All things tractors thread


Another failure mode that might be worth mentioning here: If the starter is just plain dead, then John’s test should point that out very quickly. But if the starter gear does come out and it spins, that does not necessarily mean the starter is good. The “clutch” built into the starter allows the engine to start and run faster than the starter, all good, but that clutch mechanism can also be bad and it won’t be obvious until you test the starter under some load on the gear (let a shop/store do that). A bad clutch in a starter will let the gear spin when in open air, but when in the car it does not have the ability to turn the engine at all or not very fast. Symptoms would be that you hear the starter motor running but when you look at the engine while starting the pulleys/belts aren’t moving or moving very slowly.

Doesn’t sound like this was your problem, but thought I should throw it out there in case.


Thanks for the replies. I did the continuity tests, and everything buzzed out OK. I had to stop due to more rain, and I have to borrow someone’s 13mm deep socket to get that last bolt out.


I finally got the starter out Friday, it was a bear to get it thru a tight maze of lines and other things. Don’t know how I got it out, but managed to do it and not break anything.

Yesterday, after spending all day at the grafting seminar, I finally got the starter tested at AutoZone. Looks like I’ll be getting a new one, as this one wouldn’t even try to turn with power applied to it. They had a replacement in stock, but at $140, I said no thanks.

So, today I’ll be ordering a new (or refurbished) one. It’ll probably be next week before I get it repaired. Hopefully that will resolve this issue, but it still has about 4 other problems that will need to be dealt with. But at least I’ll be able to start it.

We are cleaning out the old house and the truck’s got a bed full of junk, so it’ll be good to get that stuff hauled off.

My first and probably my last Ford…


Ford, Found On Road Dead!


Hah, never heard that one before! /s

Well, to be fair it is a 2001 model, bought at a local car lot. At the time, the only issue was the check engine light would come on. Then it started running roughly, because of a ignition coil issue. That was repaired for $150.

Since then it has a transmission fluid leak, the check engine AND the ABS light is on, and the emergency brake doesn’t work anymore.

At least it had new tires on it when I bought it…

Still not gonna buy another Ford again, or a Jeep. Our 2002 Liberty has been a money pit.


Very fortunate my little tractor started right up today after a colder winter.
Hope you get yours up and running soon Bob!


Oh I got the John Deere fixed last summer, runs just fine. Except when it got real cold last month, it would not turn over after sitting a few weeks in single digits temps. I had to plug up the block heater for the first time, and after heating it up after an hour, it started right up.

I’ve been waiting weeks for it to dry out enough to get out and do some bush-hogging. Need to get a lot mowed before things (weeds and briars) start growing again. The grass is starting to green up and grow a bit already. And next month will be plowing time!


Great news!!


Well, I got a starter Wednesday that I ordered on Sunday, but it wasn’t really the right one, so I had them ship me the right one. I was surprised it came in yesterday via UPS, so it was a pleasant surprise. I boxed up the wrong one and put a shipping label on it and gave it to the delivery man.

So, I’ll be trying to install the new one soon, hope it works out. Then I will only have 4 issues left to deal with on the truck…

As for tractoring, it’s been relatively dry the last week, so I hope to get it out tomorrow for some mowing. One area being mowed will be where the three new pluots are going. They’re supposed to be here Monday.


Ok, not a tractor but a four-wheel related video. But, hey, it’s my thread, so…

Future Darwin Award winner…

Nice hat…


Well, one problem has been fixed on the ole F-150. I finally got the new starter mounted, it was really hard to get my hands and tools in there, but I got the bolts tightened up. So, I reconnected the battery cables, made sure everything was where it was supposed to be, and gave the key a crank and “VROOOM!” It started right up, and better yet no other untoward sounds.

The truck had been sitting undriven for about three months, so since the tranny leaks, I had to put in about 3 quarts of fluid. That will be the next item to be repaired, but that’s not something I can do, I’ll have to bite the bullet and take it to the shop.

