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  1. #1

    Default Branson 2910i, starts rough

    How easily does your Branson start?

    I have a new Branson 2910i, it had spent a year on the dealer's lot.
    With a block temperature of 35 F and glow plugs on for 12 seconds
    (turn the key on three times, no waiting with glow plugs off), it just
    barely starts in a cloud of white smoke with one cylinder firing.
    Might be 20 seconds before all three cylinders are firing.
    Opening the throttle above idle does not seem to help.
    Once warmed up, I have no complaints. Starts easily and has
    plenty of power. This tractor has the auxiliary fuel pump.

    Both the dealer and Branson technical support have suggested
    rough starting is typical of the 2910, unlike the 3510.
    Dealer has been trying to fix it by adjusting the injector timing,
    unplugging the coolant temperature sensor for longer glow plug
    times, and a fuel additive.

    Should I expect all cylinders to fire when it first starts up?
    If it starts this hard now, should I plan on far worse as the
    years go by?

    The dealer has suggested the cylinder it starts on is the cylinder ready
    for the compression stroke when it was last parked, the other cylinders
    see cold air not warmed by the glow plugs.
    Is there an easy way to determine which cylinders are firing
    as it starts? Would be interesting to see if it is always
    the same cylinder.

    The dealer has replaced all the glow plugs and cleaned the connections
    along the glow plug bus bar. One of the original glow plugs had
    corroded threads, perhaps due to moisture entering the cylinder through
    an open exhaust valve last winter. Is this indicative of further trouble
    in that cylinder?

    I measured just under 20 amps into the glow plug bus bar with a clamp
    type ammeter when the key was first turned on, falling to about 10 amps
    after 10 seconds of heating. The fuse for the glow plugs sees about
    0.2 amps, as it is only powering a relay.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Branson 2910i, starts rough

    Quote Originally Posted by thistlemagnate View Post
    How easily does your Branson start?

    I have a new Branson 2910i, it had spent a year on the dealer's lot.
    With a block temperature of 35 F and glow plugs on for 12 seconds
    (turn the key on three times, no waiting with glow plugs off), it just
    barely starts in a cloud of white smoke with one cylinder firing.
    Might be 20 seconds before all three cylinders are firing.
    Opening the throttle above idle does not seem to help.
    Once warmed up, I have no complaints. Starts easily and has
    plenty of power. This tractor has the auxiliary fuel pump.

    Both the dealer and Branson technical support have suggested
    rough starting is typical of the 2910, unlike the 3510.
    Dealer has been trying to fix it by adjusting the injector timing,
    unplugging the coolant temperature sensor for longer glow plug
    times, and a fuel additive.

    Should I expect all cylinders to fire when it first starts up?
    If it starts this hard now, should I plan on far worse as the
    years go by?

    The dealer has suggested the cylinder it starts on is the cylinder ready
    for the compression stroke when it was last parked, the other cylinders
    see cold air not warmed by the glow plugs.
    Is there an easy way to determine which cylinders are firing
    as it starts? Would be interesting to see if it is always
    the same cylinder.

    The dealer has replaced all the glow plugs and cleaned the connections
    along the glow plug bus bar. One of the original glow plugs had
    corroded threads, perhaps due to moisture entering the cylinder through
    an open exhaust valve last winter. Is this indicative of further trouble
    in that cylinder?

    I measured just under 20 amps into the glow plug bus bar with a clamp
    type ammeter when the key was first turned on, falling to about 10 amps
    after 10 seconds of heating. The fuse for the glow plugs sees about
    0.2 amps, as it is only powering a relay.

    I've got 40 hours on my 3510 now, and it's always started immediately and smoothly, until this last weekend when I started it in 29 degree temps. It took probably 5-10 sec for it to even out and there was definitely some white smoke at first.

    I've got a block heater, and expect that I'll be using it from here on out until Springtime. I'll pllug it in when I get home from work, and by the time I change clothes and putz aroung getting ready ('bout an hour), It should be warmed up enough for an easy start. I'll use it longer in the real cold. I don't know where you're at climate-wise, but if it gets cold often (well below freezing), I'd sure invest in a block-heater. Diesels will start without them, but IMHO it's not worth the abuse a cold start can inflict on components.

    I'm sure we'll hear from some other brand - owner out there whose tractor will always start at 20 below on just the glow-plugs, and never miss a beat, but to me that's like having someone kick you in the gnads to prove / because you can take it. I even use a block-heater on my car (04 Crown Vic), and it takes only about 1/4 mile for it to be blowing warm air on the coldest days (-20 or so). It doesn't need it start for sure, but I know the car appreciates it, as well as me.

