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john deere 4120 hydro

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dan burbank
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2006-02-25          125119


I have a new john deere 4120 4 by 4 hydro error 01 flashed on the instrument panel and now the tractor will not go forward or backwards I have spoke to the dealer and the machanic will not be in until monday. I use this machine every day and have been somewhat dissapointed with this tractor!! I have always been a john deere person, but I am slowly changing my mind. Any ideas?

Thanks,

Dan Burbank

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john deere 4120 hydro

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Chief
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 4293 Southwest MiddleTennessee
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2006-02-25          125122


If the fault codes for the 4000 Ten Series tractors is the same as the Twenty series. The forward pedal potentiomenter is the problem. It may be bad or require recalibration. I doubt it but you may get lucky and be able to reset the calibration sequence by disconnecting the batter for a few minutes and retry starting the tractor and see what happens. Sounds like you may need a forward pedal potentiometer. Have you washed the tractor resently or has it been subjected to a lot of rain recently? ....

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john deere 4120 hydro

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kwschumm
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2006-02-25          125124


If you've driven through some brush lately it's possible that something caught on a wire under the tractor and pulled it loose. Been known to happen. Sometimes the wires aren't tied up and tucked away tightly. ....

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john deere 4120 hydro

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DRankin
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2006-02-26          125148


The more things change the more they remain the same. Brand new model..... same old problem.

I was not aware that the HST pedals were hooked to potentiometers. Is that how the signal gets to the transmission? ....

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kwschumm
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2006-02-26          125149


The way it probably works is the pots wire up to a controller board which then modulates the solenoids to the transmission. That's how they can easily and inexpensively implement features like auto-style cruise control and load-match. Just add some switches and plug 'em into the harness to the controller board. If the pots were directly controlling the solenoids you couldn't easily add these features. ....

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john deere 4120 hydro

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DRankin
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2006-02-26          125172


Fly-by-wire tractors? Too many moving parts for me. ....

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kwschumm
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2006-02-26          125173


You mean not enough moving parts, don't you :) If there's a design flaw here it's because there is no simple way for the operator to calibrate the pots. It wouldn't be hard to do in the controller. Put it into a calibration mode, then push a pedal all the way in and let it out. That would give the controller enough info to know the calibration limits. ....

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john deere 4120 hydro

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5113 Northern Nevada
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2006-02-27          125230


Okay.... how about needless sophistication?

Saw the same thing happen in the Dialysis field years ago. Replaced simple, reliable air pressure gauges with a transducer and an electronic readout. And then hire a lot more service techs to fix/calibrate/repair/replace the things.

We are talking tractors for crying out loud! Give me some push-rods and mechanical valves!

I can do the load match function with my eyes, ears, feet and the seat of my pants while I am steering the thing.

End of Rant. It is safe to come out now. ....

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Chief
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2006-02-27          125237


Mark, my 4410 has been a great tractor. That having been said, I agree with the needless sophistication comment. I have my concerns about how this system will survive over a 20 year or more life span. In the future, I will DEFINITELY be buying a simple gearshift tractor with a sync reverser. I may splurge and get a power reverser. eHydro is nice but it does have its minor aggrivations in that it does not respond as fast or as accurately as I want. I have discovered this in situations where I hit a rock or debry and demanded FULL forward speed IMMEDIATELY to get the tractor mower out of the situation and the tractor just sat there. Yes, I realize this is a safety feature built into the system but I DON'T like it one bit. There is also a slight delay in going from forward to reverse that I don't like either. These are small faults that I have gotten accustomed to but I will still go the basic route in the future. ....

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kwschumm
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2006-02-27          125240


I really like the eHydro and the worst thing I can say about it is it whines a little like most HSTs. For working in and around a thick stand of trees where you're often only a few inches from collision nothing beats it. This needless sophistication is the way of the world. Soon we won't be able to buy a vehicle without an auto tranny and black box. Most engineers these days look at a problem and figure out ways to solve it with electronics and software. There's little point in standing on top of the world and yelling "Stop!" (apologies to WFB Jr). ....

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Peters
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2006-02-27          125243


Ken you are right, I doubt anyone will hear you in the high artic. The electronics in the satellite phone will freeze this time of year.

The old hydro, 955 has only a rod to hold down the peddle for cruise and you get immediate action between forward and reverse. It is nice to hear how JD fixed the thing to make sure they have continual income from the 4110 and 4120 for the next 20 years.

