Posted 11/24/2021 08:36 (#9338310) Subject: Ag Leader SteerCommand Z2 and Deere 8xxxR series
Don't call it a 'gator, it's a Ranger
I have a Deere 8310R presently equipped with an Ag Leader InCommand 1200, GPS 6500 and Steer Command. The Steer Command communicates with that tractor's CAN system and uses the tractor's steering valve and Wheel Position Sensor.
When my system works it works well but does not reliably detect that the Steering ECU is present. Upon initial startup, the system often but not always detects that the ECU is present. If it detects that it is present, the startup procedure proceeds and the auto steer works fine. If it doesn't detect the ECU, the system works but I don't have the benefit of auto steer. Among other things the tab for SteerCommand is simply not shown when this happens. The LEDs on the ECU show a green LED on the power LED but the other LEDS are off. When life is good and the ECU is detected, the LEDs dance around seemingly at random.
Some times, pulling the fuse on the pink wires, shutting off the tractor and battery disconnect and restarting will get the system to "catch" and acknowledge that the ECU is present. Once that happens everything is fine for that session. This problem seems to be getting worse. I'm fearful that the steering may not be "found" some morning when we wish to plant next Spring.
I have SteerCommand on two other older 8xxx tractors as well but being older, they utilize external steering valves rather than the tractors CAN system. There has never been a problem with them "missing the ECU". I had thought about temporarily switching the ECUs around for a test of the unreliable one. The unreliable one had to have a special unlock activated to work with the 8310R's CAN system while the others did not so swapping one of them with the troublesome one is not going to work for a test.
Ag Leader now offers SteerCommand Z2 for this tractor as they have apparently broken ties with the previous supplier of SteerCommand. I believe the new system is now made by Ag Leader in house. Apparently they decided to just change the name by adding the Z2 rather than picking a completely new name. I am considering trading in the current SteerCommand towards the new SteerCommand Z2. The Z2 would require an unlock to work with the tractor similar to what was needed on the present SteerCommand ECU. The wiring harness is somewhat different also but is included with the Steer Command Z2 kit.
I'm curious if anyone has any experience with the Z2 in a similar situation using an 8xxxR. My plan would not involve swapping out the 6500 GPS for a 7500 GPS as I don't feel this is involved with my problem. Swapping the GPS is a separate possibility.