Is My Tractor Engine Head Gasket Leaking?
We want to help you test your tractor’s head gasket for leaks.
If you do not feel that you understand these steps, or can perform them safely, consult your tractor dealer, local mechanic, or owner’s manual.
Let’s get started.
WHAT DOES THE HEAD GASKET DO?
A head gasket’s role is to seal the engine's head to the engine block.
The gasket must seal the oil passages, engine’s compression, and water passages. If any spring a leak --- your head gasket is blown.
WHY DO THEY LEAK?
The block and head of the engine are both made of steel. As the steel heats up, it expands.
Your engine is designed to tolerate a certain amount of movement. If the engine’s temperature is normal, everything works perfectly. If the engine overheats, the steel expands --- causing parts to start moving around and distort. Sealing surfaces become uneven. Areas of low clamping tension develop, and the engine starts to leak.
Compression is usually the first to leak. It has the most pressure at roughly 500psi.
Typically, compression goes into the water ports, as the cylinder is surrounded by water to keep it cold. The most common sign of a blown head gasket is bubbles in the radiator. (See “Testing for a Blown Gasket” below.)