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Service


Adjusting Carburetor

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

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 contain carbon monoxide and can cause serious illness or death.

Do not run an engine in an enclosed area, such as a garage, even with doors or windows opened.

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

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™ (SAE30)

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

• TURF-GARD™

• PLUS- 4™

Other oils may be used if above John Deere oils are not available, provided they meet the following specification:

• API Service Classification SG or higher

Checking Engine Oil

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

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


1. Park mower on level surface and stop engine.


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

3. Wipe dipstick off with a clean cloth.

4. Install dipstick. Turn oil dipstick (A) 1/4 turn clockwise and tighten.

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


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

NOTE: Be sure the fuel tank is at least half empty before changing the oil. Change oil after mowing or run the engine briefly to lower the fuel in the tank to the appropriate level.

1. Run engine for at least five minutes to warm up oil.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Touching hot surfaces can burn skin. The engine, components, and fluids will be hot if the engine has been running. Keep hands and body away from hot surfaces when servicing or working near the engine and components.

2. Stop engine and disconnect spark plug wire.

3. Remove dipstick.

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

• Turn mower on its left side.


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


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5. Turn mower onto its left side so the fuel tank opening (A) is at the highest point.

6. Drain engine oil from the dipstick filler tube location into the drain pan.

7. After oil has drained, return mower to an upright position and clean around dipstick filler tube.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Do not overfill. Overfilling can cause smoking, hard starting, fouling of spark plug, and oil saturation of air filter.


8. Add oil through dipstick filler tube. Check oil level and continue to add oil to FULL mark on dipstick.

9. Install dipstick and 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, components, and fluids will be hot if the engine has been running. Allow the engine to cool before servicing or working near the engine and components.

2. Let engine cool.

3. Disconnect spark plug wire.

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


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


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6. Inspect the foam precleaner (B) without removing it. If the foam precleaner is dirty:

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

b. Wash precleaner in a solution of warm water and liquid detergent.

c. Rinse precleaner thoroughly. Squeeze out excess water in a dry cloth until precleaner 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 precleaner 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! Touching hot surfaces can burn skin. The engine, components, and fluids will be hot if the engine has been running. Allow the engine to cool before servicing or working near the engine and components.


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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! Compressed air can cause debris to fly a long distance.

• Clear work area of bystanders.

• Wear eye protection when using compressed air for cleaning purposes.

• Reduce compressed air pressure to 210 kPa (30 psi).

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


1. Park mower on level surface and stop engine.

2. Let engine cool.

3. Disconnect spark plug wire.


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4. Clean fins (A) with brush, rag, or compressed air.

5. Blow compressed air under shroud (B).

Cleaning Drive Belt and Transmission Area (JS63 and JS63C)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Help prevent serious personal injury. Do not operate the mower without the belt shields installed.


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


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2. Remove control cables (C) from belt shield notch (D), and remove belt shield (B).


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

4. Slide control cables into belt shield notch.

5. Install belt shield.

Checking and Replacing Drive Belt (JS63 and JS63C)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Rotating parts can catch fingers, loose clothing, or long hair. Wait for engine and all moving parts to stop before leaving operator’s station to adjust or service machine.

1. Stop engine and disconnect spark plug wire.


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


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3. Remove control cables (C) from belt shield notch (D), and remove belt shield (B).


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

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


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5. To remove drive belt, push down on front of drive sheave (F) to relieve spring tension on belt (E) and remove drive belt.

NOTE: Tension spring (G) may come loose when drive belt is removed. Install after you replace belt.

6. Move belt through deck opening (H) into underside of mower deck.

7. Turn mower on its left side.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Mower blades are sharp. Always wear gloves when handling mower blades or working near blades.


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8. Remove drive belt (E) from blade sheave (I) and mower blade.

9. Install new drive belt over mower blade and onto blade sheave.


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10. Insert belt back through deck opening (H).

11. Return mower to upright position.

12. Install tension spring (G) if removed.

13. Push down on front of drive sheave (F) and install belt on sheave.

14. Slide control cables into belt shield notch.

15. Install drag flap and belt shield with screws.

Adjusting Transmission Cable (JS63 and JS63C)

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. Park mower on level surface and stop engine.