    Good luck with your issue. I hope they get it sorted out for you. These tractors are awesome. I've already put more hours on mine in the last 6 mo than I put on my old one in a full year, and I don't use it nearly as much as I'd like to!

    Lunk
    TYM T353 HST w/TX3500 Loader / Faver SCX526 Grapple on the way / Woods BB60X Rotary Mower

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Zork's Avatar
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    726
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    Virginia
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    '04 Branson 3520, '51 Fergy, '96 MTD 18/46, '02 Craftsman GT5000/48

    Default Re: Branson 2910i, starts rough

    Both the dealer and Branson technical support have suggested
    rough starting is typical of the 2910, unlike the 3510.
    Dealer has been trying to fix it by adjusting the injector timing,
    unplugging the coolant temperature sensor for longer glow plug
    times, and a fuel additive. MAYBE COMPRESSION. LONGER GP TIMES CAN CAUSE FAILURE OF GP AND CYL. You need to address this soon, because a cylinder could have low compression (cracked rings/cracked piston) and it would further damage the cyl. walls and ruin your engine.

    Should I expect all cylinders to fire when it first starts up? YES
    If it starts this hard now, should I plan on far worse as the
    years go by? YES, IF IT IS COMPRESSION, NOT IF IT IS SOMETHING SIMPLE- GP'S, FUEL, HOSES, AIR IN FUEL. Cold/Start problems can also be caused by air in the fuel line, check hose connections, and it appears that the fitting on the supply side of the filter is pressed and glued in. Mine came off when I did a fuel pump replacement.

    The dealer has suggested the cylinder it starts on is the cylinder ready
    for the compression stroke when it was last parked, the other cylinders
    see cold air not warmed by the glow plugs. PROPERLY OPERATING GP'S SHOULD TAKE CARE OF THIS
    Is there an easy way to determine which cylinders are firing
    as it starts? Would be interesting to see if it is always
    the same cylinder. YES, LOOSEN THE METAL FUEL LINE TO THE INJECTOR. IF SHUTS OFF/ RPM DROPS, CYL IS FIRING.

    The dealer has replaced all the glow plugs and cleaned the connections
    along the glow plug bus bar. One of the original glow plugs had
    corroded threads, perhaps due to moisture entering the cylinder through
    an open exhaust valve last winter. THREADS MIGHT BE CORRODED BY WATER FROM TOP, WAS THE TIP OF THE GP ELEMENT ALL RUSTED? MOISTURE. Is this indicative of further trouble
    in that cylinder? DO NOT KNOW. IF COMPRESSION IS FINE-I WOULD THINK NO.

    I measured just under 20 amps into the glow plug bus bar with a clamp
    type ammeter when the key was first turned on, falling to about 10 amps
    after 10 seconds of heating. The fuse for the glow plugs sees about
    0.2 amps, as it is only powering a relay. ANSWER: I would check to see if all of the glow plugs have the same resistance/amp draw. The bar on the glow plugs is nice and neat but it limits your ability to isolate a bad plug. Since I haven't had problems yet, I have not made any changes, but on other diesels I have removed the bar and connected individual wires so that each plug could be tested individually and quickly. Typically, if GP's, compression, and fuel QUALITY are alright, you should have no problems- BARRING WORN DAMAGED PARTS. Hope this helps.
    He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

  4. #4
    Elite Member SnowRidge's Avatar
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    East Tennessee
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    Power Trac PT-425 / Branson 3520

    Default Re: Branson 2910i, starts rough

    The white smoke is a fog of unignited diesel fuel. You are getting it because one or more cylinders aren't firing, which you already know. They aren't firing because the cylinder temperature is too low. That can caused by a number of things.

    1. Low compression.

    2. Defective glow plug(s).

    3. Insufficient glow plug on time.

    4. Ambient temperature just plain too low for the machine (design issue).

    Since this is a new machine, low compression seems unlikely. The glow plugs have been replaced, and their connections have been checked. I suspect that either the plugs aren't staying on long enough, or it is just plain too cold for the engine as designed and built.

    There are a couple of things that you can try. You can spin it over a few times and let it sit for 30 seconds or so before trying to start it. This will give the cylinders a little bit of preheat from compressing the air. Letting it sit for a short while will give the heat time to spread to the metal parts.

    Preheating the intake will help, if you can do it safely. Something like an electric heater positioned so that hot air is blown into the intake for a couple of minutes might work. In the old days, when everything was metal, some folks would play a blowtorch into their diesel intakes to get them warm enough to start. I don't recommend you go that far.

