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John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Posted by kspeed none (My Page) on
Thu, Dec 12, 13 at 11:51

I purchased a John Deere X300 in March of 2012. I mowed my lawn for 28 years with Toro self-propelled mowers and because of back problems I got to the point where I needed a rider. I bought a John Deere, paying well over one month of my income for it, because I thought it would be reliable and because of the 4 year warranty. Unfortunately it turns out I was wrong on both counts. I had a problem with a plastic part rubbing the blade so I had the dealer pick it up for warranty work. However, when the service department called me they said that it is the deck that is damaged and will cost $1100.00 to fix. This cost is only for a new mower shell and installation of the moving parts from my mower. They will not cover it under warranty because they say it is my fault. The tractor has 38.4 hours on it and I have nothing on my lawn that could cause this damage. I told them I had mowed this lawn for 28 years with Toro mowers that cost 1/10 as much and never had a problem like this. I find this apparently poorly designed and/or flimsily built product to be unacceptable. If a cheap Toro mower can mow my lawn with no damage hundreds of times, why can�t a mower that cost 10 times a much do the same?


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

I would start working up the chain of command. If you can not get resolution with the service, go to the store manager, then the JD customer service representative, and then who ever you can find.

It does on go to post to the forum on a problem like this except to extract sympathy.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

I'd go to the dealer and have them show me EXACTLY what is damaged and why the deck shell has to be replaced.

If the deck shell is bent then you did something that caused the damage and that is not covered under warranty.

It's just as possible to run over something at 1 hour or 38.4 hours or 28 years... just bad luck. No matter how intent we are in watching where we're mowing sometimes we just miss seeing something we should avoid. Many a snowblower has been destroyed hitting a newspaper buried in the snow.

If you decide to repair your X300 I would not effect the repair at that price although some shops are really adept at straightening bent mowing decks. A completely new deck might be cheaper or check other dealers for a take-off or used deck. Any deck from an X300 or X320 or X324 or 48" from an X500 should go right on but you may need to add the lift assist spring for larger decks..


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Agreed on having the dealer give you the physical lowdown. I would assume that you have either a 38 or 42 Edge deck if you previously were using a walk behind. You weren't very clear on the plastic incident. The tractor is all in all a nice enough tractor, but I do agree that the heft of these decks leave some to be desired. I did find a tweaked 42 Edge this year with about 15 hours on the clock. This guy definitely hit something, a root if I recall. Now, if the ring that goes under the chute was torn off, Deere has a weld in repair piece available. It does seem strange to me that they would quote a deck shell replacement. As your deck spindles are aluminum, it is possible that an attaching bolt will break off in the spindle housing -requiring it be replaced as well. Even on a machine w/ 2 seasons under its belt. Edit: please post back what happens. I was just thinking that most Deere 2 blade deck shells that come to mind have a $400 to maybe $600 price tag. Yours may be different.

This post was edited by tomplum on Thu, Dec 12, 13 at 23:05


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

I appreciate all of the comments. I escalated my claim to John Deere the same day that Wright Implement told me they would not fix it under warranty. In replay, JD basically told me that they used the dealer analysis and would do nothing further. I wrote a review on the John Deere site but they have not published it. I sent a copy of that review to the CEO as I figured he might not have time to read all of the reviews on the web site. Other than corresponding with the CEO (sending him my future reviews, my Owners Cap, and possibly a video on YouTube), I am pretty sure my relationship with Wright and JD is over.
Mine is the 42 inch deck with the mulching kit added. I expect the dealer is making a large profit at $1100.00 just to replace the shell. I clarified (a second time) that they were going to just replace the shell and a third time when the representative from John Deere called. Oddly enough no one can explain how cheap Toro mowers can successfully mow my lawn for 28 years with no damage whatsoever. And I have really babied this X300 because I expected it to last at least until I die. Because the Toro mowers were cheap and tough I can show you the tops of some stones that I mowed off trying to get too close to a garden (I have back problems and trimming is difficult for me).
I have never had a case like this with a warranty. I take care of my possessions. When I took my Lincoln in for service and a bulb was burned out they didn’t tell me: “We are not going to fix it under warranty because it’s your fault for applying the brakes; the light comes on and filament burned out”.
At this point I am not sure what to do. I can try to sell the tractor as is but I have found that the X300’s are not worth much. I have found that I can get a whole new mower for under $1000.00 and I could have someone install it then sell it. If I fix it, I am really hesitant to use it to mow again as it is obviously so delicate. If I buy another mower I don’t know if I should get something cheap (for about the $1100.00 the dealer quoted me) or get a “better” Toro mower. I would normally do the latter but after this experience I have found that more expensive is not always better, at least at John Deere. I know that is one brand I will never buy again.
Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions. I will post again as this saga progresses.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

