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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey everybody
picked up a used stx 38 with the yellow deck today.
im wondering what everyones opinion is on this model.
it runs strong but the breaks dont work.
I have a craftsman 42" which cant seem to cut even.
Id like to invest in some repairs to the stx 38 and dump the craftsman.
I got the deere free, is it worth it?
Thanks
Bernie
 

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They actually mow pretty well. The decks on mine are black and are pretty thin metal. They fit through fence gates and that is the reason I still have
mine. The Kohler motors are pretty tough and easy to work on. The hydo
trannies on mine have been used and abused and still out run my X300.
The plastic hoods are junk and a waste of money. I don't have hoods on mine.
There is plenty on good info on here for the STX38. Best of luck.
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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The STX38 is a good base model/box store model. It was also built and sold as a Scott's, and done up in orange.

Here's the one I picked up for $150 last year, along with the $50 cart, both on CL locally.


I purchased a new hood w/ decals, a seat, and an ignition switch for it on ebay.

Personally, I think they're a good tractor, and if you like the old school thing, they're certainly worth keeping and doing a working restoration on.

Your brake can be adjusted. Look at the right side of the transmission (right side when seated on the tractor) where you'll find a round steel brake disk. At the center of this disk, you'll find a 1/2" nut. Tighten that nut just a little and retest the brake function. Repeat this process until you have the brake working. Don't go so tight as to have the little brake pads dragging all the time. If this doesn't cure the problem, replace the 2 little brake pads that are on either side of the metal disk. To do this, remove the aluminum bracket that goes around the outside of the disk. One brake pad is located inside that backet. The other brake pad is behind the metal brake disk. Slide the disk off it's splined shaft, and pick out the brake pad with a screwdriver, dental pick, etc. and replace. Put the assembly back together and adjust as I mentioned above.
 

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The STX Frame is One of the Longest Used Frames In the Deere Inventory They served as the Bases for the Sabre & Scotts By JD Lawn tractors Until 2001 There was even a Craftsman Labeled Lawn Tractor Based On Deere STX.. Sounds Like You only Intend to Mow with It But these Little tractors were also Good at Snow removal.. The Later Black Deck STX’s can Take all the same snow removal attachments(Front Blade & 2stage Blower) that fit on the Sabre & Scotts By JD Lawn tractor. The Yellow decks can only take a 38inch Single stage Thrower. Only Bad thing on the STX could Be the Hood design They seem to Have More Cracking then any other Model Hood In the Deere Inventory . The STX was Deere’s First true Run at a Price Point Machine to compete with the Box Store Lawn Tractor’s But Deere did Not skimp on quality Great Machine Really worth Keeping and I'm a Person who Like to Collect Garden tractors and this is One Lawn Tractor I would Love To Have In My Collection:thThumbsU
 

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Murph
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I bought a new yellow deck STX 46 in 1994 when I purchased my home with an acre lot, I called it the little tractor that could, it was under powered with the 46 inch deck and those 3 blades and mulch kit but as long as you didn't mow too fast in tall grass it was fine. I used it like a mule for many years and never had any major problems. I ended up trading it for a LT160 because I wanted the foot controls.
 

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they work well, hopefully you got the one with a hydro... :)

brakes seem to be a problem with many of them, it can be as simple as an adjustment (tightning a nut) or a stripped gear in the transmission (assuming manual transmission)

a 46" deck does seem a bit large with the the 38" deck it has all the power you need... (assuming the engine is good)

hoods are as brittle as crystal (and more expensive) so treat it well...


and LOTS of parts on eBay makes repairing them pretty easy and cheap.

other than that they are pretty hard to kill!

 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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^^Man, nice STX^^

I think the problem with the hoods, might be the latch method. It requires you to really have to pry on the hood to open it, and that breaks the hood. I adjust the catches on the hood so they are barely grabbing. It's not like the hood is going anywhere, so it doesn't need to be latched down.

Had an STX38 with a hydrostatic trans last week. Guy thought the transmission was bad. Turned out it was just sitting so long that the pivoting mechanisms for the external shift linkage were rusted solid. Pulled of the external parts, beat them apart, cleaned off the rust, packe 'em with anti-seize, and the tractor was good as new.
 

