John Deere

OMM142612

Issue C0

LX255, LX277, LX277AWS, LX279, and LX288

Lawn Tractors

PIN (010101 -)

Introduction

Product Identification

Safety

Operating

Replacement Parts

Service Intervals

Service Lubrication

Service Engine

Avoid Fumes

Engine Warranty Maintenance Statement

Engine Oil (Gas)

Checking Engine Oil Level

Changing Engine Oil and Filter

Cleaning Air Intake Screen and Engine Fins

Checking and Cleaning Air Cleaner Elements (Kohler 13hp or 15hp Engines)

Checking and Cleaning Air Cleaner Elements (Kawasaki Air Cooled, 17hp Engine)

Checking and Cleaning Air Cleaner Elements (Kawasaki Liquid Cooled, 17hp Engine)

Checking and Cleaning Air Cleaner Elements (Briggs and Stratton 16hp or 18hp Engines))

Checking Spark Plug

Service Cooling System Safely

Engine Coolant

Engine Coolant Drain Interval

Checking Coolant Level (LX279)

Draining Cooling System (LX279)

Flushing Cooling System (LX279)

Filling Cooling System (LX279)

Adjusting Carburetor

Replacing Fuel Filter

Service Transmission

Service Electrical

Service Miscellaneous

Troubleshooting

Storage

Assembly

Specifications

Warranty

John Deere Quality Statement

Service Record

All Manuals Close Window

Service Engine


Avoid Fumes

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Engine exhaust fumes contain carbon monoxide and can cause serious illness or death.

Move the vehicle to an outside area before running the engine.

DO NOT run an engine in an enclosed area without adequate ventilation.

Connect a pipe extension to the engine exhaust pipe to direct the exhaust fumes out of the area.

Allow fresh outside air into the work area to clear the exhaust fumes out.

Engine Warranty Maintenance Statement

Maintenance, repair, or replacement of the emission control devices and systems on this engine, which are being done at the customers expense, may be performed by any non-road engine repair establishment or individual. Warranty repairs must be performed by an authorized John Deere dealer.

Engine Oil (Gas)

Use oil viscosity based on the expected air temperature range during the period between oil changes.

The following John Deere oils are preferred:


MIF

TURF-GARD

PLUS-4

Other oils may be used if above John Deere oils are not available, provided they meet the following specification:

API Service Classification SG or higher

Checking Engine Oil Level

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Failure to check the oil level regularly could lead to serious engine problems if oil level is low:

Check oil level before operating.

Check oil level when the engine is cold and not running.

Keep level between the FULL and the ADD marks.

Shut off engine before adding oil.


NOTE: Check oil twice a day if you run engine over 4 hours in a day.

Make sure engine is cold when checking engine oil level.

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

2. Lift hood.

3. Clean area around dipstick to prevent debris from falling into crankcase.


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Picture Note: LX277

4. Remove dipstick (A). Wipe with clean cloth.

5. Install dipstick:

Kohler or Kawasaki Engines: Install dipstick in tube, but DO NOT tighten it. Let dipstick threads rest on top of tube, rotate cap counterclockwise until it "clicks" or drops into the dipstick tube.

Briggs and Stratton Engines: Install and tighten dipstick.

6. Remove dipstick.


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7. Check oil level on dipstick. Oil must be between ADD and FULL marks.

8. If oil level is low, add oil to bring oil level no higher than FULL mark on dipstick.

9. Install and tighten dipstick. Lower hood.

Changing Engine Oil and Filter

1. Run engine to warm oil.

2. Park machine safely on level surface. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

3. Lift hood.

4. Put drain pan under drain valve.


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Picture Note: LX277

5. Open drain cap (A) and drain oil into oil drain pan. Allow oil to drain completely.


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Picture Note: LX277

6. Remove dipstick (B).

7. Wipe dirt from around oil filter (C).

8. Place a drain pan or funnel under filter tray.

9. Remove old filter and wipe off filter tray.

10. Put a light coat of fresh, clean oil on the filter gasket.

11. Install replacement oil filter by turning oil filter to the right (clockwise) until the rubber gasket contacts filter base. Tighten filter an additional one-half turn.

