Bad news big repair

sallyb

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I have considered a direct wire to the glow plugs last year. It’s not a novel approach, but I believe when you disrupt the glow plug circuit it may derate the tractor.
Right now, the ECU is still reading the air and water temp sensors, but something else in the ECU circuit won’t turn them on. When I removed the water temp sensor plug from the water temp sensor in the glow plug wiring harness circuit, the tractor went into a derated mode.
What I think might happen is when the ECU sees the glow plug wiring circuit disrupted it will derate. I don’t know for sure.
I guess there’s only one way to find out…..
If I can fool the ECU into seeing both sensors, it may be possible, but I think any part of the harness not reading causes derate.
Do you know anyone who builds computers? If so have them look at ECU and see if they can identify problem.
 
  
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Hay Dude

Hay Dude

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Do you know anyone who builds computers? If so have them look at ECU and see if they can identify problem.
I have identified a few and am contacting them at night when they are closed. AG Express unable to service Kubota electronics. Working long hours, so my time is limited.
1639439643337.jpeg

Thanks for the calm suggestions. :) Maybe if someone goes to bed, we can get this solved! :)
Were headed back in the right direction. :)
 
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sallyb

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Purchased my M135X in warmer months almost 3 years ago (April 2019). Never thought to see if the glow plugs worked. They actually won’t work if it’s over 41*.
Last winter, I realized the glow plugs weren’t working. Ohmed out wires, looked at wiring for mice damage, water damage, bad grounds, etc. Ohmed out wiring. Thats when I learned the glow plug system in larger kubotas is more complex than I thought. All 4 glow plugs passed electrical testing.
The glow plugs have 2 sensors one for air temp, one for water temp. The ignition switch is also part of the circuit. Then there are 2 relays and a fuse. All of this is controlled by the ECU. Last winter, I replaced
Key switch
water temp sensor
air temp sensor
both relays
fuse

Still no glow plugs. With nothing left to replace or test, I succumbed to a very reputable Kubota dealer. They basically did all the same things I did and replaced one of the new sensors I had already placed.
Still nothing. They called Kubotas double secret probation hotline and Kubota thinks it’s the ECU.

ECU price $6000 :(
ECU Not returnable and no guarantee it will fix glow plugs.

So I’m out of answers. Any thoughts on other possible avenues to pursue?
There is a place in Dallas Texas that rebuilds ECU , I don’t remember the name , but I probably can find out, I have a 1988 f150 ford, one the first with ECU and it went out and my brother knew about company that rebuilds ECU, I remember we couldn’t find new one, I believe it cost me $100 and they programed it.
 
  
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Hay Dude

Hay Dude

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I have the shop manual for it of your interested in diagnosing.
I already have it and went through the steps last year. Went through it again weeks ago, then Kubota dealer spent an hour or 2 testing it. I don’t claim to know everything like some and it needs fixed.
Maybe my corroded plug idea is the solution, I hope it is.
 
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DieselBound

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Did I mention there no glow plug light on dash cluster? It’s not a dummy light. I don’t think it’ll glow unless glow plugs glow.
Do you know that the light actually works? Yeah, perhaps a stupid question, but assumptions sometimes can cause problems...
 

Henro

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I think it’s sad when someone asks for help, and people seem to try to help, and then it turns into bickering rather than staying focused on the issue.

For whatever reason. Could be unreasonable suggestions attempting to help, or rejection of reasonable suggestions by the original poster.

:cry:
 
  
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Do you know that the light actually works? Yeah, perhaps a stupid question, but assumptions sometimes can cause problems...
No, I can’t prove it works. 2 years ago, the light would flicker, for a fraction of a second.
But even if the dash light was out, there’s no glow plugs whatsoever. Starting is rough.
My M126x (pretty much the same tractor, just 9 less HP) has glow plugs functioning properly and starts perfectly.
 
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I think it’s sad when someone asks for help, and people seem to try to help, and then it turns into bickering rather than staying focused on the issue.

For whatever reason. Could be unreasonable suggestions attempting to help, or rejection of reasonable suggestions by the original poster.

:cry:
@Henro
Agree in general, but if that’s your accusation, could you find anywhere where I rejected anyone’s reasonable suggestions?
Heres my post on Saturday when the tread was started:

So try to understand I’m trying to get the factory system working before I install a work around That’s my first preference. The purpose of the thread was to inquire if there’s anything else I may have overlooked to get the FACTORY system working.”

