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Discussion Starter #1
I am entertaining the idea of trading my gt235 in for a used x540. Is there any common problems or things to look over before purchasing? The 540 is a 2013(?) and has 114hrs. It looks brand new. Even under the deck looks mint. I'm pretty confident in it but wanted to post to get some feedback.
 

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I think it's a fair to good deal. There's (2) x540 that are year newer, one with 600hrs and one with 400hrs. And they're asking $5500 for those and for the one I'm looking at they're asking $5200. How well does this mow at top speed? I mow once a week. Also how does it do on slopes? I have a ditch I mow. It's probably right on the edge of what shouldn't be mowed lol. I have to lean on the edge of the seat to keep traction.
 

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The speed depends on the depth of the grass. Mine mows well under all conditions. You just can't go all out through very tall grass. I have deep ditches and mow with no problem.
 

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I had for a few weeks last summer. Great machine. Really enjoyed my time with it. Mine was a dealer loaner, and very used. It looked rough around the edges and had obviously been used hard. Possibly for commercial work. Everything worked great on it despite the abuse, until the PTO stopped engaging after a while and they took it away and brought me something else. It wouldn't have been a very expensive fix if it were mine. If the one you're considering looks brand new, or just really nice, then it wasn't used for commercial work and was probably well taken care of and you won't have any issues you couldn't also have with a new unit. That one is very low hours and is almost new. If the price is good, I'd go for it. There are no more liquid cooled engines in the X500 lineup, so they won't be around forever.
 

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I have under 200 hours on mine and it's performed very well. The diff lock and power steering make it a joy to use. Mine came with HDAP tires which help with traction but I think regular turf tires would have been adequate considering the effectiveness of the diff lock. The original front Carlisle HDAP tires were terrible and almost immediately wore unevenly. I replaced them at 50 hours with a pair of 16x6.50-8 Kenda Terra Tracs that have been absolutely flawless.

Aside from the front tires, my only real gripe is the fuel gauge stopped working at about 70 hours. It appears this is a very common problem but I'm not inclined to spend the time or money to fix it as I always top off the fuel before using. Lastly, mine usually starts with a big puff of smoke which is common for this engine. Some people incorrectly believe the rings were not properly seated because the operator failed to follow recommended break-in procedures. I adhered to the manual and Deere's guidelines religiously and many others have reported the same issue. One way to avoid this is to turn the ignition key over once or twice without the choke before starting with the choke.

One warning-- NEVER jump start a dead battery on an X540 or you'll be buying a $100+ ignition module. Don't ask me how I know.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Lots of good info. Feeling pretty good about purchasing. Just got to check with the boss lol


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I have under 200 hours on mine and it's performed very well. The diff lock and power steering make it a joy to use. Mine came with HDAP tires which help with traction but I think regular turf tires would have been adequate considering the effectiveness of the diff lock. The original front Carlisle HDAP tires were terrible and almost immediately wore unevenly. I replaced them at 50 hours with a pair of 16x6.50-8 Kenda Terra Tracs that have been absolutely flawless.

Aside from the front tires, my only real gripe is the fuel gauge stopped working at about 70 hours. It appears this is a very common problem but I'm not inclined to spend the time or money to fix it as I always top off the fuel before using. Lastly, mine usually starts with a big puff of smoke which is common for this engine. Some people incorrectly believe the rings were not properly seated because the operator failed to follow recommended break-in procedures. I adhered to the manual and Deere's guidelines religiously and many others have reported the same issue. One way to avoid this is to turn the ignition key over once or twice without the choke before starting with the choke.

One warning-- NEVER jump start a dead battery on an X540 or you'll be buying a $100+ ignition module. Don't ask me how I know.
My 2014 has around 250 hours. Everything above is my experience. Except my fuel gauge never gave me problems.
I think that the liquid cooling is a big advantage especially on hot days. Just remember that you need to service the system.
Bouncing in the seat is my limiting factor as far as speed. The deck will usually take it.
 

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OK folks so I have mowed a couple times. I'm happy with it. Couple concerns though. You weren't kidding about a puff of smoke! First couple starts I didn't notice (I think cause it was warm.) Is it usually white smoke you see? Also how stiff is the throttle and choke levers suppose to be? Mine seem pretty stiff like on the edge of bending the plastic levers.

Also I read threads about not getting to full speed. Mine gets to full speed well enough I think because I checked it with a gps app on my phone and got about 7mph. But my issue is that I have to push really hard on the pedal to get to full speed. About 3/4 pedal is fine but the last 1/4 you really have to push. It sat outside until I purchased it. So I don't know if the linkage is gummed up. I checked the pedal heights and have about 2" on forward and 1.5" on reverse. So that's in spec.

And finally it seems to leave a 3-4" strip of grass about 3/4" higher than the rest. My best guess is that the anti scalp wheels are pushing it down and the mower doesn't have enough lift to pull it up straight to cut it. If I slow down it's better but who has time for that lol. It does have new standard blades. I don't need my lawn to be a golf course but it does look weird. In relation to all my concerns could it be because it's not at full throttle? I don't know if the newer engines run at the same WOT rpm as any of my older kawaski's. It just doesn't sound like it's spinning as fast. I think I might pull the hood off to make sure it's hitting the WOT stop screw.
 

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OK folks so I have mowed a couple times. I'm happy with it. Couple concerns though. You weren't kidding about a puff of smoke! First couple starts I didn't notice (I think cause it was warm.) Is it usually white smoke you see? Also how stiff is the throttle and choke levers suppose to be? Mine seem pretty stiff like on the edge of bending the plastic levers.

Also I read threads about not getting to full speed. Mine gets to full speed well enough I think because I checked it with a gps app on my phone and got about 7mph. But my issue is that I have to push really hard on the pedal to get to full speed. About 3/4 pedal is fine but the last 1/4 you really have to push. It sat outside until I purchased it. So I don't know if the linkage is gummed up. I checked the pedal heights and have about 2" on forward and 1.5" on reverse. So that's in spec.

And finally it seems to leave a 3-4" strip of grass about 3/4" higher than the rest. My best guess is that the anti scalp wheels are pushing it down and the mower doesn't have enough lift to pull it up straight to cut it. If I slow down it's better but who has time for that lol. It does have new standard blades. I don't need my lawn to be a golf course but it does look weird. In relation to all my concerns could it be because it's not at full throttle? I don't know if the newer engines run at the same WOT rpm as any of my older kawaski's. It just doesn't sound like it's spinning as fast. I think I might pull the hood off to make sure it's hitting the WOT stop screw.



Spray some lube. Preferably graphite.


The first time I tried to use my three-point lever, it was pretty apparent it had never been used since purchase.



For your grass strip issue, check to make sure the correct spindle is installed, and no play is present in it. If you want to test out your wheel theory, let the grass grow, remove the wheel, and cut at maximum height.
 
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