X394 Owners,respond please.....
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    X394 Owners,respond please.....

    I purchased a new X394 last Fall and have accumulated 20 hours mowing time so far. My previous AWS lawn tractor was the JD X304. The X394 that I have has a few negatives about it ,and for those reasons I would like to hear from other X394 owners to compare their experiences.
    Three disappoints at this time:
    1) The transmissions inability to hold the tractor stationary when neither pedal is being depressed on a slight incline-this wasn't the case for the X304-it held. That fact leads me to believe that the hydrostat in the X394 isn't up to the task;a more powerful hydro is needed.

    2) Leak down of the hydraulic deck lift- within minutes of raising the deck,then shutting off the engine,the deck will(very) slowly lower(not visibly,but upon restarting,the deck can be raised once again to it's original highest setting.

    3) Occasionally,upon cold start ups,a significant cloud of blue smoke emits(Acceptable for a 60 year old pushrod single cylinder engine,but not in this vehicle).

    Overall,the X394 is,in my experience so far,a 'decent' lawn tractor-certainly not'very good/great';and even less so for the price tag of $7K when equipped with the grass catching 'system' as mine is. The X394 continues the 'tradition' of more plastic/less steel when compared against even the lowly X304 I owned. What tempers my criticism of the X394 is the fact that there are no alternative brands of the same AWS design.

    So,all of that said ,fellow X394 owners,please share your ownership experiences......

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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAMinIN View Post
    I would like to hear from other X394 owners to compare their experiences.
    Three disappoints at this time:
    1) The transmissions inability to hold the tractor stationary when neither pedal is being depressed on a slight incline-this wasn't the case for the X304-it held. That fact leads me to believe that the hydrostat in the X394 isn't up to the task;a more powerful hydro is needed.
    The transmission is not the issue. I don't have a X394 but I have a X500 with the K72B transmission. It does the exact same thing. It will drift forward if there is any degree of grade even if the pedals are not depressed. It does the same thing backwards but it drifts forward easier than it does backward. I had to quickly get used to setting the parking brake any time I dismount the tractor. My old JD 175 Hydro stopped solid as a rock as long as the hydro lever was in neutral.

    2) Leak down of the hydraulic deck lift- within minutes of raising the deck,then shutting off the engine,the deck will(very) slowly lower(not visibly,but upon restarting,the deck can be raised once again to it's original highest setting.
    I have a manual deck lift but I've read similar complaints from lots of X530 owners (which has the hydraulic deck lift).

    3) Occasionally,upon cold start ups,a significant cloud of blue smoke emits(Acceptable for a 60 year old pushrod single cylinder engine,but not in this vehicle).
    Again, my X500 has done with same thing since new. It has the Kawasaki FS730V engine. The cure seems to be to crank the engine a couple seconds without choking it and then burp the choke momentarily to start. It will start without smoke every time. If I choke it when first cranking it fills the garage with blue smoke. Otherwise the engine does not burn a drop of oil.

    Even though I don't have a X394 you can see that your experiences are not unique to the X300-series.
    Last edited by jgayman; 06-03-2017 at 06:51 PM.
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    "...you can see that your experiences are not unique to the X300-series.."

    Apparently not....but those issues/idiosyncrasies/aggravations still shouldn't exist.....
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    jgayman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAMinIN View Post
    "...you can see that your experiences are not unique to the X300-series.."

    Apparently not....but those issues/idiosyncrasies/aggravations still shouldn't exist.....
    Agreed.
    BigJim55 likes this.
    2012 2720 -- 200CX Loader -- 54" Quick Attach Snow Blower -- Frontier LR5060 Rake -- Land Pride RB1660 Blade (Hydraulic Angle) -- Artillian 42" Forks -- Ken's Bolt on Grab Hooks -- Fit Rite Hydraulic top-link -- 2013 X500 for mowing duties

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    Quote Originally Posted by SAMinIN View Post
    I purchased a new X394 last Fall and have accumulated 20 hours mowing time so far. My previous AWS lawn tractor was the JD X304. The X394 that I have has a few negatives about it ,and for those reasons I would like to hear from other X394 owners to compare their experiences.
    Three disappoints at this time:
    1) The transmissions inability to hold the tractor stationary when neither pedal is being depressed on a slight incline-this wasn't the case for the X304-it held. That fact leads me to believe that the hydrostat in the X394 isn't up to the task;a more powerful hydro is needed.

