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Ford Tractors Discussion Forum
Order Ford 4000 Parts Online

Ford 4000 Won't Start

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JimBobBillyEarl

12-03-2018 19:17:39




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Hi all.

I came into possession of a 3cyl Diesel Ford 4000 earlier this year. Per the previous owner it's "always" been hard to start, requiring a shot of starting fluid to start even on good days.

Recently it's sat about 4-6 weeks, and when I went to crank it the usual shot of starting fluid didn't seem to help.

Battery is fully charged, noted when I turn the key the voltage drops to low 8's.

Is this a normal drop? If not, what's a good troubleshoot?

After reading some similar threads on I've learned it's probably a good idea to replace the battery cables, regardless if they are culprits or not they appear corroded and the positive cable seems like someone spliced together two cables and electrical taped them together.


Any other suggestions?

Thanks in advance!

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2hot6ft2

12-06-2018 12:41:46




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
Glad you got it up and running. For future reference nobody asked what size the battery is. OEM calls for 810CCA 4DLT type.

I purchased my tractor in the spring and it had to be jump started. Then I moved it south to a warmer climate where it would start however slowly until this Fall when it wouldn't turn over fast enough to start. The battery in it was reconditioned and nowhere did it say the CCA or CA for that matter. It was a standard automotive type battery.

I replaced it with a H9-DLG from autozone and it cranks like it should now (good and fast). All of the 4DLT's I saw had a 12 month warranty. The H9-DLG has a 3 year free + 2 year prorated warranty plus it has 950 CCA (1000 CA) so more than OEM.

Something to keep in mind for the future.

Just thought I would share.

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Larry NCKS

12-06-2018 11:13:32




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see

I don't understand what you're trying to say here. In my neck of the woods if the starter turns and engages the flywheel - it is cranking. Are you saying it cranked but wouldn't start?

Then, secondly, what are terminal wires? Are they battery cables perhaps?



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jimbobbillyearl

12-06-2018 11:32:12




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to Larry NCKS, 12-06-2018 11:13:32  
Trying to say the tractor now runs.

Yes, I misused the term "crank"- should have read cranked but wouldn't start.

Terminal wires= wires from the battery terminal. Battery cables. 0 gauge copper wiring ran from the battery to the starter solenoid and ground on the starter.

Thanks for the translation.



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jimbobbillyearl

12-06-2018 09:49:44




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
I appreciate all the comments. It's good to hear from folks with experience.

Battery was an 8 month old Durastart (Atwood's brand). Replaced under warranty. (Does anyone have experience with this brand? Did I just get a fluke or are they known for premature failure?)

Tractor was still a no go- Starter would turn but couldn't crank.

Replaced terminal wires- fired up after that.

To piggyback on what another user said the original cables are indeed very heavily scored/chaffed where they tuck under the fuel tank. Was very close to having wire making contact there. I followed the suggestion given and slipped a section of old garden hose over that.

Suggestions for whoever is interested:

When replacing the battery terminal wiring get the 4 ft sections of cable. I bought wires around 3 ft and they work, but you've got minimal slack.

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sotxbill

12-05-2018 07:48:19




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
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I believe the "thermostart" was an option, as many have and many have not.



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Sean in PA

12-05-2018 04:27:21




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
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The Thermo-Start feature was not standard, it was an option, so they do not all have them.



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sunbeam

12-04-2018 15:08:05




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
Most parts houses will load test your battery> If it is not dual power pull start the tractor after it runs a while try the starter.



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Operator4100

12-04-2018 14:02:28




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
Those tractors have manifold heaters on them if I remember, use those instead of starting fluid



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David G

12-04-2018 13:47:19




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
Check your RPM meter when cranking and report back if possible.

Your battery voltage might be OK when not charged and drop off while cranking, you should see above 11 volts and the battery while cranking



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Larry NCKS

12-04-2018 13:29:26




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
Quoting Removed, click Modern View to see 12.2 is not even a fully charged 12 volt battery. it takes 12.75 volts for a full charge.
Battery may not be all of it, but as has been said, if your cranking speed isn't up to snuff that diesel will be difficult to start just on that account.



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showcrop

12-04-2018 12:19:09




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
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Jim---- the starter needs to be able to crank the motor for at least a minute, though you should not crank with the starter for more than 15 seconds without stopping for a one minute cool down or you can burn the starter up. As UD said you need to check your battery with your meter and check your connections by checking the voltage at the starter while cranking to see if you are getting excessive voltage drop due to bad connections. Bad connections can also be IDd by heat. A bad one will get hot.

DO NOT throw your ether away. Most equipment manufacturers recognized the benefit of the use of it which is why they made systems that could be operated from the drivers seat to enable ether injection. Does Ice cream or Alcohol kill you? No, only with excessive use over an extended period of time.