You admit to "mowing off" the tops of some stones with the push mowers you formerly used.
It might be a case of the physical differences in WHEEL BASE and related ground clearance between a rider mower and a push mower that allowed the edge of the deck to contact an obstacle that the edge of a push mower deck would have sailed right over with no problem.
Obviously, none of us have seen your deck nor your yard so we can't say with authority what might have happened.
But I will say that many of us forum members have seen a fair share of deck damage from hitting obstacles and I opine that it takes a lot (short of rusting out) to render a deck completely useless.
Pictures of the damaged deck would go a long way toward leveling the playing field in search of supporting advice on your plight.
Now, if this has all been a "sour grapes" rant, I opine you have made your point.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Only hearing your side of the story and lacking specifics on which parts are damaged or pictures I think your best chance at getting support was with the dealer and the dealer management. My experience with JD is that escalating a dealer complaint to the moon won't get you anywhere.

If your complaint is that the X300 mowing deck failed in normal use that is one thing, but if your complaint is that you were able to mow for 28 years with a Toro hitting things that didn't damage the deck but that your X300 deck is not as impervious to damage under the same abuse then that is another thing entirely.

I used to do things un the snow in my 1956 Buick Roadmaster that I'd never attempt in my new Subaru. That doesn't make my Subaru less capable... I simply recognize that my Subaru is thousands of pounds lighter than my old Buick was and operate it accordingly.

If I were you I'd go to the dealer and get the service manager and owner together and have them show you exactly what is damaged and what needs to be replaced and ask them how they think it was damaged. They are in a position to discount the parts and labor costs if they choose to.

And used decks and take-offs do show up from time to time...
http://catskills.craigslist.org/grd/4219449787.html


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

I probably shouldn’t have put in about mowing off stones (clarification, it’s not bedrock). My point was that my Toro mowers got some, admittedly, hard use. Whereas I have taken much better care of my John Deere. For instance, I have done three times as many oil and filter changes as John Deere has in the maintenance schedule. I have greased it long before JD says it was needed. I have even washed and waxed it! Actually, I think it’s easier to guide this mower as the Toro was out in front of me whereas I can look almost directly down at the mower on this tractor.
As to the plastic part, in researching this problem I discovered that is (I believe) the $128 mulch kit. Plastic: now there is a durable material for a mower!
Finally, does it seem excessive to charge $1100.00 for a new deck shell and the labor to move the parts from mine? I cannot find a JD deck online but a Cub Cadet sells for $350. I can’t see how an experienced mechanic could take very long to move the parts. I will see if I can get a picture. Thanks again.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

  • Posted by exmar 6 SE Ohio (My Page) on
    Fri, Dec 13, 13 at 18:54

Go to your State Attorney General's website and file an online complaint, or request the form and go that route if required. In my limited experience, State AG's automatically copy the person or company you're complaining about with a cover letter. That seems to get some attention. Also, cuts down on the AG's workload I'd think. Whether they'll actually be able to do anything, time will tell.

Good luck,

Ev


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Really, insist on a physical inspection with the tech or sm along w/ a parts list. A look at the deck shell itself shows a $636 dollar shell. Switching the components and leveling the deck is likely under an hour of labor. They will have an evaluation time involved too plus possibly extra parts. One may assume the mulch plug is what was hitting?

