John Deere D100 Lawn Tractor Long Term Review
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Thread: John Deere D100 Lawn Tractor Long Term Review

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    356
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    John Deere D100 Lawn Tractor Long Term Review

    Since many folks buy used equipment, I thought I would post a review of the 2012 D100 Lawn Tractor. It is similar in specs and price to the previous L100 series and the current 100E lawn tractor.

    I purchased the tractor new in April 2012. At the time we has just purchased a cabin in the Ozark's, and needed to mow approx 1 acre on our 13 acre property. For those familiar with the Ozark's, the primary crop produced by our soil is rocks. At the time, our bank account was down to almost nothing due to the cabin and property purchase, so cost was a major factor. I opted for new since my previous experience with a used lawn tractor was less than stellar. I compared the JD to other brands, and liked the basic JD D100 with the manual transmission.

    Year 1: No issues. Changed the oil at 10 hours.
    Year 2: Annual service showed no issues. The battery was replaced mid-season. Bent one blade on a rock--replaced both.
    Year 3: Annual service showed no issues. No brakes one day....that made life exciting. Figured out how to adjust the brakes. Replaced broken throttle lever. About $30 at the dealer, fairly easy to replace. Repaired two tires due to Black Locust tree thorns while "mowing" the deer plot.
    Year 4: Annual service showed no issues. Deck starting to show some signs of wear and tear due to the rocks. Another brake adjustment.
    Year 5: This year the tractor was used by my dad and my son who mowed for me while I was dealing with a medical issue. No services were done. My dad replaced the blades and a hinge on the front hood.
    Year 6: Annual service showed no issues. Adjusted brake again. Removed deck for good cleaning. Replaced battery. I am still on the original belt and tires.

    Over the course of its life, the D100 has mowed brush in the deer plot (prior to owning a rotary cutter), pulled a garden trailer loaded with saws and wood, and given the grandkids tides. It has seen summer and winter duty hauling firewood, mowed the culvert along the highway, and shot a 3" rock through our kitchen screen and window. It has hit countless other rocks, and way to many branches over 1" to count. It's not lived an easy life, and yet it is still going strong. That's why I bought a John Deere, and it has served us well these past six years.

    Likes:
    The Briggs and Stratton 17.5 hp motor has served us well. It runs out of traction before it runs out of power.
    Servicing the oil is very easy--a 2 minutes task.
    The 8 cubic yard garden cart/trailer that came with the tractor has been very handy.

    Dislikes:
    The brakes are poor...this has been an observation since new. The combo clutch/brake works, but is a compromise, IMO.
    The battery cables are too short. Come on, John Deere--give us an extra inch or two.
    The seat sensor does not always work...sometimes I have to sit down two or three times to get the engine to start. I'm tempted to override the switch.
    The headlights are not effective. I guess they help others see you, but they don't really illuminate the lawn. Since I occasionally have to mow before sunrise, better lights would be nice.

    Servicing: As noted, the oil changes are easy. Great job, John Deere. There are several places that need to be greased, which I am sure is overlooked by many owners, since some require a clean deck and knowing where to look.

    My experience shows the 100-series lawn tractors provide a solid value. I am confident one used for a typical smooth lawn would last forever. I'll be happy with 10 years of rough service, so hopefully I can get another three or four years of the the tractor.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    mjncad, Gizmo2, North585 and 5 others like this.
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  2. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to 356 For This Useful Post:

    Gizmo2 (06-26-2018), North585 (06-25-2018), rw580 (06-25-2018), tommyhawk (06-26-2018)

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    Quote Originally Posted by 356 View Post
    Likes:
    The Briggs and Stratton 17.5 hp motor has served us well. It runs out of traction before it runs out of power.
    I have an Ariens rider with the exact same B&S 17.5HP 31-series engine. These engines are notorious for breaking the compression release fly weight on the cam shaft. When it breaks (when, not if) the engine won't turn over and it will act like a bad battery or starter. If you are lucky when it lets go the broken pieces will drop cleanly into the sump and not get tangled up in the crank. Mine broke last summer with only about 25 hours on the engine and while the pieces did drop into the sump they went through the governor gear on the way down. It cost me around $100 buying genuine B&S parts from Ebay and Amazon.

    B&S should be ashamed of themselves as the weight appears to be made from pot metal. They have been aware of the problem for years but even now the replacement parts are made from the same cheap material.





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    Quote Originally Posted by 356 View Post
    Since many folks buy used equipment, I thought I would post a review of the 2012 D100 Lawn Tractor. It is similar in specs and price to the previous L100 series and the current 100E lawn tractor.

    My experience shows the 100-series lawn tractors provide a solid value. I am confident one used for a typical smooth lawn would last forever. I'll be happy with 10 years of rough service, so hopefully I can get another three or four years of the the tractor.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    How many hours do you have on it? I have just about 480 hours on my LA135 which I bought new in 2010. It is still going strong, and I have not been easy on it.
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    Why did you have to replace a battery that was only a year or so old? Was it defective?

    Rob
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  9. Top | #5
    356
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBlue View Post
    Why did you have to replace a battery that was only a year or so old? Was it defective?

    Rob
    I've gone through two batteries so far. I can't speak to the defect or not, just dead. The factory battery lasted 16 months, and the second JD lasted 44 months. The replacement is a Walmart battery. The charging system is working fine. I have similar luck with UTV batteries....I changed the Mule battery after 18 months and the Prairie 360 battery after 23 months. These numbers are with battery tenders being used in the off season. I've had batteries go bust during the on season, so I can't really point to a common cause for failure.

    WifesaidOK, How many hours do you have on it? I have just about 480 hours on my LA135 which I bought new in 2010. It is still going strong, and I have not been easy on it.

    Rob
    About 200....I guess that means it just getting broken in.... Since it is at the cabin, we sometimes mow every other week, sometimes it can be a month between mowings. It all depends on how often we make the trip. As such, the mowing somewhat more demanding than if we mowed weekly, which is what we do on the homestead.

    I washed and waxed the D100 today, in honor of it having its own thread on GTT

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Levi, WifeSaidOK, mike01 and 1 others like this.
    JD 3025E | D160 loader | JD 413 Rotary Cutter | Behlen 7' grader blade | JD cultivator | Farm King PHD w/12" auger | Titan Ballast Box | 61" Pirhana bar | JD Sod Buster | Titan Pallet Fork w/receiver | Edge Tamers with Extensions | 5' King Kutter Rotary Tiller
    JD Z-Trac 335E with hitch and bumper kit | JD 8 cu ft cart
    JD D-100 Lawn Tractor w 42" deck | 10 cu ft HF cart
    1948 Ford 8N l 6' tooth harrow l Kawasaki Mule XC-SE
    Weather KMOLAWSO17 It's always sunny...unless it is not

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