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hi all need some help here diagnosing the issue.

our x540 has about 510 hrs on it and has had regular fall and spring maintenance, last summer it started with the issue of dying out after running for a bit about 45 mins. during the winter it was fine was able to plow snow for 30- to 60 mins without any issues. so thought the issue was resolved. not the case same issue this spring runs for 30-45 mins then dies. backfires. we let it sitt for a bit say 30 mins and it will run for another 30 mins.

what i have done so far

changed over fuel
new plugs
drilled extra air holes into gas cap
replaced both coils

any help with direction here would be great, before i go buying another 300 dollars in parts.

thanks in advance
 

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The first thing I'd check is the battery, terminals and grounds.
 

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Exhaust valve sticking open?
The old Kohler engines used to do that when hot and had to pull the valve, clean the carbon from the stem & valve guide.
Wouldn't hurt to pull the head and see if there is evidence of the exhaust valve burnt or not seating.
Just a thought.
 
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Exhaust valve sticking open?
The old Kohler engines used to do that when hot and had to pull the valve, clean the carbon from the stem & valve guide.
Wouldn't hurt to pull the head and see if there is evidence of the exhaust valve burnt or not seating.
Just a thought.
This is my thought too.

After it dies, does it spin like no compression when trying to start it??? This would indicate a sticking valve. Seems like the old JD 300 had this problem and they came out with a replacement exhaust valve that was sodium filled to correct the problem.

Maybe carb is too lean and can be richened up to prevent overheating??? :dunno:
 
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First.. You need to figure out WHY it is cutting off and not restarting. Spark? Fuel? This will tell you which direction to go. Wont do any good to pull a head when you dont have spark. Wont do any good to replace coils when you dont have any fuel.
The chances of valves sticking on both cylinders?
A logical approach to troubleshooting saves money. A simple shot of carb cleaner in the intake while cranking is a quick step. If it lights off and briefly runs then you have spark but no fuel. Now at least you know what road to follow.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
 

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A logical approach to troubleshooting saves money. A simple shot of carb cleaner in the intake while cranking is a quick step. If it lights off and briefly runs then you have spark but no fuel. Now at least you know what road to follow.

Sent from my LGL52VL using Tapatalk
Would you use carb cleaner? I know that starting fluid fires off easily, just not sure of the carb cleaner. :dunno:
 

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hi all need some help here diagnosing the issue.

our x540 has about 510 hrs on it and has had regular fall and spring maintenance, last summer it started with the issue of dying out after running for a bit about 45 mins. during the winter it was fine was able to plow snow for 30- to 60 mins without any issues. so thought the issue was resolved. not the case same issue this spring runs for 30-45 mins then dies. backfires. we let it sitt for a bit say 30 mins and it will run for another 30 mins.

what i have done so far

changed over fuel
new plugs
drilled extra air holes into gas cap
replaced both coils

any help with direction here would be great, before i go buying another 300 dollars in parts.

thanks in advance
I have the exact, I mean exact same problem with my X540!!
I have changed two relays, diode, antifreeze and temperature sending unit because it seems to be an ambient temperature related problem. Next up is voltage regulator. Then stator 🤷🏻‍♂️
 

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This is my thought too.

After it dies, does it spin like no compression when trying to start it??? This would indicate a sticking valve. Seems like the old JD 300 had this problem and they came out with a replacement exhaust valve that was sodium filled to correct the problem.

Maybe carb is too lean and can be richened up to prevent overheating??? :dunno:
Would both cylinders have valves sticking at the same time? Me thinks that you would just have a dead misfire if this was the case.
 

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hi all need some help here diagnosing the issue.

our x540 has about 510 hrs on it and has had regular fall and spring maintenance, last summer it started with the issue of dying out after running for a bit about 45 mins. during the winter it was fine was able to plow snow for 30- to 60 mins without any issues. so thought the issue was resolved. not the case same issue this spring runs for 30-45 mins then dies. backfires. we let it sitt for a bit say 30 mins and it will run for another 30 mins.

what i have done so far

changed over fuel
new plugs
drilled extra air holes into gas cap
replaced both coils

any help with direction here would be great, before i go buying another 300 dollars in parts.

thanks in advance
Did you ever find a solution for your John Deere dying problem?
 

