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Discussion Starter #1
I am beginning an in-frame rebuild of my 4230. I have a kit I purchased from Abilene Machine. I would like to avoid pitfalls and I would like to not take anything apart that I will regret later. If there are words of wisdom I would be grateful.

As my first step I took a few photos of what it looked like when it was together correctly as I've run into that "Oh crap" situation before when faced with a bunch of wires and vacuum hoses that don't appear to belong anywhere. I'd rather not have any spare parts.

so far I have removed the batteries, drained the oil and antifreeze, removed the fan shroud, intake and exhaust manifolds, alternator and brackets, and water lines from the water pump to the cab.

A big question is whether I should remove the injector pump to keep it safe and out of the way.

thank you for any insights. As the name implies I am bound to need help.
 

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I would start by watching onelonleyfarmer's series on his 4010 rebuild. Probably very similar. Another person to look out for is Western Truck and Tractor Repair on YT. Look around on his channel, and if you can't find anything helpful, just ask him on email. He knows his stuff so he should be of help.

Also, TxJim here on GTT has probably done a few of those I would imagine. Hopefully he'll be here soon.
 
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John
I haven't personally performed any piston/liner R&R but back in the day I have supervised more than I can remember when I served as a dealer service manager. There are no vacuum hoses that I remember BUT one needs to get lining sealing ring grooves very clean before installing sealing rings. Have cylinder head checked & valve & seats ground by a competent machine shop that knows how high the valve seats need to protrude out of head for good cool engine starting.
 

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This is just me, but it depends on what you mean by "rebuild". For instance, you can't remove a crankshaft without separating the engine from the transmission. If I was going through the trouble of that much tear down, I'd probably want to use oversized bearings and send the crank out to be ground to size.

Also I'm not a big fan of doing precision work (like measuring ring or bearing clearances) while laying on my back or straddling the radiator.

Take it out, put the engine on a stand and do it right the first time.

JMHO. YMMV. LSMFT.

Al
 

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There's been many/many tractor & truck engines that have had "in frame" pistons/liners/crankshaft brgs replaced that have then been operated many/many hours afterward. Putting a tractor engine on an engine stand is a fairly time intensive endeavor not to mention very costly if done by a dealer. To each their own ideas.
 

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WHile I agree the most desirable method of engine overhaul is out of frame, but mainly for cleanliness reasons. there is inevitably sludge build up in bottom of block that runs down over the crank when liners are removed. For customers wanting in frame overhaul, I put tape over rod journals on crank before removing sleeves to prevent grit from getting into lube holes in crank journal. Then I push the tractor outside and pressure wash the block out with tape still in place. clean block bores, cylinder head gasket surface , tap out head bolt holes and clean liner oring grooves before washing block again and blowing dry. That way crank is kept relatively clean. Main bearings can be replaced by rolling them around the crank. Crankshafts in John Deere engines are amazingly durable and show little to no wear after many thousands of hours of use if quality oil is kept in it and changed regularly. New bearings usually get bearing clearance in spec without grinding of crank, Of course if crank is worn then out of frame overhaul is a must if you want the job to last.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Just thought I'd update.
The head is off and in the shop to be rebuilt. I was surprised it will cost me more to have the head done than the engine kit. I had to put things on hold while i borrowed a transmission jack to hold the oil pan while i take the bolts out. Figured I could live without dropping it on my head.

So far I thought the cylinders looked in good shape. I almost expected to see a piston with a hole in it. I'll grab some pictures once I get the pan off and pistons removed. I didn't notice anything worn on the head but I only got a cursory look and really don't know how to judge anyway.

