John Deere 870 Problems: What Are The Causes And How To Solve?

Like any other vehicle, the john deere 870 tractor isn’t also free of drawbacks. Though it has excellent performance and efficiency, owners of this tractor can encounter different types of troubles while using it. If you already own a JD 870 or plan to buy one, you better learn about those potential problems in this vehicle.

So, what are the John Deere 870 problems? Oil leaks, stuck clutch, engine overheating, sudden stalling, and difficulty in starting are the most common problems. You can also encounter problems like unusual noises and smoke from the engine.

Throughout the article, we will discuss several familiar problems with the JD 870 tractor. Here, you will also find the causes and solutions to those problems. Hence, without any delay, let’s start!

Table: John Deere 870 Problems And Their Solutions 

Before we get into details, let’s take a quick look into the problems and the solutions here

Problems Solutions 
Oil leaksCheck and clean the O-ring, seals, valves, gasket, and oil lines. You need to repair them if they are defective.
Problems with the clutch Readjust, repair, or replace the clutch. Also, ensure the adequate level of hydraulic fluid.
Overheating of engineEnsure sufficient engine oil and coolant fluid. Besides, repair or replace the faulty radiator cap, thermostat, and temperature gauge.
Smoke coming from the engineWarm up the engine, and clean the dirty injector and air filter.
Unusual noisesTighten the loose internal parts and replace damaged rod bearings. Also, ensure adequate lubrication between engine parts. 
Rough running or sudden stalling Remove impurities from the fuel system. Also, repair or change the faulty thermostat.
The tractor doesn’t start Disengage PTO, flash or drain the fuel system, and clean the dirty air filter and injector.

7 Most familiar Problems Of  John Deere 870

Problems can be distinctive from tractor to tractor. But, there are a few problems that are most common, and almost all the owners have to deal with these problems. In this section, we are going to discuss those problems:

1. Oil Leaks

This is one of the most common problems of a john deere 870 tractor, generally in an old one. Mainly, clogged or cracked tubes, o-rings, gaskets, seals, valves, and covers cause this oil leakage issue. 

When these components get clogged with dirt, it may eventually cause damage to them. Also, over time and prolonged uses, those components may wear, tear and crack.


  • Clean specks of dirt from the valves, o-ring, gaskets, and seals 
  • Check for any damages in those components for repairing those
  • Inspect for any cracks in the oil tube or lines and fix those cracks. If not possible, replace the line

2. Problems With The Clutch

In this case, the clutch will not go into the gear. Because the clutch gets stuck, and the synchronizer prevents it from engaging with the gear. Sometimes, due to moisture, clutch plates can get stuck with each other. 

Moreover, if the level of hydraulic fluid in the tank is low or air enters the system, it will also cause this clutch issue. Also, if the clutch misaligns from its adjustment for any reason, it may result in difficulty in engaging with the gear.


  • Check the adjustment of the clutch, and if misaligned, adjust the clutch. Check the manual of the tractor for understanding the adjustment process better
  • If the hydraulic fluid inside the tank is inadequate, refill the tank with fluid
  • Bleed the system to remove the air from the system
  • If you still can’t solve the problem, change the old clutch and install a new one

3. Overheating Of Engine

This problem mainly arises due to the failure of the coolant system of JD 870. If the coolant level is low or the coolant is at a high temperature, it will cause the failure of the coolant system. Also, faulty radiator caps, thermostats, or temperature gauges may cause this issue.

If the load is excessive on the tractor, it will overwork, causing the overheating issue. Besides, low engine oil levels and inappropriate fuel grades can also be responsible for this problem.


There could be several solutions to the issues, based on the exact problem. They are as follows. 

  • Clean the accumulated dust and dirt from the cooling package
  • Fill the coolant to an adequate level in the radiator
  • Fix or change the faulty radiator cap
  • Change the defective thermostat and temperature gauge
  • Reduce the load and supply sufficient engine oil

4. Smoke Coming From The Engine

Smoke coming from the engine can be white, grey, or black. Using an unsuitable grade of fuel can cause this issue. If the engine emits white smoke, the engine temperature is low. It may occur due to the faulty thermostat, glow plug, and injector nozzles.

But, if the color of the smoke is grey or black, dirty injector nozzles and air cleaners could be the reasons.


  • Replace the fuel with the fuel of the recommended grade 
  • You need to warm up the engine so that it can attain the average temperature
  • Clean dirty injector nozzles and air filter
  • Fix or change the defective thermostat, injector nozzles, and glow plug if they are worn out

5. Unusual Noises

Different types of unusual noises like cranking, rattling, whining, and whimpering can come from the engine. When loose internal parts collide, it may cause cranking or rattling type of noises. 

Lack of proper lubrication and loose bearing caps can also be responsible. Besides, wear in the connecting or main rod bearings, rod bushing, and camshaft lobes also create unusual noises.


Take the following solution measures for the issue. 

  • Inspect the reason for inadequacy in lubrication and fix the issue accordingly
  • You have to inspect the valve clearance 
  • Replace the damaged rod bearings, and repair the fault in the camshafts lobes
  • Appropriately tighten all the loose internal parts

6. Rough Running Or Sudden Stalling

When this problem arises, the speed of the tractor will be inconsistent and sluggish. Even the tractor can stop suddenly without any prior warning. Generally, when air, moisture, or dirt enters the fuel system, this type of issue will occur. 

If the air filter or fuel injector is clogged with dirt and dust, it might also induce impurities inside the fuel system. Sometimes, the low temperature of the coolant can also cause malfunctioning of the engine and inconsistency in its speed.


  • You need to bleed, flash or drain the fuel system to remove the impurities
  • Clean all dust from the air filter and fuel injectors
  • Repair or replace the defective thermostat for controlling the coolant temperature 

7. The tractor Doesn’t Start

This type of problem occurs mainly during cold weather. Also, low fuel levels or improper fuel grade can prevent the tractor from starting. If the engine begins under load it may also cause trouble in starting.

Sometimes, the fuel system can be contaminated with air, moisture, or dust. This mainly occurs due to dirty or defective air filters and injector nozzles. Also, if the crankcase oil’s viscosity is too high, it will prevent its functions. As a result, the tractor won’t start.


Take the following solution measures based on the issue types. 

  • Check the fuel level and fill the fuel to an adequate level
  • You need to disengage the PTO to start in the proper load
  • Bleed, flash, or drain the fuel system to eliminate the impurities from the fuel system 
  • Clean the dirty air filter and injectors and replace them if defective
  • Use the crankcase oil of appropriate and suitable viscosity
  • Check this YouTube video to understand how to drain and change the fuel and change the filter


If you own a JD 870, you may encounter different problems while using it. If you have ideas about how to solve them yourself, you won’t have to spend extra money on a mechanic. In this article, we tried to discuss John Deere 870 problems explicitly.

We also provide the causes and fixes of each problem. If you follow the fixing tips that we mentioned throughout the article, you will be successful in solving those problems. By the way, if you can’t fix the issues yourself, don’t hesitate to take professional help. 

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