How to Drive & Operate a Tractor : Restarting a Diesel Tractor After It Has Run Out of Fuel


One of the most common problems we hear about
from our customers involves running out of fuel. And on a diesel tractor the fuel delivery
system is really quite simple. However, if you run your tractor out of fuel, that will
introduce air into the fuel lines, and try as you might, the tractor will not start again
until you get that air out of the fuel lines. And very briefly the way that process works,
you want to fill your fuel tank up, so that it’s going to push fuel through the lines
as quickly as possible, and with that full fuel tank and the throttle wide open, you’ll
need a friend to help you, so that they can crank the engine while you work your way down
stream on the fuel lines and bleed air from them. And you do that in this case by loosening
this bolt right here, and while the engine is cranking you’re going to get a mix of air
bubbles and fuel coming out of there. And you hold that open while your partner cranks
the tractor, until the bubbles cease, and you’re getting just fuel. At that point the
tractor may start right up, and you want to close that bolt back real quickly. Chances
are you’ve gotten fuel past this point and down the lines into the injector pump here,
and so the tractor still doesn’t want to start you just continue down stream the fuel lines,
again with your partner on the tractor, clutch peddle down, transmission in neutral, cranking
the tractor with the throttle wide open, you will loosen this bolt on your injector pump.
And again, you will get a mix of air bubbles and fuel coming out there, when you don’t
see any more bubbles and it’s just fuel, go ahead and close that bolt back again. If you’ve
gotten all the air out of the system at that point, then your tractor will start right
up and run as usual. If the tractor still won’t start, you just continue the process
and follow the system down stream, these are the fuel lines coming out of the injector
pump, and this is a two cylinder tractor, so you have two fuel lines. And they run around
to the other side of the engine to the injectors, which inject the fuel into the combustion
cylinders. So if you’ve bled all the air from your injector pump, and you tractor’s still
not starting, you need to follow your fuel line. In this case you have two fuel lines,
one for each cylinder. You’ll follow these to the injectors, and you’ll want to take
them one at a time and again with a partner on the tractor cranking it with a full tank
of fuel and a full throttle, you’ll want to open this with a wrench. You always want to
have protective eye wear on, there’s some high pressures involved here, and you’re not
going to pull it completely out, you’re just going to loosen this nut here and as your
partner cranks the tractor again you’ll see a mix of air bubbles and fuel, and when the
air bubbles stop and it’s just straight fuel that when the tractor will fire, and you’ll
close this back real quickly. You’re going to want to do that on both cylinders, in some
cases the tractor may not be firing on one cylinder. You may have air in this line that’s
not allowing fuel to be delivered to the cylinder, but the tractor will run off the other cylinder.
So you want to be sure that if you got to this point that you have to all the way to
the injectors, you want to bleed air at each injector, in this case two. If you still can’t
get the tractor started at that point, you probably have another issue that you need
to address. But for air in the lines that will take care of the problem.

18 comments on “How to Drive & Operate a Tractor : Restarting a Diesel Tractor After It Has Run Out of Fuel”

  1. 231MasseyFerguson says:

    It's not that hard to get a diesel back running after it's been ran out of fuel. I used to think it was until I had to get mine running again!lol. He explains it well in the video…

  2. Wing Lui says:

    very good illustrator and educational

  3. the mystic Magician says:

    thanks mate 20mins and back to work im after a video foe fixing rear arms the hydrolics leak and the rear arms dont stay where i set them it just drops back down

  4. aleyjeff says:

    Very Helpful!!! Thanks for posting this video.

  5. rick s says:

    Thanks for this informative video. Followed your directions and got my tractor running today without any help other than this video.

  6. Mac MacAnanny says:

    Thanks So Much!  Ran our John Deere 850 dry, and ran into this problem.  Usually the owner calls a mechanic who charged $150 dollars w/o a good technical explanation of what was done to get it running again.  I watched your video and bled the lines above the fuel filter and fuel pump.  Tractor started right up after that.  Took 5 minutes to do (after 1/2 hour of trying to figure out what was wrong).  Thanks again!

  7. thewhitedogdad says:

    Thanks!
    I knew not to let my Ford 1120 run out pf fuel, but…. Your info helped  a lot.

  8. DirTyOhGee says:

    YUP…one of the guys ran the Sullivan air compressor out of diesel (John Deere diesel ran) and could not get it re started. I fallowed your advice and I had it running within fifteen minutes after I got back from filling it all the way up with fuel. THANK YOU! YOU DA MAN!

  9. Sam Elliott says:

    I never let my diesel engines run out of Diesel because of this issue, but I always wondered what to do in case it would've happened to me.  Now, I would be prepared!.. thanks.

  10. Ben Rodda says:

    Man what a super helpful video!

  11. Sidney Mathious says:

    I appreciate you telling us that, and it is very important. Since I didn't know what to do, but knew it was a difficult process, I tried to make sure that I kept plenty of fuel in the tractor at all times.

  12. Rudolf Van Loggerenberg says:

    dude good advice but video close up would help

  13. edwards4821 says:

    Very good info! Thank you

  14. T Vertrees says:

    Thanks, very clear and concise.

  15. christopher williams says:

    Why did the industry stop making gasoline powered tractors?

  16. glen rogers says:

    wicked helpful!!

  17. Past Life says:

    Simple, clear, beautiful. Thank you sir!!

  18. bolocaniu viasu says:

    Thank you! Very helpful video!

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