How to Level a John Deere Riding Lawn Mower Deck

How to Level a John Deere Riding Lawn Mower Deck

When mowing around your home and businesses, pay attention to the recently mowed lawn. If you notice ridges forming where you recently mowed, the deck on your lawn mower may not be leveled. Luckily, leveling your mower deck is not a time consuming task, allowing you to get back to cutting the grass in no time.

Before performing any maintenance on your riding lawn mower, refer to your owner’s manual for maintenance and safety information. Maintenance instructions vary by model. Depending on your riding lawn mower model, our instructions may vary slightly so refer to your owner’s manual for more specific instructions.

Before you begin leveling your lawn mower deck follow these safety instructions. Park your mower on a hard, flat surface and shut the engine off. Set the parking brake to prevent your machine from rolling back, injuring you or others. Remove the ignition key to prevent accidental starting and wear heavy leather gloves since you’re working near mower blades.

Tools you’ll need:

  • Exact Adjust wrench
  • 18 mm wrench
  • Tire pressure gauge
  • Mower gauge

Here’s what to do:

Before starting, make sure the tires on your John Deere mower are inflated. Check your owner’s manual for information on tire pressure numbers.

John Deere Tractors

Raise the mower and place the mower cutting height knob at the position specified for deck leveling. Lower the mower and check that the mower wheels are not making contact with the ground and raise if necessary. Place the mower gauge under the mower at the adjustment point near the left rear corner. If your tractor does not make contact with the gauge, adjust the deck accordingly.

Check the mower front to back level at the front adjustment point on the front left deck hanger bracket. If necessary, use the 18 mm wrench to loosen the rear nuts on each of the front lift rods. Turn the nuts on each side until the gauge slips under the front adjustment point.

Fully raise the tractor and adjust the height control knob to the desired height, then lower the machine. Adjust the wheels so they’re at least 1/4 inch off the ground. The wheels will carry the mower deck over higher areas in the lawn to give it an even cut.

John Deere Zero Turns

Make sure the mower is parked and then mount the mower. Raise the deck into the transport position. Make sure the anti-scalp wheels are not making contact with the ground.

Lower the deck to 76 mm (3 inches). Position the right mower blade on the discharge side in the front to rear position. Once the blades are in the correct position, measure the distance between the front blade tip to the ground. Use the mower gauge to check the mower blade level. The front blade tip should be 76 mm, with a tolerance of +/- 2 mm.

Move to the other side of your zero turn and position the mower blade in the front to rear position. Measure the blade’s tip to make sure it is 76 mm as well.

If one side is lower than the other, loosen the jam nut on the adjustment rod and turn the rod tube as needed to bring the tip into the proper position. When satisfied, lock the jam nut to secure the setting. Re-check both sides of the deck after the adjustment has been made to ensure it is within specification.

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Maintenance Tips for John Deere Zero Turn Riders

Maintenance Tips for John Deere Zero Turn Riders

Your John Deere zero turn rider takes care of your lawn all summer long, and you need to take care of your machine in return. Over time, normal wear and tear occurs and things don’t run or function like they used to. Regular maintenance is the key. With regular maintenance, your John Deere will have a long, healthy life so use these tips to keep your zero turn rider running like new.

Before performing any maintenance on your zero turn, refer to your operator’s manual as it lists the required maintenance, safety information, and instructions for your machine. Maintenance instructions vary by model, so depending on your zero turn rider model number our instructions may vary slightly.

Make sure you engage the parking brake, stop the engine and allow the engine to cool before performing any maintenance on your John Deere zero turn rider.

Air filter maintenance

Wipe away any debris from around the air cleaner area and open the cover. Remove the air filter and gently tap it to dislodge any dirt and debris. Never use compressed air to blow an air filter out because it will open the pours of the paper and let dirt into the engine.

Inspect the air filter and if dirt is deeply embedded in the pleats or there is obvious wear and tear, it’s time to replace the filter. Before reinstalling or replacing the air filter, clean the area around the air cleaner base.

Engine oil maintenance

Change the oil in your John Deere zero turn rider after the first 5 hours of mowing, and then every year or 100 mowing hours after that. To drain the oil, run your engine for 5 minutes or more to warm the oil. Warm oil drains easier. Park your mower so the drain side is slightly lower than the other side to help make sure the oil drains completely.  Drain the oil into a drain pan.

Wipe around the dipstick to get rid of any dirt that may fall into the filler hole. Remove the dipstick and add oil. Refer to your owner’s manual for the proper oil to put in your machine. Pour about 80% of the oil into the filler tube and check the oil level with the dipstick, and then add more oil as necessary.

Oil filter maintenance

Change the oil filter in your John Deere zero turn rider every time you change your oil. Remove the old filter by hand or with a filter wrench. Use a drain pan to catch oil spilling from the old filter. Wipe excess oil off the engine opening with a rag.

Apply a thin layer of clean oil to the new oil filter’s gasket and screw the filter on. Turn the filter until the gasket contacts the engine and then tighten it an additional three-quarters of a turn. Be sure not to over tighten it.

Spark plug maintenance

Clean around the base of the plug before removing the spark plug to prevent dirt and debris from contaminating the engine. To replace the spark plug, remove the ignition wire and use a deep well socket to remove the plug and metal washer.

Inspect the condition of the spark plug and the washer. If you see light brown or gray on the insulator, the engine is working properly. Check the gap between the center and side electrodes with a feeler gauge. If there is a black coating on the insulator the air cleaner is dirty and the spark plug needs to be replaced. Install and tighten the new spark plug with the socket wrench and reconnect the ignition wire.

Perform maintenance on your John Deere zero turn rider regularly to improve performance and keep the machine running smoothly.

About Green-Parts-Direct

Green-Parts-Direct.com 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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