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1026R 1025R 1023E 1 series mower setup and adjustment (pre mid-2020)

283619 Views 382 Replies 137 Participants Last post by  Michael Clark
It seems a few owners haven't gotten their new 1 series tractors equipped with either the 54 or 60D mower setup correctly. This will explain how to do it yourself for the best possible mower performance! ;) Most, if not all, of this information can be found in the John Deere Owner's Manuals for the mower and the tractor. 📗 The procedure is the same for the 54" and 60" decks, mechanical or independent lift. There is one additional step for mechanical lift-equipped tractors. More on that later...

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First, you're going to need a few tools. A 1 1/8" wrench, a tape measure, or better yet the JD mower leveling gauge p/n AM130907. The tractor needs to be parked on a smooth and level surface for all of these adjustments.


-This step is for mechanical lift-equipped tractors only- To adjust MMM rockshaft lift strap (located between 3PH rockshaft and MMM rockshaft behind the left rear wheel) you remove the mower and remove the hairpin clips and pins (D) to disconnect the lift links (E) from both lift arms. Raise the 3PH fully. Rotate the mower cut height knob to lock position. Remove the left rear wheel. (You might be able to skip this if you can reach the 3 bolts on the lifting strap.) Loosen the three bolts on the lift strap. Rotate mid-mount rockshaft (B) forward until there is a small gap (A) between the height cam (C) and mid-mount rockshaft (B). Move the lift strap forward to the end of the travel slot and tighten the three bolts. (I'd use 1/16" to 1/8" for a goal for this gap.) Reinstall the left rear wheel and mower.

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First, you want to adjust the side lift links (E) for maximum lift. To do this you'll want to start the tractor and raise the mower all the way. Rotate the mower height adjustment knob to the lock position. Now, look at the mower height cam (C) above the left rear mower latch. It's just behind the left rear tire. You want to see a gap at "A". I've found that a gap of about 1/8" is perfect.

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To get this gap set right you first need to unlock all anti-scalp wheels, turn the mower height adjustment knob to the "install" position, and then lower the deck to the ground. Then remove the hairpin clips and pins (D) and adjust both links (E) up equally. Now you need to raise the mower fully and check for the gap (A) between the height cam (C) and the rock shaft arm (B). Repeat this process until you get close to 1/8".

Here is the gap on my tractor. The next picture shows the mower resting on the height cam "lock" position.

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Now we are going to adjust side to side level. Set your mower height adjustment knob to your desired mowing height and lower your mower. Measure your blade height and adjust the same side links to achieve a level within 1/8" to 1/4". I was able to achieve the same measurement on both sides. I usually mow at 3" and marked the scale accordingly.

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After you've set the level side to side, recheck your maximum height setting. Here is my tractor at full travel, mower resting on the lock position, and install position.

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To adjust the front to rear level we'll need your mower at your desired mowing height. Measure a blade from the front and at the rear. It doesn't matter which blade. The optimal setting is 1/8" to 1/4" front lower than the rear. This reduces friction on the rear of the blades and makes the front of the blade do all of the cutting and discharging. The front draft arms will adjust front to rear leveling. First, lower the deck to the install position and loosen the rear draft arm nuts with the 1 1/8" wrench. (The nuts closest to the mower.) It may help to drive the tractor off of the mower just to loosen the rear nuts. Raise the mower back to the desired mowing height. Tighten the front nuts the same amount (it helps to count flats) to raise the front of the deck. Loosening lowers the front of the deck. Double-check your front to rear level once you got the draft arm adjustment nuts tight.

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The Auto-Connect carrier bearing needs to be adjusted for easy connection as well. If you remove the mower it will be easier. Lower the mower/mower lift arms all the way to the install position. There is an adjustment bolt under the bearing to adjust between perpendicular to the ground to leaning ever so slightly forward. I found this makes for the best connection. (I was unable to find anything from JD regarding this adjustment. If you know differently, please post it so this can be corrected)

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Lastly, you need to adjust your gauge wheels for the proper mowing height. In my case, the pin goes into the top hole. That gives about 3/8" clearance between the wheels and the ground.

