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Service Engine


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


MIF

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

The following oils are preferred:

• John Deere TURF-GARD®

• John Deere PLUS-4®

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

• SAE5W-20

• SAE40

• SAE30

• SAE10W-30/SAE10W-40

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

• API Service Classification SF, SG, SH or SJ

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.

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

2. Allow engine to cool.

3. Raise seat.

4. Clean area around dipstick prior to removing it.


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5. Remove dipstick (A) from tube by unscrewing it. Wipe it clean.

6. Install dipstick in tube, but do not screw on to threads.

7. Remove dipstick. Check oil level on dipstick; oil level should be between the ADD and FULL marks.

• If oil is low, add oil to bring oil level no higher than the FULL mark on dipstick.

• If oil level is above the FULL mark, drain to proper level.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! To prevent extensive engine wear or damage, always maintain the proper engine oil level. Never operate the engine with the oil level below the add mark or over the full mark.


8. Install dipstick and tighten.

MODEL

Oil Capacity With Filter

717E

1.7 L (1.8 qt)


Changing Engine Oil and Filter

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 the oil more often if the vehicle is used in extreme conditions:

• Extremely dusty conditions.

• Frequent slow or low-speed operation.

• Frequent short trips.


1. Run engine to warm oil.

2. Park machine safely on a level surface. (See Parking Safely in the SAFETY section.)

3. Remove engine cover. (See Removing and Installing Engine Cover in the SERVICE ENGINE section.)


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4. Put container under drain valve (A).

5. Open drain valve (A).

6. Allow oil to drain into an oil drain pan.

7. After oil drains, close drain valve.

8. Remove oil filter (B). Turn filter counterclockwise to remove.

9. Apply a film of clean engine oil on gasket of new filter.

10. Install filter. Turn filter clockwise until gasket makes contact with mounting surface. Tighten 1/2 to 3/4 turn after gasket contact.


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11. Clean area around the oil dipstick (C).

12. Unscrew and remove the dipstick.

13. Add approximately 1.4 L (1.5 qt) of oil.

14. Install and tighten dipstick.

15. Start engine and run at slow throttle for approximately two minutes. Check for leaks around filter and drain plug.

16. Stop engine.

17. Check oil level:

• Remove and wipe dipstick clean with a rag.

• Install dipstick but do not screw onto threads.

• Remove dipstick. Check oil level on dipstick; oil level should be between the ADD and FULL marks. Add oil if needed.

18. Install dipstick and tighten.

19. Install engine cover.

Cleaning Engine Air Intake Screen and Fan

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! The engine is air-cooled and requires a large amount of air intake when running. Reduced air intake can cause overheating:

• Keep air intake screen and cooling fins clean.

• Keep covers and screens in place.


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

2. Remove engine cover. (See Removing and Installing Engine Cover in the SERVICE ENGINE section.)


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3. Clean air intake screen (A) with a rag, brush or compressed air.

4. Remove four nuts and washers (A) securing outer air intake screen (B).

5. Clean inner screen with rag, brush or compressed air.

6. Remove three nuts securing inner screen and remove inner screen.

7. Clean fan with rag, brush or compressed air.

8. Replace inner screen and install three nuts to secure it to engine.

9. Replace outer screen and install hardware to secure it to engine.

Checking and Cleaning Canister Style Air Cleaner Element

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Dirt and debris can enter the engine when removing the air cleaner elements. Service elements only at prescribed intervals.


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

2. Allow engine to cool.


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3. Release latches (A) and remove air cleaner canister cover (B).


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4. Remove and discard element (C). Replace with new element.

5. Install air cleaner canister cover with rubber dust unloading valve pointing downward.

Checking Spark Plugs

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! Do not clean spark plugs with abrasives.


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

2. Remove engine cover. (See Removing and Installing Engine Cover in the SERVICE ENGINE section.)

3. Clean area around both spark plugs.


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4. Disconnect the spark plug wire (A) from each plug.

5. Remove and inspect spark plugs:

• Clean each plug and check for damage, replace if necessary.

• If plugs are in good condition, check gap.


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6. Check and adjust spark plug gap (B) to 0.76 mm (0.030 in.).

7. Install spark plugs.

• Tighten to 22 N•m (16 ft-lb).

8. Install both spark plug wires.

9. Install engine cover.

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! To ensure proper cooling, keep the engine cooling fins and surrounding area clean at all times. Operating the engine with obstructed cooling fins could cause engine damage due to overheating.


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

2. Remove engine cover. (See Removing and Installing Engine Cover in the SERVICE ENGINE section.)

3. Remove spark plug wire from engine spark plug on both sides of engine.

4. Raise operator seat.

5. With compressed air, thoroughly clean grass buildup and debris from the following areas:


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• Engine cooling fins (A) at the front of the engine.

• Area (B) between engine and machine frame.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Do not clean spark plug area with spark plug removed.



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• Area behind each spark plug access hole (C).


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• Engine cooling fins (E) located under the air cleaner and above the muffler.

6. Install spark plug wires.

7. Install engine cover.

8. Lower seat.

Adjusting Carburetor

NOTE: Carburetor is calibrated by the engine manufacturer and is not adjustable.

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

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

Possible engine surging will occur at high throttle with transmission in “N” neutral and mower engagement lever disengaged. This is a normal condition due to the emission control system.

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

Replacing Fuel Filter

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

• Do not smoke while handling fuel.

• Keep fuel away from flames or sparks.

• Shut off engine before servicing.

• Cool engine before servicing.

• Work in a well-ventilated area.

• Clean up spilled fuel immediately.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Incorrect installation of fuel filter may cause engine damage. Install the filter with the arrow pointing in the direction of fuel flow for proper operation.


NOTE: Change fuel filter when fuel is low.

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

2. Allow engine to cool.

3. Remove engine cover. (See Removing and Installing Engine Cover in this section.)


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4. Turn fuel shutoff valve (A) to the OFF position.

5. Place a drain pan under hoses to catch any fuel that may be left in the hoses.

6. Disconnect fuel hose (B) from the outlet side of the fuel filter (C), and drain gasoline into a properly marked container.

7. Remove the fuel filter from the inlet fuel hose (D). Discard filter.

8. Install new fuel filter.

• Make sure fuel filter is installed with arrow pointing in direction of fuel flow.

9. Connect hoses to new fuel filter.

10. Turn fuel shutoff valve to the ON position.

11. Install engine cover.

Removing and Installing Engine Cover

Removing Engine Cover


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1. Remove engine front cover.

a. Remove cap screws and washers (A).

b. Remove front engine cover (B).

2. Remove engine rear cover.

a. Remove cap screws, washers and nuts (C).

b. Remove engine rear cover (D).

Installing Engine Cover

1. Install rear cover (D) with rubber seal around air cleaner.

2. Install cap screws, washers, and nuts (C). Tighten nuts.

3. Install front cover (B) with rubber seal around rear cover and air cleaner.

4. Install and tighten cap screws and washers (A).