TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions!

   / TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions! #1  

tc40da-rg

Member
Joined
Feb 13, 2009
Messages
48
Tractor
2004 New Holland TC40DA w/hydrostatic transmission & 4wd; 1983, MF 230
I have an FEL mounted brush cutter (Lane Shark — “LS”) that intermittently began losing power, I.e., would randomly stop spinning. it progressed to the point that it would not “power up” at all. The LS is electrically connected to the same circuit as the hydraulic system for my root grapple operation in the joystick. Therefore, it has always been possible to press the rocker switch — that would otherwise open and close my grapple — and start the LS rotating. When the problem first arose, I could press the joystick switch and the LS would operate (as long as you hold the switch. This is why they setup the control box; to have continuous power to the unit). It finally would not operate at all.

Now, let me back up quite a bit: after the LS was initially installed the tractor would only operate in LOW range. Yes, for over a year, everything done with the tractor was excruciatingly slow. I wasn’t using it very often, but had not found the reason for the lack of high range, nor a remedy. To be fair, I am not sure whether the installation of the LS was the cause of this ”slowdown“ issue, or if it was caused by one of the attempts to wire in its controls by another party. I only know that there wasn’t an issue before the LS and it was a huge issue for me afterward.

Now, fast forward to a few months ago: after working for several hours and starting to head in for the day, I suddenly realized that high range had returned! Oh happy day! But, within a week’s time the new problem (above) began.

I had not figured out the problem with the LS functionality but needed to use the root grapple, so I changed them out. I used the grapple, withou issue, for about three or four weeks. Then, one day recently, the grapple simply stopped working also. Everything else hydraulically operated still functions as it should: the FEL, the pivot motion for the grapple/bucket/ etc., all the backhoe movements and even the outriggers. Everything works except for the LS and grapple (open/close) function — which all operate on the same system circuit. Oh, AND the Hi/Lo range functions — yeah, I am “stuck in Lo-die again!”.

To make things more interesting, now the battery” light in the dash does not light up when the key is turned to “on” as it always has; but, it does stay lit all the time after the engine is cranked, although maybe a bit dimly. Also, if I press the joystick rocker switch for the LS/grapple, the dash gauges will slightly flutter or, move and stay as long as the switch is held. If the “Hi/Lo” range joystick OR fender mounted Switches are mashed, the battery light brightens significantly and the dash gauges go crazy! [This is probably a good time to state that this tractor does have hydrostatic transmission]

I have pulled the joystick and its base cover off, and opened the controller box for the LS, and checked all the wires looking for a short to ground. None found. Even replaced the rocker switch in the joystick. Still no luck figuring this out. Can it be something inside the third function valve?

Has anyone else had similar problems? Does anyone know what is causing such an issue and what must be done? Of course this is happening at a time when I need the tractor fully functioning more so than ever, so any help will be greatly appreciated.
 
   / TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions! #2  
@tc40da-rg - ^^^ This sounds like a mess & it seems to all stem from when the "control box" was installed by “they” (not sure who “they” are)... but they may not all be related…

Ok, can you clarify some info: (sorry this is going to be a long post)

- Based on your description the TC40DA has a true third function, is this correct? And not a diverter valve?

- Do you know what third function kit / valve your tractor has installed? (not all are made the same)

- Is the “control box” something that was purchased or something that was built? If it is a manufactured piece… what is it? If it was built… by who? (this could be an issue)

- Is the “control box” only connected when the Land Shark is connected? Is it part of its connection or is it always connected (even when using the grapple)?

- Who installed this… a dealer? Who wired it?



So… If I look at your issues individually I have some ideas on things to check…

First (working backwards) - the battery light issue… if you check the operator’s manual under Battery Charge / Warning Light:

Battery Charge / Warning Light – Should Illuminate when the key switch is in the ACC/RUN position & should remain lit for a short period of time after the engine is started… but it should go out when the engine is running. If the light is on with the tractor running it is indicating the Charging System is NOT operating normally. This mean your system has an issue with the charging / electrical system.

Things to check: (not necessarily in order)
- Load test the battery
- Make sure all the connections are secure & not corroded, including grounding to the frame & the spade connector on the back of the alternator.
- Test your battery cables… NH has a reputation of internal corrosion of the battery cables… so test them with a meter. (if you’re not sure how to test this let me know)
- Make sure your alternator belt is tensioned correctly
- Make sure your alternator is out putting the correct voltage
(Oh, NH Tach’s get direct feedback from the alternator so gauges acting weird might be related to this)

Moving on… Electronic Hi/Lo range: This could be a relay problem…

The TC40DA use (2) relays for the Hi / Lo circuit so you need to check the Hi circuit one (you can swap them to test)… so being that your TC40DA is a 2004 I am not sure of the relay block layout (there seems to be a transition phase between the TC40D & TC40 DA models) so without a pic of your relay block I cannot tell you which one it is. The good news is they are common & you can get them anywhere for $12 or under. (Napa, parts store, amazon, etc)

I hope some of this helps…. The “control box” I would need further info on… to diagnosis but I’m thinking if you isolate the other problems first… getting the tractor to working correctly without the third function valve & control box… you will be able to figure out the rest from there…

Again sorry for the long post…
 
   / TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions!
  • Thread Starter
#3  
@tc40da-rg - ^^^ This sounds like a mess & it seems to all stem from when the "control box" was installed by “they” (not sure who “they” are)... but they may not all be related…

Ok, can you clarify some info: (sorry this is going to be a long post)

- Based on your description the TC40DA has a true third function, is this correct? And not a diverter valve?

