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Expert advise Please!

Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:54 pm

I recently found a 1974 Farmall cub ( Which i bought), very good appearence good tires and all of the cultivators and Belly Mower in great shape included. I wasn't paying as much attention to the important stuff. So I get it home it runs good but I find that it has a lot of blow-back in the crank case, very low oil pressure and some water is getting in the oil. OMG where do I start. I would greatly appreciate you guidence.... Thanks in advance.

Re: Expert advise Please!

Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:06 pm

Sounds like a case of the "glitters". It happens to everyone now and then.
Unfortunately, you are going to have to do a little investigation to see how bad the engine is. Blow-by and low oil pressure indicate worn engine components. And water in the oil indicates most likely a bad head gasket or worse.
If you did not have water in the oil I'd say dump some Seafoam in it and run it a while to see if things improved.
I recommend you run a compression test first but I believe a complete tear-down and rebuild are probably in order. You can check bearing clearances by dropping the oil pan. If the main and rod bearings are worn I'd just go ahead and do a rebuild or look for a replacement engine.

Re: Expert advise Please!

Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:19 pm

Drain the coolant down below the head gasket - or just drain. Then compression test - already mentioned.

If this were mine - I would pull the engine then do a complete rebuild. Gonna cost some money. But, you will have an engine that should last another 50 years.

Re: Expert advise Please!

Mon Dec 05, 2011 4:25 pm

Well, not much good to tell you, but there are some things to check. To start off, if it is really running good, the maintenance issues below may just be the problem. Take you time and go through the following.

Are you certain water is getting into the oil from the coolant system? If it sat for a while, it may just be condensation. If the oil was not changed in along time, it could be a milky sludge buildup (again from condensation). Fill the radiator and check to see that it holds, and/or if there is oil in the radiator. If there is oil, and/or the water level in the radiator goes down, you've got a cracked head, blown head gasket, or cracked block.

Also, are you sure it's water in the oil? Could it be hydraulic fluid from the touch control unit? The answer is yes, it's a common problem. Check your touch control unit for fluid level.

Low oil pressure could be multiple things, not necessarily connected to the above. Again old oil or sludge in the system could cause low oil pressure. Often the oil pump pickup screen is plugged with sludge, especially if the tractor sat for a long time or did not have frequent oil changes. The oil filter could be plugged too. The gauge could be bad. Most tractors show low oil pressure at idle, which comes up at full rpm, that's normal.

Blow back could be from a cracked block, however, in these tractors it's commonly caused by stuck or worn piston rings. These tractors often sit for too long and/or are idled around all of the time causing ring problems. Many folks here (including myself) swear by the use of SeaFoam in the crank case and in the fuel for treatment of stuck / carboned up rings. However, this is kind of a last step if you've determined that the block and head are ok. If they're cracked, SeaFoam won't do much to help.

Notice a theme here? Some of what you have described could just be because of lack of maintenance by the previous owner. If it were me, I think I'd do the following:

1. fill the radiator and check for oil in the radiator. (if there's oil, you've likely got a cracked block or head or head gasket problem)
2. check for radiator leaks (make sure it's not just running out on the ground).
3. check the existing oil level
4. check & top off touch control fluid level
5. run a little to see if coolant level drops or if touch control level drops.
You should be able to tell from this drill if anything is getting into the crankcase that shouldn't be. If you've gotten this far and the coolant isn't getting in, and the hydraulic fluid isn't getting in, it's likely condensation buildup.
6. drop the oil pan and clean out sludge from pan and oil pickup screen.
7. remove and replace oil filter, treat new oil with SeaFoam (also remember to change the oil in the air filter)
8. run with SeaFoam to see if blowby settles down and oil pressure comes back.

I'm sure others will chime in but these are my thoughts.
Keep us posted and keep asking questions. You'll get through it.

Re: Expert advise Please!

Mon Dec 05, 2011 7:15 pm

I agree but caution not to fill right up to the very top of the radiator for as the water expands som will leak out the overflow. Fill to just above the tubes in the top tank

Re: Expert advise Please!

