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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi,

Just got my new 590 but haven't used it yet (except for about a minute's worth of mowing while the delivery guy was here yet). He told me that I was missing sections by going too fast. Didn't expect that. With my old Cub I could always zip along pretty good and it never seemed to lack for cutting. So I guess with these machines one needs to go a bit slower?

I read through the manual and see the suggestion to use JD oil. Certainly I'd think JD transmission oil is a necessity (would hate to take the chance that the IH hy-tran fluid I use on my Cub 129 would be ok for the Deere), but since the manual mentions that SAE 30 is ok, that's what I've always used with the Cub.

I was surprised to see how much has to come off (voltage regulator and fuel pump) in order to access the cooling fins and fan area..but certainly worth it to keep the areas clean. I'm so used to the intake fan being vertical on the Cub and is super easy to access and clean.

Another issue...how many use the wash port? I asked the delivery guy about possible rust issues from shooting so much water under there each time (as suggested) with the blades running. Good idea or not? I've always just reached under my deck and hand-removed as much clippings as I can. Does the washing do a pretty decent job?

Finally, any suggestions for a total "newbie" would be greatly appreciated! :) I had the dealer install the mulching kit and the guy gave me an extra set of blades..assuming these are regular rather than mulching blades (?) Can't recall exactly what he said about them.


Regards,
Keith
 

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Congrats on the new tractor. The 590 is a nice ride.

First things I would do would be to check the hydro fluid and check the tire air pressure. The tires are likely high and the hydro fluid might be low if you had any optional hydraulic equipment installed by the dealer. The first hour of use can for some air out of the hydraulic system causing the level to drop.

You should only use John Deere hydro fluid.

Engine oil should meet the viscosity and API spec for your engine. 30wt is fine but if you plan on any cold weather use a 10W-30 or 15W-40 would be a better choice. A very popular choice of oil for the Kawasaki engines is Shell Rotella. There is nothing wrong with the John deere motor oil though and it is often reasonably priced. Either way stick to what your owners manual tells you to put in the engine.

The general feeling about the wash port around here is that they are useless and do way more harm than good. I tried to use mine once and all it did was make everything wet. It certainly didn't make it clean.

As for mowing speeds with the full time mulch kit installed depending on grass height and wetness you may need to vary your speed. If the finish cut looks bad slow down a bit. The extra set of blades they gave you would have been the original non-mulching blades that the deck came with.

I believe there is a removable screen to keep most of the air born debris away form the radiators and fan. It's mounted vertically under the steering wheel. The fan pulls air from the steering wheel and pushes it forward.
 

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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Congrats on the new tractor. The 590 is a nice ride.

First things I would do would be to check the hydro fluid and check the tire air pressure. The tires are likely high and the hydro fluid might be low if you had any optional hydraulic equipment installed by the dealer. The first hour of use can for some air out of the hydraulic system causing the level to drop.

You should only use John Deere hydro fluid.

Engine oil should meet the viscosity and API spec for your engine. 30wt is fine but if you plan on any cold weather use a 10W-30 or 15W-40 would be a better choice. A very popular choice of oil for the Kawasaki engines is Shell Rotella. There is nothing wrong with the John deere motor oil though and it is often reasonably priced. Either way stick to what your owners manual tells you to put in the engine.

The general feeling about the wash port around here is that they are useless and do way more harm than good. I tried to use mine once and all it did was make everything wet. It certainly didn't make it clean.

As for mowing speeds with the full time mulch kit installed depending on grass height and wetness you may need to vary your speed. If the finish cut looks bad slow down a bit. The extra set of blades they gave you would have been the original non-mulching blades that the deck came with.

I believe there is a removable screen to keep most of the air born debris away form the radiators and fan. It's mounted vertically under the steering wheel. The fan pulls air from the steering wheel and pushes it forward.
Thanks...I'll look into buying some hydro fluid (any suggestions?...looks like you can get the stuff on eBay for around $10 / qt. but much cheaper on the greenpartstore site) and will check the level before mowing. Would you suggest getting a quart or gallon? With my Cub, the trans has leaked for the past 20 years and so I kept at least a gallon on hand at all times.

Regarding the fan, other than the rotating screen, I don't see any other screens mentioned in the manual, but haven't really spent much time looking under the hood yet. Interesting about the wash port...I wondered exactly what you're referring to, as to how effective it really is. Will be interesting to experiment with it.
 

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I believe there is a removable screen to keep most of the air born debris away form the radiators and fan. It's mounted vertically under the steering wheel. The fan pulls air from the steering wheel and pushes it forward.
The X590 is air cooled and does not have a radiator or screen or fan (other than the fins on the flywheel).
 

