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  1. #1
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    Eagleville, Pennsylvania
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    John Deere 445

    Default John Deere 445 Stalling, Hesitating, Bogging, Fixed - Finally

    I wanted to post about a problem I have been chasing down for almost the last three years on my JD 445 Garden Tractor. I have finally found a resolution and along the way I have seen that many 445 owners have asked the same questions I had asked. What I never found was someone saying yes, this is your answer and how diagnosis it and to fix it. Well, I think I have figured out the diagnostic's you need to perform to isolate the problem. Read on

    During the summer of 2007 I started to experience a hesitation/stall issue after running the tractor for 15-20 with the mower pto engaged (This problem did not happen under any situation except for the mower pto engaged). The 445 has the injector light on the dash that is supposed to flash a code if you have a sensor fail. But I wasn't getting a sensor light. The motor would sputter, lose power, sometimes die, sometimes stumble and if I lowered the throttle it would catch itself and continue to run. At the time, it wasn't that severe and would not happen each time I ran the tractor.

    In 2008, I purchased two new coils (hoping that I was getting heat soak issues in the coils). This didn't help and I was getting the same problem. Though now it was happening just about every time I ran the tractor but still no sensor light. At this point it got down right annoying to run the thing but I got through the year and decided I would deal with it the next summer.

    Enter 2009, midway through the summer I was still having the same problem. Then on top of this I had a head gasket let go on the left cylinder. In the process the heat spiked quick and it actually cracked the cylinder bore. Tractor had 590 hours at this point and at this point I wasn't sure if the problem was interrelated or what I was actually hoping it was related and now I would have it fixed. Well I found a used crankcase (along with rods, piston, crank, cam) for a very reasonable 200 bucks and was able to rebuild the motor. My heads survived, and I was actually able to use the original crank, rods, pistons, etc. Got everything slapped together in late October and ran the tractor (thinking it was fixed) all winter plowing snow dam thing ran great and I thought what I had experienced was somehow related to a slowly giving up head gasket.

    Well, now we are in 2010, I think everything is fine and I put the mower back on. Umm, No dam thing started its same antics. Now, I was either fixing this thing or going to drive it off a cliff. Here is what I did to trouble shoot it. First I googled the heck out of the problem and finally found the injector code light definitions. Here they are:

    The injection system failure indicator serves as an injection system diagnostic tool. When there is a problem with one of the fuel injection sensors, the indicator will blink. This light has two signals, a long blink (-) and a short blink (.) Use the following to diagnose the indicator blinking:

    .-.. Air Temperature Sensor problem.
    .-... Water Temperature Sensor problem.
    .- -. Air Pressure Sensor problem (Manifold Air Pressure Sensor MAP).
    .- -.. Key switch was turned on too quickly.

    I also read that on the 445 air and fuel are directed by the Air Temp, Water Temp, and MAP. But the computer will react a bit different to a failure of each of those sensors. If a failure in the Air or Water Sensor is detected, the computer will just fall back on default setting and the engine will run fine meaning you probably won稚 notice a difference in performance. The MAP Sensor, however is a different animal and is the single most important sensor on this FUELIE motor.

    Here is what I did.

    On a cold motor I unplugged the Air and Water sensors and the motor ran fine (I kept the MAP sensor plugged in). I did get the codes above for each sensor flashing so I knew my computer was recognizing the situation ok. Then I started to mow with the sensors unplugged. 15 minutes later THE PROBLEM STARTED. Ok, so now I know I probably have a MAP issue because I know the following. I am getting the fuel pump primed/pressure on startup. I am getting the motor to run perfectly fine with the Air and Temp sensor unplugged. Only thing left is the MAP sensor. I am 99% sure this is my problem at this point but remember, now and with the previous years I still never had an injector failure light that indicated the MAP sensor

    I let the motor cool and plugged the Air and Temp sensors back in but UNPLUGGED the MAP. The motor would idle any advancement of throttle and it stalled out. This is what you would expect because the MAP sensor is determining the AIR and fuel based on vacuum in the manifold. At idle it is constant and sensor isn稚 doing much at this point. Any change and no sensor = dyeing out engine.

    So now I know/think at 99% that it is my MAP so I ordered up a new one to the tune of $247.00 (the most expensive sensor on anything but the diesel garden tractors) and thought to myself that 1% question in my mind and Murphy's Law better not get me.

    On Saturday I installed the sensor and mowed with it. Results 200% better, No stalling, No hesitating, No bogging, and overall the motor just ran at 100% for over 1.5hours of mowing.

