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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I want to get my 420 started and into inside storage.

1988 420 s/n 475835 (Edited for correctness). Bought from member in southwester Michigan. Was told the tractor did run. Has been sitting for unknown time period.
  • Removed and charged battery ... battery held charge. Battery is automobile battery and too large for tray, will probably replace.
  • Removed battery tray to access electronics under tray ... will paint and clean up tray and retainer before reinstalling.
  • Engine and electronic areas were very dirty. Blew out areas with compressed air and wiped down accessible areas.
  • Reconnected battery. Ignition switch in run position ... engine oil and battery lights illuminate.
  • They go out when switch to start position. There is a slight click which I assume is the circuit breaker.
  • Removed ignition switch and unplugged adapters. Red wire from battery to switch terminal corroded but voltage thru switch did measure 12.57V ... Again, will likely replace switch and 5 pin adapter.
  • Voltage measured at single terminal on ignition switch measured 0V with switch off and 12.57V with switch on.
  • This tells me the safety switch circuit, (20 Amp fuse. PTO switch, Pin 3 of TDC, and neutral safety are switched correctly. Tractor does not have brake switch.
  • That is as far as I have got so far.
Next step will be to measure voltage at starter solenoid. I am new to open frame electronics. Using tech manual TM1590 and multimeter to track down starting issue. With key switch removed from mounting location I lost engine oil and battery lights are off. Other random checks ... headlights work but tail lights do not. Seat safety switch is jumpered but is not seeing 12V. Assuming that is why no starter yet.
 

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Start with battery connections, then all grounds the power lead to fuses and circuit breaker. Check the two fuses and the auto reset circuit breaker under battery tray for good connection (corrosion). The click is most likely the solenoid on the starter, but could be from the TDC. The wire to rear lights could be cut of shorted or dead bulbs, bad sockets.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Forgot to mention I had checked the fuses and they are ok.

Are you asking about F3 25-Amp circuit breaker? No I have not cleaned contacts yet.

Raining outside so I am inside working on 318.

1597093285113.png
 

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Yep, Finally it could be the key switch is bad from corrosion, pitting from arcing, coming apart internally (won't conduct enough current to pull solenoid in). That is why when the switch went bad on my 420, I added the reliable relay to it just like my 318.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quit raining and sun came out. Grabbed multimeter, wire brush, and 1/4" socket set. Pulled covers off circuit breaker. Gave each terminal a half dozen strokes with wire brush. I don't really think it did much.

Wiggled the ignition switch around in the adapter until dash lights came on. Checked voltage on each terminal of circuit breaker ... 12V. Checked fuse 2 that feeds seat switch ... 12V Checked both sides of seat switch ... 12V. Check TDC terminals ... 12V. Why not see if starter engages. Starter engaged and spun engine a couple of times.

No fuel in tank so no sense trying to start it. Went in garage and got can of starting fluid. Took air cleaner off to expose carb. Gave it two puffs of starter fluid. Hit the starter and alas, almost immediately it started. Success!

Engine purred for a couple of seconds with no undesirable noise.

Tomorrow will order new ignition switch. I have electrical connectors. I think that is the primary reason tractor would not start. Need to remove and clean fuel tank and possibly replace tank strainer. Besides that I need air cleaner as base is broken. Fill tube base seal seems to be leaking and front couplers are highly rusted. Not going to get to carried away with clean up. Just want it running and useable.for random jobs.

Didn't think I would get this running in this short time period.

Now need to do same with 140 H3.
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Will get some photos. I know that without photos it didn't happen.
 

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Another thing to check for Gabby, Deere came out with a starter improvement kit. It's basically a relay in the starter circuit, it helps limit the amount of current going through the ignition switch. If it was installed you should see a 12 volt relay mounted by the starter.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I am familiar with the relay Jake. I put one on my 1990 318. Hole was already in the frame but a PO had taken the relay. I did not know they were also intended for the 420. Will check into it. Thanks Jake.
 
