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Corporate Barbarian
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229 Posts
While this is probably not a surprise to many, it was to me.

Today I tried a fiberglass repair on my cracked hood. Things were going well - and looking good - but about an hour later I was easily able to pull the patch off it.

Next I tried regular PVC cleaner and cement. While I don't know if it'll hold it does appear to at least "stick". So time will tell the rest of this story.
I had good luck with this, from Home Depot:


Cleaned area w/ acetone after roughing it up w/ 400 grit sandpaper. Used disposable gloves to keep it off my skin and a NIOSH half face mask respirator to keep the fumes out of my brain.
 

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Got Grass?
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1,290 Posts
Check the top. I just bought a gx255 and its leaking from the top. I bought a seal kit from tuff torq to replace all o-rings and filters but have not had a chance yet to pull the TRANS to put it in.
 

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470 Posts
Discussion Starter #43
OK, between apathy, discouragement, life events, other interests, etc ... I dropped the ball on this machine and so it has just sat unattended. Now my daughter is in a bind and needs a tractor - so off to the JD dealer it went today.

Remaining problems include the transaxle leaking (I think from the very topside), the engine surges at higher idle, the missing headlight assemblies and I've found the cruise control rod is locked (I'm unable to manipulate it). Not even considering repairs/replacement of the cracked plastic hood.

Over the winter I did tube one tire that went flat several times. AND, about a month ago I started the engine and a few min. later had tons of smoke coming out of the hood; the danged birds had built a nest on the muffler. No serious damage.

Regardless, I'll get the transaxle leaked fixed, beyond that (depending on price) I may skip any additional repairs.

QUESTION: Has there been any reported progress on a better headlight system?
 

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IL X540
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189 Posts
I have installed the headlight upgrade kit and it was a noticeable difference from the stock bulbs. Doesn't drain the battery much, unless you leave the lights on accidentally! :banghead3

The JD upgrade kit is Halogen Headlight Kit - BM21289

Around $60. Worth it in my opinion if you're doing anything at all during the night, hauling wood, snowblowing, etc.

:thThumbsU
 

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470 Posts
Discussion Starter #46
The JD dealer service dept. called me this morning, their estimate was $260 to repair the leaky transaxle and rebuild the carb. I said get to it and they said I could pick it up later this afternoon.

When I asked about the stuck cruise control linkage they said it only needed grease and had already been taken care of.

They dropped the ball on replacing the missing headlight assemblies so I again gave them the approval to proceed (with an educated guess of $140 parts + $60 labor), using the upgraded halogen kit/ I've given up hope of their being a quality LED system for this buggy. These parts are expected Wed - and may be installed the same day.

I'm happy - I should have had this done last fall when I pooped out on working on it.
 

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470 Posts
Discussion Starter #47
I'm not happy with my Deere service experience. They often didn't answer the phone nor return left messages. When I did get a human they didn't return most calls as they said they would. But I can live with that, they're busy.

On this mornings third call I finally got a human - then drove down there to pick it up, pennies shy of $500. More than estimated but in the ballpark; I can live with that.

Engine now ran pretty good at high idle and the cruise linkage was slick as snot. Great.

BUT, when I checked other work I noticed the transaxle fluid reservoir was empty. They sent the mechanic over to top it off. When he did fluid poured out as fast as he put it in. He cleaned it up and explained he overflowed the opening. Carefully topping it off it again ran thru just lickety split - a problem that wasn't a problem before his work. While he was all doing this I checked the work-order / they didn't use the halogen upgrade kit.

Reluctantly I left the machine behind with instructions to fix it correctly AND to upgrade the headlights to the halogen ones.
 

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470 Posts
Discussion Starter #49 (Edited)
Just about ready to close this series as things are finally good to go.

Today I reattached the 54" mower deck (originally not intending to do so), leveled it with correct tire pressures, then successfully cut my yard. I decided that because I'm donating this to my daughter (temporary use) for her yard work it needed the mowing deck AND to replace the still missing grass chute. That necessitated a late trip to my dealer where they had it (and the spring) in stock! I'll install it tomorrow and call it a success!

So a summary of my costs:

X540 @ $1200
my parts & labor $600
Dealer parts & labor $650
TOTALS $2450

The only remaining problem is the hood is still cracked. That's good enough for me.
 

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Discussion Starter #50 (Edited)
OH yeah, I do have a remaining question? On some youtube video I once saw where someone was able to hold this grass chute in the upright position, and no it wasn't tied back.

As it'll be on/off a travel trailer (plus sometime it'd be helpful to cut close on that side) I'd like to do that. Does anyone know what his trick was? In the past I just removed the chute, saving it for the next purchaser to replace - if desired.
 

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Premium Member
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7,463 Posts
I'm about 6' tall, and I can reach the outside edge of the chute on my X500 and X530, both with 54" decks, with my right toe while seated on the tractor and fold the chute up with my foot to where I can reach it with my hand and hold it up and then put my foot back on the hydro pedals and drive the tractor into tight spaces where it wouldn't fit with the chute extended. I never do that with the PTO engaged of course. My transport trailer is only 4" wide, so I have to remove the deck whenever I transport them.
 

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Got Grass?
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1,290 Posts
I drilled small holes in the outside corners of my chutes and have them bungee corded to my grab handles on the fenders. Mine are on and off a trailer almost on a daily basis.
 

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OH yeah, I do have a remaining question? On some youtube video I once saw where someone was able to hold this grass chute in the upright position, and no it wasn't tied back.

As it'll be on/off a travel trailer (plus sometime it'd be helpful to cut close on that side) I'd like to do that. Does anyone know what his trick was? In the past I just removed the chute, saving it for the next purchaser to replace - if desired.
Got to thinking that maybe the person had a mulching kit installed. There's a rod or brace that you install to keep the deflector in the upright position if you decide to keep the deflector in place.
 

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Discussion Starter #58
OK, this latch is part of the mulch kit but it needs the enclosed plastic portion to work, so it's a no go for me. Back to the bungee cord.

I've used this same suicide knob on my smaller grass cutting tractor but wasn't gonna do it on this tractor as it'd possible snag tree branches running it thru the woods.

Now it's in plan B, headed to my daughter for field trimming (along drive way, around house) and so I decided to add one. Hey, it was cheaper at the dealer than my first one purchased thru Amazon.
 

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I just removed the deflector. I have the mulch kit installed and tried the rod thing to hold it upright, but found it got in the way anyways so opted to take it off entirely.

Good score on your x540!
 
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