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Antique Tractor Talk Vintage farm tractors and mounted implements. Ford, John Deere, Oliver, McCormick and more.

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John Deere B Aluminum Piston


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  #1  
Old 01-04-2013, 08:14 PM
che57vy che57vy is offline
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Default John Deere B Aluminum Piston

I posted earlier about aluminum pistons in my B, cold it would run fine as it got to operation temp it would seize and stop.I contacted manufacture of pistons they say .002 clearance. That does not seem like much. I disassembled the engine like to never got pistons out they were scuffed pretty good.
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Old 01-04-2013, 09:52 PM
Pat Barrett Pat Barrett is offline
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

Think you answered your own question. You must have gotten someone at the piston place that started yesterday. The clearance varies as to: Alunimum verses cast iron. Air cooled/water cooled. While I'm certainly no J.D. expert, certain rules apply to any engine. You need about .004 min for your application, imo. The old rule of thumb is .001 for every inch of bore dia. Also, you didn't state how good your oil pressure was. They've gotta have oil. Did the skuffing appear to be lack of lube or from tightness? The alunimum piston expands faster than the cast iron. Water cooled, this is a great differntial for a period or warming up. I've set many a 5 hp Briggs flathead go kart engine up on .0015 and they ran great. Air cooled, piston and cyl espand at about the same rate. On a water cooled, 283 chevy. You need a min. of .004 clearance and it needs to be broke in, correctly. These tolerance vary with pistons and blocks, and coatings and usage. Go back and add a couple thou and you should be O.K.
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Old 01-04-2013, 11:50 PM
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Ken Majeski Ken Majeski is offline
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

Well, Many years ago (at least 30) I bought a couple rebored blocks and couple sets of New Alum pistons from a local JD dealer going out of Business.

They were for a 4 1/2 inch bore B and had about .007 to .008 total clearance. I used a set of them myself and the tractor ran well as long as I had it and still does.

All I can say is What Were the Piston People Thinking

From my experience anything less than about .005 for Round Alum pistons is asking for trouble.

Now if the pistons are Cam Ground thats another story.

If you can't get any satisfaction out of the piston people I might be just Goofey enough to stick the pistons in the lathe clean them up and adjust the clearance to about .006 and run it.
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:47 PM
che57vy che57vy is offline
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

I talked to the person from Yesteryear tractor who I bought parts from I told him no way .002 was going to work. The oil pressure is great medium at idle on gauge. It may be best to hone cylinder a little and as you suggest turn pistons in lathe.Because now if I put them in bore, half way in they start binding. And they were getting plenty of oil. I am sure the thermo siphon cooling does not help either.
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Old 01-06-2013, 01:12 PM
ronm ronm is offline
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

You had the block bored to fit these pistons, right? I would take it back to the machinist-he should have known .002 is not enough clearance for aluminum pistons. Make him clean up the pistons, those scuff marks need to be gone...
I&T manual gives .005-.009 as clearance for a late B, 4-11/16" bore, that's for cast iron pistons...so you can see .002 was WAY off...
Many thousands of JD's ran just fine w/thermosiphon cooling, you gotta have skirt clearnce on any engine...
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:30 AM
che57vy che57vy is offline
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

Believe it or not the .002 recommendation was from parts supplier.
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Old 01-07-2013, 11:56 AM
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

Still-my old machinist buddy would not have let that block out of his shop w/ .002 clearance...& he would have used language to emphasize the point that I can't use here w/o getting in trouble with Craig...again...
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:43 PM
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

I took the block and pistons to shop today shows .005 clearance going to add .004 more.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:20 AM
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

We had a similar issue with a power unit motor here. Beaver motor 4.50 bore was bored and sleeved back to std bore checked skirt cleareance ok, checked ring end gap ok, put rings on and was super tight! No way this was going to work took it back apart found one oil ring crushed! looking closer found that the oil rings were a deeper cross section than the compression rings ( oil ring grooves weren't deep enough) had to resize the grooves to make it work. Never had to do that before, don't want the groove too deep or the piston could break off there. That was a common failure on certain Hercules and Chrysler indtrial engines used on the combine harvestors in the 50s and 60s. F.J.W.
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:46 AM
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

I talked to the person who sold these parts he said only .002 clearance I asked per inch of bore he said no .002. period.Now when I went to shop and the machinist and I were checking the bore he pulled out a tech sheet from a new set of 350 Chevy pistons it stated .001 clearance on that set. And they were top of line pistons.The bore still looked good and we are going to bead blast pistons see how they look before using.I wish I could of stayed with the cast pistons.
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Old 01-08-2013, 12:06 PM
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

Whoever printed out the specs in some office somewhere obviously was clueless and made the omission. With a .oo1 clearance on the bore you won't get the piston in the block. Most likely the original spec sheet called for a tollerance of plus or minus .001 to the original specs and not be rejected at the time of manufacture. Also you must have .001 to .002 clearance per inch of bore depending on type of service, this is standard practice on all piston type motors. I needed a fuel pump for a 366 cid GM truck motor this morning and a young parts person emphaticaly stated that there wasn't any such motor ACCORDING TO THE BOOK, I told him to throw that book away as it was useless. He then did some real research and found out he had said part on the shelf. F.J.W.
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Old 01-08-2013, 06:07 PM
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

Seems the up and coming generation is clueless including my son who is 34
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Old 01-08-2013, 08:06 PM
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

Fortunately, they're not all like that.

A couple of places I deal with for parts each have a young (under 30) parts person. The one fellow at the local shop will spend time and go out of his way to find obscure parts and he is usually successful.

The other shop has a young woman there and she is very good. I was in getting tune up parts for one of my 60 year old tractors and she had everything on the bench in half a day. I was kidding her that she probably couldn't find a mag for my '28 Allis Chalmers 20-35. She said "let me try" and started looking through all their oldest parts books in the place.

I told her, "don't bother, I know where to get one". Of course she wanted to know where that was so she could add it to her list of sources!
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Old 01-08-2013, 10:54 PM
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Default Re: John Deere B Aluminum Piston

I believe that you will find that Modern Cam Ground Skeleton pistons will run with little clearance Because they are just a skeleton with room for expansion as they don't even come close to the cylinder walls on the wrist pin sides.

So you say that they are round on top at the ring land area. Well it just happens that pistons are always several thou smaller at the ring land area as thats where all the heat is.

Just look at Modern pistons and you will see this. If you take one out after 100,000 Miles + you will see lots more clearance. Also with the High Rod Angularity of modern engines you have a lot of side thrust and room for oil to get in on the other side.

Where the pistons in the B John Deere are Round Slugs and there is No Place for the piston to go when it expands as you have found out
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Last edited by Ken Majeski; 01-08-2013 at 11:08 PM. Reason: add more
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