Here is a link that might be useful: Deere deck


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

I’ve been away and will try to address comments made. I will look into making a complaint to the Attorney General. I am not sure if the fact that I live in a different state from the dealer will make a difference.
As far as going to the dealer, I think I would accomplish more by going out to my shed and talking to my X300. (This would probably be a good idea as I think he is getting depressed what with my disparaging comments about him and the fact that JD would like to be rid of him like most people would an alcoholic uncle asking for another loan.) Second, if I do anything, I am not going to replace just the shell. If I deck is deformed as the dealer says then I assume there must be other parts of the mower damaged. Third, if I do decide to have a dealer fix it I will take it to a different one as I think this dealer profited enough from me.
Finally, as to what was hitting I need to preface my admittedly poor inspection by saying that I have spinal stenosis plus arthritis everywhere else except my hair and fingernails. This made it very difficult to get down under the mower for a proper inspection. From the right side of the mower, I could see a black plastic part that seemed curve around the blade towards the back in the middle of the mower. It was on the inside edge of the blade near where the plastic ended that the blade was just rubbing the plastic.
These postings probably have been cathartic for me. But more important I would like people in my situation, ones that aren’t considering a cheap mower because they know they can’t fix it, that may be considering paying for but not getting a superior product.
At point I see three options for me. 1. Sell “as is”. I would guess I could get less than $1000.00, maybe enough to buy a Murray (which would probably run for 10,000 hours trouble free). 2. I can replace the mower. I have found two dealers online that sell a complete mower for $600. The mulch kit is $100.00, and trucking $150.00. I think I could get someone to come to my house and install it for not more than $100. This is less than the dealer’s new shell only. 3. Maybe a crazy idea, but I think I could part it out and probably get my money back. I welcome your comments and ideas.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Once you've argued with the the dealer and disparaged him/her with JD and then told JD Corporate where they can go you've burned that bridge. A trip to the dealer for the details and a detailed explanation was in order before that.

Filing a complaint in the state where the dealer sold into (where you are) and filing a complaint in the dealer's home state can be done simultaneously, BUT be prepared to prove that the deck failed due to a manufacturing defect and not as a result of abuse or improper operation with hard evidence like 24 8x10 glossies with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one (for you Arlo Guthrie fans) and at least one third party qualified tech willing to testify to that or you are wasting your time.

And don't fool yourself... that $1000 Murray ain't going to last 10,000 hours with the same loose nut on the steering wheel as the X300 had.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Thanks JAL...ooops, I meant, Thank you Officer Obie.
Blind American Justice.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

... and creating a nuisance!


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Yes, I am sure the Murray won’t last 10,000 hours but probably would last longer that I will. I am glad though that we have finally, positively identified that the problem is the nut behind the wheel!


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Not positively the loose nut behind the steering wheel, but without an inspection by you and a detailed explanation of refusal to repair under warranty by the dealer/tech/service manager there's only your side in this thread.

Honestly though... many of these disputes between owner/operator/consumer and dealer regarding refusal to cover a repair under warranty can/could be resolved with cool heads on both sides. JD corporate couldn't care less and the dealer has latitude in deciding whether to cover the repair under warranty or not. When there's no clear cut abuse the dealer will usually decide in favor of the owner unless they are persuaded by the owner to decide otherwise.

The X300 is a nice lawn tractor and is built on the Select Series garden tractor frames. They have proven to be pretty trouble free when operates with the parameters they were designed for.

Your most cost effective move is to find a nice used or take-off deck and sell it.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

The dealer has said three times they will not do the repair under warranty. On top of that, I feel that the charge to repair the mower is, frankly, outrageous. The cost seemed to even surprise the person at JD that I talked to as she had assumed that the dealer was replacing the complete mower with the dealer providing some compensation in their quote. Between refusing to fix the mower under warranty and asking for $1100.00 just to replace the shell, I have to admit that I never want to do business with them again.
Are you saying that you think I should buy a used mower, install it, and then sell the X300? Unfortunately I cannot find a used mower that is not many 100’s of miles away and is sold for local pick up only. (And I am not sure that I would buy one without looking at it.) If I am going to spend say $500.00 in travel to get it I would just go ahead and buy a new mower which I think I can get on the tractor for under $1000.00.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Well, there's two kinds of JD dealers. The ones who made JD what they are today and the ones who made Kubota what they are today.

Is that the only dealer proximate to your location?

If I knew where you lived I could run a search and might find you a deck.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Thanks for the generous offer. The closest cities are Evansville, IN, and Owensboro, KY. I thought about looking into other dealers but assume that they would not want to do any kind of work if they didn’t sell the tractor.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

  • Posted by gewf631 Chicago NW Burb (My Page) on
    Wed, Dec 18, 13 at 8:54

Evansville to Owensboro is only 40 miles.

The Evansville Craigslist site has over 60 "garden tractors" and over 70 "lawn tractors" listed. Not as many in Owensboro, but still a few.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

A suggestion. Take some pictures of the damage and then contact one of the large dealers in some place relatively close like Louisville. Contact them, give them the pictures and explain the problem. Ask if there is something they can do to assist with the resolution of your problem.

