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JD 345 is spewing oil from breather tube

Steve West My 1999 JD 345 (Kawasaki FD611V 20 hp water cooled)began burning oil for 20-second intervals in a thick continuous plume out of the muffler at only 450 hours. 2 or 3 heavy 20 second burns and then fine for a half hour, The problem worsened and is now almost continual.
After replacing head gaskets and valve gaskets and the oil filter it turns out that the breather tube from the crankcase to the intake is spewing oil in a heavy mist.
The tube is now disconnected from the intake so there is no burning but and the tractor is unusable as the leaves pile up in the yard.
has anyone out there had this problem?
Thanks in advance.

Bill D I've worked with Steve on this engine, and we've narrowed the problem down, but could use some input from someone who knows how the crankcase ventilation is supposed to work.

If we put a bag over this oil fill tube, the bag tends to suck in. We got the same decent compression readings on both cylinders, so we don't suspect a real blow-by problem.

The engine starts easily and runs well, as long as we don't let that oil pour into the intake manifold.

Does anyone know what the 2 flapper valves (I think they are called reed valves) do under the breather cover? If I understood how the airflow within the crankcase was supposed to work, I think we could figure out where it's not working correctly, as it appears to be pumping liquid oild into the breather area.

Don I am having a similar problem with my 2002 JD GX345, 210 hours, 20 HP engine. It burns a huge amount of oil. The engine started producing smoke occasionally but would stop smoking. Now it smokes continuously after warm-up and burns oil. The oil is coming through the breather tube into the carburetor. Otherwise the engine seems to run fine.

I checked the oil level and it was in the normal operating range. I took out the oil dipstick while the engine was running and oil gush all over the place from the dipstick tube. The only reason I can think of that it would do that would be a pressurized crankcase.

I checked the compression. It is:

Left 140 psi dry and 180 psi wet
Right 150 psi dry and 190 psi wet

I also checked the compression after the engine began smoking (when the engine was hot). Then it was:

Left 120 psi dry and Right 130 psi dry

Both spark plugs were extremely fouled.

Since the oil is entering the carburetor through the breather tube I wouldn't expect that stuck reed valves would be the problem but I checked them anyway. The reed valves seem to be fine.

Am I experiencing blow-by? That is the only explanation I can conceive. I think if I had a blown head gasket it would show up in the compression test. The compression seems to be normal so I'm not sure blow-by is the answer, either.

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