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I went and looked at her yesterday and got the lowdown from the seller who is the original owner. Tractor has 600+ hours on it and the motor was repaired with the new camshaft gear kit a year ago. If I understood the owner correctly, the stock Kawasaki motor has a "plastic" camshaft gear which breaks sometime after 500 hours. The replacement kit apparently uses a metal (not sure which?) camshaft gear so hopefully the motor will be good for quite a while. Is there any other major (or minor) issue with this tractor that I should investigate before making the purchase? I've been trying to read up on this model but I only have so much time , so I'm asking for your assistance. Thanks in advance. Paul, Providence, RI
 

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Hey Paul, I have four 4x5 machines and a bit of experience with them. They are great little tractors that are super capable and are at the very top of the Garden Tractor gene pool. I throw some pretty tough work at it and it does it without complaint.

When you go to look at it and if it has only 600 hours or so on it, you're not going to find much wrong with it. That's very low hours for them. They usually break the cam gear around the thousand hour mark and above so it is great that it was replaced already.

Check the rear end for leaks especially around the diff lock on the left side. Have a look at all of the fluids to make sure they seem clean. Make sure the tractor is cooled off when he starts it and if it isn't, it might mean that he has had it running and might be hard to start when cold. It's a carbureted engine with choke. Also have a general look at the engine for leaks. They often leak at the valve covers but even if they're the old plastic covers, they can be sealed up easily. You have to get the proper soft gaskets for them, not the hard ones for the aluminum covers.

As with any vehicle that age, the tires might have some cracking. These tractors are notorious for not having taillights but they're not too expensive and there is a kit for keeping them in place on eBay or you can make your own. Look for cracked panels as well but there isn't much you can do about it if they are other than try to negotiate a lower price. They are expensive to replace but can be repaired to some degree.

If he has maintenance records that would also be nice. Good luck and let me know if you have any questions on it.
 

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I agree with tiechie (again). Oil and water leaks and cosmetics are their weakness. Most of the 4X5 that I see around here have 1200+ hours on them around here.
 

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Thanks for that info!

I'll probably be picking up the tractor later this afternoon and give it one more look over before the cash trades hands. I have been looking at this tractor for nearly 5 months on CraigsList when the owner was asking 3K+ for it. Just last week he lowered the price significantly (under 2k) and I jumped right on it . I had also been watching a JD 400 which I fell in love with, but at $1500.00 with a questionable mower deck , I'm glad that I waited it out. From what I observed , the main problem with the 425 is the side panel cosmetics. I started looking on eBay for replacements , but I'm a bit confused as to how it goes together. I saw what looks like an inner panel with a foam backer, a screen ?, and possibly an outer panel , but I'm not entirely sure.The owner says he has the manuals for it so hopefully it will show me whats up. Thanks again, Paul
 

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The body panels on a 4x5 series tractor leave a bit to be desired. The plastics used are a bit brittle. But thankfully parts are readily available and at reasonable prices. Arguably the best parts support system anywhere is JDParts. If you look in the GTT tech library, there's an article showing you how to sign up and use JDParts.com. It's free and basically the same system your local dealer uses. :good2:
 

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If I remember right my 425 didn't have a carburetor. :dunno:
 

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If I remember right my 425 didn't have a carburetor. :dunno:
The 425s did have a carburetor, while the 445 was fuel injected. See specs below for the 4X5 series.
 

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...but I'm a bit confused as to how it goes together. I saw what looks like an inner panel with a foam backer, a screen ?, and possibly an outer panel , but I'm not entirely sure.The owner says he has the manuals for it so hopefully it will show me whats up. Thanks again, Paul
Glad to hear that you're getting it and it sounds like it's a great price. The side panels are essentially one piece with a metal screen insert and that's all. There are also some foam gaskets which are kind of optional. A lot of people say that they are brittle but I haven't found that to be the case. They are made of Lexan (polycarbonate) plastic and I have had a few times where I thought that it was broken and it wasn't. You need to treat them carefully but they are fairly tough. Better than rusty metal panels in my opinion.
 

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Finally got her home (in two pieces)

Went to drive up onto my mini-trailer and quickly realized that the 54 inch? mower deck was far to wide to fit on to the trailer. I pulled the mower deck (far easier than on my 212 )and drove the 425 onto the trailer with room to spare. I had to drive back the following morning to load the mower deck onto the trailer. Anyway, first thing that I need to do is change the fluid in the hydrostatic transmission (along with the filter) . What type of fluid should I buy and is there a synthetic version of it available ? I put all synthetic fluids in my German cars, so I'd like to do the same for the John Deere 425. Thanks, Paul
 

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Went to drive up onto my mini-trailer and quickly realized that the 54 inch? mower deck was far to wide to fit on to the trailer. I pulled the mower deck (far easier than on my 212 )and drove the 425 onto the trailer with room to spare. I had to drive back the following morning to load the mower deck onto the trailer. Anyway, first thing that I need to do is change the fluid in the hydrostatic transmission (along with the filter) . What type of fluid should I buy and is there a synthetic version of it available ? I put all synthetic fluids in my German cars, so I'd like to do the same for the John Deere 425. Thanks, Paul
Use JD brand HST fluid. Check the grease fittings and grease them all. If AWS, grease the rear u-joints in each wheel well and the center pivot point. Lubricate the throttle and choke controls. When was the radiator last flushed? Might want to do that too. Radiator and screen must be clean on this tractor or can overheat. When it gets too hot, it won't start until it cools down. Check the fuel lines for cracks. Leaks around the valve covers are no big deal as long as not too bad. It won't hurt the tractor to just leave them. But, easy to replace and maybe a good time to adjust valves.

