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John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Posted by stevenc150 KY (My Page) on
Tue, May 9, 06 at 22:34

I purchased this mower 4 years ago. It only started doing it recently, probably within the last year or so. After the engine gets to operational temperature if I happen to shut the engine off it floods out to the point it will barely start.
And once it does start it coughs black puffs of smoke out for 30 seconds or more, which is why I say it seems to be flooding out. I've gotten into the habit of after mowing my acre yard, I always stop and reach under the raised deck and get out as much grass as is reachable. When I go to start the mower back it starts the same old crap. Especially after the reputation of John Deere lawn tractors I would expect better. Any info would be greatly appreciated. I did try getting new spark plugs and air filters but to no avail. Thanks.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

You probably have a fuel/air mixture problem. You should clean out and adjust your carburetor. Just because it's a John Deere it doesn't mean it won't have problems. Especially if you don't take proper care of it and you abuse it.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

The problem is more than likely something simple and the odds are good that you will never figure out what it is. And a bit of trouble after four years of use is not so bad. And then there is the John Deere dealerships with parts and trained mechanics who can have your Deere running like new again, which is one of the best selling points of John Deere, and one of the best reasons to buy a John Deere. Why not make use of it?


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

stevenc,

I may have an idea of what is happening. A couple of questions 1st. How many hours are on the machine and are you the 1st owner? Also, what year? Have you noticed any increase in operating temperatures? How is your coolant level? And how often do you clean your prescreen and the radiator fins?

Cheers

JDFANATIC


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

  • Posted by wolfe1 Z-5 Chicagoland (My Page) on
    Wed, May 10, 06 at 13:42

Your 425 is EFI corrct? I would make sure that it is opperating, or stops operating correctly when you shut off the ignition. If it continues to pump fuel as if it were in the run position, I am guessing it would result in the problm you are describing.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

For us non JD types What type and make of ENGINE???? I know some of the 400 series may have gas or diesel???MY guess is Improper shut down procedure maybe????????


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I'm almost positive that the 425 is LC, carb and not EFI. 445 is LC and has EFI. 455 is diesel.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

jdlt180 is quite correct. I owned one of these for 10+ years and 700+ hours.

Cheers

JDFANATIC


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Check your spark quality when this happens. Those have a delay module on them that controls the spark to prevent backfire at shutdown (it keeps the ignition going for two seconds after you turn off the key to burn up any extra fumes). Sometimes they go wacky after heat soaking after shutdown. Instead of a nice blue spark, you might see a weak, erratic orange spark.

Just an idea, don't go buy one without testing first.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I will look in a few days to provide the exact model # but I can say that it is around a '94, it has a Kawasaki V-twin, gas, with a fuel pump that starts running at the "Run" position of the key, I can clearly hear it. It has not been abused, more like babied. I haven't taken it to the John Deere dealership because I was going to see what info I could get by posting it on GardenWeb and possibly fix it myself. The Mower has around 430 hours, and I'm the second owner. The coolant level is good but I have not cleaned out the radiator fins which I will do next. Again, thanks everyone for your time and I'll get the full model # posted within the next day or so.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

stevenc150,

That liquid-cooled Kawasaki is extremely sensitive to temperature. This means, cleaning the pre-screen after each use, and either blowing, vacuuming, or washing off the radiator fins. Because of the age, I suspect that the tractor is running on the cooler thermostat of the two versions offered (if the gauge barely goes into the green, then that would confirm my thinking). What happened, is that our wonderful government got involved and told Deere that the emmissions of this tractor were too high. Deere's solution was to raise the operating temperature. But by doing so, the Kawasaki which loves cool, didn't run as well and when hot became hard to start. Deere came up with a new carburetor which went a long way towards solving the problems, but that silky-smooth, cool-running Kawasaki never ran the same.

Because this is a new phenom, I would be leaning towards cleaning the screen and radiator, but your thermostat could also be going or sticking. If it is the thermostat, then I would look to the automotive aftermarket for the same temperature range (sorry I can't remember what this was), rather than go with the Deere replacement (they no longer make the lower temp version).

