Killing the battery instantly on starting

Rob Maffit

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Equipment
Kubota M59+backhoe, loader, etc.
Nov 24, 2022
3
3
1
Benton, AR
My M59 has had starting problems for more than a year, but now it's completely unstartable.
Cleaning the terminals helped, replacing the starter helped.
I used to be able to start it by shorting the solenoid terminal to the starter stud. Not anymore.
Now, with a new battery, new starter, new alternator, clean terminals, it not only won't start, but the battery is dead as soon as I turn the key:
Turn to glow plug warmup, and it's fine; wait for the timer to extinguish, turn to start, click!, dash goes out. Turn key back to accessory and it's dead like no battery present. I have to recharge the battery to get dash lights and glow plugs again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I've examined the cable from the battery to the starter many times, and I see no problem.
 

Dave_eng

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M7040, Nuffield 465
Oct 6, 2012
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Williamstown Ontario Canada
My M59 has had starting problems for more than a year, but now it's completely unstartable.
Cleaning the terminals helped, replacing the starter helped.
I used to be able to start it by shorting the solenoid terminal to the starter stud. Not anymore.
Now, with a new battery, new starter, new alternator, clean terminals, it not only won't start, but the battery is dead as soon as I turn the key:
Turn to glow plug warmup, and it's fine; wait for the timer to extinguish, turn to start, click!, dash goes out. Turn key back to accessory and it's dead like no battery present. I have to recharge the battery to get dash lights and glow plugs again. Lather, rinse, repeat.
I've examined the cable from the battery to the starter many times, and I see no problem.
Now is time to turn your attention to the ground cable.
Remove it at the frame end and polish the surfaces.
If you have replacement ends on any battery cable buy new cables.
Here are some examples:
Forum poor ground.jpg


Battery ground connection  on painted block caused starting problems.jpg


battery cable repair end.jpg

Do you have a multi meter?

Dave
 
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Russell King

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L185F, Modern Ag Competitor 4’ shredder, Rhino tiller, rear dirt scoop
Jun 17, 2012
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I don’t think that the battery is draining that fast or you would probably be seeing something smoking. It sounds more like a corroded connection somewhere.

Start by cleaning the battery terminals and cable terminals at both ends since they should be easily gotten to. If the cables are questionable then I would suggest you replace them to eliminate any problem with them. If you replaced them when replacing the battery or starter then just leave them and clean whatever they connect to well.
 
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Vlach7

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L47 305DT JD500C
Dec 16, 2021
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Frazier Park Ca
Sounds like you could have a parasitic draw, charge the battery and remove the fuses one by one, where the issue is should have some minor or major spark. I have had more times than once where I just put in a battery shutoff when unable to find.
 
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BAP

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2012 Kubota 2920, 60MMM, FEL, BH65 48" Bush Hog, 60"Backblade, B2782B Snowblower
Dec 31, 2012
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Others have pointed out some good things to start with. I think your first clue is that fact you mention that you used to have to cross the starter solenoid to start it and you have since replaced the starter with no results. I would be using a tester with maybe another person to help you and test wether or not you are getting power from your key switch down to the solenoid on the starter. Could be it’s all related to a bad ground from the battery, but could also be something wrong in the wiring in the starter activation circuit.
 
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GreensvilleJay

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BX23-S
Apr 2, 2019
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It sure sounds like TWO new 'battery' cables would fix the problem..
From the symptoms, I'll wager they've slowly corroded from the inside out over the years and now won't pass large current through them.
Pictures of them would be nice. Are they original ? How old a tractor? Used often ? Get left out in rain a few times ? Ever replaced with smaller (low current) cables ?
 

Donystoy

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LX2610HSDCC, B7200, B/H, Loader, plus numerous other attachments
Dec 10, 2013
293
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Binbrook, Ontario
It sure sounds like TWO new 'battery' cables would fix the problem..
From the symptoms, I'll wager they've slowly corroded from the inside out over the years and now won't pass large current through them.
Pictures of them would be nice. Are they original ? How old a tractor? Used often ? Get left out in rain a few times ? Ever replaced with smaller (low current) cables ?
Had this exact situation with my 7200 a few years back. Cable had corroded on the inside and would allow voltage to be read at the starter but when trying to start, it could not pass the current. New cable fixed the problem. The old cable appeared perfect on the outside.
 
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SDT

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multiple and various
Apr 15, 2018
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Had this exact situation with my 7200 a few years back. Cable had corroded on the inside and would allow voltage to be read at the starter but when trying to start, it could not pass the current. New cable fixed the problem. The old cable appeared perfect on the outside.
Bingo. Corrosion inside the insulation can be impossible to detect visually unless extensive enough to cause swelling of the insulation.

Without the ability to inspect personally, I suggest two new quality battery cables. Get some good ones, e.g., Deka, etc., not cheap auto store cables.
 
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Rob Maffit

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Kubota M59+backhoe, loader, etc.
Nov 24, 2022
3
3
1
Benton, AR
I winced at the question if the tractor was left out in the rain. Four years without a shelter. I'm certain you all are right about the cable corrosion. I'll get back with you after I get new cables!
 

