Archive for years
Properly maintaining your John Deere Hydrostatic Tractor will help to ensure that it will last a very long time. Failure to keep up with the maintenance of any machine will only mean more mechanical issues down the road.
The first thing you will want to do is check the engine components, like the air intake system, fuel, lubrication and ignition systems.
1) Do a thorough clean of the air intake and engine.
2) Do a compression check.
3) Check the valve-to-tappet clearance while the engine is cold.
4) Make sure the cylinder heads are free from carbon and cleaned.
5) Check the break points and adjust as needed.
6) Check and adjust the timing.
7) Make sure the spark plug is clean and okay.
8) Adjust carburetor, then adjust it to the governor rod.
9) Check and adjust governor linkage.
10) Check the air cleaner.
11) Check engine oil pressure.
12) Adjust the PTO.
13) Change the oil and the oil filter.
14) Check the battery and battery connections.
1) Make sure the brakes are adjusted properly.
2) Check and change/refill transmission fluid as needed.
3) Lube grease fittings.
4) Adjust the hydrostatic linkage.
5) Test the hydraulic system.
6) Adjust steering as needed.
7) Make sure the wiring looks clean and is all connected properly.
8) Check all the belts and make sure all fittings are tightened as needed.
9) Make sure the tire pressure is correct.
Take care of your John Deere and it will take care of you and your property for years, maybe a lifetime!
Over the past several years lawnmower manufacturers have been changing the design of the lawnmower deck and how it functions. Originally the decks were designed to rest on the ground with its gauge wheels supporting it. This allows the ground to completely control the contour and height of the cut directly related to the deck. The new designs now suspend the deck from the tractor with the gauge wheels set at about a quarter inch above the ground when the blades are set to the proper cutting height. The difference here is the tractor wheels now control the contour and height of cut. The gauge wheels only prevent scalping of uneven ground. I myself really prefer the new designs as I feel a much better finished result is achieved.
Now let us focus in on the deck maintenance. The majority of the deck maintenance is the same regardless of the mounting design. For example, cleaning, lubrication, blade sharpening, bearing and belt inspection and replacement are all the same as before. And basically, so is gauge wheel inspection and maintenance. The gauge wheels should need replacing less often without the deck being supported by them less often.
OK, now on to the major difference of these two designs. I was wondering if anyone else heeds the advice of their operator’s manual for their mower deck. I currently own a 62C and 72 John Deere mower decks. The 62C is mounted on a 2305 John Deere tractor and the 72 is mounted on a 2520 John Deere tractor. Both of my owner’s manuals have detailed procedures for leveling the mower deck front to back and side to side. I just did a recheck on mine and they were both in need of adjustment. The 62C needed the front to back tweaked and the 72 needed the side to side. I cannot recommend more highly the use of the leveling gauge sold by John Deere. What a great inexpensive tool. It really makes the job go so much more smoothly. Incidentally, I did check the level of both decks as delivered straight from the dealer when new and found that they did require some slight adjusting at that time as well. I am thinking that a level check is only needed every couple of years, or unless there is sufficient reason to do so sooner.
I find that doing my maintenance in the fall after the mowing season is finished works the best for me. I clean, inspect, and fix all that needs attention. I also sharpen and balance the blades at this time. Then come spring, all I have to do is mount the decks and mow. I do however check my level at this point rather than the fall. Having well maintained and leveled mower decks really yields premium results in a well groomed lawn.
After months of looking and reading, more looking and more reading, I am starting to see what i really need to look at for size and capability of a compact tractor. These guys might be smaller than their agricultural brothers, but they carry a price tag that demands research.
Some of the questions you need to know the answers to.
How many acres of land will I be using my tractor on? Not only how large is my land, but also what type of land is it. Does it have a lot of hills, wet spots, thick woods, rocks? All of these things go into what type of tractor you might want. For example, Hilly terrain will call for a wider tractor with a low center of gravity.
What problem will be cause with a too small or too large of a tractor? I’m most cases, a smaller tractor can do most of what a larger one can, but it will take more time. As you get larger, you have to deal with a heavier and physically larger tractor that cannot get close to homes and trees as easily. Most on line tractor selectors will ask you how much lawn mowing or material you need to move in how much time. The more you have to do in less time, the larger the tractor. Be sure to think of all the tasks you want to do with this tractor because most people will size it correctly to mow grass, but not to till a garden, push snow, or move gravel.
What features or attachments will I need? Once you have a grip on the size tractor you need and you start to configure your tractor, don’t freak out! Ask for help with words that you don’t understand. Specific brands use different words that describe things most tractors have. They list electronic PTO clutch or Motion Match as benefits, but how do they benefit you? Look on the manufacturer’s website, or get involved in a forum where people can help you understand what these options do. Also try to size the implements you purchase to your tractor. John Deere does a good job of listing compatible implements with the tractors on their site. Be sure to think outside the box, especially if this is your first tractor. most people will find that they are very handy and will use them for way more than they expected.
What tires do I need? You can read for hours on this! From my reading, I have found that the R1 tires, or agricultural tires, have the most traction. They are normally narrower than the others and they can tear up areas that you drive one easily. R4 tires are called industrial and are wider than R1s but are made to be easier on grass and other soft materials. They also seem to be made to last longer due to their higher strength sidewall and thicker tread. These are the middle of the road tire. They seem to do a lot of things good, but nothing great. Lastly there is R3s, these are known as turf tires. Most people purchase these for lawn use only as they have little impact on grass. Most compact tractor users use R4s since they do a ton of different things and need a tire that they can mow the lawn with but still be able to work in the garden.
What conditions will I need to use my tractor in? Most of us home use people can decide when they need to use the tractor and can avoid rain and snow. Does your condition or financial position allow for a cab with heat or air conditioning? Different size tractors may come with cabs or you can get aftermarket cabs for the smaller ones.
Do I need 4WD? 4wd is critical if you want to use a loader on the front of the tractor. For basic mowing on relatively level ground, 4WD doesn’t really offer any advantages, and it may do even more damage to finished lawns than 2-wheel drive tractors. The only time 2wheel drive is clearly a better choice is when driving the tractor for long distances at road speeds. Performance and maintenance requirements are about the same in both options. In almost all cases, the bigger price tag of 4WD tractors is worth the investment. Tractors with 4WD will usually have substantially better resale values.
What Transmission? While manual transmissions used to be the standard for tractors, now the hydrostatic transmission, which allows clutch-free operation in a range of speeds, has become far more common than in years past. Hydrostatic transmissions are the best choice if the primary operators of the tractor aren’t familiar with using manual transmissions. However, they’re more expensive, and they reduce the available horsepower slightly when compared to manual transmissions. If your operators are comfortable with using a clutch, you can save some money and get a little more power out of your tractor by choosing a manual transmission. Depending on the work you do, a hydrostatic might be easier. The rule of thumb is that if your work is mostly in a straight ling, go with a gear machine. If you have turns and do a lot of forward and reverse, go hydro.
I hope this helps you to choose the proper tractor for your use. Do the research and stand by your decision, but mostly, enjoy doing every minute of it.
Here are the charts showing John Deere Lawn & Garden Tractor models by year and serial number. The charts are broken up by decades, i.e. one chart for the 1960s, one chart for the 1970s, etc. If you are searching for parts, this can be very helpful.