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The new 1 series tractors from John Deere have taken the sub compact tractor market by storm. These machines are incredibly capable of many tasks and chores that many large suburbia home owners will have on their to-do list. In fact, once the new owner finds out how serious his new 1 series really is, he’ll be looking for more to do with it.

As popular as the new 1023E and 1026R have become, they do have some minor issues. As John Deere sells so many of these tractors, most, if not all issues have been corrected under warranty and on the assembly line. One of these issues happens to be a floppy hood. The original hood design has no side to side reinforcement and can flop around when open or trying to close it. The problem is more annoying than anything else. Once the hood is closed, there is no problem and one would never know there was an issue. Since the hood is mainly comprised of plastic, it would require a whole new design to strengthen and fix the issue. Instead, the smart engineers at John Deere came up with a clever solution. To my knowledge, they are also including this new part on the assembly line in Augusta GA. The solution is a metal reinforcement bar that spans across the hood and connects to both hinges. John Deere part number LVU26049 looks like this installed.

#2 in this diagram

If your dealer doesn’t know of this new part, give them John Deere solution number 90947.

Another issue with the new 1 series hood is the hood latch itself. Some owners are having problems with the hood not latching closed. Others have a rattling hood which is traced back to the hood not fully closed when it seems as though it is. When the hood isn’t fully closed, the loose fit allows the hood to vibrate on both sides of the radiator screen. Unfortunately there is no adjustment available to correct the poor fitting latch.

Once again the engineers at John Deere have come to the rescue and solved this problem with a newly designed part. The new hood latch striker part number is LVA18316. Installation couldn’t be any easier with only two bolts. It should be available at your purchasing dealer at no charge for the part or installation under a warranty claim.

Once these new parts are installed on your new 1026R or 1023E, the floppy, loose fitting, and noisy hood issues are a thing of the past.

John Deere PlowNo matter what tractor you have, the initial tire setting for a 12 inch plow is 23 1/2 inches from the center of the draw bar of the tractor to the inside of the right rear tire. 14 inch plow is 25 inches and 16 inch is 27 inches. You can compensate a little if you are off on these measurements by sliding the plow A-Frame on the plow crossbar.

Once you get to the field, lower the plow and make 1 pass, plowing about as deep as you need. Then the second pass, let your right rear tire drop down into the furrow, lower your plow and start the second furrow. Now, get off the tractor and adjust your right leveling crank assembly on your tractor 3 point until the plow is level with the field, left to right. Next adjust your top link until your plow is level with the field front to back.

Now, plow this furrow to the end and on the 3rd furrow fine tune your plow again by repeating the last procedure. All plows should have cross hitch bars that have the right pin down and the left pin upward (standing behind the plow looking forward). This offset is approx 3-4 inches and is built into the plow.

In extra hard plowing conditions, you can loosen you cross hitch bar clamps and rotate it maybe 10-15 degrees to the back and if the plowing is easy then you can rotate the cross hitch bar the opposite way 10-15 degrees. By doing this final adjustment, the plow will do its best job with less strain on the tractor.

When a plow is set correctly, It will follow the centerline of the tractor perfectly without your riding the brakes and it completely turn over the soil.

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It seems a few owners haven’t gotten their new 1 series tractors equipped with either the 54 or 60D mower setup correctly. This will explain how to do it yourself for the best possible mower performance! Most if not all of this information can be found in the John Deere Owner’s Manuals for the mower and the tractor. The procedure is the same for the 54″ and 60″ decks, mechanical or independent lift. There is one additional step for mechanical lift equipped tractors. More on that later…

First you’re going to need a few tools. A 1 1/8″ wrench, a tape measure or better yet the JD mower leveling gauge p/n AM130907. The tractor needs to be parked on a smooth and level surface.

-This step is for mechanical lift equipped tractors only-  To adjust MMM rockshaft lift strap (located between 3PH rockshaft and MMM rockshaft behind left rear wheel) you remove the mower and remove the hair pin clips and pins (D) to disconnect the lift links (E) from both lift arms. Raise the 3PH fully. Rotate mower cut height knob to lock position. Remove left rear wheel. (You might be able to skip this if you can reach the 3 bolts on the lifting strap.) Loosen the three bolts on the lift strap. Rotate mid mount rockshaft (B) forward until there is a small gap (A) between the the height cam (C) and mid mount rockshaft (B). Move lift strap forward to the end of travel slot and tighten the three bolts. (I’d use 1/16″ to 1/8″ for a goal for this gap.) Reinstall left rear wheel and mower.

First you want to adjust the side lift links (E) for maximum lift. To do this you’ll want to start the tractor and raise the mower all the way. Rotate the mower height adjustment knob to the lock position. Now look at the mower height cam (C) above the left rear mower latch. It’s just behind the left rear tire. You want to see a gap at “A”. I’ve found that a gap of about 1/8″ is perfect.

To get this gap set right you first need to unlock all anti-scalp wheels, turn the mower height adjustment knob to the “install” position, and then lower the deck to the ground. Then remove the hair pin clips and pins (D) and adjust both links (E) up equally. Now you need to raise the mower fully and check for the gap (A) between the height cam (C) and the rock shaft arm (B). Repeat this process until you get close to 1/8″.
Here is the gap on my tractor.

The next picture shows the mower resting on the height cam “lock” position.

Now we are going to adjust side to side level. Set your mower height adjustment knob to your desired mowing height and lower your mower. Measure your blade height and adjust the same side links to achieve level within 1/8″ to 1/4″. I was able to achieve the same measurement on both sides. I usually mow at 3″ and marked the scale accordingly.

   

After you’ve set level side to side, recheck your maximum height setting. Here is my tractor at full travel, mower resting on the lock position, and install position.

To adjust front to rear level we’ll need your mower at your desired mowing height. Measure a blade from the front and at the rear. It doesn’t matter which blade. The optimal setting is 1/8″ to 1/4″ front lower than the rear. This reduces friction on the rear of the blades and make the front of the blade do all of the cutting and discharging. The front draft arms will adjust front to rear leveling. First lower the deck to the install position and loosen the rear draft arm nuts with the 1 1/8″ wrench. (The nuts closest to the mower.) It may help to drive the tractor off of the mower just to loosen the rear nuts. Raise the mower back to the desired mowing height. Tighten the front nuts the same amount (it helps to count flats) to raise the front of the deck. Loosening lowers the front of the deck. Double check your front to rear level once you got the draft arm adjustment nuts tight.

The Auto-Connect carrier bearing needs to be adjusted for easy connection as well. If you remove the mower it will be easier. Lower the mower/mower lift arms all the way to the install position. There is an adjustment bolt under the bearing to adjust for between perpendicular to the ground to leaning ever so slightly forward. I found this makes for the best connection.

Now it’s time to go mow your yard and enjoy your tractor!

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