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  1. #1
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    9,945
    Location
    Triangle Of North Carolina
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Tractor Failed To Start/White Gunk in Fuel

    Today I went out to the property to mow. Its been two
    months according to my notes. I really don't think its been
    that long but at least 4 weeks. The grass was long but it
    sure did not seem like two months long.

    I get out there, wade through the tick and chiggers to get to
    the tractor and she fires right up.

    Then dies a few seconds later. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    Lots of WHITE smoke.

    The last time I was on the tractor I was almost out of fuel
    so I had bought 10 gallons on the way out so I walked back to
    the truck which was a good distance since I had parked out
    of the way to mow. My driveway was really sprouting grass.
    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] I put five gallons in the tractor and same problem. I
    popped the hood and found a nice mouse nest. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    I check the air filters and they look fine. The tractor has
    411.2 hours and I have just done the 400 hour service which
    included changing air and fuel filters. I want to look at the
    air instake hose but I need a screw driver...

    The good news is that I had brought my tools. The bad news
    is that they are a long walk back at the truck. The other
    bad news is that I left my screw drivers at the house. They
    are in the bathroom I have been fixing which is one of the
    reasons for the long time between tractor usage. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] I always
    carry a Swiss Army knife. But its missing. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    Its a good thing I'm by myself so I can cuss and throw a fit
    in peace. Not a nice thing to see a grown man throwing a fit.
    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Soooo, off I go to a small, local Sears to get a set of screw
    drivers.

    $21 and 15 minutes later I'm back. Not to bad. I also found
    the Swiss Army knife as soon as I pulled into Sears. I drive
    the truck to as near the tractor as I can get. No mean task
    with the holes, stumps and rocks but it gets done.

    I take apart the air intake and there is no mouse! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    I look at the fuel filter bowl but I can't really see it since I
    have the FEL on the tractor and it kinda hard to see with it
    in the way.... After much looking at different angles It looks
    like the ring is floating in water so I'll have to take off the
    filter. This take 30 minutes and three wrenchs to work around
    the FEL. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]

    The fuel bowl is fuel of GUNK. Ugly Gunk!!!!! I clean up the
    filter bowl and put it back on. The tractor still won't start.
    [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] Lots of white smoke. I drain some fuel. It looks good.

    I'm figuring the filter with 11 hours on it is full of gunk and by
    this time I'm not likely to get a new one since the dealership
    is 45 minutes away and its already past their closing. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img]
    I start taking all the fuel lines off their fittings. Find MORE
    white GUNK! The Gunk looks like little white drops. I try the
    tractor one more time. No go but lots of white smoke.

    At this point I figure the battery is about toast so I figure I
    had better take it out and bring it home to charge. At least
    the truck is nearby so I don't have to hump the battery out
    of the woods. Been There Done That. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    Grrrrrrr!

    Alright lets clean everything up and give it one more try. I
    climb up on the tractor and since I'm taking the battery home
    I really hit it hard!

    AND THE TRACTOR STARTS!!!!!!!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Wah HOOOOOOOO! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    I left the tractor running, picked up the tools, and drove
    the truck back to its spot. Ran the tractor for 5-6 hours at
    PTO speed and no problems.

    So what the heck was the white stuff? Alge or wax?

    My dad always said to leave a diesel tank as full as possible to
    keep the condesation down. This has been the longest I have
    ever had to leave the tractor sitting.

    If its alge what biocide can I put in? The white PowerService
    I have been using was to prevent gelling. I guess I need
    something else....

    At least it was not to hot and humid, the tractor started,
    stay started, and I got a lot mowed!!!! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

    Later,
    Dan

  2. #2
    Elite Member Don87's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    4,226
    Location
    SW Pa.
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson GC2400

    Default Re: Tractor Failed To Start/White Gunk in Fuel

    Sounds like water in the fuel. You just need to figure out where it came from.
    Whether it be rainfall getting in somehow, water in the fuel can that was used, or water in the fuel from the place you purchased fuel.


    Hope this helps,
    Don

  3. #3
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    262
    Location
    N.E. Arkansas (transplant)

    Default Re: Tractor Failed To Start/White Gunk in Fuel

    If the fuel tank was close to empty it could also be condensation. 4 weeks or longer is alot of time for an empty tank to condensate. Sitting that long, gives fuel a good chance to deteriorate and start algae growth also.
    Best advise is keep the fuel tank full and use a good fuel conditioner.

  4. #4
    Elite Member rekees4300's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Posts
    2,796
    Location
    Indiana
    Tractor
    JD4300 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Tractor Failed To Start/White Gunk in Fuel

    Very likely water from condensation. My owners manual says to keep the tank full. It's diesel.

  5. #5
    Elite Member RalphVa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Posts
    3,758
    Location
    Charlottesville, VA, USA
    Tractor
    JD 1025, previously Gravely 5650 & JD 4010

    Default Re: Tractor Failed To Start/White Gunk in Fuel

    Was your tractor sitting there during the winter?

    This last winter, I had some problems with my tractor trying to cut out on me when pushing snow. Once, I had to drive it part throttle down the street to get back home. Siphoned the tank and found 2 globs of white wax near the outlet hole out of the tank to the filter.

    Earlier, I had taken the diesel back to the dealer thinking it was water. They tested it all and said, "No water". So, I told them that I guess they wouldn't mind putting it back into their tanks and refunding my money (on the first 15 gallons of off road I'd ever bought). Refilled the 3 containers with B5. Used that to refill the tank once I fished out the 2 globs of wax.

    Water won't glob up like that, but if you had it in the fuel bowl with some separation there, you may have had water. My globs never got out of the tank. They just partly blocked the outlet line.

    Ralph
    The natural gardener
    God's original intent

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    1,020
    Location
    Guernsey Co. Ohio
    Tractor
    Ford 3000

    Default Re: Tractor Failed To Start/White Gunk in Fuel

    This might be a new record. Almost 7 years old.

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