John Deere JS40

wakramerAugust 21, 2006

First time posting on this board. I've done some searches on this model but didn't find exactly what I was looking for.

I've seen postings that say this mower has some Snapper parts. I did a little research and it appears that it is all but identical to the Snapper Easy Line SPV21S. Even the price is the same. The only difference I can see aside from color is that the engine is an upgrade on the JD, Intek 7 with cast iron sleeve vs. Quantum 6.5, and the JD has a spring loaded plug on top of the grass chute where the bag connects.

Does anyone have experience with this mower or the Snapper SPV21S?

Since it is a 3 in 1, I assume the blade is a compromise between mulching and bagging ability. Would dedicated blades for mulching and bagging be available from Snapper?

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The Easy line mowers from Snapper more resemble the preceding Snapper mowers while the Easy speed mowers are something more different in design. I have an older Snapper (2005) with a dedicated mulching blade called Ninja that is also used on a few of the Easy lines, but none of the Easy Speeds according to the website.
If the existing blade on the Easy Speeds does not mulch very well because its too general, I am sure this forum could offer suggestions for an after-market mulching blade that would work well. I would be curious to see if you get any responses from Easy Speed owners.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 8:40PM
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Sorry, I am not familiar with the Snapper model you looked at. My comment is about the engine on the JD.

Since you are considering the JD, take a look at the JS20. This has a flathead quantum engine that is equipped with a cast iron sleeve (a long life feature). Additional this flathead has the Briggs easy start system and it really is an easy starting engine. I prefer the flatheads over the ohv because of lighter weight and the simple design.

    Bookmark   August 21, 2006 at 11:36PM
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"I prefer the flatheads over the ohv because of lighter weight and the simple design."

Do you prefer the simple design because you do you own repair work? For the average consumer that changes oil and filters but takes the engine into a shop for repair work, which of the two engines is a better all around performer? I am just curious to hear more about the differences with these two engine types.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 9:30AM
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There is no doubt, an ohv engine is more efficient than a flatheat engine. The reason is, the fuel air mixture has an easier path to enter and exit the combustion chamber. EPA emission standards are easier to meet on the OHV engine. Disadvantages are more weight, more moving parts, more gaskets, more opportunities for oil leaks and more things to go wrong.

The flathead engine is very simple in comparison. Briggs and Tecumseh have worked hard to meet the emission standards on this engine. There are fewer parts and the engine can be produced for a lower price. I am sure the mower shops will tell you there are fewer maintenance issues will the flathead. On the Briggs, line up, the easy start feature is only available on the the flathead. I observed a Grandma start this engine last winter - one easy pull at 35 degrees.

In the future, I am sure manufacturers will simplify the ohv designs and negate some of the disadvantages. These are my thoughts. Good luck with your choices.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 10:30AM
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I emailed Snapper about the blades. They said the 21" Hi-Vac and Ninja blades do work on the Easy Line models.

I was in Lowes yesterday and looked at the replacement blade for the JD models. They have the Snapper Easy Line part number 7100242 stamped on them.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2006 at 12:08PM
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I ended up buying the JS40. This thing is great at least compared to my old Murray.

After putting the oil and gas in, it started first pull which surprised me. It seems to always start first pull with the recommended 3 pumps of the primer. My old Tecumseh needed 20+ pumps before it would start.

Bagging performance is very good with the stock blade. It is unbelievable with the Snapper blade with air-lifts installed. I'm going to have to remove the air-lifts for dry weather, it was sucking up rocks and dirt and there was a constant dust cloud.

I also bought the Ninja blade. I haven't tested the stock blade for mulching yet but the Ninja makes fine cuttings and it seems to cut effortlessly. Hopefully it works well once the rainy season arrives here in the Pacific NW.

The drive system is fast. After reading comments about the drive system being cheap, I'm hoping it will last. The combination of the speed and the quick turning with the swivel wheels makes for a fast mow.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2006 at 2:38PM
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I purchased a JS40 and the power of this mower is excellent. Powered right through tall grass. Starts easily and the maneuverability is great. BTW, the casters have a lock/unlock control which is nice. I only have one slight problem with the drive mechanism that is probably just an adjustment. The drive slips all the time and does not help at all pushing up hill. If anyone knows how to adjust this please let me know. Everything else about this mower is great.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 3:58PM
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Concerning the drive on the JS40 and the Snappers, they are cheap in cost, but not in quality. They are very simple and reliable. As far as adjusting them, look at the right side of the handle. There is a spring connecting the control cable to the belt tensioner. It is actually two springs screwed together. You just have to unhook the cable and screw the springs into each other to tighten the tension or out to loosen the tension. If se properly, it will not slip. I can hold mine on the driveway and it will spin the rear wheels, but the drive win't slip.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 4:33PM
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Thanks fix_it. I've been reading the manual and found some pictures and how to adjust the ground speed mechanism like you said so that should take care of the problem. It was so bad that you couldn't even spin the tires in the grass let alone the driveway. So it's way out of adjustment.

