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MTF is Amazing! A+
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rmckinley74 - a whack mark from deck misalignment while driving back on?
 

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Rick
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Could be.... Never as easy as they say it is. I'm always off and on at least 3 times before I can get it hooked back up! Lol .... Oh well
 

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Agreed. Off is the easy part. Getting back on takes a few drive-overs!
 

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Agreed. Off is the easy part. Getting back on takes a few drive-overs!
I just drive up and over, get off the tractor, and move the deck 'til it is lined up....actually wiggle the 2 halves of the auto-connect part way together, so it's "can't miss", get back on and drive forward. Remember, I have mine on a carpet pad, so it doesn't slide when I drive over, and it doesn't scratch it on the concrete, but it does allow you to wiggle the deck back to the auto-connect. Still not an expert either, but have done it twice....the second time is the way I just described.....didn't need anyone's eyes for this method....could easily do it alone.

Fadz
 

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First let me say that disengaging the wheels and removing the deck in the middle of the lawn was in no way "easier" than pulling my previous deck out sideways inside the garage. Once it's in the lawn, I can't lift the deck myself while setting the wheels again to roll it away. I had to use a jack on each corner to set the wheels again to get it back to the garage. I'll have to look into getting a mat for next time.

I just tried removing my 60" deck with auto-connect for the first time, to test installing the front PTO for the 54" snow thrower. On my previous tractor (Simplicity Prestige) I only removed the deck at the end of the season to swap it with the snow thrower, not repeatedly throughout the summer. This time, I found the auto-connect to be in the way. After removing the deck and raising the draft arm to drive off, the auto-connect drive shaft is still connected to the PTO so you can't connect the front drive shaft to it. You still have to manually disconnect the deck drive shaft anyway, and you can't do that with the draft arm raised up. So you have to start up the tractor again and lower the draft arm to be able to manually disconnect the drive shaft, then you can't manually raise the draft arm to stow the auto-connect module because the lowered hydraulic arm is in the way of you being able to lift the draft arm the final 1/2 inch up to lock it in place. So you have to start up the tractor again and raise the draft arm again, being careful not to crush anything because the drive shaft is now already in it's storage position while the other end of it is still connected to the auto-connect module that you are lifting back up hydraulically without being able to see it.
This is an awful lot of manual fussing around for something that was supposed to make the job easier. I haven't tried the manual connect, so I'm wondering just how difficult is it to pull on the belt to rotate the spindle when manually connecting the deck drive shaft? That sounds like the only complaint. Can it really be that much more difficult than all this? I'm thinking of having the auto-connect module removed, since the only time I use it is when I need to disconnect the auto-connect module too.
 

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Thanks for the info, fxdude! I'm happy I didn't jump into one of the new auto connect machines. Thank my wife for that. She said "you don't need another tractor, yours is perfect". Watching the videos guys have posted and reading posts like yours has made her opinion spot-on! My conclusion is Stay with the X500. Even getting down on garage floor to disconnect this deck is quite enough, with bad back, replaced knees, and old age! I can handle off in the fall, and on in the spring. And several neighbors and friends have volunteered to do it if it gets too much for me. Thanks again for sharing your experience! I love this site!
 

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Thanks for the info, fxdude! I'm happy I didn't jump into one of the new auto connect machines. Thank my wife for that. She said "you don't need another tractor, yours is perfect". Watching the videos guys have posted and reading posts like yours has made her opinion spot-on! My conclusion is Stay with the X500. Even getting down on garage floor to disconnect this deck is quite enough, with bad back, replaced knees, and old age! I can handle off in the fall, and on in the spring. And several neighbors and friends have volunteered to do it if it gets too much for me. Thanks again for sharing your experience! I love this site!

