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Service


Adjusting Carburetor

NOTE: Carburetor is calibrated by the engine manufacturer and should not require any adjustments.

NOTE: If engine is operated at altitudes above 1829 m (6,000 ft.), some carburetors may require a special high altitude main jet. See your John Deere dealer.

If engine is hard to start or runs rough, check the TROUBLESHOOTING section of this manual.

After performing the checks in the troubleshooting section and your engine is still not performing correctly, contact your John Deere dealer.

Avoid Fumes

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

• If it is necessary to run an engine in an enclosed area, use an exhaust pipe extension to remove the fumes.

• Always try to work in a well ventilated area.

Engine Oil



Use oil viscosity based on the expected air temperature range during the period between oil changes.

The following John Deere oils are preferred:

TORQ-GARD SUPREME® (SAE 30)

The following John Deere oils are also recommended, based on their specified temperature range:

• TURF-GARD® (SAE 10W-30)

• PLUS-4® (SAE 10W-30)

Other oils may be used if above John Deere oil is not available, provided they meet one of the following specifications:

• SAE 10W-30–API Service Classification SG or higher

• SAE 30–API Service Classification SC or higher

Checking Engine Oil Level

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Before you check or add oil:

• Stop engine. Let it cool.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Change oil after first 5 hours of operation.


1. Stop engine. Put mower on level surface.



2. Turn oil dipstick (A) 1/4 turn counterclockwise and remove from the filler tube.

3. Wipe dipstick off with a clean cloth.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! If oil level is below ADD mark, do not run engine.


4. Install dipstick.



5. Remove dipstick. Check oil level. Oil should be between ADD and FULL marks shown on dipstick, not above FULL mark.

6. Add oil, if necessary.

7. Install and tighten dipstick.

Changing Engine Oil

c CAUTION: Avoid injury!

• Used oil will harm environment and people if it is dumped on the ground or into a drain or a body of water. Call your local Recycling Center or John Deere dealer to learn how to recycle used oil.

• Engine may be hot. Use caution to avoid burns to the hands.

• Fuel is highly flammable. To prevent fuel spillage from occurring, drain fuel from tank before tipping mower to drain oil.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage!

• Change oil after first 5 hours of operation.

• Change oil while engine is warm.

• If mower is not operated 25 hours during the mowing season, change oil before storing mower.

• Help prevent air cleaner damage and hard starting. Turn mower onto its left side when servicing.


1. Park mower on a level surface.

2. Drain fuel from tank or run engine until fuel tank is empty or near empty.

3. Stop engine and disconnect spark plug wire.



4. Turn oil dipstick (A) 1/4 turn counterclockwise and remove from the oil filler tube.



5. Insert a plastic drain tube firmly inside oil filler tube opening (B).

6. Place a drain pan on the left side of the mower.

7. Turn mower onto its left side.

8. Allow engine oil to drain from the dipstick filler tube location into the drain pan.

9. After oil has drained, return mower to an upright position.

10. Remove plastic drain tube. Clean area around filler tube.

11. Add 0.47 L (16 oz) oil through dipstick filler tube.

12. Install dipstick. Turn dipstick 1/4 turn clockwise to tighten.

13. Remove dipstick. Check oil level. Add oil to FULL mark if necessary.

14. Install and tighten dipstick.

15. Connect spark plug wire.

Checking and Cleaning Air Cleaner Element

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Touching hot surfaces can burn skin. The engine and components will be hot if the engine has been running. Allow the engine to cool before servicing.

2. Let engine cool.

3. Disconnect spark plug wire.

4. Clean dirt and debris from the air cleaner cover.



5. Loosen screws (A), and remove cover.



6. Inspect the foam pre-cleaner (B) without removing it. If the foam pre-cleaner is dirty:

a. Remove it from the filter carefully, leaving the paper element in the air cleaner housing.

b. Wash pre-cleaner in a solution of warm water and liquid detergent.

c. Rinse pre-cleaner thoroughly. Squeeze out excess water in a dry cloth until pre-cleaner is completely dry.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Dirt and debris can enter the engine through a damaged filter element.

• Do not wash paper element.

• Do not attempt to clean paper element by tapping against another object.

