404 Deere Headgasket - The Combine Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 08:54 PM Thread Starter
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404 Deere Headgasket

Blew the headgasket in my 4630 today. Was just bringing it to the shop to give it a once over. Had to drive it a couple miles so it was up to temp and I had to idle back on a slight hill to pass a car. When I throttled back up, it let loose. It literally blew the fire ring on #1 cylinder out the front between the head head and block. No warning signs, was running like a top last fall and is still right on the money coolant wise.


Tractor has been turned up to about 180 at some point in it's life. Supposedly has 11,000 hours (I suspect less, if anything) and has never been touched. I suspect the head must be warped pretty bad for it to completely blow the gasket out in an instant under minimal load. Either that, or could a liner be cavitated and it suddenly failed and let a shot of water in? Is cavitation a known problem on these engines?



Anyway, a few questions for those of you who know these 404's (1977 model):


Should I get new head bolts? I have read that they were upgraded at some point, but I couldn't tell if '77 would be upgraded already or not.


I am planning on having the head planed and will touch up the valves myself. What should I shoot for on valve protrusion? Top of spec or can I go a little more for more compression (better starting)?


Any other suggestions while I have the head off? (Will probably roll bearings while it's in the shop, not that they have anything to do with the head).


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From what I've gathered from other new JD equipment and what seems to be a huge concern is "How big is the fridge" and does it keep your wobbly pops cold enough ??
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 10:14 PM
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I'd throw the 404 in the bush and see if a 466 isn't handy. You asked for suggestions.... Maybe a head bolt let go there?

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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-27-2019, 11:08 PM Thread Starter
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I'd throw the 404 in the bush and see if a 466 isn't handy. You asked for suggestions.... Maybe a head bolt let go there?

If it wasn't such a smooth running powerful engine, I do know where there is a cheap 6620 combine that would make for a great upgrade...


It would be nice to pull it apart and find a broken head bolt for sure.

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From what I've gathered from other new JD equipment and what seems to be a huge concern is "How big is the fridge" and does it keep your wobbly pops cold enough ??
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 04:26 AM
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Yes you need new head bolts ! Which head bolts do you have now ? Im guessing normal grade 8 bolts with washers ? Or 180 or 10.9 flange head bolts ? The head bolts went threw alot of updates even threw the 80 even into the 90s they had problems with head gaskets. Did lots of head gaskets on 404 and 466 back when I worked a dealer ship. We Always put new head bolts in back then. And follow the head bolt torque procedure pertaining to the bolt you have. The new bolts will be torque to yield and most likly be marked sps or special the special bolts are a one time use and pita to torque.

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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 08:49 AM Thread Starter
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Good to know. If I just order the head bolts from Deere will they sub out to the most recent? Should I just follow the sequence in my tech manual from 1975 or was that updated at some point as well?

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From what I've gathered from other new JD equipment and what seems to be a huge concern is "How big is the fridge" and does it keep your wobbly pops cold enough ??
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 09:57 AM
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They will sub to the most recent. Do not follow torque procedure in a manual. They normal send a torque procedure sheet in the head gasket kit (at leas they used too) IF they don't I have a sheet in my tool box with all the differenrent torques specs.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 10:41 AM
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Do not use the torque sequence from your old manual. There have been many updates to the procedures over the years. I think most of the updates were brought in to try and address the chance of oil leakage on the right hand side of the block where the sealing surfaces are quite narrow. I did a 404 and a 619 a few years ago and the new pattern was completely different than the old way and seems kind of weird actually. I believe you more a less torque one of the center bolts down first to hold the head down and then mostly the right side first. I also used new bolts and a torque/turn method was used if memory serves me correctly.
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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Yes you need new head bolts ! Which head bolts do you have now ? Im guessing normal grade 8 bolts with washers ? Or 180 or 10.9 flange head bolts ? The head bolts went threw alot of updates even threw the 80 even into the 90s they had problems with head gaskets. Did lots of head gaskets on 404 and 466 back when I worked a dealer ship. We Always put new head bolts in back then. And follow the head bolt torque procedure pertaining to the bolt you have. The new bolts will be torque to yield and most likly be marked sps or special the special bolts are a one time use and pita to torque.



Bolts have "180" and "SRS" stamped on the head and have a built in flange.


Still a good idea to get new bolts?

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From what I've gathered from other new JD equipment and what seems to be a huge concern is "How big is the fridge" and does it keep your wobbly pops cold enough ??
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 05:56 PM
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Our dealer uses new bolts anytime a head comes off. I would check the head and also liner protrusion. Those engines could break head bolts. We also had one that didn’t break but somehow stretched enough to cause a problem. I would think if cavitation was that bad you’d have coolant loss
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 02-28-2019, 06:05 PM
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New head bolts is always cheap insurance... especially if past is unknown.


Keep calm and combine on....
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