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Old 10-10-2009, 09:00 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Starting 4020 after Sitting 5 Years

I'm trying to get my dad's old JD 4020 diesel running after it has been sitting for 5 years. It has a powershift transmission and the electrical system has been converted.

I bought new batteries for it and hooked them up but all I got was a clicking noise when I hit the starter button.

I don't know much about this tractor, and I am not much of a mechanic, but I just found the original operator's manual which should give me some help.

I am gonna try to turn the engine manually to make sure it is not stuck but other than that I don't know what to do. My step-dad thinks I may have the batteries hooked up wrong because of the electical conversion.

Anybody have any ideas to help me get it going?
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting 4020 after Sitting 5 Years

Is it a single "CLICK", or a

click-click-click-click-click-click
as long as you hold the key?
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Old 10-10-2009, 09:41 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting 4020 after Sitting 5 Years

Just a single "click" then if I hit the button again the "click" noise comes again but is weaker. If I hit it a third time there is usually nothing until I wiggle the battery cables, then it might "click" again.

I should note that that I should probably replace the battery cables as they are trash but I figured I could get a half-ways decent connection in the condition they are in.

Thanks
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Old 10-10-2009, 10:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting 4020 after Sitting 5 Years

Need to verify that the system has been converted to 12v. Then i would use a volt meter and measure the voltage at the starter and engage starter while checking voltage, then track back until you find the voltage drop. If you are wanting to just get it cranked without changing cables or fixing the problems, just pull it off using another tractor, but be careful doing that, if the clutch is stuck when it cranks it can turn into a wild ride.
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Old 10-11-2009, 04:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting 4020 after Sitting 5 Years

OK sounds like you have bad connections, I would get new ends and clamps put on the cables you have. Also the 4020 never came with a 6v system, rather they had two 6V batteries hooked in series to make 12 volts. Some 4020s today have two 12v batteries hooked in parallel. To find out which one you have (if you still have them) look at your old batteries and count the number of caps on one battery. If you have 3 caps you have a 6v battery, and with 6 caps a 12v. Let me me know what you find and I can help you go form their.
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Old 10-11-2009, 08:41 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting 4020 after Sitting 5 Years

Your 4020 could have came out of the factory 24volt and been converted to 12volt. We had a '68 4020 power shift with 24volt, never converted it, it started great in cold weather! The starter should have the voltage on it. As 4230 says, it depends on what batteries you have. If you have 2 6volt batteries the + and - on each battery will be connected, then the other + goes to the starter, and the last - is to the frame to get the 12volts. If you have 2 12volts hooked up the same way you would have 24volts. If you have 2 12volt batteries with both + connected together and both - to the frame to get the 12volts. Some what confusing I know, especially if you go to jump start 4020 with unknown voltage. More than one person made some sparks trying to used the old 24volt power shift to jump something else! Good luck! Also I'm not sure that you could pull start a power shift, maybe wrong on that thought.
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Old 10-11-2009, 10:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting 4020 after Sitting 5 Years

It has two twelve volt batteries. I am almost fairly certain it was converted to 12v at some point but I will look into it more.

I will see about getting some new battery clamps, but I am going to be busy this week so it might be a while before I get to it.
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting 4020 after Sitting 5 Years

When putting on your new battery clamps, be sure and clean the ends of the cables, easiest way to do this is to cut it off just inside the insulation and strip back new if they're long enough. Make sure the terminal rings that connect to the starter and the starter post itself is scraped clean and shiny. Also check where the negatives connect to the chassis, that there's no rust under the connections and everything is shined up before you reconnect. The "voltage drop" advice above is not really wrong, but incomplete, since when the key is on but not in the start position, the current is fairly small and the Volts won't drop much, but bad connections add resistance, and when the starter is engaged, the current requirement is much higher and the voltage will peter out and not crank the engine.

Edit: Sorry, I now see he said "with starter engaged"
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Old 10-14-2009, 10:56 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting 4020 after Sitting 5 Years

Grab the fan and with the other hand, reach in and hold the slack side of the fan belt tight and you can turn the engine until you get up on a compression stroke. A worn engine will spin pretty easily. A good one, you will have to turn it slowly through each compression stroke. Hope you find the latter.

Also a good idea to check for water in the oil. Loosen the drain plug and see if any will drip out. Oil level may also be high on the stick because of water under it. Never know what might have happened in the time it was sitting.

No, you can' t pull it off to start it. If you have to pull it some distance, use the "tow" latch behind the left battery to disconnect the transmission from the wheels so it doesn't damage the transmission from lack of lubrication while towing. You should have manual steering, but not brakes! Not a real good combination while towing.

If you start at the starter solenoid terminal and follow the cables to the first battery post (what is it's polarity?) and then from the other battery terminal to the frame or straight to the next battery (what polarity is it's first connection from the first battery or frame?), and from that battery to the frame or starter (where does it connect? stud on the end of the starter or solenoid terminal)

You could have .......
series 6 volts (solenoid to +left bat- then to +right bat- to frame (ground) That's how Deere did it on the newer tractors

parallel 12 volts (both batteries are 12 volt and both + posts have connection to starter solenoid and both - terminals have connection to frame (ground) This is how I prefer to do it.

Series 12 volts (24 volt system) original design. Left battery + goes to starter solenoid terminal, left battery - goes to frame. Right battery + goes to frame, negative goes to terminal on front of starter. A starter with an internal short usually will drain the right battery only, the solenoid will isolate the left battery and prevent it from being drained by a bad starter. The accessory electrical equipment on the tractor is divided between the two batteries somehow, can't remember exactly how.

Our 24 converted to 12 volt cranks just as good as it did when on 24. The price of repairing the generator and starter was getting out of hand, so I converted it to a Delco 10SI alternator and parallel 12 volt batteries. Now our generator/starter man says the old Delco starters are getting too expensive to fix and has supplied us a newer model, slightly heavier duty Delco starter with a more durable solenoid on it. It has to be indexed correctly to clear the intake manifold and the side cover over the starter area will no longer fit. So far it's only been on a few months.
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Old 10-14-2009, 11:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Default Re: Starting 4020 after Sitting 5 Years

I think CCJersey has hit the nail on the head. I will add one comment on the starter, we were having problems with our 12volt Delco starter on the '71 4020. Had it rebuilt, no change, new batteries no change. Talked to one of the old mechanics at Deere, he said pitch the Delco and put a Nippendenzo on it. Said he hated to admit it but the da*mn Jap starter will spin the motor better! Had the rebuilder make use up a Nippendenzo, changed nothing else, starts on the 2nd or 3rd turn now. Sounds a lot different when cranking than the Delco.
On another note, I'm seriously considering building an arch, if this rain doesn't quite we'll need it!!
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