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Now it's time to go mow your yard and enjoy your tractor! (y)
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I was very nervous about anything auto connect so I read, watched, and did a lot of researched before I attempted to use my auto connect deck. Knowing my luck anything to good to be true or quick and easy on doing something usually back fires on me. So, a couple of days ago I tried connecting my mower deck on my new 1025r for the first time and I pretty much destroyed it! It was a new deck so I was trying not to scratched it so I tried it on a flat grassy area. Unlatched all the scuff wheels on the deck, set my PTO to rear only, set the tractor to the install position, lowered the spindle arm down and made sure it was fully in the down position, set 4wd low, drove over the deck, no connect, used a little force going forward, and it still didn’t connect. Got off and looked under, everything line up except the spindle was too far right or left depending on how you look at it. Moved the deck around while it’s still under the tractor, tried again, failed, took some photo so maybe I can get some help or follow this thread and ttwt video to adjust it, and I couldn’t figure out how to move the spindle left or right so I decided before I make any adjustments I should move the deck to my driveway (hard flat surface) and give it a go there. I slowly backed over the deck and somehow clipped the draft arm center adjustment clip/bolt off.
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so now it’s at the dealer getting worked on. I felt pretty bad. When the dealer brings it back I will make sure to have them show me and have me try it out before they leave. I guess this is better on another related topic but I was too tired to search. I guess my post on here is to live and learn and don’t be afraid to try it. Even if it does go wrong at least I will know what to do the next time this happen and it’s thread like this that I won’t be afraid to try adjusting it the next time it goes out of alignment.
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I should move the deck to my driveway (hard flat surface) and give it a go there. I slowly backed over the deck and somehow clipped the draft arm center adjustment clip/bolt off.

You don't back over the deck........What thwy thinking to install the deck
Sorry to mis lead there, at that time the deck was still under the tractor so when I backed out, it was only the front wheels that went over the deck. I would never drive over the deck with my rear tires. Here is a photo of me trying to align the spindle, meaning me moving the deck around while it’s still under the tractor, and the front draft arm center adjustment bracket hasn’t clipped off yet.
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If you look at that picture, that is me after I try to align the spindle when I did that everything is shifted to the right. I did my best to center the deck before deciding to reverse off the deck Trying to avoid any clipping and bring it to my driveway. But I guess I missed something. Lesson learn, have someone spot you.
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It could be the loader because at the time I tried this, I did had my loader on but no bucket because I was using the load n go to move the deck to it’s location. When I was backing out my loader was raised pretty high. The deck/draft arm only indication of clipping was the center adjustment bolt/bracket. Meaning the arm and everything else on the draft arm show no sign of clipping. I’m not sure how I did it and I’m not sure if it was setup or not. I know my dealer does a relatively great job of taking care of their customers, so if they forgot to set it up or maybe it’s something I did wrong, in any case it was me that broke it. I’m just glad nothing else went wrong and it’s getting worked on. The good thing was I intentionally tried out the deck and adjustment now and giving me plenty of time to work out the bugs before mowing season.

I also just wanted to say that this post is to inform fellow 1 series owners on how to adjust their deck so I apologized for stealing this thread. Just wanted to keep the talk open and the knowledge flowing.
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CMoua ,,, for one looking at your photo,

you needed to back up about a inch. so the lift arms could be free from the rear of the tractor. Then slightly slide the rear of the mower to the (right side setting on the tractor).

Also one thing to try to do, keep the left front tire tight against the rail as you're driving up over the deck ..

and Glad to hear you didn't back up over the deck. 😄
Yeah, that picture was after I align the spindle to as close as I could get it and I gave up. My back was sore afterward because that deck is so heavy and really hard to move when it’s flat on the ground. Even after I got the spindle as close to align everything else was still way off so that is why I decided to move it to a hard surface and well you can see the results from the picture.
Without creating another post about this. Can anyone give me any trick to leveling your deck if you don’t have a level floor? I have thought about maybe using some sort of laser and use it to mark the ground/wall and level the deck one side at a time but if anyone knows a better trick that will be much appreciated.

As long as you're on a flat floor that's the same on both sides, the actual angle of the floor is irrelevant since you're measuring to the floor.
Thanks I kinda figure that but I don’t have a flat enough ground to do any leveling. Not wanting to divert this post any further I will keep experimenting.
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