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Ford/NH 555D issue

eKretz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2023
Messages
80
Location
NW Indiana
Hey fellas, I picked up a 555D with the 4x4 torque converter transmission last week and have been feeling my way around it. Replacing filters and fluids, greasing all the zerks, etc. Replaced a stabilizer line that blew, pulled a couple stumps in the yard. Everything working great, except that after running a while, my forward gear stops working. Reverse still works fine at this point. I shut the machine off for 5-10 seconds and restart it, and forward works fine again for a short while, a minute or less, then stops working again. If I let the machine cool back down, it works just fine for a half hour or so until it gets warmed up again. I saw a short note in one of the repair manuals about there being some sort of "overload" on the shifting solenoids and if they tripped, that shutting the machine off for 5-10 seconds would reset the overload. So that's how I discovered that shutting the machine off would get it going again right away. Anyway, just figured I'd ask if anyone has run into the problem and diagnosed and repaired it before I go digging in to the troubleshooting rabbit hole.

20231130_154101.jpg
 

materthegreater

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
673
Location
VT
You mentioned replacing fluids and filters so I assume the transmission fluid is not low?

Nice looking tractor, by the way!
 

eKretz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2023
Messages
80
Location
NW Indiana
Thanks! I think I'm going to go back to the original black where the yellow is flaking. Somebody rattle canned those areas, I think.

And nope. All fluid levels look good. Checked all 3 dipsticks (2 under floor, one under hood flap) as well as engine oil and front axle oil. I almost wonder if it could be a shift solenoid coil biting the dust and drawing too much current.

Also, when it's just warmed up for 5-10 minutes it has plenty of grunt in 1st. I bumped the loader bucket against a big stump and locked the diff then gave her a little. She dug a couple holes with the back tires. It's like all or nothing.
 

materthegreater

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
673
Location
VT
Thanks! I think I'm going to go back to the original black where the yellow is flaking. Somebody rattle canned those areas, I think.

Looks like it. Are the fenders steel or plastic?

My dad's has a full cab, but the cab and fenders are black. The fenders are plastic, as is the roof (which is yellow).
PXL_20230830_203246507~2.jpg
 

eKretz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2023
Messages
80
Location
NW Indiana
The fenders are plastic. The uprights look like they were factory black too. Not sure why someone would paint over the factory colors. The original black paint still appears to be in great shape under the rattle canning. And yep, my roof is yellow and looks like original paint too.

And yikes! What happened to the windshield?! Wish mine had a cab. I roaded it down to the gas station in a light wet snow to get some diesel the other day and damn near froze my face off.
 
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materthegreater

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
673
Location
VT
The windshield has been cracked for the 20ish years my dad has owned it. The crack grows a few more legs every year but it's still holding together. The cab is nice except for the windows that have been replaced with plexiglass. They are so scratched and clouded up now that it's impossible to see through them.
 

Welder Dave

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
12,518
Location
Canada
Pretty nice looking machine but what was Ford thinking with the lift arms?? The bucket is too far forward and the lift arms look like an after thought or something home made. Very crude looking. I'm not sure but maybe the D model was the last Ford branded model? The earlier 555 models looked more refined.
 

eKretz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2023
Messages
80
Location
NW Indiana
Pretty nice looking machine but what was Ford thinking with the lift arms?? The bucket is too far forward and the lift arms look like an after thought or something home made. Very crude looking. I'm not sure but maybe the D model was the last Ford branded model? The earlier 555 models looked more refined.

Dunno, but with 6,000 pounds of lift to full height and a 12,000 breakout, this machine is a beast. I have no complaints in the loader department.
 

materthegreater

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
673
Location
VT
Pretty nice looking machine but what was Ford thinking with the lift arms?? The bucket is too far forward and the lift arms look like an after thought or something home made. Very crude looking. I'm not sure but maybe the D model was the last Ford branded model? The earlier 555 models looked more refined.
I used it earlier this year to load 300 yards or so of material into my small dump truck with 8' sides and I would definitely not want the lift arms any shorter.