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I was surprised to see how much has to come off (voltage regulator and fuel pump) in order to access the cooling fins and fan area..but certainly worth it to keep the areas clean. I'm so used to the intake fan being vertical on the Cub and is super easy to access and clean.
I wouldn't get too excited just yet about tearing off all the covers to access the cooling fins. I've never cleaned the fins on my engine. I blow my X500 off with a leaf blower after ever mow and I just finished my 5th season with the tractor and the fins on the engine are as clean as when it was new.

Another issue...how many use the wash port? I asked the delivery guy about possible rust issues from shooting so much water under there each time (as suggested) with the blades running. Good idea or not? I've always just reached under my deck and hand-removed as much clippings as I can. Does the washing do a pretty decent job?
Don't do it. The wash port is a gimmick at best and just creates a wet mess of grass clippings while introducing water into your spindle bearings so they fail sooner. Scrape the deck out as needed and avoid the use of the wash port.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Great advice on the wash port...the concept is a good one but I can't see that all the water would do some of the components any good. Any thoughts on buying the trans oil right from Deere? How much to keep on hand? Right now, from the dealer, I'm at about half-way between fill and add. Better to keep it full?
 

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Great advice on the wash port...the concept is a good one but I can't see that all the water would do some of the components any good. Any thoughts on buying the trans oil right from Deere? How much to keep on hand? Right now, from the dealer, I'm at about half-way between fill and add. Better to keep it full?
Definitely use ONLY the JD Hy-Gard in the transmission. The X500-series transaxles hold less than 6 quart so it doesn't take a lot. I've always kept my X500 reservoir tank right at the full mark but be aware that the amount of fluid required to go from ADD to FULL is just a few ounces. According to the manual you can use regular Hy-Gard or Lo-Viscosity Hy-Gard depending on the ambient temperature in your area. I'm in the north east so I use Lo-Vis Hy-Gard.

I keep enough fluid on hand to do a transmission service. You will want to change the transmission oil and filter initially at 50 hrs. and then every 200 hours after that.

Also... be aware that in recent versions of the owner's manual JD has removed the initial 8 hr. engine oil/filter change. WHY they did this dumb move is beyond me. Earlier manuals still has it in there. Look at it this way, the Kawasaki service manual still lists the 8 hr. break-in oil change as being required. Seems pretty simple, eh? ;-) My advice to you is to go ahead and do an engine oil/filter at 8 hrs. and then whatever interval you feel comfortable with after that. The manual says 100 hrs. but that's a bit long for me. I change my X500 engine oil/filter every 25 hours which amounts to twice a year - not excessive in my book.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
This question probably professes a great deal of ignorance, but....what is the function of the wheels on the deck (outside of making it easier to roll the deck out from under the tractor)? I'm a bit confused. The manual says the deck will follow the contours of the ground (so is this what is commonly referred to as a "floating deck"?) and yet, on another page talks about how the wheels should not be in contact with the ground thereby supporting the weight of the deck. Right now the wheels are not all at the same distance from the floor, so I suppose this should be adjusted before I mow for the first time? I've never had any mower with a deck that had wheels, let alone any sort of leveling devices or hydraulics, so all this is totally new to me. The delivery guy ran through a bunch of stuff rather quickly, and so I've been looking at the manual to read about the leveling procedure.
 

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This question probably professes a great deal of ignorance, but....what is the function of the wheels on the deck? I'm a bit confused. The manual says the deck will follow the contours of the ground (so is this what is commonly referred to as a "floating deck"?) and yet, on another page talks about how the wheels should not be in contact with the ground. Right now the wheels are not all at the same distance from the floor, so I suppose this should be adjusted before I mow for the first time? I've never had any mower with a deck that had wheels, let alone any sort of leveling devices or hydraulics, so all this is totally new to me. The delivery guy ran through a bunch of stuff rather quickly, and so I've been looking at the manual to read about the leveling procedure.
The X500-series decks are not really floating. They are attached to the underside of the tractor and basically "hang" from it. The purpose of the wheels on the deck is to prevent scalping from your deck bottoming out on uneven surfaces.

Once your deck is level and set to the preferred cutting height, lower it like you were getting ready to mow. Then set the anti-scalp wheels until they are about 3/4 to 1" above the ground. Most folks use two finger widths as a gauge. Set them all to the same height. You only want the wheels to contact the ground over bumps and lumps. If you set them too low they will spin all the time and wear out prematurely.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
The X500-series decks are not really floating. They are attached to the underside of the tractor and basically "hang" from it. The purpose of the wheels on the deck is to prevent scalping from your deck bottoming out on uneven surfaces.

Once your deck is level and set to the preferred cutting height, lower it like you were getting ready to mow. Then set the anti-scalp wheels until they are about 3/4 to 1" above the ground. Most folks use two finger widths as a gauge. Set them all to the same height. You only want the wheels to contact the ground over bumps and lumps. If you set them too low they will spin all the time and wear out prematurely.
Assuming leveling can only be done with the tractor running (so the hydraulics are operating?) 2 of the wheels are currently set to 4 notches down and the other 2 are 5 notches.

