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Heavy Equipment Forum Trac Hoe, Back Hoe, Dozers, etc.

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  #1  
Old 10-31-2016, 09:41 AM
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Default Coolant in the Oil

Well I haven't had my backhoe very long and noticed and issue with low coolant. After checking things over, it appears to be going into the oil. The oil is a tannish milky color. I'm thinking it is a head gasket issue as the motor runs very strong and sounds great. I'm not wanting to sink a lot of money into it so I'm gonna start tearing it down this evening. Any suggestions and comments are welcome. It is a John Deere 410B.
I'm wanting to pick up a manual but they are quite expensive and appear to only come in hard copy.
Anything I should be looking for or testing before tearing into it?
If it isn't the head gasket, I may have to cut my losses, because like I said, I'm not sinking a ton of money into it.
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:04 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

could also be sleeve seals some times after long periods of in activity the o rings at the bottom shrink or crack dropping coolant directly in to the oil pan. once the head is off check closely for cracks
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Old 10-31-2016, 12:18 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

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Originally Posted by Snowtrac Nome View Post
could also be sleeve seals some times after long periods of in activity the o rings at the bottom shrink or crack dropping coolant directly in to the oil pan. once the head is off check closely for cracks

Good call, most gaskets and o-ring seals will start to fail if an engine isn't started for a long while. They dry out and will become brittle.
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Old 10-31-2016, 01:48 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

I'm gonna take a good look at everything whil I have it tore down and go from there. I'm not in a hurry to get it back up and running so I'm taking my time and replace what I need. I'm hoping to do everything with the engine left in the machine.
I took a chance on this machine so hopefully it won't be too bad to get it fixed.
If I run into a cracked block or something, I may have to cut my losses.
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Old 10-31-2016, 01:58 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

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Originally Posted by MrLiberty View Post
Good call, most gaskets and o-ring seals will start to fail if an engine isn't started for a long while. They dry out and will become brittle.
Very similar to what happened to me with a Jeep Eagle I bought with super low miles back in the 90's. The Eagle belonged to an old timer who never drove it once his license was pulled. When he died, his son sold it to me.
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Old 10-31-2016, 05:52 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

Does it have an coolant-to-oil oil cooler?
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Old 10-31-2016, 07:05 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

It has a piece on the side of the radiator that appears to have lines going in to it. I'll have to look at it closer. But from everything I read if that has an issue, you will get oil in the coolant as opposed to coolant in the oil. Of course, I'm in uncharted waters and know very little about diesels. I helped my dad put new pistons, sleeves and rings in an old Massey Ferguson 135 gas engine, but I've never torn into a diesel. I'm gonna dive into it tomorrow evening after work and see what kind of mess I have.
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Old 10-31-2016, 08:38 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

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Originally Posted by k-dog View Post
It has a piece on the side of the radiator that appears to have lines going in to it. I'll have to look at it closer. But from everything I read if that has an issue, you will get oil in the coolant as opposed to coolant in the oil. Of course, I'm in uncharted waters and know very little about diesels. I helped my dad put new pistons, sleeves and rings in an old Massey Ferguson 135 gas engine, but I've never torn into a diesel. I'm gonna dive into it tomorrow evening after work and see what kind of mess I have.
Best of luck. One nice thing in this day and age is the internet. Lots of info. Most of it free.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:14 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

Well, I got the head off and I know nothing more than I did yesterday. The inside top of the valve cover had a lot of creamy milk looking stuff. I'm guessing oil and coolant mixture. It was getting dark on me but I snapped a couple of pictures that I'll post in a bit if I can remember how.
I looked over the head and top of the block and all looks ok besides the milky cream. The tops of the pistons looked good. On the bottom of the head where the pushrods go through there was a lot of the creamy milky stuff. More research is on the way for me.
I'm still open for any and all suggestions/comments.
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Old 11-01-2016, 07:18 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

Pictures. Please make any needed corrections to them such as size
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Old 11-02-2016, 08:00 AM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

Take a good close look at both sides of you gasket. look for cracks near the coolant holes. Check your head and top of cylinder block for cracks or worn places. Might be just a cracked gasket. I have found spraying both side of the new gasket with high heat paint and installing before it drys will seal a lot of little worn spots.
Do you the reinstall specs for your motor? You have to tighten the head bolts in a certain order. Best of luck!
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:00 AM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