It is interesting how the new modern engineers seem to think an electronic controls are so much better than old valves and levers. We had injection molding machines with electonic controls and machines with valves. On these machines the electronics was just hooked to the same valves with a digital displays. Even 12 years ago I could not convince the young plastic engineers I had that the electronics did not make any difference to the operation of the machine. Even when I produced the same optical part on both machines. ....

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Iowafun
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2006-02-28          125304


As an engineer, it's time for me to weigh back in this fray. Electronics are very useful and have several advantages. First and foremost, they can be a very affordable replacement for multiple switches. Really, they are but the repair parts cost more. Trust me, that's how it is.

Second issue is many of the standard switches and other old style parts were made from materials that are now banned from use due to disposal restrictions and such (Europe). also, much of the quality has declined as stuff has moved to Asia. So given the choice of spending more for a quality part or going electonic at less cost...electronic wins.

Also electronics give you some flexibility to design in features to keep some people from doing something really stupid. Also electronics are preceived as premium in most industries so you can get a higher margin for that product. So what would you build and sell? duh. ....

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Art White
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2006-02-28          125305


Electronics are a great thing in this industry. The problem that I have is that moves tractors up to computers level! Here today try and buy the part tommorrow! I do know the pluses as the ag industry has been building them into the tractors and combines for years, we were building hydro electric controls to operate more machines connected together without having to run a lot of hoses for tillage machines and harvesting equipment nearly 20 years ago and they for the most part were problem free. But when you get dedicated parts that are electronic and need to be switched out to a different design to make the unit function at the owners cost I'd just as soon stay away as a customer or the dealer that will be caught in ten years trying to explain why it costs so much to repair his equipment. Most motor veichles built today have a ten year, one hundred thousand mile life built into them by engineers. Do you think it's any different for the tractors? What company might just make something not last as long to help it's share holders? ....

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Peters
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2006-02-28          125313


Art and Iowa don't get me wrong. I am interested in electronics that gives me something, even if it is only a more graphic interface on an instrument. I am of the era that had to create your own computer A to D links, what I find lacking is the realization that simpler is better and less is more. This is the european intergration of electronic into machinery.
Yesterday I had to replace the control board in the pellet stove. The system will not run without it. The only visible problem was a single blown resistor on the old board. The board is 1/10 the price of a new system, more than I paid for the stove slightly used. I tried to get the board diagram and tried to replace the resistors, but no dice.
These systems are clean burning and easy to use vs a normal wood stove. Naturally you could not run one efficiently with out an electronic controller. ....

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kwschumm
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2006-02-28          125317


Peters, we used to have an old Sears water softener that the electronic control board went out on. The softener cost us around $400 new and a new control board was over $300. I took an old industrial PC I had on the shelf and some old opto-22 digital I/O modules and programmed it to run the softener. Cost nothing but a days worth of programming time. It is still running six years later. The problem with electronics is that they are so proprietary. If the designs were public domain it would be fairly simple to reengineer replacement parts and aftermarket manufacturers might eke out a living. But as a black box you're stuck with dealer parts or a huge bill to reverse engineer. Mechanical parts are easier. A little machine time can cover commonly broken parts. Complaining isn't going to change it though. Soon if you want simple mechanical machines the choice will be used or chinese. And nobody knows how much longer the chinese will be making them simple. I'd sure like to see a law that would require designs to be made available to owners when the manufacturers discontinue parts. ....

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john deere 4120 hydro

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Art White
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2006-02-28          125322


Ken, that shows some real ingenuity as well as computer knowledge well beyond mine! I would have just gone out and bought another one! Congrats! ....

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john deere 4120 hydro

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kwschumm
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2006-02-28          125323


Thanks, Art. We all have our specialties and it helps when a guy does that sort of stuff for a living. ....

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Peters
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2006-02-28          125327


Ken; Maybe I should send the old board on the pellet stove out to you for repair. I have repaired a few things, which is fairly good considering I have no electronic training. As equipment incorporates more intergrated chips it is getting more difficult. In fact it is hard to find anyone that will even look at a mother computer board today. ....

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JasonR
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2006-02-28          125328


I must say I've enjoyed the messages on the electronics. I'm an electrical engineer who makes a living upgrading industrial manufacturing equipment to the latest electronics. i.e. servo motors in place of clutch/brakes attached to standard AC motors - air cylinders in place of machanical cams, PLC's, electronic line shafting, etc.

