Do's and Don'ts for end of year Rider Mower Storage

Rob FlemingNovember 1, 2013

Hi: I have a JD EZ Track 425. I bought it used and have used it a few times but it looks like I am done with it for the season here in Atlanta. Does anyone care to share some basics for storing it for the winter. I will keep it in my garage. Do I run it til the gas is empty or ?? Sorry, I know its a basic question but I have very little experience with this stuff. TIA for any advice.

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Personally I like treating the fuel w/ a stabilzer like Startron, then run it so it gets down inside the carb where it is needed. Clean it up like blowing the grass off, and out of the cooling system plus scrape out the deck. Maybe consider when you will have your maintenance done. When you are satisfied that it is ready for storage you could remove the negative cable on the battery because of the extended storage or make a point of running it up until warm every 3-4 weeks.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2013 at 10:56PM
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When I had 2 mowers, I would garage the tractor used for summer mowing and run it at full throttle for about 10 minutes every few weeks over the winter months. I never had any fuel or battery issues for over 8 years. I would do the oil and lube maintenance every spring.
I now use the same machine year round.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 8:32AM
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I'm from the school of using stabilized fuel.
Make sure you run it long enough so that it has reached the carb and has been drawn through all the passages. (I start using stabilized fuel 1-2 mowings BEFORE my expected "last mowing" of the season, since I'm never quite sure which one it will be)
I also fill the tank to the very brim.
This reduces the dead air space to nil.
As the temperature fluctuates from day to night, there is less air in the tank to expand/contract, "pulling in" fresh, moisture laden air.

Also, IF you have a single cylinder engine, try to rotate the engine to the start of the compression stroke.
This allows the valves to be closed, removing as much compression off the valve springs and also "seals" the cylinder from the atmosphere.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 10:52AM
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All good suggestions here - I use the fuel stabilizer along with a battery "tender" to keep batt charge up during wintering. To get that clean deck underside, always make it a point to run thru a good pile of dry leaves during last mow - they scour it out very well. Then, blow entire machine off with a leaf blower; ready to put up.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 3:58PM
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I have a JD LT 155. It has lived a the 10X12 Shed in the summer and winter. It lived in Indiana for all its life except the last two years when it decided that the winters were more pleasant in the Eastern North Carolina. When put it into storage I make sure the tank is nearly full, and pull the battery.

For its entire life, In the winter the battery has been kept in an unheated attached garage, and is periodically placed on the charger. I always make sure the battery has a full change before placing it in back in the tractor before the first use in the spring.

In all of the years I have had it, the only time I have had problems is the spring. I tried to start it without placing the throttle in the start positions. Once I realized my dumb mistake it started with out a problem.

Remember the JD has a 4 cycle engine. It does not have any more fuel stability problems than your car, as 2% of the fuel is not a heavy oil to clog the carburetor fuel passages.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 5:18PM
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Knuttle: Most Premium 2-Stroke oil have stabilzers already within them . As for 4-Stroke small engines the potential ethanol fuels South of my Border does cause gumming of the restricted (small) fuel circuits within these units. Therfore a stabilizer is warranted for any prolonged storage to protect you investment. I as has Tom advised use Star*tron on all my RV units . Even within my Diesel applications with the new Low Sulphur Fuels.

    Bookmark   November 2, 2013 at 5:33PM
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All good stuff here! Something I've always done is when I put stuff away for the winter, I first due the tune up, oil change, lube, scrape and paint underside of decks, sharpen and balance blades, etc. That way, next spring when other folks are wondering why things don't run, I'm ahead of the game. Also inspect for worn or needed parts which gives me all winter to LEISURELY find them rather than in a panic.

Also of the fuel stabilizer school, like the idea of being able to start up tractors during the winter and get vital fluids circulating. When I remember to, put a drop or two of oil in the cyinder of mowers, tillers and such and turn over.


    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 6:36PM
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Exmar: Excellent Post Season mtce schedule , especially the idea of late season oil and filter change prior to storage . There is commonly potential for filings , sludge , and By-Products of Oxidation , ketone and other acidic solutions suspended within old oil . Therefore it is routinely advised to do exactly what you have prescribed prior to storage especially with Dino Oil users. I use Synthetic Oils within all my vehicles for just this reason as it significantly reduces these liabilities .

    Bookmark   November 3, 2013 at 7:52PM
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