12. Close drain valve.

13. Add oil.

14. Install dipstick.

15. Start and run engine at idle to check for leaks. Stop engine. Fix any leaks before operating.

16. Check oil level, add oil if necessary.

Cleaning Air Intake Screen and Engine Fins

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! The engine is air-cooled and requires a large amount of air intake when running. Reduced air intake can cause overheating:

Keep air intake screen and cooling fins clean.

Keep covers and screens in place.


1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

2. Lift hood.

3. Clean engine screens and external surfaces with rag, brush, vacuum or compressed air.

Air cooled engines:


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Picture Note: LX277

Air intake screen (A), cooling fins and external surfaces (B).


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Picture Note: LX279

Liquid cooled engines:

Air intake screen (C). When operating in extremely dirty conditions, remove air intake screen and clean radiator screen (D).


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4. Lower hood.

Checking and Cleaning Air Cleaner Elements (Kohler 13hp or 15hp Engines)

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Touching hot surfaces can burn skin. The engine and components will be hot if the engine has been running. Allow the engine to cool before servicing.

2. Let engine cool.

3. Lift hood.

4. Clean dirt and debris from the air cleaner cover.


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5. Loosen knob (A) to remove air cleaner cover (B).


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6. Inspect the foam precleaner without removing it. If the foam precleaner (C) is dirty:

Remove it from the filter carefully, leaving the paper element in the air cleaner housing.

Wash precleaner in a solution of warm water and liquid detergent.

Rinse precleaner thoroughly. Squeeze out excess water in a dry cloth until precleaner is completely dry.

Put approximately 30 ml. (1 oz.) of clean engine oil onto the precleaner. Squeeze precleaner to distribute the oil evenly. Squeeze out excess oil with a clean cloth.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Dirt and debris can enter the engine through a damaged filter element:

DO NOT wash paper element.

DO NOT attempt to clean paper element by tapping against another object.

DO NOT use pressurized air to clean element.

Replace element ONLY if it is very dirty, damaged or the seal is cracked.



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7. Inspect the paper element without removing it. If the paper element (F) is damaged dirty:

Remove rubber tube sleeve (D) and wing nut (E).

Carefully remove the element from the air cleaner housing. Replace with a new element.

8. Clean air cleaner base very carefully, preventing any dirt from falling into carburetor.

9. Install foam precleaner onto paper element and install into air cleaner base.

10. Install and tighten wing nut.

11. Install rubber tube sleeve on post. Then push it down tight against wing nut.

12. Install air cleaner cover and tighten knob. DO NOT overtighten.

Checking and Cleaning Air Cleaner Elements (Kawasaki Air Cooled, 17hp Engine)

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Touching hot surfaces can burn skin. The engine and components will be hot if the engine has been running. Allow the engine to cool before servicing.

2. Let engine cool.


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3. Remove hood.

4. Unhook latches (A) on both sides of cover and remove cover.


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5. Inspect the foam precleaner without removing. If the foam precleaner (B) is dirty:

Remove it from the filter carefully, leaving the element in the air cleaner housing.

Wash precleaner in a solution of warm water and liquid detergent.

Rinse precleaner thoroughly. Squeeze out excess water in a dry cloth until precleaner is completely dry.

Put approximately 30 ml. (1 oz.) of clean engine oil onto the precleaner. Squeeze precleaner to distribute oil evenly. Squeeze out excess oil with a clean cloth.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Dirt and debris can enter the engine through a damaged filter element:

DO NOT wash paper element.

DO NOT attempt to clean paper element by tapping against another object.

DO NOT use pressurized air to clean element.

Replace element ONLY if it is very dirty, damaged or the seal is cracked.



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6. Inspect the filter element without removing it. If the filter element (C) is damaged or dirty:

Remove wing nut (D).

Carefully remove the element from the air cleaner housing.