Also, on the front of the engine are several bolts (I believe some are for the muffler) but others are just to hold the aluminum cover plate on. Check these from time to time, as they will loosen (mine happened around 500 hrs) and you will loose coolant, and therefore the engine will run hotter.

I want to say, in my case, that for the first 500 hours, this tractor was one of the finest I have ever owned. If you hopped on it on a 90F day, it didn't beat you up by adding to the heat (it ran that cool). It was quiet, powerful, and would start on the first 1/2 click hot or cold. My experience with the tractor over the next 200+ hours wasn't the same. I just never liked how it ran with the new carb and higher temps. The 445 model with EFI never had this problem, and of course the 455 was a diesel. Newer kawasaki powerplants have been redesigned to operate at the higher temps.

Hope that helps.

Cheers

JDFANATIC


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

My 425, which I've since traded, had this problem. If the temperature guage was anywhere in the green zone, it ran rich and flooded badly when shut down (to the point of hydro-lock). The spark plugs would foul badly from this condition, the engine would miss, and spew black smoke. The system was designed to run a bit after the key switch is shut off, it typically failed to do that as the problem worsened. While I do not wish to argue with JDFanatic, I don't believe the kawasaki engine is the problem with heat, it's the carburator attached to it. JD told me there was a service bulletin for these early units (mine was a '93) which was supposed to address this known problem. Whether this is the new carb referred to by JDFanatic I do not know. My solution was WAY better than that as I traded for the diesel model.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

JDFanatic was right. I simply replaced the air filter and pre-filter, cleaned the radiator pre-filter and fins out and surprise, it worked. It was all about the heat. Thanks JDFanatic and everybody else, this is a great web site with very useful info provided by great people. Take care everybody and keep up the good work!


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425 Problem Resolved!!!

JDFanatic was right. I simply replaced the air filter and pre-filter, cleaned the radiator pre-filter and fins out and surprise, it worked. It was all about the heat. I think I'll replace the spark plugs just to put fresh plugs in, clean the pre-filter more often, and definitely clean the radiator fins clean. Thanks JDFanatic and everybody else, this is a great web site with very useful info provided by great people. Take care everybody and keep up the good work!


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

steve,

Glad the simple solution worked out. Just keep in mind, if your thermostat ever goes, do whatever you can to replace it with one of the original temperature range. That Kawasaki will love it and you will continue to love your Kawasaki!

Cheers

JDFANATIC


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I have a different problem in that I am having trouble starting my 425 when cold. This occurred suddenly after sitting for a week. It cranks and cranks and finally sputters and then starts. It can take several efforts and many minutes. I have changed all filters and plugs. The carbuerator is immaculate. It has 300 hours and I am the original owner. I can hear the fuel pump run in the on position, although the fuel filter bowl is never full of fuel. I am thinking this is a fuel pump issue, as I know that cars will often just not start suddenly when the pump goes bad. Anyone else with a similar problem? Thanks, Ken


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Ken,

I'm not sure what your problem is, but I do remember my fuel filter bowl never filling up.

Cheers

JDFANATIC


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I would also check out the Choke, It could be not choking especially if it don't shoot out black smoke when it fires off. Even my new Lt I have to prime it sometimes with carb. cleaner. It also Cranks and cranks after setting for a few days. But, been that way since I got it. Probably the nature of the cheap single briggs ELS in my case.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Yeah, check the choke adjustment. If the choke isn't closing 100%, a Kawasaki will not start. Make sure your fuel is new as well, as fuel 30+ days old will hamper starting (all the "umph" is gone from it).


