John Deere Riding lawn mower

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All,
Thanks for the info i'm about to recieve.. This group always gives the best advice....
I'm getting ready to become a new home owner (1st time). This house is on a 1acre lot with a view in the country... The lawn is semi hills (Rolling). More in the front than rear.. However a Grade of 8-10%.. So a powerfull mower is a given. The driveway is 150' long gravel..
I read over the consumer reports for the riding mowers and the john deere L111 was the top choice..
I was thinking more on the L118 with a bagger...
The maintance plan seems reasonable...
cost/budget.. $3000 US..
1800.. mower 250.. Bagger 500.. Maintaince 400-500.. Buffer
Has anyone owned a deere that wants to share some info?
Thanks
Joe
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JD is some of the best around. Think about mulching blades instead of bagging though. Save the bagger for leaves but use the clippings to help keep nitrogen in the soil.
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JDs are great, last forever, easy to maintain, have great resale if you need to sell. I sold a 22 year old JD riding mower for more than a 16 year old car. Parts are easy to get. One word of advice, buy it from a JD dealer not a mass marketer such as Home Depot. You will find in most cases a better selection, ready parts supply, personal service and a negotiable price, just like buying a car.
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On Sat, 18 Jun 2005 21:16:07 -0400, "Eric Tonks"

Good deal.. I thought about direct but didn't know the whole story..
Thanks

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wrote:

good point.. I'll skip the bagger for now.. (fall might be a different story)...
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I bought a JD lawn mower in the mid-90s; in '99 moved to a new house about the size of yours and traded in the lawnmower for a garden tractor -- model LT130, probably similar to the L118 -- the JD dealer gave me almost 100% value of the mower as a trade-in. I've been operating the lawn tractor mostly as a tractor, not a mower, ever since.
Shortly after buying the garden tractor I got a QC survey from John Deere, asking for suggested improvements. My suggestions were for a fuel gage and a cup holder. Both are on the newer Deeres, along with an hour meter to keep track of time until maintenance.
It always starts (unless the battery has reached the end of its life) and I've had very few problems (one flat tire, mower drive belt came off pulley, bracket holding mower in place backed off) in six years. My one remaining "issue" with this machine is that it is very hard to take off and replace the mower blades for sharpening -- but I haven't seen any other machine that had a better arrangement. (OTOH, the blades are really heavy duty. My neighbor has another brand, similar size, and has had the blades get twisted and bent several times while mowing. The Deere mower blades have taken all kinds of abuse without a problem.)
I second the motion to go with a mulching kit rather than bagging. Besides the benefits to the lawn, it makes it quick and convenient to do the mowing, because you never have to stop and empty the bag, and you're never off-balance because of the weight of the accumulated clippings.
If this one ever gives up, I'll buy another Deere.
Regards --
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wrote:

Yes the hour meter is a GO/NOGO option.. Being ex-military all of our vehicles have an hour meter.. Very handy for maintenance..

Ok.. I note the "mulch kit" with HD blades..

"Nothing stops a deere"...Noted...

Thanks
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snipped-for-privacy@a.com wrote:

Currently have 3--two rear-engine, one <old> (~40 yr) front, plus 955 utility w/ mid-mount 72". And, of course the farm equipment up to 9600 (335 hp articulated).
Can't be beat. Don't know the model you're speaking of...if you're mowing the full acre, I'd loot at higher-end Z-radius, probably. On a smaller lot in TN, however, ran JD small rear engine 30" mower w/ dual rear bagger on a grade at least that steep. Stay away from "auto" for the grades, however, as depending on particular design, they won't hold constant speed on steep slope...
I'd certainly stay away from the "Sabre" line at the BORGs, though, and go w/ "real" JD green at a JD dealer, either farm or speciality.
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On Sat, 18 Jun 2005 20:51:45 -0500, Duane Bozarth

Thanks
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On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 00:30:56 GMT, snipped-for-privacy@a.com wrote:

