How to Change the Deck Belt on a John Deere Riding Lawn Mower

How to Change the Deck Belt on a John Deere Riding Lawn Mower

When the deck belt on your John Deere riding lawn mower begins to make noise, slip, or snap, it’s time to replace it. It’s a good idea to stay on top of maintenance and repairs to extend the life of your mower. Though changing the deck belt on your lawn mower may seem overwhelming, it’s a relatively easy task. Here’s how to change the deck belt on a John Deere riding lawn mower.

Before performing any maintenance on your John Deere lawn mower, refer to your operator’s manual for maintenance, safety information, and instructions for your machine. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your riding lawn mower model our instructions may vary slightly.

Before changing the deck belt, make sure your lawn mower is parked on a flat, level surface. Shut off the engine, remove the key from the ignition, and disconnect the spark plug wire to prevent accidental starting.

Once this is done, raise the deck height lever to the highest setting. Place wooden blocks under each side of the mower deck to prepare for deck removal. Lower the deck height lever to its lowest position so the mower deck rests on the blocks.

Disconnect the deck lift linkages by removing the pins and washers. Remove the linkages from the deck, disconnect the rear draft arm, and disconnect the mower deck belt to remove the deck from the mower. Remove the wooden blocks and allow the deck wheels to touch the ground. Slide the deck from underneath the mower.

Remove the belt covers by removing the screws that hold it in place. Loosen the sheaves and remove the old deck belt. Replace it with a new John Deere deck belt.

Route the deck belt around the sheaves and pulleys, following the same path as the belt you removed. Replace the belt covers and screw them into place, and re-tighten the sheaves with the belt in position.

Place the deck height lever in the transport position to reattach the mower deck. Slide the deck back under the machine. Reinstall the pins and washers to reattach the linkage to the deck, and reattach the rear draft arm to the deck.

Lastly, reconnect the spark plug ignition wire and start the mower.

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How to Install a Mulch Kit on a John Deere Tractor

How to Install a Mulch Kit on a John Deere Tractor

Mulch kits can give your John Deere tractor more value during the spring. Mulch kits generally include mulching blades and a mulching plug, along with necessary hardware for installation. The mulch blades chop grass clippings into smaller pieces than the standard blades, and those smaller pieces decompose faster and help return nutrients back into the soil, keeping your grass healthy. Continue reading to learn how to install a mulch kit on your John Deere tractor.

Depending on your model number, these instructions may vary.  Be sure to refer to your owner’s manual for detailed instructions.

To install a mulch kit on a John Deere tractor, begin by removing the mower blades. Use a Jungle Jack or other form of jack to lift the front of your mower to create space under the mower deck. Raise the deck to the highest setting. Remove the center holding nut from the mower blade with a wrench. Use a gloved hand to keep the blade from turning while removing the nut. Save the nut for installing the mulching blade. Repeat this blade removal step for the mower blade on the other side of the deck.

Now that the old blades have been removed, it’s time to replace them with the new blades included in the mulch kit. Place the center hole of the mulching blade over the mounting stud on the underside of the mower deck. Make sure the cutting end of the blade faces forward when spinning in a clockwise direction. Use your gloved hand to hold the blade in place while tightening the holding nut with your wrench. Repeat this step to install the mulching blade on the other side of the deck as well.

To install the mulch plug on your John Deere tractor, lift the discharge chute up. Place the mulch plug into the deck discharge chute opening with the carriage bolt threads facing upward.  Fit the mulch plug onto the mower deck lip and remove the tape from the metal deflector and discharge chute so that it falls into place. Insert the carriage bolt into the mounting hole on the lower left side of the mower deck. Tighten the locking wing nut.

You are now ready to use your John Deere tractor as a mulcher. In the future, if you want to mow without mulching, remove the mulch plug, and you will not need to change the blades.

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The History of John Deere Lawn Mowers

The History of John Deere Lawn Mowers

John Deere Lawn Mowers

John Deere has been producing lawn mowers for homeowners and landscapers for over 50 years. Hundreds of new models have been introduced throughout this period and that has played a huge role in the evolution of John Deere equipment today. Read more to understand the history behind John Deere lawn mowers.

