JD 345 using water

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JD 345 using water

Ted I just bought a JD 345 with the 18HP (I think) liquid cooled Kawasaki engine FD590V built 1996. It runs great, but it is using water. I cannot find any leaks, and the oil looks fine. That leads be to believe that it is going into the combustion chamber. I have three questions.
Is there somewhere else it could be going?
If it is going into the combustion chamber, does it hurt the engine to run it this way?
Is there any easy way to tell if it is a head gasket or other problem and on which side (it looks like two separate heads).
The engine does not overheat (I keep the tank in the normal level). It only smokes for about 1-2 seconds on cold start up. It would empty the revevior in about 10 hours. There are 430 hours on the clock.
PS - I'm new here, please be gentle.

Henry Ted, long term it will hurt the engine. Unless through trouble shooting you find there is no problem with the engine. A local auto parts store will sell a cheap compresson tester. I'd check the compresson in all cylinders and get a manual to see what's normal for your machine. Also, look real close for any coolant leaks- they can be hard to spot at times.
Keep us posted.

Ted I found a leak. Exidently the previous owner replaced the short water hose inside the fan housing with one that was a little too short and was not clamped properly. The water would run out of the housing and drip onto the muffler and turn into steam. This would explain no puddles wet spots. I replaced the hose, clamps, and water. I mowed the grass and did not use an water. Thanks for the help.
bontai Joe Thanks for letting us know how you got 'er fixed. And I'm glad it was a simple problem. You have a nice machine and should have many years of reliable service with it, as long as you don't follow the previous owner's example in "maintainence".

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