7. Clean air cleaner base very carefully, preventing any dirt from falling into carburetor.


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8. Install foam precleaner (B) and new filter element (C) onto post in air cleaner housing and tighten wing nut.

9. Replace cover and attach latches to body.

10. Install hood.

Checking and Cleaning Air Cleaner Elements (Kawasaki Liquid Cooled, 17hp Engine)

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Touching hot surfaces can burn skin. The engine and components will be hot if the engine has been running. Allow the engine to cool before servicing.

2. Let engine cool.

3. Lift hood.


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Picture Note: Hood removed for photo clarity only.

4. Remove air intake screen (A).


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5. Remove two thumb screws and washers (B) and remove cover.


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6. Inspect foam precleaner without removing it. If the foam precleaner (C) is dirty:

Remove it from the filter carefully, leaving the paper element in the air cleaner housing.

Wash precleaner in a solution of warm water and liquid detergent.

Rinse precleaner thoroughly. Squeeze out excess water in a dry cloth until precleaner is completely dry.

Put approximately 30 ml. (1 oz.) of clean engine oil onto the precleaner. Squeeze precleaner to distribute oil evenly. Squeeze out excess oil with a clean cloth.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Dirt and debris can enter the engine through a damaged filter element:

DO NOT wash paper element.

DO NOT attempt to clean paper element by tapping against another object.

DO NOT use pressurized air to clean element.

Replace element ONLY if it is very dirty, damaged or the seal is cracked.



M78985a

7. Inspect the paper element without removing it. If the paper element (D) is damaged or dirty, carefully remove the element from the air cleaner housing.

8. Carefully clean air cleaner housing. Prevent any dirt from falling into carburetor.

9. Install foam precleaner and new paper element onto post in air cleaner housing.

10. Install air cleaner cover. Install washers and tighten two thumb screws.

11. Lower hood.

Checking and Cleaning Air Cleaner Elements (Briggs and Stratton 16hp or 18hp Engines))

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Touching hot surfaces can burn skin. The engine and components will be hot if the engine has been running. Allow the engine to cool before servicing.

2. Let engine cool.

3. Lift hood.


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Picture Note: Hood removed for photo clarity only.

4. Unhook latches (A) on both sides of cover and remove cover.


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5. Inspect the foam precleaner without removing it. If the foam precleaner (B) is dirty:

Remove it from the filter carefully, leaving the paper element in the air cleaner housing.

Wash precleaner in a solution of warm water and liquid detergent.

Rinse precleaner thoroughly. Squeeze out excess water in a dry cloth until precleaner is completely dry.

Put approximately 30 ml. (1 oz.) of clean engine oil onto the precleaner. Squeeze precleaner to distribute the oil evenly. Squeeze out excess oil with a clean cloth.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Dirt and debris can enter the engine through a damaged filter element:

DO NOT wash paper element.

DO NOT attempt to clean paper element by tapping against another object.

DO NOT use pressurized air to clean element.

Replace element ONLY if it is very dirty, damaged or the seal is cracked.



M88462

6. Inspect the paper filter element without removing it. If the paper filter element (C) is damaged or dirty:

Remove knob (D) and plate (E).

Carefully remove the element from the air cleaner housing.

7. Clean air cleaner base very carefully, preventing any dirt from falling into carburetor.

8. Install new paper filter element, plate and knob.

9. Install foam precleaner on paper filter element.

10. Replace cover and attach clips to body.

Checking Spark Plug

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Touching hot surfaces can burn skin. The engine and components will be hot if the engine has been running. Allow the engine to cool before servicing.

1. Park machine safely and lift hood. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)


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Picture Note: LX277

2. Disconnect spark plug wire(s) (A).

3. Remove spark plug(s).

4. Clean spark plug carefully with a wire brush.

5. Inspect spark plug for:

Cracked porcelain.

Pitted or damaged electrodes.

Other wear or damage.

NOTE: In Canada, replace spark plug with resistor plug only.

6. Replace spark plug as necessary.


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7. Check plug gap with a wire feeler gauge.

To change gap, move the outer electrode.

