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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    Nov 2006
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    59
    Location
    Barton, NY

    Default Iron Horse (Jinma) 254 questions

    Guys,
    I just picked up this tractor (1999-2000) with 200 hrs. it has a frey loader also.

    I've been reading here a lot and have changed out ALL the fluids, motor had been changed at least twice but everything else certainly seemed Chinese esp the trans oil.

    It has had the left front steering arm broken and repaired nicely with gusset on the repair.

    I have 4 issues with it:

    1) The pto will not stay engaged in 540 mode seems the weight of the lever is enough to pull it out of engagement. Otherwise PTO works fine.

    2) 4WD lever is hard to work, it doesn't gring or anything you just kind of have to worry it into gear...works fine once engaged.

    3) Brakes SUCK! they will just barely stop the tractor or hold it on an incline as long as I put 200 of my 220 lbs on it.

    4) Occasionally the tractor will start when I turn the key to the preheat position.

    Overall I'm quite happy with how it runs and works but would like input/opinions on these issues.

    I think it's probably the best $3500 I have ever spent.

    Thanks
    Jim

  2. #2
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    5,984
    Location
    Western Kentucky
    Tractor
    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: Iron Horse (Jinma) 254 questions

    1. There's supposed to be a ball bearing-detent arrangement that holds the lever in either 540-N-or 1000. You may have lost the ball, or maybe the bolt that holds the detente plate in place is loose or missing.
    2. Since it involves a sliding gear, it's normal NOT to be able to move that lever on a static tractor. The front tires usually have to be rotating for the sliding gear to engage the front driveshaft.
    3. This is probably your first tractor. Brakes are not designed for stopping. You use a combination of throttle/transmission/clutch to do that. Their majority use is intended as parking brakes or for skid steering (in 2wd)
    4. That means you're turning the key just a little too far. Both the HEAT and the START positions are spring loaded. You just have to get a feel for how far to turn the key while you're pre-heating, then follow that up by continuing to turn into the START position.

    //greg//
    USN (Ret)
    Former Chinese tractor owner (x4)
    Current John Deere owner

  3. #3
    Super Star Member Diamondpilot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Posts
    13,842
    Location
    Daleville, IN
    Tractor
    Jinma 254/284 Ford 861 Powermaster at work

    Default Re: Iron Horse (Jinma) 254 questions

    Greg is right on all counts. You can adjust the brakes a little by just looking at things and figure out how it works. There are adjustments under the floor boards that require you removing the cotter pins and shortening the rods a bit then replacing the pins. You will figure it out.

    To engage the 4 wheel drive on mine, which I use today, I have to let the tractor idle and slowly turn the steering wheel left and right while engaging. It seem to help in my case.

    The key switch should not do that. You are either turning it a little far or its got a internal short that is not always present.


    You got a good deal for $3500.00 If you have a side arm steering cylinder coming from the loader mount to the left front wheel it explains the broken piece. They now have front mounted cylinders that are much less prone to break.

    Chris

  4. #4
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2005
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    2,693
    Location
    Port Angeles WA
    Tractor
    Jinma 284 delivered 06/28/05

    Default Re: Iron Horse (Jinma) 254 questions

    Yep you really need to be rolling to engage the 4 wheel drive. There is a sliding pawl or claw that looks like a 6 piece pie with every other piece removed. This engages an identical part, and these two parts are connected to the front and rear drivetrain. These parts are flat faced and have no point on the front to help guide them into engagement(rear diff lock uses the same arrangement).

    In order to engage they must come into alignment and the only way to do this is for them to move. The way I engage mine is while rolling along the ground, or with a wheel spinning if I am stuck or have lost traction, I apply gentle pressure upward on the lever with 2 fingers. When the three teeth align, it will slide right in. Because of slight differences in wheel size and gearing, even rolling along on smooth gound, they will eventually come into alignment. Turning will accelerate the process. These differences are why 4X4 is harder on the soil and grass and the treads will tear up more particularly when turning. It is also why you should never use it on solid/paved ground. If the tires can't slip, the forces will be applied to the gears in the drivetrain and tear something up.

    For pre-heat, do you have an amp gauge? Turn the key just far enough for the amp gauge to peg negative as the glowplugs pull 30A and hold it there. Count to 20 and turn the key the rest of the way to crank the engine. If you don't already do so, I would reccomend you use the compression release as this allows some oil to flow into the crank and rod bearings and build a oil film before the compression forces are applied to these bearings. I lift the compression lever while the glowplugs are heating, crank the engine for a second or two and then while still cranking, drop the comp lever and it starts right up. This also makes it a little easier on the starter as it isn't cranking against compression loads untill it is up to full speed.

