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I waited decades for my first John Deere lawn tractor and after using it for 92 hours I must say that it is a huge disappointment. The S-240 ALWAYS leaves a strip of grass uncut, regardless of which brand or type of blade I use. My local John Deere dealer has informed me, after checking it two times, that there is nothing wrong with the mower, that everything is working as it should. I have to cut my grass at least two times and sometimes three to get everything cut. It doesn't matter how high the grass is. It doesn't matter that the spindles are perfectly OK and the blades are not bent or damaged in any manner. It doesn't matter that the tires have equal air pressure on both sides. It doesn't matter how fast the mower is traveling when cutting the grass. That's two or three times the gas, two or three times the wear and tear on the mower and two or three times the necessary amount of time I spend cutting the grass.

The latest set of John Deere mulching blades I bought had installation instructions that say that 42 inch mulch mowers have blades that rotate in opposite directions and to make sure that the proper blade is installed on the correct side. However, every set of blades I have bought for this mower, regardless of the brand or type and including John Deere blades, are exactly the same, with no marking to indicate direction of rotation. I don't know if my S-240 is considered to be a 42 inch "mower" or a 42 inch "mulch mower". Therefore, I don't know if the installation instructions apply to my mower.

Does anyone know if both blades on the S-240 rotate in the same direction or opposite directions? If John Deere has been selling me the wrong blades that may explain the problem with the uncut strip of grass. If not, then all I can say is that I should have bought the Cub Cadet I was looking at when I was shopping for the lawn tractor. The Craftsman, Troy-Bilt, Simplicity, Toro, Ariens and Cub Cadet lawn tractors used by my neighbors don't have this cutting problem. They cut much better than my S-240. My neighbors have to cut their lawns only once to get it right and it takes them one half or one third the time to do it.

If the John Deere dealer and/or I can't get this S-240 to cut my grass properly by the end of this year I'm going to buy a different brand of lawn tractor next spring, one that will properly cut the grass, and put this S-240 in storage and use it as an emergency backup. I'm certainly not going to sell it or give it to someone and transfer the problem to a new owner.
 

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Unless I’m mistaken, there are a couple different decks that have been used on the S240 in its relatively short time on the market. What year is the tractor? Do you have the serial number of the deck? How about the part numbers for the blades and mulch kit you’ve installed?
 

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Where is the uncut strip in relation to the deck? Have you tried leveling the deck yourself to see if that helps any?
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Unless I’m mistaken, there are a couple different decks that have been used on the S240 in its relatively short time on the market. What year is the tractor? Do you have the serial number of the deck? How about the part numbers for the blades and mulch kit you’ve installed?
Thank you very much for your prompt reply, demonspeed. I appreciate it very much. The mower was purchased on 05/01/2015. The deck serial number is 1GXS240ELEF010444. The part nunber for the new mulching blades I just installed is AM141034. I now use just the mulch plug that inserts into the discharge chute hole but I've also used the full mulch kit where it's installed inside the deck. I have the same problem with both mulch attachments.

If I remember correctly the S-240 came with the same deck and transmission that is used for the X-300.
 

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Thank you very much for your prompt reply, demonspeed. I appreciate it very much. The mower was purchased on 05/01/2015. The deck serial number is 1GXS240ELEF010444. The part nunber for the new mulching blades I just installed is AM141034. I now use just the mulch plug that inserts into the discharge chute hole but I've also used the full mulch kit where it's installed inside the deck. I have the same problem with both mulch attachments.
It looks like that part number is for the bagging blades. AM141033 is the mulch blade you need.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
If you’re installing blades yourself, surely you can rotate the drive belt to see in which direction the spindles are designed to rotate?

Sorry to hear of your experience - that sounds like a real headache.




Andreas
I just checked and both blades are turning in the same direction. What I don't understand is why my local John Deere dealer can't identify and fix the problem.
 

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It looks like that part number is for the bagging blades. AM141033 is the mulch blade you need.
Thank you for the reply. I probably simply put the new mulching blades in an old lift blade box. They are definitely mulching blades as they have the regular cutting blade on the lower part of the blade and the serrations on the upper part of the blade. I've used regular, lift, high lift and mulching blades on this mower and I have the same problem with each type of blade.
 

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Where is the uncut strip in relation to the deck? Have you tried leveling the deck yourself to see if that helps any?
Thank you, SSG, for the prompt reply. The uncut grass is in the center or just right of center. I have leveled the deck many times using both the John Deere leveler and a bubble level while on a level surface. The John Deere dealer has also leveled the deck and the problem remains.
 

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If you've had it back to the dealer, did they see the strip of uncut grass? If so, what did they say about it?
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
If you've had it back to the dealer, did they see the strip of uncut grass? If so, what did they say about it?
Thank you for the prompt reply, ggsteve. I've had it to the John Deere dealer twice and both times they told me everything is set properly and the mower is working as designed. Their only explanation is "we don't know why it's doing that". I have not shown them any pictures of the uncut grass but I will do so when I take it to them again within the next couple of weeks.

I have a four year extended warranty plan that expires 04/30/2022 and there are currently only 92 hours of use on the mower so I'll probably contact John Deere directly if the dealer still can't figure out the problem. Of course, it's been my experience that John Deere will simply redirect my query to the local John Deere dealer, which isn't going to help me solve the problem.
 

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How has the dealer verified it is mowing correctly? Just based on the tech saying everything is installed and leveled? Have they tried actually mowing anything with it themselves?