John Deere Lawn Mowers – 1960s

John Deere broke into the lawn tractor market in 1963, introducing the model 110, with a 4-stroke petrol-fueled engine with 7 horsepower. Due to its ergonomic design and futuristic features, like Variable Speed Drive, the 110 became a big seller.

During the 1960s, lawn mowing was becoming a more popular leisure activity so John Deere was prompted to dive into the marketplace by offering similar features and implements that the bigger farming tractors incorporated.

After the 100 lawn mower proved successful, the John Deere 60 model was introduced shortly after. This mower was designed for operators in urban areas who had less land and didn’t need the larger 110 model. The 60 was designed for lawn work and not heavy workloads like the 110. The 60 model offered a variety of attachments, making it a versatile machine for its time. The attachments included pull a behind sprayer, model 80 dump cart, snow blade, and snow thrower.

Continuing on the success of the 110, John Deere introduced the 112 model, a larger model that carried a similar style as the 110 but with a bigger motor and wider deck. The 112 was designed for those who needed a machine for larger jobs than the 110 and 60 were capable of.

John Deere also introduced the John Deere 140 shortly after. This model was known for having a lot of power for such a small machine. With a 14 hp Kohler engine and hydrostatic transmission, the 140 was ahead of its time, and capable of accomplishing all kinds of yard work.

John Deere Lawn Mowers – 1970s

While a few existing models that were introduced in the 1960s were upgraded in the early 1970s, John Deere took on major advancements in 1975 when the 200, 300 and 400 Series riding lawn mowers were produced. These machines provided customers with new and exciting features including engine options between 8-16 horsepower, new style hood and grill, integral headlights, engine side panels, and power steering.

John Deere Lawn Mowers – 1980s

In 1984, John Deere introduced the 430, the first tractor to combine a diesel engine with hydrostatic drive and power steering.  This model made quite the impression in the tractor industry, featuring a powerful Yanmar 3-cylinder water-cooled diesel engine instead. The 430 weighed 1,170 lbs, making it the heaviest and strongest John Deere machine of its time.

During the 1980s, the 300 Series was redesigned and many new features were added from the rear-frame redesign from “closed” to “open” configuration and square-shaped fender deck to the reserve fuel tank for increased productivity.

During this time, John Deere manufactured its millionth lawn and garden tractor and introduced the R Series and S Series, designed for customers working both small and large pieces of land.

The R Series was a good fit for those handling smaller areas and included features like a 5-speed gear-drive transmission and tight turning radius of 27 inches. The S Series, for those with bigger areas to cover, incorporated an electric start, 30-inch cutting width and 8 horsepower engines.

John Deere Lawn Mowers – 1990s

In the 1990s John Deere manufactured its 2 millionth lawn tractor with the LX188 model and its 3 millionth tractor with the LT133. The LT Series, LX Series, and GT and GX Series were crucial to the history of John Deere lawn mowers.

The LT Series became one of the most popular John Deere mowers ever. Operators were given wider cuts and a greater amount of fuel. John Deere placed more emphasis on comfort with the adjustable operator seat for those who spent long hours on their equipment.

The LX Series was known for its versatility, allowing owners to use a variety of attachments to handle a variety of projects around the yard. The GT and GX Series were the perfect fit for those who needed more power and size to complete yard tasks. These machines could hook up to other implements like snow blowers and baggers, and a variety of rear attachments like aerators and utility carts.

John Deere Lawn Mowers – 2000s

Some of the biggest product announcements made in the 2000s were the LA Series and the X Series. The LA Series models catered to medium and large lawns. Key features included the full-length steel welded frame, headlights, comfortable operator station, and Edge Cutting system. This series also incorporates John Deere’s trademarked CargO Mount system, which allows users to easily attach large baggers or other heavy rear-mounted equipment.

The technology is what sets the X Series models apart. These machines transfer power to the wheels through the hydrostatic transmission to save time during operation and eliminate unnecessary gear-changing to speed up or slow down.

Take a look at all the John Deere lawn mowers that were introduced throughout the years.