Mine was rock solid for the 20 years I had it. Guy I sold it to is still loving it. CAM failed on mine 998 hours. Other than that and an ignition module at 150 hours, I never had to do any repairs. Hopefully, they changed governor gear, oil and water pump, push rods and tippets, and all the seals while in there doing the CAM job. Keep the fluids changed and keep it lubricated and that's about it. Mine always started instantly even in the coldest of days. I never touched the carb adjustments. Just a squirt of cleaner when I changed the air filter. I changed engine oil every 25 hours or so (twice a year). So easy to do in less than 10 minutes.

Let it warm up good before engaging the mower deck.
 

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I was kind of hoping that a "generic" synthetic lubricant was available as a substitute, but I guess I'll give the John Deere stuff a try. After my wife's VW Passat suffered a catostrophic engine failure (sludge death) several years ago from the previous owner's NOT using a synthetic motor oil, I've been using synthetics wherever and whenever possible. Do you happen to know if it is possible to use a different antifreeze other than the " green stuff "? Reason that I ask is that I have several gallons of G12 antifreeze (the red stuff) that I have to use in my German cars , so I'd prefer to use it in the tractor as well. I was going to pull the radiator anyways to both inspect it and flush and clean it thoroughly. From what I've read in the past (regarding automobiles), so long as the cooling system is thoroughly flushed clean of the green stuff, the G12 red will work just fine. Mixing the green with the red however, can cause the whole mixture to coagulate and make a real mess!I'll post a few pics as soon as I can figure out this new camera of mine. Thanks, Paul
 

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A few pictures and a question

Trying to troubleshoot the front headlights as they don't light when switched on. Bulbs are good, wiring looks good, not sure what to check next. Removed the front grill and found these two connectors coming from the same wiring harness as the lights. Any idea? Thank you, Paul View attachment d5300 new pics 041.jpg d5300 new pics 043.jpg
 

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I was kind of hoping that a "generic" synthetic lubricant was available as a substitute, but I guess I'll give the John Deere stuff a try. After my wife's VW Passat suffered a catostrophic engine failure (sludge death) several years ago from the previous owner's NOT using a synthetic motor oil, I've been using synthetics wherever and whenever possible. Do you happen to know if it is possible to use a different antifreeze other than the " green stuff "? Reason that I ask is that I have several gallons of G12 antifreeze (the red stuff) that I have to use in my German cars , so I'd prefer to use it in the tractor as well. I was going to pull the radiator anyways to both inspect it and flush and clean it thoroughly. From what I've read in the past (regarding automobiles), so long as the cooling system is thoroughly flushed clean of the green stuff, the G12 red will work just fine. Mixing the green with the red however, can cause the whole mixture to coagulate and make a real mess!I'll post a few pics as soon as I can figure out this new camera of mine. Thanks, Paul
The JD HST fluid assures no tranny whine. It's only a few dollars more anyway. I would only use what JD recommends. See your dealer.

I was never picky about antifreeze. Flushed my radiator maybe every 5 years or so. Never an issue. Just gotta keep the fins cleans.
 

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Got the headlights working!

It turns out that those two connectors in my picture were actually the 12 volt connection to the headlights and the wires that were connected to the headlights were the grounds. After a bit of testing with the Fluke DMM, it all suddenly made sense. My next major concern is the exhaust pipe. The very end of the pipe is mostly missing and I don't want to burn or melt the new side panel that I just installed. Any modifications to divert the exhaust so that it doesn't wreak havoc with the new panel ? I'll post a picture or two to show you what I mean. Thanks, Paul
 

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It turns out that those two connectors in my picture were actually the 12 volt connection to the headlights and the wires that were connected to the headlights were the grounds. After a bit of testing with the Fluke DMM, it all suddenly made sense. My next major concern is the exhaust pipe. The very end of the pipe is mostly missing and I don't want to burn or melt the new side panel that I just installed. Any modifications to divert the exhaust so that it doesn't wreak havoc with the new panel ? I'll post a picture or two to show you what I mean. Thanks, Paul
As long as the pipe isn't in direct contact with the plastic, it won't melt. Pipe barely sticks out by design. I think those mufflers are pricey. So, I'd just use it as is unless it has a big hole it.
 

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Grabbed a good used muffler from eBay......

for $40.00 plus $12.00 for shipping. I wire brushed the entire thing and gave it several coats of VHT header paint which is supposedly good up till 2000 degrees fahrenheit! Will be reinstalling muffler (and new gaskets) later today.During this process I also noticed another cosmetic issue with some more "plastic" parts. The vertical slats in the front grill are melted and distorted in one area. I hate the idea of replacing this part (>$100.00) with another plastic part, unless JD is now making it out of a different improved material???? If not, is anyone offering a handbuilt grill made of steel or aluminum?Thanks, Paul
 

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for $40.00 plus $12.00 for shipping. I wire brushed the entire thing and gave it several coats of VHT header paint which is supposedly good up till 2000 degrees fahrenheit! Will be reinstalling muffler (and new gaskets) later today.During this process I also noticed another cosmetic issue with some more "plastic" parts. The vertical slats in the front grill are melted and distorted in one area. I hate the idea of replacing this part (>$100.00) with another plastic part, unless JD is now making it out of a different improved material???? If not, is anyone offering a handbuilt grill made of steel or aluminum?Thanks, Paul
Why bother. The grill serves very little purpose. Just use it and enjoy. It's a lawn tractor, not a show car. Surely you have more important chores to do. My grill was missing a few pieces of the vertical "bars", caused by branches and what not. I never gave it a second thought. It wasn't really noticeable. I think the plastic is better than metal: nothing to rust.
 
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