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Wet Brake question

8670 Views 59 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  ptsg
Hello All,

I have just acquired a Branson 4220 and the previous owner removed all plates within the brake housing. this is the first tractor (aside from a LT) I have owned and do not understand the wet braking system.

some of the reading I have done, kind of reads as the wet brake is getting it's fluid from the hydraulic system/reservoir. other posts kind of read as though ALL fluid beside cooling is the same (Tranny - wet brake - lifting - 3 pt). I did not receive a manual with the tractor but I found some spec's stating 37 gals of hydraulic fluid????? holy cow, is that correct?

so if the wet brake does get it's fluid from the hydraulic reservoir, I am assuming it will just get pumped in when it is running. or do I need to prime it after putting things back together?

more questions to follow and I greatly appreciate the help!!!!!
MTF helped me greatly bringing a 62 Gravely back from a 20 yr sleep, so I know I am on the right forum
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I can get you the service manual for this tractor. It explains pretty much everything about the 20 series.

Here it goes:

As far as wet brakes, it just means that the brake discs are submerged in the oil. Doesn't mean they are hydraulically actuated. They are mechanically actuated. You can see it in the service manual.

I have also a Branson tractor, if you need any help, feel free to ask.
The fill plug is for the engine oil. They offer 2 fill ports, one on the valve cover and the other on the front cover as you show in the pictures. On some models you can't access the fill plug on the valve cover due to some brackets for the hood.

The power steering get the oil from the transmission.

By the way, these engines are made under Cummins license, so they are pretty much a Cummins engine. Maybe, just maybe, you can get a piston from Cummins if it's really needed?

I don't know you anyone tried to cross parts between Kukje and Cummins though.

There's also lots of dealers that can help you with parts. For instance, this one is pretty good and has a good website about it:

I don't know where are you located but here's some good dealers with very good reputation on getting parts for these tractors:

Dave's Tractors in CA

Red's in TX

Mr. Bitz in ND

Do you know what year is your tractor? Because there is a newer 4220 (2014 and on I think), which uses the manual I sent you. If you have the older model, I don't have the manual for it unfortunately.

Other than that, looks like you're moving along quite nicely. We sure want to see it running! :)
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As long it's running nicely, it definitely a good deal.

As far as the front tires being good for NASCAR racing, that's probably because the previous owner used the 4x4 all the time, including when driving over hard surfaces like rods, paved driveways and so on.

The front tires with the 4x4 engaged will spin about 5% faster than the rear ones to give the pulling effect on the tractor, so using on hard surfaces, when it's not really needed, will wear the tires really fast, I mean really fast. I often see tractors for sale with less than 400 hours and the front tires have absolutely no life left.

Since the manual I provided is for the newer series, even though some things are pretty much equal, keep in mind that others might no be exactly the same. I'll try and see if I can get an hold on the manual for the 2004 models. I've been trying to collect as much manuals as I can get for Branson tractors, since it's so hard to find.

Oh boy! That's a lot of water where it doesn't belong.
On the first picture, the lever lever is indeed the 4WD, however the stickers are not very clear on which position means what. Usually down is engaged and up disengaged but I can confirm 100% on that tractor. It's a matter of lifting the front wheels with the loader and back drag for a couple feet and see whenever the front wheels turn or not depending on the position of the lever.

The right lever is the PTO gear selector lever. You have 540 on the up position, middle is neutral and down must be 540E (or 780 if you over speed it). 540 is for PTO implements, like a wood chipper that requires lots of power and the engine needs to be running at the rated RPM which should be around 2600 RPM. The 540E runs with the engine on about 1800 RPM, so much less noise and fuel consumption, and it's used with implements that doesn't require that much power. However I've found theses engines to have quite a lot torque, so I rarely use the regular 540 when mowing and tilling. Even with very dense and high brush, it just goes and don't even try to bog down on me.

The right picture, the left lever is for the draft control. This is a function mostly used when plowing. It will lift the plow according to the ground variations and the traction of the tractor. It's a bit tricky to explain and it's really used much. You can pretty much ignore it. Just leave it all the way forward so it lets the 3 pt going all the way down.

The right lever, is the 3 pt control. It lifts and lowers the implement in the back.

When you're sitting in the tractor, if you look down in between your legs, you see a knob. This knob is pretty much like a ball valve and it's used to limit the speed of the implement when lowering. Some times, when moving around in the seat, you can accidentally hit it with your leg and close it all the way, so the implement will only lift but won't come down. So don't be alarmed if the try to lower the implement and won't move. It happened to me also. Then I realize it this knob.
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No worries! We are all here to help. That is what this forum is about.

You're probably right on the 4wd lever.