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I have a one-owner, 1996 John Deere 425 with a Kawawsaki 20hp & 600 hours. It will not start as of late. It has been a sweet machine and babied for over 10 years. Every blade, vent, filter(air & lube), plug and lubricant is either new or whistle clean. I run a tank of gas with STP system cleaner through it twice a year. I carried it in to my local JD dealer with a full tank and brank new plugs. I picked it up 3 weeks later with an empty tank. They said they let it run all day to see if it would act up. The hours were the same as when I carried it in, besides what does running all day have to do with not cranking? The next day, it still wouldn't crank. I'm now looking for an auto mechanic - or web help. In the old days, if I removed a plug from the block and left the coil wire connected - and held the contacts between my fingers while turning the engine over, I got a shock. I get nothing from either plug. Yes, the brake is locked on. The JD dealer tells me that when the brake is on, it bypasses the switch under the seat. Is this true? I'm hoping that some John Deere professionals out there might help me out, please.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Sounds like either a faulty brake switch or seat switch either of which are easy to bypass. If the hours are the same then someone is not telling the truth though it is common for the mechanic to start the machine and let it run sitting outside for a long period of time.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

grassguy,

I would look at the switch under the seat first. In fact, for the subject of a test, upplug it and jumper it out with some ~ 12 gauge copper wire. Then try cranking it up.

Cheers

JDFANATIC


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Or the seat switch has come loose and the mechanic is a bit larger than you (closing the switch when sitting). You have to be on the seat to start the unit. It will run (without PTO engaged) with parking brake on only.

-gh


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Thank you, jdfanatic. The 12-gauge copper jumper worked on the seat switch. I had tried a smaller wire with no luck. Got to have good contact. My JD425 cranked and smoked a lot from all the carb cleaner and starter fluid. It ran for four minutes and quit like the ignition had been turned off. The carb and cylinders were wet so gas was not a problem. I always run new gas with Sta-Bil, anyway. When trying to trouble shoot this problem, I dry out the carb and cylinders and add new CJ8 plugs every time. I loosened the gas cap. Then I removed the gas filter and blew out the gas line in both directions with an air hose. Both air filters are new. It cranked. In about four minutes, it suddenly quit without a sputter. I repeated the above steps twice more. Finally, in desperation - and at a loss, I tried something crazy. I felt like the problem might be electrical. I clicked the yellow mower-engagement knob up and down a few times leaving it out in the engaged position. I turned on the ignition, pressed the brake, choke all the way back and throttle at 25%. When I pushed the mower-deck button in, it cranked. I thought it was a fluke. In about five minutes, it quit again. I repeated the exact same steps, using the mower-deck knob as a starter. It cranked. I shut it down and soaked the mower knob, shaft and all I could reach under the dash with electrical-contact cleaner. The JD425 cranked the normal way. I cut ten acres in seven hours stopping a few times for a break and to refuel. Each time it cranked like it ran like new again. At the end of a cutting day, I always blow out the tractor with a back-pack blower and add a clean, foam pre-filter air cleaner. Thank you again, JDFANATIC. I wish you a lot of good luck for helping others like myself when they are at a loss. You did more by writing one sentence than my dealer accomplished in three weeks costing me over $100.00 and a full tank of new gas. Now, thanks to you, I'm caught up. Have a great day!


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

grassguy,

Thanks for your kind words. I'm glad it all worked out. Those 425s are great machines.

Cheers

JDFANATIC


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

When I engage the mower-engage knob, a 15 amp fuse blows and kills the engine. After replacing fuse, engine run fine until mower is engaged, then the fuse blows.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I had the same problem. Replaced solenoid, but problem persisted. Transaxle fluid was slightly over-filled, drained back to min/max range. No more blown fuses after 10 hrs.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

An update to my last posting is necessary. The fact that my JD425 cranked by using the mower-deck button WAS a fluke. How it cranked is not as important as why it cranked - and why it did not crank. After a month of frustration and continued trouble cranking - and stopping - I carried my JD425 back to the dealership. It was as clean as new. I had tried every suggestion available on the internet without success. My dealership mechanic found the problem and replaced the "Time Delay Module." I must say that my sweet Kawasaki 20HP OHV is cranking and running better than when it was new - and it has logged 650 hours. I did learn one bit of interesting information from the dealer. If you accidentally leave your switch on, the hour meter will continue to run even though the engine is not running. Kudos to my John Deere mechanic for getting me back in the saddle again. Thank You!