Russell King

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L185F, Modern Ag Competitor 4’ shredder, Rhino tiller, rear dirt scoop
Jun 17, 2012
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If there is rust around where the starter mounts there may not be a good ground path on the starter either. Removing starter and cleaning the rust off of the mounting surfaces to improve the ground path may also help.
 

fried1765

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Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
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The
I winced at the question if the tractor was left out in the rain. Four years without a shelter. I'm certain you all are right about the cable corrosion. I'll get back with you after I get new cables!
M59 is a great machine!
There are no new ones!
It deserves proper shelter!
 
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crbr

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2006 B7800, 2022 BX1880
Jan 8, 2010
25
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TN
I winced at the question if the tractor was left out in the rain. Four years without a shelter. I'm certain you all are right about the cable corrosion. I'll get back with you after I get new cables!
My bet is also on the aged and corroded cable.

.
 
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Rob Maffit

New member

Equipment
Kubota M59+backhoe, loader, etc.
Nov 24, 2022
3
3
1
Benton, AR
I winced at the question if the tractor was left out in the rain. Four years without a shelter. I'm certain you all are right about the cable corrosion. I'll get back with you after I get new cables!
New cables fixed it! The ground bolt that attached the cable to the frame was rusted. I cleaned the hole and bolt. The positive cable looked okay, but yes, there was corrosion under the insulation.
 
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Dave_eng

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M7040, Nuffield 465
Oct 6, 2012
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Williamstown Ontario Canada
New cables fixed it! The ground bolt that attached the cable to the frame was rusted. I cleaned the hole and bolt. The positive cable looked okay, but yes, there was corrosion under the insulation.
Thanks for providing the final chapter. it helps everyone learn.
Dave
 
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fried1765

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Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, Ford 8N, SCAG Liberty Z, Gravely Pro.
Nov 14, 2019
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New cables fixed it! The ground bolt that attached the cable to the frame was rusted. I cleaned the hole and bolt. The positive cable looked okay, but yes, there was corrosion under the insulation.
Might help to remove that new grounding cable, and put a bit of dialectric grease underneath.
 
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Mark_BX25D

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Bx25D
Jul 19, 2020
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Might help to remove that new grounding cable, and put a bit of dialectric grease underneath.
I'm sure somebody is going to yell at you for recommendation an "insulator" on an electrical connection.

But you're absolutely right.
 

Henro

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B2910, BX2200, KX41-2V mini Ex.
May 24, 2019
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I'm sure somebody is going to yell at you for recommendation an "insulator" on an electrical connection.

But you're absolutely right.
I think it depends how you apply the dielectric grease.

“You can use dielectric grease on battery terminals to prevent corrosion and fusing. However, applying the grease wrongly will block any currents from flowing. Dielectric grease also protects the terminals from moisture and dirt.

You should not apply grease between the terminals since it will prevent a good connection and shorten the battery’s useful life. Dielectric grease is ideal for battery terminals since it is not affected by high temperatures. “


Applying after the connection is made makes sense, to keep moisture out. Applying it to the parts BEFORE putting them together…not so much. Can work however, as when tightening most of the grease will be forced out from between the parts.

Still…I would apply it after tightening the connection.
 

Mark_BX25D

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Bx25D
Jul 19, 2020
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Virginia
I think it depends how you apply the dielectric grease.

“You can use dielectric grease on battery terminals to prevent corrosion and fusing. However, applying the grease wrongly will block any currents from flowing. Dielectric grease also protects the terminals from moisture and dirt.

You should not apply grease between the terminals since it will prevent a good connection and shorten the battery’s useful life. Dielectric grease is ideal for battery terminals since it is not affected by high temperatures. “


Applying after the connection is made makes sense, to keep moisture out. Applying it to the parts BEFORE putting them together…not so much. Can work however, as when tightening most of the grease will be forced out from between the parts.

Still…I would apply it after tightening the connection.

No, this is completely wrong. This is the common error. Dielectric grease applied to MOST mechanical connections does not impede current flow, much less "block" it.

There is something called, "contact pressure". When the connection is made, the grease is squeezed into a thin film which does not impede current flow to any measurable degree. It's only a few microns thick, IIRC. At any rate, it's too thin to do any insulating.

This is the whole purpose of dielectric grease - it is INTENDED to be applied BEFORE the connection is made, to ensure that it blocks out moisture and oxygen, thus preventing corrosion, which WILL block current.

Dielectric grease is suitable for any 12v non-moving connection, and is to be applied BEFORE the connection is made.


For further information, please see a decent summary here and a more detailed explanation here (along with some excellent commentary on so-called "conductive" greases, which aren't).
 
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GeoHorn

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No, this is completely wrong. This is the common error. Dielectric grease applied to MOST mechanical connections does not impede current flow, much less "block" it.

There is something called, "contact pressure". When the connection is made, the grease is squeezed into a thin film which does not impede current flow to any measurable degree. It's only a few microns thick, IIRC. At any rate, it's too thin to do any insulating.

This is the whole purpose of dielectric grease - it is INTENDED to be applied BEFORE the connection is made, to ensure that it blocks out moisture and oxygen, thus preventing corrosion, which WILL block current.

Dielectric grease is suitable for any 12v non-moving connection, and is to be applied BEFORE the connection is made.


For further information, please see a decent summary here and a more detailed explanation here (along with some excellent commentary on so-called "conductive" greases, which aren't).
Another example of this is when dielectric grease is applied to light-bulb/lamp bases before installation… the grease prevents corrosion but does not interfere with electrical contact.
 
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