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a day ahead of y'all
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am getting a JD170 (38" deck) from the local JD dealer's "bone yard" where the repair cost was more than the old owner wanted to pay.

Basically looks in decent shape, motor turns over nicely so no bent crank.

This is for a complete restoration project for the winter/spring for the heck of it. Always wanted a Deere and this is a cheap ($100) start.

Any owners, now or previously, of this model, or knowledgeable member's advice or comments would be welcome.

Thanks,

Greg
 

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I just sold a 180 that I owned since 87/88 and it served me well. IIRC the 170 is just lower HP but basically the same machine.

Check the deck very close. On the back portion of the deck on the skirt, directly in front of the right rear wheel, on the inner side where the blades have a tendancy to concentrate the dirt and clippings at, especially. The entire deck can look fine, but that area gets eroded away and can be paper thin but gives no indication of it being that way. Just tap on it with a ball pien hammer using the rounded portion of the hammer, and if it dents really easy its getting pretty thin.

Spindles are another issue I had problems with, especially when I followed JD tech advice on installing new bearings. Shake yur blades up and down and side to side, and if there is any amount of slop the bearings are shot, and should be replacd, before they seize up and wallow out the spindles cast aluaminum housing. Another giveaway to bad bearings is the deck makes a roaring or rumbling noise. These housings are usually drilled and tapped and have a Zerk fitting. However the bearings used are double sealed, so you actually get very little grease if any at all in the bearings themselves when you grease them. Pull the spindles apart, and remove the bearings. Even if you use new bearings, remove one seal from each new bearing before you install them.
John Deere says to install them with both seals, just as they are . I have to dissagree. Install these new bearings with the side the seal has been removed from so they face each other and are located in the housing itself. NOw when you re-grease them new grease can redily flow in and push old grease and any grit out of the bearing and past the seal to the outside of the housing assembly. With inner seals intact its not able to do this. You may get "some" grease inside but not enough to flush out any crud etc.
The overcenter lever for the mopwer deck to PTO has a tendency to wear a notch in the spring and lever as well as the attachpoint on the deck, and the bushing in the deck idler / tension pulley bracket also is a high wear item. I replaced the plastic JD bushing with a oil lite sintered bronze, and it lasted lots longer (Years and years) more than the JD plastic bush did.

If you have to replace the tractors drive belt, Engine to tranny pully, it is best done when you have the tractor stripped, as its not an easy task, as a lot of the stuff on the bottom of the tractor has to come off just to thread the belt to where it has to go, so raising the tractors front end almost straight up or tilting it on the side is necessary for ease of ding this replacement.

The bottoms of the front spindles axles also wear more so thats another area to check. The disk brake on this model are a little on the weak side, and it only takes a little bit of oil or crud on the small 3" diam or so disk that the brake pad rides on, so a new brake disk puck is cheap and easy to replace, and worth while as long as you have the tractor stripped down. Its located on the right side of the transaxle right near the portion where the drive axle come out of the tansaxle case. You may also find this seal in this area to be worn, which will also cause oil from the transaxle to get on the disk rotor and pad.

I hgave had to replace the front wheels a few times, as I did a lot of cutting on an angle, and it seemed like there was too much sideways pressure on the area of the front wheels where they are wleded to the steel tube that holds the wheels bearings, and they used to crack and come apart right at the weld. Only had this happen to the front wheels not the rear.

Pull t he fuel tank and replace the insulating pads that isolate it from chaffing on the operators deck and frame, as dirt and just normal deterioration will allow dirt and usch to chaff the tank wearing a hole in it.

The fuel level sending unit in the tank is prone to pin holes and will keep the fuel level light on. I replaced mine 2 times, and got tired of spending $60 some bucks it every time, so I did without.

These are about the only areas I have ever had problems with in the many years I owned my 180. Once I changed the spindles bearings and removed the inner seals, all my spindle bearing problems wet away.

What exactly was wrong with this tractor that it was at the point of not being uneconomical to repair? Engine, Transaxle or what? The 170 / 180 tractors are pretty much bullet proof if they were given just a small reasonable amount of care in their life.
 
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a day ahead of y'all
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Chipmaker,

It, apparently, was going to be too expensive to repair, so the owner just bought a new tractor. It has been setting there for a little while but cosmeticaly, it looks not too bad.

The engine turns over, battery still charged, and there was no cranks, bams, or other noise.

I just want to restore a JD and the price ($100) was right. I have bought other equipment from them and have made a few friends there. I will be going down there again today and will take pictures.

I'm hoping there aren't any major problems, I don't plan on selling it so the "restoration value" of a 170 is not a concern.

Do you know when/how long the 170 was made?

Is the engine a Kawasaki?

I'll have more questions as I go along.

Thanks,

Greg
 

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The JD 170 was made in 1989 and 1990. It came with a 14 HP Kawasaki engine and a 5 speed transmission. It's essentially the same as a 175, but the 175 had a hydro transmission. The 170 is the same as the 130, 160, 165, 175, 180 and 185 John Deeres that were built from 1986 to 1990 or 1991. They were replaced by the LX's. Basically the differences were the size of the engines and decks. Model numbers ending in "0", i.e 130, 160, 170 and 180, had 5 speed transmission, while ones ending in a "5", the 165, 175 and 185 had hydros. Deck sizes range from a 30 inch deck, the 130, to a 46 or 48 inch deck, the 180/185.
 

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I have one of the fisrt sets of 180's - they have the Kawasaki 17 HP engine. If yours is a Kawasaki 14 HP engine then it is GREAT!
I opted for a 38" deck (it came with a 42") as I have lots of turns around trees.....