Looking forward to hopefully getting everything removed and rolling it out of the shop to pressure wash it and then start moving forward
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
I can see why the JD last 50+ years

The piston and sleeves are out. At least when I put the engine back together I shouldn't have to constantly dripped on. Yikes I consider myself strong but it took everything I had to loosen the connecting for bolts. The crank looks pristine, well oiled.
Now to give the old girl a good bath. Shame I. Waited until January in sd
 

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Discussion Starter #12 (Edited)
Just how bad can valve seats get

Got a call from the machine shop working on the head. After telling me it would cost me $1200+ instead of just over $1000 to have the head rebuilt the guy mentioned that the exhaust valve seats were off by 100/1000 and the intake seats by 65/1000.
I hope I said that correct (guides versus seats) but he asked if this had been a hard starter. What an understatement. I'd watch others turn the key and in just a few cranks their tractors would be off to the races. Mine at times needed either in the summer if I had been working it for any length of time. In the best of cases it would crank for a minute or more before it popped off.

January 2019 in western SD in an unheated workshop is not the best place and time to be doing your first in-frame rebuild of a diesel motor. But I bet I will never forget my experience :)
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I would like advice.
1) What is the best way to prep the block on top to get ready to put the head on. I am somewhat Leary about scratching the surface, damaging it with a scraper.
2) Just want to be sure. Is it always the choice to replace the main bearings on the crank during a rebuild like this?
 

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I would like advice.
1) What is the best way to prep the block on top to get ready to put the head on. I am somewhat Leary about scratching the surface, damaging it with a scraper.
2) Just want to be sure. Is it always the choice to replace the main bearings on the crank during a rebuild like this?
A scraper isn't going cause relevant damage unless it is hardened and you're using an air hammer! The gasket will take care of minor imperfections like scratches. It will NOT take care of a warped head, though. There are also these. I've never used one but they look like they would be perfect for removing old gasket material.

IMO, and it is just that, if the bearings appear undamaged and the clearances are within spec (use Plastigauge or similar to check), there is more potential for failure in replacing them than leaving them alone. Especially since you didn't remove the crankshaft.

Al
 

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I addition to cleaning the block surface, be sure to clean out the bolt holes. Run a 9/16" - 18 tap in each one to clean them out and blow them out. Be sure bolts are cleaned and oiled if not replacing them. Use SAE 30 oil for lubing the bolts.
 

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I addition to cleaning the block surface, be sure to clean out the bolt holes. Run a 9/16" - 18 tap in each one to clean them out and blow them out. Be sure bolts are cleaned and oiled if not replacing them. Use SAE 30 oil for lubing the bolts.
... but don't go crazy on oil. A few drops on the threads is fine.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
What can you say about assumption

OK, so here it is March 2019 and I am still not done. I ran into a few assumption issues

1) I assumed that the tractor hadn't been rebuilt. I was wrong. I purchased my rebuild kit in the Std size. When I put the rod bearings in and snugged up the cap bolts I was surprised to find play. I went to the trash bin and pulled out the old bearing and sure enough Part# R-44926 (.010). So much for a smooth ride after that. I had to call JD and order another correct set and now I'll wait.

2) I also assumed that since I bought a complete in-frame kit that my pistons would come with connecting rods. I never paid attention to which cap came from which connecting rod. to make matters worse I never paid attention to which piston/sleeve came out of which cylinder.. SO now not only do I have caps mixed up but so are the connecting rods. I am fairly well screwed if there is a bunch of difference between the individual clearances.

I was feeling really good about getting the sleeves installed and since I didn't have bolts to hold down the sleeves in case I had to rotate the engine to tighten the cap screws I plopped the head on IMG_0052.jpg IMG_0045.jpg IMG_0047.jpg IMG_0049.jpg
 

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Hard to hit the LIKE button, but still interesting to read about your overhaul.
 

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The connecting rods and the caps should have numbers on them 1 - 6. It won't really matter if you have incorrect rod in incorrect cylinder, but it is absolutely necessary to have cap match the rod. It is almost guaranteed bearing will fail if correct cap is not on correct rod. Be sure to get that right! Numbers are close to each other on rod and cap near the bolt on lowest part of rod. I added picture with area circled where the numbers should be.
 

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