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I have a 1994 jd 425 and it won't run I have replaced the fuel and air filters but can't get gas past the new filter. It will turn over with starting fluid but won't run. Help


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Do you have the fuel filter pointed in the right direction? Uncouple the fuel filter and switch ends. If the fuel still won't pass through it start checking to see if the fuel pump is working. Disconnect the fuel line from the filter on the fuel tank side of it and turn the key to the on position. If the pump is working you should see a healthy stream of fuel gushing out of the line.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

If the main jet is clogged, or if the fuel shutoff solenoid (if so equipped) is not opening, you will not move any fuel through the hose and filter. A "stuck closed" needle valve in the float bowl will also produce identical symptoms. If it runs for a second or 2 when primed with carb cleaner or other volatile fuel, you need to check for those conditions mentioned above. Click the link below to a thread in this forum similar to your issue.

Here is a link that might be useful: not getting fuel


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

My fuel pump is not energizing after I turn the key, could this be caused by the time delay module? There is a fuel pump fuse, but I can't find it. HELP!! Greg...


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I have a 425 jd and the problem is that when it's cold or has been sitting a little while after it ran, I turn on the mower and it wants to sputter but if I lower the rpm it will run ok. After a while I then run it w.o.t. with no problems. It seems to do this when it is hot out,(above 75f). That was a few weaks ago now today I went to start it and it would crank over but not start. After a while of cranking it started up but ran for a few seconds than die. Try to restart it and it would backfire and run backwards. It has 1010 hours on it and haven't had any problems until this year. It needs a valve lash adjustment on it and I need the Specs. on that also.
Every thing is cleaned (radiator, fins, air filter, fuel filter, oil filter and new oil. I've read some of the sujestions and will do what I can. And it might be that its the spark delay on it is going bad because it runs fine in lower temps,(below 75f). I also snowblow in the winter. Any help would be realy helpful. Thanks.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

evensteven,

From what you describe, it could be the time delay module. If it is, the good news is that it's an inexpensive fix.

Just for grins, try jumpering out the seat switch with ~ 12 gauge wire.

Let us know how you make out.

Cheers

JDFANATIC


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

If anyone has a service manual for a John Deere 425 I would appreciate it if you would email it to me. corwin522@myway.com


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RE: Mower Problems

Response to breezybiv:
If you can't find the fuel pump fuse it may not have one. If you do not hear the pump running check and wiggle the connections. This worked on my John Deere 425. One of the wires coming from ignition may not be making a good connection to the fuel pump. Maybe someone else will post and tell us which color wire from ignition to the fuel pump.


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JD 425/Kawasaki Main Seal Leak

The "front" main seal, towards the front of the tractor has been leaking. Access looks easy after removing the grill and battery. Has anyone replaced theirs? Does it require any special service tools?

Thanks
Ed


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

My front seal was easy to replace, but had the crankcase cover removed. If you can pierce the metal part of the seal with an icepick-like tool, you should be able to pry it right out. Based on the ease with which my seal came out, this shouldn't cause you any grief.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

My 425 has been running flawlessly. Last night it died while mowing and I found it blew the upper 15A fuse. After letting it set over night, I started it up and within 15 seconds of starting the mower (PTO), it blew again. I replaced it and restarted the engine only, and within 15 seconds it blew again. What does the upper fuse go to? Anyone have a remedy suggestion? Thank you.