    I think you can rule out air in the lines and that sort of thing. The white smoke is a solid indicator that you have fuel and it is being atomized properly. The dealer playing with injector timing bothers me. Sounds to me like he is shotgunning it. Is this dealer new to tractors and diesel engines?

    Personally, if Branson is saying that engine is naturally rough starting when it is cold, they are really saying it won't start in very cold weather. The simplest solution is probably a block heater. If you can't find one to fit, you could probably find a heater to fit the lower radiator hose. In any event, you need to find some way to keep that engine above the outdoor temperatures.

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Branson 2910i

    Default Re: Branson 2910i, starts rough

    I recently purchased the 2910i about 2 months ago. When it is warm out, the tractor starts fine, but when it is 5C or colder out, I experience the exact same thing. I have spoken to my dealer and he mentioned the 2910's he has sold all seem to do this, and the 3510 for some reason doesn't experience this issue!
    What I have been doing myself was cycling the glow plugs twice, but maybe I will try 3 times to see if this will help. Mine apparenlty has a block heater installed and the dealer said if it didn't to call as he would install it ASAP as he said it would be included. My issue is I leave the tractor in a large equipment shed far from the house with no power.
    This has probably been my only real disappointment with this machine. I have been purchasing implements as of late which my wife says is going to put us in the poor house! I am just having too much fun with it, and can't get enough hours myself! Problem is since she is home, she is putting as many hours on herself for little projects.

    If there is a solution to this I would be interested in finding out myself!

    Cheers,

    Dale

  6. #6
    Gold Member
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    Default Re: Branson 2910i, starts rough

    Quote Originally Posted by Crazy Canuck View Post
    I recently purchased the 2910i about 2 months ago. When it is warm out, the tractor starts fine, but when it is 5C or colder out, I experience the exact same thing. I have spoken to my dealer and he mentioned the 2910's he has sold all seem to do this, and the 3510 for some reason doesn't experience this issue!
    What I have been doing myself was cycling the glow plugs twice, but maybe I will try 3 times to see if this will help. Mine apparenlty has a block heater installed and the dealer said if it didn't to call as he would install it ASAP as he said it would be included. My issue is I leave the tractor in a large equipment shed far from the house with no power.
    This has probably been my only real disappointment with this machine. I have been purchasing implements as of late which my wife says is going to put us in the poor house! I am just having too much fun with it, and can't get enough hours myself! Problem is since she is home, she is putting as many hours on herself for little projects.

    If there is a solution to this I would be interested in finding out myself!

    Cheers,

    Dale
    If running power to the shed is cost prohibitive, round up a used generator and use that to power your block heater. An hour or so prior to use should do it for you.

    On the other hand, then you'd have another engine to maintain / take care of...
    TYM T353 HST w/TX3500 Loader / Faver SCX526 Grapple on the way / Woods BB60X Rotary Mower

  7. #7

    Default Re: Branson 2910i, starts rough

    There is a post on 5-1-08 by a wiskeydelta talking about his 2910 being hard to start. Talks about a Glow Plug Control Box. Take a look, see if this might be your problem.
    JHK Farms

  8. #8
    New Member
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    Jul 2007
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    Location
    Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    Branson 2910i

    Default Re: Branson 2910i, starts rough

    Lunk,

    This is exactly what I was thinking of doing. Using a small genny to plug the block heater into. It is just that I hate that it starts and runs so good in warm temps, but when it isn't even below freezing it is this hard to start.

    jhkfarms,

    I will check to see if the black glowplug box is mounted on the firewall. Since mine is brand new, and I know it was a recent shipment so I would think it would not have this issue?? I will see this weekend if that is the answer.

    Cheers,

    Dale

  9. #9
    Elite Member SnowRidge's Avatar
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    East Tennessee
    Tractor
    Power Trac PT-425 / Branson 3520

    Default Re: Branson 2910i, starts rough

    The 5/1/08 post was regarding a unit that started rough all the time, as far as I can tell. It had a missing glow plug controller. That certainly isn't the case for the OP's machine, since he was able to measure glow plug current.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member Zork's Avatar
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    Virginia
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    '04 Branson 3520, '51 Fergy, '96 MTD 18/46, '02 Craftsman GT5000/48

    Default Re: Branson 2910i, starts rough

    I would think that it should not be an issue at zero degrees.
    Have you measured the actual voltage UNDER LOAD at the glow plug bar connection?
    He who is full loathes honey, but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

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