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Service Engine


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.

Avoid Fumes

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

Move the machine 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.

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:


MX4888

• 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

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.


• Use only clean, fresh, unleaded regular grade gasoline.

• Remove any trash from top of fuel tank drain area.

• Never use fuel that is stale or has been stored for a long period of time:

Warm Weather: Maximum 60 days.

Cold Weather: Maximum of 90 days.

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

Oxygenated Fuel

Oxygenates (either ethanol or MTBE) are added to the gasoline. If you use the oxygenated fuel be sure it is unleaded and meets the minimum octane rating requirement.

The following are the EPA approved percentages of fuel oxygenates:

ETHANOL (Ethyl or Grain Alcohol): You may use gasoline containing up to 10 percent ethanol by volume.

MTBE (Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether): You may use gasoline containing up to 15 percent MTBE by volume.


MX11265

1. Wipe dust and dirt from around fuel cap (A) and remove cap.

2. Fill fuel tank at the end of each day's operation:

• Fill to bottom of filler neck to allow room for gas to expand.

• Fuel tank capacity: 2.5 L (2.6 qt).

• Install fuel tank cap and tighten.

Adjusting Throttle Lever Location


MX11266

1. Remove two bolts (A).

2. Remove handlebar cover (B).


M72968A

3. Loosen two nuts (C).

4. Move throttle lever plate (D) to where the throttle lever location is most comfortable to the operator.

5. Tighten nuts.

6. Install handlebar cover with two bolts and tighten.

Adjusting Throttle Lever Tension


MX11266

1. Remove two bolts (A).

2. Remove handlebar cover (B).


M72968A

3. Using two wrenches, tighten or loosen the lock nut (C) on the throttle pivot bolt (D). At the proper tension, the throttle lever is easy to move, yet maintains the desired throttle setting during operation.

4. Install handlebar cover with two bolts and tighten.

Cleaning Air Cleaner

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! 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.


1. Remove wing nut (A) to remove air cleaner cover (B).


MX21103

2. Remove second wing nut (A) to remove air cleaner element (C) and precleaner (D).

3. Check housing, precleaner, element and rubber gasket (E) for damage. Housing must seat well and permit only filtered air to reach carburetor. Replace if necessary.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Do not clean precleaner with solvent or compressed air.


4. Be sure nothing is obstructing the air passage.

5. Precleaner (D) - Clean every 25 hours of operation:

• Wash in detergent and water, rinse in clean water.

• Dry thoroughly.

• Saturate in clean engine oil and squeeze out excess.

• Air cleaner element (C) - Clean or replace every 100 hours of operation:

• If element is extremely dirty or damaged, install new element.

• Assemble air cleaner assembly and install two wing nuts. Ensure base (F) is properly installed prior to assembly.

Cleaning Fuel Sediment Bowl


M86623

1. Turn fuel shut-off valve (A) to the off position.

2. Unscrew and remove sediment bowl (B) and O-ring (C).

3. Clean thoroughly with John Deere degreasing solvent or equivalent.

4. Install bowl.

Checking Engine Oil Level

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Failure to check the oil level regularly could lead to serious engine problems if oil level is low:

• Check oil level before operating.

• Check oil level when the engine is cold and not running.

• Keep level between the FULL and the ADD marks.

• Shut off engine before adding oil.


NOTE: Check oil twice a day if you run engine over 4 hours in a day.

Make sure engine is cold when checking engine oil level.


MX11267

1. Be sure engine is in a level position, if necessary, put a block under front roller to level engine.

NOTE: Do not screw dipstick into engine to check oil level.


M86629

2. Remove dipstick (A), wipe clean, and insert into filler port.

3. If no oil or only a slight amount is seen, add to full level (B). Do not overflow.

4. Wipe any spilled oil off mower.

Changing Engine Oil

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage!

• Do not check oil level or add oil while engine is running.

• Engine should be level prior to checking oil level.


NOTE: Change engine oil after first 20 hours of operation, then every 50 hours. Check and fill plugs are located in front and rear of machine.

1. Run engine a few minutes to warm oil.

2. Be sure engine is in a level position, if necessary, put a block under front roller to level engine.

3. Stop engine.


MX11253

4. Remove drain plug (A) and drain oil into container.

5. Install drain plug.


M86629

6. Remove dipstick (B), wipe clean.

7. Add to full level (C). Do not overflow.

• Oil capacity: 0.6 L (0.6 qt).

8. Wipe any spilled oil off mower.

Cleaning Spark Plug And Adjusting Electrode Gap

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.


MX11268

1. Disconnect plug wire (A) and remove plug.

2. Thoroughly clean plug using high flash-point solvent and wire brush.

3. Inspect plug for cracked porcelain, pitted or damaged electrodes, or other damage.

NOTE: In Canada, replace plug with a resistor plug.

4. Replace plug if necessary.


M85200

5. Check plug gap (B) with a round wire-type feeler gauge.

• Gap must be 0.7–0.8mm (0.028–0.031 in.).

• Change gap by moving only the outer electrode toward center electrode.

6. Install and tighten plug to 25 N•m (18 lb-ft).

7. Connect spark plug wire.

Adjusting Carburetor

NOTE: The 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.