I’m trying to look for suggestions fix the Kubota OEM system first. If that’s not possible, install my own switch to energize the glow plugs. That’s easy. It can be done at anytime.
It’s that simple.
There have been at least a dozen suggestions for a block heater, too after it was stated there’s no AC power available. :ROFLMAO:
I appreciate them, but after about the 20th bypass switch suggestion and about the 12th AC block heater suggestion, few paid attention to my desire to fix the original system???? More focus on insisting a one size fits all solution.
It gets a bit frustrating, but I’m staying positive!
 
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WranglerX

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The funny thing here is there is a relay between the battery and the GP's... The ECU probably does not have a clue if the GP's are even there or not ..... Was it ever tested to see signal came from ECU to energies the relay..... So much speculation, no facts from diagnostic results.

This is head to the 213 page thread on how to remove a stripped drain plug....
 

terryu

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Up in northern Canada we use Espar engine heaters. They run off the machines electric and fuel systems and are amazing little units. You can even program it to start up on its own at a predetermined time. Otherwise just hit the start button and give it a hour or 2 depending on how cold it is. Last one I purchased was around $1400 CDN.
 

newbury

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but after about the 20th bypass switch suggestion and about the 12th AC block heater suggestion, few paid attention to my desire to fix the original system????
Some people don't read the thread, they read the last page. They also don't know how to fix the original system. What's your fuel consumption at idle? Could you just let the tractor idle overnight?
 

K5lwq

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Wonder how long the tractor would be down waiting on them to rebuild the ECU?
 

K5lwq

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No, I can’t prove it works. 2 years ago, the light would flicker, for a fraction of a second.
But even if the dash light was out, there’s no glow plugs whatsoever. Starting is rough.
My M126x (pretty much the same tractor, just 9 less HP) has glow plugs functioning properly and starts perfectly.
Here is a thought. What if you tried the ECU out of the M126X to see if it would fire the glow plugs? At least then you would know if there is a problem with the ECU. Of course if it blows the glow plug circuit you will need two bypass switches. But that is cheap enough.
 
  
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Here is a thought. What if you tried the ECU out of the M126X to see if it would fire the glow plugs? At least then you would know if there is a problem with the ECU. Of course if it blows the glow plug circuit you will need two bypass switches. But that is cheap enough.
I thought of trying that last year, but I ran it by someone who was an electronics tech in the military and he thought it would not be a good idea since the tractors have different programming.
 

K5lwq

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I thought of trying that last year, but I ran it by someone who was an electronics tech in the military and he thought it would not be a good idea since the tractors have different programming.
I was thinking of not even trying to start it but just cycling the glow plugs to see what happens. Probably not a good idea but it would be tempting.
 

PhilTheFarmer

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Purchased my M135X in warmer months almost 3 years ago (April 2019). Never thought to see if the glow plugs worked. They actually won’t work if it’s over 41*.
Last winter, I realized the glow plugs weren’t working. Ohmed out wires, looked at wiring for mice damage, water damage, bad grounds, etc. Ohmed out wiring. Thats when I learned the glow plug system in larger kubotas is more complex than I thought. All 4 glow plugs passed electrical testing.
The glow plugs have 2 sensors one for air temp, one for water temp. The ignition switch is also part of the circuit. Then there are 2 relays and a fuse. All of this is controlled by the ECU. Last winter, I replaced
Key switch
water temp sensor
air temp sensor
both relays
fuse

Still no glow plugs. With nothing left to replace or test, I succumbed to a very reputable Kubota dealer. They basically did all the same things I did and replaced one of the new sensors I had already placed.
Still nothing. They called Kubotas double secret probation hotline and Kubota thinks it’s the ECU.

ECU price $6000 :(
ECU Not returnable and no guarantee it will fix glow plugs.

So I’m out of answers. Any thoughts on other possible avenues to pursue?
I'm thinking that by-passing all that complicated sensor stuff and just having a direct feed and a manual switch from the battery to the glow plugs might be worth investigating.

Or, if you're worried about forgetting that the manual switch is still 'on' whilst running the engine, add a timer relay that puts power into the glow plugs and drops the power after a preset period of time.

Good luck with the repair - I wouldn't contemplate changing out the ECU for that money!