Thanks for the tips. I was able to get a service manual online and it has all the torques as well as sequences.
Any suggestions on what to use to clean all the milky sludge off with?
Hopefully in the next day or so and weather permitting, I'm gonna drain the oil pan and take it off and see what it tools like on the bottom end.
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Old 11-02-2016, 10:34 AM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

all that "icky" stuff is emulsified oil....... it has undergone a chemical transformation.
it will never separate back to oil and coolant.

while the engine is running, the oil pressure is higher than the coolant pressure, so the oil will get into the coolant side.

in your case, the coolant leaked into the oil side, sooooo, that means it happened while the engine was not running. which rules out a lot of problem areas.


Look closely at heat exchangers, radiators, ect.

good luck
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Old 11-02-2016, 11:46 AM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

I had coolant getting into the oil on a Cat 3406 in my dump truck and was able to see coolant running down between the sleeve and block on the rear cylinder caused by a cracked sleeve seal. I dropped the oil pan and filled the system with water and the leak was obvious. Don't know if that will help you or not.

I would clean the sludge with Diesel or solvent unless it was something I could pressure was like the valve cover. Once reassembled I would run the engine to operating temps and change the oil and filter. Oil samples are always a plus too to follow trends but I would imagine you would get high silicon levels from the antifreeze for a while.
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Old 11-02-2016, 07:15 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

I didn't see any thing real obvious so get the head checked for cracks before you re assemble the engine I would rule out oil coolers as the oil pressure is higher than cooling system pressure if the oil cooler fails the milk will be in your radiator
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Old 11-03-2016, 03:27 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

Going to get the head checked tomorrow. When I drained radiator and block, coolant was green with no signs of any oil. Also after thinking about it, the head bolts seemed really tight, compared to what the torque specs are. I had to crank on them pretty good with a 1/2" breaker bar to get them loose. I'm wondering if the head bolts were over torqued which could lead to gasket failure.
Should know more tomorrow after we get the head tested.
I'm in the process of cleaning everything up right now.
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Old 11-16-2016, 03:23 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

Here's the update so far. I had a mechanic friend come look it over while it's tore down. He checked the bearings and said they looked fine and the crank looked good. He suggested I pull the water pump off as the gasket there could cause issues as well. I called today about the head and the testing should be done tomorrow. So as long as the head is fine, I'll put everything back together with new gaskets and proper torque and hope that was all it was. The mechanic friend who looked at it said sometimes the head gaskets look fine to the eye but there will be something wrong with it that causes issues. He told me to change the oil after letting it run for a bit to clear out any remaining milky oil.
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Old 11-22-2016, 07:29 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

Got the head back and it was all good. They did resurface the head. Hopefully by the weekend it will be all back together and we shall see.
Anyone have any idea what weight oil to put in it. It seems like I saw somewhere that it was 30 weight but in my newer Kubota The dealer gives me 15w40.
I'm prolly just gonna use rotella in the backhoe for now.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:32 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

My suggestions:

1. Clean the threads in the deck with a tap.
2. Clean the threads on the head bolts with a die and be sure the threads are not failing. If so replace with new bolts.
3. Coat the threads that go into the water jacket with white high temp pipe dope after cleaning.
4. Lightly coat bolt threads with motor oil or Marvel Mystery Oil.
5. Torque head bolts to spec. Read the manual about the need to re-torque after running a while.

If you are going to run then drain the oil, use an inexpensive motor oil the first change.
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Old 11-22-2016, 11:48 PM
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Default Re: Coolant in the Oil

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Originally Posted by k-dog View Post
Got the head back and it was all good. They did resurface the head. Hopefully by the weekend it will be all back together and we shall see.
Anyone have any idea what weight oil to put in it. It seems like I saw somewhere that it was 30 weight but in my newer Kubota The dealer gives me 15w40.
I'm prolly just gonna use rotella in the backhoe for now.
JD originally spected the 30 weight for temps above 20 deg. Then 20 down to zero, and 10W below that..

We run 15/40 year around in the 70's vintage JD tractors with good success. 100 Hr. change intervals BTW.

I have the same engine in a JD 6000 sprayer, I think. Tough little motor with a wide torque band..

Good luck!

Regards, Kirk
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