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Oil leaking out the overflow tube

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Morgan Wright
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2002-05-01          38037


I have a huge engine oil leak in my B-6200, from the engine overflow tube. My tractor leaves a trail of oil everywhere I go. But every time I check the oil it's at least a quart too high. I thought maybe there was a crack in the engine block and coolant was getting in, but the coolant is still full to the top. So I figured that diesel fuel was getting into the block, but I smell the oil on the dipstick, and it doesn't smell like diesel. So I thought maybe I just overfilled the engine with oil at the last change, but that was 2 months ago and last month it wasn't leaking.

Where's all this extra oil coming from?

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-05-02          38048


The overflow tube probably is what I'd call the crankcase breather pipe. Excessive engine oil can put quite a bit of oil out the breather pipe and also may produce white exhaust smoke.

One possibility other than coolant and fuel for mystery oil is that it's hydraulic oil. There is a path from the hydraulic pump to the crankcase on many engines where the pump is driven directly off one of the gears under the timing gear cover. On some pumps something simple like a blown shaft seal might put hydraulic oil into the crankcase. It might have a more serious problem on other pumps. Keeping track of hydraulic oil level and hydraulic performance seems like a pretty good idea unless the pump and engine are isolated form each other.
....

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photios@werple.net.a
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2002-05-12          38514


There is a known problem caused by a oil gallery plug becoming dislodged at the rear of the head. Causes a massive oil build up on top of the head and low oil pressure. If you have this problem - you may need to remove the rocker cover to check a replacement plug is avaialable. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-05-12          38522


I have heard of the lug problem in some older Kubotas. I heard that an aluminum plug on the end of the rocker arm shaft has been replaced by a steel plug that is less likely to become dislodged.

That's a good piece of information. I suppose such an explanation might be consistent with persistent high oil levels if somebody checked the oil level before oil drained down from the head and added more oil.
....

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FarmerWannabe
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2002-07-22          40583


I, too am having this problem. I replaced the fuel pump and continued to have the problem. My hydraulic level does go down soIi am pretty confident thatit is the problem. I intend to fix a seal/gasket or replace the pump ($350!).
I will let you know what happens.
Has anyone had any experience fixing or replacing this pump? Is it difficult? ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-07-23          40599


The difficulty of replacing a hydraulic pump shouldn't be difficult but would depend somewhat on the tractor. I'd follow a repair manual procedure. For my Ford, There is some wiring and part of the starter that have to be removed for access and there is a PS priority valve that is removed along with the pump. However, mostly its bolt in and out job. There are new o-rings to install but there is no mention of a need to prime the pump. I believe I'd still fill the pump and suction line as much as I could before reassembly. ....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6897 Waterville New York
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2002-07-23          40606


Morgan your hydraulic pump is the cause of the problem I believe if you check the transmission oil you might find that down at this time. The only other thing it could be would be the injection pump but I put that as the second leading cause on these tractors for your problem. ....

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Oil leaking out the overflow tube

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Morgan
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126 Albany, NY
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2002-07-24          40621


I think maybe I just added too much oil when I changed the oil. It stopped leaking finally. I think. I hope. I'll find out if the tranny oil level is low but it's never been low.

What's an injection pump? ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-07-24          40624


An injection pump is a fuel pump for diesel engines. They shouldn't be tinkered with without considerable mechanical experience and proper equipment. The position of the pump's rotation must match the engine position. Adjustment of the position is called pump timing or spill-time adjustment. One adjustment on many pumps is made by loosening a collar on the pump drive shaft. If the collar is loosened and the pump moves relative to the engine, then the pump must be re-timed. Some old Ford farm tractors have a graduated scale on the pump that allows owners to change the timing without performing a full adjustment but I haven't heard of a compact like that.

When monitoring the hydraulic oil level, I'd keep in mind that the 3ph and loader positions affect the sump oil level. Unless an implement with really large cylinders is used, the usual practice is to fully retract all cylinders and then bring the oil up to the full mark.
....

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Oil leaking out the overflow tube

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Morgan
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126 Albany, NY
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2002-07-24          40631


So an injection pump can leak diesel oil into the motor oil? The oil on the ground smells like regular motor oil. The other possibility you guys were saying was the hydraulic pump leaking into the engine. I wonder if hydraulic oil has a distinctive smell. I will make sure and smell it again.

The weird thing is, no matter what's leaking into the engine, why should the oil be leaking out the overflow tube at all when the engine dipstick does NOT say that it's over filled? The engine dip stick says it's right on!! The only time it stops leaking is when the engine dipstick says it's about a quart low, then it stops leaking from the overflow tube. ....

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Art White
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2002-07-24          40638


You have a rotating mass with the crankshaft and the rods and pistons. That throws the oil around in your crankcase and aireates the oil. Your problem seems to be that the oil is going out you vent tube more than likely from to much pressure in the base. This would be caused from cylinder glazing, worn out rings, or cylinders that have grooves from foriegn material. You might look to see if there is any seepage from the exhaust manifold on one cylinder or another to see if only one is the culprit. I think you need to have it looked at as an engine is not self healing and the condition will worsen before it gets better. ....