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JD 425 water problem

Water getting in combustion chamber 400hrs, dealer says change head gaskets and make sure heads are flat. Did all this was ok all summer now that it is cold it is leaking again. any suggestions other than change heads. Thanks


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

hello, my 425 mower wont run without battery attached. i asked the dealer were i could find the output wire from the stater and he told me that 90% of the time the voltage regulator is bad. so i bought a $65.00 regulator and have the same problem. so i will ask you. do you know were the output wire is located from the stator. saturday i will be removing the fly wheel cover, and then the flywheel in order to locate were the wires run to. then testing with a voltmeter. i'd rather here of an easier way


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I had the same problem. Wet plugs, won't start. I had my plugs gapped at .030 per John Deere. I found a plug gapping guide for the 22 hp Kawasaki EFI engine I had which said the gap is .025. I changed the gap, and it starts and runs fine now. Before you invest a nickel into troubleshooting, try this. I ran through everything. Changed gas, heet in the gas tank for water, starting fluid. They didn't do the trick. Changing the gap did and it starts right away.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

My JD 425 is hard to start. When it does start it will sit there and idle. It will run smooth, and then start running rough. When I increase the throttle it will start sputtering and choke itself down...then it dies and it sounds like a gunshot. I have read about this time delay module..for about $15..Where is this module located, and what does it look like???. I called JD they told me $110...I dont think me and JD are talking about the same part...Does anyone have a part number for this time delay module? Do you think this may be my problem or maybe have any suggestions. I have changed the plugs, the electric fuel pump is pumping, I took off and cleaned the carburator...any suggestions???


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I just wanted to thank you all for all the valuable information. My JD 425 was hard to start and running crazy. For about the last 3 months..every time I shut it down..it sounded like a gunshot...but would start and operate fine...but last week..I got on it...it was hard to start..and ran crazy...sputtering and popping..I changed the spark plugs,,took off the carburator and cleaned it...checked the electric fuel pump....it did not fix the problem.....I went to the JD dealer...he told me it sounded like a bent valve or pushrod...that I needed to bring it in....I got online and saw TIME DELAY RELAY about 10 different times...I went to JD...bought a TIME DELAY RELAY for $23....and that was my problem...Runs Great!!!! Thanks Again! I did not realize you could fix your tractor online!


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Do you really want some good information specifically for john Deere Garden tractors? Go to Weekend freedom machines. These guys have all the answers!

Jim

Here is a link that might be useful: Weekend freedom machines


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

My 425 starting acting up at about 1100 hours.I just did the FULL service on it- fluids and filters. I didn't change the plugs yet- I'm not sure what it needs. It ran fine after the service for about 40 hours.

Anyhow it starting quitting very suddenly, hot or cold, then its very hard to start. Today I started it cold, and tried to back it into the garage. It started INSTANTLY. I left the choke on like 1/2 as it likes that for the first 5 min or so.

Anyhow I started backing and died without sputter, after running like 20 seconds. I cranked and cranked- it would not start at all. I could not smell gas.

I noticed that when it gets in *this mode* the best thing to do is to turn the key like 2 seconds and release. It won't start if the key is turned, but *eventually* it will *catch* when its spinning, and they key is released, and sputter back to life (with 10 seconds of smoke) if they key is released.

Where is this timing relay located? ON that circuit board?


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Farn Partner Screwup # 212

My farm partner drove our brand new John Deere x 500 series tractor that he hasn't paid his share of yet over a "stick" and now the mower won't engage. Anyone have any idea what he did to it.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

My John Deere 425 Garden Tractor (with a '98 Kawasaki engine) is killing me. Won't start at all! After having replaced spark plugs as well as gas and air filters, and see fuel getting into carborator, my father-in-law thinks it may be coils (he held spark plugs with insulated pliers while I turned ignition and saw nothing) or electrical harness (that I can't get unclipped). One local dealer wants me to bring machine in to replace nylon gear for $6-700 (parts and labor) but am suspicious. Need help soon ... my grass is getting really long!