• Do not use pressurized air to clean element.

• Replace element only if it is very dirty, damaged or the seal is cracked.


7. Inspect the paper element without removing it. If the paper element is damaged or dirty, remove and replace it with a new element.

8. Clean air cleaner base carefully, preventing any dirt from falling into carburetor.

9. Install foam pre-cleaner onto paper element and install into air cleaner base.

10. Close cover and tighten screws. Do not overtighten.

Cleaning and Gapping Spark Plug

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Before you remove spark plug:

• Stop engine. Let engine cool.



1. Disconnect spark plug wire (A). Remove spark plug (B).

2. Carefully wire brush carbon from plug. Do not clean it with abrasives in a machine.

3. Inspect plug for damage. Replace damaged plug.

4. Adjust gap: 0.51 mm (0.02 in.).

5. Install and tighten plug to 20 N•m (15 lb-ft).

6. Connect wire.

Cleaning Engine Cooling Fins

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Before you clean fins:

• Stop engine.

• Let it cool.

• Wear eye protection to guard against flying debris.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Keep fins clean or engine may overheat.




1. Clean fins with brush, rag, or compressed air.

2. Blow compressed air under shroud.

Cleaning Drive Belt and Transmission Area

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Before you remove shield:

• Stop engine. Let it cool.

• Do not operate mower without belt shield in place.



1. Remove hardware (A) and belt shield (B).



2. Remove control cables (C) from belt shield notch (D).



3. Remove clippings from belt area and top of the transmission.

4. Slide control cable into belt shield notch.

5. Install belt shield.

Checking and Replacing Drive Belt

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Before removing belt shield:

• Stop engine and wait for all moving parts to stop.

• Prevent burns by allowing engine to cool.

• Disconnect spark plug wire.

• Wear protective gloves when service is performed within the mower blade area.

• Do not operate mower without belt shield.

1. Stop engine and disconnect spark plug wire.



2. Remove hardware (A) and belt shield (B).



3. Remove control cables (C) from belt shield notch (D).



4. Inspect belt (E) for excessive wear or damage.

To Replace Drive Belt:

NOTE: On model JS61 only, the anti-rotation bracket must be removed prior to pushing the drive sheave forward to remove the drive belt.



Picture Note: view is from underside of differential.

1. Remove cap screw (F) and anti-rotation bracket.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Wear protective eyewear when removing belt from drive sheave. Tension spring may come loose.



2. Push drive sheave (G) forward to relieve spring tension on belt.

NOTE: Tension spring (H) may come loose when belt is removed.

3. Remove belt from drive sheave.

4. Move belt into underside of mower deck.

5. Turn mower onto its left side.

6. Remove mower blade. (See Check Blade in this section.)

7. Remove drive belt from blade sheave.

8. Install new drive belt to blade sheave.



9. Insert belt through deck opening (I).

10. Install tension spring (H) if removed.

11. Check that drive belt is installed on engine sheave.

12. Push drive sheave (J) forward and install belt to sheave.

13. Install anti-rotation bracket and secure with cap screw.

14. Install mower blade.

• Tighten mower blade bolt to 75 N•m (55 lb-ft).

15. Lower mower.

16. Slide control cables into belt shield notch.

17. Install belt shield and connect spark plug wire.

Adjusting Transmission Cable (JS63)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Help prevent bodily injury. Before removing belt shield:

• Stop engine and wait for all moving parts to stop.

• Prevent burns by allowing engine to cool.

• Disconnect spark plug wire.

• Wear protective gloves when service is performed within the mower blade area.

• Do not operate mower without belt shield.

1. Stop engine and disconnect spark plug wire.



2. Remove hardware (A) and belt shield (B).

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Wear protective eye wear when removing belt from drive sheave. Tension spring may come loose.

NOTE: Transmission cable adjustment can be performed without removing belt and pulley. The belt and pulley have been removed for clarity of pictures.



