Concerns about propane conversion on a z970r
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Thread: Concerns about propane conversion on a z970r

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    Drifterbike's Avatar
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    Concerns about propane conversion on a z970r

    been looking for a ztr for about a month. I have looking at green and orange. I have looked at everything with in 150 miles. After seeing price of 997R I even looked at a 3046, two 3320, one with 145 hours out of local Deere plant. I looked at the new 2038 and even a 3025E Last night I get in bed fire up my iPad and the local dealer has 7- Z970R used on tractor house. 2105's with 210 hours to 600 hours. this morning I am there. Asking about why 6 2yr old machines. I am told the city of Moline forced Deere to take them back. It seems they had 950 before and ran them on propane. They traded them fo 970 because Deere said the propane kits would just transfer over. When they had nothing but trouble with tHem Deere agreed to take them back in trade for new 950. The one I bought has 214 hours with deluxe seat. One word of advice the price. On tractor house is a starting point. They want to move them.
    My main concern is they tried to convert to propane and it did not work. Could there be something inside the engine possibly damaged by propane?? It starts right up and purrs like a cat?? Thanks for any put.
    2018 2038R 220R FEL, 72" Mower, Radial tires, wheel spacers, dual rear SVCs, CtA grapple, single point for FEL, 60" broom with front hitch;2018 1025R 54"auto connect, HDAP tires, Quick Hitch, Ballast Box, Etc...;1967 1020 3cylinder gas, #47 FEL, 72" Landpride Grooming Mower, 6ft box blade, For Sale(no Hurry); life Member NRA since 1974

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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifterbike View Post
    been looking for a ztr for about a month. I have looking at green and orange. I have looked at everything with in 150 miles. After seeing price of 997R I even looked at a 3046, two 3320, one with 145 hours out of local Deere plant. I looked at the new 2038 and even a 3025E Last night I get in bed fire up my iPad and the local dealer has 7- Z970R used on tractor house. 2105's with 210 hours to 600 hours. this morning I am there. Asking about why 6 2yr old machines. I am told the city of Moline forced Deere to take them back. It seems they had 950 before and ran them on propane. They traded them fo 970 because Deere said the propane kits would just transfer over. When they had nothing but trouble with tHem Deere agreed to take them back in trade for new 950. The one I bought has 214 hours with deluxe seat. One word of advice the price. On tractor house is a starting point. They want to move them.
    My main concern is they tried to convert to propane and it did not work. Could there be something inside the engine possibly damaged by propane?? It starts right up and purrs like a cat?? Thanks for any put.
    I used to be ASE certified in light vehicle compressed natural gas. It was back in the early 90's. To answer your question it's hard to say. Especially without knowing exactly what kind of problems they were having. Like most aftermarket systems a lot depends on the quality of the installation. This could have been "the problem" but if they had the mowers for 2 years I would think they were able to install the kits. The key would be to know the exact differences between the 50&70 models.

    As long as the air/fuel mixture that the engine runs on is correct it will run forever. Just like a gas engine running it to lean can damage the engine. Say the 70 had a larger displacement engine. The existing kit might not be able to provide enough fuel for the engine to run correctly. Just like having to small of a fuel injector in a gas engine.

    It's kind of late to ask these questions if you already bought the mower. If everything was converted back to regular fuel correctly & the engine runs good I wouldn't worry about it. I'm sure that you got the remainder of the factory warranty. This will cover any future problems that may come up. Otherwise just use it and enjoy. I wouldn't loose any sleep over it.
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    That's basically what I figured. If they tried to use the conversion kits from the smaller engine on the 35hp that might have been the problem. Anyway I have a full year warranty left if something pops up. Thanks for your input
    Gizmo2 likes this.
    2018 2038R 220R FEL, 72" Mower, Radial tires, wheel spacers, dual rear SVCs, CtA grapple, single point for FEL, 60" broom with front hitch;2018 1025R 54"auto connect, HDAP tires, Quick Hitch, Ballast Box, Etc...;1967 1020 3cylinder gas, #47 FEL, 72" Landpride Grooming Mower, 6ft box blade, For Sale(no Hurry); life Member NRA since 1974

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    The early propane kits were a nightmare. They were dealer installed aftermarket designed kits. A big majority of them were bought back. The main problem was the tank and the fact that if you overfilled it oil would get in the regulator. The conversions are now factory installed and I hear they are ok. I can't see any way it would damage the engine.