- Do you know what third function kit / valve your tractor has installed? (not all are made the same)

- Is the “control box” something that was purchased or something that was built? If it is a manufactured piece… what is it? If it was built… by who? (this could be an issue)

- Is the “control box” only connected when the Land Shark is connected? Is it part of its connection or is it always connected (even when using the grapple)?

- Who installed this… a dealer? Who wired it?



So… If I look at your issues individually I have some ideas on things to check…

First (working backwards) - the battery light issue… if you check the operator’s manual under Battery Charge / Warning Light:

Battery Charge / Warning Light – Should Illuminate when the key switch is in the ACC/RUN position & should remain lit for a short period of time after the engine is started… but it should go out when the engine is running. If the light is on with the tractor running it is indicating the Charging System is NOT operating normally. This mean your system has an issue with the charging / electrical system.

Things to check: (not necessarily in order)
- Load test the battery
- Make sure all the connections are secure & not corroded, including grounding to the frame & the spade connector on the back of the alternator.
- Test your battery cables… NH has a reputation of internal corrosion of the battery cables… so test them with a meter. (if you’re not sure how to test this let me know)
- Make sure your alternator belt is tensioned correctly
- Make sure your alternator is out putting the correct voltage
(Oh, NH Tach’s get direct feedback from the alternator so gauges acting weird might be related to this)

Moving on… Electronic Hi/Lo range: This could be a relay problem…

The TC40DA use (2) relays for the Hi / Lo circuit so you need to check the Hi circuit one (you can swap them to test)… so being that your TC40DA is a 2004 I am not sure of the relay block layout (there seems to be a transition phase between the TC40D & TC40 DA models) so without a pic of your relay block I cannot tell you which one it is. The good news is they are common & you can get them anywhere for $12 or under. (Napa, parts store, amazon, etc)

I hope some of this helps…. The “control box” I would need further info on… to diagnosis but I’m thinking if you isolate the other problems first… getting the tractor to working correctly without the third function valve & control box… you will be able to figure out the rest from there…

Again sorry for the long post…
Dlctcg, thank you very much for your help and input. I’m tied up with several projects right now AND I’m in an area where there is little to no Internet / wi-fi signals, so it takes me a whole lot longer to get back to the Forum and reply. I totally understand about “long posts” as there is little other way to make clear information. I’m going to have to get back to you later with detailed answers to your (very good) questions and information; but I will try to answer some here quickly.
The lane shark’s control box is permanently mounted on the side of the plastic cover that surrounds the hydraulics for the joystick. It is manufactured by, and was installed by, the Lane Shark manufacturing people themselves. However, when I first got the LS I attempted to have a hydraulic shop install a control switch for it. It’s a long, tragic and involved story, but short version is that the shop owner died when he had just begun working on my tractor. His son attempted to finish the work, but that turned into, “I’m going to try to get it to where you can come get it.” That’s when the Lane Shark company “volunteered” to put their control unit on it — for several hundred dollars, mind you.
As to the third function valve, I am under the impression that it is an actual third function valve and not simply a diverter valve. I’ve no idea what “type”, etc., it is. I will attempt to put images with this post to help with identification.
I don’t have an operator’s manual, but concur with your description of the battery light functions. It did operate as you stated right up until this current issue came about. it now lights up ONLY when the engine is running and brightens (a lot) when any control — switch or button — is pressed.
The first thing I suspected was that a joystick rocker switch had gone bad, causing a short to ground. After replacing the switch ($22 from New Holland!) and the Hi-Lo rocker switch on the fender unit ($37 from NH dealer). I then double-checked the battery terminals, posts, and cable ends and connections (especially the ground cable to frame), I started looking “deeper” into wiring. I found that RATS had chewed several wires inside the cowling. Does anyone know why rats prefer orange wires over other colors? I am now hoping that once I get all the wires separated again that it will either solve or make the issue easier to trouble shoot. I have run into another problem though. It seems that who ever put the cowling pieces together and mounted them on the tractor cross threaded four of eight bolts in the plastic housed mounti nuts; basically rendering access to the wiring impossible since all four remaining bolts simply turn without loosening. Would you, or anyone else, have any “trick” ways of getting these pieces apart/off when their nut mounts are stripped? There is no way to get to the back side of these bolts and hold the fasteners/“nuts” from turning. It looks like I will have to cut some ugly holes into the plastic cowling to attempt to get them off.
Tomorrow, I will check the other points you mentioned and check back here just as soon as I can.
Your reply is very much appreciated and I thank you sincerely for the time and attention you have given.
 