About Green-Parts-Direct stocks a wide inventory of parts for John Deere power equipment. Our comprehensive parts selection allows us to provide quick response times and help you confidently find the parts you need.

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The Difference Between High-Lift Blades and Mulching Blades

The Difference Between High-Lift Blades and Mulching Blades

It goes without saying that the most important function of your lawn mower is to cut your grass.  The biggest factor in getting the results you want is which type of lawn mower blade you choose to work with. We understand that lawn mower blade terminology can be confusing at times, but there are two styles of blades you should be aware of – high-lift blades, mulching blades.

High-lift blades

High-lift blades are also referred to as 2-in-1 – discharging & bagging – blades. High-lift blades are designed for to create higher-lifting airflow. They assist in cutting grass and discharging the grass clippings out from the deck to fall back onto your lawn. These blades can be identified by a drastic upward angle on the back end of the blade. This helps to propel the clippings through the discharge chute to the back of the bag, which reduces clogging and frustration.

Mulching blades

Mulching blades cut the grass into extremely small particles, eliminating the need to unload heavy bags or pick up clumps of clippings. This method of cutting has a positive effect on the health of your lawn because the mulching blades provide a fine layer of clippings that can become a natural fertilizer. That fertilizer replenishes the soil with nutrients that your grass has absorbed over the season.

Mulching blades are designed with a more curved style surface. They are also referred to as 3-in-1 – mulching, discharging & bagging – blades. These blades are used with mulch kits, for dedicated mulching. Mulch kits generally consist of mulching blades, a mulching plug which closes off the discharge opening to keep grass clippings contained under the deck for re-cutting, and any necessary hardware for installation.

Ultimately, there is not one lawn mower blade that can do it all as well as the lawn mower blade specifically designed for the method you wish to use. You can search our Parts by Type to purchase your lawn mower blade.

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How to Use John Deere Maintenance Kits

How to Use John Deere Maintenance Kits

Staying on top of maintenance is essential to maximizing the performance and life of your outdoor power equipment. John Deere makes it easy to tune-up your tractor all on your own. They also make it easy to match a kit to your specific tractor model by listing the model on the box so you’ll never have to worry about missing parts necessary for maintenance.

Most John Deere Maintenance Kits include:

2 quarts oil

1 oil filter

1 air filter

1 fuel filter

Air precleaner

Spark plugs(s)

Additional tools (not included in Maintenance Kits):

Oil filter wrench

Drain pan



Socket wrench

Spark plug gap gauge


Here’s how to perform maintenance on your John Deere tractor using a John Deere Maintenance Kit.

Change the oil and oil filter

Drain the old oil by running your tractor’s engine for a couple minutes so that the oil flows better. Set your drain pan on the ground to catch the old oil. Remove the drain cap and allow the oil to drain completely. Once the oil has been drained, remove the dipstick and use a towel/rag to wipe off old oil.

Before replacing the oil filter, use your towel or rag to clean the area around the filter and then place the drain pan under the filter tray. Remove the old filter and gasket and make sure to dispose of it properly. Rub a light coat of fresh oil on the new filter gasket and screw on the new filter by hand, until the rubber gasket makes contact with the filter base. Then tighten the filter another half turn to make sure it’s secure.

Next, install the drain cap and pour in the new oil, but make sure not to fill it past the full mark. Run the engine again to make sure you don’t have any leaks, and ensure proper fill by checking the dipstick.

Change the air filter

Before replacing the air filter, make sure the engine is cool. You should also brush away any debris covering the air intake screen. Take off the air filter cover then remove the air filter and the precleaner. If your maintenance kit comes with a replacement precleaner, use the new one (to make sure, check your operator’s manual). Put in the new air filter and reinstall the cover.

Change the fuel filter

First, make sure you are in a well-ventilated area and that the engine on your tractor is cool. Check the fuel lines to see if they look worn or cracked. If so, have them replaced. Look at the arrow on the old fuel filter – it shows the gas flow. Make sure the arrow on the new filter goes the same direction as the arrow on the old filter.

