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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

So here is what I have going on with my 455. It's been running fine all spring just towing around a cart for leaf/brush pickup. Last week I went to mow for the first time and the trouble started. Less than a minute after I pulled the PTO knob and started mowing the mower and tractor just shut down. Dead, no nothing when you turned the key. I found a blown 20 amp fuse and replaced it (not sure what was for). It immediately started right up and ran fine for about 8 minutes (not mowing, just idling and driving cart). Then it slowly died. It would restart but would not throttle up and was running very rough. I could see the throttle moving on the injection pump but the engine didn't respond just ran slow and rough. I was able to limp it back to the garage. It still starts right up, but runs slow, rough, and won't throttle up. The foot pedal also seems like it's bound up like you can't put any pressure on it as it has no give or take. The local JD dealer is of course booked for the next few weeks so I thought I would see what I can do. Their suggestion was to check wiring and the PTO clutch. I'm not quite sure where to begin if something mechanical failed first and caused the blown fuse or it it is just electrical related. It all started when I used the mower PTO for the first time this year however.

I'm new here, but I'm interested in any help of course and it is much appreciated! Let me hear your thoughts...

Thank you,
Hank455
 

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Hank, off the top of my head, I am thinking the lift pump in the fuel tank - either the pump itself, or more likely something electrical that gets power to it, possibly another blown fuse. Another quick thing to check would be the fuel shutoff solenoid - make sure it is retracting all the way when the key is in the run position. It seems possible that the injection pump is working fine, but is getting starved for fuel.

Can you clarify which fuse you replaced? That might help with remote diagnosis.
 

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My two cents worth from experience with my 455. Check the in-tank fuel pump screen. My was clogged causing the injection pump to be starved for fuel. Also, I once had a 332 that had a shorted fuel shutoff solenoid that would blow fuses and caused erratic running engine.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hank, off the top of my head, I am thinking the lift pump in the fuel tank - either the pump itself, or more likely something electrical that gets power to it, possibly another blown fuse. Another quick thing to check would be the fuel shutoff solenoid - make sure it is retracting all the way when the key is in the run position. It seems possible that the injection pump is working fine, but is getting starved for fuel.

Can you clarify which fuse you replaced? That might help with remote diagnosis.
It was the upper 20 amp fuse on what I think may be the ignition control module/key switch assembly between the cruise control lever and the radiator. Not sure what that particular fuse is for however. I can see it being an electrical related fuel thing. The fuel bowl is always staying full with fuel if this means anything.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
My two cents worth from experience with my 455. Check the in-tank fuel pump screen. My was clogged causing the injection pump to be starved for fuel. Also, I once had a 332 that had a shorted fuel shutoff solenoid that would blow fuses and caused erratic running engine.
The previous owner had replaced the fuel shutoff solenoid around 2013 from the sticker on it. This seems to be working as I think it's what I hear and see moving the plunger on the injection pump when I turn the key. I can check the in-tank fuel pump screen though.
 

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Also on my 2 455's (a 1998 model and a 2001 model) the 2 fuses on the ignition switch electronics board are both blue 15 amp fuses. Also know the 1997 model had 15 amp fuses. Unless they are different for early years of 455 (and yours is an early year model) they should probably be changed out for the 15's. I agree check the fuel pump first including the screen and the hoses. Also might want to check the filter on the fuel pump. And before you try to turn off the petcock remove the screw that locks it in place.

Just in case you haven't had the fender deck off before here are a few tips. The fender deck is much easier to take off if you first remove the long pin that holds the seat on the base and remove the seat. It is much easier to handle without the seat flopping around. Also don't forget the pull the taillights sockets and the wire harness to the seat safety switch which has to feed out through the hole the wires come up through.
 

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Hank, I looked at the Technical Manual, TM1517, and if the fuse was on a board it would appear to be the F6 Power Fuse. If it was loose, just between a couple of wires, it could have been the F4 Fuel Pump Fuse. From your initial symptoms, I am betting on the former, since I'd expect the tractor to at least crank even if the fuel pump fuse was blown. Unfortunately it looks like a lot of circuits flow through that F6 fuse, so diagnosis may become interesting.