2. Disconnect spark plug wire.


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3. Remove screws (A) from belt shield (B) and drag flap (C). Remove drag flap.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Tension spring can come loose. Wear safety glasses when removing belt from drive sheave.


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4. Remove control cables (D) from belt shield notch (E), and remove belt shield (B).


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5. Push down on front of drive sheave (F) to relieve spring tension on belt and remove drive belt (G).

6. Remove nut (H) and drive sheave.


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7. Measure the clutch spring length (I) in the relaxed position. Record this value.


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8. Engage the traction clutch lever (at handle bar) and measure the spring length in the extended position (J).

• The spring extension length (the difference between I and J measurements) must be 10 mm (0.390 in.).


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9. Use 8 mm wrench to loosen (but not remove) cable mount bracket capscrews (K) to adjust spring extension.

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


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

11. Repeat steps 7-8 to verify 10 mm (0.390 in.) spring extension length.

12. Install cables through notch in belt shield.

13. Install drag flap and belt shield with screws.

14. Connect spark plug wire.

15. Start engine and check that 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 (JS63 and JS63C)


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


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2. Remove control cables (C) from belt shield notch (D), and remove belt shield (B).


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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.

Grease

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! The recommended grease is effective within an average air temperature range of -29 to 135 degrees C (-20 to 275 degrees F).

If operating outside that temperature range, contact your servicing dealer for a special-use grease.


Use a general all-purpose grease with an NLGI grade No.2 rating.

Wet or high speed conditions may require use of a special-use grease. Contact your Servicing dealer for information.

Greasing Caster Wheel Spindle (JS63C)


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1. Grease caster wheel spindle hole (A) with multi-purpose grease.

2. Repeat for other caster wheel.

Cleaning Caster Wheel Pin (JS63C)


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1. Remove cover (A) on caster wheel.


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2. Clean dirt from around and on pin and spring (B).

3. Install cover.

Servicing Mower Blade

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Rotating blades are dangerous. Before adjusting or servicing mower:

• Disconnect spark plug wire(s) or battery negative (-) cable to prevent engine from starting accidently.

• Always wear gloves when handling mower blades or working near blades.

Removing Mower Blade

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

• Turn mower on its left side.


NOTE: Be sure the fuel tank is at least half empty before changing the oil. Change oil after mowing or run the engine briefly to lower the fuel in the tank to the appropriate level.

1. Turn mower onto its left side.


M87085

2. Remove bolt (A), washer and blade.

3. Inspect blade; sharpen, balance or replace blade as necessary.

Installing Mower Blade

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

1. Lubricate bolt threads lightly with a general purpose grease or oil to prevent rusting and seizing.

2. Install blade and bolt.

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

Sharpening Blades

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Mower blades are dangerous!

• Always wear gloves while working on blades.

• Always wear safety eye protection when grinding.

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


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• Keep original bevel (A) when grinding.

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

• Balance blades before installing.

Balancing Blades

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Mower blades are sharp. Always wear gloves when handling mower blades or working near blades.

1. Clean blade.


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2. Put blade on nail in a vise. Turn blade to horizontal position.

3. Check balance. If blade is not balanced, heavy end of blade will drop.

4. Grind bevel of heavy end. Do not change blade bevel.

Cleaning Fuel Cap Vents

1. Remove cap.


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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 the cap.

Filling Fuel Tank

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

• Run the engine only long enough to move the machine to or from storage.

• Do not store vehicle with fuel in the tank inside a building where fumes may reach an open flame or spark.

• Allow the engine to cool before storing the machine in any enclosure.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Dirt and water in fuel can cause engine damage:

• Clean dirt and debris from the fuel tank opening.

• Use clean, fresh, stabilized fuel.

• Fill the fuel tank at the end of each day’s operation to keep condensation out of the fuel tank.

• Use a non-metallic funnel with a plastic mesh strainer when filling the fuel tank or container.


Use regular grade 87 octane unleaded fuel.

Add John Deere fuel stabilizer to fuel before using it in your machine to prevent engine damage due to stale fuel. Follow directions on stabilizer container.

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.


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3. Remove fuel cap (A).

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

5. Install fuel cap.