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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After three 140s, and a 300 (of which I still have three), I am moving into something made this century. I mow about 4 acres which takes 6.5 hours with the 300 which died this week. It knew I was already shopping for a replacement.

I won't bore you with all the details that got me to the GT235 purchase. It has a 48C deck, 370 hours, 2002, Kawi engine.

I don't know if I will get a manual with it, but I see the manual is available online at Deere and I needed to use up an eHay certificate so I bought a service CD. Hope it wasn't a waste of $$ and is good info.

I have a few basic questions to get the ball rolling so to speak.

1. I read about someone using Mobil-1. My general theory is I like synthetic in engines that run at higher RPMS, and I am guessing the Kawi runs at a higher RPM than my Kohlers. I heard it was OK to use synthetic (or blend) but wanted another confirmation.

2. mulcher blades - all I hear about is Gator Blades. I am not buying a bagger and don't want to bag, and haven't bagged in my whole life and that is eons. I have been satisfied with long, cut grass all over the place but if a blade can chop it up more and still let me leave it, but neater, I am all for it. I saw several blade model numbers based on "lift"??

3. I drive a garden tractor like demolition derby. Borrowed a Toro and while using it for the first time I broke the hood off, took out the dash, damaged the engine shroud, etc. At least my old 140s and 300 were mostly metal in front.

I know they make a brush guard for the X series they sell now. A taller model than the older (no longer made) bumper that didn't go up nearly as high as the new brush guard. I have also seen the Craftsman universal models which are more or less like the older JD bumper guard.

Is there a higher, brush guard style model that will fit the GT235? Should I get a X300 one and bring it to my neighborhood blacksmith? Should I have him make me one from scratch? ps: I have no neighbors to see me mowing so I don't mind ugly, I only care about functional.

4. I have a steep hill that I mow. I already rolled my 300 and fell off another time, hurt one time, stitches the other time. I have grabbed the fenderwell when leaning over, but have seen handles. Are those JD, 3rd party, or roll your own?

What are the other things I should know about the GT235 I wouldn't know from having the earlier models? Differences in operation or maintenance?

Thanks a lot,

Lew

(I am betting your thinking I should convert the brush guard into a roll cage :praying: )
 

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Hi there goldenpond, another man with a 140 Deere collection // very nice...

Earlier this year, I bought a 1992 JD 318 from the original owner, with 484 hours on the Onan twin.
He swears by the Mobil Synthetic 10W30 and changed it every 50 hours / machine 18 years old and still runs like new.
I also use the same oil in my GT262 JD mower tractor with 17HP Kawasaki - runs excellent.

I am under the opinion that synthetic motor oil is better than standard oil in both winter & summer:
- In the winter, running a snow blower, synthetic motor oil will stay fluid and allows for easier start up & less wear
- In the summer, cutting grass, cylinder head engine temperatures are reduced using synthetic

I have always used SYNTHETIC 10W30 (in my GT's & in my push mower) - just wondering if 20W50 Synthetic would even be better, 4 season protection ???

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Beaumont { :>)) www.petperfectexpress.com
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http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=135888 http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=136600&page=3
1992 JD 318 original paint w/484 hr. on P218g Onan & #49 snow blower / 1998 JD GT262 w/brand new Kawasaki OHV & 48" rebuilt deck
http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=135838
 

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Hey Lew :MTF_wel: Too bad you are not closer to PA I'd gladly take that 300 off your hands as I'm sure some other people would too. Like you said though sometimes its nicer to step up to something newer. The handles you see on the rear fenders are from another model JD but I'm not sure which one everybody uses sorry. The GT235 is a little different than the older models. For one thing you can't just start mowing in reverse you have to activate the reverse mowing option. It also has an oil filter and an anti-backfire solenoid on the carb. I'm sure there are lots of other small differences too. Enjoy your new machine and be sure to post pictures. Here's a link to JD's site with the GT235 specs. http://www.deere.com/en_US/ProductC....ProdCatProduct?pNbr=SKU18932&tM=HO&link=enav
 

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I just picked up a 2003 GT235 a couple weeks ago. I changed the air filter, fuel filter and the trans oil. Running like a top now. I was also looking into brush guard/bumper but didn't find much.

You can easily disable the RIO so you can mow in reverse without pulling the pto switch. This is my first, but it sounds like you are adding another to the stable.

