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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First time posting here, I’ve learned a lot from this forum when selecting a tractor, and hope to get some advice/feedback for a stupid mistake I made this weekend while driving on a side hill. I tipped my tractor on its side and am looking for advice on the next steps to take. I know there are similar posts, so feel free to link them to me if you know of any that sound like they directly apply.

Anyway, I will list the details and what I’ve done so far.

Tractor: 2012 John Deere 1026r (~500 hours)

I was driving on a hill to get to some trees I had planted and was carrying about 15 gallons of water in a small tank in the loader bucket. The area had some tall grass and small brush, I evidently had the loader too high to get it over the brush, then I drove over a small rock that I couldn’t see, and the machine slowly tipped on its side. It was all slow enough that I was able to just hop off without any harm to myself (but it was also just fast enough that I didn’t get the loader down to the ground to stop the tip).
The machine was on its side for about an hour while I ran up to the house and got my truck to tip it back up. It was laying in a position where the top of the machine was facing downhill.

After getting the machine up, I looked for damage and leaks and did not find much. Cracked on of the lights on the ROPS, and minor scuffs to paint. Some leaking from the fuel cap and a little bit of coolant it appeared.

I then researched what to do next and found that it was best to leave the machine to sit for a while. I left it about 30 hours and came back. I read about removing the glow plugs and cranking the engine to make sure there isn’t oil on top of the cylinders, but the glow plugs appeared to be covered up quite a bit. This might be where I messed up. I read other info about people having no issues starting the machine after leaving it sit, so I attempted to start it.

The engine started up kind of hard, but it went pretty much right away, one slight hesitation. Once started, it blew a lot of black smoke. I limped the tractor very gingerly back to my shed and that is where it sits now. The engine may have had a slight knocking sound as well, but I’m not sure if this was just in my head due to being worried or not.

I attempted to call a dealer this morning but couldn’t get a service person right away. I am wondering, is getting a professional to inspect it the best next step? Is the black smoke just some oils getting burned off? From other research, it sounds like I may have done some internal damage to the engine.. any ideas on what repairs might look like for cost?

Thanks in advance for any input/advice. I hope I included enough details, but would gladly add more if there are specific ones I missed.
 

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If the engine turned over at least 1 or 2 full revolutions without locking up solid before it started (hydrolocked) there was most likely no harm done to it.
Did it seem like the starter was able to crank over the engine without hitting resistance?
 

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If you shut the engine off immediately after the rollover you're likely OK. As AJgrn78 mentioned, if it cranked right over there was probably no hydro lock to any of the cylinders.

At this point you have nothing to loose. Check the oil level and add if necessary. Start and run the engine. Initially at idle and listen closely for any noises. It might take a few minutes for crankcase residue to burn off. Then run the engine at mid-idle ~ 1800 RPM until the exhaust smoke clears up.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I would say there was some resistance. I stood to the side with the hood open and watched the fan as I turned the key. It spun and then did stop for a second and kept going and started up. I let it run just a little bit before creeping it back to the shed. It ran smoothly for the most part but did have sort of a sputter here and there.

The fan stopping is what concerns me a bit, I hope that it didn't lock and just power through it and damage things in the process. I did not throttle it up much as I wasn't sure if I could do further damage.

I should add that I did check all fluid levels and they were where they should be.

The engine shut itself off when it tipped so it didn't run on its side really at all.

I really appreciate the input, I will have to evaluate it a bit more when I am home from work. I was not sure if running it more could do additional damage at this point (if there is any).
 

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Glad you weren't injured.
 

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When everything gets sorted out. It sounds like you may need to add wheel spacers and wheel weights. They have saved me from disaster a few times.

Welcome to GTT!
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
When everything gets sorted out. It sounds like you may need to add wheel spacers and wheel weights. They have saved me from disaster a few times.

Welcome to GTT!
[/QUOTE
Yes I'm thinking so too. I have looked into that a bit but haven't pulled the trigger on anything yet. They are a bit higher on my list of future purchases after my recent "lesson".
 

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I would say there was some resistance. I stood to the side with the hood open and watched the fan as I turned the key. It spun and then did stop for a second and kept going and started up. I let it run just a little bit before creeping it back to the shed. It ran smoothly for the most part but did have sort of a sputter here and there.

