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  1. #1
    New Member john15nlt's Avatar
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    Default 1973 Ford 4000 w/201 Diesel Engine ... started having issues today

    I made this a little long on purpose, rather than have a bunch of back and forth I thought maybe I could provide as much history as I had so everyone who knows more than me could determine what was important.

    I inherited this tractor from my wife's grandmother, had it about 3 years and for the most part had zero problems. New tires, Hydraulic Cyl repair on the FEL, and one crazy fuel filter problem, but that was the first year I ran it.

    I the past we used this tractor to mow, push down a fence line, and move a little dirt. We probably never have really pushed it more than a couple of hours at a time, and never under a big load. This week I started moving a bunch of dirt to block the flow of water in a ravine, mostly clay, using a 6 shank plow to break up the ground and the FEL to move the the loads about 30-50 feet, I moved about 20 yards yesterday

    Here is the problem, the motor started to have a real jump idle, it was set at 1400 and would jump from 1000-1600 randomly without cause, not load based, not any reason I could reproduce. As I was moving the dirt into the ravine I hit soft spot the the tractor shifted to an angle that I didn't feel comfortable trying to work my way out of. So I went and got the truck and pulled it back to level ground. When I got it out it wouldn't start, checked the fuel tank (gauge has never worked) and it was not empty but did notice more tank grunge (rust flecks and garbage than normal) So I assumed. 1. The harder work had broken some stuff loose in the tank 2. the angle of the tractor has caused fuel cavitation. So I refilled the tank and bleed the fuel filter, which produced quite a bit of water (which I had not expected since I had just replaced the filter the week before) The tractor did start without much effort but now it appears to have a knock in the rear cylinder, It really sounds bad and there is a noticeable loss in power. There is very little if any blow by (unlike what I have read this tractor never really had the blow by others have described) The cooling system does not appear to have any oil in it nor does the oil have any water in it.

    I first thought was I have some fuel related injector problem, but the sound makes me think I am dealing with an engine issue like a rod or a bearing.

    I am a do it yourself guy plus I don't have the 3k + to have it worked on professionally if its engine.

    How would you proceed.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Jerry/MT's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1973 Ford 4000 w/201 Diesel Engine ... started having issues today

    Quote Originally Posted by john15nlt View Post
    I made this a little long on purpose, rather than have a bunch of back and forth I thought maybe I could provide as much history as I had so everyone who knows more than me could determine what was important.

    I inherited this tractor from my wife's grandmother, had it about 3 years and for the most part had zero problems. New tires, Hydraulic Cyl repair on the FEL, and one crazy fuel filter problem, but that was the first year I ran it.

    I the past we used this tractor to mow, push down a fence line, and move a little dirt. We probably never have really pushed it more than a couple of hours at a time, and never under a big load. This week I started moving a bunch of dirt to block the flow of water in a ravine, mostly clay, using a 6 shank plow to break up the ground and the FEL to move the the loads about 30-50 feet, I moved about 20 yards yesterday

    Here is the problem, the motor started to have a real jump idle, it was set at 1400 and would jump from 1000-1600 randomly without cause, not load based, not any reason I could reproduce. As I was moving the dirt into the ravine I hit soft spot the the tractor shifted to an angle that I didn't feel comfortable trying to work my way out of. So I went and got the truck and pulled it back to level ground. When I got it out it wouldn't start, checked the fuel tank (gauge has never worked) and it was not empty but did notice more tank grunge (rust flecks and garbage than normal) So I assumed. 1. The harder work had broken some stuff loose in the tank 2. the angle of the tractor has caused fuel cavitation. So I refilled the tank and bleed the fuel filter, which produced quite a bit of water (which I had not expected since I had just replaced the filter the week before) The tractor did start without much effort but now it appears to have a knock in the rear cylinder, It really sounds bad and there is a noticeable loss in power. There is very little if any blow by (unlike what I have read this tractor never really had the blow by others have described) The cooling system does not appear to have any oil in it nor does the oil have any water in it.

    I first thought was I have some fuel related injector problem, but the sound makes me think I am dealing with an engine issue like a rod or a bearing.

    I am a do it yourself guy plus I don't have the 3k + to have it worked on professionally if its engine.

    How would you proceed.
    If this were my tractor, given your experience with the fuel system, I look at the injectors and the fuel sysytem first. Per your post, nothing you did should cause a main bearing or a rod bearing to fail and you drained a lot of water out of the fuel system.

    The achilles heel of a diesel is the fuel system. The fuel needs to be kept clean and near water free. Condensation will form in any fuel tank and over time it adds up. In certain climatic conditions bacteria will begin to live at the fuel water interface in the tank and produce a snotty looking growth. This can clog fuel lines and filters. If water makes it through the filter in can ccause problems in the close tolerance parts of injector pump and the injectors themselves. I would clean the tank thoroughly and blow out the fuel lines to and from the filter. Blow out the return to tank line from the injectors to the tank. Fill with fresh fuel or at least filter the existing fuel, replace the filter, and then bleed the fuel delivery system. Start the tractor and see if that helped the situation. If not, on to the next step.

    Find a diesel shop that can check and repair injectors and get a quote from them for a check of all the injectors and if that fits your budget, at the very least have them checked out. They can also give you an estimate for repair or placement if your injector(s) is/are bad. You may also have some damage to the pump since you saw some rpm variation but that could also because by fuel delivery problems. re-install the injectors and see if that cured your problems.

