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Dan, Technician
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Satisfied Customers: 5437
Experience:  17+ yrs. shop and field experience with all major brands of heavy equipment and trucks - 1995 WyoTech graduate.
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I have a Deere 544h. The machine will not shift to F or R if

Customer Question

I have a John Deere 544h. The machine will not shift to F or R if the machine is moving at all. The machine has to be completely stopped to go into gear.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Construction and Road Equipment
Expert:  Dan replied 1 year ago.

Hi my name is***** will be glad to help. Test power in and out of the transmission shift controller in all gear positions for a possible faulty controller ( most common). Also check the harness for damage to the transmission solenoids. If ok check the solenoids by applying battery voltage and doing a click test. Also test them with an OHM meter for any that have an out of range resistance reading from the others. Finally inspect the oil and filter for metal/debris indicating internal problems with the transmission. Let me know

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The machine shifts into all gears forwards and reverse with no problem as long as the machine is not rolling at all. The shift controller is working. I was thinking there was some sort of speed sensor?
Expert:  Dan replied 1 year ago.

Yes you are correct. There is a speed sensor but also a transmission electronic controller. also check your neutralizer circuit and harness for problems. This enables the transmission to disconnect when working in tight quarters or loading trucks when stepping on the left brake pedal. some models have a button on the bucket controls to use as well when that function switch is enabled. Click this link to access the parts breakdowns.


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The neutralizer system is working. Transmission disconnects and reconnects properly using left pedal. If the machine is stopped and I shift to F the display show F and the transmission solenoid clicks and works properly. If I am rolling backwards the slightest bit and go from N to F the display still says N (neutral) and the transmission solenoid does not click. I have to stop the machine completely, move the lever back to N then back to F. It's almost as if there is a safety that doesn't allow you to shift into F or R if you are moving to quickly but it's not measuring the speed correctly.
Expert:  Dan replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for the info, That would be either a speed sensor or harness issue or a problem in the transmission controller ( ECU) itself.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
How do I go about testing these systems to find the problem?
Expert:  Dan replied 1 year ago.

The harness you will do a visual for starter and check the connector pins for damage and corrosion, wires for chafed or shorted insulation and a continuity test with an OHM meter. The sensor you can remove and inspect the tip and I am not sure of the OHMs it should read as it should be in the manual for that spec. With the age of the machine it would not hurt to change that sensor as they are not a high dollar item. The transmission controller and the live data can be tested with the dealer software connected which unfortunately is proprietary to the dealer. Some dealers have the capabilities to bench test and reprogram your controllers so check with your local dealer if they have that capability unless you have access to a sister machine to swap modules for test purposes.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Do you know where the speed sensor is or if there is more then one? I looked in my parts book and I thought it showed 3 different speed sensors.
Expert:  Dan replied 1 year ago.

There are more than one.... Usually input and output speed sensors and there is also usually an engine speed sensor. Possibly one near the input shaft of the transmission and another near the output... I have a feeling if the harness checks ok you will likely find a controller problem.