Thu Dec 08, 2011 8:56 pm

Thanks for all of the information. So far I have seen the water level drop in the radiator and the emulsion in the fill tube is still there after several hrs. of running. The oil is not totaly milky but it's not clear either. I suppose i need to do a compression check and pull the head, hopefully I will see something obvious. I'm open for anymore recomendations.

Re: Expert advise Please!

Thu Dec 08, 2011 9:07 pm

alh942 wrote: I suppose i need to do a compression check and pull the head,

I'd do the compression check, but hold off on pullung the head until you have exhausted all other avenues. If you pull the head and end up breaking head bolts, then you're gonna have more problems. Do all the other checks the guys have mentioned. You may get lucky and cure it without taking the head off.

Re: Expert advise Please!

Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:31 am

Finally got a compression gauge and did a test last night. #1. 110 #2. 100 #3. 110 #4. 110 the test was done with all 4 spark plugs out and engine cold. The only thing I haven't done yet is to get some HyTran and top off the TC and see what happens, I cant really tell what the level is in the TC all I see is cast iron when i look in there. I am 100% sure that I lost some of my water in the radiator and from the looks of things it showed up in the crank case. The oil level did not increase but the dip tube is kind of white and pastie. The guy I bought the tractor from claims he changed the oil 3 times in 1 years which sounded kind of strange to me. From the looks of the engine it has not been tore down cause it still has original paint on nuts and bolts. Should I drop the pan check the pickup and change the filter and oil at this point? Well at least I have another tractor a 1973 cub but it's not as pretty and the engine is sound. Thanks for the input.

Re: Expert advise Please!

Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:31 am

Compression readings - good/excellent.

I wouldn't take any drastic action at this point. If you have oil pressure I wouldn't drop the pan. I would change the engine oil and oil filter. Check the drained oil for signs of coolant. Clean up the oil filter housing. Start and run engine for a while. Cover part of the radiator to bring the engine operating temperature to 200 degrees (just less than boiling) and hold that temperature for 30 minutes or so.

Thinking condensation - white pastie stuff resulting from seldom used engine - not fully warmed up. It's pretty difficult for coolant to leak into the crankcase - about the only way is the head gasket and past the piston rings.

Hytran - remove plug - pinky finger to see if it touches the oil. If not fill, 1/4 cup at a time, until the hydraulic oil drips out the opening.

Coolant level fluxuates with the engine temperature. Should be just above the tubes in the radiator. If you are loosing coolant check the hoses and gaskets at the upper and lower water manifolds.

Re: Expert advise Please!

Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:50 am

Everything Eugene said. Just take your time. Make sure when you change the oil fiter that you drain the oil from the filter area the plug at the bottom. Clean it out good. Good luck.

Re: Expert advise Please!

Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:51 am

To get an accurate reading on the t/c fluid, make sure the rockshaft arms are rotated back so the t/c cylinder rod is retracted. If you're unsure which way that is just look under the hood and watch the cylinder rod work back and forth. If its not retracted youll get a false reading and youll overfill things. This step is usually missed when checking levels on hydraulic equipment.

Re: Expert advise Please!

Tue Dec 13, 2011 11:59 am

thanks rick, i was not aware of that aspect of t/c fluid check, never considered the position of the arm . i hope all is well and good luck in your new endevors :wink: . coppersmythe...........................

Re: Expert advise Please!

Tue Dec 13, 2011 3:44 pm


That is a tip Rick clued me in on a couple weeks ago. Now that it is in a thread, it is going to be a Cub Tip of the Week ! :D

Re: Expert advise Please!

Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:02 pm

I checked my level with the arms retracted and the box its full so I guess I'm good, thanks

Re: Expert advise Please!

Mon Dec 19, 2011 1:59 am

Update: Well I believe the water in oil system has dissipated, thanks to all of the good pointers from this forum. Now if i can just get the Blow Back and smoking to settle down i will be set. I still have the Sea foam in the crankcase and mixing with the gas. I guess if it don't clear up I can always add a couple of ounces of Malathion to the oil and take care of the skeeters while I plow. Thanks again for all the help. This is one awesome place to hang out.
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