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   / TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions! #4  
You need to fix the wiring before attempting any further troubleshooting.

Do you have a multi-meter? If not get one.

The battery light coming on indicates the tractor isnt charging the battery. And any further electrical drain on the system (like activating a switch) makes the light brighter...further confirming no-charge. BUT....fix the wiring first. Thats probably the issue.

Regarding the LS....is there a cross-port relief on the motor that drives it? Because a valve for controlling motors typically has whats called a motor spool that is a true open center valve. A valve for controlling cylinders is a tandem center valve. That will cause issues without a cross port relief when spooling down a motor, Maybe you blew something in the ls motor?

Regarding the high and low range issue....is the TC40 a mechanical linkage for range selection or is it electronic?
 
   / TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions! #5  
@tc40da-rg... hope you get this before you cut holes in your side consoles... it wont help much...

The bolt are not stripped or cross threaded... The brass threaded inserts that the bolts go into are spinning on the plastic console housing... There are No nuts on the back side of the console.

You definitely need to get that wiring fixed first... I'll read this further & see if I have any of the wiring diagrams for you to look at... Ours is a TC40D so not sure what I have...
 
   / TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions! #6  
Sometimes when a threaded inserts starts to spin if you wedge a trim tool in between the pieces putting tension on the removable piece will allow the bolt to unthread. As far as all the other issues until the wiring harness is completely repaired you p ing into the wind.
 
   / TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions!
  • Thread Starter
#7  
Thanks for all the replies. All good advice. I’m pressed for time, already lost 2 1/2 days because of New Holland idea of great fasteners. I have tried most, if not all, of the recommendations and it looks like I will have to drill out the bolts to get the hood/cowling off the tractor — either that or Sawzall and axe. I will reply for the update whenever is possible.
 
   / TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions!
  • Thread Starter
#8  
Update:
Finally got the top/dash and left-side cowling off (still have two bolts stuck on right-side). Cleaned out the “rat nest” and cleaned up all the electrical components. Had to patch several wires that had been chewed completely in two and reward several more. There was a whole lot of dirt, grim, rat poo, and trash all over the relays and their connectors. After cleaning all of those, I am still with the same problems.

What I need now is:
1. the info on the relays, etc., so I know what goes to where (do not have service manua);
2. info on how to test relays (I don’t have my multi-meter with me. It’s 150 miles away.
You need to fix the wiring before attempting any further troubleshooting.

Do you have a multi-meter? If not get one.

The battery light coming on indicates the tractor isnt charging the battery. And any further electrical drain on the system (like activating a switch) makes the light brighter...further confirming no-charge. BUT....fix the wiring first. Thats probably the issue.

Regarding the LS....is there a cross-port relief on the motor that drives it? Because a valve for controlling motors typically has whats called a motor spool that is a true open center valve. A valve for controlling cylinders is a tandem center valve. That will cause issues without a cross port relief when spooling down a motor, Maybe you blew something in the ls motor?

Regarding the high and low range issue....is the TC40 a mechanical linkage for range selection or is it electronic?
Wiring fixed. 🤞
Multi-meter is at home, 150 miles away. Maybe I can borrow one.
I really don’t know the answer for the “cross-port relief” on the LS. I might can ask manufacture tomorrow.
Hi/Lo selector switches are electric. One on joystick and one on fender mount. Both factory.
Still same issues after wiring repairs. Fuses were FILTHY but none blown. Relays looked awful too, but unsure how to test them; and don’t have information on which one controls what function.

Thanks for your great reply!
 
   / TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions! #9  
So you are saying nothing has changed after fixing wiring. Still no high low range, battery and dash lights still going crazy?

Sadly you NEED a multi-meter. Go to your nearest discount parts store and pick one up for $10-$20.

Start at the battery.....is it indeed charging when runing (~13-14v).

Are the range selection switches getting power? Are they actually closing when button pushed?

You have a nightmare of a electrical issue.....so yea having a meter is kinda a must at this point
 
   / TC40DA electric (over hydraulic?) anomaly. No joystick functions! #10  
@tc40da-rg - As LD1 said you really need a multi-meter to test & trace things out...

Is your battery light still staying illuminated with the engine running? You need to get the charging circuit working as it will cause all sorts of other issues.

Again I'm not sure your tractor has the same fuse / relay layout as ours but here is some info...

If your panel looks like the image I attached you can swap the cruise control micro-relay with your Hi-trans range relay to see if the relay is the issue.... If you get a meter you can just use the relay testing PDF I attached.

But the charging circuit would be my 1st concern.
 

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