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Discussion Starter #1
Okay, what I have is hardly a "tractor". It's a John Deere Model 68 rear engine riding mower. However, it's actually a real John Deere, unlike the green "tractors" at Home Depot. I joined to get some pointers for maintaining this beast, since it's probably over 30 years old and most parts are no longer available from JD.
 

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Lubricate everything is your best bet. Any linkages where metal touches metal. If your deck spindle bearing has a grease zirk; grease it. Always check the engine oil (use SAE 30). Keep up on these these and you should get many more years.
 

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Thanks, sixtyfive_ford. Unfortunately, this one only has grease fittings for the steering spindles, none for the deck spindle bearings, which I'm guessing are sealed. I did have a deck belt idler let go, which had crude unservicable ball bearings, but the replacement had real sealed bearings. Yes, I check the engine oil religiously each time before using it. A few years ago I had to replace the Magnetron coil. I was surprised to find no ignition points, like other Briggs engines I've had. Then, just a couple of weeks ago, I lost drive when the right back wheel flange broke off the axle. Seems the original weld was not too good. Luckily I was able to weld it up. Also, not long after I first got it, one of the tierods started coming apart. It looked like the original, because the other one had bee replaced. Luckily the JD dealer had one. There's not too many parts left for these 35-year-old machines.
 

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A ton of parts like your tierod ends are universal and can be found almost anywhere. Virtually all bearings are universal. Belts can be had from anywhere.

The nice thing about older machines is they were designed to be mechanic friendly. This is so any farmer could easily and quickly find parts locally to get their machine back in the fields.
 

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Yes, I've noticed that JD still stocks the tierods and also bearings. Belts. I've been buying from my local industrial supply after finding the correct a 98" belt worked better for me than the correct JD 99" blade belt.

I'll go one farther on the JD. They're not just mechanic friendly, they're farmer or home handyman friendly for the most part. You could pretty much service them with a pry bar, hammer and adjustable wrench, if you had to.

Today I bought a Honda H3011H from my neighbour, who replaced it with a Simplicity Zero Turn machine. That Honda is built more like a car than a tractor, very nice, though. I figure if I have a "spare" the old JD will never fail me :praying: .
 
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