I think the first thing I would try would be to see if you have battery voltage at the fuel pump with the the key switch in the run position. TM1517 has a lot of diagnostic tests - we have crummy internet so i can't send a copy but someone else may be able to.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Also on my 2 455's (a 1998 model and a 2001 model) the 2 fuses on the ignition switch electronics board are both blue 15 amp fuses. Also know the 1997 model had 15 amp fuses. Unless they are different for early years of 455 (and yours is an early year model) they should probably be changed out for the 15's. I agree check the fuel pump first including the screen and the hoses. Also might want to check the filter on the fuel pump. And before you try to turn off the petcock remove the screw that locks it in place.

Just in case you haven't had the fender deck off before here are a few tips. The fender deck is much easier to take off if you first remove the long pin that holds the seat on the base and remove the seat. It is much easier to handle without the seat flopping around. Also don't forget the pull the taillights sockets and the wire harness to the seat safety switch which has to feed out through the hole the wires come up through.
Interesting, my ignition switch circuit board definitely has 2 yellow 20 amp fuses in it. It appears that they have been changed out with the wrong amp rating I guess? I will replace them both with the 15s. My 455 is a '99 by the way so should take the 15 amp like you said. I replaced the fuel filter this spring so I don't believe that's an issue.

I have not had the fender deck off yet so that info is helpful - Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hank, I looked at the Technical Manual, TM1517, and if the fuse was on a board it would appear to be the F6 Power Fuse. If it was loose, just between a couple of wires, it could have been the F4 Fuel Pump Fuse. From your initial symptoms, I am betting on the former, since I'd expect the tractor to at least crank even if the fuel pump fuse was blown. Unfortunately it looks like a lot of circuits flow through that F6 fuse, so diagnosis may become interesting.

I think the first thing I would try would be to see if you have battery voltage at the fuel pump with the the key switch in the run position. TM1517 has a lot of diagnostic tests - we have crummy internet so i can't send a copy but someone else may be able to.
The fuse that blew was on the board and should have been a 15 amp not a 20 amp that was there so should be this F6 power fuse. I'll try and find some time this weekend to test the voltage at the pump. I'm just curious if this is a fuel/electrical problem (and I think it may be) why did it not start until I tried using the mower PTO for the first time this spring?

I need to get better at this electrical stuff I've never been good at it. Thanks flymo.
 

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Will add this but I would suggest you check all the other stuff first. I had issues recently with my 2001 455. 1st I would occasionally hear the fuel pump run when I bumped the tractor even with the key off. Then the fuel solenoid's initial pull in quit working. Thought ignition switch and replaced it, no change. Started jiggling the big wire bundle that goes from the electrical stuff behind the radiator down through the floor pan and got changes in symptoms specifically the pull in on the fuel solenoid started working again. Kept jiggling and got smoke so quickly disconnected battery. Got underneath and started looking and the wire bundle was rubbing on the top of the power steering control valve. It had worn insulation of 3 wires and 1 was completely in two. First thought new wire harness but discovered I could pull the harness down enough to get to it to repair it. Got it repaired by butt splicing a short piece into 2 of the wires and soldering and taping the 3rd. Don't like crimp on butt splices but it is working. Re did the split wire cover (which had apparently shifted enough to allow wires to rub) and got it all back in place then put a piece of pool noodle between the harness and the power steering control valve for added insurance. If the butt splices give me issues I will replace them with short pieces of individual wires and use proper soldered connections.
So then I checked my 1998 455 just in case and it was fine ... no rubbing in the harness. For anyone who has a 4X5 this would be a good thing to check when you have the deck off as it would be a lot easier to fix before insulation is rubbed through.
 

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The fuse that blew was on the board and should have been a 15 amp not a 20 amp that was there so should be this F6 power fuse. I'll try and find some time this weekend to test the voltage at the pump. I'm just curious if this is a fuel/electrical problem (and I think it may be) why did it not start until I tried using the mower PTO for the first time this spring?