Phil
 

LittleBill21

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Here is a thought. What if you tried the ECU out of the M126X to see if it would fire the glow plugs? At least then you would know if there is a problem with the ECU. Of course if it blows the glow plug circuit you will need two bypass switches. But that is cheap enough.
or it could be tested in about 5 minutes with a multimeter, with 0 risk
 

JimRB

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I see the thread has devolved into the same options repeated often. If your wiring diagram is like the one I posted, have you confirmed the voltages to the glow plug relay? Only thing the ECU should control is the ground that pulls the relay in to close the circuit that supplies 12v and a lot of amps to the glow plugs. As someone else mentioned on the VW TDI you turn the ignition on to activate the glow plugs before you activate the starter. On my JD 870 you turn the ignition switch counterclockwise to activate the intake heater. My Dodge truck you turn the ignition to run to activate the manifold heater. I thought I saw in the diagram that your tractor may also have a manifold heater.

If you did not watch over the field mechanic do you know if he or she did any multimeter testing? Corroded connections could be causing the relay to not work. I had my VW chip tuned years ago. That guy removed the ECU, opened the ECU, desoldered the computer chip, programmed the chip and soldered it back. Later tune from another company tuned from the OBD port. A bit of blah blah blah about I do not recall how the ECU box was split open.

I got a Scag zero turn "Died while mowing." Right go arm switch bypassed, fuse holder cut out and wire nutted, seat switch wire nutted, fuel pump not plugged into wiring harness but using wire nut. Dealer sold me wrong arm switches which took me a while to figure out. Sold me NC switches instead of Normally Open switches. PTO switch did not ohm out the way I liked so it was replaced. Plugged fuel pump into wiring harness. Replaced missing fuse holder and fuse. Proper arm switch installed. Jerry rigged throttle cable so it works properly. Starter circuit works again and engine runs. Horrible sound from mowing deck and crummy quality of cut. Bent deck and a lot of spindles with bad bearings. Driveshaft to gearbox also has bad bearings and destroyed seal journal surfaces. Mower deck cracked. Lots of grease fitting with factory paint on a 16 year old mower. Eventually I will get that deck straight, cracks welded, seal journals welded and turned back to size.

Anyhow if you have time, a multimeter and a helper you could figure out what is missing electrically from the glow plug relay and then trace that back to the ECU wiring plug. If you only had time and some daylight. That ground wire terminal 5 to the relay looks like you only have a few seconds to test on a cold day.
 
  
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Hay Dude

Hay Dude

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Yep, it’s not easy as it seems, and I am not an electronics expert, so I came seeking advice on fixing existing system. Thanks for suggestions
 
  
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Wonder how long the tractor would be down waiting on them to rebuild the ECU?
Or if the ECU isn’t on its way out with other functions?
 

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I thought of trying that last year, but I ran it by someone who was an electronics tech in the military and he thought it would not be a good idea since the tractors have different programming.


If it was a mechanical part, I'd do it. But electronics... if it blows you now have 2 machines that don't work.

I ran into a lot of this at my last job.... people wanting to swap boards from a good working machine into a bad non-working machine. We only had 2 machines, and they wanted me to possibly make them both dead. No way.

If I had at least a pair and a spare, I'd consider it. But not with just 2 machines.
 

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Lots of pages I have not read here, but has it been mentioned that "some" glow/preheat components do not tolerate full 12V battery voltage during the heating process. That is, the multiple heaters (glow plugs) need an additional dropping resister to limit applied voltage to keep from burning out the heater elements. Some do, some do NOT.
The B7200 has a bare wire coil that heats and glows red , visible through a hole in the dash.

Such information and "matching of components" is important when jury rigging any work around.

Wouldn't want to burn out all the heaters and add to the cost of learning.
 

MossRoad

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Or if the ECU isn’t on its way out with other functions?
Yeah, that's a possibility. But at least you have a plan to get the glow plugs working if it's not the corrosion issue you mentioned. Then only time will tell if other functions of the ECU will go out.
 

