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  1. #1
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    5,224
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    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Electrical Gremlin

    My tractor ran fine this morning. I used the FEL as a platform to stand on while I put up the last of the plywood on the outside of my workshop build. Then I shut it down to eat breakfast. When I went back out to use it for moving rocks, the started wouldn't engage. Also, when I turn the key to an off position, I hear a buzzing noise for a few seconds. I found the buzzing piece, and it is a relay marked DENSO 061700-0860. I don't know if that's what is causing the no start condition or not. I'm still in the middle of troubleshooting, but any guidance or advice would be welcome.

    I checked all the obvious stuff like seat switch, PTO safety, etc. I think I moved every lever on that little beast a dozen times in different combinations just to make sure I'm not missing something. It acts like it's some kind of relay. I just get nothing when I try to start it. No click. No nothing.

    The tractor is a Massey Ferguson MF1215.

    Wish me luck. I hate chasing crazy little gremlins in the electrical system.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  2. #2
    Super Star Member murphy1244's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    15,839
    Location
    Ohio
    Tractor
    Kioti DK 40-Massey ferguson 135-Ventrac 4500 Diesel

    Default Re: Electrical Gremlin

    sounds like the starter relay or fuel shut off relay.
    Murph ------------

  3. #3
    Elite Member BobRip's Avatar
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    Sep 2004
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    4,144
    Location
    Powhatan Va.
    Tractor
    2000 Power Trac 422

    Default Re: Electrical Gremlin

    Try measuring battery voltage while cranking. It could be the voltage is dropping when the starter is engaged and then the relay drops out. Then the voltage recovers and the really pulls back in. This repeats. It could be a bad connection or the battery. If battery voltage drops below 10 volts the battery is probably the problem.
    Bob Rip
    Tell me and I will hear.
    Show me and I will see.
    Let me do and I will learn.
    Let me fail and I will understand.

  4. #4
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    5,224
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by BobRip
    Try measuring battery voltage while cranking. It could be the voltage is dropping when the starter is engaged and then the relay drops out. Then the voltage recovers and the really pulls back in. This repeats. It could be a bad connection or the battery. If battery voltage drops below 10 volts the battery is probably the problem.
    I already considered that and replaced the battery in the midst of troubleshooting. I guess it could still be the a bad ground our something like that.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  5. #5
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    5,224
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: Electrical Gremlin

    I haven't gotten out to tinker any further with this tractor, but I've been thinking about it a lot.

    What are the chances that the buzzing relay is caused by something else? I.e. is it likely that some other problem or bad part is causing the relay to buzz after the key is turned off? I found a place where I can order the relay, but it's $70 + S&H. I don't want to throw that money at the problem unless there's a good chance that the relay is bad.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  6. #6
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    5,224
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: Electrical Gremlin

    So, ordering the part to see if that's the problem is not an option. I placed an order today and just got an e-mail that the part is 4 weeks out. I canceled, and I'll do some more detailed diagnostics to see for sure what the problem is. Then if I have to replace that part, I'll wait the 4 weeks.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  7. #7
    Super Member Iplayfarmer's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
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    5,224
    Location
    Idaho
    Tractor
    Massey Ferguson 1215, Toro 266-H, Pennsylvania Panzer, Case 444, Craftsman 14/6

    Default Re: Electrical Gremlin

    So I mustered up all the humility I could and called in a favor from a friend who works as a mechanic at the CAT dealership. We found the problem.

    Drum roll please...

    It was a corroded connector. Silly little plastic connector. It took about a half hour of tinkering to find it. We wire brushed the spade terminals and sprayed some electrical cleaner down in there. Now the tractor is all put back together and works as good as new.
    From now on I will only buy cars that are a silver/grey color. Then I can make all body repairs with Duct Tape.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member jimmysisson's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
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    1,519
    Location
    W.Mass
    Tractor
    1993 NH 2120 (the best), 1974 MF 135 (sold, but solid), 1947 Farmall A (bought, sold, bought back, sold again), 1956 MH50 lbt (sold, in 1980, darn it)

    Default Re: Electrical Gremlin

    I hate that mustering up humility part. Glad you found a simple, cheap (in money) solution. Connectors are definitely the weak link in wiring.
    Jim
    "Anything worth doing is worth doing slowly" Mae West

  9. #9
    Veteran Member K7LN's Avatar
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    Feb 2009
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    1,545
    Location
    Michigan
    Tractor
    JD455 & JD790

    Default Re: Electrical Gremlin

    FYI: Usually if a relay is buzzing, it's trying to work and the coil part is good. The coils themselves don't go bad that often. The relay's internal contacts will fail much more often from pitting. In a case like this, it would have been simple to pull the relay and test it manually.
    JD 790 w/70 FEL & 7 BH on turf tires
    JD 455 w/60" MMM & 54" front blade

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