New to me Jinma 254.. crankcase breather hose?

   #1  

Mr4btTahoe

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Jinma 254
Hey alls..

So I just picked up an older Jinma 254 from a neighbor. He used it all the time for basic dirt moving, etc. but had picked up an 8n Ford to restore. Now that he has the 8n up and running, he put this one up for sale.

I checked it out.. no major leaks.. no odd noises. Electrical system (gauges, lights) are all a mess. Starts easy and runs smooth. Paid the man (4800) and drove it home. (Prices for running diesel 4x4 tractors in the 20-30hp range are 10k+ in my neck of the woods)

Now one thing I've noticed which he pointed out was that there is a consistent vapor coming from the bottom of the crank case breather. It's very visible but doesn't seem to have any real pressure behind it. He said it's been that way since he bought it and he never had an issue with it. On the bottom of the breather ("Respirator") canister, there is a round nipple that looks to be for a hose (where the vapor is coming from). Is there a hose that is supposed to connect to this port? I've searched all morning but can't find any pictures of the crankcase breather in place and hooked up.

If not, I believe I'm going to connect a hose to it and route it back to the air box. I'm not overly concerned about it as I won't be relying heavily on the unit.. it'll just be moving some dirt, logs, etc. around the property from time to time. I was borrowing my old boss's "Tractor King 254" twice a year for a week or so at a time. I know my way around the 254 pretty well as I replaced the clutch in his as well as maintained it for him for letting me use it.

I also discovered after I got it home that the 4wd doesn't work. I lifted the front tires off the ground.. can spin the tires (which the opposite tire rotates as well and doesn't make any odd noises) with the 4wd shifter engaged. I'm going to pull the front drive shaft first and make sure the check balls are in place and the drive shaft isn't damaged.

Anyways... if anyone has pictures of how the breather is supposed to be setup, I'd appreciate it.
 
   #2  

piper184

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Central, ND
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Jinma 284
Is it the Y385 engine? What year? As EPA rules reached down into the tractor market things changed from year to year, sometimes mid-year. Documentation is minimal. on my 2006 Y385 there is a breather can with metal filter on the right side of the engine block. The tube between the block and the filter can is both a vapor tube and a return drain for any trapped oil. The oil filler cap has a pipe nipple on it and a short piece of clear hose goes from there to the intake air tube to provide some kind of positive crankcase ventilation. I think in later years this was not good enough for the EPA so they had to do a bunch of other things to get the import approval. Earlier years probably didn't have the tube on the filler cap but most likely had the block breather.

Can you post a picture of your breather?

If the front axle drive shaft is engaged but not turning, rotating the tires forces them to go in opposite directions. The idea of a covered drive shaft is nice but sometimes it sure helps to be able to see it. You are right, the balls are a known weak point and that is where I would start looking. Also take a close look at the 4WD lever where it is pinned to the shaft that goes through the housing. Those roll pins have a habit of shearing and letting the lever move without actually rotating the shaft.
 
  
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Mr4btTahoe

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Looks to be a Y385. Has a canister on the right side of the block as you describe and it hazes pretty heavily out of the open port on the bottom. It also has a line from the oil fill cap back to the intake. That line could be bent or plugged. Haven't looked into much on it yet. I just know that my boss's 254 which has the KM385 doesn't do any of that but I don't believe it has an open breather either. I'm sure the engine has a fair bit of blow by but considering how it runs, it doesn't bother me too much. Just want to keep it from looking like it's on fire while in use. Lol. I'll check the vent tube from the oil fill cap and such.

Mine also has a screw in dip stick which is different from the boss's 254. It's a pain to get to and nearly wont come out without hitting everything that's in the way.

The 4wd shift lever does seem to move the shaft inside the case as to get it to move, sometimes I have to put it in gear and ease out on the clutch slightly and it'll drop in. It's as if there is a disconnect between the t-case and the front diff. I'm thinking it has either broken the output on the t-case, lost the drive balls on the drive shaft.. or broken the input to the front diff. The first and last option I figure would make noise while in motion and this doesn't. Acts like it's in 2wd with no changes. I'll still check the roll pin though.
 
  
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Mr4btTahoe

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Got home and looked at things a bit closer. It definitely has some blow by. The breather puffs with the firing of cylinders. No exhaust haze and throttle response/power seems fine... so I believe I'm going to recirculate the breather back to the intake and not stress about it.

Might go back out to the shop later tonight and tinker a bit. We'll see.
 
   #5  

piper184

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Jinma 284
Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on things.

My engine parts book does not show the breather assy. There should be a wing nut on top so you can take out the metal mesh and clean it. Maybe the mesh is plugged and is not condensing out the oil like it should. Maybe it doesn't have the mesh in it at all. If there is a lot of blow by there might be some deposits in the intake, something else to look for. I can post a picture of mine if you would like.

A screw in dipstick would definitely seal better than the one with a rubber stopper type seal like I have. It is a pain to get out too, but not as bad as you describe.

