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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi Everyone,

First, huge thanks to duwem for all the texts and advice he's been giving me!

I finally decided to post up on the forum with my project. I bought a 655 a few years ago, and it never seemed to have enough power. I had read the 655's were a bit of a dog, but I liked the size and what it could do. It was fine for the most part, but still struggled more than I liked, even simply mowing the lawn. I did need to rebuild the engine as soon as I bought it so I went 20-over on the pistons. I now have 26.8 hours on the engine and figured it was about time to give it a little more pep. I didn't want to destroy the reliability so I'm only going for 3-5 psi of boost, just a bit to get around 18-20HP.

This is how it started:

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I took a lot of pictures as I was tearing it down, but I apparently don't have one of the complete engine bay fully assembled so this will have to do. The air cleaner mounts sideways across the valve cover. Search Google:

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I bought a VZ21 turbo off ebay for $130. Its an RHB3 knockoff. I'm slightly nervous about the quality in that I don't want it to shred and take out my rebuilt engine, but I apparently its a risk I'm willing to take. I am relocating the battery to a 'weight box' up front to clear room for the turbo. I want the machine to look stock from the outside but getting rid of the battery was the only way to fit the turbo without a massive headache, and besides, a weight box of front doesn't look out of place and will complement the 160 lbs of weight I already had up there. I guess I do have a pic with the air cleaner:

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The hinge will be flipped the other way.

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Since the turbo wouldn't be right off the manifold, I was worried about the tubing holding all that weight so I made a pass-thru bracket to mount the turbo and piping to for a little extra support:

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With the turbo mocked up, I got to work on fabbing the exhaust piping. Lots of pie cuts:

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I mocked up where the air cleaner would go (moving up about 3 inches) and got to work on more plumbing (and a more pie cuts):

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Once I had this all done, I needed to do some testing :)

This video is just the turbo hooked up and not touching the fuel":

John Deere 655 Turbo Diesel Tractor - YouTube

And this is after I adjusted the fuel:


And this is where the project currently stands! More to come!
 

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That is awesome :good2::good2:

I especially like how the black smoke roles like an old school diesel when throttled up. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Looking good buddy. Here is mine in the 332. Same engine as 655
 

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Thats awesome! My only question is, is it supposed to smoke like that?
 

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:bigthumb: i like it a lot:lol: now please finish it off the right way---to me that includes stacks--no tractor should be humiliated by not having a stack-right:laugh:
 

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Interesting project! Did you get your engine rebuild parts from Deere? I procured a short block about ten years ago and back then rebuild parts were “scarce”.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

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Discussion Starter #9 (Edited)
Thats awesome! My only question is, is it supposed to smoke like that?
In a way, yes it is. The fuel needs to be turned up in order to accommodate the extra airflow from turbo. It smokes like that since the turbo isn't spooled up and providing that extra air when it revs so quickly. If I were to bring the RPM's up slowly, it wouldn't smoke (also why the pulling guys slowly ramp up the revs in order to get the turbo spooled before dumping so much fuel in it kills the machine, or worse).



Interesting project! Did you get your engine rebuild parts from Deere? I procured a short block about ten years ago and back then rebuild parts were “scarce”.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
I bought many of my parts from Thermo By Products. They are a ThermoKing dealer. Yanmar actually makes a lot of engines for reefers as well, one of which was the 366. 366/3TN66, you get the point. Not all the parts cross, but the main components I needed did, aside from pistons. TBP used to offer kits with the option of .010, .020, and .030 -over pistons. I ordered .030-over, but got a call a day later stating they no longer carried those kits and only had the STD piston size. We worked out a deal where I'd buy a kit, minus piston heads and rings. Forgot the cost. I do remember that I then had to source pistons and rings from Deere, which cost more than the kit (something like $143/piston, and they only offered 0.020-over!!!).



I appreciate all the comments! I'm not leaning towards stacks since I want the machine to look stock from the outside. Not trying to make some sleeper tractor or something, I just want the stock look and not need to have more exhaust noise coming up top and back at me.
 

