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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi All,
New member here. I have a 2004 JD 4510 4x4 with power reverser. It will not turn over after sitting overnight because of what appears to be battery drain. I have checked the parasitic draw a number of times and with a couple of different DVM's and it has consistently shown 0.3 to 0.4 milliamps which is probably about how much the hour meter uses. So far I have changed out the battery, the alternator, the starter, the battery cables, and the start relay. I'm not sure where to go from here.
I would appreciate any help you can give me.
Dave
 

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Try pulling fuses, one at a time, until the draw on your meter stops.
 

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Hi All,
New member here. I have a 2004 JD 4510 4x4 with power reverser. It will not turn over after sitting overnight because of what appears to be battery drain. I have checked the parasitic draw a number of times and with a couple of different DVM's and it has consistently shown 0.3 to 0.4 milliamps which is probably about how much the hour meter uses. So far I have changed out the battery, the alternator, the starter, the battery cables, and the start relay. I'm not sure where to go from here.
I would appreciate any help you can give me.
Dave
Hello Dave,

Like you, I would certainly suspect that parasitic drain was the cause of this battery drain. A few comments/questions below.

  1. Before you replaced the alternator, did you measure the voltage across the battery terminals with the tractor running and see less than 13 Vdc? The Denso alternators used on the Yanmar engines are probably the best of the best. I have a 2004 JD 4610, and it still has the original starter and alternator.
  2. When you say you measured 0.3 to 0.4 milliamps, are you sure it was not 0.3 to 0.4 Amps? It sounds like you know your stuff, but wanted to make sure on the units. 0.3 Amps of parasitic drain would certainly cause problems.
  3. Have you tried disconnecting the negative battery cable after using the tractor and verified you can re-connect and start the tractor the next morning? I am sure you can, but it is a good starting point.
  4. Have you measured the battery voltage across the battery terminals in the morning before attempting to start the tractor? Curious what you would see. Doing this measurement with the key in the On position (with engine off) would add a little load (fuel solenoid) and make the voltage measurement more meaningful.
Let us know what you find. You sure seem to be doing all the right things.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi All,
I have pulled all the fuses one by one and never saw a difference in the parasitic draw. The draw registers as somewhere between 350 and 400 microamps (yes, microamps). At that draw, the battery in the tractor should last months if not years. I did not check the voltage on the generator before I changed it.

This problem started last summer. If the tractor sat for more than a couple days I would have to charge the battery to get it to start. The first thing I replaced was the battery. When that didn't fix it, I assumed the battery wasn't getting charged and I replaced the alternator. Still no joy. That's when I figured this was not a normal failure. I checked the parasitic draw and even though it was less than half a milliamp, I went ahead and pulled each fuse in sequence and checked the draw. The 0.4 milliamps stayed constant. That's when I decided the cables were probably bad and changed them out. Still no luck. The only thing left in the starting circuit was the starter, so I changed it out. The problem persists. Now, in the depth of winter, the tractor tractor won't start after sitting overnight. A few times I have had to stop the engine while out working with it and it always scares me that it won't start again. But it always has. That tells me the charging system is probably ok. My working theory now is that there must be something causing an extreme draw when I turn the key. That's why I replaced the start relay. I'm also wondering if all the charging and discharging of the battery has caused it to weaken and maybe I need to replace it again.

A while back, I did check to see if leaving the battery disconnected made a difference and It did not seem to. I will check it again. I will also check the battery voltage before I reconnect it.

Thanks for the help,

Dave
 

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Hi All,
I have pulled all the fuses one by one and never saw a difference in the parasitic draw. The draw registers as somewhere between 350 and 400 microamps (yes, microamps). At that draw, the battery in the tractor should last months if not years. I did not check the voltage on the generator before I changed it.
Agree that if the parasitic drain is this low, there would be no appreciable battery drain. I measured the parasitic drain on my JD 4610, and it was only 0.1 mA, so what you are seeing is probably normal. I looked at the schematics, and the un-switched power doesn't go many places that could result in any drain on the battery when it is not in use.

