*****WARNING-THIS IS GOING TO BE VERY BORING ********
Last fall while I was clipping one of the pastures the motor on our one good tractor started to hammer in a way that made it pretty obvious that something had gone terribly wrong. I shut the tractor down as fast as I could, but not before the damage was done. It turned out that the head broke off of one of the valves
Early this winter I got the tractor pulled into the garage and pulled the cylinder head off to see what the story was going to be. It could of been worse, but it could have been better too. When the valve broke it cracked the piston that it belonged to, but pieces of the broken valve traveled into other cylinders through the intake manifold, and ended up getting melted into several of the other pistons. After consulting with several people who know about these things, I decided that the thing to do would be to have an automotive machine shop do a minimal head rebuild, and replace the cracked piston and the worst one of the others that was damaged. About a month or so ago I got the new pistons in, and the head back on. I've got maybe ten hours of running time on the tractor since then, and so far so good. Altogether the repair cost about $1400, excluding my time, which as always is free.