I'll have to agree - the biggest issue with consumer's electronics is the lack of proper schematics or a sound explaination of how the 'black box' works. Without either of these, it makes it tough to troubleshoot.

Jason ....

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DRankin
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2006-03-01          125338


I guess we wouldn't even be having this conversation if the electronics worked as well as the components they replaced.

Like most things in life, it comes down to basic quality. Clearly this stuff works in automotive applications and it is reliable for many years and many thousands of miles.

So.... somebody tell me...... in this new age of tractor electronic gizmo's, how do Kubota sales stay ahead of Deere and everyone else year after year?

Maybe Kubota electrified their product line while I wasn't looking. ....

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kwschumm
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2006-03-01          125342


Mark, remember that Kubota has the "Intellipanel" all electronic instrument panel in their Grand L series. ....

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john deere 4120 hydro

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kwschumm
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2006-03-01          125344


Don't send that board to me, Eric! I'm a software guy not an EE. The reason I tossed the water softener board was because I couldn't fix it :) The software was real easy, just a pulse count input proportional to water consumption and a couple of relay outputs to control the regeneration cycle. ....

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Art White
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2006-03-01          125356


The good part of the Kubota panal is we have replaced one so far and the retail was 120 and it was damaged by the owner. There also is the basic L-series 2800,3400,4400 and the MX5000 that don't use the panel for those who which not to have the electronic. My largest concern is that short run, low volume productions might mean less replacement parts would be available at a later time in the tractors life. In many parts of the world good parts supplies like the dealers in the US normally have are rare in the rest of the world and some of the manufacturers are not used to the US or aware of our prefered systems. ....

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DRankin
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2006-03-01          125363


I don't have the same problem with electronic readouts that I do with electronic control systems, especially when the systems the electronics replaced were not broke in the first place..

How do Kubota owners manage without load match, etc.??

I see it as a questionable marketing ploy. ....

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Peters
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2006-03-01          125364


Art;
I am not so worried about the short run for the availability of replacement cost as I am for the price of replacement and the reliability. Electronics in a wet environment normally do not last long unless they are sealed in a bullet proof manner. Most plastics transport water through them so over time there is problems. I made lenses for depth finders and GPS equipment years ago and this was a problem.
In marine/auto mechanics I was at the golden age of electronics the early 70's, well maybe tin or lead.
I sold large outboards and they were one of the first to have individual coils and electronic ignition. A 135 hp was around $3000. The brain box was $600. The points and coils it replaced were about $250. If you wanted to see a grown man cry tell him his black box is gone on his motor that was just out of it year waranty. Working in the salt water environment this was common.
Likewise I had a 74 Volvo with the Bosh mechanical fuel injection. This was good for the life of the car. The 72 and 73 had electronic Bosh fuel injection. The car was about 3 K new. The brain box that sat under the passenger seat was $1500 to replace. Naturally they were like light bulbs.
The board I changed in my pellet stove was $255. If it was an automotive part with higher volumes it would be less than $100.
I fear that tractors are going to be like this. The old 4120 is worth $3000 dollar and works well but this board blew. JD wants $1500 for the board. Next years 4130 board will not fit and the 4110 did not have it. Mister customer please bend over. ....

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kwschumm
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2006-03-01          125365


Hey, don't knock my loadmatch :) I really like that feature. It came down from the big TLBs and from what I understand those guys love it. I'd rather not have all the electronics, mostly for reasons of future parts availability. That's what's scary to me. There's no reason to avoid it for reasons of serviceability. Reliability? If it's done well it can be darned reliable. Haven't had any trouble with mine but my fingers are crossed. ....

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Art White
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2006-03-01          125384


I'm not into computers as to tearing them apart but I've seen some pluses for the farm tractors. The customers that they build them for put about 2500 hours a year on them, they are built for ten thousand hours. That's four years at a consistant 70-90 degree temperatures and near constant running. Now for the individual that only puts two hundred hours on in a year and wants to keep the tractor for five thousand hours with electronics? Where we are we have big temperature changes and a lot of condensation and that is the killer! I see some fail virtually instantly or in new tractors within a few weeks of delivery. The poor dealers running around trying to keep up with the break downs These are the models that don't run but a year or two vs the normal five year run. Peters, I'd like to talk to you about those boats some time as I have a Volvo powered boat that I did some extensive rebuilding on the engine last winter. I took a AQ131D to a AQ151C version. Quite a well built engine! ....

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