445 Issues after cam gear replacement
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Thread: 445 Issues after cam gear replacement

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    Darrinp10's Avatar
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    445 Issues after cam gear replacement

    Hello all! First time poster here, I have a JD 445 and I am just finishing up the plastic camshaft gear replacement with a steel one . Thanks to everyone’s input on threads on this site it’s gone pretty smooth until trying to start it. I ended up replacing the head gaskets as part of this because I dropped a valve into the cylinder when trying to replace the valve springs (oops). I have it all pretty much together now and I hooked up the battery and turned it over a few times to check for spark and that cylinders were moving, everything checked out. I buttoned it all up which included topping off the oil and coolant, then I went to start it, and nothing would turn over, it would only "click" but not turn over. I pulled out the left plug and coolant started pouring out! I pulled the right plug, and same thing full of coolant. I drained the oil and there was not any coolant in it (Still looks like new oil, not milky) and I drained the radiator (coolant looks fine). I checked all the hoses and everything appears hooked up correctly. So I added some water back into the radiator and it flows out of the right side plug almost as soon and as fast as I can pour it in the radiator, I put the plug back in the right side and the flow of coolant comes out the left side spark plug hole. The flow is fast enough that it seems its coming faster than what would come through a gasket that was seated poorly, or through a small imperfection in the head where the gasket hits. Maybe I have warped heads but didn't notice?

    I'm looking for suggestions on where I go from here, is this for sure a head gasket problem and I am pulling the heads again? Am I overlooking something simple? Any suggestions you may have are appreciated.

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    Randog's Avatar
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    Take a close look at the intake manifold gaskets.

    When I did my cam back in 1999, I had the gasket cocked and bolted it together. Did the same thing your seeing.

    The coolant leaks into the air intake passage and fills the cylinder via the intake valve.

    Not the easiest intake to get torqued up evenly.

    Note the cooling passages next to the intake ports.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Darrinp10 View Post
    Hello all! First time poster here, I have a JD 445 and I am just finishing up the plastic camshaft gear replacement with a steel one . Thanks to everyone’s input on threads on this site it’s gone pretty smooth until trying to start it. I ended up replacing the head gaskets as part of this because I dropped a valve into the cylinder when trying to replace the valve springs (oops).

    I have it all pretty much together now and I hooked up the battery and turned it over a few times to check for spark and that cylinders were moving, everything checked out. I buttoned it all up which included topping off the oil and coolant, then I went to start it, and nothing would turn over, it would only "click" but not turn over.

    I pulled out the left plug and coolant started pouring out! I pulled the right plug, and same thing full of coolant. I drained the oil and there was not any coolant in it (Still looks like new oil, not milky) and I drained the radiator (coolant looks fine). I checked all the hoses and everything appears hooked up correctly.

    So I added some water back into the radiator and it flows out of the right side plug almost as soon and as fast as I can pour it in the radiator, I put the plug back in the right side and the flow of coolant comes out the left side spark plug hole.

    The flow is fast enough that it seems its coming faster than what would come through a gasket that was seated poorly, or through a small imperfection in the head where the gasket hits. Maybe I have warped heads but didn't notice?

    I'm looking for suggestions on where I go from here, is this for sure a head gasket problem and I am pulling the heads again? Am I overlooking something simple? Any suggestions you may have are appreciated.
    Your problem is likely very simple. You should be able to tell where the coolant went into the intake runners which is where the two are next to one another as Randog mentioned. Start there, that's likely your issue.

    Also, don't over think the problem. Start with the basic and simple. The stuff which you had apart and put back together is where the issue lies, almost certainly. Such issues don't surface if they weren't there before you tore the engine down and clearly it wasn't with that volume of coolant in the cylinders.

    I would start by checking the intake gaskets and make sure they are the correct gaskets and they are installed in the correct position. Most likely, the gasket is allowing the coolant to flow directly into the intake runner. When you are getting that much coolant into the cylinder, usually something is not assembled correctly.

    Any chance you forgot to install the new intake gaskets?

    I would assume you are using new gaskets in the re-assembly of the engine. That's most likely where the issue lies with either the orientation of the gasket or the fact it's the wrong gaskets.

    You could also have the head gaskets improperly installed but that's much less likely due to the head bolt pattern.

    There are few places where the coolant can escape the coolant passages and get directly into the cylinder. And it must be a noticeable mis match on the surfaces to allow the coolant to flow that quickly. I bet the gaskets are either wrong or installed backwards or upside down, etc. It sounds like whatever error occurred on the re-assembly, it's consistent on both sides of the engine. This limits the possible causes even more.

    If the intake gaskets are mating up correctly and not allowing the coolant to cross over from the coolant chambers to the intake runner (check this very carefully as this is likely the issue), then I would remove the cylinder heads. If you remove the cylinder heads, Make sure to check the heads (it's easy now verses later, that's for sure) by laying them on a flat piece of glass or some other known perfectly flat surface.