Any chance you could get the dealer to bring out a different S240 - or even try swapping decks for a mow to see how that may change things?
 

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how tall is the grass when you cut it?... how wet is it?... what type of grass is it?....

Does it leave the grass uncut when going in a perfectly straight line, or are you in a turn - even a slow sweeping turn, when it happens?

Whats your mowing height?

I mow some trails in a meadow around my place, once a month, with my 2305. When I get into the 15" tall stuff, it takes me 2-3 passes as well, to get it cut nicely, and that is set to highest height - which is almost 4"... once i knock it down initially, I can set the height to my regular 2.75" and do a proper mow.
 

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If you just bought it can you get the JD dealer to do a side by side cut with another S 240 or test another one to see if it does the same thing? I'm wondering if deck didn't come out of the factory with spindles maybe not centered properly.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
How has the dealer verified it is mowing correctly? Just based on the tech saying everything is installed and leveled? Have they tried actually mowing anything with it themselves?

Any chance you could get the dealer to bring out a different S240 - or even try swapping decks for a mow to see how that may change things?
I don't know how the dealer verified that the spindles were OK and that everything was adjusted properly. I simply took their word for it. I know for a fact that I had everything adjusted properly because I'm adamant about properly maintaining any machine or other product I have. I'm almost certain the dealer won't bring out another S-240 or swap decks to determine the problem. I'm not going to badmouth the dealer but the fact of the matter is that I never really felt that I was an appreciated customer or that they were really concerned about my problem.

The S-240 was not offered for sale at the big box stores like the other JD models I looked at but I would have bought it from the JD dealer anyway. I always buy from the dealer when possible because of the better service and I don't really think it's fair to buy a machine from a big box store and then have a local dealer for that machine service it. I realize that many people will disagree with me on that point but that's the way I feel about it. Local and independent dealers for any product are being eaten alive by the big box stores. I would rather support my local dealer than a behemoth of a national company and I prefer to keep my money in the local economy.

I have only 92 hours on it and the extended warranty is good until sometime in 2022 so maybe the best thing would be to drop it off at the dealer each time I finish cutting the grass until they get sick of seeing me and do something to solve the problem. If they still can't determine the cause of the uncut strips of grass perhaps JD corporate will step in and find a cure. I doubt it, but it's a nice thought.
 

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I think you’ll find most people here agree with your assessment about buying the entry lawn tractors from the dealer rather than L/HD (for various reasons). There’s no shame in defending your purchase as the S240 is a great machine (your personal experience not withstanding) for certain types of requirements. It’s been beaten to death, so I won’t elaborate further, but you seem to be the type of person who does their research and comes to a conclusion with solid objectivity to balance emotive logic. I digress...

Based on your explanation, it definitely seems like your dealer isn’t fully appreciating your concern. I’d personally make one more attempt in getting a resolution with the dealer before moving up the ladder. I say this only because I think you’ve gleaned some extra stuff from our thoughts and opinions here (no matter how thorough one is, it doesn’t necessarily hurt having another set of eyes to review). Ask for details as to how they’ve determined their assessment, provide them options for deeper analysis, etc. I’m guessing they’ll just pay lip service, but at least you’ve done your due diligence with the dealer.

That said, I think your biggest hurdle will be the length of time since you’ve bought it. While low hours, four years is quite some time - unless of course you’ve been attempting to consistently resolve this the past four years. I’d like to think if you have to go above the dealer that prefacing the situation with the fact you’ve been working with them for four years to no avail shows you’ve exhausted the dealership’s efforts.
 

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dwendt44
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The information that I have shows that the S-240 does NOT
have or use the same deck as the X-300 series.

Sounds like one of the spindles is tilted to the outside.
Not sure how that is possible but it could be checked by

setting both blades straight across, with deck at highest level
and check both sides of both blades.


My 2¢
 

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Kish JD 318/420/430
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A laser level would tell you for sure, check HF or other online hardware. Or a cheap solution, a string stretched across the bottom of the deck. I like laser level, it's more high tech! :tango_face_glasses: :tango_face_devil:
 

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The information that I have shows that the S-240 does NOT
have or use the same deck as the X-300 series
The 48” Accel Deep deck became available for the S240 in 2018. Not sure if it’s the “same” in the context of how it attaches, but it’s at least the same type of deck (being an Accel Deep) that was offered on X300/X500.

Whatever the case, that is irrelevant since the OP’s is a 2015 and a 42”.
 

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The S-240 was not offered for sale at the big box stores like the other JD models I looked at but I would have bought it from the JD dealer anyway. I always buy from the dealer when possible because of the better service and I don't really think it's fair to buy a machine from a big box store and then have a local dealer for that machine service it. I realize that many people will disagree with me on that point but that's the way I feel about it. Local and independent dealers for any product are being eaten alive by the big box stores. I would rather support my local dealer than a behemoth of a national company and I prefer to keep my money in the local economy.
Since the BB stores don't have in house service departments, the dealers are contracted (paid) to do the warranty work. It's what they do.

That said, most JD dealers are not local operations any more. They tend to be large, multi-location corporate enterprises. There are some locally owned independents left, but it's been mentioned a few times that JD is actively trying to eliminate them.

Comparing mowers at the dealer won't tell anyone much unless it happens on any lawn they might have and setting one to specs might not mean much. They'd almost have to come to your place and try it on your lawn.
 
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