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Glad you got it figured out. One thing to file away for further reference is to be careful when you see 12 volts. Don’t assume the circuit is good. Example: A 4 gauge cable has numerous strands, but it only takes one strand to pass voltage. When checking circuits, use a light bulb. I use a 6054 sealed beam headlamp. Make a small harness(4’ leads or so), ground wire on center pin with an alligator clamp or ring terminal to attach to negative side of battery, and wire together outer two terminals on light bulb with a lead that has a blade connector, then you can make small adapter leads that would attach to the blade connector for various electrical connections. Use that like a test light. That way you verify that you have a circuit that carries amperage. A sealed beam like that will draw 4 to 8 amps (approximately), so you shouldn't damage any wires larger than 18 gauge, unless they are really long circuits.
 
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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Nate ... putting together a shopping list right now. Switch is all I really need but plan to give it a tune up and with fluid changes. Clean up fuel tank and possibly change fuel lines. I want it ready to roll when I jump on it. Reliability is everything to me ... Gabby
 

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Discussion Starter #11
I have to remove fender deck to rinse fuel tank, adjust rear brakes, and see why taillights are not working. While the fender deck is removed I need to look into why the two speed rear end does shift between high/low. Never had one of these before. What do I look for?
 

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Gabby, the 2 speed shifter works like a upside down "E", you pull back and move it left or right for the speed, center is neutral. If it doesn't move, the linkage is most likely rusted in place and needs to be cleaned up and lubricated with a dry lube.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I got the 2 speed lever to move but it definitely needs lube. Half of the fender deck decal is missing; the half with diagram of hi/low pattern. I assume to the left is high and right is low?

Here is couple of photos in current condition. I have polished hood and a couple of metal covers.

DSCN1061.JPG DSCN1064.JPG DSCN1062.JPG DSCN1063.JPG
 

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Discussion Starter #15 (Edited)
Thank you for 2-spd clarification.

Parts bought today
  • engine oil & filter
  • transmission oil & filter
  • air filter and foam prefilter
  • breather filter & tie band
  • spark plugs
  • ignition & seat safety switches
  • Engine fill tube seal
  • two screws used to anchor air cleaner hsg to manifold
  • Grille medallion
  • $145 worth of parts --- $560 invested in tractor (that includes purchase price)
 

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I need to order some decals soon, mine are just about worn off, plus I'm getting ready to repaint most of the metal work. The powder paint is peeling like crazy.
 

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Discussion Starter #17 (Edited)
Sheet metal and fiberglass hood are in exceptional shape on this 420 but like yours the powder coating is peeling like crazy. I have had other restorations professionally painted and powder coated. Both are expensive. I have recently decided rattle can is acceptable. However, at $10 a can this can add up also. Bottom line is this is an expensive hobby we are addicted to.

Hopefully I have a lot of room financially on this tractor to give it a decent paint job. I bought it thinking it would need a repower. It has just over 1100 hrs on it so engine may turn out to be usable and can spend on paint. Should know in a week or two where I am heading with this tractor. Right now goal is to get it running, put a 3ph (cat 1) on it and put it to work. I am sure next expense will be tires. What is on it are not tubed and are dry rotted. I want rimguard filled Carlisle Ag's on the rear. Fronts? Want 6 ply if available because my rural property has many throny black locust. I have already put a thorn thru new DeeStone on my X485.
 

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Gabby, I got V 61's on the front of mine, they're either 6 ply or 8 ply, a real bugger to mount. As far as painting, after giving mine a coat of primer I bought a few quarts of JD paint and brush painted mine. It's not a garage or parade queen, it's a worker, one of my most used.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
New ignition and seat safety switches are installed.

Red wire (battery) was removed from terminal because rusty appearance. The female terminal in the connector had little rust but male spade on switch was rusty and continuity through this was intermittent. I stole the seat switch off this tractor to use on 318 I am refreshing. Replaced with new switch on the 420. Electrical starting issue appears to be fixed but need to determine why tail lights do not work. Need to remove belly cover and fender deck and take power washer to tractor. Don't like doing that but it is extremely dirty.

Unbolt the fender deck but need son's assistance lifting it off. While deck is off I plan on rinsing fuel tank, making sure strainer is clean and usable, cleaning fuel lines, adjusting brakes and pressure washing rear of tractor. Painting rims on hold until I decide what to do about tires.
 
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