I have a John Deere L100 that has been terrific for cutting the lawn. People seem to talk about this lawn tractor as if it is a disposable piece of junk but all in all, it has really held up well since 2004 with little maintenance. For me the biggest problems have been the blade brakes and the brake/clutch pedal.
This year it is starting to show its age, but I feel there is a lot of life left in it.
First, after an oil change, it emits a brief puff of black smoke when starting. While running, it is fine. Probably overfilled it slightly?
This weekend, after cutting some really tall grass, it started acting up a bit. It will ‘surge’ when the blades are engaged and it seems to be leaking gas from the carburetor bowl. The two seem related, as when I tightened the fuel switch on the carburetor, the surging seemed to get a bit better.
The blade brake can wait until I have the deck off to change the blades next spring.
The surging needs to be addressed, but money is an issue at this time. This weekend, I plan on checking the fuel lines, checking the carburetor bowl, replacing the spark plug, fuel filter and air filters and loading the tank with SeaFoam to help clean out the fuel system a bit. What else should I be doing to make it run like new?
All that blade brake stuff "fell" off the 42" mower deck on my old L108. It happened while I replaced the non-serviceable spindle bearings. All the little brake pads that rub the pulleys were shot anyway. As long as you have enough common sense not the stick anything under that mower deck (that you want to keep) you should be fine.
You need to figure out what exactly is leaking fuel. Think if you fix that you'll fix your running problem. It's also a major fire hazard. How much will it cost to replace the whole machine if it catches fire?
How much will it cost to replace the whole machine if it catches fire?
Nothing if I am on it at the time. It will actually save my wife money in cremation expenses.
The leakage is coming from the solenoid shutoff switch going into the carburetor as far as I can see. I have not had a chance to look at it since the weekend, but it seems that a small turn in either direction will cause it to leak. That is where my main focus will be.
I just wanted to see if there are any other obvious things I should be looking at that would cause/contribute to this so I can check them all this weekend.
The blade brakes have been long gone, but I was just stating those were the only real issues with the machine since purchase.