My money is on the drive balls as they are known to "fall out" from time to time. I've been lucky so far and I use 4WD quite a lot. The gears and axles are quite robust if somewhat crudely made. I think you would either have a true defect or a really abused situation to break something inside. From what I understand, re-installing the balls is not too hard as long as they are not worn or missing. Hopefully someone who has actually done it can give you more info. It is usually the clutch pedal roll pin that lets go and causes issues. I have not heard of it on the 4WD lever but if someone didn't know to slip the clutch a little and pulled too hard it could happen. In any case the problem seems downstream of the engage lever/fork/gear.

Did you get the manuals with the tractor? The online parts catalogs at Affordable and Circle G are actually better than the printed ones that came with tractor. I have posted several documents including a bunch of stuff that came from sources other than the factory. Harnerfarm Jinma 284 Feel free to save and print anything you find there. I don't have everything posted so if you don't see something, ask, I might have it.
 
   #6  

piper184

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Jinma 284
Blow by because of worn rings has only one solution. But if it is caused by stuck rings there may be a "snake oil cure" that works for you. I used to get a product called Essenta-Lube by Hydrotex that did good things to carbon deposits and varnished fuel systems. Don't know if it is still available or not. It was always expensive but a little went a long way and has saved me more in carb kits and such than it costs. YMMV. Marvel Mystery Oil, Sea Foam and other such products may be helpful as well.
One other thing I found with old technology aircraft engines is that some engines just don't like some oils. I had a Lycoming one time that threw overboard and/or burned oil at a rate just shy of the acceptable limit. An old mechanic said to change brands of oil. Didn't matter what I was using, just use something else. I tried it and it worked! Didn't stop oil consumption, but put it way down at the bottom of the range. I don't think any of those engines didn't use some oil. They were designed in the 1930's. Probably about the time our tractor engines were designed. :)
 
  
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Mr4btTahoe

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I've already printed out a few of their diagrams. A good resource for sure.

I'm sure this engine is on the loose side. Once I get a few things buttoned up, I'll put it through its paces and see how oil consumption is. It doesn't appear to be burning any oil at the moment but we'll see once it gets put under a load for a few hours.

Its supposed to rain the next few days so ill have time to clean up the electrical mess and hopefully get the gauges working. I'll also check valve adjustment and reroute the breather for the time being.

Thanks for the input.
 
  
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Mr4btTahoe

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A little update...

I've noticed an odd issue. After starting the tractor and letting it run for any length of time.. no matter if its 30 seconds or 30 minutes... when I shut it down, the cooling system gurgles. After the engine comes to a stop... a few seconds go by and then it sounds like a quick burst of pressure is entering the cooling system. It does this at least twice on every shutdown.

I'm kinda thinking it may have a head gasket issue.

None of the gauges worked as the wiring was butchered and the gauges themselves were damaged. I just installed a cheap set of mechanical gauges to see what its doing.

A head gasket issue could also explain the excessive blow by.

Hmm...
 
   #9  

piper184

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Good move on the mechanical gauges. The Chinese electrical stuff is marginal even when new. No idea about how accurate any of it is, although if working it is at least a reference point. All wires are undersized and all brass connectors are poor quality. But we didn't pay fancy paint color prices either. :)

The strange noise is indeed interesting, especially since it happens before the coolant gets to temp. Maybe a pump problem? I think your thought about a head gasket is probably the most likely.

Depending on where you live you may be able to get oil and coolant samples anylized. Most Caterpillar dealers have this service. The way it works is you pay the fee up front and they give you a bottle, instructions, a label and a mailer bottle. Take your samples and drop them in the mail. A few days later you get the results by mail or email. They can check for cross contamination and tell you if there is oil in the coolant or the other way around as well as the standard test for viscosity, coolant protection package quality, etc. I'm not sure if other brands offer the same type services or not but there are probably places you can order from online too. Might save you some time and $$ if you really don't need to take it apart.

The only other cause of the noise I can thing of is a cracked head or block. If coolant gets into the combustion chamber it will cause it to smoke white, oil makes bluish smoke but if exhaust gasses are getting into the coolant, the only indication that I know of is a coolant analysis or seeing bubbles in the coolant when running. Wouldn't clear hoses be a cool feature?

I once saw an oil analysis catch excessive dirt in the rear engine on a scraper. Tracked it down to a broken clamp on the intake hose after the air filter. Saving an overhaul on that engine paid for all the samples taken for several years. Routine sampling is a little spendy for the average retail tractor user but it does have it's place for diagnostic work.
 
   #10  

fidowanttobe

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Mandan ND
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Jinma 284 2007 Massey Harris 44 Special
I replaced my driveshaft balls with 3/8 "pins" from Fastenal. Worked perfectly. They were the same shape as a tiny Tylenol pill. I believe they are line up pins.
Good luck with your Jinma. I love mine.
 
 
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