    The last thing to do fuel system wise is to have the injector pump checked out. Contaminated fuel can cause problems with the pump. Same deal as the injectors. Call a shop and have the pump checked and see what a repair will cost. If you have the pump worked on, check out the tractor again with the repaired pump.
    At this point, with new or rebuilt injectors and a rebuilt pump you'll probably be in it for ~$1000 +/-.

    If you stll have a knock then it's time to pull the pan and check it out.

    That's how I would proceed.

  3. #3
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1973 Ford 4000 w/201 Diesel Engine ... started having issues today

    start it.

    use a wrench and crack each injector line.

    if you find one that makes little or less difference.. that is a problem cyl to look at.

    post back

  4. #4
    New Member john15nlt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1973 Ford 4000 w/201 Diesel Engine ... started having issues today

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry/MT View Post
    If this were my tractor, given your experience with the fuel system, I look at the injectors and the fuel sysytem first. Per your post, nothing you did should cause a main bearing or a rod bearing to fail and you drained a lot of water out of the fuel system.

    The achilles heel of a diesel is the fuel system. The fuel needs to be kept clean and near water free. Condensation will form in any fuel tank and over time it adds up. In certain climatic conditions bacteria will begin to live at the fuel water interface in the tank and produce a snotty looking growth. This can clog fuel lines and filters. If water makes it through the filter in can ccause problems in the close tolerance parts of injector pump and the injectors themselves. I would clean the tank thoroughly and blow out the fuel lines to and from the filter. Blow out the return to tank line from the injectors to the tank. Fill with fresh fuel or at least filter the existing fuel, replace the filter, and then bleed the fuel delivery system. Start the tractor and see if that helped the situation. If not, on to the next step.

    Find a diesel shop that can check and repair injectors and get a quote from them for a check of all the injectors and if that fits your budget, at the very least have them checked out. They can also give you an estimate for repair or placement if your injector(s) is/are bad. You may also have some damage to the pump since you saw some rpm variation but that could also because by fuel delivery problems. re-install the injectors and see if that cured your problems.

    The last thing to do fuel system wise is to have the injector pump checked out. Contaminated fuel can cause problems with the pump. Same deal as the injectors. Call a shop and have the pump checked and see what a repair will cost. If you have the pump worked on, check out the tractor again with the repaired pump.
    At this point, with new or rebuilt injectors and a rebuilt pump you'll probably be in it for ~$1000 +/-.

    If you stll have a knock then it's time to pull the pan and check it out.

    That's how I would proceed.
    Update: So I purged the fuel system, cleaned the tank, and got it to start back up, and what I thought was a knock, is still a knock,

    when I listen to it I can run my hand over most of the block and the only place where I can feel it is in the oil pan, my 23 year old son on the other hand does not think its the rear of the block he thinks its at the front of the engine near the fan, but I can find no place its hitting and it doesn't sound that right for that

    this is a sharp clank, I really think this is a rod or something in the lower end, so I guess I am going to drop the pan and see if its full of parts, once I have it down, if the pan is clear whats your next step, mine would be spin the engine and see what I see

  5. #5
    New Member john15nlt's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1973 Ford 4000 w/201 Diesel Engine ... started having issues today

    I am not exactly sure where to crack the line, at the injector pump or the injector.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: 1973 Ford 4000 w/201 Diesel Engine ... started having issues today

    Quote Originally Posted by john15nlt View Post
    I am not exactly sure where to crack the line, at the injector pump or the injector.
    Engine at idle.
    At the pump or at the injector, what is the easiest. Open the nut a few turns, diesel should come out. If the nock goes, then that injector has to be checked. Injectors with a wrong spray pattern might give noise in the engine.
    Because your pump acted up, I would want to be certain it is not the injection system. Maybe dirt has passed the filter.

  7. #7
    Elite Member TomSeller's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by john15nlt View Post
    I am not exactly sure where to crack the line, at the injector pump or the injector.
    I tend to crack them at the highest connection (typically at injector) so I don't introduce air into the line between the pump and the injector. Sometimes that trapped air can provide enough "cushion" that the injector doesn't pop open.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Coyote machine's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1973 Ford 4000 w/201 Diesel Engine ... started having issues today

    If nothing is evident at the injectors or the IP, (injection pump) I'd drop the oil before dropping the pan, into a clean container to see if you have evidence of metal in the drained oil.
    BUT, you mentioned WATER, which is DEATH to injection parts and your moving to steep angle might have gotten some water past the fuel filter into the pump and or injectors OR both. I wouldn't jump to assuming it is rod bearings or the like until you've performed the tests suggested by others and me.
    Not to say you can't have lower end damage, but when I hear of water found I suspect contaminated fuel, and fuel knock can be caused by bad fuel = fuel with water in it.
    Post back your findings- but for sure before starting it again change the fuel filter again.
    Where is the oil level on the dipstick? Does it have a milky color to it or is it normal looking?
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  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Default Re: 1973 Ford 4000 w/201 Diesel Engine ... started having issues today

    ps.. use tools not hands to work around high pressure diesel.

    it's dangerous / lethal under the skin..

  10. #10
    New Member john15nlt's Avatar
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    So cracked the lines today and they all respond the same way so it doesn't look like fuel to me

    Changed the oil and oil didn't have anything In it a magnet could pick up, it seems like it may have some fuel in it

    Pulled the cowling off an degreased engine all looks good, but then I noticed oil forming on the exhaust pipe

    So my guess at this point is I have a ring issue at minim and have oil slipping out and fuel slipping in but still doesn't explain clank so I think I am looking at pistons can this be done without pulling the engine it appears I can pull pan but is there enough clearance once pan is out to get the prisons in and out without pulling the crank shaft

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