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I have a John Deere 425. I have had issues with the blade fully engaging when I am on even the slightest slope. After a while it just wouldn't start. After a lot of research I have replaced spark plugs, coils, battery, deck belt, blades, starter and changed the fluids. It starts like a champ now and it runs great, until I engage the blades that is. When I am on a flat surface it runs okay but any kind of incline the blades slow way down and the engine sounds like it is going to die. I disengage the blades and the engine revs back up and it runs great. when I am mowing on a flat area it works okay, but it still doesn't seem like the blades are turning at the speed they did just a month ago. If I drive really slow it will still cut grass but again, I am driving really slow.

When I have the mower deck removed (54" if that matters to anybody) and I start the PTO the mower works great. I can drive up and down hills without issue. Its when I put the deck on it struggles. I have seen some things on the PTO clutch and I wondered if that could be the problem. If that is the case, how painful is that to repair/replace?

I should also mention I am a beginner on small engine...or engine of any kind repair. I have stumbled my way through the repairs I mentioned above and the mower actually sounds and runs way better than it ever has...until I engage the blades and start driving up a slope...not a big slope mind you, just a slope.

I paid a lot of money to the dealership to do a tune up last year. $700 later and they forgot to put oil and coolant back in, didn't replace the blades that they said they would and didn't say anything about the damaged belt, I thought it might be worth it to try to learn to fix it myself.(this was a JD dealer that I went to not buddy's auto body / tanning salon. I apologize in advance buddy if I have insulted you. I really thought the mechanic shop / tanning salon was a home run)

Any help would be appreciated. I am at a loss and I really don't want to take it back to the dealer.
 

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Was the engine started without oil? If so the valves might be out of wack and not allowing full power.

The other thing I’d look into is spark. Pull the plug wires one at a time and try starting it. You might get nothing on one side and similar performance on the other.


Do not remove the plug caps while it’s running without an insulated tool.
 

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If tractor runs fine with pto engaged and no deck, I'd think the problem is with the deck. Remove deck and turn input shaft on gearbox...is it free or difficult to turn. Remove belt from deck spindles, rotate each pulley, and again the input shaft on gearbox. I'm thinking something is bound up in/on deck. Bob
 
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