Engine

Gap Must Be:

Kohler (15hp)

1 mm (0.040 in.)

Kawasaki Air Cooled (17hp)

1 mm (0.040 in.)

Kawasaki Liquid Cooled (17hp)

0.7 mm (0.028 in.)

Briggs and Stratton (18hp)

0.76 mm (0.030 in.)


8. Install and tighten spark plug.

Engine

Tighten To:

Kohler (15hp)

40 Nm (30 lb-ft)

Kawasaki Air Cooled (17hp)

15 Nm (11 lb-ft)

Kawasaki Liquid Cooled (17hp)

20 Nm (15 lb-ft)

Briggs and Stratton (18hp)

20 Nm (15 lb-ft)


9. Connect the spark plug wire and lower hood.

Service Cooling System Safely

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! The radiator will be hot and can burn skin. Built-up pressure may cause explosive release of coolant when the radiator cap is removed:

Shut off the engine and allow to cool.

DO NOT remove the cap unless the radiator and the engine are cool enough to touch with bare hands.

Slowly loosen the cap to the first stop to release all pressure. Then remove the cap.

Engine Coolant

The following John Deere coolant is preferred for both Diesel and Gasoline engines with aluminum blocks and cooling systems. Read and follow all instructions listed on the product label:

Pre-Diluted Diesel Engine Anti-Freeze/Summer Coolant (TY16036).

If the above preferred pre-diluted coolant is not available, use the following:

Diesel Engine Anti-Freeze/Summer Coolant Concentrate (TY16034).

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Using incorrect coolant mixture can damage the radiator:

DO NOT operate engine with plain water.

Use antifreeze approved for use in aluminum engines.

DO NOT exceed a 50% antifreeze mixture for the coolant.

DO NOT pour coolant or water into the radiator when the engine is hot.


The recommended antifreeze provides:

Adequate heat transfer.

Corrosion-resistant environment within the cooling system.

Compatibility with cooling system hose and seal material.

Protection during cold and hot weather operations.

Chemically pure water for better service life.

Compliance with ASTM D4656 (JDM H24C2) specifications.

Certain geographical areas may require lower temperature protection. See the label on your antifreeze container or consult your John Deere dealer to obtain the latest information and recommendations.

If the two preferred coolants are not available, use a ethylene glycol base coolant meeting the ASTM D3306 (JDM H24C1) specification. These coolants usually have labels stating "For Automobile and Light Duty Service." These products are also often labeled for use in aluminum engines. Check container label before using.

Engine Coolant Drain Interval

When using John Deere Pre-Diluted (TY16036) or John Deere Concentrate (TY16034) Automobile and Light Duty Engine Service coolants, drain and flush the cooling system and refill with fresh coolant mixture every 24 months.

If above John Deere Automobile and Light Duty Engine Service coolants are not being used; drain, flush, and refill the cooling system according to instructions found on product container or in equipment Operator's Manual or Technical Manual.

Checking Coolant Level (LX279)

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Using incorrect coolant mixture can damage the radiator:

DO NOT operate engine with plain water.

Use antifreeze approved for use in aluminum engines.

DO NOT exceed a 50% antifreeze mixture for the coolant.

DO NOT pour coolant or water into the radiator when the engine is hot.


1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

2. Lift hood.


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3. Check coolant level in recovery tank (A).

Coolant should be up to "H" (HIGH) mark when engine is HOT.

Coolant should be up to to "L" (LOW) mark when engine is COLD.

4. Remove cap (B) to add coolant.

5. If coolant is low, add ethylene glycol (without stop-leak additive), antifreeze and water in ratio of 50:50.

6. Install and tighten recovery tank cap.

7. Clean debris from air intake screens and radiator.

8. Check condition of hoses.

9. Lower hood.

Draining Cooling System (LX279)

1. Park machine safely. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! The radiator will be hot and can burn skin. Built-up pressure may cause explosive release of coolant when the radiator cap is removed:

Shut off the engine and allow to cool.

