John Deere 4520 Problems [6 Common Issues & Fixes]

The John Deere 4520 tractor has been a workhorse in the agricultural community for many years. However, with age and use, owners may face certain problems that are common to this machine. This article will explore these issues and provide potential solutions, helping tractor owners make more informed decisions.

Key Problems

Age-Related Wear and Tear

Given that the 4520 model is over 40 years old, wear and tear is inevitable. For someone contemplating purchasing this tractor, the selling price should factor in the age of the machine.

Underpowered Injection System

Compared to its weight, the 4520 can be considered a bit underpowered. The tractor’s injection system has been flagged as problematic, although these issues are generally believed to have been addressed in newer or well-maintained units.

PTO Issues

This tractor model features a 1000 RPM PTO shaft that is considered small and is not ideal for loader work. Some owners have reported PTO clutch issues, where the PTO fails to generate enough pressure to operate heavy machinery effectively.

Noise and Dirt in the Cab

The cabs in these tractors were not designed with modern comfort in mind. They can be noisy and allow a lot of dirt ingress.

Air Filter Sealing

Older models with side-by-side air filters can be challenging to install correctly, leading to the risk of pulling in dirty air which can cause engine problems.

Sourcing Unique Parts

Certain parts specific to the 4520 might be hard to find given its age, leading to increased maintenance costs.

Potential Solutions

Buying Guide

When considering purchasing a 4520, it’s essential to bear in mind its age and the potential need for repairs. For minor agricultural tasks, this model may suffice, but if you’re looking for something reliable for more significant farming operations, a more modern machine might be a better option.

PTO Clutch Replacement

If you experience issues with the PTO, such as it not spinning under load, it may be due to the PTO clutch. This can be a pricey fix, costing upwards of $2000 for parts and labor. However, before diving into such an expensive repair, you could try simpler troubleshooting steps like changing the hydraulic fluid, which these tractors are particularly sensitive to.

Hydraulic Pressure Test

A PTO Valve Pressure Test can be a useful diagnostic tool. A healthy system should have a hydraulic pressure of about 214 psi at the test port. A failure to maintain this pressure could signal issues with the PTO Valve or solenoid, which would be a less expensive fix compared to replacing the internal PTO clutch.

Air Filter Check

Ensure that the air filters are correctly installed and sealed to avoid engine issues.

Regular Maintenance

Regular oil changes and hydraulic fluid checks can go a long way in preventing some of the most common problems with this model. In cases of algae build-up in the hydraulic fluid, multiple fluid changes may be required.

Consult Experts for Diagnosis

Before you consider major repairs, it might be worth consulting a specialist or a John Deere dealer who can perform advanced diagnostics. This can help you avoid unnecessarily replacing parts and save you money in the long run.

By being aware of these common problems and their possible solutions, you can make an informed decision whether the John Deere 4520 is the right tractor for your needs, or if a more modern machine would better serve you.