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Service


Engine Warranty Maintenance Statement

Maintenance, repair, or replacement of the emission control devices and systems on this engine, which are being done at the customers expense, may be performed by any non- road engine repair establishment or individual. Warranty repairs must be performed by an authorized John Deere dealer.

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 Level

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.

1. Park mower on level surface and stop engine.


M61458

2. Remove dipstick and wipe it with a clean cloth.

3. Install dipstick. Do not tighten, let threads rest on top of tube.

4. Remove dipstick. Check oil level. Oil level must be between ADD and FULL marks. If not, pour oil into dipstick tube to bring level to FULL mark.

5. 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.


MX31707

3. Remove dipstick (A).

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

• Turn mower on its right side.


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

5. Turn mower onto its right side so the fuel tank opening (B) 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.

Cleaning Air Cleaner Foam Element

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!

• If you operate the mower in dusty conditions, check and clean foam element at the end of each day's operation. Also check condition of paper element.

• DO NOT run engine without elements. If foam or paper element is damaged, replace it.

• DO NOT wash paper element.



MX31708

1. Clean cover (A) and area around it.

2. Slide tabs (B) on both sides of engine shroud towards rear of machine, and lift up on front of cover (A) to remove cover from machine.

3. Remove paper element (C).

4. Remove foam element (D).

5. Wash foam element in non-flammable solvent or warm water-detergent solution.

6. Rinse element. Let it dry.

7. Put 10-15 drops of clean engine oil on element. Squeeze element to distribute oil.

8. Inspect paper element. Install foam element, then paper element.

9. Install cover and push tabs (B) towards front of machine to lock cover in place.

Replacing Paper Element

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Engine parts and fluids may be hot if the engine has been running. Allow engine to cool before servicing.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Under normal operating conditions, replace paper element every 100 hours.

• If you operate mower in very dusty conditions, check elements at end of each day's operation.

• Replace paper element when engine starts hard, begins to lose power, or runs rough. Check condition of element carefully.

Paper element MUST BE in good condition. Cleaning paper element could damage element. Do not use a damaged element or engine could be seriously damaged.



MX31708

1. Clean cover (A) and area around it.

2. Slide tabs (B) on both sides of engine shroud towards rear of machine, and lift up on front of cover (A) to remove cover from machine.

3. Remove paper element (C).

4. Inspect paper element.

5. Replace an element:

• That is oily or sooty.

• With a break, hole, or damaged seal.

• If engine performance is poor.

6. Install paper element.

7. Install cover and push tabs (B) towards front of machine to lock cover in place.

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.


M61522

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


M85200

4. Adjust gap (C) to 0.76 mm (0.030 in.).

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

6. Connect wire.

Cleaning 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.



M60977

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

2. Blow compressed air under the shroud.

Adjusting Traction Clutch

NOTE: Adjust clutch before 50 hours if mower slows as it goes uphill.

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Do not operate mower without belt shield. Before you adjust clutch:

• STOP engine. Let it cool.

• Keep people and pets away from mower.

• Keep hands and tools away from belt area when engine is running.


MX31709

1. Remove nut (A) and shield (B).


MX31710

2. Loosen nut (C).

3. Turn nut (D) down 6 mm (1/4 in.).

4. Tighten nut (C).

5. Start engine.

6. Engage traction clutch lever to check clutch action.

7. If clutch needs more tension, repeat Steps 2 and 3.

8. Make sure pulley (E) does not turn when engine is running and clutch lever is disengaged. If pulley turns when engine is running, traction clutch cable is adjusted too tight.

9. Stop engine.

10. Install shield and nut.

Adjusting Blade Brake Clutch

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

NOTE: Blade should stop within three seconds after you release blade stop lever. If not, see your John Deere dealer.

1. Put blade engagement lever on handlebar all the way to the rear.

2. To adjust cable:

• Remove belt shield.


MX31711

• Loosen nut (A).

• Pull threaded fitting to rear to remove all cable slack.