So then the deck on this 590 could be considered to be "parallel linkage" as opposed to floating?
 

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Assuming leveling can only be done with the tractor running (so the hydraulics are operating?) 2 of the wheels are currently set to 4 notches down and the other 2 are 5 notches.

So then the deck on this 590 could be considered to be "parallel linkage" as opposed to floating?
My X500 has a mechanical lift but if it operates like my big tractor the engine shouldn't need to be running to lower the deck (I could be wrong of course). It will definitely need to be running to raise it back up. With the engine off you should be able to set the grass cut height knob and then lower the deck to that position. If it only lowers while running, start the engine... lower the deck to cut height... and then shut the engine back off. You will want all the wheels in the same set of holes. It's not super critical. You just don't want the little plastic wheels riding on the ground and spinning all the time. If you go over a big dip or bump, instead of the metal edges of the deck digging into the ground and tearing up the grass, it will instead bottom out on the wheels and keep rolling.

Yes, parallel linkage seems like a fitting description. :)
 

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My X500 has a mechanical lift but if it operates like my big tractor the engine shouldn't need to be running to lower the deck (I could be wrong of course). It will definitely need to be running to raise it back up. With the engine off you should be able to set the grass cut height knob and then lower the deck to that position. If it only lowers while running, start the engine... lower the deck to cut height... and then shut the engine back off. You will want all the wheels in the same set of holes. It's not super critical. You just don't want the little plastic wheels riding on the ground and spinning all the time. If you go over a big dip or bump, instead of the metal edges of the deck digging into the ground and tearing up the grass, it will instead bottom out on the wheels and keep rolling.

Yes, parallel linkage seems like a fitting description. :)
Not really. The linkage to the hydraulic cylinder on the 590 (and my 580) is attached to the actual deck linkage in a manner that allows the deck to float. The cylinder piston attaching point is slotted, hence no down force until the linkage hits the end of the slot. And, depending on the attachment that varies as well. My 48" blade, integral power hitch, and tiller, all use the same cylinder, but NOT the same linkage, and all work just a bit differently than one another. It's been an eye opener for me, but it is what it is. I've already decided that if I buy another attachment and have to take off the rear housing, seat, etc. to put it on I'm going to push the tractor in front of a cement truck and buy an X700 series 4WD whatever,. Not that I need it, but because it will piss me off that much.

As for setting the height, the deck MUST be in the full up position before you can change the height setting. So, raise or lower the deck to the leveling setting, follow the manual to set the level using the adjustment ports and tool. Once set, raise the deck all the way, turn the knob to your preferred height setting, then lower the deck and mow.

Also, keep this in mind. The height setting will also effect the down limit for all other attachments as well.

Good luck, have fun, keep hands and feet clear of belts and blades.
 

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Hi,

First off I'd echo cjadamec's comments about tyre pressure etc. I had a mower delivered a few years back with the tyres all different pressures and the deck not levelled so it's worth checking.

In relation to the X590, I thought I'd chime in with my own recent experience. I mowed this week for the first time with my new X590. My yard is about 3 acres and it isn't flat. There's a lot of undulations and channels through it that makes it quite bumpy, uneven and generally fairly rough to mow over. That said, my previous LA135 used to leave scalp marks on the lawn when I hit rough patches or turned too fast and had raised sections here and there due to uneven cutting on the undulations. It also didn't throw out the clippings very well and they tended to clump.

That said, the X590 has mowed it perfectly level with no raised sections or scalping, despite the very uneven ground. The speed of the mower was much faster than the LA135 so I had to adjust the seat springs to avoid being thrown off. Once I got the hang of it though, I mowed flat out for the entire yard, up and down the hills, turned at quite high speeds etc and the deck continued to mow perfectly which was a great improvement. There were no clumps on the lawn other than when the grass was a little damp, but once it dried out there's a fine spray of clippings, and that's without the mulching deck. When I look out over the lawn I can't see any clippings at all, whereas my LA135 and LT150 would leave piles of clippings about the yard.

As for engine speed, I know the manual says to mow at full throttle, but I mowed my lawn at about 3/4 throttle which kept the gauge on the dash in the green. If the grass was longer or when I tow the swisher finishing mower next time, I'll probably mow at full throttle.

It used quite a bit of fuel but I understand that will probably settle down. The other issue I had was that there was very little transmission fluid in it. I think this was either because the dealer didn't fill it up properly, or it wasn't quite full enough and once it settled down it went low as cjadamec mentioned. That said it went below the fill line after about an hour of just driving around the yard without mowing, so I'm thinking it was a dealer issue. I filled it up and it's stayed on full ever since.