DO NOT remove the cap unless the radiator and the engine are cool enough to touch with bare hands.

Slowly loosen the cap to the first stop to release all pressure. Then remove the cap.

2. Let engine cool.

3. Lift hood.


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4. Loosen radiator cap (A) slowly to the first stop to release all pressure.

5. Close cap tightly.

NOTE: Locate the hose on the LEFT side of the engine.


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6. Remove top hose clamp (B). This is the small hose that runs from the water pump to the cylinder head.

7. Hold a bucket below the hose. Pull hose off of fitting and drain coolant into bucket.

NOTE: There should be very little coolant escape from the cylinder head fitting if the pressure has been released from the radiator and the cap installed tightly.

8. Install hose and clamp to cylinder head fitting after coolant has drained.

Flushing Cooling System (LX279)

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Using incorrect coolant mixture can damage the radiator:

DO NOT operate engine with plain water.

Use antifreeze approved for use in aluminum engines.

DO NOT exceed a 50% antifreeze mixture for the coolant.

DO NOT pour coolant or water into the radiator when the engine is hot.


1. Fill cooling system with clean water and John Deere Cooling System Cleaner, or John Deere Cooling System Quick Flush or an equivalent. Follow directions on can.


M97136

2. Install and tighten radiator cap (A).

3. Start and run engine until it reaches operating temperature.

4. Drain cooling system immediately into a pan or proper container before rust and dirt settle.

Filling Cooling System (LX279)

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Using incorrect coolant mixture can damage the radiator:

DO NOT operate engine with plain water.

Use antifreeze approved for use in aluminum engines.

DO NOT exceed a 50% antifreeze mixture for the coolant.

DO NOT pour coolant or water into the radiator when the engine is hot.


1. Fill cooling system:

A chart on the antifreeze container tells how much antifreeze to use for the freeze protection needed in your area. (If you operate your engine in extremely cold temperatures, see your John Deere dealer for information on arctic operation.) DO NOT use straight antifreeze or mixture of more than 50 percent antifreeze.

2. Install and tighten radiator cap.

3. Run engine until it reaches operating temperature.

4. STOP engine.

5. Let engine cool.


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6. Check coolant level in recovery tank (A).

Coolant should be up to "H" (HIGH) mark when engine is HOT.

Coolant should be up to to "L" (LOW) mark when engine is COLD.

7. Remove cap (B) to add coolant if necessary.

8. Check condition of coolant system hoses. Install new hoses periodically.

9. Tighten hose clamps regularly.

10. Lower hood.

Adjusting Carburetor

NOTE: Carburetor is calibrated by the engine manufacturer and is not adjustable.

If engine is operated at altitudes above 1829 m (6,000 ft), some carburetors may require a special high altitude main jet. See your John Deere dealer.

If engine is hard to start or runs rough, check the troubleshooting section of this manual.

Possible engine surging will occur at high throttle with transmission in "N" neutral and mower engagement lever disengaged. This is a normal condition due to the emission control system.

After performing the checks in the troubleshooting section and your engine is still not performing correctly, contact your John Deere dealer.

Replacing Fuel Filter

c CAUTION: Avoid injury! Fuel vapors are explosive and flammable:

DO NOT smoke while handling fuel.

Keep fuel away from flames or sparks.

Shut off engine before servicing.

Cool engine before servicing.

Work in a well-ventilated area.

Clean up spilled fuel immediately.

NOTE: Change filter when fuel is low.

1. Park machine safely and lift hood. (See Parking Safely in the Safety Section.)

2. Let engine cool.

3. Put a drain pan under fuel filter.


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Picture Note: Located on right side of engine.

4. Slide hose clamps (A) away from fuel filter (B) using a pliers.

5. Disconnect hoses from filter.

IMPORTANT: Avoid damage! Incorrect installation of fuel filter may cause engine damage. Install the filter with the arrow pointing in the direction of fuel flow for proper operation.


6. Connect hoses to new filter making sure the filter arrow is pointed in the direction of the fuel flow.

7. Install clamps and check for leaks and lower hood.