    The chinese switches are definitly a weak spot. I thnk greg found a compatible Ford replacement switch that can be installed if you continue to have problems with it.
    Ron

  5. #5
    Advertiser
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    Mar 2005
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    584
    Location
    SE VA. NC State Line
    Tractor
    Jinma Dealer / Importer. General Tractor Repair Shop.

    Default Re: Iron Horse (Jinma) 254 questions

    Quote Originally Posted by jgl1962
    Guys,

    I have 4 issues with it:

    1) The pto will not stay engaged in 540 mode seems the weight of the lever is enough to pull it out of engagement. Otherwise PTO works fine.

    2) 4WD lever is hard to work, it doesn't gring or anything you just kind of have to worry it into gear...works fine once engaged.

    3) Brakes SUCK! they will just barely stop the tractor or hold it on an incline as long as I put 200 of my 220 lbs on it.

    4) Occasionally the tractor will start when I turn the key to the preheat position.

    Thanks
    Jim
    Here's my guess;

    1) The lever is connected to a shift fork that moves a collar forward and back depending on which speed. If excess grinding has taken place down the road?? The splines get worn and pushes it off under load.

    2) Sometimes spraying penetrating oil in around the shaft that goes into the side of the case will help ............. and always apply a little pressure on the lever while letting out on the clutch slowly.

    3) Prob need to take them apart and inspect. Don't know if you have disc brakes or drum ?? I think you should be able to slide the wheels with disc brakes.

    4) Do you mean the starter engages and the engine want start ??


    Ronald
    Ranch Hand Supply

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Posts
    59
    Location
    Barton, NY

    Default Re: Iron Horse (Jinma) 254 questions

    Thanks for all the responses!

    It's not my first tractor, it is my first Chinese Tractor though.

    I will try some more fiddling with the 4wd as I said It does go in and doesn't grind, basically the lever is hard to move...most of the time.

    Seems a new Ignition switch is in order.

    I know the brakes aren't true brakes but I do need them to keep me from rolling backward/forward when changing direction/shifting on an incline...they will hold it but it takes all the leg power I have to do so.

    I will look closer at PTO as it's the most annoying problem since I want to mow with it.

    Thanks
    Again keep talking

  7. #7
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    188
    Location
    Deadwood Falls Louisiana
    Tractor
    Jinma JM200LE

    Default Re: Iron Horse (Jinma) 254 questions

    My brakes got much better after I left them set and drove off a few times. I expect if they were left set and got hot the linings could glaze and then not hold well.
    hbaird

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Posts
    78
    Location
    Rockholds Ky
    Tractor
    2006 farm pro 2425

    Default Re: Iron Horse (Jinma) 254 questions

    my brakes got much better after some use
    matbe just cause they ere new and coated or something
    as for your preheater
    watch your amp meter and it will fall drastically when heater comes on then hold it there til ready to start
    works well for me anyways
    good luck

  9. #9
    Platinum Member JDeerekid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    877
    Location
    P-Town, Upstate New York
    Tractor
    Montana 4340C w/Loader, JD GX345 w/54in. mower

    Default Re: Iron Horse (Jinma) 254 questions

    I have used a few different brands of 4 wheel drive tractors and most seem hard to get into 4 wheel drive. I have learned either to start driving slowly and engage with slight pressure or using the loader to lift front tires off the ground slightly and it goes right in easy.
    Montana 4340C w/loader, AgroTrend FU78 rear snowblower with hydraulic shute rotation, Horst 48" pallet forks, 3pt. 2-bottom plow, 6ft. bush hog rotarty cutter, 3pt. Woods 7ft back blade, 3pt. cultivator, 5ft 3pt. york rake, 6' KKII tiller, JD494 4-row planter. Future attachments: backhoe, grapple

  10. #10
    Veteran Member bluechip's Avatar
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    Jun 2003
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    1,839
    Location
    Arkansas, USA

    Default Re: Iron Horse (Jinma) 254 questions

    Some of the early 254s had drum brakes, later had disk, (I'm thinking it was around 2002 they changed but not sure). There should be a drain plug on the brake housing on each side of the axle, be sure the brakes are not full of oil which can happen from a bad seal. Oil is especially bad on the shoe type brakes. Or the linings could be worn off (maybe prior owner drove it a lot with the parking brake on?).

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