I'm thinking about building a front bumper and a cart. I'll post up when I get around to it.
 

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I have always used SYNTHETIC 10W30 (in my GT's & in my push mower) - just wondering if 20W50 Synthetic would even be better, 4 season protection ???
I would not use 20/50 in Ontario. The 10w30 will flow much better in the cold. As the engine gets older and the clearances open up a little bit, 20w50 may be appropriate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the info...

I will try synthetic when I first change the oil and filter. I was told it was done this season. I was told the owner did all the maintenance to the dealer had no experience. at 393 hours it shouldn't have missed alot of maint yet. Started and ran fine when I picked it up today.

Before I even brought it home, I stopped by the local blacksmith and dropped the trailer there with the mower on it. He is going to one off me a brushguard. I told him how high and low I wanted it to go. He is going to mount some box iron on the frame that will have mating tubes on the guard with pins to remove it. wanted a horizontal bar above and below the bumper and above and below the headlights. Said I wanted the ends angled. Have no idea what he will come up with. He thought he would have it done by 9:30a. Since having destroyed my friends tractor in an hour, I thought I better do something to keep that from happening to mine :)

Is there a trick for removing scuffs in the hood and other plastic surfaces? Isn't the color solid so you can sand off abraded areas?

Thanks!

Lew from Farmtown
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Day 2

As you know, the GT235 never even made it home yesterday. It stayed on the rental trailer overnight at the blacksmith's shop for him to put on a brushguard, or at least take measurements. Since the trailer needed to be returned at 10:10a, I went over at 9am to pick up the trailer and tractor so I could drop off the tractor at my place and return the trailer. I pulled up to attach the trailer and lo and behold, the brushguard was finished and installed on the tractor. How many business would let you show up after hours one day, and one hour into their business day the next day a one-off brush guard is made and installed. Pretty good service.

After dropping off the trailer I came back to take my first good look at the tractor. I should mention that I found an odd object on the floor of the trailer. Looks like a funnel. The opening is about 1"X2" funneling down to a hole about 3/8" opening. It looks like something is expected to drip in, and then be re-directed down a tube or something to the outside? It doesn't appear to have any method of being attached other than gravity, which might explain why it is loose? Any idea if such a thing is a part of the tractor, and if so, where?

Upon further inspection of the tractor it appears the dealer didn't do anything to it, and it is as it was traded in. Oil was dirty, air filter was dirty, broken rear reflectors, the broken front bumper I knew about, and other scrapes and scratches normal wear. The battery was about 1.2 cups low.

I noticed one front tire has been changed to a different brand with a slightly different tread pattern. It isn't a car going 100mph so I don't know how much different miss-matches front tires are?

I changed the oil to Mobil 1 10w-30, put on a Fram filter, cleaned the foam filter and blew out the paper filter. Put on a spinner as I can't live without them.

I don't know if the owner did the 250 hour transmission oil filter change, so I am going to assume he didn't and it needs it. Has anyone used any oil other than the JD official Hy-Gard?

I know my Ford (New Holland) dealer whined when I told him I put Fleet Farm fluid in my 861. He said it would foam and perform improperly in other respects. I don't know if that was sour grapes or not but I rarely used the Ford stuff. What about the JD? Can it take standard hydraulic fluid or should I find out what JD wants for liquid gold?

I understand I have to drop the deck to drain the tranny fluid and I haven't dropped it yet which I want to do to see what is going on underneath the deck.

I also need to check the plugs, but the maint sched doesn't say to replace yet. I need to grease, but was waiting to grease the deck and spindles, etc. at once.

Anything else?

Thanks!!

Lew
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

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It looks good and I like the bottom bar. slkpk
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I'm curious, how the hood open on the GT235?
There is enough room to open the hood wide enough to check the oil which is about 90% of why I open the hood.

Your seeing the brushguard as it came home. In the pictures it has bolts holding the guard to the box iron receivers bolted to the frame. I have since replaced the two 3/8" bolts with pull pins so the whole brushguard (minus the receivers) can be pulled off in under a minute.

The next job will be to paint it, knowing the paint won't last :)

I told the blacksmith a few things I wanted...