As for the wash port, I've always been a bit dubious about it. I found with the LA135 it didn't seem to work well, but with the X590 when I had the wet grass stuck inside the deck, I found it worked quite well when I put the deck against the ground instead of having it raised. Our house pump has a lot of flow and good pressure so it was literally like a pressure washer spraying out of the chute when I turned it on, and it really cleaned it out. That said, I'm not sure if I will use it all the time as I'm also a bit concerned about wetting down the top of the deck and water getting into the mechanisms, but so far so good. I would normally just use the compressor to clean the mower off. I really like how you can lift the spindle covers to clean, that's a big improvement.

My only thought is that if you're not getting a nice level cut then perhaps the deck wasn't levelled or otherwise configured correctly e.g. guide wheels etc prior to delivery.

Anyway, that's my two cents.

regards,

craby
 

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It used quite a bit of fuel but I understand that will probably settle down. The other issue I had was that there was very little transmission fluid in it. I think this was either because the dealer didn't fill it up properly, or it wasn't quite full enough and once it settled down it went low as cjadamec mentioned. That said it went below the fill line after about an hour of just driving around the yard without mowing, so I'm thinking it was a dealer issue. I filled it up and it's stayed on full ever since.
You always need to check the fluid level when COLD. The level will actually increase when it warms up while in use. Sometimes you have to let it sit overnight to get an accurate measure. It only takes a few ounces of fluid to go from ADD to FULL.

As for the wash port, I've always been a bit dubious about it. I found with the LA135 it didn't seem to work well, but with the X590 when I had the wet grass stuck inside the deck, I found it worked quite well when I put the deck against the ground instead of having it raised. Our house pump has a lot of flow and good pressure so it was literally like a pressure washer spraying out of the chute when I turned it on, and it really cleaned it out. That said, I'm not sure if I will use it all the time as I'm also a bit concerned about wetting down the top of the deck and water getting into the mechanisms, but so far so good. I would normally just use the compressor to clean the mower off. I really like how you can lift the spindle covers to clean, that's a big improvement.
The main issue with the wash port is not whether or not it cleans grass from under the deck. The issue is introducing water into the deck right after use can cause water to get sucked into the spindle bearing housings leading to premature failure of the bearings. If you intend to continue to use the wash port, let the mower sit for a while after use until the spindles cool down completely.
 

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One suggestion on the hydraulic fluid, purchase it in the quart bottles. This may be slightly more expensive, but you can actually use them to fill the reservoir. If you purchase the gallon size, you will also need a funnel with a flexible hose as the access is tight.
The only other thing that I found is that the JD Predator blades work much better with the mulching kit than the standard mulching blades (IMO).

Have fun and enjoy.
 

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One suggestion on the hydraulic fluid, purchase it in the quart bottles. This may be slightly more expensive, but you can actually use them to fill the reservoir. If you purchase the gallon size, you will also need a funnel with a flexible hose as the access is tight.
The only other thing that I found is that the JD Predator blades work much better with the mulching kit than the standard mulching blades (IMO).

Have fun and enjoy.
I assume you mean the Predator blades work better with the Mulch on Demand option. If so, that is because the blades provided with the MOD kits are actually combo blades since they need to do both discharge and mulch duties.

With the previous full-time mulch kit (with the plastic baffles) you got special mulch-only blades which work quite well.
 

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Yes Predator Blades with the MOD option.
 

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You always need to check the fluid level when COLD. The level will actually increase when it warms up while in use. Sometimes you have to let it sit overnight to get an accurate measure. It only takes a few ounces of fluid to go from ADD to FULL.



The main issue with the wash port is not whether or not it cleans grass from under the deck. The issue is introducing water into the deck right after use can cause water to get sucked into the spindle bearing housings leading to premature failure of the bearings. If you intend to continue to use the wash port, let the mower sit for a while after use until the spindles cool down completely.

Thanks jgayman, I didn't write that out very well. I was meaning that although it showed it has having transmission oil in it, after I drove it around the yard for about an hour, I noticed the next morning that it was well below the fill line, whereas before I started driving around it was above it. I chucked some more fluid in it and there's been no issues since, but I'm glad I noticed it and I'll keep an eye on it from now on.

I will also take on board your advice about the wash port. I think if I just keep mowing while the grass is dry I could keep it clean with the compressor, but that's good info.

regards,
 

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Assuming leveling can only be done with the tractor running (so the hydraulics are operating?) 2 of the wheels are currently set to 4 notches down and the other 2 are 5 notches.

So then the deck on this 590 could be considered to be "parallel linkage" as opposed to floating?
YOU HAVE A LOT TO LEARN GRASS HOPPER . Leveling is done with Engine off read the manual .
 
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