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    These kits were ones they had on Z950's and deere said they would fit the Z970. They had six units and could not get a one to work. Moline being a very "Envoirment Frendily " city and the home of John Deere they have a special dealings with them. Last I heard from an inside source they get these mowers at 100$ per month. There is Deere equiptment all over town. The one I purchased has 210 hours and deluxe seat and 72" deck in the Z970R for under 9 out the door. very happy looking forward to getting it Wednesday. Still has one year full warranty.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drifterbike View Post
    These kits were ones they had on Z950's and deere said they would fit the Z970. They had six units and could not get a one to work. Moline being a very "Envoirment Frendily " city and the home of John Deere they have a special dealings with them. Last I heard from an inside source they get these mowers at 100$ per month. There is Deere equiptment all over town. The one I purchased has 210 hours and deluxe seat and 72" deck in the Z970R for under 9 out the door. very happy looking forward to getting it Wednesday. Still has one year full warranty.
    Sounds like you got a great deal and I wouldn't worry about the engine and internal damage. As HD Dealer dude said, they could have been run too lean but it's not likely and if they had, chances are they would have had an issue. In any event, you have got a year of factory warranty so that's a great safety net.

    I have found that some people (townships, cities and municipalities included) simply don't handle change well and they have little tolerance for ANY problem. A close friend of mine owns the local small engine sales and repair shop and he deals with all of the area municipalities. Some are very good at maintenance and some are not. Generally, it has as much to do with the operators of the machines as anything. The bigger the municipality, the more money in the budget and the less they want to bother with any down time of a machine. After all, if they bought 6 machines they needed 6 machines and having even a few headaches that result in machines being down is more than they want to bother with. Being new machines, I can also understand their frustration if they were having problems.

    I doubt the Deere dealer would knowingly want to put a problem with multiple expensive mowers back out in their immediate community. Generally, if the equipment is questionable, they will dump it to or through an auction (after having made sure none of their dealership labels could be found on the machine) . Chances are this will be exactly the machine you hoped it will be.

    Don't forget, it's mandatory to post photo's when you get it.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SulleyBear View Post
    Sounds like you got a great deal and I wouldn't worry about the engine and internal damage. As HD Dealer dude said, they could have been run too lean but it's not likely and if they had, chances are they would have had an issue. In any event, you have got a year of factory warranty so that's a great safety net.

    I have found that some people (townships, cities and municipalities included) simply don't handle change well and they have little tolerance for ANY problem. A close friend of mine owns the local small engine sales and repair shop and he deals with all of the area municipalities. Some are very good at maintenance and some are not. Generally, it has as much to do with the operators of the machines as anything. The bigger the municipality, the more money in the budget and the less they want to bother with any down time of a machine. After all, if they bought 6 machines they needed 6 machines and having even a few headaches that result in machines being down is more than they want to bother with. Being new machines, I can also understand their frustration if they were having problems.

    I doubt the Deere dealer would knowingly want to put a problem with multiple expensive mowers back out<script id="gpt-impl-0.9243511282349884" src="https://securepubads.g.doubleclick.net/gpt/pubads_impl_133.js"></script> in their immediate community. Generally, if the equipment is questionable, they will dump it to or through an auction (after having made sure none of their dealership labels could be found on the machine) . Chances are this will be exactly the machine you hoped it will be.

    Don't forget, it's mandatory to post photo's when you get it.
    Thanks With Moline being the world headquarters of Deere the Municipal Garage looks like a medium Deere dealer. I have confidence that I will have no problems with this and it will probably end up at my sons house in place of my 420 and the 420 to the other son.
    BigJim55 likes this.
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    I agree with others that it is hard to say for sure what the issue was. If it is a 970 running a 950 LP conversion that is likely the issue. If it was a straight installation it was probably running lean unless there were some adjustments made to the way it is jetted. Who knows the kit may come with different jets based on the application. The only difference between a Z970R and a Z950R is the engine. 35HP vs 27. While the are both available with the 60", 60" MOD and 72", I would say it is more common to find the 60" decks on the Z950R and the 72" on the Z970R. A 60" on a 970 is probably overkill and a 72" on a 950 is going to push it but it will do fine though not if you put a MCS on it.

    As far as long term concerns. There are not a lot of hours on the machines so you are probably fine. The warranty is based on the in-service date. Talk to the dealer and they should be able to print out a report that shows various information on the machine such as build date, in-service date as well as the warranty expiration info and serial numbers of all major components. There also might be an option for an extended warranty on the machine.
    BigJim55 and Drifterbike like this.


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