Hi all! I have 20 year old LX188 ~ bought new in 1999 ~ need your thoughts!
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Thread: Hi all! I have 20 year old LX188 ~ bought new in 1999 ~ need your thoughts!

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    Hi all! I have 20 year old LX188 ~ bought new in 1999 ~ need your thoughts!

    Morning all,
    First thanks for reading this!
    I have a LX 188 and have used her to keep my small acreage beautiful. I live in Northern Calif and have trees, uneven (some steep) ground, and lots of dust and HIGH Temps in the summer and rain in the winter. I have three donkeys and try to keep their pasture clean by using a small manure spreader - more dust! BUT! A greener lawn.

    I just brought her back from Valley Truck and Tractor for a tune up and possible electrical problems. That's cuz she literally just STOPPED while mowing (unless I ran her with the throttle in full choke).
    Anyway - here is my wondering .... Why is the oil light coming on after maybe 45 minutes of work in the sun. She has clean oil and everything else checks out okay. When I brought her back from service the oil light came on and when I changed the fuse (with new ones) she ran okay - no warning light.
    My questions:
    Should I use a higher viscosity oil in high heat?
    Are there different oil filters? The new one IS the correct part per the spec book. (When I put cool water on the oil filter, it sizzled then the light went out.

    I have taken good care of this liquid cooled lawn tractor and hope to keep her for a while longer. A new liquid cooled costs 14,000 to 15,000.
    gas models are not sold in CA ... I would need to move to diesel.

    Any thoughts are appreciated ... from an old gal that loves her old JD LX 188!
    Pam

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    Don't have any answers for you, but it sounds like you got your moneys worth out of her! Good luck
    John Deere 5320 4WD with 520 FEL, MX-8 Mower, X585 with 45 FEL, X300, LT 133

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    Reread post indicating it is liquid cooled, so i just deleted my comments about cleaning all of engine to run cooler.

    Since it is liquid cooled, check your cooling system since you run in a real dusty environment. Engine running hot is going to thin your oil.
    Last edited by rw580; 08-16-2019 at 12:47 PM.
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    glc
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    Sorry I can't help you.
    It might be best to start a thread in the Lawn and Garden Tractor forum.
    Greg from western pa



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    Since you have used this tractor for 20 years, you know it didn't always do this. So yes, it does sound as though the engine is getting too hot. If you have an operators manual for it, this info (chart) is on page 57. If the outside temperature is as much as 122 degrees F, SAE 10w-40 or SAE 15w-40 is recommended. SAE 10w-30 is good up to about 104 degrees F. SAE 5w-30 is good to only about 86 degrees F. SAE 30 (single weight detergent) is good to about 104 degrees F also.

    There's always a chance the temp. sending unit is going bad, or the wiring to it is grounding somewhere. Maybe even a loose or corroded connection. An inexpensive heat sensing gun can be used to check the temps. at the oil filter, radiator, block etc. The repair shop probably has one.

    My advice would be to find out exactly what weight oil was used for that last oil change. I wouldn't want anything less than SAE 10w-40 for your summer environment. Unless it gets colder there than -10 in the winter, you would still be alright.

    Pull the dipstick and make sure it is not over filled with oil. Smell it. If it smells like gas, the fuel pump may be leaking into the crankcase thinning and polluting the oil. Make sure there is no dirt or grass clogging the radiator "fins". Blow it out with compressed air. When it is stone cold, remove the radiator cap and make sure it is full of 50/50 mix antifreeze. Any sign of oil in the antifreeze is bad also. Unfortunately, the rad. would have to be drained and removed to have the inside checked for clogging. Experienced radiator repair person required.

    I would caution you about pulling anything as heavy as even a small manure spreader loaded. The tranny in the LX188 is a good one, but not designed to pull a heavy load. If you have been doing that for 20 years though, I may be very wrong with that advice!!

    Let us know what you find, and good luck. The LX188 is one of the very best of JD's mowing machine line up in my opinion.

    tommyhawk
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    You have got 20 years out of LX 188 , doesnt John Deere have California approved gas lawn tractors ?- this X380 is replacement for your LX188 and it says California model?