    Keep in mind that I ever had a MAP sensor code flash so this lead me to believe that wasn't the problem for the years it was happening. I think the sensors are going bad in such a way that they are heating up and some sort of resistance is occurring that is causing it to temporarily cut out and this is causing the computer to go nuts trying to figure out the amount of air/fuel (I think the cutting out sensor is showing no vacuum which is then cutting all fuel to the motor). But the fact that it is only cutting out for seconds or fraction of a second lead the computer to not recognize the failure at all and no code is set.

    Well, that sums up the experience and I am back to loving my machine that will hopefully last a long time to come.

    Hopefully those searching for this answer will find this helpful, if you have any questions post em up here.

    MAP sensor part # = M117803
    Last edited by will v; 05-17-2010 at 04:54 PM.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member
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    Aug 2001
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    12,083
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    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: John Deere 445 Stalling, Hesitating, Bogging, Fixed - Finally

    Thanks for that post.
    My son has my 445, so will keep that information in mind for a possible need.

    I have the X485 which is very similar (if not the same engine) to your 445. Have had some hesitation problem upon start-up, but not while operating (except a couple weeks ago, and think I solved it by replacing the fuel filter as it runs ok now).

  3. #3
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    1,545
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    Michigan
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    JD455 & JD790

    Default Re: John Deere 445 Stalling, Hesitating, Bogging, Fixed - Finally

    Quote Originally Posted by will v View Post
    I also read that on the 445 air and fuel are directed by the Air Temp, Water Temp, and MAP. But the computer will react a bit different to a failure of each of those sensors. If a failure in the Air or Water Sensor is detected, the computer will just fall back on default setting and the engine will run fine meaning you probably won't notice a difference in performance. The MAP Sensor, however is a different animal and is the single most important sensor on this FUELIE motor.....

    I let the motor cool and plugged the Air and Temp sensors back in but UNPLUGGED the MAP. The motor would idle, any advancement of throttle and it stalled out. This is what you would expect because the MAP sensor is determining the AIR and fuel based on vacuum in the manifold. At idle it is constant and sensor isn't doing much at this point. Any change and no sensor = dyeing out engine.
    I hope this solves the problem in the long run, but I have a slight reservation about it. Typically, the MAP sensor is the most important and usually the most problematic. Its function is to determine the load on the engine. In conjunction with the other sensors, the A/F ratio is determined. Should it fail, the engine usually doesn't run or else rather poorly. If you were to unplug the MAP senor, the CPU "should" substitute a default value (a limp mode). It would be interesting to see if things remain OK for a while, and then install the old MAP sensor to see if the problem returns.

    I might add at $247 a pop, isn't the EPA wonderful?
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Eagleville, Pennsylvania
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    John Deere 445

    Default Re: John Deere 445 Stalling, Hesitating, Bogging, Fixed - Finally

    K7LN, I agree - it is the most important sensor. I also believe my problem can be directly related to the failure of the orginal map sensor. However, I do have a bit of question on what caused it to fail.

    Two thoughts here - 1. Bad lot of sensors manufactured since there are a decent amount of people that have experienced this. 2. Something is causing the failure - I have no idea what this could be though (computer, contamination from the manfold into the sensor, ?????).

    Also, to your point on the MAP and it's importance I did "learn" alittle bit about how the sensor interacts with the computer. On the fuelie Kawasaki Fd620 engine it appears that the computer will defualt to static setting for all sensors except the MAP. The MAP goes and that is it, NO limp mode as with the Air and Temp sensors. This however, has not been confirmed with JD or any mechanice that I could locate as there seems to be very limited knowledge on the exact config of this motor. This is why I think I had an intermitent failure or something heat related that cause sporadic failure.

    If it fails again -- I'll be sure to post here, you can we sure of that!!

    Will

  5. #5
    Veteran Member kebo's Avatar
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    Lexington, SC
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    2001 John Deere 790 4x4, bar tires

    Default Re: John Deere 445 Stalling, Hesitating, Bogging, Fixed - Finally

    Quote Originally Posted by will v View Post


    Keep in mind that I ever had a MAP sensor code flash so this lead me to believe that wasn't the problem for the years it was happening. I think the sensors are going bad in such a way that they are heating up and some sort of resistance is occurring that is causing it to temporarily cut out and this is causing the computer to go nuts trying to figure out the amount of air/fuel (I think the cutting out sensor is showing no vacuum which is then cutting all fuel to the motor). But the fact that it is only cutting out for seconds or fraction of a second lead the computer to not recognize the failure at all and no code is set.