==================================I do not and never have owned a John Deere... (I have run International Cubs ...for the last 30 years)...BUT there is absolutely nothing I could even dream up to put down a Deere....
with an acre I sometimes had to empty the 3 bags on my bagger 8 9 or even 10 times in the early spring...forget that..compost pile is 10 foot tall in about 3 weeks... get a mulching blade....in the fall if you have large Maple trees like I do...Have fun and chop them up and let them rot on the ground over the winter...
buying a maintance contract that costs 1/3 of what you want to pay for the TRACTOR seems to me strange... Deers have a pretty good rep...I know I have NOT spent 500 dollars TOTAL in over 30 years on reparois etc for my Cubs... (excluding gas, oil, blades and grease to lub the thing)... Original tractor was 25 years old and was running just fine when I replaced it due to a rusting mower deck and 4 dry rotted tires...replacing the deck and tires was more then half the price of a new tractor ...
However....buy it from a dealer NOT Home Depot etc....and go with a true full time Hydrostatic drive...
Make sure you can pop a few pins to remove the deck...IF the dealer can not remove the deck (ok just drop it ) in less then a minute...then do not buy that tractor... Buy Hydrostatic... Make sure the deck is extremely easy to install and remove... forget the bagger and rethink the maintance contract... you may consider buying wheel weights if your lawn is pretty hilly...
Good luck...
Bob Griffiths
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I guess I just got a lemon, but in 1991 I bought a J.D. Model #285 that came with a Kawasaki FD590V engine. It has been a bigger piece of $hit than the Craftsman it replaced. The mower has been just fine .. .. the KAW has been a nightmare !! !! !! For a few seasons (early on) I had to constantly adjust the valves to keep it running. Then I realized why .. .. .. the valves burned away so badly, they receded into the heads .. .. a simple check with a fine-cut file revealed they were never properly heat-treated. After showing them to the local dealer, he agreed that the valves were defective, but the unit was out of warranty, so NO HELP from J.D. He tried to get the factory to at least accept responsibility for the bad parts, to no avail. After the velve job, not one, but both coils failed. After that episode, the motor just staled one day & refused to restart. Took off the valve covers and noticed the rockers didn't move when the starter engaged .. .. turned out that the cam had a PLASTIC timing gear that was POP-RIVETED to a flange on the cam .. .. the rivets let go and the gear was destroyed. No replacement gear was available because by now, they realized it was a poor design, and the new cams came as one-piece units .. .. soooo .. .. about $600 later, we had new cam and all the associated parts & gaskets.
Then, for no reason, it began running very rough & erratic .. .. .. a $500 "IGNITER" module improved this, but it's still not quite right. To this day, this thing won't mow twice in a row without readjusting the carb and/or linkage. As I said before, almost ALL of the problems are with the early model Kawasaki motor, but it's still a poor overall reflection on John Deere as a provider.
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On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 10:07:41 -0400, Bob G.

Never thought about the tranny... Thanks for the tip..

Statement noted..

Weights? Hmm.. Confused however might come in handy to keep the Tractor from sliding..

Thanks
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snipped-for-privacy@a.com wrote:

I mentioned it as a consideration owing to the slope some time back...
....

But as in a previous discussion (not this thread) if you have a large area to mow unless it has provision for a hand lock to keep speed w/o having to hold it down all the time, it can be tiring for large areas...

I personally recommend to avoid excessive thatch buildup. Others have different opinions. I <would> can the maintenance contract, they're rarely good buys...
I'd still recommend at least looking seriously at the ZTR styles and whatever you select get a chance to try it on your lot to ensure how it handles the slope. Any <real> JD dealer will arrange that w/ no difficulty...
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I bought the L120 last year. The mower would only go about 100 feet and quit. Stopped in teh Deere store where I got it and they came out and picked it up, replaced a defective seat with a new one (switch ws bad) and returned the mower. Been running very good after that. Get the mower from a Deere store and not Home Depot for reasons like that. The salesman would not cut me a deal as he said the mowers that HD sale have to be sold for the same price. If I went to another type mower then he may be able to deal. They may have an accessory special. Get the hydorstatic transmission. YOu probably do not need the bagger. Those things fill up very quick with leaves. The mower should come with the mulching cover for the deck. Bagger is a pain to put on also. Probably not any worse than other brands, but still a pain.
I guess that all the decks will come off about the same, Just pull about 6 pins and the deck will come right off. Have a couple of short 2x4 pieces of lumber to help hold the deck up will make it much easier.
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we have owned two john deere's over the years, and NEVER had a problem. (we did do proper routine maintenance)
--
NO GITMO?
http://www.truthout.org/docs_2005/061705X.shtml
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On Sun, 19 Jun 2005 00:30:56 GMT, in alt.home.repair RE: John Deere Riding lawn mower snipped-for-privacy@a.com wrote:

