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#706133 - 02/19/12 04:36 PM Dead tractor
JackE Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 25
Loc: Oregon
I'm not sure this is the right forum but here it goes - I have a 1996 790 John Deere tractor. It's been on a trickle charger for the past 3 months. When I started it today it turned over kind of slow but it did start. I ran it for about 20 min. When I tried to start it about 20 min later it was dead. I have no headlights - nothing. I hooked the battery charger up and charged the battery to 100% - still no start, lights - nothing. I jumped the battery with my car - still no start or lights. No blown fuses found. Is there a main fuse somewhere between the battery and everything else? Any ideas? Thanks

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#706139 - 02/19/12 04:56 PM Re: Dead tractor [Re: JackE]
Bob_Q Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 06/28/01
Posts: 13938
Loc: Albany area,New York
You need to find out first whether the battery is good or not,and also if the system is charging.
If you don't have the means/tools nor knowledge to do it,have the battery checked out. If it's bad,replace it,see if the tractor will start,then before running it too long,check the charging system. If you have a voltmeter,with the engine running,it should put out from 13.5 to 15 volts. Any thing lower then that will tell you the system isn't charging properly.
_________________________
Reporters no longer report the news. They make it.

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#706140 - 02/19/12 05:03 PM Re: Dead tractor [Re: JackE]
BillJeffy Offline
Don't Know Squat
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 9171
Loc: USA
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First, I'd start with a known GOOD battery....
jumping doesn't always do the job, especially if your
original battery has an internal short.

Next, inspect the positive and negative battery cables
closely for any loose connections / corrosion.
Replace/repair where necessary.

After that, inspect the wiring FROM the starter TO the KEY switch.
There should be a fusible link in this line, and could be blown.

Power goes FROM battery... TO starter post... TO key switch .....
and then to lights/fuses for everything else.

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_________________________
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Just Common Sense......
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err....I'm not a Doctor, but I'll take a LOOK ! !

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#706183 - 02/20/12 08:38 AM Re: Dead tractor [Re: BillJeffy]
JackE Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 25
Loc: Oregon
I traced the power to the starter (OK), ignition (OK.) I turned the key to start and power is going to a box with a circuit board - I'm assuming some type of control module. Power is going to the circuit board. Maybe this module is bad? When I was wiggling wires around and moving the module I briefly got power to the lights, starter etc. No obvious shorts or crimped/damaged wires. I don't have the skills to test the module. Time to call the dealer.

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#706185 - 02/20/12 09:02 AM Re: Dead tractor [Re: JackE]
BillJeffy Offline
Don't Know Squat
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 9171
Loc: USA
.
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When you were 'wiggling', and got power,
you were CLOSE to the problem...

Do some more wiggling to try to narrow it down,
loose connector/pins/severed wire, etc.

Otherwise.... I guess, the 'experts'.

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_________________________
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Just Common Sense......
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err....I'm not a Doctor, but I'll take a LOOK ! !

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#706243 - 02/20/12 05:25 PM Re: Dead tractor [Re: BillJeffy]
JackE Offline
newbie

Registered: 02/19/06
Posts: 25
Loc: Oregon
I should have learned by now - always check the basics first. I installed a new battery today with the same results. When I turned the key the idiot lights came on, when I turned the key to start I got a clicking sound and the idiot lights dimmed. It seemed like a bad battery. I called the dealer and he suggested I check the battery ground. I took the ground cable off and cleaned it up good. The tractor started right up. I was probably due for a new battery anyway smile Live and learn. Thanks for the suggestions.

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#706255 - 02/20/12 07:09 PM Re: Dead tractor [Re: JackE]
BillJeffy Offline
Don't Know Squat
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 01/02/06
Posts: 9171
Loc: USA
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......... grin !!

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_________________________
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Just Common Sense......
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err....I'm not a Doctor, but I'll take a LOOK ! !

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