Use your pliers to move the clamps away from the filter. Pull off the hoses, gas tank side first, and quickly attach the hoses to the new filter, gas tank side first. Use the pliers again to put the hose clamps back in their original place. Run the engine for a couple minutes and check for leaks.

Change the spark plugs

Pull off the plug wires and use the wrench to loosen the plugs. Remove the plugs and use the spark plug gauge to set the right gap (your operator’s manual will show you the proper gap size). Install the new spark plugs finger tight and then use the wrench to fully tighten the spark plugs. Lastly, reinstall the plug wires.

Sharpen/Replace Blades

Blades are not included in John Deere Maintenance Kits but whenever you perform regular maintenance you should sharpen your blades or replace them if they’re worn. You can sharpen your blades on your own or bring them to a professional.

John Deere Maintenance Kits will keep your equipment running like new year after year. They come with everything you need to service you lawn equipment so stay on top of maintenance to see the best results with your equipment and your lawn.

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4 Summer Lawn Care Must Haves

Summer Lawn Care Must Haves-[Green Parts Direct]Whether you own multiple acres of land or live on a small lot, there’s one thing that unites all John Deere owners—the desire to have a great-looking lawn. Keeping up with a perfect yard may seem like a daunting task, but with the right tools, it’s easy to make your lawn stand out in a great way. To learn more, check out our four must-haves for top-notch summer lawn care:

Summer Lawn Care Must Have #1: A Sharp Lawn Mower Blade

We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: keeping a sharp blade on your John Deere mower is essential to maintaining a healthy lawn. Mowing with a dull or chipped blade can result in torn grass, brown patches, and an uneven lawn height—things that affect not only the look of your lawn, but also its physical condition. To avoid problems, make sure to regularly sharpen or replace your lawn mower blade for peak performance (Click here to shop John Deere lawn mower blades).

Summer Lawn Care Must Have #2: A Maneuverable Line Trimmer

A line trimmer can help you reach small tufts of grass that are difficult to cut with a lawn mower. Use a trimmer around fences, swing sets, and other obstacles to keep messy-looking overgrowth from dominating your yard (Click to find parts for your John Deere trimmer).

Summer Lawn Care Must Have #3: A Quality Edger

If you’re looking for a quick way to make your lawn stand out, use an edger along sidewalks, driveways, and patios. An edger will create clean, professional-looking borders and leave your neighbors thinking you hired a landscaping crew (Find edger parts here).

Summer Lawn Care Must Have #4: A Powerful Lawn & Leaf Blower

Clean-up is a necessary part of any project—yard work included. Once you’re done cutting your lawn, use a lawn and leaf blower to remove grass clippings and other organic debris from paths and walkways. This will save time on sweeping and make your finished achievements look effortless (Locate lawn and leaf blower parts here).

For questions on selecting the right parts for your equipment, comment below or contact us here.

About Green-Parts-Direct stocks a wide inventory of parts for John Deere power equipment. Our comprehensive parts selection allows us to provide quick response times and help you confidently find the parts you need.

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Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower in 5 Simple Steps

Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower-[Green Parts Direct]Excited to start up your John Deere lawn mower but want to make sure it’s in peak condition before taking on your yard? We’re here to get you started! Use our checklist below to tune up your John Deere Lawn Mower and make sure it performs exceptionally all season long.

1. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Drain Old Fuel and Change the Oil

Typically, fuel should be drained from your John Deere lawn mower before putting it into winter storage each year, but if there is any leftover fuel from last season left in the tank, make sure you drain it now. Because old fuel can separate into deposits and clog the carburetor, it is possible that you will discover some damage as you inspect your mower (if you find that any parts have been damaged, you can search for replacement parts here). Next, change the oil to help ensure engine longevity and better performance.

2. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Clean or Replace the Air Filter

Depending on what type of air filter you have, you can boost performance by cleaning or replacing the filter. Foam filters can be washed with hot water and dish soap, while paper filters should be replaced once they are no longer usable. To determine if your paper filter is in working condition, remove it from your mower, tap off excess dust, and hold it up to a bright light. If the light shines through the filter, it is clean enough to put back on your mower. If you cannot see any light, the filter is dirty and should be replaced.

