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Engine Controls

A - Primer Bulb

Handle Controls

A - Blade Control Lever

B - Traction Clutch Lever

C - Starter Handle

D - Travel Speed Lever (JS63)

Handle and Cutting Height Controls

A - Fold Handle Knobs

B - Handle Height Knob

C - Cutting Height Levers

Adjusting Handle Height

NOTE: Handle height can be independently adjusted to three positions.

1. Remove knob (A) and bolt (B) on each side of handle.

NOTE: If unit is equipped with bagger, bag may prevent lowering of handle.

2. Adjust bagger, if necessary, by removing clip (D) to remove rod (E). Remove rod from lower position (F) and insert in upper position as shown to lengthen bag.

3. Pivot handle to a desired height (C).

4. Install bolt (B) and knob (A) on each side of handle.

Adjusting Cutting Height

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Rotating blades are dangerous. Before you adjust cutting height: Stop engine and wait for moving parts to stop.

NOTE: Adjust both levers to same height except for two lowest cutting heights (A and B on following chart). At two lowest cutting heights, raise rear lever one notch higher than front lever. This adjustment allows for increased air flow when bagging and side discharging, and provides a larger exit window for clippings when mulching.

Begin at upper cutting height, then adjust downward as desired, to avoid scalping lawn with too low a setting.

Picture Note: Left front shown above.

Picture Note: Left rear shown above.


Cutting Height Adjustments In mm (Inches)


25 mm (1 in.)


38 mm (1-1/2 in.)


50 mm (2 in.)


64 mm (2-1/2 in.)


75 mm (3 in.)


90 mm (3-1/2 in.)


102 mm (4 in.)

Testing Safety Systems

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Engine exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can cause serious illness or death.

Move the vehicle to an outside area before running the engine.

Do not run an engine in an enclosed area without adequate ventilation.

• Connect a pipe extension to the engine exhaust pipe to direct the exhaust fumes out of the area.

• Allow fresh outside air into the work area to clear the exhaust fumes out.

Use the following checkout procedure to check for normal operation of machine.

If there is a malfunction during one of these procedures, do not operate machine. See your John Deere dealer for service.

Perform these tests in a clear open area. Keep bystanders away.

Testing Blade/Engine Control Lever

1. Start engine.

2. Release blade/engine control lever.

3. Listen for blade and engine to stop. Do not look under mower to check blade.

Result: Blade and engine should stop within three seconds. If blade and engine continue to run, there is a problem with your safety interlock circuit.

Starting Engine

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Engine exhaust fumes can cause sickness or death.

Run engine only in a ventilated area.

If engine is run in an enclosed area, open doors to bring in outside air.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To help prevent damage to recoil starter and band brake, do not start engine:

• When blade is under load, such as, in heavy grass.

• When blade control lever is released.

1. Prime engine by pressing primer bulb (A):

• COLD Engine - 3 times

• WARM Engine - if engine does not start on first or second pull, press primer bulb 1 or 2 times

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! When engine is running, blade is turning.

Keep hands, feet and clothing away from the blade.

2. Hold blade control lever (B) against handle.

3. Pull starter handle until you feel resistance. Then pull fast and steady.

4. When engine starts, return rope slowly.

Forward Travel

To Travel Forward

Pull and hold traction clutch lever (A) against upper handle.

To Stop Forward Travel

NOTE: Rear wheels will make a clicking noise when mower is pushed forward. This indicates that the drive train is operating correctly.

Release lever (A). Release traction clutch lever before turning the mower.

Travel Speeds

Travel speed: (JS61)

• 1st Gear: 3.9 km/h (2.4 mph)

Travel speeds: (JS63)

• 1st Gear: 3.1 km/h (1.9 mph)

• 2nd Gear: 3.9 km/h (2.4 mph)

• 3rd Gear: 5.0 km/h (3.1 mph)

To change travel speeds: (JS63)

NOTE: Mower travel speed can be changed when the traction clutch lever is engaged and the mower is moving forward.

• Raise or lower speed control lever (A) to engage desired gear.

Stopping Engine

Release handle and levers:

• Mower will stop.

• Blade will stop.

• Engine will stop.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! If blade does not stop within 3 seconds after you release blade stop lever, see your John Deere dealer

Using Side Discharge Chute

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Do not operate mower unless grass bag assembly, side discharge chute or mulch guard is in place.

1. Release blade control lever to stop engine.

2. Remove mulch guard knob (A).

3. Lift and hold spring loaded mulch guard (B) up.

4. Install side discharge chute (C):

• Slide side discharge chute under mulch guard mounting bracket.

• Lower mulch guard.

• Install and tighten knob (A).