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Discussion Starter #1
Having experienced frustration to the max on removing and installing the 48C mower deck on my X500 tractor, and having noticed that I am not alone in having trouble doing so, I took it upon myself to re-write these instructions in the X500 Operator's Manual.

By reading the tales of woe from others on this forum, by applying your collective wisdoms, tips and solutions, and by stumbling upon a few key steps on my own, I have managed to reduce the time it takes me to remove and install the deck drastically. What used to be a half-day project (just for removing and installing, mind you; not for blade sharpening, etc.) for me has been cut to less than half an hour.

I re-wrote the instructions as a new document, so that I could print the instructions out and have them with me the next time I took on the tasks. To repay the kindness and help I've received on this forum, I'd like to upload the document (as a PDF file) to MTF, in hopes that others may benefit from it. As well, I would welcome any suggestions, feedback, and, especially, corrections to the document.

One of my concerns, though, about uploading it is that I do not speak for John Deere. The "improvements" I made to their instructions work for me, but they represent changes to the "official" John Deere instructions. I wonder if uploading the document may present unwanted ramifications to me or to MTF. I don't want to get anyone in trouble, least of all me. :)

So, members and moderators, what do y'all think?

p.s. If you give me the go-ahead, should I simply attach the file to a new thread topic, or is there a better way to upload a file?
 

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Please attach it here or, better yet, if you have some server space post a link to it.
 

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Gardening Newbie
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Well, I understand the concern about not speaking for John Deere. Is it possible to put some sort of text in the document that says this is not an official John Deere document, but it has been modified?

In any case, removing and installing the deck on my X500 is quite difficult. I would love to have your instructions. Half an hour? That's great!
 

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Murph
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I don't understand whats so difficult, I can take my deck off or put it on in less than 10 minutes.
 

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Just post it here, there is no reason Deere can have a problem with the procedure. They posted in a video and instructional manual how it is to be properly done and if you or someone else decides to alter, change, add, or delete instructional steps or procedures to perform an action, it is your choice. No disclosure is required because it is your procedure. If I or someone else attempts said procedure and either damages equipment or gets injured while doing the procedure it is our own assumption of responsibility.
 

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Honestly I understand your frustration. The first time I took mine off it took longer then it should have. It wasn't until I saw my salsemen do it that I realized how easy it was. Now I can have it off in under ten minutes but it did take longer to put it back on.

If you can post clearer instructions please do so as it will help all the new owners.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
OK, here goes. Sorry, SkipD. No server space.

I hope some people find it useful, but if so, use it at your own discretion. Again, comments and criticisms are welcome, especially if you see something unsafe or otherwise bad practice in my procedures.

bmurph and JD-X500, I can't explain why some people have problems and you don't. Of course, there's every possibility that I'm just not a very good mechanic. I have managed to keep various mowers and tractors running and operable for three or four decades, but I'm still just an every-other-weekend-or-so warrior.

All I know is that I had maddening difficulties the first couple of times I removed the deck, and that there were several other people with many or all of the same problems. There were many problems with the #%[email protected]#!! J-pins. Either they wouldn't come out or they wouldn't go in, or both. People cursed, scraped their knuckles, wrestled with iron, and still, the **** things wouldn't cooperate. Some people have even had to grind the hook side of the J-pins so that they could get them out of the holes--they were just too long.

Aside from the J-pins, I had problems with the front draft bar, and a couple of other minor problems.

Anyway, having streamlined my own procedures, I just wanted to share what I've learned and what works for me. For as frequently as I would need to remove the deck, I couldn't afford the time (and knuckles) not to find a better way, for me. And, as Oregon City says, you're welcome to show or tell me how I could do this without all the fuss. :)
 

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Looks fine, I see no safety concerns nor problems with the procedures. Nice job with the pdf editing. I might suggest you highlight changes such as "new" and what is new in a different color than what the original manual had. This way one can spot changes quickly and compare what was original. As it reads it is difficult to spot because your eyes are looking for a word "new" as opposed to color change.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
I might suggest you highlight changes such as "new" and what is new in a different color than what the original manual had. This way one can spot changes quickly and compare what was original. As it reads it is difficult to spot because your eyes are looking for a word "new" as opposed to color change.
Thanks for reading and commenting, buffy. I appreciate your comment about safety concerns.

I'm not sure I understand your suggestion, though. On my machine, the PDF displays with all of my added and changed verbiage, including the word "New," in light blue, italicized font. All original JD text is shown as black, non-italicized font. The italicized font (my verbiage) thus is distinguished from stock JD verbiage on both screen displays and on black and white prints.

Does my verbiage not show in light blue on your machine? Or, are you saying that my verbiage ought to be a different color other than light blue?
 

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Thanks for taking the time to modify the instructions for X500 users that have had problems with the removal and installation of their decks. My brother serviced an x540 for a lady and when he went to re-install the deck, he had a tough time too. He asked me about it and I told him about the J pin problem so he adjusted (cut) the bulged end of the J pin and it worked a lot better. My GX345 is the easiest deck that I have ever had to remove. I can remove deck in under 1 minute (timed myself) but a little longer to re-install. I guess auto connect would be the easiest of all.
 

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Gardening Newbie
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Thanks for posting these. I think they'll really help next time I do this.
 

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It is hard on the eyes when using teal and blue with italics when reading from the screen, however printed out with black ink it reads better. No problem for us blind guys. Still a nice job thanks.
 

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Nicely done.

I also agree w/ a earlier post that the J-Pins can be cut more aggressively to allow easier installation. The blunt head is a PITA if your holes are not lined up perfectly.
 

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Murph
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Nicely done.

I also agree w/ a earlier post that the J-Pins can be cut more aggressively to allow easier installation. The blunt head is a PITA if your holes are not lined up perfectly.
One thing I do that helps is use my floor jack to raise up the front of the mower a bit, it makes sliding the deck under and lining up everything much easier, once it's all line up I slowly drop it down and install the J-pins.
 

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Gardening Newbie
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I used these revised directions recently to remove the deck on my X500, and tonight I put the deck back on. Thank you. This is much easier and quicker now.
 

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MTF Tractor Nut
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A nice big set of adjustable pliers makes the J Pins a lot easier on the fingers.
 

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I got so ****** off at my tractor the last time I went to put the deck on, in a fit of rage I walked to the front of the tractor and heaved it up and gave the deck a good swat w/ my boot to center it backwards/forwards. I than had to kick the front deck bar so it wouldn't rest on it when I dropped the tractor.

Just thinking about removing/reinstalling the deck makes me get tight - I think I might need a beer.
 
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