BX2230 slow to start

gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
Hello there,

I am new to the forum and tractors (and diesel). Bought a BX2230 with 440 hours a few weeks ago, and it is taking a good 10 to 15 seconds of cranking to start every time, even if I keep the glow plugs on for 20 to 30 seconds first, and even when the tractor is warm. I pulled the glow plugs and tested them individually (connected them directly to another 12v battery), and they all get hot within 5 seconds. They seem to be the original NGK YE01 plugs. When the glow plugs are engaged with the starter switch, the fuel pump runs audibly slower, which tells me they are connecting. I tried wiring the + wire from the battery to the glow plugs separately using a momentary switch (with a 20 amp fuse), to eliminate the possibility that the switch is not sending positive power to the glow plugs), and it makes no difference.

The tractor starts within about 10 (not more than 15) seconds every time, but from everything I have seen online, with glow plugs it should start faster. I replaced both fuel filters as soon as I bought it, and when I bled the fuel line after replacing the filters it seemed like the fuel was getting to the injectors in a normal time.

I looked at the parts manual and don't see any kind of relay that would be involved in starting this tractor.

I wonder what else I can look at in this case please? Should I just expect it to take 10-15 seconds of cranking to start in warm weather? I am in Houston so I wonder if it will start at all in colder weather (TN - where I will be using this tractor to mow about 7 acres).
 
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RCW

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
4,237
67
48
Chenango County, NY
When started, does it seem to run good with good throttle response, no stumbling, etc.?
You got the GP’s hot in testing, so you do believe they’re working when trying to start?
Just my gut, and assuming GP’s are working, first I would verify lift pump is working. I have never noticed a change in its sound when activating GP’s.
How does the air filter look?
How were the fuel filters? We’re they black? Just thinking algae, but you said fuel flow seemed good.

Since it does it when warm, I might think about valve lash and compression.
Again, just throwing out some ideas.
 

RCW

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
4,237
67
48
Chenango County, NY
Just another thought, when it does start, what color is the exhaust smoke, and how long does it smoke? (A couple seconds of black smoke is common)
Oh, welcome to OTT!


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gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
Thanks!
Once it starts, throttle response is normal and it runs well as long as I want it to. Fuel filters were not black, but the first one under the tractor had some sediment in it. It was almost out of fuel when I got it, and I added five gallons of fresh diesel along with some Diesel Kleen. When it starts, it blows black smoke for a second (not even two) and then it burns clean even if I rev it all the way up.

At this point I wired the positive wire to the glow plugs so I know for sure that I am getting power to the glow plugs before I even turn the key using a momentary switch (I fused the wire of course). When I let the switch go, I can feel the positive wire is warm, so I think the glow plugs are getting power. When the factory wiring was connected, I noticed the fuel pump slowing down a bit when the glow plugs were engaged.

I have a new air filter.

Is the lift pump the same as the fuel pump?

I wonder if it could be something as simple as a weak battery? It starts the tractor every time if I crank it enough, but I wonder if it may not be feeding strong enough amperage for three glow plugs at once. The battery voltage at rest is over 12.5 Volts.

Will look into adjusting the valves (I have only done that on small generators before).
 
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Roadworthy

Active member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
L2501 HST
Aug 17, 2019
594
32
28
Benton City, WA
You should not run a hot wire directly to the glow plugs. Most NGK plugs require 9.5 volts. You may want to research the specs on your specific plugs.
 

gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
I just tried the direct wiring for testing purposes (will reconnect the original wire tonight).

The NGK plugs have 11V stamped on them. I ordered new NGK plugs as well as a fuel pump, but will try a big battery first.

Other than that, am I guessing correctly that there is no fancy starting system involved on this tractor? With indirect injection I would hope not, but I thought I would ask this group as someone here is probably familiar with this model.
 

gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
Would a compression test on the glow plug ports be accurate enough? What kind of compression should I expect on those ports please?
 

gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
See attached compression spec's and inter cylinder tolerances.

Use a simple test light to ensure the GP's are being powered when engine is cranking.

Dave
Thanks! I ordered a diesel compression tester as the one I have only goes to 300 PSI. I measured the voltage to each glow plug while cranking and it was about 11.9V. I can check it with a test light as well. I reconnected the original wire to the glow plug rail today and no change yet. I also ordered a new set of NGK YE01 glow plugs.
 

gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
Well, new glow plugs and big battery didn't make it better, so I am waiting for a compression tester and 8mm x 1 adapter to check the compression. Checked glow plugs with test light and they all light up when key is in glow plug mode.

Is it correct that I should adjust the valves before the compression test?
 

gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
Finally checked compression. Cylinder 1 is 540 PSI, cylinder 2 is 520 PSI and #3 is at about 565 PSI. Is it normal to have a 40+PSI difference between #2 and #3? It would be within the 10 % variance, but I wonder if they should be closer.

The exhaust valve gap on #3 was over .010" so it was more loose than the other valves. Also, that last rocker arm slides sideways about 1 mm. The other rocker arms are nice and snug as the springs keep them that way, but that last rocker arm looks like it could use another shim (washer 16871-14430) unless it is supposed to be loose.
 

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jss81258

New member

Equipment
BX23S
Nov 8, 2019
7
0
0
Bay City, TX
If it were me....

I'd start with the easy stuff. You've verified that the glow plugs work, the engine doesn't smoke, I would assume you're not adding a lot of engine oil, and now you've done a compression check.