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 4:41PM
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Mine got that way too, and I thought it was the belt. I even took it off and went down to the dealer to get a new one. He said "Why do you want a new belt? There's nothing wrong with this one." I told him it slips, and he informed me about the adjustment. It is very simple. Yours my have a vinyl sleeve over the spring, but it just slides up and out of the way.

As far as speed is concerned, if you look at the horizontal link going to the rubber disk, you will see there is an adjustment available. You can usually move it a quarter inch or so to the left to speed it up a little, or to the right to slow it down a little. Just watch how the disk tracks and don't make it run off the edge of the drive plate.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 8:25AM
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Seriously thinking about getting the JD JS40.... can u replace the blade with the Ninja mulching blade from a Snapper? I am looking for a good mulching mower and how does this one stack up( have KY. 31 fescue grass and cut every other day)?

    Bookmark   May 10, 2007 at 12:08AM
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I just purchased a new JS40 on Wednesday. I have a very hilly yard (reason for a RWD mower) and find too that the mower comes to a stop when going uphill, unless I adjust the drive speed to go faster- then it goes up fine and then takes off at the top of the hill. Has anyone who had this issue tries to aforementioned adjustments to get the mower to drive at an even speed going up & down hill?

Admitedly, I've only had a chance to test it for about 10 minutes and hadn't had a chance to go through the owners manual yet, but I was about to bring it back to Lowes, so any other user experiences would be helpful.


    Bookmark   May 11, 2007 at 8:55AM
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i have a js40 for 2 years. i would not get another. i got it because of the caster wheels, and i THOUGHT it would be more maneuverable. it is, but the front wheels are too far out in front, so clearance is not as good. also, it is only marginally more maneuverable than a fixed wheel. my real complaint is the bagging system. in a word, it SUCKS. whomever designed the bagging system needs a really hard kick in the buttocks. the attachment for the bag is flimsy. it makes the mulching cover stick out, so there is way less clearance on the right side. there is a guide for the pull start, it is either wrong, or the pull cord is not long enough. with the pull cord on this guide, when you pull it, the attachment wants to come off. it is good that this motor always starts on the first pull, otherwise, i think it would have long fallen off. to attach the bag itself, you have to open a spring loaded door, and hold it, then slide the front of the bag over the opening. right. if i had 3 hands, it would work. as it is, i gotta use my knee, and assume a very awkward stance. and this is EVERY time the bag goes on or off. the bag. ahhhh, the bag. it is not quite long enough to hang on the rear part of the handle like it is supposed to, so you gotta really pull and cuss at it. ok, now it is full of clippings, and you need to get it off and empty it. more fun. unhook back of bag, and hold with 1 hand. hold door with knee, and try to pull front of bag off/over door with other hand. look at all the clippings that fall out of the front onto the sidewalk, and cuss. maneuver bag from mower. now, put clippings in trash bag. this is the fun part. the back of the bag is a huge door. so, you gotta put the bag inside the trash bag far enough so that when the door opens, the clippings stay in the trash bag. i can get about 2 bags into even the largest trash bag. a third attempt will put more clippings on the ground than in the bag. it is because of that idiot rear door design.

i think the mulching is also marginal. it seems to blow more clippings out the sides of the mower than any other i have owned. it's like mowing in a dust storm.

this is the best starting mower i have ever had, and it goes up the slope in the back yard better than any other. it has a feature where a small capsule of fuel stabilizer is put in the gas tank cap, and it measures out enough stabilizer to keep the fuel fresh. a great idea, IF every time i need gas, i take the mower to the gas station. i'm a little guy, i would get a hernia. so, like most normal people, i put fuel in a gallon can, take it home, then put it in the mower. i put the fuel stabilizer in the gas when i fill the gas can, otherwise, it can get stale. stabilizer in the gas cap is no good for gas that is already stale.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2008 at 3:20PM
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i just replaced the stock blade with the GATOR mulching blade. HUGE difference. the clippings are all a lot smaller, and only a little gets blown out the sides of the mower. there is a 10x10 cement pad that i go over when i mow the back yard, and before when the mower goes over the pad, it would blow a huge amount of clippings out. i would have to go back later and sweep them up. now there is only a tiny amount. also, if the grass is high, the old blade would leave a trail of clippings. the gator leaves NOTHING behind. john deere should give this blade with the mower. dunno about bagging with this blade. also, there is a LOT of confusion about what will fit. i called several places, no one knew. finally, i called this place:
i gave them the jd part number, and they sent me the correct blade. if you are mulching, this is the blade for you. several posts compared this blade to the ninja blade, and the gator was better. way less expensive, too.

    Bookmark   June 9, 2008 at 10:25AM
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