Large Dealer = one who deals sevices every thing from large combines to push mowers.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

I have had the same problem trying to find a mower on Craigslist. Even if I go as far a Louisville (220 miles R/T) I cannot find a mower. There are some on eBay but they are 500 to 900 miles away and they won’t ship.

As to contacting another dealer, are you saying they might preform warranty service? Or that they might be able to find a used mower? Thanks!


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

You need to understand that dealers are paid to do warranty work. They don't NOT want to do warranty work.

What dealers won't do is a repair that they feel-think-suspect that the factory will bounce back to them as NOT COVERED UNDER WARRANTY.

Dealer have a lot of latitude and can usually persuade their regional rep to authorize a repair that is borderline covered or even caused by abuse in the interest of good customer service.

By going nuclear and fighting with your dealer without taking the time to get a detailed explanation of why it's not covered and inspect the damage in person and have the dealer explain what they feel you did to cause the damage you have alienated your potentially most powerful advocate for getting the repair covered under warranty.

Then you went thermonuclear and escalated to JD Corporate so there is a record of the denied claim attached to your X300 serial number which usually precludes the possibility of any other dealer attempting to cover the repair under warranty.

What you should have done...

When the dealer notified you the repair would not be covered under warranty you should have gone with a camera and had them explain why not. When they said the repair was $1100 you should have said NO THANKS, loaded up your X300 and arranged to get it to the next closest dealer and let them take a look telling them nicely that "you anticipate warranty coverage" WITHOUT mentioning the first dealer.

The thing about Craigslist is that you may not find what you're looking for locally today but it might show up tomorrow or next week or next month. You have to be diligent and when you see what you need you have to JUMP on it right NOW. You live in a good area for used JD. don't overlook calling dealers and see if they have a used or take-off deck.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

After the dealer told me twice that they would not do warranty work, I contacted John Deere stating my problem and asking for them to honor their warranty. If doing so is considered “going nuclear” and “fighting”, then they must employ a lot of oversensitive people. What is not 'detailed' about them saying that I did something that caused the problem and that they would replace the shell and move the parts from my mower to the new shell at a cost of $1100.00? The dealer has told me they have no idea how the damage could have been done. To me, that's as 'detailed' as it's going to get.

This post was edited by kspeed on Fri, Dec 20, 13 at 20:28


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

With respect... we're only getting one side of the story.

Perhaps you'll fare better with your new Murray and the Murray dealer.

This post was edited by justalurker on Fri, Dec 20, 13 at 19:56


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Ok, Kspeed, I'm calling bullsh1t on this one. Did you or did you not go to the dealer and let them show you and explain the damage?


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

  • Posted by gewf631 Chicago NW Burb (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 23, 13 at 9:51

kspeed - Your diagnosis sounds like the deck shell bent, causing the mulch plug to hit the rotating blade. The mulch plug doesn't have to do anything more than seal-up the discharge chute - plastic is cheap, rust proof, and light weight. It's not a structural member, and doesn't have to be "a durable material for a mower!"

My first car was a 1972 Olds 88 - it had plastic inner fenders, that were the only part of the car that didn't rust.

I have a 15 year old Cub Cadet (not the box-store type), that my son grazed a fire hydrant and bent the deck, also causing the mulch plug to hit the blade. This is a heavy duty machine, but guess who won that collision? Fortunately, some work with a hammer, and some epoxy for the plug, and I'm back in business.

My post about Craigslist was to point-out that there's quite a few used machines within a reasonable distance, and since mowing season won't start again for several months, you've got some time to find a decent one, if that's the route you want to take.

I think we've all provided you with plenty of chances to prove your case, but this is starting to sound like you came here looking to vent. We all feel your pain, but I don't think there's much we can do - the ball is in your court.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

The search for a new mower has begun. I found a mulching mower but I do not know if this would be “plug and play” (or maybe I should say mount and mow). The dealer is not sure and I cannot tell either. Mine is shown as a 42X, there is also a 42C shown in my manual, and I think this mulching mower may be a third one.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Troll, what was the damage to the first deck.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

The 42M is a nice enough deck, The belt is expensive, but much less costly to repair than the old Freedom mulchers.Is the deck he wants to sell you a Freedom?