By the way, on the same position of the PTO lever but on the right side, you have the diff lock. I think that is self explanatory.

Again, feel free to ask any questions.
I would suggest checking the fuses, but seems that the previous owner hacked every single thing in that tractor.

But hey, you got something turning! Now is of to bleed the fuel system and make it run. Does that tractor have an electric lift pump or the old style mechanical lift pump? An electric one is a must. It will make things a lot easier when the tractor runs out of fuel and also will make it start faster since the fuel is already there at the injection pump.

Anyways, that's something for another day. If you can get the starter to run again, loosen the injection lines at the injector side, then crank the engine till you see fuel coming out of the lines, then tighten the lines and should start right up. Since you have a push bush to the starter, don't forget to turn the ignition on, just to energize the Stop solenoid to allow the tractor to run.

About the starter, it's hard to say. Check all the connections again I think. I've open a fair share of starters to clean up, oil the bushings and so on. They all run a lot better and faster after that, but never really forced them to the point of getting that hot.
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The wire for the injection pump is the shut off solenoid. It needs to be energized to allow the fuel to flow, when you cut the power, it turns the engine off.

The nice thing about Branson is that they are very simple to work on. You get little to no electronics at all, apart from the dashboard. They are still like that in the newer models.

So you need constant 12V for the lift pump and for the shut off solenoid on the injection pump.

Then you can use a toggle switch for the starter and another for the glow plugs. Just don't go much over 12/15 secs so you won't burn them. Even if you have to cycle the plugs twice to make it start.

As far as safeties, they usually have a switch on the clutch that won't allow the starter to spin, but seems like they bypassed all that with the push button.
By gas you meant diesel right? :eek:

Since you're already getting fuel at the injectors, I would worry much with the bleeders on the pump.

Now that's an expensive OEM starter, although, I wouldn't be surprise if a John Deere one would go over 1000$. Seems like every OEM part is overprice by 500% or something.

Hopefully the 130$ starter will fit right up if you end up needing it.

What I'm realizing after looking at your picture, is that all the tamper proof caps on the fuel screw and max RPM screw on the injection pump are missing. What I'm wondering now is that the previous owner tried to squeeze a couple more horsepower by turning the fuel screw in. This maybe also cause a runaway condition if it's not done right. Hopefully the previous owner didn't mess up with things that he should really be messing with.

Let us know how it goes.

EDIT: After closer look, doesn't seem like the fuel screw has been touched. I can still see all the paint on the lock nut.
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One part at a time is the secret. Preferably with a minimum of 6 months apart from each other. :D
Any updates on the tractor or starter?
From my understanding, you just use the jumper cable on the negative lead right? Try use the jumper cables on both positive and negative. Maybe you have bad wires/connections on the tractor.

Is the battery good and strong?
No worries! I'm also anxious to see it running, as if it was my own project.

The jumper cables can't handle that much load. It was mostly for testing purposes.

Looks like you might have some bad wiring going from the battery to the starter. I would check that careful, checking the connections and terminals for corrosion and such. If possible, replace it. Although the thicker wires can get expensive.

Can't recall if you replaced the battery or not but keep it charged before trying. Don't try to spin the engine for too long. Maybe 10/15 seconds at a time. Let the starter cool down in between tries.
The jumper cables can't quite transfer the amperage that good due to the way the clamps work, thus creating a lot of heat. You only get two points of contact, instead two full faces of contact on a simple eye terminal like it must be on the original wiring.

It's hard to say if the cables are good or bad, specially since the starter took a big hit before. But it doesn't work checking everything.
Thanks for the update.

Yeah, after messing the the head and head gaskets, the valves definitely need to be set. Since it's a 4 cylinder, yes, the 1 and 4 cylinders will be 180 apart from 2 and 3. I think your are on to something there. You set the 1 and 4 cylinders, then rotate 180 (align the mark), and set 2 and 3.

I'm kinda used to the 3 cylinder ones.

I haven't look on the timing marks on my tractor. I want to check those but every time I'm going to actually use the tractor, I just forgot. Looking at the service manual for my tractor, the marks are indeed in the same spot as yours. They are just spaced different because mine is a 3 cylinder.

Now for the white smoke. Did you power the glow plugs? If not, you need to energize the glow plugs for maybe 5 to 8 seconds. It will probably start right up. All you need is a wire coming from the positive lead to the glow plugs, hold it for 5 to 8 secs, then remove the wire and crank the engine.

With the original wiring, once you turn the key to run position, it would cycle the glow plugs, but for now you can just run a separate wire.
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Yeah, these engines kinda like to have the glow plugs running, otherwise they will just turn forever and take forever to start.
Is it getting fuel? Does it have electric lift pump or mechanical?