I need to get better at this electrical stuff I've never been good at it. Thanks flymo.
The wiring diagrams are very complicated - gives me a headache every time. TM1517 does include a theory of operation page for most circuits, so that can help puzzle things out sometimes. As to why the fuse blew only with the PTO on, the PTO solenoid does take some current, so maybe that was the straw that broke the came's back? I'm hoping you don't have a more general problem, one that lead the previous owner to replace 15A fuses with 20s.

Bob, thanks for the tip on the wiring near the PS valve - I will check it.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well I tested the fuel transfer pump in the tank and checked the inlet screen/filter which was clear. In doing the Fuel Transfer Pump Flow Test I obtained the minimum 15 oz of fuel when disconnecting the fuel inlet hose at the filter. However, I received zero fuel at the fuel return hose at the tank transfer pump. You can hear the fuel shutoff solenoid turning on when the key is turned on as well as the plunger moving.

Assuming I did the test correctly I guess I need a new transfer pump? How would I check electric power to this pump? What should I check next?

Thanks everyone.
 

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Hank, I think your test proved that the transfer pump is just fine. Per the test description, if the return hose is not delivering the correct amount, check/replace the filter and for a restricted return hose.

Fuel Pump Flow.jpg I think that's good news - your pump is delivering enough fuel, but for some reason it's not getting through the filter to the motor or the return hose. It could be something as simple as a filter needing replacement.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
So I had replaced the fuel filter in March or April but took off the filter head assembly today and re-checked everything but no change. Still starts up but runs rough and slow, no throttle response, and dies out. I didn't check the whole length of the return hose but I'm not sure that's the problem seems like there is something else not right.
 

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One other thing that may be worth mentioning is the fuel filter assembly. I believe the same day that I started having this problem I had tried to fix a very small leak that I think was coming from the fuel shutoff lever. When I originally replaced the filter I stupidly forgot to loosen the screw first and may have pushed too hard on the lever. So I had loosened the screw and tried to push the lever in as it seems a little loose and then retightened the screw. Maybe I put the little plastic piece that came out back in wrong. It is lined up and fits to the lever in the open position but maybe it only goes in one way??
 

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Hank, unfortunately the fuel filter assembly on the 455 is notorious for having problems - the shutoff valve sticks and then the pot metal the thing is cast from just breaks off. It happened to me the first time I went to change the filter, and I had to get a whole new assembly. Now I just replace the filter without using the shutoff - very little fuel spills out, just a couple of drops.

Since you have a test which is clearly failing, the next logical step is to understand why. It seems to me that for some reason very little fuel is getting through the filter, which is consistent with your symptoms of poor running and being unable to throttle up. Again, I think that's good news - it would be worse if the injection pump was acting up.

In your situation, I would simply replace the fuel filter assembly. It's an easy job and the part is not terribly expensive: https://www.greenpartstore.com/John-Deere-Fuel-Filter-Assembly-AM876411.html
 

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Hank, re-reading your latest message, and reconsidering possibilities, I think it is likely that your fuel shutoff is mostly closed - that is, the lever has become separated from the actual valve. In any event, the solution is still to replace the filter assembly.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yeah I've been reading about the problems with the filter assembly. It's worth a shot so I'll try and get a new one in this week and see if that does it. And next time I replace the filter I'll definitely do it without touching the shutoff valve. I probably should have mentioned this in the beginning, but when my troubles started with using the mower PTO for the first time I just assumed something electrical at first.

Thanks again, Tim
 

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Hank, very natural to first look for an electrical problem - after all, you blew a fuse! I'm hoping that you don't have two separate issues.

I worked as a high-level troubleshooter of electromechanical systems for many years, and it was a lesson I learned the hard way - fix what clearly seems to be wrong, even if it does not account for all the symptoms.

Good luck - hope you'll post back any results!
 

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I would not worry about properly crimped wire splices. They are more reliable than solder joints in the long run.
By properly crimped I mean with a set of crimp tools designed for the connector.
 
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