1. top bar higher than the top of the hood
2. bottom bar below the JD bumper
3. second bar from the top below the headlight so as not to obstruct the beam
4. position the other bar more or less equally spaced
5. I wanted the guard to have a bit of a point on it with curved ends, which it does. I told him I wanted a "cow catcher" and he knew what I meant :)
6. Told him I wanted to be able to detach it, which is what I can easily do with the pull pins.

I can tell you in the one time I mowed it already came in handy, for a purpose I hadn't thought of.

The brushguard is already doing an admiral job protecting the front of the tractor, but sure enough, I got a front wheel stuck between tree trunk and a boulder. Wasn't able to go back or forward, could only go sideways to get out of the hole.

Previously I would have gotten the Ford, hooked up a chain, and using the Ford's bucket, I would live up the front end, or would drag it out of the hole.

I suspected the front end was lighter than my 300, so I grabbed the brushguard, lifted up, while dragging it to the side. I was able to lift enough to allow dragging it to the side. I never could have gotten a "grab" on the stock JD front end to have done what I did. Being able to pick up the front end when lodged on something is a big plus for me.

I am considering adding a shield on extending back from the top of the brushguard to provide more hood protection. I will hinge that so I can still open the hood for oil checks.

Then I will have him build something similar for the rear as I am prone to damaging stuff in reverse too, not to mention the owner. I want the bracket in back to come off the frame, go back beyond the body, the V up and to the left and right, then straight up again. Other than needing to leave access to the freewheeling option, there is nothing else I have to access from the back.

It might be weird, but I have always dreamed (nightmare) of being a human shish-kabob by backing into a branch and getting skewered. I want the back part to have a mesh fabric over it, like expanded metal, but with the openings small enough the skewer can't be too big of a diameter.

Once I have a rear guard, I can then envision connectingthe front and rear guard creating in essence a roll bar

:bannana:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just came in from putting some primer and paint on it...will be a few days to get it right....I know it will all great sc***** off, but better than bare metal..
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Wanted to stop by with an update....got a replacement plastic bumper and have that on. Bought handles for the rear fenders but don't have them mounted yet. I have swapped out the Turf tires for HDAP tires. Have the JD style Carlisle tire in front, but although they went back to turf on the front (as the other tire was obsoleted), I used a Carlisle Badlands model in front and I love them. Have another tire related topic so I won't go into that here.

Have also picked up my order of 5W-50 Mobil 1 oil for the tranny which I will be changing soon. I am assuming the original owner didn't change it so this will be the first tranny change. Haven't had the deck off, which is needed for this change, so I will have a chance to check the deck out too for the first time.
 

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Did you get your rear brush guard made yet?
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
hehe..you remembered, and I haven't given up on the idea, but life got in the way.....have so much to do and summers are so busy for me...and in the winter I won't want to work on it...probably a spring project...

Lost my second gas cap today. They should have made it reverse threads so as you brush by bushes and trees, it doesn't spin the cap off...and you don't know it, and you make another round and mow over it, and then you notice it is gone, and you make another round and see all the pieces.
 

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Lost my second gas cap today. They should have made it reverse threads so as you brush by bushes and trees, it doesn't spin the cap off...and you don't know it, and you make another round and mow over it, and then you notice it is gone, and you make another round and see all the pieces.
I have never heard of that happening before but maybe you could put a cord through the top of it and tie it to something so this way at least it won't fall off.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Maybe you guys don't mow as aggressively as I do :) I mow tight around pine trees, bushes, etc. which is why I started right away with a brush guard to protect the hood so it won't break off like my last one did in less than an hour of use.

I haven't even mowed my whole yard twice yet and the cap has come off twice...but this last time I mowed over it before finding it. Then I replaced it temporarily with a baggy and a rubber band and then that was ripped off.

I have had other implements with caps with plastic cords on them so I might need to do something like that.

Thanks
 

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I just picked up a 2003 GT235 a couple weeks ago. I changed the air filter, fuel filter and the trans oil. Running like a top now. I was also looking into brush guard/bumper but didn't find much.

You can easily disable the RIO so you can mow in reverse without pulling the pto switch. This is my first, but it sounds like you are adding another to the stable.
I just picked up 2001 GT235 this weekend, can someone detail how to disable the RIO. Also I thought changing the transmission fluid was a dealer only operation. Thanks!
 
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