It's too bad they went away from the mechanical self leveling system they had on the older series loaders.
I think you're right that they changed to the New Holland brand name for the E series.


Dunno, but with 6,000 pounds of lift to full height and a 12,000 breakout, this machine is a beast. I have no complaints in the loader department.
I agree. My dad nicknamed this one Hercules
 

materthegreater

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2012
Messages
673
Location
VT
Standard safety glass isn't all that expensive.

I've been trying to get him to replace at least the front one that's plexiglass. But for a farm machine that sometimes gets only a dozen or two hours a year it's not a high priority item for him.
 

Welder Dave

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 11, 2014
Messages
12,518
Location
Canada
I used it earlier this year to load 300 yards or so of material into my small dump truck with 8' sides and I would definitely not want the lift arms any shorter.

It's too bad they went away from the mechanical self leveling system they had on the older series loaders.
I think you're right that they changed to the New Holland brand name for the E series.



I agree. My dad nicknamed this one Hercules
I'm sure it works OK but it seems like Ford was going backwards in the design. They older mechanical self-leveling seemed a better set up. I've also read of issues with the self leveling on the newer style machines. There's not much to go wrong with mechanical self-leveling.
 

edgephoto

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 13, 2019
Messages
733
Location
Stafford, CT
Plexiglass is awful. As you know it yellows and get cloudy from UV.

You can replace it with polycarbonate. Looks the same except it will not yellow and cloud. As far as scratches go it is better than plexiglass but not as good as real glass.

With polycarbonate you can buy sheets and cut yourself.

You could also try using a buffer and some plastic polish to clear things up. Toothpaste works well too. Look up how to restore headlights online and that process would work for your plexiglass. Might get you some life out of it.
 

eKretz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2023
Messages
80
Location
NW Indiana
They older mechanical self-leveling seemed a better set up. I've also read of issues with the self leveling on the newer style machines. There's not much to go wrong with mechanical self-leveling.

It works on the way up. Doesn't work on the way down. Fine for loading dirt; not so great for using forks.
 

eKretz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2023
Messages
80
Location
NW Indiana
So I've run through the service manual and schematics a few times in the transmission section. I think I've narrowed the issue down to either possibly a bad forward solenoid coil or the control module under the dash. Next time I get a weather break I'll be checking the coil resistance of the solenoid by unplugging the harness at the control module and measuring across the Blu/Grn wires on the harness side of the plug. Figure that will save me the trouble of having to drain and remove the fuel tank. Service manual says I should see 6-10 ohms there across the coil terminals. If that's good I'm going to run through the troubleshooting suggestions from the manual on the control module and see what I find there. If the coil looks iffy, I may pull the tank and swap solenoids to see if the problem moves to reverse.
 

eKretz

Well-Known Member
Joined
Nov 29, 2023
Messages
80
Location
NW Indiana
Well, cold resistance across the coil was 9.4 ohms. No problem there. Both sides were 25 Mohms to ground too. Oh, and the forward solenoid wires were actually turquoise - which after a couple minutes I noticed is footnoted in the service manual schematic. Had me scratching my head for a minute at first. Drove the machine around a while to replicate the problem, did a little pile pushing.

After about 20 minutes, forward went out, as usual. Checked resistance at the forward solenoid coil just after and it's sitting at 10.1 ohms. Both sides of the coil to ground are high Mohms still. I have a good input signal to the control module at battery voltage from the shuttle switch when the switch is placed in forward. No output signal from the module output side. If I do the reset, then I get a split second of output, then it shuts off. I also monitored the current on the forward solenoid coil while driving around. It stayed right around 1.4 amps the whole time until it quit working. This leads me to believe that the control module is the problem. Wish they had not potted the b*****d.

Edit: I may try de-potting it and attempting a repair. The compound doesn't seem that hard now that I'm inside where it's not 30°.
 
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