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The braking system on these are a simple adjustment. 7/16 wrench, I think. You can't beat the STX line. If you have the starter click syndrome, let us know. There is an easy fix for that.
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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You can't beat the STX line. If you have the starter click syndrome, let us know. There is an easy fix for that.
The only thing I don't like about the STX is that it doesn't have a frame. Notice how the rear fender pan extends all the way up to the nose. The "frame" portion of the tractor is a stamped steel channel spot welded to the underside of the "fender pan."

Where this becomes an issue is in certain maintenance things. For example, I recently picked up a 180 (much better than the STX line IMO) and the fender pan was peeling paint. Just a few bolts and the seat, the pan was in my hands, and off to the powder coaters. No way to do this on an STX should it ever need to be done. Or, the transmission I just rebuilt in an LX172. A few bolts and the fender pan was off, set the fuel tank off to the side and there's the entire transmission and belts, all exposed and easily removed.

Also, the Kawasaki engine in my 180 is pretty amazing. I'd take it any day of the week over ANY of the Briggs or Kohler engine......'cept for maybe the huge Briggs 18hp opposed twins (either vertical or horizontal...those are pretty awesome!)

Not slighting the STX's at all, still a nice little tractor, and it's hard to beat that crazy no grill old school look.:fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Wow
What a great site!
Thanks to all for your time and information on this tractor.
I am going to order the technical and owners manual from Deere.
I post some pics when I start to tune up and tinker with this tractor.
I think ill upgrade to the high back seat and get some new blades.
There is a sticker on the deck that say trial cycled? I put it in the shed with out checking. I assume its got 3 blades.
Thanks again guys.
if anyone need advise on anything hvac wise just shoot me a pm, be glad to return the information favor:)
 

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Proud Wheel Horse Owner
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The decks are twin blade...at least the 38" one is. Check ebay for pictures.

You'll like the high back seat. I put one on my 180, a generic yellow one from ebay. It's proved it's worth the past 2 weekends mowing some really crappy pasture/range type land in 6hrs stints. Without it, I would have felt like I'd been beat with a bag of hammers.
 

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After 23 years, and a conservative estimate of over 1000 Hrs of use I can say the STX38 is a great entry level lawn tractor. This tractor when first introduce in the 80s was available only at JD dealers, but was later de-contented, and sold in big box stores. BTW the deck only uses two blades.
 

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It's not easy being green
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I think the STX38 is a good little entry level lawn tractor. Hoods, as stated here, there, and everywhere are a downfall and are prone to breakage at the slightest negative pressure. You always need to be aware of your surroundings and how you move about the tractor when the hood is open. They can be found on eBay or CL. The engine is pretty tough to beat so long as you check the oil before every use & change it at least once a year. Whether you got the Hydro or the 5-speed trans, don't overwork it as they are not really serviceable like they are on some of the larger tractors. All in all, they are a solid lawn tractor worthy of at least moderate restoration and should last for many years if you take care of it. You gotta love the price too.
 

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Murph
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Wow
What a great site!
Thanks to all for your time and information on this tractor.
I am going to order the technical and owners manual from Deere.
I post some pics when I start to tune up and tinker with this tractor.
I think ill upgrade to the high back seat and get some new blades.
There is a sticker on the deck that say trial cycled? I put it in the shed with out checking. I assume its got 3 blades.
Thanks again guys.
if anyone need advise on anything hvac wise just shoot me a pm, be glad to return the information favor:)
Don't be afraid to get this stuff off eBay, there are literally 100s of parts, manuals etc. available for a fraction of what dealers charge. Here's a link to a quick search I just did.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw...300&_osacat=50377&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313


http://www.ebay.com/itm/John-Deere-...854?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53eb1f2e86
 

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new nut but loving it
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Don't be afraid to get this stuff off eBay, there are literally 100s of parts, manuals etc. available for a fraction of what dealers charge. Here's a link to a quick search I just did.

http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_nkw...300&_osacat=50377&_trksid=p3286.c0.m270.l1313


http://www.ebay.com/itm/John-Deere-...854?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item53eb1f2e86
Funny no hoods on your quick search... hate those hoods, but like the tractor. I have the STX46. It is the nicest tractor for the small spaces in my yard. :D
 
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