Larry D Johnson

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Purchased my M135X in warmer months almost 3 years ago (April 2019). Never thought to see if the glow plugs worked. They actually won’t work if it’s over 41*.
Last winter, I realized the glow plugs weren’t working. Ohmed out wires, looked at wiring for mice damage, water damage, bad grounds, etc. Ohmed out wiring. Thats when I learned the glow plug system in larger kubotas is more complex than I thought. All 4 glow plugs passed electrical testing.
The glow plugs have 2 sensors one for air temp, one for water temp. The ignition switch is also part of the circuit. Then there are 2 relays and a fuse. All of this is controlled by the ECU. Last winter, I replaced
Key switch
water temp sensor
air temp sensor
both relays
fuse

Still no glow plugs. With nothing left to replace or test, I succumbed to a very reputable Kubota dealer. They basically did all the same things I did and replaced one of the new sensors I had already placed.
Still nothing. They called Kubotas double secret probation hotline and Kubota thinks it’s the ECU.

ECU price $6000 :(
ECU Not returnable and no guarantee it will fix glow plugs.

So I’m out of answers. Any thoughts on other possible avenues to pursue?
Take a look at a cheap Chinese tractor. You will find a a spring loaded switch (some are on the keyswitch turn it left for glow plugs). A fuse and wire going to the glow plugs. Simple and it works. Good luck!
 

coobie

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Gee, I remember you telling me everything you owned was pre 4. Guess you fibbed. Neither of my M's have a black box, thank goodness.
Lighten up Alice.
 

divyakfm

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As mentioned in some previous posts: TANK OR BLOCK HEATERS. A much more reasonable fix. We have a 1972 JD 3020 and 2005 JD 6603 both without glowplugs. Using the heaters we never had any trouble starting these in our WI winters. Depending on the temp, plug in time varies. Sometimes if we are in a hurry a shot of ether will help. DO NOT over do the ether.
 
  
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As mentioned in some previous posts: TANK OR BLOCK HEATERS. A much more reasonable fix. We have a 1972 JD 3020 and 2005 JD 6603 both without glowplugs. Using the heaters we never had any trouble starting these in our WI winters. Depending on the temp, plug in time varies. Sometimes if we are in a hurry a shot of ether will help. DO NOT over do the ether.
No AC power available…..
 

ptsg

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Well, considering that a block heater and radiator hose heater have been mentioned once or 1000 times now, I'll suggest something different. Mount one of those water heating solar panels on the roof of the tractor, connect it to the cooling system and park the tractor under the sun light. 🤣
 

CADplans

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No AC power available…..
A $200 generator will fix the lack of AC power, it only needs to run 30 minutes,,,

The $200 generator could run three or more magnetic block heaters, thus shortening the heat prior to start time,,

I used three heaters on my 584 IH the one time I needed to get it started when it was REALLY cold,
It started in about 15 minutes. (we hardly ever get cold enough to need any kind of start aid,,)

PLUS, you have a perfect generator for your net camping trip, no need to miss the big game on the TV!!
 
  
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A $200 generator will fix the lack of AC power, it only needs to run 30 minutes,,,

The $200 generator could run three or more magnetic block heaters, thus shortening the heat prior to start time,,

I used three heaters on my 584 IH the one time I needed to get it started when it was REALLY cold,
It started in about 15 minutes. (we hardly ever get cold enough to need any kind of start aid,,)

PLUS, you have a perfect generator for your net camping trip, no need to miss the big game on the TV!!
Yeah thats true.
I will add it to the list of possibilities
Going to try to see if corrosion of the ECU and plug fixes it first. If it doesn’t, will pursue on board DIY glow plug set up or maybe a generator to power a block heater.
I really should buy a small portable generator one of these days….
 

skipmarcy

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Especially in instances of corrosion an ohm meter may not detect the problem - you need to test using voltage to see if the wire/circuit is capable of the load. In my decades of auto diagnosing I used a headlight bulb rigged with wires to test integrity of 12vdc circuits. Alot of times it's not the connection between the pins/spades in the two halves of a connector but in the crimp/solder of the wire to the said pin/spade and in severe cases even up the wire under the insulation.
 

5030

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I will add it to the list of possibilities
Going to try to see if corrosion of the ECU and plug fixes it first.
After cleaning, if it cures the issue, coat the connectors with di-electric grease before reassembling the connectors. Might help. SOP for me. Always have a tube laying around.

Anything is better than a new brain box.
 

5030

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PLUS, you have a perfect generator for your net camping trip, no need to miss the big game on the TV!!
Need to be careful with that use. Electronics prefer pure sine wave power that a cheapo 200 buck genny cannot provide. I have a small (2000 watt) inverter myself. Runs anything electronic flawlessly including the computer. Honda, Champion and a few others are available and very portable.
 

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Wow what a fast-paced thread. Lotta ego in the chat LOL.