Manuals for A1700, A2200 (yours) and A2300 engines mention a 0.3 mm valve clearance on both exhaust and intake. I would go for the 0.3 mm.

Lets recap:

- You need power to the shut off solenoid so it will allow the fuel to move.
- Power to the electric pump, if this model has one. Some just use a mechanical one.
- Power to glow plugs for a couple seconds
- And try to start it.

I don't know what else can it be.
Ugh! That's not good.

Interesting that the damaged cylinder is not the worse of all 4.

Do you think that the engine block can be warped?

On the service manual for the 20/25 series I've sent you before, there is a chapter for the engine overhaul with all the details, including ring gap and so on. Branson 4225 uses the same A2000N2 engine as your tractor.

This is what I got from the manual:

Text Font Line Number Parallel
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Oh I thought it was cylinder number 2. In that case, it makes sense. For the other 3, not so much but as you said, looks like it was really abused hard.

I'm with you. I'll everything that may or may not work before I'll go a spend money. Every once in a while, you get away with it though. I've done a transmission mount for my truck out of parts laying around just to save maybe 40 or 50$.

The only other thing I think I can help you is with the engine parts manual.
I know this is an old Topic however its relevant to me as I have a Branson 5825 25series
Branson Australia has gone Broke at least the resellers Have & the company Branson does Not reply to anything & stuck in a hard place wondering if I bought a NEW LEMON
have a No Brake situation.learnt from this thread about them being wet & having plates am assuming no brake means they are worn out like a clutch plate would be
If I am correct where do I go for parts or are They Adjustable at all ?
I have the manual posted Showing the assy and wish to know what I need to do replace or adjust ??
Hoping someone will revive the thread
Just to be clear, you have no brakes on both sides? Or just one side? How many hours on the tractor?

Wet brakes are usually very robust and last a long time before they wear out. Although, they can indeed go bad quite fast by driving around with the parking brake engaged or using the wrong hydraulic oil. Using the wrong hydraulic oil, would also damage the PTO as it uses a wet clutch pack that works similar to the wet brakes.

Good thing on that tractor, is that you can take the wet brakes out without pulling the entire axle housing out. They made it really easy to work on the brakes. If you follow the brake linkage from the pedal to the rear axles, you'll see a round cover where the linkage goes to. Behind that, is where the wet brake is. However, I don't exactly know where the oil level is and you may get a flood of oil, so just be aware of that.

Once you get the wet brake off, you can check the condition. See if the friction discs still have friction material or if the steel discs got really hot or have scoring on it.
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Thanks for the reply
Yes ALMOST None on either side standing on the Pedals
done 700 hrs
No issue with the Pto & using recommended oils
Yes should easy to work on them may need to take the wheels off still
Thanks for confirming the friction Plates or disks May need replacing will check all linkages Again & see about pulling them out on the next spare day I have
will drain the oil 28 litres it says in the operators manual
Getting Parts will be my issue I think Kukje have no dealers here & get no answers from Branson Au Trying Brismac in QLD also
Thanks again for the reply been searching for 3 weeks for info
wil advise what I find:)
Yes, the wheel does need to come off to access the brakes.

My F36 takes 37 liters, so I guess yours should take a little bit more than mine. I was checking the the service manual and definitely needs to be drained.

I have the service manual in PDF by the way. Let me know if you don't have, as I can figure a way to send it to you.

Here is a picture of the service manual. So the parts #4 and 5 are the friction and steel discs, respectively. Pay special attention to part #7 and 6 as those are springs and bearing balls that will probably fall off once the cover comes out. You don't want to lose any of that.

Another thing I suggest you to do, is to change the O-ring (#8) and maybe the oil seal (#16) on the pivot shaft #10 and lube the shaft with grease when reassembly. Branson failed to add a grease fitting for this shaft and if not used regularly, it can rust in place and basically lock in place. This is usually a bigger problem for tractors with Hydrostatic transmission because the brakes are not used that often and specially in countries with snow as moisture with make it rust faster. The O-ring and the oil seal is just cheap insurance as you don't want to find out later that the thing is leaking because of an old o-ring. You should be able to find it easily on a hydraulic shop or something similar.

Finding someone who can get you parts in the Australia may be indeed a problem. I remember reading sometime ago that the main importer basically dropped of Branson or something similar.

Another solution is trying to get in touch with a dealer in the US that may be willing to ship the parts to you. Big Tex Tractor Co. or Dave's Tractors are two dealers I remember that are always willing to help people out.

Hopefully this info helps you.

Automotive tire Font Motor vehicle Auto part Art
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