I'm on my second JD mower and have been disappointed with it and the first one.
I don't recall the model of the first one. It was the type with the engine in the rear and about a 30" cut. I believe it had a Kohler engine. It had several fuel system problems over the years that I had it. After about six years the transmission died suddenly and I had to replace it the mower. At the time, JD was the only game in the rural area where I live, so I bought another one hoping that my experience was not typical.
I bought an STX-38. The fuel system has never worked well. When I shut the engine off, I have to shut the fuel line valve otherwise fuel will slowly leak into the engine and flood it. When I've been mowing a while and shut the blades down and put the mower into neutral the engine speed cycles increasing and decreasing quickly about a dozen times before the speed stabilizes.
There where two breakdowns that I didn't think should have happened. One was the pully-shaft that drives one of the blades. The bearings in that assembly broke after about three years for no apparent reason. A couple of years latter I had an electrical component fail which prevented the engine from starting. I don't recall what the component was.
Now we have a Kubota dealer nearby. When the time comes to replace the JD, I will take a serious look at the K.
I must admit however that I'm pretty rough on mowers. I have about two acres to mow, the ground is rough and there are always a lot of small branches in the grass from all the trees that we have. I've also heard that the larger JD mowers and small tractors are more reliable, but I don't have any experience with that. Other than the problems I mentioned, both mowers were really solid.
Some of my dissapointment may be due to unrealistic expectations. Based on the JD reputation, I expected *no* problems.
--
To reply to me directly, remove the CLUTTER from my email address.


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Vic Dura wrote:

That's what the valve is for...

....although this makes it sound as though the float may be sticking or you have a partially clogged jet preventing clean closing of the supply. An air leak could be partly to blame as well...

....
I'll agree sounds like you're abusing the mower...we have similar situation w/ limbs/branches, but I take the time and trouble to pick up anything that is more than just a twig.. for that type of mowing you definitely need something much more rugged--the STX'es are just home lawn mowers. I still have the one I moved from TN which is now 10 years old by now (altho it is an "SX" the predecessor to the "STX" they're very similar) and can't complain of any of this problems w/ it--
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Duane Bozarth wrote:

I'll amend this to hopefully make it not sound as condemnatory as it may have sounded--that wasn't my intention.
Simply wanted to emphasize that I think the type of usage you're giving it is beyond the expected "duty-cycle" of the particular mower--particularly the rough part is really hard on them...think what would have been the fate of the typical BORG-offering in the same circumstance.
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On Mon, 20 Jun 2005 11:36:01 -0500, in alt.home.repair RE: Re: John

My guess is that a Murry would last about one season.
Thanks for the clarification, but I didn't interpret you comments as a condemnation. I do realize that my mowing situation is pretty tough. I do pick up any branches that I see larger than about 1/2 inch, but it's impossible to get them all and all the pine cones that find their way into the grass after a wind or T-storm (I'm in Lauderdale County northwest Alabama, just down the road from you) passes through. I have probably 50 or 60 trees in the area I mow. I really should be using a small tractor + bush hog, but that's just not economically feasible.
I would love to own a small JD diesel with front bucket and bush hog.
--
To reply to me directly, remove the CLUTTER from my email address.

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Vic Dura wrote:

...
Good, but later thought "better safe than..." might be appropriate....
...

Well, that's a pretty sizable "just".... :) I'm in far SW KS, right on OK line, <50 mi from CO. We had three consecutive days last week of serious t-storms, tornadoes, up to 3" hail common w/ some even larger, 80+ mph straight winds in the gust front ahead of the storms...just another typical KS spring/early summer... :)

I do like the little 955 utility a lot although I'd like one just slightly stouter--it's rated 27 hp which would be fine except the hydrostatic transmission knocks off about 7 hp from the net result as compared to a mechanical...the dealer in town has a new 5205 on the lot, but, of course it's big bucks...but I look every time I'm in for parts/supplies... :)
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