• Turn nut (B) against deck fork.

• Tighten nut (A).

• Make sure there is no slack in the cable (C).

• Install shield.

Grease

Use a general all-purpose grease with an NLGI grade No. 2 rating. (See Recommended Lubricants in the Specifications section.)

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

Cleaning Mower

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Before you clean mower:

• Stop engine. Let engine cool.

• Disconnect spark plug wire.

• Turn mower onto its right side to clean under the deck.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To help extend clutch life, wait at least 30 minutes after mowing before cleaning under the deck with water.

After cleaning with water, start the engine and engage the blade for about 15 seconds to “spin dry” the clutch. If you need to clean under the deck immediately after mowing use a scraper, NOT water.


1. Clean engine and top of the deck.

2. Check and clean cooling fins, if necessary.

3. Grass clippings can build up in belt and transmission area. If necessary, remove belt shield and clean this area. DO NOT spray the transmission with water. (See Clean Belt and Transmission Area in this section.)

4. If you operate the mower in dusty conditions, clean air cleaner foam element.

5. Remove mulch plug. Spray under the deck with water under pressure to remove corrosive lawn chemicals and grass buildup. DO NOT spray the transmission with water. (See IMPORTANT information.)

6. Remove and shake bag to remove clippings.

7. If bag is caked with grass on the inside, use water under pressure to clean bag. Direct water from outside to inside of bag.

8. Clean grass clippings that may build up between the wheels and the mower deck.

Cleaning Belt and Transmission Area

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

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! D0 NOT use water to remove clippings.



MX31709

1. Remove nut (A) and shield (B).


MX31710

2. Remove clippings from belt area and top of the transmission (C).

3. Install shield and nut.

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 right 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 right side.


M31712

2. Remove bolts (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. Install blade and bolts.

2. Tighten bolts (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.


MIF

• 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.


M61524

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.

Using Proper Fuel

Use regular grade unleaded fuel with an octane rating of 87 octane or higher. Fuel blends containing up to 10% ethanol or up to 15% MTBE reformulated fuel are acceptable. Do not use fuel or additives containing methanol as engine damage can occur.

Always use fresh, clean fuel that is purchased in a quantity that can be used within approximately 30 days, or add fuel stabilizer.

Fuel is blended to give best seasonal performance. To avoid engine performance problems such as hard starting or vapor lock, use in-season fuel. Use fuel during warm weather that was purchased during that season, and use fuel during cold weather that was purchased during that season.

Fuel can become stale in machines with engines that are used seasonally or infrequently during a season. Stale fuel can produce varnish and plug carburetor components which can affect engine performance.

Keep fuel storage container tightly covered and in a cool area out of direct sunlight. Fuel can break down and degrade if not sealed properly or exposed to sun and heat.

Condensation may collect in the fuel tank because of a variety of operating or environmental conditions and, over time, may affect your machine’s operation. Fill fuel tank at the end of daily use and store fuel in plastic containers to reduce condensation.

For best year-round performance and fuel-handling, add stabilizer to fuel immediately after fuel purchase. Such practice helps prevent engine performance problems and allows fuel storage in the machine all year without draining.

Filling Fuel Tank

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Fuel vapors are explosive and flammable:

• Shut engine off before filling fuel tank.

• Do not smoke while handling fuel.

• Keep fuel away from flames or sparks.

• Fill fuel tank outdoors or in well ventilated area.

• Clean up spilled fuel immediately.

• Use clean approved non-metal container to prevent static electric discharge.

• Use clean approved plastic funnel without screen or filter to prevent static electric discharge.

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.


Fill fuel tank at the end of each day’s operation to prevent condensation and freezing during cold weather.

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the SAFETY section.)

2. Allow engine to cool.

3. Remove any trash from area around fuel tank cap.

4. Remove fuel tank cap slowly to allow any pressure built up in tank to escape.

5. Fill fuel tank only to bottom of filler neck.

6. Install fuel tank cap.