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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I acquired a 4710 earlier this year from an estate. The tractor has been setting for a few years and I have no history on it. The hour meter doesn't work either. It has a starting issue that I cannot figure out. I have run several gallons of fresh fuel and treatment in it thinking it might be the issue and also put a new fuel filter on it. It simply will not start without a quick whiff of ether. With a very small amount of ether, it starts right up and runs good, has good power and does not smoke. It doesn't have any noticeable blow-by either and doesn't use any oil. Also, the intake heater does work. I did some research and found the 4200, 4400, etc series tractors have a thermistor that can fail and cause this issue but I can't see where my tractor has this. I haven't been able to find much information on my series tractor. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
 

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2021 2038r MSL
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Not your model specifically but my first thought is the key isn’t providing power to the fuel shut off in the crank position but it does as soon as you release it to the run position. Can you jump the starter solenoid with the key on to test?
If it starts, you could unhook the starter solenoid engagement wire and see if the engine dies when you turn it to run.


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JD 455, 4610, 4052R, and 6120E
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I acquired a 4710 earlier this year from an estate. The tractor has been setting for a few years and I have no history on it. The hour meter doesn't work either. It has a starting issue that I cannot figure out. I have run several gallons of fresh fuel and treatment in it thinking it might be the issue and also put a new fuel filter on it. It simply will not start without a quick whiff of ether. With a very small amount of ether, it starts right up and runs good, has good power and does not smoke. It doesn't have any noticeable blow-by either and doesn't use any oil. Also, the intake heater does work. I did some research and found the 4200, 4400, etc series tractors have a thermistor that can fail and cause this issue but I can't see where my tractor has this. I haven't been able to find much information on my series tractor. Any help would be greatly appreciated.
What John Deere calls a thermistor was used in the 4X00 tractors, but not in the newer 4X10 tractors like your 4710 and my 4610. The K6 Fuel Solenoid Timer Module (LVA11884) is responsible for keeping the Y2 Fuel Shutoff Solenoid pull-in coil energized for 3 seconds before de-energizing this coil and keeping power on the hold-in coil.

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The starting problem you describe doesn't exactly fit a problem with the K6 Fuel Solenoid Timer Module, but it could be.

After owning my 4610 for 16+ yrs, it became hard to start and finicky about starting early this year. I replaced the K6 Fuel Solenoid Timer Module, and it has been trouble free for several months. In my troubleshooting, it seemed that the Fuel Solenoid Timer Module became sensitive to starting transients, and would become unstable (sometimes letting the fuel shutoff solenoid extend) when the starter was activated.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I messed with it last night. I don't think it is the key or timer module. When I turn the key to the on position I can heard a click noise that I believe is the fuel solenoid. To make sure, I used the diagram above, and I jumpered the K3 relay (30 to 87). It still just rolled over and over with no start. I had to use the tractor to load round bales, so I whiffed a little ether across the air intake with the filter off and it fired right up. Runs like a champ other than the starting issue. I'm still scratching my head on this. Could the solenoid be bad even though you hear it click. I would think that if it was bad, the tractor wouldn't get fuel and wouldn't run at all.
 

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You are correct that if the fuel shutoff solenoid doesn't stay retracted (or is bad and never retracts), the tractor will not run.

Try this. Only hold the key in the Start position a fraction of a second. My work around before I replaced the timer module was to just bump the starter. This kept the starter operation (and K6 interference) to a minimum and the K6 timer module didn't have time to drop out the K4 start relay and drop the Y2 fuel shutoff solenoid and the tractor would start.

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Your test of jumpering pin 30 to 87 on the K3 relay wouldn't have fixed this problem since the K6 module could be removing power from the K4 relay (when the starter is activated) which kills all power to the fuel shutoff solenoid - defeating your jumper.

My tractor (with the somewhat bad K6 timer module) also had a VERY reliable fuel shutoff solenoid opening (loud clunk) when you first turn the key to ON, but would drop out when the starter was spinning.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So bump the starter for a fraction of a second and then immediately start it again? I'll give it a try when I get off work this evening. I did notice yesterday that my solenoid makes a rather loud clunk sound when you turned the key to the ON position, but I don't know whether it drops out when I move to the start position because of the starter noise. Do you know what the P/N of the K6 module is? the JD parts catalog is not very intuitive when it comes to electrical components. Is there a way to test it? Jumper around it?
 

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My 4610 starts so fast that you can just turn the key to the Start position briefly, and it will start. So no, you don't bump the starter and then try to start again. The trick is to hold the key in the Start position no longer than absolutely necessary to get it started so a bad timer module doesn't have a chance to release the fuel shutoff solenoid before the tractor is running. I know this sounds weird, but it worked well for me - but not as well a a new timer module!

Here is the timer module shown in the John Deere part catalog.