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JimBobBillyEarl

12-04-2018 12:30:34




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to showcrop, 12-04-2018 12:19:09  
When you talk about checking the voltage at the starter tell me what you mean.

I read that in another post as well and tested with probe against solenoid and one to ground. I get the same drop doing that as I do testing the battery itself when trying to crank.

This the process you're describing or something different?



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soundguy

12-04-2018 11:50:32




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
As noted by others, 8v is a problem. Starter, or battery, cables, connections, etc..



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JimBobBillyEarl

12-04-2018 12:31:12




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to soundguy, 12-04-2018 11:50:32  
I appreciate the reply.. Will investigate further and let you know how it goes.



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David G

12-04-2018 09:14:26




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
First thing, throw away the ether can.

Second thing, make sure it cranks fast, if not it will always be hard to start.

Post back.



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JimBobBillyEarl

12-04-2018 11:58:08




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to David G, 12-04-2018 09:14:26  
Judging by some of the other topics I've read I'm surprised you're the only one so far to comment on the ether.



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sotxbill

12-04-2018 08:21:05




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
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Actually a good battery is not supposed to drop below 10 volts when cranking a heavy load. IIRC... 8 volts would suggest....

battery bad, or starter drawing too much current, or a little of both maybe.



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JimBobBillyEarl

12-04-2018 12:11:39




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to sotxbill, 12-04-2018 08:21:05  
Suggestions on isolating one vs the other?

Battery sat on charger over night to confirm, left off charger for several hours and put back on tractor it was registering 12.2V.

Makes me lean towards the battery being decent



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Ultradog MN

12-04-2018 05:25:46




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
You don't actually state whether the starter turns it over fast enough to get it running or if it just won't fire. Which is it?
Of course you need a good battery, cables and starter that will do the job. That goes without saying and I would check/fix those items as needed.
But if it is turning over good despite your starting circuit being kinda lame and not firing I wouldn't be looking at the electrical end of things. I would be looking at pump, fuel or compression issues.

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JimBobBillyEarl

12-04-2018 12:08:04




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to Ultradog MN, 12-04-2018 05:25:46  
Thanks for your reply.

I'm not a disel mechanic, but the starter has always sounded slow to me since I bought it.

Hence the ether, if I ever tried to crank without it- it never actually fired up (tried), but with a small shot it would.

But to put it in perspective, the starter sounds the same to me now as it always has.

Rather silly question perhaps but should holding down the key produce the same sound/speed for a continued period of time trying to start? As it is now I get about 3 seconds and then nothing. Starter makes noise, fan turns.

That help you help me any?

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Larry NCKS

12-04-2018 04:35:14




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
Either your battery is bad, or you've got a huge electrical load in your cranking circuit. A good battery should not drop below 12 volts when the load is applied.



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JimBobBillyEarl

12-04-2018 12:21:29




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to Larry NCKS, 12-04-2018 04:35:14  
Thanks for your reply.. Will investigate.



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showcrop

12-04-2018 03:56:16




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
Bad cable connections is very high on the list of causes for slow/no crank. Your situation sounds like OK crank but no fire. The most common cause of this is low compression due to age/hours. The fellow you bough it from probably acquired it with high hours.



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JimBobBillyEarl

12-04-2018 12:18:34




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to showcrop, 12-04-2018 03:56:16  
Will be changing the cables and connectors all around.

As far as hours go- If I remember correctly it shows a little over 3500. However that meter hasn't moved since I've gotten it. Not sure if it quit working last year or during the Reagan administration.



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Fred Werring

12-04-2018 14:01:18




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-04-2018 12:18:34  
Since you're gonna have the cables off anyway....

The battery cables can rub where they get routed behind the fuel tank and wear the insulation off. Seen a few that the insulation was getting pretty thin. If the positive cable wears through and touches metal, there's a real good chance of a fire.

My preferred method is to put a piece of hose over the cable where it runs behind the tank, but I have just put several wraps of electrical tape around them too when I didn't have a piece of hose handy.

Fred

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JimBobBillyEarl

12-04-2018 12:33:23




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-04-2018 12:18:34  
On that note the ONLY thing that seems to work on the instrument cluster is the RPM's. I'm all about troubleshooting that too if you've got advice.



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RM-MN

12-04-2018 03:51:46




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to JimBobBillyEarl, 12-03-2018 19:17:39  
Your starter may need new bearings and brushes. A diesel engine depends on the engine turning rapidly to compress the air in the cylinders to get it hot enough to ignite the fuel. Slow turning won't do it.



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JimBobBillyEarl

12-04-2018 12:13:02




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 Re: Ford 4000 Won't Start in reply to RM-MN, 12-04-2018 03:51:46  
As asked in another post- what are your thoughts on isolating the starter as the culprit?

Only way to do this to remove it and test?



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