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hi all need some help here diagnosing the issue.

our x540 has about 510 hrs on it and has had regular fall and spring maintenance, last summer it started with the issue of dying out after running for a bit about 45 mins. during the winter it was fine was able to plow snow for 30- to 60 mins without any issues. so thought the issue was resolved. not the case same issue this spring runs for 30-45 mins then dies. backfires. we let it sitt for a bit say 30 mins and it will run for another 30 mins.

what i have done so far

changed over fuel
new plugs
drilled extra air holes into gas cap
replaced both coils

any help with direction here would be great, before i go buying another 300 dollars in parts.

thanks in advance
I know this is an old post but, anyone who has the warming up and dying situation, I have a solution. The electronica control module under the dash of the John Deere X540 was the cause of my exact same situation. Green Dealer online charges $100 or so for the part. AM141075. I hope this helps someone
 

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This is my thought too.

After it dies, does it spin like no compression when trying to start it??? This would indicate a sticking valve. Seems like the old JD 300 had this problem and they came out with a replacement exhaust valve that was sodium filled to correct the problem.

Maybe carb is too lean and can be richened up to prevent overheating??? :dunno:
A lean mixture was my first thought as well. A little bit of crud in a carb could do it. If you get no compression after it dies the valve is another good possibility.

I'm late in the replies so this may be irrelevant.

Treefarmer
 

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I know this is an old post but, anyone who has the warming up and dying situation, I have a solution. The electronica control module under the dash of the John Deere X540 was the cause of my exact same situation. Green Dealer online charges $100 or so for the part. AM141075. I hope this helps someone
Thank you for taking the time to share that
 

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Generally, when there is an "engine quitting" or running rough after it reaches operating temps or runs for some time, very often it's an electrical issue. Usually, the problem is consistent in rearing it head. It's a very good idea to check :
  • Electrical connections on the spark plugs, coil wires, etc.
  • Spark plugs themselves
  • Ignition control modules
  • relays involved in the tractor's power circuit
  • Fuses in the fuse panel or tractors power circuit
When you do check the electrical connectors / plugs on devices which are plugged into the ignition or "power circuit", make sure the contacts are all clean and that all pins and connectors are pushed / pulled fully into the plugs and harnesses. If you are unsure, carefully pull on the end of the wire in the plug with small needle nose pliers to make sure it isn't loose and that it is fully seated in the plug. It doesn't take long before a wire which is pulled back 1/8th of an inch or less, starts to give serious trouble.

Make sure the connectors are all clean, sprayed with a electrical contact cleaner and protector and pull the wires into each plug with needle nose pliers to make sure they are making full contact. Don't pull excessively, just enough to make sure the wires are seated fully in the plugs. Often a wire partially pulling out of a plug is all that is wrong. It's a nice simple and inexpensive repair to solve a frustrating problem. But it requires you look closely to find it.
Technology


Often, the vibration will work on the wires to get them tight and start to pull on the plugs. A good way to also find trouble is to check various components with a infrared temp gun. Electrical components with excess heat are a sign of potential problem. Even check the battery cables with the temp gun as internal corrosion on the cables can cause them to build heat, so much heat, that the cables can be "hot" to the touch, when they shouldn't be warmer than air temps.

Checking plugs, connections and the temp of items can be very helpful when you can't seem to locate the problem with an Ohm meter, etc. Parts which are experiencing addiitonal electrical resistance usually have corrosion. These same parts are often much warmer than they should be. Part of your detective investigation.

When you search some tractor models you will find that some parts are replaced often enough to show up in searches under that tractor model. Those are good parts to carefully check as they are selling for a reason and their failure and needing replacement is likely behind their frequent sales.

Chances are if the part is sold on Amazon or Ebay, its a common part requiring replacement. If you are stumped as to what to check on your machine, search on Amazon and Ebay under your tractor model number and the list of possible parts causing your machines issue is likely very short.