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

While the "nylon camshaft gear" would cause problems in the operation of the engine valves, it would have absolutely no effect on the sparking of the 2 coils.
The coils are simple magnetos powered by the flywheel magnets as the magnets rotate past the coils.
If you are not observing any spark from either spark plug cable, you most likely have a problem in the seat switch and/or interlock circuitry.
When the plugs were tested, did you have them touching a metal surface of the engine? If they are simply held out in the open away from the engine, they will not spark.
The threaded portion of the plug must be in contact with a metal surface on the engine.
You can test the coils to see if they are good by removing the flywheel cover to access the coils.
Each coil has a white wire connected to it. This is the "kill wire". Grounding this circuit is how you kill the engine when you turn off the key switch. It is also how the safety interlock seat switch system kills the engine by grounding the white wire circuit.
To test the coil, unplug the white wire from a coil and repeat your test for spark. Do the test for both coils, if you see spark when the white wire is disconnected from the coil, but no spark with it connected.............there is a problem in the interlock or seat switch system. And keep your hands away from the exposed flywheel when testing with the flywheel cover removed. It's all too easy to forget that thing spins and can hurt you if you are concentrating on just checking for spark. Work safely at all times!


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I have a 1994 John Deere 425. When it is cold it does not have spark. I cleaned the connecters and thought it was fixed but isnt. After cranking it over awhile and leaving the key on it gets spark again. But some times when it is running it looses spark again. And then the problem starts all over again especially when the engine is cold.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Motor running, full gas runs ok, turn on snow blower under load (blowing snow) motor cuts out, back fires somewhat, I replaced plugs (hotter plug) suggested by JD dealer, changed oil, looked a little milky, but was told by another 425 owner thats possible this time of year. tractor is 1994 model 565 hrs, I'm org owner.this happened a couple years ago, changed plugs went away, not this year.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

JD LA125, Changed oil, engine strated smoking at an incline, oil level correct, changed float, seat, plugs, gas/oil filter, new fuel pump, plugs. JD mechanic suggested I change these parts, same problem. Oil leaking from the fuel filter. I loosened the gas cap and mowed in the same area where the problem first started no smoke, no leaks, drilled two small holes in the gas cap and mowed with no problems, Problem corrected.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I have a 97 425 I last spring we had all the nylon gears replaced and it ran good after that, however when the heat of summer set in and same thing this year we are good mowing when its in the 70's but when temps hit the mid to upper 80's and up we have trouble with the mower just shutting down and won't start for awhile and then it will start and we can mow for a bit and then it shuts down again and we repeat the process all over again I am thinking it is somekind of relay or module of somekind and was wondering if anyone else has had this problem with their mowers and have been able to figure out what the problem was we just spent the $800 to get the gears replaced and now this and I would like to fix myself if possible so any words of wisdom would be a great help. Thanks in advanced for taking the time to read this.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

I have a 425 that is running on one cylinder. Changed plugs and coil. The plug does not appear fouled at all. I am wondering if this is a fuel/carb problem? Any Idea's?


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

my 425 is a workhorse until i engage the mower deck and then it turns into a pony . sputtering and carrying on, does it for about 20 min. and then seems to be ok, very annoying. seems to do it more going uphill than down????


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

Have a 97 425 with 20hp(kaw) leaks oil at sending unit,tried rtv,no luck.Does jd make a thread repair kit(helicoil)for this.Said to be a common problem.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

sqwilliams,

Your question might get the attention you seek if you start a new thread and don't hijack a 7 year old thread.


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

My John Deere 425, 20hp Ohv Kaw., would not start this spring so i replaced the coils, timing module, plugs,fuel filter, and cleaned ground and re fixed. The battery kept going dead after to tries, but would fire and run for short burst. tested battery and was told it was good and had it charged. Took battery back to auto store to charge again and was told it was bad. Hooked up a 600 CCA battery and now it starts and seems to be running fine. Problem now is that the mower will engage and takes a while to get to speed and when I start mowing it has no guts and dies in low grass. Checked all fluids and mower blades move freely. ANY IDEAS? THANKS MARK


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RE: John Deere 425 Mower Problems

How man cylinders is it actually running on?


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