The fan stopping is what concerns me a bit, I hope that it didn't lock and just power through it and damage things in the process. I did not throttle it up much as I wasn't sure if I could do further damage.
This would be my take on it, in my personal limited experience with an engine hydro-locking, most often the starter alone isn't strong enough to bend a connecting rod. What usually bends a rod is when a cylinder fires and another cylinder is full of oil/water/gas.
Regardless it's over and done with, an engine "knock" or noise is usually a bad rod bearing or collapsed lifter which neither is likely. To remove any doubt you could do a compression test (requires removing plugs which you tried to avoid :) ) and look for a cylinder with less compression than the others which would indicate a bent rod.
I still think it's most likely fine, even if it hesitated for a second, it must have been very close to top dead center so not likely it bent a rod, in my opinion at least.
 

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Startown, It's ALWAYS safest and best, and I'll repeat ALWAYS, to travel with your bucket as low to the ground as possible... like 2" ! If you think you may have obstacles, mow first...with bucket down! If you do have a stone, the bucket will hit, you can back up, and mow around it. It's another task to perform before you do what yo wanted too, but you'll see where your going and can avoid damage to tractor and, hopefully, damage or death to you! Bob
 

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This is also a lesson with a tipped-over engine to either remove the plugs OR, which you could have done, is before you try starting the engine just turn it over a few times by hand either via the flywheel or a breaker bar on the bolt on the front of the crankshaft.
 

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Welcome from NW SD -- glad you are OK,

rob
 
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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
This would be my take on it, in my personal limited experience with an engine hydro-locking, most often the starter alone isn't strong enough to bend a connecting rod. What usually bends a rod is when a cylinder fires and another cylinder is full of oil/water/gas.
Regardless it's over and done with, an engine "knock" or noise is usually a bad rod bearing or collapsed lifter which neither is likely. To remove any doubt you could do a compression test (requires removing plugs which you tried to avoid :) ) and look for a cylinder with less compression than the others which would indicate a bent rod.
I still think it's most likely fine, even if it hesitated for a second, it must have been very close to top dead center so not likely it bent a rod, in my opinion at least.
AJgrn78, thank you for that input, I will likely look into doing a test at some point. This sort of information is what I was looking for, I don't have any personal experience for what is or is not likely to happen in this sort of situation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Startown, It's ALWAYS safest and best, and I'll repeat ALWAYS, to travel with your bucket as low to the ground as possible... like 2" ! If you think you may have obstacles, mow first...with bucket down! If you do have a stone, the bucket will hit, you can back up, and mow around it. It's another task to perform before you do what yo wanted too, but you'll see where your going and can avoid damage to tractor and, hopefully, damage or death to you! Bob
For sure, I have read up on that and tried to follow that as well but I guess I learned the hard way how important it is.
This is also a lesson with a tipped-over engine to either remove the plugs OR, which you could have done, is before you try starting the engine just turn it over a few times by hand either via the flywheel or a breaker bar on the bolt on the front of the crankshaft.
I certainly should have done this as well. I guess I just rushed into things due to inexperience and lack of confidence working on some of that myself, I should have taken the proper steps or got help from someone to do so.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Often a bent rod is the result. I’m not going to rule that out in your case either, it will run with a bent rod, just not as well, one cylinder will be off.
I am still concerned that I have done that as well. Would the black smoke be a good indicator of that (guessing unburned fuel from cruddy timing)? The engine ran for probably 3-5 minutes to get back to the shed, smoke blowing out the whole way. It filled up the shed with smoke pretty quick in the few seconds that it was in there.
 

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I am still concerned that I have done that as well. Would the black smoke be a good indicator of that (guessing unburned fuel from cruddy timing)? The engine ran for probably 3-5 minutes to get back to the shed, smoke blowing out the whole way. It filled up the shed with smoke pretty quick in the few seconds that it was in there.
No, the black smoke is not indicative of a bent rod, it's burning off the large amount of excess oil in the cylinders. If you believe the rod isn't bent, you'll need to run it until it stops smoking.
 

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Often a bent rod is the result. I’m not going to rule that out in your case either, it will run with a bent rod, just not as well, one cylinder will be off.
That's why I suggested the compression test to rule out a bent rod. It could still run with a bent rod, just not 100%.
 

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For sure, I have read up on that and tried to follow that as well but I guess I learned the hard way how important it is.

I certainly should have done this as well. I guess I just rushed into things due to inexperience and lack of confidence working on some of that myself, I should have taken the proper steps or got help from someone to do so.
Live and learn, it's easy to not think of everything when something lousy happens and you get a sort of tunnel-vision with your thought process.
 
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