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Awesome build! I love custom turbo jobs. :thumbup1gif:

Once everything is squared away you HAVE to put that 655 on a PTO dyno to see how much HP you gained, I bet at least 5-10 hp.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Finally got some time and mocked everything up the way that I thought I wanted it to be. I wanted to test everything before getting it prettied up and painting parts and all. Well, I’m a little disappointed. With all the plumbing on there I am having a rather noticeable difference from before. I figured there would be a small decrease in performance with all the plumbing, but this is more drastic than anticipated. When stomping the go pedal, the most I can muster is about 3.5 psi, and only for a brief moment at that. I tried a few different things like pulling the air cleaner cap and such without a big difference in performance.

I’m pretty sure it’s the plumbing causing the power change from before, but I the tractor started really hard when I first tried today. I also noticed air bubbles coming from a fuel line and my fuel filter fuel level is down towards the bottom 1/5th, which is obviously abnormal, so I do think I have a small fuel seal leak. I also noticed it wasn’t smoking as much this time either so I’m certain this is a contributor, but not the main reason for the power limitation.

All that being said, it’s still a power boost from where I started. I was hoping for around 4-5 psi of boost, so I’m a little disappointed, but I’m not done tweaking yet and I may still be able to achieve that goal. I’ll keep everyone updated as I get more work done.

I may post a video later. We’ll see.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Good news and bad news day.

Bad news, I've had oil coming from the compressor outlet. Backstory is that when I got the turbo, first thing I checked was shaft-play, which there was a small amount (for those not familiar with turbo's ANY amount is too much). Anyway, the small amount turned into a larger amount and the brass bushing is obviously passing oil. Not good, the least of which is oil loss, greatest of which is the potential for a runaway diesel. I had noticed this a couple weeks back and emailed the ebay seller and they sent me another turbocharger. I have the other one here and it also shows about the same amount of play as the previous one, so I don't have much hope, but I'll swap it out and see what happens. Since its a close there is a small chance I can rebuild it using quality parts, but I'm guessing its more likely that this is just poor manufacturing from a cheap turbocharger company and I'm S.O.L. Lesson learned, and I'm calling it now, but I bet I end up with a brand-name IHI turbo...

Good news!!!

Everyone likes the good news. Weird how that works...anyway I had a buddy stop over and we hooked the tractor up to my truck to figure out just how high we could get it to boost. I fixed the fueling issue and cranked it up just a bit more. At peak I hit about 8.5 PSI (and it was sustained)!!! Now, I'm really happy about getting boost, but its a little more than I expected. This was a pretty extreme test so I'm not worried about hitting this number on a regular basis, but it still makes me wonder what component is going to fail first :hornets:

I didn't hear the lovely turbo spooling and whine with the air cleaner piping fully installed, which is a little bit of a disappointment, but when I know I'm getting 8 PSI, at least I know its working :)

Last thing, I had it in 4wd for the first couple tests and I had one rear and one front wheel turning. I pressed the diff lock for the last couple tests and I suddenly had true 4wd with all the tires turning. As far as I know and can track, there is absolutely nothing that locks in the front and the rear of this tractor, but that is what I witnessed. I'm chalking this up to just an anomaly with the conditions, unless someone can prove me otherwise?
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Needed to mow the lawn so quickly buttoned things up for the rest of this season. I’m planning on a mild restore in the coming year, so long as it doesn’t blow up before then. I’m exceptionally happy with how things turned out in terms of the performance gains!!!
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Can anyone tell me what my water and EGT should stay at/under when I'm running this thing? Also, does anyone have any more watchouts to keep an eye on before I may have other issues?
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well I finally tracked down an auxiliary hydraulic kit, and added the power beyond for future remotes! Parts came from a compact tractor salvage yard in Penn. and I think they came off a 755 and 855 to piece it all together. It was a mess of lines, but I got it figured out. Aside from the plug, all the parts for the power beyond were sourced outside of JD. it’s really easy to do and I’d be happy to answer questions. All new seals on the lines and for the rockshaft(what a difference that makes!). I plan on adding tilt and trim for my 3PH and another pair of remotes for rear attachments using the power beyond.
 

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