One thing I remembered messing with the battery and measuring the parasitic drain is that I didn't have very good luck with John Deere batteries. They normally only lasted a year or two, and I was always having to keep them on a battery maintainer in the winter before they would start the tractor. I added wiring to my tractor to allow me to easily plug in the battery maintainer. I changed to this battery in 2014, and it is still in there working great, and I haven't had to use the maintainer in the winter.
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My working theory now is that there must be something causing an extreme draw when I turn the key. That's why I replaced the start relay.
There are two connections to the starter. The primary battery cable, which is always connected, carries 100's of amps from the battery to the starter. The second connection is a relatively small wire (compared to the main battery cable) that activates the starter solenoid internal to the starter. The starter solenoid switches the large unswitched battery power to the starter motor when the key switch is turned to "start".

There really couldn't be "an extreme draw when I turn the key" besides inside the starter itself because there is no wiring activated by the keyswitch that carries appreciable current. If an extreme current draw were happening outside the starter motor, there would be blown fuses or burned wires to show for it.

A while back, I did check to see if leaving the battery disconnected made a difference and It did not seem to. I will check it again. I will also check the battery voltage before I reconnect it.
If there was a parasitic drain problem, disconnecting the battery when not using the tractor would have prevented this from being a problem. Several things are not adding up here.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hi again,

OK, yesterday I charged the battery up and left the positive cable off. the battery showed 13.67 volts when I left the shop. I went out around 3:00 this afternoon after it warmed up a bit and checked the battery voltage and it was down to 12.79v. I believe that's just about what it should be. I connected the battery back up and tried to start the tractor. It's cold here but I only ran the manifold heater for about 15 seconds. When I hit the starter it turned over about half a turn and then started clicking. It's apparent the battery is at least some of the problem. I went down to Deere and bought a new battery. The parts guy at first said they didn't have the battery but after some discussion with another parts guy brought out what he said was the biggest battery they have, 750cca. I checked the voltage when I got home and it was 12.81. It fit fine in the battery compartment and when I got everything back together I gave it a shot. I went ahead and ran the manifold heater the usual 30 seconds and the engine started right up.

I will give it a try tomorrow to make sure but I'm wondering if I have been fighting two problems. The last battery I bought I got from tractor supply back in July. It is listed as 760cca so it should have been OK. Maybe all the charging I have been doing has weakened it to the point that it can't start the engine anymore. In the mean time I replaced everything in the the starting circuit it's good as new again. I will let you know...

Thanks everyone.

Dave
 

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Owners manual states heater operation 10-15 seconds down to 0*F and longer if below. Maybe you're creating part of your own issue? Have you had the battery load tested? Find an auto shop with a Vat45 or some older style carbon pile tester and load test it, you'll see real time the health of the battery. Should hold a voltage 10.5 or better if its any good.
 

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Owners manual states heater operation 10-15 seconds down to 0*F and longer if below.
Agree. What is really odd is that the service manual theory of operation section for the manifold heater says:

"The manifold may be preheated by pushing in the key, with the switch in the run position, for up to 3 seconds before turning the key to the start position."

Probably just a typo....
 

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Maybe the battery got too cold during the night or did it happen during the warmer season as well? I just had that happen with my Optima Redtop battery last month. It would not crank the tractor over and the gauges barely came alive. My standard max 15 amp charger would charge and tell me the batter was charged but it still would not crank over the engine.

I carried the battery to a parts house and they put it on a load to check it. They said it was deeply discharged. They put it on a bigger charger for over an hour.The battery was warm when I picked it up. I put my small charger on it and let it charge until it said fully charged. It started the engine on the first bump of the key.

So far I haven’t had any further problems with the 7.5 year old Optima Redtop.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well, it started right up this morning!!! That a good sign anyway. Hopefully I can take this problem off my long list of things to do...

Thanks, everyone!

Dave
 
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