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You could come up with a way to jumper across the K4 relay (30 to 87) full time and the K3 relay (30 to 87) just long enough to activate the pull-in relay, then start the tractor, but you want to be careful not to burn something up, so it might make more sense to just get a new timer module (LVA11884).
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
The way I understand the solenoid is that both coils of the solenoid energize to overcome the spring. After 3 seconds (timer module controlled), the pull-in portion relaxes but the hold-in portion is energized the hole time. The hold-in coil is not enough to overcome the spring by itself, thus the pull-in coil must be working... I would think that this is working on my tractor or the fuel wouldn't turn on at all. But I don't know why it starts only on ether even when warmed up. I don't know how many hours are on the tractor because the hourmeter is blank but if I had bad rings or something I would be getting blow-by. If it was an injector issue, I wouldn't think it would run well or it would smoke. Would there be something that boosts fuel or changes timing, etc on engine start that is malfunctioning? I wonder it the shutoff is sticking and the jolt of the engine starting with ether is enough to open it all the way?
 

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The way I understand the solenoid is that both coils of the solenoid energize to overcome the spring. After 3 seconds (timer module controlled), the pull-in portion relaxes but the hold-in portion is energized the hole time. The hold-in coil is not enough to overcome the spring by itself, thus the pull-in coil must be working... I would think that this is working on my tractor or the fuel wouldn't turn on at all. But I don't know why it starts only on ether even when warmed up. I don't know how many hours are on the tractor because the hourmeter is blank but if I had bad rings or something I would be getting blow-by. If it was an injector issue, I wouldn't think it would run well or it would smoke. Would there be something that boosts fuel or changes timing, etc on engine start that is malfunctioning? I wonder it the shutoff is sticking and the jolt of the engine starting with ether is enough to open it all the way?
Pretty sure the problem is not bad rings, an injector issue, fuel boost, timing, or even a sticking fuel shutoff solenoid valve. Unlike the newer fancy tractors that are computer driven (down to the fuel injectors), your tractor is pretty dirt simple and just needs fuel to run.

If you don't want to buy a timer module, or remove the K3/K4 relays and use the jumper method for testing I described in my previous post, you have 2 additional options.

You can unplug the fuel shutoff solenoid, apply 12V to terminal A, ground terminal C to activate the hold-in coil, then briefly ground terminal B to activate the pull-in coil. Start the tractor with the key as normal, then remove power from terminal A (or the ground from terminal C) to turn off the tractor.

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The last option is to remove the 2 bolts and the fuel shutoff solenoid valve from the engine. It should then start, but you will have to either re-install the fuel shutoff solenoid valve, or block off the intake airflow to shut down the engine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Last night I pulled the fuel shutoff solenoid out. With it out but still connected electrically, I turned the key on and verified that it retracts and after 3 seconds it clicked again but did not extend. I then attempted to start the tractor with no success. Then I introduced a little ether and it fired right up as usual. I'm at a loss. I guess its not electrical. Any other suggestions?
 

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I have to agree that this is looking like something besides the typical fuel shutoff solenoid problem.

Have you tried starting without the air filters in place and looked for blockage (such as rat's nest) in the filtered air inlet to the engine? Since you report it runs fine after starting, this seems unlikely, but something to check.

It might be time to do a compression test. If it sat for years, I suppose it is possible that the cylinders rusted up and this has caused a compression problem, but not sure if that can happen or not with these engines. Since we don't know the hours, it is also possible that the rings/cylinders are just worn to the point where starting is an issue.

Does running the intake heater for 20 to 30 secs prior to trying to start help?
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I have tried starting without filters even though they are new. I have had the intake hose off and verified no blockage. I have verified that the intake heater is working and have used it as well with no luck. I was thinking that maybe the injectors were dirty and wanted to pull them to have them checked along with a compression test, but ran into two problems.. First is the fact that I would have to remove the fuel tank to gain access to the aft two injectors which is a huge undertaking that involves removing the entire console and steering column; second, I couldn't even get the front two injectors removed. I am used to working on old John Deeres (I have a 2510 and 4020) and they have pencil injectors that are easy to remove. The injectors on the 4710 will require a special slide hammer that I don't currently have.

Is there any way to test the injection pump in situ? Though I would think that if it was weak, I wouldn't have much power. Maybe it is weak at low RPM and not triggering the injectors until the engine pops off with ether? Just a thought. The idle gets a little erratic below 1000 RPM but per the manual I think idle is set to 950 RPM so I didn't really think much of it.
 

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There is a fuel injection pump static timing procedure in the Technical Manual. Perhaps someone removed the injection pump, but didn't perform this timing procedure when re-installing, and the injection pump timing is off?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Possibly. I'll have to look into that this weekend. I was also thinking that if the pump is slightly weak at low RPM, then maybe I could turn the pressure up slightly but I don't know much about that. I have heard of people doing that, but don't know what screw to turn to increase pressure.
 
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