My Tractor Forum banner

JD 185 hydro

3469 Views 5 Replies 5 Participants Last post by  mkgolden1
I was hoping I could get some help with my problem(s). I have a John Deere 185 Hydro drive. My father got it used from a freind. Ran great but would occasionally shut down after an hour or two of use. I brought it up to my place in Maine, got abut 1/2 hour of use then it died. When it dies it goes suddenly but will run rough or on choke enough to get it out of the way. I brought the mower home, bought and installed new oil filter and oil, fuel filter, spak plug, coil, and cleaned carb. Still same problem. Runs now for about 3-5 minutes starts to run rough then suddenly dies. I have put a spare tank on top and gravity fed the carb thinking the feul pump may be the problem. I am at wits end with this thing. I have spent in excess of 20 hours since I brought it home and still in the same position. Any advice will be GREATLY appreciated.

Thank You
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
Look for any kink in the fuel lines, or sounds like the float in the carb may be going bad or need to be adjusted. Did you take your carb off and clean/soak it overnight? blow it out with air? May still have debris in it.

Welcome to the forum! :Welcome1: I'm looking forward to our mechanic friends input here. Those 185s were great little machines. :)
Hydro 165 runs for 20 minutes and dies story....

I have a recently purchased hydro 165. Thanks to the info on this site, I have been able to successfully troubleshoot my 'dying after 20 minutes' problem. As already noted, the Hydro 165 has a vent tube for the gas tank. On mine, the mower was filthy and grass/dust/dirt everywhere. I cleaned thoroughly, then removed the mower body and seat (two bolts on the back near the seat, two bolts on the front near the engine, one more bolt on the front in the middle, then remove the caps on the drives.

After removing and doing some more cleaning, I found that the vent hose was gone and the vent was completely clogged. But, that is not the end of the story. I had tried removing the gas cap to see if venting was the only issue and it still died.

I then pulled out the gas stop valve for the gas line and yep, have the metal version. I pulled it off and thoroughly blew it out. It had been packed with grass leaves. As someone had suggested, at higher speeds the vacuum would compact the grass and not allow enough gas to pass. Make sure to use air (one of those cans of air for computers works if you don't have a compressor to use). But that isn't the end either...

I then decided to pull apart the valve itself, and found debris there as well. Cleaned it and then started 'er up. Ran it for 20-30 minutes with the blades engaged (don't ask me how it works with the fender body off, it just does) all worked and I believe problem pretty much solved. However, for good measure I decided to empty the tank and lo and behold there was a lot of debris in there as well! So, I cleaned the gas tank. waiting for it to complete drying and will reassemle this evening.

In addition to all of that, I replaced the plug (uses CJ8, had a CJ6 in it), cut off a piece of the plug wire as it was nasty and screwed the plug wire head back in (it uses a screw into the wire). Just don't cut too short, it is short as it is). I also cleaned the carb from the outside wiuth car cleaner, changed the air filter.

Only things remaining for me are to change out the belts, they are shiny but not cracked, change the oil (tonight), and then deal with some rust on the mower deck. When grass/leaves/dirt get in under the pully cover, it holds dampness in and will cause rust on the deck. That is a critical spot as it has the pully and underneath holds the blade. I am saving that and the pullys for another day, thank goodness it isn't rusted through. gonna buy a new gas cap as well, it it pretty nasty.

Lesson here is, keep your machine clean!
I got a 175 that had set outside for over 3 years and it had a little bit of surface rust on the fenders and deck, but not too bad.
To add to my hydro 165 post above, I ended up replacing the gas line for good measure as I felt it was too short anyway, epoxied the steel intake line into the shut-of valve because it wouldn't stay. In summary:

- gas filter;
- rubber gas line;
- gas cap is on order;
- rubber vent line (I actually added it, it wasn't there);
- gas tank;
- interior metal gas line;
- cut-off valve;
- carburetor (but not too thoroughly sad to say);

That did it, runs pretty good.
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.