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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was fortunate to pick up a 1988 JD 265 lawn tractor from a neighbor who had just purchased a new JD. He didn't want this one as it was hard to start and keep running he claimed. I've had no issue with starting or running and it roars like a lion, cutting the gopher ridden lawn like a champ! He had a service done on it recently at a JD place and the fluids in it taste delicious with only a hint of use!

It also came with a JD M03260X 30" mechanical tiller and I managed to find the attached doc on how to de/attach it. Attached. Pics of it to come... It's a bit rusty, as is the mower body, and I hope to find some time this summer to clean them both up and give them their original green n' yellow glory...tho a 10' paint job as I have limited free time. I'll share pix when I get time to give it some love.

I also noticed the lights don't work and that there is no power getting out of the harness to them. I've only had a few mins to poke at the issue, but should crack this nut easily as I'm savvy with electrical, much less so with engines and hydrostatic transmissions. Fortunately this one seems to be happy, which makes me happy as this is its 33rd year of use.

It's kinda hard to read the odometer, but I believe its around 780 hours. How many hours do these things go for with these Kawasaki engines in 'em?

The operators manual doesn't have an electrical schematic in it...guessing I need the FOS manual (Fundamentals Of Service)?

Cheers!~!
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I have a 265. The engine was knocking pretty bad when I got it. Took it off and installed a 25HP Kohler Command. Nearly a bolt-in replacement, holes in frame already. It's a very good mower now.
 
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I had a JD 285, it's big brother, that had liquid cooled engine. The plastic cam gear failed at 1000 hours, it was stolen at about 1100 hours. Mine was an '89
 
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That is a cool acquisition! You can tell it is in great shape by looking at the seat (if it is original). I can't quite figure out what a 10' paint job is but I think it rates more than that.
 
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Took it off and installed a 25HP Kohler Command.
I'm impressed to hear you found an engine that fits the existing frame mounts! Good to know this is an option should this Kawasaki reach its end.

The plastic cam gear failed at 1000 hours, it was stolen at about 1100 hours.
That's great to hear 1 data point at 1,000 hours! Sorry to hear about the theft. I wondered why this page was in the manual, but apparently it's a real thing.

You can tell it is in great shape by looking at the seat (if it is original). I can't quite figure out what a 10' paint job is but I think it rates more than that.
Yeah the seat is original as is most everything else on it, except a push button to start it. I'm not sure why this was installed, but looks like it was professionally done. Pic to come. What I meant by "10' paint job" is that I plan to clean up the rust, seal and repaint it, but likely not a high quality paint job that's easily seen if less than 10 feet from it.
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I've never done this so not sure, but you may have a problem painting your 265...well 2 problems! The first is I believe your tractor is powder coated and not painted. I think powder coat is a plastic based material and conventional paint may not "stick" well. The 2nd problem is if the paint does stick to the powder coat, the powder coat and new paint will fall off! Being an '88, JD started powder coating in that time and did NOT have good luck with the process. VERY common for machines of this era to have coating come off in chunks/sheets!
I guess your choices are sandblast and repaint or just paint and see what happens.

For a wiring schematic you'll need a technical manual, TM1426. Lot's of info in there, but ONLY about the JD part of the tractor and no details about the engine. For the engine, you'll need a Kawasaki manual for the FC540V.

Good find, get'er runnnin' and enjoy. Bob
 
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What I call 10' paint job (more like a 100' paint job) is what I see, usually at auction/estate sales, where regardless of rust, dirt, grease, a "rattle can" of green and yellow are used. They paint the hoses, wiring, everything. Tires will have over spray, and no need to paint the back side of the wheels. I would rather see honest wear and tear than a 10/100' paint job.
 
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks @rwmeyer! I'm excited it runs well and aside from body is in great shape cutting the grass tight and even. Especially for $200 and me being the 3rd owner. The drive belt has some cracks and I found some cheapo belts off of Amazon as an experiment to see how long it lasts as opposed to the JD belt that's on it and still functioning though quite old.

Also appreciate the tip on the powder coat. I plan to treat the rust to slow it down (10' paint job), and when I have a spare afternoon (Ha! Seems far off with a 5mo old baby.) I'd like to dismantle, blast the rust, and spray it like this caring individual.

I would rather see honest wear and tear than a 10/100' paint job.
I hear ya @Zebrafive about the auction pitfalls and don't plan to color coat rust. Rather, I'll use a penetrant, sealant for a quick fix until I can do it right like @Mike265. I looked at so many auction tractors before I found this from a neighbor. It sure is dicey buying at these (most often) shady operations.

Even more exiting is the fact that it came with an 30" mechanical-drive rotary tiller. It was seized when I got it, but I managed to break the end-bearing free. I plan to grease, and put it back together to run it a bit. It took me a while to find what it is with the serial number starting with M03260X, but believe it to be a 30" JD X500 tiller.

Anyone know where I might find parts for this JD implement?
 

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