John Deere LX 188 water in cylinders

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  #1  
Old 03-30-13, 01:34 PM
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John Deere LX 188 water in cylinders

Hi,

Bought a John Deere LX 188 yesterday. It has a Kawasaki FD501V twin cylinder liquid cooled engine. Didn't run too good when I bought it. Kinda sounded like it was running on one cylinder. Pulled the plugs today and made sure both pistons were moving. Everything looked good, so I cleaned the plugs and got it to fire up and surprisingly it ran good. Shut it off several times and it started right back up. Drove it around a little bit and decided to clean the old oil and grime off the engine with Gunk and washed it off with a hose. After I let it dry awhile, I tried to start it back up. Would crank fine but not start. Pulled the plugs to check them and water poured out of both plug holes. Cranked it over with the plugs removed to get the rest of the water out. Tried to start again and once again had water in the cylinders when I pulled the plugs. I know it is a sealed engine, so I don't think the water is from washing it off. The only thing I can think of is blown head gaskets on each side. Wondering how it did run good for 20 minutes with no problems till I shut it off to wash it. Is there anything else that would cause water to get in the cylinders?

Thank you
 
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  #2  
Old 03-30-13, 02:44 PM
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My first thought is that you got water in through the carburetor somehow. Either over zealous hosing or perhaps something is loose or cracked along the intake path.
 
  #3  
Old 03-30-13, 03:13 PM
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What color is the coolant? Was the water that you drained from the cylinders the same color? My first guess would be that Pilot Dane has you headed in the right direction, but yes, it is very possible that spraying cold water from your hose onto a hot engine could have cracked something.
 
  #4  
Old 03-30-13, 03:46 PM
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The engine was cool when I cleaned it. I have cleaned a hundred engines the same way I did this one, so not sure if it was just a fluke or what. After I found water the first time, I got all of it out of the cylinders. After trying to start it a little later, I found more water in the cylinders. So I was thinking if it was from too much water when I rinsed it off, it wouldn't be there the second time. Don't know for sure though. I will work on it tomorrow. Thank you
 
  #5  
Old 03-30-13, 05:53 PM
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Is the coolant level low in the radiator???? That would be my first check.
 
  #6  
Old 03-31-13, 12:11 PM
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Coolant is clear and so is what is coming out of the spark plug holes. I noticed on my garage floor that what I thought was water is indeed coolant. It is a little sticky and not drying as quick as water when I try to dry it up. Thought I had better drain the oil and check it too. Of course the oil had alot of coolant in it. Got all the coolant out of the oil pan. Then took off the radiator cap too see there was no coolant in the radiator at all. I could still see it down in the hose, just none left in the radiator. Is there anything else besides head gaskets that would let the coolant get in the cylinders?

Thank you
 
  #7  
Old 03-31-13, 01:47 PM
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I have not had one of those apart to know for sure, but if the coolant passes through the head gaskets, then yes, it sounds like it could be a cracked head or cylinder. I would start with the head gaskets though, look things over once the heads are off, and keep my fingers crossed.
 
  #8  
Old 03-31-13, 01:56 PM
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It's sounding a lot like a head gasket.
 
  #9  
Old 03-31-13, 02:05 PM
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Since most of the coolant was out of the block, I decided to start it without coolant to see what happened. Started it up a couple of times and ran good. Didn't let it run too long. Thought I would see what happened once I filled the radiator back up. The coolant ran right out of the spark plug hole! Hope this info narrows down the cause of my problems.

Thank you
 
  #10  
Old 03-31-13, 02:39 PM
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I would strongly recommend that you not do that again (run it without coolant), but since you did, yes, it definitely sounds like a head gasket. I would aslo find out what the collant is supposed to be; I somehow doubt that it is straight water.
 
  #11  
Old 03-31-13, 02:45 PM
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Yep, head gaskets. Not a hard repair. Change the valve cover gaskets while you're at it, the close proximity of them to the hot exhaust makes them harden up and leak every few years.
 
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