3. Remove control cables (C) from belt shield notch (D)



4. Push drive sheave (E) forward to relieve spring tension on belt and remove drive belt (F).

5. Remove E-clip (G) and drive sheave.



6. Measure the clutch spring length (H) in the relaxed position. Record this value.



7. Engage the transmission bail (at handle bar) and measure the spring length in the extended position (I).

8. The spring extension length (the difference between A and B measurements) must be 10 mm (0.390 in.).



9. To adjust spring extension, use an 8 mm wrench, loosen (do not remove) the cable mount bracket capscrews (J)

NOTE: For transmission clutch to operate properly, there must be a certain amount of spring pressure engaging the cones or the transmission will slip and not drive the wheels.



10. Slide bracket (K) the required distance to obtain the 10 mm (0.390 in.) spring extension length (difference between the length of the relaxed spring and the length of the extended spring). Tighten capscrews.

11. Repeat steps 6-8 to verify the 10 mm (0.390 in.) spring extension length.

12. Install cables through notch in cover.

13. Install cover and secure with hardware.

14. Connect spark plug wire.

15. Start engine and verify the transmission is operating properly.

NOTE: Make sure transmission immediately disengages when traction clutch lever is released.

16. If transmission does not disengage when lever is released, reduce spring extension length and check that transmission is operating properly.

Lubricating Drive Shaft Hub Bushings

Service Interval: Lubricate drive shaft hub bushings every 25 hours or once a year.



1. Remove hardware (A) and belt shield (B).



2. Remove control cable (C) from belt shield notch (D).



3. Tilt mower slightly to one side. Lubricate driveshaft hub bushing (E) with a few drops of light weight motor oil. Repeat procedure for other side.

4. Slide control cables (C) into belt shield notch (D).

5. Install belt shield.

Lubricating Mower Axles

Service Interval: Lubricate each mower axle every 25 hours or once a year.

1. Tip mower to one side to elevate mower wheels slightly off the ground. Use a wood block to keep side of mower in a raised position.



2. Remove plastic hubcaps (A).

• Use a screwdriver in slot (B) to pry the hubcap from each wheel.



3. Remove locknut (C).

4. Remove wheel from each axle.



5. Apply a light coating of grease to each axle (D).

6. Install wheels, hardware and hubcaps.

7. Lower mower.

8. Repeat procedure on other side of mower.

Checking and Removing Blade

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Service blade safely:

• Stop engine. Let it cool.

• Disconnect spark plug wire.

• Wear gloves or wrap blade with a rag.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To help prevent air cleaner damage and hard starting:

• Turn mower on its left side.


NOTE: Sharpened edges on blade tips must face upward when installing blade.

Checking Blade:

• Replace damaged blade.



• Tighten bolt (A) to 75 N•m (55 lb-ft).

• Sharpen dull blade. (See Sharpening Blade in this section.)

Removing Blade:

• Remove bolt (A), washer (B), and blade.

Sharpening Blade

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Wear gloves and goggles when sharpening, balancing or installing blade.

• Sharpen blade with grinder, hand file or electric blade sharpener.



• Keep original bevel (A) when you grind.

• Blade should have 0.40 mm (1/64 in.) cutting edge (B).

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Balance blade after you sharpen it. An unbalanced blade may cause excessive vibration.


Balancing and Installing Blade



1. Clean blade. Put it on a nail in vise or on a wall. Heavy end of blade will drop. Grind bevel of heavy end. Do not change bevel.

2. Install blade, washers (cup-side against blade), and bolts.

3. Tighten bolts to 75 N•m (55 lb-ft).

Filling Fuel Tank

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Avoid spilling fuel. Fuel can damage plastic and painted surfaces.

Do not mix oil with gasoline. Unleaded gasoline with an octane rating of 87 or higher is recommended.

Fuel tank capacity is 1.5 L (1.6 qt).



1. Stop engine. If engine is hot let it cool several minutes before you add fuel.

2. Remove grass clippings and other trash from tank area.



3. Remove fuel cap (A).

4. Fill tank with fresh fuel only to bottom of filler neck.

5. Install fuel cap.

Cleaning Fuel Cap Vents

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Before you remove cap:

• Stop engine. Let it cool.

• Do not smoke.

1. Remove fuel cap.



2. Check two vents (A) under metal ring and vent in top, center of cap.

3. Clean cap and vents in nonflammable solvent. Let cap dry.

4. Install cap.