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

284138 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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Sorry I can't see what's happening in the video. Have you looked for bent linkage? Front draft arm/brackets, mid lift arms, etc. You might have someone run the controls while you look under the tractor (be careful!). I'd try that, then take the deck off and look again under the tractor for any damage. You can get a closer look at the height adjustment too. Might find something related to the knob being off center. deck lifts and lowers pretty uniformly. Don't remember it doing what you describe.
Do you have a pic of what nuts you are referring to?
Martin is referring to the draft link assy, on the front of the mower deck. The part that engages in the front of the tractor. The nuts are #1 in the picture. Be sure to maintain about 1/8" gap between the back of the pin #6, and the draft brackets on the tractor, or else you'll have issues getting the mower deck to latch and unlatch in the rear. Don't worry about the deck being level front to back, as much as having the front tip of the blade, when pointing front to back, lower than the rear tip...1/4" to 3/8" in general.

See also this thread, post #43 by Jeff B. It might help.
Will 60D from a 2017 1025R Work on 2016 1025R? I found one, but want to ensure it will work before purchasing it.
Yes. The tractor has to be setup with a deck lift system, but the decks are the same.
Thankyou! Delivery happened during a snowstorm, so we really didn’t go thru the MMM operation.

Without installing a separate valve, I’m guessing there is no way to isolate or reduce the drop of the 3PT from the MMM?
It sounds like you have the Mechanical Lift system, and no, not with that system. They are linked together. You can add a hydraulic cyllinder (along with a few other parts) and change it to either the Hydraulic Lift or Independent Lift system. Those 2 systems are not linked to the rockshaft, so the deck will move without the 3 pt moving.
Yes, the gap at the front draft arms disappears when the deck is raised.

It's been a while since I did the side-to-side leveling, but go ahead and do the leveling and you should see a lot of that 'twisting' go away. Don't go by the numbers printed on the sticker around the height adjustment knob, they probably aren't accurate. The best way is to use a deck leveling gage, like this:


It's a trial and error process sometimes. You want to get the blade tips at equal heights side to side. On mine, this meant that the 2 adjusting yokes were at different lengths compared to each other. You also don't want them adjusted so far up that the rear bar of the lift won't easily engage into the rear slots of the deck.

IIRC the last time I did mine I read here on GTT to set the deck completely on the ground, with the gage wheels unlocked. Drive over the deck and get it to connect, but don't raise the deck. Remove the pins that hold the yoke to the lift arms (be careful, the deck might fall a little), adjust the yokes until their hole lines up with the hole in the lift arm, and you can insert the pin without much, if any, resistance. Once the yokes are re-pinned, lift to desired height and adjust as neccessary. This 'trick' should be a good starting point and get you close.
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Hi, Does anybody know the torque specs for the three bolts on the lift strap?

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40Nm=29.5 lb-ft.
John Deere does not recommend setting the gauge wheels using the last position or top hole as you call it. They recommend if that is needed to not use them by lifting them and locking them above the deck height. At least in the 2020 manual I just read.
He didn't say he was using the top hole for the setting. He was putting the (lynch) pin in the top.
The number 1 reason the rear latches don't lock is the front draft cross arm is too far back. You mentioned in your point #3 that you had a gap. Adjust to get that gap after the rear latches lock.
Get the deck on the tractor as much as possible, so the cross arm is in the hooks. Loosen the front cross bar as much as possible. Move the tractor forward to get the rear latches to lock. Once locked, adjust the cross bar to get the gap.... about 1/8". The gap may take some tweaking. I think I've got mine a tad over 1/8".
how would it change from just removing it? All i did was drive off and half an hour later try to drive back on and attach it again.
I might have missed it before, but from what you just said it sounds like you are close in adjustment then. When it's slightly in too far, it'll act like that. I originally was having the same problem... sometimes it would latch, sometimes not. I kept adjusting the cross bar out a little at a time until it locks every time. You should not have to push or pull on the deck to get it to latch. Make sure your tire pressures are correct too.
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Here is where I am at and I took the draft arm cross bar off completely.
Double check...what your showing in your picture is the classic set screw backing out and jamming the autoconnect coupler. Also, make sure the PTO is selected for Rear PTO Only, so the shaft can spin easily. If the front bar is off completely, it must be hitting somewhere stopping it from going forward.
I'm stumped now. Keep looking.... something is stopping it from going forward. Try pulling it back.... maybe you'll feel something amiss.
This is my 2nd 1025. I had the deck off. When I tried to put the deck back on the coupler on the tractor is in this position. The coupler misses the shaft on the deck. I tried to move it with no luck. Any help would be appreciate.
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You are missing the adjuster bolt. Yours looks pretty clean and fresh so I would guess the dealer didn't install it adequately. It happens on occasion. Look around your yard, you might find it, but you'd be looking for the bolt, which probably still has one of the nuts attached, a washer and the second nut.

See this picture. The bolt #5 is part number 19M8568, size is M10x120. Nut #6 is 14M7296, also a M10. Washer #8 is 24M7178, 10.5x30x2.5 mm.


If it's under warranty, have the dealer fix it. If not, go to your local hardware store and get the parts. It'll be cheaper as Deere wants 10 bucks for just the bolt. How ever you do it, make sure washer #8 gets put on the outside like shown in the picture. We've seen some cases of where the bearing has come out the front and speculate that the washer may aid in holding it in.

Here's a couple pictures of mine so you can see how the adjuster bolt is used. Both of these pics are with the lift raised. Notice how the bearing carrier is tilted down. When adjusting the bolt, lower the lift all the way and adjust the bolt until the bearing carrier is plumb, with a level on the face of the carrier. The carrier will then tilt down when the lift is raised, as shown.


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The bolt part number is 19M7167. 71 cents at my dealer. Size is M10x25. It doesn't list the pitch but I imagine 1.5mm. Yes, we have a member or 2 that had to adjust the linkage so far that they had to remove the rear bolt and are only running 2 bolts. No ill effects that I've heard of.
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Sounds good. I'll do that! I'll title it:
1025R 1023E 1 series mower setup and adjustment (2020+)
Or something along those lines.
Suggest not using '2020+', rather something along the lines of 'mid-2020 & after'. During the first part of 2020 the newer deck wasn't available and the factory was still shipping the prior version. In some of Deere's literature they're even calling it as 'up to mid-2020' and 'after mid-2020'.

This would most likely help someone when looking at the thread. Some with the prior version are going to see '2020+' and think this applies to their tractor because theirs is a 2020, when it actually won't.
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