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Believe it or not, oil in the fuel can be caused by many different components on a tractor’s engine. You will want to make sure you check every possible cause in order to properly trouble shoot the issue. If you are seeing oil in your fuel, here are some areas you will want to check first:

LT1551) Make sure you have no defective ignition components.
2) Check the spark plug: Do you have the correct one? Is the gap correct? Or maybe is it just time to replace it because it’s old or fouled.
3) Carburetor issues: Is it adjusted properly (you have it too lean), worn, plugged or have too much debris in it.
4) Does the air filter element have oil in it or is it clogged.
5) You may have worn or warped heads. If you have low compression, check the rings, valves and cylinder heads.
6) Is the choke, governor or throttle linkage worn out at all?
7) Make sure the carburetor is not set to rich.
8) Check on engine or valve seals. Make sure you don’t see any leaks at all!
9) Lastly, check the piston setup. Do you have broken or bent rings?

It will be best to first check what is easiest. If you see no glaring issues with the major engine components many times it’s a simple spark plug issue. So work your way through this list that way. Some things are just easier to check than others.

John Deere Mower BladeThere is more to a mower blade than most people realize. At first glance they seem overly simple, yet there is a lot going on here with that single blade of steel. I will not get into the engineering details of material selection, hardness, or other specifications here. But, what I will cover is some important basic details that one should know about in order to properly care for their blades. I am not going cover all the blade types, high lift, mulching, and such. If properly maintained you will have a smooth running and cutting blade. The blades and the deck need to act as one to lift the grass, cut it, and then discharge it.

Let’s first discuss a brand new blade and its cutting edge and length. Have you ever noticed when looking at a new blade the cutting edge is what would appear to most of us not sharp? This cutting edge and angle is actually at the perfect configuration for a clean and smooth cutting blade. Contrary to what most of us think, the cutting edge does not need to be razor sharp. In fact, a slight 1/32 blunt face will cut just fine and actually maintain its sharpness longer. The angle of the cutting edge is also important. If it is too steep the blade will not cut the grass, but tear it instead. If it is too shallow, it will dull quickly and not push the grass around to the deck discharge chute efficiently. This is why it is important to maintain the cutting angle when you sharpen your blades. Also, blades are measured diagonally from cutting tip through the mounting hole center to opposite cutting tip.

Now, let’s talk blade sharpening. The first thing I do after removal is to thoroughly clean the blade of all old dirt, grass, and grime. I then inspect the blade for wear and straightness. If bent, I straighten it if I can. If not, it is time for a new blade. I then clamp the blade in a vice and use a 4 inch angle grinder with a flap wheel. I have found this to be the easiest and fastest way to sharpen blades. As mentioned earlier, you must maintain the cutting angle and it does not need to be a razor sharp edge. Once both cutting edges are sharpened you need to check balance. This can be done with a very inexpensive balancer or something as simple as a nail in a vice. You of course will need to remove material from the heavier side to get good balance. If you ignore balancing, you’ll find you will have a very rough running deck. Not to mention you may experience prematurely replacing spindle bearings. Make note that each time you sharpen your blade you are also making it shorter.

One other thing you should be aware of when inspecting the blade. Make sure that the turned up wing behind the cutting edge is in good condition. If the undercut is excessive, you’ll have a very dangerous situation where the wing could become a flying projectile.

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John Deere Parts is a comprehensive parts lookup and database covering all John Deere tractors, equipment and implements going back to 1975. This system is the same internet site used at the parts counter at the dealerships. The system allows you to look up parts by model numbers, part numbers or partial part numbers. It is found on John Deere’s website under parts at JDParts .

In order to use JDParts you are required to signup using a username and password. This is to ensure your privacy and security of your orders and personal information. After registering and you have located your item, just add it to the “Shopping Cart”. Now you can get a price, see inventory, or even order it directly through your specified dealership for easy pickup. You may change your designated dealership at any time should it be required or needed. For example, you can change to another local dealer to view their inventory on a specific item and then change back to your regular dealer. You can also find what equipment a part is used on as a part can cross over several models. Once you are approved to use the system it is highly recommended to take the time to get comfortable getting around in the system as there is a huge amount of information to sift through. The “Help” section contains all of the detailed information on using JDParts such as, Frequently Asked Questions, Learn to use JDParts, Finding Parts, Using the Shopping Cart and Ordering Parts, Doing Business with your Dealer, and Updating your Profile.

JDParts is not just a part locator; it includes maintenance items such as oils, filters, coolant, greases, batteries and home maintenance kits. To which you can also order through the JDParts system. The system also contains some equipment accessories and data sheets of chemicals, oils, and greases.

This information is most easily obtained by the “Key Word” search function. Probably the most useful and powerful feature of the system is it displays the parts list breakdown of every machine subassembly along with any available options. But, the big bonus is the detailed exploded diagrams. You can locate and see exactly how the part fits into the assembly to aid you in maintenance and repair of your equipment.

Now let’s discuss what the system can not do. You cannot source or price what John Deere defines as “Whole Goods” through this parts system since these are not parts, but rather whole options or accessories like a Mid Mount Mower or Front End Loader for example. These items will have to be priced and sourced through the sales department at a local or online dealer. You may however obtain a list price of a “Whole Goods” item through the “Build Your Own” function in another section of the John Deere website. You also can not buy directly from the website; all sales are completed through an authorized dealership specified by you.

Here is a PDF showing you how to use JD Parts

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