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  1. #1
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    john deere 550 dozer 1987 / Kubota B2920 2010 / JD 260 skid steere 2003

    Default john deere 550 dozer won"t start.

    I need some advice regarding an 87 jd dozer that wont start. when the ignition button is pushed it lightly whines and a slight puff of smoke comes from the starting selenoid. the batteries are fully charged and the connections are tight and clean. It has sat unused for a few months. any insights are appreciated. john

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Bob Rooks's Avatar
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    Default Re: john deere 550 dozer won"t start.


    When you say "ignition" I take it you mean a gasoline engine (because there is no electrical ignition system on a diesel engine). I assume it's been sitting outside, uncovered, in the weather. Time to drain the water from the solenoid and see if the slug is frozen (rusted). These should be lubed with dry graphite such as Lock-Eze. Grease or oil of any kind will thicken in the cold, and attract dirt and dust like a magnet.
    Yuchai YCT dozer, Mustang 2040 skid steer, Mitsubishi MS035 Mini-Ex, Trimble equipped 7' Dual Dozer, and a LiTW BH7600 back hoe for sale.

  3. #3
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    john deere 550 dozer 1987 / Kubota B2920 2010 / JD 260 skid steere 2003

    Default Re: john deere 550 dozer won"t start.

    Thanks for the reply. It is a diesel and there is no water in the solenoid. I took it apart and it was free an not rusted . could the starting motor be frozen?

  4. #4
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    Default Re: john deere 550 dozer won"t start.

    sounds like your starter is seized up bud

  5. #5
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    Default Re: john deere 550 dozer won"t start.

    Quote Originally Posted by museum quality View Post
    Thanks for the reply. It is a diesel and there is no water in the solenoid. I took it apart and it was free an not rusted . could the starting motor be frozen?
    When you say it whines is the starter even turning?

    If it is turning but slow it could be a bad connection, I would check your ground cables and all of your connections from the battery to the starter.

    If the starter is turning over good but not spinning the motor then yes your starter has set up. Might be able to smack it with a hammer and free it for a few starts but it will need to be replaced.

  6. #6
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    john deere 550 dozer 1987 / Kubota B2920 2010 / JD 260 skid steere 2003

    Default Re: john deere 550 dozer won"t start.

    No its not turning at all.

  7. #7
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    john deere 550 dozer 1987 / Kubota B2920 2010 / JD 260 skid steere 2003

    Default Re: john deere 550 dozer won"t start.

    When you say" starter" does that include the motor or just the solenoid starter switch? which is easy to replace.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: john deere 550 dozer won"t start.

    Quote Originally Posted by museum quality View Post
    When you say" starter" does that include the motor or just the solenoid starter switch? which is easy to replace.
    The starter would be the electrical motor that turns the motor over. The solenoid just controls if it gets voltage from the batteries. If the starter isn't turning at all I would check for voltage on the "load" side of the solenoid when the starter button is pushed. That would be the side that connects to the starter.

    What was making the whining noise then? Usually all you might hear is a click if the solenoid is bad but not passing voltage.

  9. #9
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    john deere 550 dozer 1987 / Kubota B2920 2010 / JD 260 skid steere 2003

    Default Re: john deere 550 dozer won"t start.

    I honestly couldnt tell you at the moment where the faint humming sound came from. there was the click from the relay and then smoke like that of a faded out match. at the solenoid ground terminal which was hot. it may have been old soot and grease that caused the smoke but not wire insulation. A new motor is $700. a "rebuild" I havent priced yet. Want to make sure that it is the problem before I remove it and potentially run into trouble there. Thanks. JG.

  10. #10
    Veteran Member Bob Rooks's Avatar
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    Default Re: john deere 550 dozer won"t start.

    Quote Originally Posted by museum quality View Post
    There was the click from the relay and then smoke like that of a faded out match. at the solenoid ground terminal which was hot.
    Do you have a relay that operates the starter solenoid primary current?
    What do you mean by "solenoid ground terminal"?
    I have never seen an isolated ground solenoid on a tractor.
    The faint humming sound could have been the brushes on the comm or the starter windings.
    Yuchai YCT dozer, Mustang 2040 skid steer, Mitsubishi MS035 Mini-Ex, Trimble equipped 7' Dual Dozer, and a LiTW BH7600 back hoe for sale.

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