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Morgan
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126 Albany, NY
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2002-07-24          40652


Or maybe I can just bend the rubber overflow tube so it faces back up and the oil will drip back in to the engine. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-07-25          40658


I hope the situation is that Morgan's huge leak is over and now thereís just a bit of oil dripping from the crankcase breather.

Art's theory is the one I'd start with as well. The rotating mass he mentioned creates a oil mist inside the crank-case (some engines even into the early '50's only had pressure oil feeds to the main bearings. The rod and cam bearings etc. were 'splash' lubricated by all the oil slinging around. Of course these engines did have little slingers on the crank to help out.

My version of the theory is that a worn engine may have appreciable blow-by that increases the volume of gases exiting the breather. These gases carry some oil mist along with it. The oil mist collects in the breather and drips out. My theory probably is more theoretical than Art's but both are good starting places for sorting the problem out. Facing the breather tube up would be a bad idea. There'd be a chance of it funneling rainwater into the crankcase.
....

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Morgan
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126 Albany, NY
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2002-07-25          40666


So maybe I can elevate the middle of the tube and have the end face down again. This way the "oil mist" will collect inside the part of the tube facing up, and clear air will come out the end part. ....

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Art White
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Posts: 6897 Waterville New York
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2002-07-25          40671


Tom, that was what I was getting to just some time I'm interrupted or I just don't go far enough for everyone to understand totally what I'm refering to.
....

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Oil leaking out the overflow tube

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Billy
Join Date: Oct 1999
Posts: 975 Southeast Oklahoma
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2002-07-25          40672


Blow-by is when the engine fires and part of the presure in the cylinder seeps into the crankcase, usually past worn rings. This presure has to go somewhere or your seals would blow. It takes the path of least resistance...usually by way of a hose to the breather or a PCV. Sometimes the dipstick and on older engines, the oil cap itself. If blow-by gets bad enough, there will be oil oozing out everywhere.

Billy ....

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Morgan
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126 Albany, NY
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2002-07-25          40676


Next time I fire it up I'll check to see if there's any air blowing out that hose. If it's just oil dripping then it's something else, but if it's really blow-by like you say, then I'd expect to feel wind blowing out the hole.

Plus, doesn't blow by mean there's worn rings? If there's worn rings I'd expect to get oil smoke from the stack. This tractor doesn't smoke. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-07-26          40679


I wonder what's going on with the engine. I think blow-by and smoke usually go together. If it were worn rings I'd expect to see bluish smoke coming from both the exhaust pipe and breather when the engine is under heavy power. According to my repair manual, excessive or wrong oil can produce white exhaust smoke, but I don't know if that always occurs.

I suppose it would be good to verify accuracy of the dipstick when changing oil and filter by filling it with the amount and type of oil speced in a manual (after running the engine to fill the filter). Contaminates, especially coolant, may cause oil to foam, which could cause the dripping. In such a case, you'd expect the dripping to be minimum immediately following an oil change.

I don't know if the dip-stick is an automotive push-on type or a small engine screw-on type. If it's a screw on type, it would be good to verify if dip-stick readings are taken with it screwed back in or not. I don't know if something like that would make a quart's worth of difference though.

Air exiting the breather may be normal. Pistons move up and down and displace air in the cylinders under them. the displacement in some engines isn't balanced and a pressure wave inside the crankcase develops. There was a discussion here awhile back about an opposed twin engine. The crankcase was vented into the air intake, and something like a PCV valve was installed to moderate the pressure wave.
....

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Morgan
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126 Albany, NY
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2002-07-26          40681


For one thing, the oil on the dipstick is dead black, even just after I changed it. Is that normal for diesel engines? I know if my car's oil was this black, I'd call the wrecker. But I think diesel's run a lot of carbon into the oil. ....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-07-26          40683


That sounds pretty normal. Used diesel oil (and especially from tractors) is black gunky stuff. Itís worse if the engine is run below normal operating temperatures. Diesels also produce more acids in the oil than gas engines. Thatís why itís important to use diesel rated oil and follow the change intervals.

I understand that golf courses in the Arabian Desert have browns rather than greens. The browns are made by mixing sand with prime crude, some other type oil and watered with used engine oil. I guess the used oil is for colour. I suppose a little used tractor oil wold go a long way.
....

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Fitch
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 23 Southern California High Desert
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2002-07-26          40686


TomG summarized his and Art White's theories as follows:

"My version of the theory is that a worn engine may have appreciable blow-by that increases the volume of gases exiting the breather. These gases carry some oil mist along with it. The oil mist collects in the breather and drips out. My theory probably is more theoretical than Art's but both are good starting places for sorting the problem out."

I think they are the same theory - and agree its consistent with the data and a good place to start.

The data we have from Morgan is:

Black oily fluid is leaving the breather tube in quantity - this stops when the crank case gets to about a quart low. The fact that the crankcase level goes down is significant when combined with the following information:

The water level is not going down. The fluid coming out doesn't smell like diesel fuel. So far at least we don't know if the tranny level is down or not, but the fact that the crankcase level decreases strongly suggests that nothing is entering it from other fluid volumes, or it would stay full or go over full.