    Just note, It's very unlikely the heads were "warped" before and you didn't have an issue with performance, oil and coolant leaks, etc.

    The heads should lie flat on the known smooth surface and not have any "wobble" or tip to them. Once you have them on a known smooth surface, touch each corner of the head and make sure it doesn't have any movement on the flat surface. I doubt you have an issue with the heads being warped.

    It's clearly something in the re-assembly process and is often / usually gasket related. Unless you had coolant loses into the cylinder before the cam shaft replacement, the likely hood of a cracked block or head is extremely remote and would have almost certainly had to have been an issue before you tore the engine down. The heads usually warp from excessive heat or poor assembly and won't have warped from simply being disassembled.

    As you are assembling the engine, With the spark plugs removed, you should be able to rotate the engine by turning the crankshaft with either a long handled ratchet or similar with the crank shaft pulley. This way, you can watch the rocker arms open and close the valves and make sure the camshaft is closing the valves in the compression stroke as it should be.

    (You may want to jack the rear wheels of the tractor off the ground or at a minimum, make sure the "neutral rod" on the rear hydro is positioned to allow the tractor to be rolled. This results in both the directional valves on the hydro pump being depressed at the same time, effectively bypassing the hydro functions)


    Obviously, the timing of the valve train and the engines pistons positions are critical. Even if that were not set correctly due to a timing issue between the crank and cam shafts, the cylinders would not fill with coolant. But by rotating the engine with the spark plugs removed once you have the engine assembled to the point where you would fill the coolant (don't forget to also refill the oil.....) you should see any coolant coming out of the spark plug holes if the issue hasn't been resolved.

    It's something simple like that which is causing your problem and likely both sides share the same issue. Pull the heads and double check everything only if you can't repair the coolant leak into the cylinder with the intake assembly. Only use gasket sealer as called for in the technical service manual which is never with the cylinder heads and unlikely with the intake gaskets other than enough to assure the gaskets position is correct during assembly or whatever the Technical Service Manual calls for.

    Please make sure to post a follow up and even photo's of what you find and how you resolve your issue. That makes the thread helpful for others in the future plus it helps other avoid the same issue. Good luck.....
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    Darrinp10's Avatar
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    One of the gaskets was upside down as you mention! Getting it all back together now! (Fingers crossed this is the only hold up!)
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    Glad to see it was something simple.
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    Good deal!

    Just check that oil after a minute or 2 of running.

    I had some coolant sneak past the piston ring and it milked up the oil.

    Still miss my old 445. She was a tough old girl.
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    Update...got the intake manifold back on and torqed (52in/lb if I recall correctly). Filled it with coolant and it didn't leak out the plugs any more! I added about a half quart of oil, and let it drain straight out, hoping it would catch any water that might be in the crank case, and it did drain out with some water. I filled the oil up all the way and turned her over a few times without the plugs in to try and shoot out the remaining coolant in the combustion chambers. Installed the plugs and I think I should have put a bit of oil in through the plug holes before that to help lube the cylinders, but forgot to do that. Went ahead and tried to start it and it turned over but wouldn't start, kept trying it, added some carb cleaner through the intake, still nothing! Messed with it for probably 15 mins and wouldn't start. Pulled the plugs and the right one was still a bit wet so I dried it out more by stuffing a paper towel in there (compressed air might have been better in hind sight...) Tried starting again and after a few more minutes it finally sputtered and coughed a bunch but it started! After about 30 seconds all kinds of smoke came out of the muffler from that coolant burning off. I let it run about 10 mins and added a bit more coolant, and checked the oil, which is very milky now like randog mentioned (I guess that should be expected with the amount of coolant that ran into the heads and likely into the crank case). I let it run about 20 minutes total. I plan to pick up more oil and filter tomorrow so I can run it and let it heat up real good again and drain out that milky oil! Hopefully I don't have to replace the oil over and over again to get rid of the bad stuff and all the water. It seems like its idling a bit differently (higher RPM) and the governor needs some adjustment, but I think I will wait until I have the mower deck back on to mess with it too much because that is when I will have the most. Any more comments on anything else I need to do is appreciated.
    DRobinson, Jeff R. and Mike265 like this.

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    In the 60's it wasn't uncommon for people, mostly kids, to pull an intake manifold, change a carburetor, cam shaft, etc.. I was working at an AMOCO station nights and on a slow night I put my Mustang in an empty bay, pulled the intake manifold, and dumped at least a quart of water into the crank case.

    I was sure I had destroyed the engine until the station owner came in, saw what was happening and gave me the best advice I've had to date. He had me drain the oil and overfill the crankcase with KEROSENE. After filling he had me pull the coil wire and spin the engine until the battery was almost dead. He had me do that two (2) more times and after the third time all of the water had been flushed. I never had a problem after that and was very grateful for his tip.
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