    MAP sensor part # = M117803
    Another possibility as to why the diagnostic code might not have reported the condition your motor was exhibiting was that there may be a time delay in the code. In other words, the firmware running the code won't issue an error code unless the problem exists for more than X amount of seconds or minutes. You said it may have been an intermittent condition which may not have been long enough for the computer to determine it as a hard failure.

    I know for a fact that my F-150 can have one of the ignition coil packs go bad and it will NOT light up the check engine light for quite some time. In fact, I've had three coil packs go bad in the 7 years I've owned the truck and one time I remember I had to drive it for two weeks with a bad skip until it finally logged a failure, lit up the check engine light, and then reported which cylinder was misfiring with the code reader. After that, it was simple to go get a coil pack, pull the old one off, put on the new one, then get the error cleared out of the error log. All was well then.

    Hopefully you've taken care of your annoying little problem!
    Nothing could be finer than riding my JD790 in South Carolina!!

    2001 John Deere 790 4x4 with Model 70 FEL, 5ft International World Agritech bush hog, 5ft Wallberg BB, 5ft Frontier disc harrow, 5ft King Kutter II Rototiller, 5ft Cultipacker, 5ft Sitrex finish mower, Leinbach PHD with 9" & 12" augers, Leinbach middlebuster, Leinbach #11 Field Cultivator, boom pole, custom 3pt handi-hitch, clamp on bucket forks, Pat's Easy Change.

    Nothing runs like a Deere, or smells like a John....

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Jul 2010
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    445 john deere

    Default Re: John Deere 445 Stalling, Hesitating, Bogging, Fixed - Finally

    Quote Originally Posted by will v View Post
    I wanted to post about a problem I have been chasing down for almost the last three years on my JD 445 Garden Tractor. I have finally found a resolution and along the way I have seen that many 445 owners have asked the same questions I had asked. What I never found was someone saying yes, this is your answer and how diagnosis it and to fix it. Well, I think I have figured out the diagnostic's you need to perform to isolate the problem. Read on

    During the summer of 2007 I started to experience a hesitation/stall issue after running the tractor for 15-20 with the mower pto engaged (This problem did not happen under any situation except for the mower pto engaged). The 445 has the injector light on the dash that is supposed to flash a code if you have a sensor fail. But I wasn't getting a sensor light. The motor would sputter, lose power, sometimes die, sometimes stumble and if I lowered the throttle it would catch itself and continue to run. At the time, it wasn't that severe and would not happen each time I ran the tractor.

    In 2008, I purchased two new coils (hoping that I was getting heat soak issues in the coils). This didn't help and I was getting the same problem. Though now it was happening just about every time I ran the tractor but still no sensor light. At this point it got down right annoying to run the thing but I got through the year and decided I would deal with it the next summer.

    Enter 2009, midway through the summer I was still having the same problem. Then on top of this I had a head gasket let go on the left cylinder. In the process the heat spiked quick and it actually cracked the cylinder bore. Tractor had 590 hours at this point and at this point I wasn't sure if the problem was interrelated or what I was actually hoping it was related and now I would have it fixed. Well I found a used crankcase (along with rods, piston, crank, cam) for a very reasonable 200 bucks and was able to rebuild the motor. My heads survived, and I was actually able to use the original crank, rods, pistons, etc. Got everything slapped together in late October and ran the tractor (thinking it was fixed) all winter plowing snow dam thing ran great and I thought what I had experienced was somehow related to a slowly giving up head gasket.

    Well, now we are in 2010, I think everything is fine and I put the mower back on. Umm, No dam thing started its same antics. Now, I was either fixing this thing or going to drive it off a cliff. Here is what I did to trouble shoot it. First I googled the heck out of the problem and finally found the injector code light definitions. Here they are:

    The injection system failure indicator serves as an injection system diagnostic tool. When there is a problem with one of the fuel injection sensors, the indicator will blink. This light has two signals, a long blink (-) and a short blink (.) Use the following to diagnose the indicator blinking:

    .-.. Air Temperature Sensor problem.
    .-... Water Temperature Sensor problem.
    .- -. Air Pressure Sensor problem (Manifold Air Pressure Sensor MAP).
    .- -.. Key switch was turned on too quickly.

    I also read that on the 445 air and fuel are directed by the Air Temp, Water Temp, and MAP. But the computer will react a bit different to a failure of each of those sensors. If a failure in the Air or Water Sensor is detected, the computer will just fall back on default setting and the engine will run fine meaning you probably won稚 notice a difference in performance. The MAP Sensor, however is a different animal and is the single most important sensor on this FUELIE motor.