I think I would look at the fuel system. You mention some sediment in one of the filters. Maybe it's time to replace them, and check all the fuel lines to make sure there are no leaks. A lot of my friends complain about their diesel trucks having hard starting problems, and they are usually traced back to a small leak in the fuel system, usually at the pump or filter. Apparently, when the engine is shut off, the leak allows air in the system.

After verifying the above, I think I would look at the injectors. I am not familiar with Kubota's injection system (the BX23S I have was just purchased and is the only Kubota I've owned), but in general, dirty injectors cause starting and performance issues.

And, along the lines of checking the easy stuff, I would also check the air side. Take a look at the air filter, screen, plumbing etc for cleanliness and leaks.
 

gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
Thanks,

I replaced the fuel filters, air filter, and oil filters the second day I owned it, so I will look at the fuel line next. It looks like the original fuel line, so I will just replace it.
 

RCW

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
4,237
67
48
Chenango County, NY
Just my gut, and assuming GP***8217;s are working, first I would verify lift pump is working. I have never noticed a change in its sound when activating GP***8217;s.
Did you dig into this, or rule it out?

Last few days, one of the real mechanics suspected a bad check/backflow on an RTV/UTV lift pump, or possibly fuel backing up due to a small line leak or crack, such that the machine was hard to start. They are also known to just plain fail, and several guys have found some better after-market pumps on-line.

On your BX, I'm assuming the electric lift pump is way underneath, below the seat. Should be just after the first fuel filter, and you'll see the electrical connection to it.
 
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jss81258

New member

Equipment
BX23S
Nov 8, 2019
7
0
0
Bay City, TX
gssz - just noticed you're in Houston and are planning on moving your BX to TN, if I understand. That's interesting because I'm in Bay City (about 60 miles south of Houston) and my BX23S that I just bought is in Virginia. I've never even sat on it yet. It was delivered to a good friend in Virginia. I did touch it when I went to pick it out the last time I was in Va.

I think RCW reinforced looking at your lines for leaks. Hoses become less flexible as they age and may not seal.

My experience with faulty lift pumps has been on much larger engines, and most of them wouldn't start. The few that did, ran like crap. But, these small engines may just need a little extra so when you're checking out the hoses, you can stick an open end into a can or jar, and turn the starter switch on. While this won't tell you pressure, it will tell you if it is doing anything.

RCW - these things have a check valve? I would have thought with the high mounted fuel tank, that a check valve wouldn't be necessary. Guess I need to invest in a WCM.
 

gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
Did you dig into this, or rule it out?

Last few days, one of the real mechanics suspected a bad check/backflow on an RTV/UTV lift pump, or possibly fuel backing up due to a small line leak or crack, such that the machine was hard to start. They are also known to just plain fail, and several guys have found some better after-market pumps on-line.

On your BX, I'm assuming the electric lift pump is way underneath, below the seat. Should be just after the first fuel filter, and you'll see the electrical connection to it.
Lift pump is working, but I bought a new one that I will try before changing fuel lines. I looked at the fuel line route and it's a bit weird. Will take some pictures of it, but it looks like the fuel line from the tank goes to a small plastic container (under the tractor) that has two lines connected at the other end. One line goes to the second fuel filter and I haven't yet figured out where the second line goes.
 

gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
gssz - just noticed you're in Houston and are planning on moving your BX to TN, if I understand. That's interesting because I'm in Bay City (about 60 miles south of Houston) and my BX23S that I just bought is in Virginia. I've never even sat on it yet. It was delivered to a good friend in Virginia. I did touch it when I went to pick it out the last time I was in Va.
I am ready for a bit cooler weather and lower taxes :)

I started a couple of other threads with more narrow questions, and I mentioned in a separate thread that (after Whitetiger pointing me in the right direction) my compression is perfect on all three cylinders (580 PSI). After changing the battery today the tractor starts in about 8 seconds, whether I keep the glow plugs on for 5 seconds or 20 seconds.

Am I expecting too much by thinking it should start within a couple of seconds if I hold the glow plugs on for 10 seconds? That seems to be how the new ones start (I checked at the dealer), but those are direct injection.
 

RCW

Well-known member
Lifetime Member

Equipment
BX2360, FEL, MMM, BX2750D snowblower. 1953 Minneapolis Moline ZAU
Apr 28, 2013
4,237
67
48
Chenango County, NY
Gssz - you’re getting closer everyday!

I don’t think expecting a faster start is unreasonable.

To jss - I’m not sure if this tractor has a check in the lift pump or not. It’s just one of the much more experienced guys suspected that, or line problems with an UTV slow to start recently. Might not be the same. I did wonder about lift pump operating, and gssz ruled that out. He has help from guys much smarter than me, and I’m enjoying watching his progress toward getting quicker starts.


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gssz

New member

Equipment
BX2230
Oct 27, 2019
54
0
0
Houston, TX, USA
Looked at the fuel lines in the parts manual and WOW! That little contraption under the tractor is a baby fuel tank with 5 tentacles. It is item #100 in the attached picture. The big fuel tank has 4 lines going into it. Would all these lines need to be replaced to rule out an air leak in the fuel system? If yes, I may just settle for starting the tractor in 10 seconds as long as I can start it in cold weather :)

I don't see any actual fuel leaking anywhere and once the tractor starts, it runs well at any RPM. I have run it for about 3 hours in the month I have owned it without doing any work.

OR... I might trade it in for a new 2501 HST with a loader since I definitely got the tractor bug.
 

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