This is not normal behavior for the engine. Even my 1976 tractor that has never been rebuilt doesn't blow oil out the breather tube. This condition isn't going to fix itself. Dripping oil all over the place and running a quart low on oil aren't good ideas - so it needs to be fixed.

If it was my tractor, I'd do a compression check. Its not very expensive to have it done. It can be done at home by a decent backyard mechanic with a factory service manual and a suitable gage (tool acquisition opportunity!), and it will tell the story on the condition of the rings and cylinder walls in a very short time. I'd do both dry and wet tests. I don't know what pressures are normal for this engine (depends on compression ratio, cranking speed, condition of rings and valves, etc.), or what the imbalance tolerance is. You need the FSM for that.

One last comment: I've read in TDR (Turbo Diesel Register) that Diesel engine oil is usually (but not always) black and messy because of microscopic soot particles getting into it.

Fitch ....

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Morgan
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126 Albany, NY
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2002-07-26          40706


I plan to change the oil again tomorrow. Last time was March. I will send each of you a sample. See you after tomorrow.

Oh by the way, the tractor runs perfectly. ....

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Morgan
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126 Albany, NY
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2002-07-27          40740


Okay I changed the oil and what came out was just oil, did not smell a bit like diesel and had no water in it (if there was water it would have been frothy). Before I changed it I had it running a while and checked the end of the air vent hose to see if smoke was coming out and it was clean as a whistle, and no wind was coming out at all, by using a blade of grass to check for wind. The oil filter was full of oil. This all shows that:

1. Foaming was not the problem.

2. Diesel leaking in was not it.

3. There's no blowby.

4. Clogged oil filter was not the problem.

5. No coolant leaking in.


Tomorrow I will run the tractor all day and see if it leaves a trail of oil wherever I go like it did before.

....

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Oil leaking out the overflow tube

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-07-28          40754


I'd give it a fairly hard run and then park it and look where any oil drips come from. I've looked for mystery drips that ended up coming from entirely different places than I thought. Working around and especially under any part of a tractor or attachments is best done with the tractor off and everything on the ground. Too easy for something to drop or the tractor to get bumped into gear if itís running. ....

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MOrgan
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2002-07-30          40846


Tried it today. It's not really leaking now, but I didn't give it a good hard run yet. I went back and smelled the old oil again and it did sort of smell like diesel a bit. I wonder, does used crank case oil from a diesel tractor pretty much always smell like diesel? I bet it does, even from a new tractor with no leaks or worn rings. Some diesel is bound to seep into the oil pan sooner or later.
....

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TomG
Join Date: Feb 2002
Posts: 5406 Upper Ottawa Valley
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2002-07-31          40857


Wouldn't surprise me. My wife thinks that anything that comes within 50' of the tractor smells like diesel, and she can't put Mean Green on me.

I'd monitor the oil level and viscosity regularly. One very bad thing is if an engine that burns or leaks oil also has fuel, coolant or hydraulic oil that leaks into the crankcase. An engine can end up with not much engine oil in the crankcase, and the dip stick level still could be OK.

Appreciable fuel can get into a crankcase from bad injector pump seals, leaky injectors or just cranking one a lot if doesn't start easilyóespecially if high throttle positions are used.
....

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Art White
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 6897 Waterville New York
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2002-07-31          40860


Until a diesel engine is up to the operating temperature it won't be burning all the fuel. This unburned or partially burned fuel goes down the cylinder walls into the base of the engine or to the oil pan where the engine oil is. That is why the desel engines oil gets dirty looking so soon after a oil change. ....

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DRankin
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2002-07-31          40868


Art, is that why Deere and others recommend using heavy single weight oils and hi vis multi's? Maybe to keep a little better seal around the rings on a cold engine? ....

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Morgan
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126 Albany, NY
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2002-07-31          40881


I love the smell of diesel. I use it as potpourri around the house, and use it for after shave when I go out line dancing to get the redneck chicks all infatuated over me with my cowboy hat and Frye boots. ....

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Morgan
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 126 Albany, NY
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2002-08-09          41121


Well, the final verdict is, it doesn't leak ANY oil anymore. I don't understand this. After I changed the oil, and filled it with 3 quarts, it doesn't leak a drop, and I've been using it heavy for 2 weeks now loading gravel.

Well, I guess Kubota tractors DO fix themselves!! ....

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Robchiu
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 1 Lancaster, MA 01523
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2021-05-31          200354


Hello.
Had similar problem with FZ2400 front mower with D1105 engine ( 3cyl)., 1500 hrs.
Started and ran okay.. After 10 minutes or so.. steady stream of oil out the breather and valve cover full. Oil light goes on. Engine oil normal to overful at startl. Also oil on the ground when machine parked.

Turns out.. bad injector pump with oil leaking when parked ( fuel tank higher than pump) out of shims for injector timing and being squirted into the oil pan when operating...mixed iwth engine oil.. Filled tbe valve cover and then the stream oil diesel/engine oil started. Changed the injector pump ... problem solved. ....

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