For example, this thread started with the x540 which is having the issue. When you search John Deere x540 parts in both Amazon and Ebay, you get a comprehensive list of mower blades, filters, etc. But guess what the very first true "ignition or electrical part" is which is listed? The AM141075 Ignition Control Module for $99.02. When a part sells often enough to be listed on the top 20 parts for the machine in amazon, chances are its failing more often than it should................

Something to think about. Don't buy parts just because they are listed for sale. But if you checked the temp of the electronic control module with the infrared temp gun, chances are you would find the part is running hotter than surrounding parts, especially electrical parts. One more clue in solving the issue with the machine.

Using the Technical Service manual and following the diagnostic procedures will help you test various parts and likely find the issue. A little detective work won't hurt either. Just remember, most electrical parts are not returnable so make sure to follow the suggested testing procedures to confirm the need of the machine before just ordering parts which you can't return.
 
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Great information, I will be addressing each and every diagnostic mentioned!
Thank You
Tom please report back as to what you find and how you ultimately resolve your problem. It's valuable information to make the threads relevant to others situations.

Thanks.
 

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Tom please report back as to what you find and how you ultimately resolve your problem. It's valuable information to make the threads relevant to others situations.

Thanks.
X540 run problem after 1/2 hour stopping and not starting until cool. Started with coil wire and recommendations to check wiring connections, the coil connection was not all the way in; corrected and started it. Mower ran 1-1/2 hours without stopping; thanks to the input on this thread!
 

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From the OP...

our x540 has about 510 hrs on it and has had regular fall and spring maintenance, last summer it started with the issue of dying out after running for a bit about 45 mins. during the winter it was fine was able to plow snow for 30- to 60 mins without any issues. so thought the issue was resolved. not the case same issue this spring runs for 30-45 mins then dies. backfires. we let it sitt for a bit say 30 mins and it will run for another 30 mins...

--------------------------------------------------------------


So, I have an 2013 x500 with 600 hours exhibiting similar symptoms. Something I discovered by happenchance is that it would only shut down under load, in my case, while the mower deck is running. I discovered this while dethatching/thatching in the spring. Machine ran like a Deere with the mower deck powered off. For hours. Then I decided to mow/powerbag/dethatch at the same time, and that worked for a while - say 45 minutes until suddenly and expectedly, the engine died. I waited 20 minutes to try to start it again, after failed attempts, and finally it powered back up. I went back to my mow/powerbag/dethatch and worked again for maybe a half hour, then died. A couple more times this sequence went on, so, I tried slapping the PTO off when it was about to die and sure enough, each time I did that, it wouldn't die. Proof that it happens ONLY while under load.

So I whipped out the tech manual and discovered the carb draws more petro whilst under load - Aha! It was asking for more fuel but wasn't getting it. (This is why the OP was able to snowPLOW without issue in the winter because the machine wasn't under load) I flipped my hood open while trying to fire it up and could see the clear fuel filter wasn't drawing any fuel into it. Suck-bang-blow, right? So the (Suck) suction to the fuel, sucked, just not literally. As it turns out, it would appear a mouse had been nibbling on $15 dollars in parts, creating a minuscule hole verified by blowing through it. It's my belief that when we start the machines, the fuel lines are cooler, but once running for awhile, there is some expansion, ultimately exposing this micro hole in the line. So problem resolved for me. I WILL report back should this issue appear again. By the way - it's taken me a long time to resolve this. I encourage others to not only ask questions, but reply back to the thread with what ultimately addressed the issue. Thanks all!

John Deere part number AM135441 Fuel Pickup

John Deere part number M132706 Fuel Bushing

Here is a photo of the fuel pickup next to a pen for size reference...

 

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I had a similar problem and it was a fuel problem (fuel no longer getting to engine). After cleaning fuel tank, replacing fuel lines, replacing fuel pump. I still had the problem (X540 stop running after 25-35 minutes in summer). I then replaced fuel shut off solenoid (bottom of carburetor). That fixed my problem. I am not an expert but the fuel shut off solenoid sits above muffler an must get too hot. New fuel shut off solenoid solved my problem.
 
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