Personally, I wasn't sure in the beginning if it was easier, and worth the money. I too, have had 4 back surgeries (wrestling and more, injuries). Connecting and disconnecting the drive shaft on my 1998 AWS 425 to switch from deck to snowblower was not fun. Got the X734 with auto connect and it took some time to figure it out......the video on this forum came out after I got a hold of a manual on it, from a guy on this forum by the way. I never did drop it in the grass though, wondering how do you get it to the barn then. So last fall I built a dollie for it, then in the winter I discovered a product to make it even better called Deck Dolly (on this forum too). I know use both.....Deck Dolly to stand it up and clean the underside/change blades....could store it on here, but I like to then drive it onto the horizontal dolly and store it under my boat in the winter. I realize it adds more expense, but it is a lot easier than with my old 425....although recently I discovered that it may have been easier to connect/disconnect the 425 reaching from the rear (blind), under the transmission to put the collar on and off of the spline....had my neighbor try it on his 425.....was a little easier....but he had me there to watch from the side. Here's some photos of my dollies....don't have any taking it off/on yet with the carpet padding on the concrete....will do it this fall. (also, I forgot, I have the stripping kit on mine, so I have no rear guide wheels to drive it around on)


















the last 2 photos are from the advertising of the Deck Dolly.

I have dollies for all my stuff now, and it has made everything easier....Buford Bucket, Deck, Snowblower, suitcase wts., overhead sling on a track for softcab, got my original ideas on this stuff from another member on this forum ...Roy Rector .....he has some great videos you can google.....especially on the dollies and oh yes.....a fun one called "seat time master"

Fadz :thThumbsU

Fadz
 

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Deck Dolly to stand it up and clean the underside/change blades....could store it on here
Thanks, I ordered a Deck Dolly today, looks easier than another option I was looking at online where you would have to lift the deck upright and then onto a wheel stand yourself. The Dolly seems to latch on before raising the deck and then it gives you handles to lift on. Now I'll be able to move it to and from the lawn and it will take up less floor space in the garage.

I contacted the Deere dealer and asked to have my deck switched back to manual connect. I'm waiting to hear back. Since the only time I disconnect the deck is to connect the snow thrower, the auto-connect module just gets in the way of the swap and adds extra things to manually remove in the process.
 

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MTF is Amazing! A+
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Just ordered one myself for the X738 54" HC Deck with quick connect. A bit overpriced (especially with shipping), but at this point it doesn't matter......I figure the extra cost is for two cans of JD green spray paint! Looks decently built, and provides an excellent means for upright storage.
 

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I have a x734 with 54 inch deck and installed a brush guard on it a few weeks ago. This last weekend I went to take the mower deck off and I was not able to do it without taking off the brush guard. Did I miss someting in the steps? I would think that you would never need to take the brush guard off, just tilt it forward, in order to drop the mower deck in front.
 

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LLJordan,

The front brush guard on the X700 series must be removed prior to removing the deck. I had the same issue the first time I tried it with my x738. I remember asking the dealer about this (as I saw several images of the x7 series with a brush guard on while a snowblower was attached at the same time) and I was told "no.....impossible". Thankfully the brush guard detaches easily, but it is HEAVY. Prop your foot under it while pulling the pins and use your head to balance the top weight of the guard while sitting on the ground in front of it.....seriously!:fing20:
 

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MTF is Amazing! A+
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Deck Dolly arrived today (x7 auto connect version). I'd like to say that this thing is BEEFY and very well packaged. Very obvious it's USA made, down to the thickness of the plastic bolt pouches. NICE. It took about 2 hours to assemble and requires that the deck be removed from the mower for final alignment (basically, leave the bolts loose until you can fit the unit to the deck). No big deal. My only concern is with the provided assembly manual: It was obviously written by someone who already knew what they were doing. The pictures are fine, but they don't tell you which bolts to use for certain applications (and they can be intermixed, so be careful). Another revision of the assembly manual and this thing would be 100% perfect! The green JD paint job on the parts is amazing - near perfect. I'll get some pics up asap.

Also, I am assuming this is a very small company, as my order number was in the early 200's........I firmly believe in supporting small businesses and hope everyone else will consider doing the same!
 

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That really sucks that you have to take the brush guard off every time you need to clean your mower deck. The bar that holds on the brush guard on the frame with the pins are hard to put on and take off on my x734, not including the weight of holding it and keeping the alignment intact. My dealer keeps saying that I should not have to take it off to drop the deck, so I am going to take it back to dealer to prove the point.
 
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