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John Deere 855 doesn't start

Discussion in 'Truck & Equipment Repair' started by ranger88den, May 17, 2012.

  1. ranger88den

    ranger88den Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    John Deere 855 diesel, compact tractor that has sat for approx. 2 years. When taken out of service, diesel stabilizer additive was added to fuel tank and the fuel has not gelled. New battery, turns over robustly and blows black exhaust during cranking, but will not run. I am at best, a shadetree mech. with no diesel experience. Any simple checks or common problems/maintence that can be done? Thanks in advance
  2. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    You could bleed the air out of the lines by cracking the injector fitting at each injector, and crank. When fuel comes out with no bubbles, it is bled. Wouldn't be surprising if it lost its prime over the years.

    That being said, if you are getting a lot of black smoke then the prime would not be an issue.

    DON'T USE STARTING FLUID whatever you do.

    SHAWZER PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,287

    tymusic check the live wire going to the injection pump?:drinkup:
  4. ranger88den

    ranger88den Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    thank you for your reply, I had considered starting fluid but wanted to wait for a response. I will try cracking the injector fitting.
  5. ranger88den

    ranger88den Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Thank you for your reply. The tractor only has 158 hours on it but you never know what can go wrong. I will check for voltage at the pump.
  6. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Change the fuel filter.
  7. Camden

    Camden PlowSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,604

    Your fuel wouldn't be gelled up at this time of the year. I like what the guy said above me about changing the fuel filter. I'd even go a step further and add fresh fuel to the canister that holds the filter.

    Also, is there a way for you to look into your tank to see if you have a layer of sludge sitting there? That can happen when diesel sits for a while and it'll do nothing but cause you long term problems if you don't get it out.
  8. goel

    goel PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,079

    Since its a diesel even if you bleed the lines they sometimes take lots and lots and lots of crankIng to get them started.

    They act nothing like a gas motor that runs out of fuel.

    After you change the fuel filter make sure to fill it with diesel to help fill the lines.
  9. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    Any updates?
  10. ranger88den

    ranger88den Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    I'm a pretty slow mover + I have a lot of other projects going on, however, I've drained the fuel and am looking for a filter. I will post the fix when completed so it may help others. Thanks for your reply.
  11. ranger88den

    ranger88den Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Okay, new fuel, new filter, bled tubes to cylinders but only get fuel at #3 cylinder. Removed all three tubes from fuel manifold to cylinders and blew compressed air thru them. Still only get fuel to #3 cylinder. It sounds like it wants to start. Could/should I remove the fuel line from the filter to the fuel manifold and blow compressed air thru the manifold, as it seems this is not allowing fuel to #1 & 2 cylinder? I don't want to ruin any diaphrams or seals. Once again, thank you in advance.
  12. unhdsm

    unhdsm Junior Member
    from Vermont
    Messages: 4

    Check the safety switch under the seat.
  13. jhenderson9196

    jhenderson9196 Senior Member
    Messages: 615

    If it cranks, it's not the safety switch. Try cracking the lines , one at a time , from the filter on up to the injectors. If there is air anywhere in the system, fuel won't move.
  14. Milwaukee

    Milwaukee 2000 Club Member
    Messages: 2,180

    Get brake cleaner spray with flammable. Had somebody spray while you crank.

    Starter fluid are too strong and could ruin engine.

    This is come from retired diesel mechanic who work on diesel for 45 years.

    Since there black smoke out exhaust you have fuel. Have you check air filter for any plugged?

    SHAWZER PlowSite.com Addict
    Messages: 1,287


    did you ever get it to start? suspence and bordum is killing me.:rolleyes:tymusic:drinkup:
  16. ranger88den

    ranger88den Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    I apologize, I've been so busy with other stuff that I haven't had time to do much with the JD 855, but, as I stated in my 05/30/12 post, for some reason fuel for #1 & 2 cylinder doesn't seem to be getiing past the fuel manifold. I will post the results when I get it started but I appreciate everyone's support and interest.
  17. jb1390

    jb1390 Senior Member
    Messages: 710

    There should be 2 lines going to the cylinders-one is high pressure, the other is a return line that connects to all the cylinders and returns to the tank. Are you positive you removed and cleaned the high pressure line and not the low pressure line?

    If you did remove the high pressure lines, and are getting fuel to only one cylinder, that's not a good sign for the condition of your injection pump. Are the lines for cylinders #1 and #2 considerably longer than for cylinder #3?
  18. ranger88den

    ranger88den Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Thank you for your reply. To be honest, I know nothing about diesel engines, so I'm struggling. I will try to get to the tractor, look it over more closely, get some pics, and try to better explain what I've done. Thank you all to everyone who has responded to this thread, I'm way out of my element.
  19. ranger88den

    ranger88den Senior Member
    Messages: 105

    Okay, pics of engine from right hand side as sitting in the driver's seat.





  20. Plow horse

    Plow horse Senior Member
    Messages: 116


    fuel filters should be changed quite often with todays fuel, so get EXTRA filters. Sounds like air in system. Sometimes you have to push the fuel through, Open all bleed valves, the 2 screws on top of your plastic clear filter cup, start there, Lightly blow air into fuel tank, " Oh ya make sure you have at least 3/4 tank of new good fuel". You can use air hose with a rag rapped around it and LIGHTLY blow air in. " Like you can blow the air in using your mouth if you have to, I have, again use a rag to help with the pressure seal and just blow" as the fuel goes through each screw valve close the screw or bolt, keep opening all the way to the last injector and keep blowing, make sure its all FUEL no air. I have a JD 750 and I have had this problem, somebody ran it out of fuel out in the field, so when I got there the only air I had was my breath, IT WORKS, its not easy and very messy. Remember to open any bleed valves from the tank all the way to the end, then blow air into fuel tank and close bleed valves as PURE fuel bleeds through, all the way to the last one, or injector. MESSY, so be ready. good luck.