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

All he told me was that it is a mulching mower and quoted the cost as $701. I told him what I had as far as tractor and mower (X300/42X). He did not seem really sure it would fit my X300 and also told me that the information he had said it recommended something like a spring kit to go with this mower. He was going to look in “another place” for a replacement mower for me and call me back in 10 to 15 minutes.
I have a question for gewf631: after the fire hydrant incident, could you still use the mower? Once I bent the plastic out of the way of the blade, I mowed with no trouble for months. Do you know why the mulch plug goes all across the back of my mower and not just the discharge chute? I assumed it had some other function than just plugging the chute.
If you are celebrating the birth of Jesus today (we will tomorrow), I hope everyone has a great day!


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Any mowing deck that fits a current Select Series (X3xx, X5xx) will fit your X300.

Decks from ANY other series (L or D or LX, etc) will be hit or miss. Every JD dealer should have that info at their fingertips.

A Select Series deck over 42" (48" and 54") will require the lift assist spring kit (part # AM136646) due to the increased weight of the larger decks.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

I have been looking specifically for an X300 mower. Things aren’t going well thus far. The person that gave me the quote on the mulch deck couldn’t tell me if it would fit an X300 or not. It is supposed to be a 42 inch. The second dealer I have called twice and my call has gone directly to voice mail where I left a message. The third I decided to try email to see if that would work better. Even though I specified I wanted a complete mower, he sent me information on a deck shell. Maybe all this is an omen. Thanks for the input.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

What are they making those JD decks out of? Tin Foil? That JD brand of lawn and garden tractors has been going down the toilet ever since Home Cheapo started selling them!


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

@ ed1315...

The X300 is not an entry level lawn tractor sold at big box stores.

The X300 is a Select Series lawn tractor only sold through authorized JD dealers. The 42x deck on an X300 is made of 0.105 inch thick steel which IIRC is 12 gauge steel.

And one always has to remember that some people can break an anvil with a rubber hammer.

This post was edited by justalurker on Tue, Dec 31, 13 at 18:22


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

So you are saying that he is at fault and the dealer should not repair under warrenty? If he bought it at a "box" store he could take it back. This is why I don't go ga ga for dealers. If he was a good dealer he would fix it. That is the problem with them... They are like a box of chocolates. If you are smart enough to understand that. and yes JD home equipment is not what it use to be no matter where it came from.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Having been in a position where I was the manufacturer's authorizing party for warranty repairs I never made a determination based on one side of the story and NEVER made a determination without inspecting the damage.

In this thread the OP has yet to say that he ever inspected the damage and got a detailed explanation of the dealer's refusal to cover the repair under warranty.

No big box store would accept a return of L&G equipment purchased in March of 2012 in December of 2013. Warranty repairs would be done by the local servicing dealer if there is one cause no big box store services anything.

There are both good and bad dealers as there are good and bad customers.There are warranty repairs authorized that shouldn't be and there are warranty repairs refused that shouldn't be. It is often the attitude and forthrightness of the customer that determines which is which.

I ran over something and now it is broken is not a manufacturing defect. Are you are smart enough to understand that?


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Any Dealer that puts the customer first would fix it


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Sure, let's fix everything for free and then you'll be screaming about the price increases of the product.

None of us here know both sides of and/or the true story and details of this situation and the more the OP posted the weirder the story got. You want to blindly take his side... fine.

I have to have the facts and putting the customer first does not mean rewarding the customer for abuse of the equipment or bad attitude or insulting behavior (not all necessarily by this OP). There are some customers that even the best dealer doesn't want because that customer will never be satisfied. The hardest thing for a business owner to do is tell that to that customer.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

What he said ^^^^^^^.
From the orignal poster....
"For instance, I have done three times as many oil and filter changes as John Deere has in the maintenance schedule. I have greased it long before JD says it was needed. I have even washed and waxed it! "

Followed by:
"Finally, as to what was hitting I need to preface my admittedly poor inspection by saying that I have spinal stenosis plus arthritis everywhere else except my hair and fingernails. This made it very difficult to get down under the mower for a proper inspection."

Sounds like a load of crap. For someone to do all that maintenance, yet they can't even look at the deck or let the dealer show them damage?


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

"Unfortunately it turns out I was wrong on both counts. I had a problem with a plastic part rubbing the blade so I had the dealer pick it up for warranty work. However, when the service department called me they said that it is the deck that is damaged and will cost $1100.00 to fix."