Lots of good suggestions but I think I vastly prefer the "shove a burning newspaper up the intake" idea, haha. More realistically, a 12V intake grid-heater could probably be snuck into place in front of the intake manifold somewhere. Wire up your own relay and switch for it, run for 30 seconds before attempting to start. Might not be as good as glow plugs, but it would help a lot. Good enough for 12 and 24 valve Cummins 5.9s in zero degree weather.
 

WranglerX

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Funny thing about all these suggestion and posts, there is absolutely no diagnostic results that ECU is failed..... It could be many things besides bad ECU, bad relay, bad GP indicator, loose wire, blown fuse.... Until the is a full diagnosis of circuit from ECU output to GP nothing will be resolved.... I just don't understand willing ness to drop $6k for maybe a $6 fix....
 

CADplans

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More realistically, a 12V intake grid-heater could probably be snuck into place in front of the intake manifold somewhere. Wire up your own relay and switch for it, run for 30 seconds before attempting to start.
My JD 650 has that type start assist, when I bought it, I asked a neighbor about the start aid,, as he had the same tractor,,
His reply was "What start aid??"
It seems the Yanmar engine, in over 30 years of use, never needed any start assist, no matter how cold.
My JD 4105, also a Yanmar engine, is the same way, with the same grid heater,, hit the key, it starts,,

On the other hand, I have two neighbors with Kubota's,, both use the glow plugs to start, in the middle of summer,,,,
 

deezler

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Depends a bit on compression ratio and whether they have pre-chamber ignition.

But IMO, from an engine design standpoint, the only reason not to have glow plugs is cost savings. There is no downside to smoother, quicker engine starting in cold weather. Some engines might not really need it, but it wouldn't hurt. Virginia doesn't get very cold, either.... try in sub-zero and you'll appreciate all the help you can get. :)
 

shooterdon

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AHHHH....Cabin fever makes things "interesting".

Looks like the Kubota block heater is 400W.

This should power it for about an hour:


You could add a solar charger, but I would just charge it in the garage and bring the unit out when needed. Unit is small and easy to carry. No gas to worry about. Plus, in an emergency you can use it in the house without fumes. The only downside is waiting 30 minutes for the block heater to do its thing. That would irritate me, but I do not have a lot of patience. YMMV

Hopefully the corroded plug is the culprit.
 

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mo8N4me

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1952 Ford 8N - 1955 860
Thats what I’m doing now, but at 25* the Kubota 6.1L gets real angry.
I know this may be a crap shoot, but I purchased a 'Reman/Upgrade PCM/ECU for my 2003 Ranger pickup from this company, "Flagship 1". They are professional and responsive and the PCM is great. I know....The Ranger is a truck and the Kubota is a tractor, but it might be worth a call just to see what they would say about your ECU. Perhaps they might even be able to repair the glitch in the circuit board. My Ranger PCM cost $170 from Flagship + $12 shipping. If they can help you, it is a far cry from $6000. I will give you their link and their phone number is in bold numbers on the front of their website. I did not see tractors listed, but given your predicament it might be worth a call. What could a phone call hurt? Good luck.

PCM/ECU REPAIR AND UPGRADE
 
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ptsg

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Branson F36Rn
Funny thing about all these suggestion and posts, there is absolutely no diagnostic results that ECU is failed..... It could be many things besides bad ECU, bad relay, bad GP indicator, loose wire, blown fuse.... Until the is a full diagnosis of circuit from ECU output to GP nothing will be resolved.... I just don't understand willing ness to drop $6k for maybe a $6 fix....
Exactly. People in this thread got so focused on replacing the ECU but as far as we know, the "replace $6000 ECU" solution came from someone at Kubota, and let's face it, that's their preferred "fix" for sure, which may or may not fix the issue.

Basic diagnostics could save a lot of money in this case. I've asked before if the ECU was sending power to the control side of the relays but had no response. Could be a simple 10 or $20 relay, or a bad plug, or a bad wire somewhere. A lot cheaper than a $6000 ECU.

I'm all for fixing the OEM stuff and have a second solution (separate switch and relay) if the vehicle is really needed. I had a glow plug issue on a 1994 Mitsubishi Pajero/Montero a couple years ago. I could simply wire the GP separately and forget the OEM system. However, I went ahead and traced the issue which turns out it was a bad capacitor on the glow plug control unit.
 
 
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