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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    May 2000
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    731

    Default Tractor won\'t start

    Help please. I have a relatively simple mechanical question, but before I go out and waste more money on tractor parts I don't need I figured I'd throw it out here...my smaller tractor is a 2wd Yanmar 276 (27HP). I bought it last year, in mint condition, with less than 500 hours on it even though it is about 15 years old...heres is the problem...it won't start (at least most of the time). I can jump start it from my truck (a big F250). and it always starts up no problem...so I figured it was the battery and went out a bought a new one...started the first time, but now it won't start anymore (w/out jumping) so then I think it must be the alternator(or is it called a generator on a tractor??)...the funny thing is that every once in a while, even if it has been sitting for a week or two, it does start right up (maybe 1 out of 20 times). So if the battery wasn't charging, it should not start 100% of the time. I really don't want to go and waste more money on a generator that I don't need.

    Does anyone think that this must be the generator, or it could it be a short someplace? I am not a mechanic, but the fact that it will jump start on the first try, 100% of the time, but will start by itself on the first try 1 in 20 times has me a little puzzled. What would be the best way to "prove" that it is or is not the generator before I put a new one on.

    Thanks much all.




  2. #2
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Mar 2000
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    37,280
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    Texas

    Default Re: Tractor won\'t start

    ejb, Do you have a multimeter? Check the voltage on the battery, without the tractor running. A fully charged 12 volt battery should have about 12.6 volts. Then get the tractor to running at a fast idle at least, and check the volts at the battery terminals again. If the alternator or generator is working properly, you'd expect about 14.2 to 14.4 volts, if I remember correctly. Now of course, I'm telling you the quick, cheap way to get a fair idea with a $10 meter, so before you experts jump, yeah, I know, there are more precise ways to check exactly, and I use a $180 clamp meter myself, but don't know what equipment ejb has.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    And ejb, I'd check to make sure the cable connections at the battery (and the other end for that matter) are clean and tight. In fact, a poor connection at the battery would be the first thing I would suspect.

    Bird

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Apr 2000
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    424
    Location
    Akaroa South Island ,New Zealand (about 1/2 way down south island)
    Tractor
    8350 valmet with 980SL FEL duels had a 150 Hp deutz just sold it 10 NOV 01

    Default Re: Tractor won\'t start

    ejb.. just to add to birds post check your earth and also at your starter too ,checking the cable as you go .could also be a bad battery (even tho it's new it can happen)you also could put your battery on a chager and see if it makes any diffrence
    cya
    JD Kid


  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    44
    Location
    Oklahoma
    Tractor
    Kubota B6100-HSD, Ford 8N

    Default Re: Tractor won\'t start

    I can add only my experience to the excellent advise offered already. My B6100 vintage a bit older than yours got to doing the same thing. Replacing the battery did not fix the problem. What I did find was a modular (molex?) plastic connector that carried a heavy wire from the ignition switch. The male/female portion of this connector was burned. I made a splice outside the harness and my mystery was solved. Sounds easy a pie, but it took me a long time to trace that one down. Poor electrical connections generate heat and are a tell-tale sign of a problem.


  5. #5
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    12,072
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: Tractor won\'t start

    jdkid.
    Like bird has stated check all connections and for the may be lose or rusty,also put little grease on your battery connection after cleaninig.

    Check under your dash where the key swtich located also,if all seem find a little spray would help to clean and coat.

    Check your wiring to your lights also,for you might have a bare wire. I had a Speedex tractor and it did the samething in which you are facing,and it was do to a bad ground.

    Take care and good luck.

    Thomas..NH

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    610
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    Ford 1710: Loader, Hoe, Snowblower, Box scrapper & 3ph Forks

    Default Re: Tractor won\'t start

    Agree. Checking connections and cables is a good thing to do. I'll add a couple of notes. First, it's not clear if 'not starting' means 'absolutely dead' or 'not enough cranking.' If it's absolutely dead, the safety switch, relay and related components may be involved. Components with switches and contacts are suspect when intermittent problems are present.

    If the cranking is low, a thing to sort out is whether the starter motor/solenoid isn't getting adequate voltage, or whether the battery voltage is low. Jumping the tractor will put a flash charge on a low battery, so battery voltage should be measured before jumping. If the battery voltage is low, with a new battery, the likely problem is that it's not getting a good charge. Bad connections between the alternator/regulator and battery could be the problem, these connections should be checked before replacing components.

    Since this is described as an intermittent problem (the nightmare of technicians), the problem might remain even after checking and cleaning all lines in both the starter and battery and alternator lines. If the problem remains, contact failure in the starter relay or solenoid might be the problem.




  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    424
    Location
    Akaroa South Island ,New Zealand (about 1/2 way down south island)
    Tractor
    8350 valmet with 980SL FEL duels had a 150 Hp deutz just sold it 10 NOV 01

    Default Re: Tractor won\'t start

    Hi ya's
    another thing about this is watch out jump starting .with more and more things haveing computer chips,radars and the such like watch out for spikes!! ok your tractor may not have these things on them but what about your trucks?
    the guy that used to work on my case IH told me if i was going to jump start do it this way
    turn off both (tractor & truck or what ya jumping from)
    put on the jumper cables ,them start the good battery and leave running for about 1/3 -1/2 an hour ,then turn off your truck. remove the cables ,and try starting then
    useing spike gard(?) cables is even better ,how many of us see big sparks putting cables on?
    cya
    JD Kid


  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Posts
    731

    Default Re: Tractor won\'t start

    Thanks all for the help so far..."not starting" means dead, completely dead, doesn't even turn over or even attempt to (but the dummy lights do come on)...just this morning I took off the battery connectors, clean them up real good and put them back on...still no start...then I start manipulating all of the wires I could find, looking for cracks or rust (of which I could find neither), but then lo and behold the tractor started right up...ten times in a row even...so I think I have determined that it is not the generator/alternator, but instead a short someplace that I have yet to find (but did manage to fix at least temporarily)...guess I'll have to really inspect each and every wire to find the one that is causing the problem, but at least for now it is working for me.

    Anyone have a secret for finding which wire may be causing the problem??

    Thanks all for the help!




  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
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    Location
    Akaroa South Island ,New Zealand (about 1/2 way down south island)
    Tractor
    8350 valmet with 980SL FEL duels had a 150 Hp deutz just sold it 10 NOV 01

    Default Re: Tractor won\'t start

    hi ya
    ok so the light come's on,when you turn the key does the light dim/or go out?? (when it does not start)with moveing the wires about you may find (if push on fittings)that one of the crimps on the wires is lose and may need soldering on better also the lug that the fitting pushes on to may have rust or salt build up on it (moveing the wires may have broken the build up and let the power flow though )I had kind of the same thing with a inline fuse to my loader i looked at it and it looked clean (brass ends) it was not untill i rubbed them up with some fine sandpaper did the power flow
    cya
    JD Kid


  10. #10
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Tractor won\'t start

    ejb, if the dummy lights come on, I think I'd be looking at the wire from the starter switch (ignition switch) to the starter solenoid. And of course, if, when you hit the starter, power gets to the solenoid, then I'd be wondering whether it's the solenoid that's bad. Good luck.

    Bird

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