The machine works like a champ!! The force oil pressure & filter are also very nice! I replaced my "garden tractor" battery with a small AUTO battery for a little more price - with a 3-year warranty!

Now it starts any time. I also bought a starter KIT for about $18 that makes starting a breeze - after about 10 years the unit did not want to start --- made starting noises but would not always engage the engine. This kit (available form Deere) is easy to install and applies the full battery voltage to the starter via an additional relay.

So in my view it is easy to fix and maintain. It is quiet as well.
 

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I agree on the 180, the only difference between the 170 and 180 is the engine size / hp. I also had the 38 inch deck with lip extensions, and bagger. It would suck up pinestraw like a cyclone rake. Super little machine (180) and my friend still has his 170 which has been babied most of its life, unlike my 180 which was used hard and put up wet most of its life.

I get really T'd off when I see what others pay for parts at decent JD dealers. I know I paid over or close to $45.00 for that starting kit when my 180 started to act up. I still think JD should have provided them for free, as it was a known problem and defect in this line of machines.

My dealer said my starter was going bad, so I bought a new starter, same problems, then was told it needed a new battery, then a new ignition switch etc etc etc. All along they knew it was the starter kit, and their reply was if you would have brought it in for us to repair we could have saved you money...........yea right, I talked to the repairman and took his suggestions..............buy new this and that..............I know deep down I would have still had to pay for a new starter etc as well as the kit, and then their labor to boot. And they ask why I don[t bring in stuff to them to repair and maintain. They get $90 to change oil, and lube L & G tractors and in general check it out. Parts other than oil and filter are extra of course...........as is labor for any needed repairs.........I'll do the same all day long for a fraction of that and still make a decent living.
 

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I recently bought an used 112L. For those who aren't familiar with this unit, it's virtually a 111H, but with a 12.5 hp Kawasaki engine. It was made only for one year, 1985, and was a bridge between the 111 design and the 160, 165, 170, etc. design. The 12.5 hp Kawasaki on my 112L is the same engine that's in the 160 and 165. It doesn't have an oil filter, but according to the parts manual, an oil filter kit can be bought for this unit. So for about $58 I can add an oil filter. I wonder if this starter kit is available for my FB460V Kawasaki engine?
 

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BTW:
For those folks being "ripped" by the dealers for the oil filter for the Kawa 17 HP engine, there is a filter that is identical from Toyota Camry - therefore available everywhere - for a few bucks.

If someone needs it I can look the number up. It now costs me about $2-3 bucks per filter plus I use high quality 10W30 oil in it and change them both at least once per year/season.
 

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The $58 is for the complete kit, including the adapter instead of the plug, oil filter, gaskets, etc. After the kit is installed then each oil filter after that is $6. Of course this is more than an aftermarket filter, but I wouldn't necessary say it's a rip-off. Of course I can purchase a cheaper one, but I would feel more comfortable knowing I bought the correct part.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
170 project fading??

Thanks to all for the detailed info. But...

It now appears that the owner wants to "strip" off some parts on the 170 first. Just great! he strips parts off, wants $100 for the stripped tractor, and will charge me overly high prices for the replacements... (owner is kind of a butt, but others at this dealer are nice).

I may very well pass on this deal. I do have another project I will be posting on soon.

Thanks again,
Greg
 

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Agrees to sell it for one price and then stripping off parts and still wanting the same price..........sound like the local dealer near me.

One time when I owned my 180, I went by to see if he happened to have any junk spindle housings for the 180 /38" deck. I wanted an old one to get some ideas and measurements from so I did not have to rip a serviceable spindle assembly apart on my machine, so I could make up a pattern and try and see if I could cast these housing myself.

He came back in about 10 minutes with 2 spindle housings both well worn and wallowed out on the bottom bearing area, certainly not repairable, and totally scrap. Still had spindles on bad bearings but no pulleys. His asking price was $25.00 ea. DUH! He had the balls to say he gets high prices for scrap aluminum as JD castings are in demand for recycling. What a line of bull$hit if there ever weas any. Needless to say I passed on his so called good deal, and tore one of my own spindles apart, to get dimensions. Made a pattern and the castings of the housings came out great, along with some improvements I made that overcome some areas I deemed as shortcomings in the original.

I cast in a piece of steel tube, that was later machined to accept the bearings, and it also reinforced the nose end and kept it from eroding away in sandy soil conditions. Also made it so it would accept a double lip seal on the bottom end, and a deflector cup (sort of like the newer decks have to keep trash from wrapping around between the spindle and housing end), and while I was at it made spindles that accepted a much greater variety of blades than the original was limited two. This enabled me to buy other brand blades and use adapter bushings to fit the spindles.
 

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DUH! He had the balls to say he gets high prices for scrap aluminum as JD castings are in demand for recycling. What a line of bull$hit if there ever weas any.


Thats a first a scrap yard looks at scrap by the pound not who made it.LOL:D Some people must think the whole world is dumb to fall for that one.:rolleyes:
Jody
 

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Starter Kit

Treed - maybe I misinterpret your comment but yest there is a starter kit for the JD1XX models. Mine costs about $20 and makes the engine start real well.

If however you mean to get an oil filter adaptor I would vote for that too!. It will help with your engine life!!
 

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Thanks, Deer180,
Yes to both. I was asking if there was a "starter kit" for my 112L. And I do intend to get the oil adapter kit to add an oil filter.

Thanks, again.
 
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