. Once you know the correct part numbers you can search the net for less expensive alternatives. Beware of Ebay Chinese alternatives!

But before you buy the internal components be absolutely certain the block has not been subjected to freezing weather with water inside, and pull the old cylinder liners (pistons, rods, etc.) and verify the cylinder liner sealing surfaces are not corroded to the point they will no longer seal. I hot tank then magnaflux these old bare blocks before rebuilding.

Do not attempt to use old pistons and wrist pins in the new cylinder liners. Get the full kit and a set of wrist pins and bushings.

Pull the crankshaft and have it inspected for trueness and bearing surface condition. Inspect the connecting rods. If the tractor was attempted to be started with water in the cylinders it bends both the crankshaft and the connecting rods when the pistons hit non-compressible water.

Pull the camshaft and inspect those bearing surfaces and the cam lobes for rust. The surfaces must be mirror smooth, within tolerances, and with no rust tracks. If you have the crankshaft turned to resize the bearing journals discuss it with your JD service manager first. There are mirror finish and blanchard ground options, you want to be sure you have the correct bearing inserts and a good oil pump for either.

Also pull the engine balancer shafts and inspect them for rust damage on the bearing surfaces. Most engines that have water in the oil will have these shafts damaged, and you do not want to rebuild then have one of the balancers fail and ruin the block.

The gasoline and diesel 219.4 cubic inch block castings are the same.

These engines are not one that I recommend seeking replacements from a tractor salvage yard. Most of those have cylinder liner to block leaks, and you will be where you are after the process.

It is absolutely critical you follow the recommended engine head bolt re-torquing procedure once the engine has been reassembled and worked. 99% of the owners did not do that, and the liner seals subsequently fail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The cylinder liner and piston kits will clearly state whether gasoline or diesel. I recommend taking your tractor serial number and starting with your John Deere dealer for engine parts. Once you know the correct part numbers you can search the net for less expensive alternatives. Beware of Ebay Chinese alternatives!

But before you buy the internal components be absolutely certain the block has not been subjected to freezing weather with water inside, and pull the old cylinder liners (pistons, rods, etc.) and verify the cylinder liner sealing surfaces are not corroded to the point they will no longer seal. I hot tank then magnaflux these old bare blocks before rebuilding.

Do not attempt to use old pistons and wrist pins in the new cylinder liners. Get the full kit and a set of wrist pins and bushings.

Pull the crankshaft and have it inspected for trueness and bearing surface condition. Inspect the connecting rods. If the tractor was attempted to be started with water in the cylinders it bends both the crankshaft and the connecting rods when the pistons hit non-compressible water.

Pull the camshaft and inspect those bearing surfaces and the cam lobes for rust. The surfaces must be mirror smooth, within tolerances, and with no rust tracks. If you have the crankshaft turned to resize the bearing journals discuss it with your JD service manager first. There are mirror finish and blanchard ground options, you want to be sure you have the correct bearing inserts and a good oil pump for either.

Also pull the engine balancer shafts and inspect them for rust damage on the bearing surfaces. Most engines that have water in the oil will have these shafts damaged, and you do not want to rebuild then have one of the balancers fail and ruin the block.

The gasoline and diesel 219.4 cubic inch block castings are the same.

These engines are not one that I recommend seeking replacements from a tractor salvage yard. Most of those have cylinder liner to block leaks, and you will be where you are after the process.

It is absolutely critical you follow the recommended engine head bolt re-torquing procedure once the engine has been reassembled and worked. 99% of the owners did not do that, and the liner seals subsequently fail.
Thank you for the advice I know a lot more than I did before.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
The thing that drives me crazy is that the tachometer only reads 432hours and 9 10ths so im not sure if something happened to the internals but we'll see. I can tell by the egg-shaped draw bar hole that the tractor pulled heavy. I think it pulled an 8 foot disk cultivator but you would think that only 432 hours it would look better than it does.
 
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