    Here is what I did.

    On a cold motor I unplugged the Air and Water sensors and the motor ran fine (I kept the MAP sensor plugged in). I did get the codes above for each sensor flashing so I knew my computer was recognizing the situation ok. Then I started to mow with the sensors unplugged. 15 minutes later THE PROBLEM STARTED. Ok, so now I know I probably have a MAP issue because I know the following. I am getting the fuel pump primed/pressure on startup. I am getting the motor to run perfectly fine with the Air and Temp sensor unplugged. Only thing left is the MAP sensor. I am 99% sure this is my problem at this point but remember, now and with the previous years I still never had an injector failure light that indicated the MAP sensor

    I let the motor cool and plugged the Air and Temp sensors back in but UNPLUGGED the MAP. The motor would idle any advancement of throttle and it stalled out. This is what you would expect because the MAP sensor is determining the AIR and fuel based on vacuum in the manifold. At idle it is constant and sensor isn稚 doing much at this point. Any change and no sensor = dyeing out engine.

    So now I know/think at 99% that it is my MAP so I ordered up a new one to the tune of $247.00 (the most expensive sensor on anything but the diesel garden tractors) and thought to myself that 1% question in my mind and Murphy's Law better not get me.

    On Saturday I installed the sensor and mowed with it. Results 200% better, No stalling, No hesitating, No bogging, and overall the motor just ran at 100% for over 1.5hours of mowing.

    Keep in mind that I ever had a MAP sensor code flash so this lead me to believe that wasn't the problem for the years it was happening. I think the sensors are going bad in such a way that they are heating up and some sort of resistance is occurring that is causing it to temporarily cut out and this is causing the computer to go nuts trying to figure out the amount of air/fuel (I think the cutting out sensor is showing no vacuum which is then cutting all fuel to the motor). But the fact that it is only cutting out for seconds or fraction of a second lead the computer to not recognize the failure at all and no code is set.

    Well, that sums up the experience and I am back to loving my machine that will hopefully last a long time to come.

    Hopefully those searching for this answer will find this helpful, if you have any questions post em up here.

    MAP sensor part # = M117803
    Thanks Will V
    I have the same exact issue going on with my 445, could you tell me where this sensor is located? and what would it look like?

  7. #7
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Eagleville, Pennsylvania
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    John Deere 445

    Default Re: John Deere 445 Stalling, Hesitating, Bogging, Fixed - Finally

    It is located on the left side of the engine - driver side if you will. It is a black box and has the wiring harness and a small black vacum line attached to it.

    It is attached to the bottom of the air filter plate (kinda upside down) with one screw.

    Hope that fixes your problem also

    Will

  8. #8
    New Member Ranger3148's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    3
    Location
    Lafayette, IN
    Tractor
    JD 445, Z445 & Yanmar

    Default Re: John Deere 445 Stalling, Hesitating, Bogging, Fixed - Finally

    Will V-read your post while trying to diagnose another issue. However, I dealt with your problem for years and finally fixed it. We would have our 445 at work stumble then stall about every 10 minutes under heavy mowing. Took it to the local shop three times over 4 years to try and fix. Several of our engineers at work looked at the tractor when it would act up and someone finally realized the tractor was stalling because the fuel injection was moving to a super rich mixture as if the tractor and air was cold. We found out the air temperature sensor was sending the wrong signal indicating the air was cold and the fuel injection system would compensate. Replaced the air temperature sensor (about $30) and bam! Works like a champ now! Later on, found multiple internet posts with the same issue with this engine.

  9. #9
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    Sep 2009
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    John Deere 445

    Default Re: John Deere 445 Stalling, Hesitating, Bogging, Fixed - Finally

    Glad you found the solution to your problem. My problem was independent of the temp sensor issue you had. I could up plug my temp sensor and run the motor fine for a bit and then would get my stalling problem. I read that the temp sensor when unplugged - the computer just goes to the default reading and runs "fine".

    I was able to diagnose all sensors besides the MAP this way

    Will

  10. #10

    Default Re: John Deere 445 Stalling, Hesitating, Bogging, Fixed - Finally

    I have a 445 with the same problems.........I have a suspicion that bad gas can cause the stalling, too. My neighbor's tiller was filled with the same gas as the 445 when I had problems, and he later told me of stumbling. It's the only time this year I've had this problem.

    I'm not smart enough to find a real technical solution for a problem, so I found an easy one.

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