Now the computer is throwing me a 1633 code, which is Low Voltage Keep Memory Alive alarm. From what I’ve read, if the battery has been disconnected for a while, it takes a few start and drive cycles to help the PCM reset itself. So, I hope that’s the case here. The old code of Bank 1 and 2 running lean is gone, so maybe it’ll come back, hope not.

So, now besides the tranny issue, I’m down to just two other items that need addressed. But, at least now it’s driveable, I took it down to the general store (10 miles round trip) for some gas and it ran fine.

Thanks to all the suggestions and help. Feels good to fix something like that, even though it was a royal pain in the @$$, shoulders and back working under that truck.

After some lunch it’s out to get the tractor out and do some mowing. It’s a nice day, about 50, but there’s still a chill in the air.


Got a mountain you want mowed? Look no further! Check out the videos!


Tractor/mower/baler etc - awesome machines on Facebook-


OK, finally in for the night after a busier than normal Sunday. I wanted to do some bush hogging today before I did any plowing. So, cranked up the ole JD and was going out to do some mowing. Well, after turning on the PTO, the mower engaged with a loud clang as usual. And then, another loud bang, so I looked back and the mower shaft is flopping around while also spinning, but no longer attached to the mower!

So, in a hurry I disengaged the PTO, and turned off the tractor, and jumped down to take a look. The bolt that attaches the shaft to the mower’s gearbox had snapped off. I imagine that was a shear bolt? I don’t know why it snapped, it’s not because the mower locked up because I could spin it by hand from the top. But then, I looked under the mower and saw that one half of the blade was at a right angle to the other half. I assume the halves are attached in the middle? At any rate, I don’t know how that happened, and I suppose that’s what snapped off the shear bolt. I’m just glad it didn’t fly off and hit something.

So, I had to put it back into the barn and will take a closer look at it later. Me and the wife hooked up the plow and I was able to get 4 plots done before dark.

Any ideas on what happened?


Yep. The blade being bent got it bound up and instead of breaking the gearbox it snapped the shear pin. Easy fix. New blades and an actual new shear pin. If you have the right tools it shouldn’t be too hard. Turn the deck up sideway on a tree and get the blades off. Replace. Lay it back down and just attach the new shaearbolt where the old one was. Make sure nothing is hitting underneath with the new blades first.


The blades underneath pivot and will often be 90 degrees from each other when it is not running. Some pto’s with electric engagement can be very hard starting and snap shear pins when engaging. When engaging the pto, make sure the 3 point hitch is up and the throttle is low. Once it engages, raise the throttle to the pto 540 rpm. If it’s a half inch hole, the shear pin should be just a grade 2 bolt. It’s a good idea to keep a few on hand.


Thanks for the suggestions. I had just came out of the barn when I engaged the PTO, and it was up off the ground. But, the throttle may have been up a bit, but I was sitting there just idling.

My guess is that the bush hog is an older model, don’t even know what brand, and the bolt was maybe a bit rusty. The mower was here for years when we moved here 4 years ago.

It would be nice to get a new one, but we’ll have to make due with this one. The blades probably need to be sharpened anyways, so this will be something I’ll do later.

It’s always something, last year the water pump bearing gave out, that caused the fan to impale itself in the radiator. You can see that further up this thread. Had to remove and replace all that, thankfully it was something I could do myself.

If it is a grade 2 bolt, what do those usually cost, maybe a few bucks?


Grade 2 is just common bolts . Grade five has 3 lines or marks on the head . They are harder usually grade 5 is a tinted brassy color . Grade 2 silver color .


Maybe less…


Around me where hardware is sold by the pound, they are very cheap. DO NOT use a 1/2" grade 5 or grade 8 bolt. Much better to shear a bolt than to break part of the PTO drive line. Rotary mowers generally don’t get sharpened unless you are using them to cut grass and want a neater look. The blunt edge shatters the stem on brush and small trees so they don’t resprout.
Older units are often better than some of the newer ones. The brush being cut certainly doesn’t care what the cutter looks like. :slight_smile: If it works, use it.