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    Pam, I did think of one other thing you can check concerning the oil light coming on after the engine has run for a while. Look at the oil pressure sending unit. It is located just above the oil filter with one electrical wire attached. Make sure the wire connection is tight and there is no oil seeping from the top of it.
    Should look something like this one on the 18HP version of the Kawasaki.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    tommyhawk
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    A few thoughts....

    • Do you know if the coolant is premix or properly diluted with water? Pure antifreeze does not transfer or hold heat anywhere near as well a 50/50 mix and could cause your engine to run hot.
    • Did the shop just change the oil? They may have used too thin an oil and you need a higher viscosity as you stated.
    • The fact that the filter sizzled when you poured water on it is troublesome, you might have a stuck thermostat and or failed water pump. Have you ever replaced the water pump?
    • Does your over temp light work? It should go on when you turn the key to the run position but not start the engine. I should go out when you start the engine.
    • Your engine may be nearing the end of its service life and need a higher viscosity oil due to wear on the bearing surfaces.


    With that all said, I am concerned that the filter sizzled when you poured water on it. Don't run the engine when the oil light is on as it can cause serious damage. I'd look at the above and regroup.
    Last edited by denverguy; 08-18-2019 at 12:31 PM. Reason: corrected coolant statement as I realized the picture was not Pam's

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    Small engine repair

    As a consequence of purchasing some older equipment for which parts can be scarce, I've been force to learn a few key points about repairing and maintaining small engines. Here's some thoughts you might find helpful:

    #1. These are not the precision machines that power modern automobiles that have computers to compensate for changing conditions. Nor are they equipped with the multitude of sensors that make newer vehicles run smoothly under many conditions and, if one knows the magic decoder, can pinpoint issues. And, at the same time, they can be diagnosed and repaired.

    #2. Try to find a repair manual for the specific machine we're working on.

    #3. Get to know the engine. What sensors does it have that might help with the diagnosis? What is normal "output for each sensor and how is each sensor tested for accuracy?" What might happen if the sensor is malfunctioning? For example, some machines have a "low oil sensor." What happens if this is disconnect - i.e, a wire breaks? One can easily imagine a situation in which many dollars are applied if one doesn't realize all the scenarios in which the engine might not run.

    #4. Be patient and take your time. Don't skip steps in the diagnosis process. Find the first problems and address them. Don't give up hope if one repair doesn't solve the problem.

    #5. Don't hesitate to ask questions on this forum. You've already started so you're likely well on your way to finding a solution.

    #6. The internet is your friend. Beyond this forum, there are a multitude of repair videos on YouTube and other sites. Some places hosts repair manuals.

    Good luck!
    John Deere 4200, 420 FEL, 60" MMM, #74 Front Blade, #59 Snowblower, iMatch, Hydraulic Dump MCS

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    Quote Originally Posted by PamC View Post
    Morning all,
    First thanks for reading this!
    I have a LX 188 and have used her to keep my small acreage beautiful. I live in Northern Calif and have trees, uneven (some steep) ground, and lots of dust and HIGH Temps in the summer and rain in the winter. I have three donkeys and try to keep their pasture clean by using a small manure spreader - more dust! BUT! A greener lawn.

    I just brought her back from Valley Truck and Tractor for a tune up and possible electrical problems. That's cuz she literally just STOPPED while mowing (unless I ran her with the throttle in full choke).
    Anyway - here is my wondering .... Why is the oil light coming on after maybe 45 minutes of work in the sun. She has clean oil and everything else checks out okay. When I brought her back from service the oil light came on and when I changed the fuse (with new ones) she ran okay - no warning light.
    My questions:
    Should I use a higher viscosity oil in high heat?
    Are there different oil filters? The new one IS the correct part per the spec book. (When I put cool water on the oil filter, it sizzled then the light went out.

    I have taken good care of this liquid cooled lawn tractor and hope to keep her for a while longer. A new liquid cooled costs 14,000 to 15,000.
    gas models are not sold in CA ... I would need to move to diesel.

    Any thoughts are appreciated ... from an old gal that loves her old JD LX 188!
    Pam
    Try using a 100% synthetic motor oil which can lubricate at high temperature.
    glc likes this.
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