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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
1977 John Deere 4630 - picked it up about a year ago just shy of 11,000 hours for pretty cheap - had bad tires, oil pump seal was out, broken window, fuel tank leaked, and it had wiring troubles. The guy I bought it from ran it hard and put it away wet but I could tell the guy he bought it from (original owner) took meticulous care of it. So I drug it home, found some tires for it, fixed the oil pump seal (turns out the pump had been replaced at some point - had a serial tag on it), welded up the fuel tank, put a window in it, and just generally dinged it up. Used it all last summer on one of our big balers and it ran without a problem. Used less than a half quart of oil in it's 300 hour oil change and has minimal blow by. Couldn't be happier with it.

That being said, it starts like a bad starting 30 series John Deere. Injection pump and injectors were replaced at about 10,000 hours. So far I have upgraded the starting system and am using the manual destroke valve.

Last night it was 20° F and it has been in the low 40's all day. Went to start it after lunch without being plugged in just to see how it would act. I cranked and cranked and cranked and it would never even hit. Gave it a snort of ether and it fired right up.

What is it about these 30 series? Some are reported to start like a champ but we have had 3 4430's and 2 4630's and they all have to have ether below 50° F.

On our 4430's we finally got smart and put a grid heater off a Dodge pickup on them. Can't do that with the intercooler on the 4630 though.

Short of rebuilding it with higher compression pistons and getting the injection pump and injectors worked over to 4555 specs, is there anything I can do to make it start better?

Here's a picture of the ether hooker:

IMG_20180303_145554.jpg
 

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Our 4630 has started hard forever. We bought it at 5000 hours has 16000 on it now. We just plug it in figure it’s not worth throwing piles of money at it. I might put a gear reduction starter on it to see if it helps. I have put a couple on other tractors with excellent results
 

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40 series started way better. Never heard of a 30 series starting good. Nice looking tractor though.
 

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The whole fuel system is junk, especially the Bosch inline pump. They really make me appreciate a Rosa Master.
 

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A battery sidebox step on left side for 2 batteries. Put in 2 heavy truck batteries and a gear reduction starter.800 or 900 cca. Big batteries and short cables to starter would do you good. Both cables to starter. I do not know if reduction starter is an improvement, but that seems to be the way things are going. Lots of different horsepowers in starters,. 2 12's seem to be better than 2 6's
 

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We made a bigger step and battery box on our 4230. Put two 12 volt batteries together inside of it. Helped quite a bit with starting but still not great.
 

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When we had our 4430, we bought either by the case. Had a lot of hours on it, the block heater, that is.
 

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i always use a little ether on mine always, but the battery cables should be checked for corrosion, replace them if possible, i had one that was green deep inside, everything worked fine but hard to start, i even pulled the starter to check it, looked at the cable and could see some green. I put a new cable on and it was a lot better.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
As stated in the first post, I have upgraded the starting system (high speed starter, batteries, bigger cables, the whole works - spins over fast). I have the manual destroke which I use if it gets cool outside. It cranks like **** but it just won't hit. Yes, I can plug it in (and I usually do), but I would like to be able to get it start at at least freezing, if not colder.

In other words, engine work and injection pump work are the only was to fix them?
 

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You’ve made those batteries 12volt right....and hooked them up accordingly.........those 6volt batteries on them old Deere’s plan ass suck. I have changed several tractors up to 12 volt batteries and it sure makes them crank better . But you have to hook them in parallel and not series like the old 6volts..............sounds like you’ve already prob done that
 

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When it does hit is there a lot of black smoke? when i start mine, i put the throttle about a quarter way up, then turn it over, then while it is turning over i hit the ether button for a one count, it cracks a couple of times and it is up and running. I wonder if you have a compression problem? Diesel is diesel, if it gets the squish it will boom.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
When it does hit is there a lot of black smoke? when i start mine, i put the throttle about a quarter way up, then turn it over, then while it is turning over i hit the ether button for a one count, it cracks a couple of times and it is up and running. I wonder if you have a compression problem? Diesel is diesel, if it gets the squish it will boom.
Yup, same as all of our 30 series. Lots of white smoke while cranking and once it hits, it belches enough black smoke to fill the shop while it revs to wide open and settles back down. Once running, it purrs like a kitten. Might be compression related, but it's no better or worse than the rest of our 30 series.

According to Nebraska tractor, 4630's are 16:1.

4650's (which start fantastic) are 15.8:1 according to the same source.

55 and 60 series tractors (which start even better) are reported to be 16:1.

If those numbers are true, then compression ratio must not be the difference.

Moving to a different engine from the same era, the 531 in the 6030 was only 15.4:1 and yet they started great. The 619's that replaced the 531 however, liked their ether in large quantities (8630 and 8640).

The 6030 used a Bosch "P" pump, while all of the 44's and 46's used the Bosch "A" pump.

The 48's used the Bosch "P" pump, but they seem to start a bit worse than the 44's and 46's of the same series.

No matter how I look at it, I can't see any rhyme or reason as to why some start great, and some are complete ether addicts.

And then you see something like this and I find myself further from the answers...

 

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Our 4020 was hard to start cold until we rebuilt the engine... I believe we used what John Deere was calling Power Crater pistons at that time. Made a big difference to power, torque and cold starting. I rarely use ether with it now.
 

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The later 30 used a different barrel and plunger in the injection pump. Had one customer that couldt stand the way his early 4630 started I ended buying a used later 30 series pump am putting the innerds in his body only because the fittings between the old SN and newer SN were differentered thread was quite a few yrs ago but it helped a lot. I my local injection shop gave me the info and did the work.
 
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