3.  Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Change the Spark Plug

Ideally, spark plugs should be replaced each year or after 100 hours of use, whichever comes first. Although spark plugs rarely go bad, they are good indicators of underlying engine problems and as a result should always be taken care of. Use a crescent wrench or pair of vise grips to turn the metal base and remove the spark plug, then place a few drops of oil into the open cylinder. Start the engine a few times to coat inside valves, then replace your old spark plug with a new one. Remember to use the same part number, as there are many types of spark plugs available as you work with different equipment (click here to find spark plugs).

4. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Sharpen Blades

Sharp blades can make a huge difference in cut quality. Check blades for excessive dents, chips, or wearing that could have an impact on mowing performance, and sharpen or replace depending on severity of damage.

5. Tune Up Your John Deere Lawn Mower: Double-Check Bolts, Wheels, Cables, and Belts

Finally, inspect your John Deere for any loose bolts, worn cables or belts, or damaged wheels. Tighten, repair, and replace as needed to help avoid future problems that could pop up later in the mowing season (click here to find parts by illustrated diagram).

Paying attention to these important tips can help you stay on top of your John Deere lawn mower maintenance and enhance the quality of your lawn all season. For questions about replacement parts, you can contact us here. Best of luck, and let the mowing begin!

Charles Deere: The Man Behind John Deere’s Commercial Success

Green Parts Direct - Charles DeereSure, you’ve heard of John Deere, the name behind the famous brand many have come to know and love. But do you know about the other Deere who was responsible for the company’s successful growth before and during the turn of the 20th century? That man, otherwise referred to as John Deere’s son, was better known as Charles Deere.

John Deere’s second son, Charles Deere, was born in 1837, the same year that John Deere created his trademark self-cleaning plow from an old steel saw blade. Although this coincidence may now seem like an omen to the contributions Charles Deere would one day make to the company, the Deere family did not initially plan for Charles to assume a management role. In fact, it was John Deere’s eldest son, Francis Albert, who planned to one day take over the family business. That all changed, however, when Francis unexpectedly died during a flu outbreak at age 18. Assuming his older brother’s role, Charles Deere attended business school and in 1854, began working at his father’s company.

A natural at bookkeeping, Charles Deere advanced quickly in managing the company’s finances and soon moved on to become head of sales. In this role, Charles combined his knack for business with an extensive knowledge of plows to demonstrate equipment and win over new customers.

After years of prosperity under Charles’ direction, the Deere business hit a rough patch during the “Panic of 1857.” During this time, many businesses faced economic hardship—and the Deere business was no exception. Faced with overspending in production and manufacturing costs, John Deere turned company leadership over to Charles, who used his know-how to guide finances in the right direction. This overhaul included reorganizing the business into a partnership called John Deere & Company, which John Deere and Charles Deere shared equally with colleagues Luke Hemenway and David Bugbee. This strategy allowed the Deeres to manage more money within the family, avoiding personal bankruptcy in the event that something should happen to the business.

To ensure future success of John Deere & Company, Charles Deere remained in a leadership role even though his father held on to the official title of company president. It was under Charles’ management that the company continued to prosper, giving birth to new branch houses across the country. Through his father’s death in 1886 until his own passing in 1907, Charles Deere also helped expand a product line that included over 300 models of plows and other various types of farm equipment. Today, Deere & Company continues to serve customers in agricultural and landscaping professions, providing quality products that deliver superior results.

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Charles Deere

John Deere Air Filter Maintenance

Your John Deere Mower’s air filter will need to be replaced at least once a year.  This will ensure that your mower will continue to run to the best of its ability.  Follow these steps to keep your mower it tip-top shape:

  • use your hand and a brush to clear the intake screen
  • make sure to do the cleaning when the engine is cold
  • check the air filter’s paper element
  • if dirty, remove and discard (it cannot be cleaned)
  • if foam pre-cleaner is dirty, rinse in warm water and liquid soap
  • squeeze excess water and then gently squeeze in dry towel until dry
  • clean pre-cleaner’s area and then reinstall
  • insert new air filter and cover (read operator’s manual for help)