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.