The crooked dealer probully bent the deck when he loaded it.. The customer it the boss... those that try to boss customers dont stay in business for long


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Knowing nothing other than the sketchy info the OP provided you accuse the dealer of committing felony fraud to charge $1000 for a repair and jeopardize his/her freedom and the half million dollars or so they invested in becoming a John Deere dealer... really ED?

This post was edited by justalurker on Fri, Jan 3, 14 at 22:07


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Haven’t had a chance to post this but I got the tractor out a few weeks ago and took a look at the top of the deck and cannot see any problems. Of course I cannot see the center part of the mower very well and I guess the damage may be visible only to an expert eye. I will try to clarify why I did not go to the dealer to inspect the damage. When I called them they either wanted to go ahead with the shell replacement or return the tractor immediately as they were going by my home with another delivery. I was quite surprised at what they had told me about the bent deck and didn’t consider the fact that their diagnosis may have been incorrect, so I told them to bring it back.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Why don't you now find an independent shop to just examine the deck and report to you exactly what they find?
If you decide to go this route, you should ask that they remove the deck and turn it over for your close examination and to photograph any damage or defects they discover. Have the independent shop explain in detail and show you exactly what the defective condition is, and to offer you an opinion on what caused it to occur.
Perhaps an independent shop might even be able to simply repair whatever the damage is, where the Deere dealer may have stood pat on replacing the deck..
And you would be obligated to pay them for their efforts.
I too get a feeling that your story is omitting something.
You have as much as been called a liar yet you still come back pleading your vague case without a shred of hard evidence to back up anything.
As I see it, your only hope now of garnering support from these hard core members is to post some photographic proof of some unrepairable damage which makes that Deere dealer so insistent on replacing the deck.
Most of us are people who know how to fix things mechanical, but we have not SEEN anything nor HEARD a graphic, detailed description of what the damages are.
Time to pony up or take the saddle off.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

1. Does anyone know EXACTLY what is covered under the JD 4 year warranty?

2. Does anyone know what BREED of pony he was saddling up?

This post was edited by homegrown55 on Tue, Jan 7, 14 at 17:04


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

A relative got intrigued by this problem so he offered to drive over to take the deck off. This is what we found. We could find no damage to the deck shell. The spindles, the idlers, and the tensioner pulley all seem to spin okay and there seems to be no play in any of the bearings. We couldn’t detect any damage to the blades. The plastic mulch part does have some damage where the blade has rubbed it. The blade is not currently rubbing against this. He found that there is only one bolt that attaches this mulch part and it is designed for a bit of adjustment from left to right across the mower. This damage is what I was able to see this summer and I assume when I pushed on it that it slid a few millimeters back across the mower and out of the way of the blade. We found that the belt was jammed under the tensioner pulley. When the tractor was returned and I could no longer mow, I called the dealer and they told me they had only “looked at it”. So I cannot imagine how the belt ended up there. I am attaching two photographs as I believe some commenters wanted to see the mower.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Here is the second photo.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

From the picture it seems that the anti-scalp wheel are not aligned (parallel). Either the wheel brackets are bent or the deck is twisted, tweaked, or bent.

Rear hanger brackets also seem oddly aligned. left rear bracket looks like it's bent to the rear. If that is correct then you likely damaged the left rear lift arm. Also, why did you remove the J bolts? They just pull out to the outside and rotate to free the lift arms once the deck is locked in the correct position for removal. That deck goes on and off in mutes if you follow the procedure in the owner's manual.

Also appears, but might be an optical confusion from the angle of the picture, that the mandrels (spindles) aren't both vertical which could indicate a bent deck.

You can check the deck by removing both wheels and laying the deck on a flat area of concrete. The deck should lay perfectly flat on the concrete.

You might want to get the deck to an independent or another JD dealer for inspection. If you don't know what you're looking at deck damage can be easy to overlook.

This post was edited by justalurker on Wed, Jan 8, 14 at 0:54


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

How do you do something like that?


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

  • Posted by larso1 So. CO Zone 5 (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 8, 14 at 10:05

From Wikipedia: Parallax is a displacement or difference in the apparent position of an object viewed along two different lines of sight, and is measured by the angle or semi-angle of inclination between those two lines.

Pretty sure this is what you're seeing. In the second photo the left gauge wheel looks to be correctly perpendicular with the deck and the line of sight when camera is directly above that side (best I can explain).