    2) Leak down of the hydraulic deck lift- within minutes of raising the deck,then shutting off the engine,the deck will(very) slowly lower(not visibly,but upon restarting,the deck can be raised once again to it's original highest setting.

    3) Occasionally,upon cold start ups,a significant cloud of blue smoke emits(Acceptable for a 60 year old pushrod single cylinder engine,but not in this vehicle).

    Overall,the X394 is,in my experience so far,a 'decent' lawn tractor-certainly not'very good/great';and even less so for the price tag of $7K when equipped with the grass catching 'system' as mine is. The X394 continues the 'tradition' of more plastic/less steel when compared against even the lowly X304 I owned. What tempers my criticism of the X394 is the fact that there are no alternative brands of the same AWS design.

    So,all of that said ,fellow X394 owners,please share your ownership experiences......
    The 394 does have a heavier duty transmission than the 304. Either way it is not good to let an automatic transmission try to hold your position on a hill. That's what the brake is for.

    The deck dropping is normal. I automatically lower my deck when it's parked. Makes it easier to get on or off. Especially with a wider deck.

    Cranking the engine before applying the choke will definitely solve the white puff of smoke on start up.

    Why did you get rid of the X304?
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    Re: X394

    "...Why did you get rid of the X304?.."

    I've asked myself that question more than once....The lure of an allegedly much more superior (in all aspects) lawn tractor was the reason......
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    Quote Originally Posted by SAMinIN View Post
    "...Why did you get rid of the X304?.."

    I've asked myself that question more than once....The lure of an allegedly much more superior (in all aspects) lawn tractor was the reason......
    lol
    Well you got to be loving the power steering and deck lift (other then what you complained about). I appreciate both every time I use my X540. So easy to steer around obstacles. Super easy to raise the deck every time I have to crest a hill. Then drop it back down once im over. No more scalping the grass. It's super nice in winter moving the snow plow up and down. The manual arm on my old tractor would kick my but by the end of the day.

    With 4 wheel steering that tractor should work better than a zero turn.
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    The deck coming down over time is perfectly normal with hydraulic lift deck. The valve holding the deck up requires pressure, obviously when tractor is off the pump isnít supplying hydraulic pressure so it lowers, I believe if you look at your ownerís manual it will say lower the deck when you park tractor. As for moving on hill when no pedalís pressed- again is normal, what if no pedal pushed locked the rear wheels, how would you mow down a slope safely? When you engage brake it disengages PTO so mowing would stop. When I go downhill with my 590 I donít give the unit any pedal at all and unit goes down slope slowly and safely. when parked on incline is why you have a parking brake on 394. The K58 in your 394 is *MUCH* stronger than tranny in 304. Enjoy the X394- it is working perfectly, you are just adjusting to mowing with Hydraulic tractor- are you loving the power steering?
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    Re. "BLUE smoke on startup"... Each time you finish mowing (engine HOT!) try running at "low idle" for 4-5 minutes or so to let the engine cool down before stopping the engine. Also, disengage the deck drive before idling.

    Might help, might not, but I've always liked to cool down all of my equipment before shutting off (especially DIESELS!).

    Good luck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ilovegreen View Post
    The deck coming down over time is perfectly normal with hydraulic lift deck. The valve holding the deck up requires pressure, obviously when tractor is off the pump isnít supplying hydraulic pressure so it lowers, I believe if you look at your ownerís manual it will say lower the deck when you park tractor. As for moving on hill when no pedalís pressed- again is normal, what if no pedal pushed locked the rear wheels, how would you mow down a slope safely? When you engage brake it disengages PTO so mowing would stop. When I go downhill with my 590 I donít give the unit any pedal at all and unit goes down slope slowly and safely. when parked on incline is why you have a parking brake on 394. The K58 in your 394 is *MUCH* stronger than tranny in 304. Enjoy the X394- it is working perfectly, you are just adjusting to mowing with Hydraulic tractor- are you loving the power steering?
    I think if you are already mowing and hit the brake-it will not disengage the deck. However; if you try to engage the PTO with foot on the brake it will not. I may be wrong, but I think as long as you already have PTO engaged and hit the brake as in going down a hill-it shouldn't disengage PTO.
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