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

From other pics I found the OP's deck doesn't look so bad but someone who knows what they are doing should be looking at that deck in person.

The OP's pictures leave a lot to be desired but unless the OP can move the deck closer to his keyboard so we can see it those pictures are what we have to work with.

That 42" deck does not hang perpendicular to the tractor. It hangs skewed (left side forward and right side back). That can make the mounting brackets and wheel brackets appear bent..


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

The long awaited pics! The belt likely hopped as the end of the blade had rested against the mulch plug, which held it enough to prevent engagement- rolling the belt off. For your purposes start with comparing blade ends as they meet trying several different positions. In an ideal world, both blades would meet level with one another. In the real world , many are off by the thickness of the blade. Compare to different parts of the deck. Remove the blades, clean and see how they nestle together will usually tell you if one is tweaked. If no other damage noted, hopefully you will be good to go. From there, the mulch plug would need to be re-secured and then the leveling procedure done while on the tractor. As a foot note: no J bolts at the rear arms on a 2 blade x deck.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

"As a foot note: no J bolts at the rear arms on a 2 blade x deck"

I stand corrected.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Many thanks to everyone for the information. At this point since it is now mowing again and seems to be as good as it ever was, I am going to run it for a while to see what happens. I will have to replace the damaged belt (courtesy of my ever helpful dealer) some time but I think the old one will hold for a while. When I do, I will try to evaluate the deck. On a recent call to my dealer, she told me this story again which I have decided to pass along: this has happened to other mowers that have run over a seed from a Liquidambar styraciflua tree (the common name here is sweetgum). I will try to post in a few days what I learned from this illuminating experience as I have had contact with John Deere dealers from PA to IL and MI to MS. There might be information that someone could find helpful.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Ah, got it. Deeres shouldn't chew gum....


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Maybe they can’t mow and chew gum at the same time.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Well, it is nice to learn that a savory solution can indeed be derived from sour grapes after all.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

From telephone calls, email, and internet research this is some of what I found: the dealer where I bought the mower quoted $1100.00 to just replace the mower shell. John Deere gave me a quote of $1500 to 2000. to replace the complete mower. Three dealers told me that only the shell was available at a cost of $636. to $713. A dealer in MI said he had to go to another place to look it up and came back with a complete mulching mower for $701. but could not find the 42X. I finally found a person in IL that was both knowledgeable and helpful. He would get me a complete mower for $600.00 plus $150.00 trucking. He said the mulch kit would be $125. installed. He gave me a part number for the mower and told me to give this number to my dealer as then I wouldn’t have to pay for the trucking. He told me that the mowers have to be ordered through a different system and that he sells 2 to 3 every week. I found the mulch kit online for $100. shipped. A dealer in PA told me essentially the same thing as the one in IL. Another dealer said he could not find that part number I had given him (from the IL dealer) but could get a 38 inch mower for $600. and the mulch mower for $700. During this time I called my dealer. At first they told me the number I gave them was not a John Deere number. Then, with some hand holding, I got them to check further and, yes, they did finally find the mower. A week and a half and seven telephone calls later they quoted a price for the complete mower around $860. and with tax and installation, a final cost of $1000. The mulch kit would be $300. installed. (Seems like a wee bit of profit there.)
If I do replace the mower, the cheapest is to pick up the mower myself, buy the mulch kit separately, and find a volunteer to install it which would be about $742.00. If I have it shipped with the mulch kit installed and hire someone to install the mower it would be about $925.00. If I go back to my ever helpful dealer it would cost $1300.00. It seems like John Deere is a bit confused. This old saying comes to mind: they don’t know if they are afoot or horseback.
In looking at other reviews I found that quite a few have mower problems. And people generally seem to be satisfied with the tractor but not the mower and I would agree with that.
I feel there may be a design problem with the mower but my main complaint is the lousy customer service on the part of John Deere. Not only have I never had a company that refused to do warranty work, I have had companies pay for work after the warranty expired (for instance Ford and Toyota paid for fairly major repairs) and other companies have done repair work when there was no warranty. I will never buy from this company again.


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Kspeed, are you an idiot or just trolling for replies?


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

What is the medication they prescribe for being bi-polar???

Take some!!!!!


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RE: John Deere X300: What a disappointment!

Was this the synopsis summary report you promised?
We read it.


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