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Discussion Starter #1
I've had my X500 going on four years and I level my deck every time I service the machine. Today while doing the 200 hour service I was leveling my deck and I noticed that the tool felt a little funny, like there was some play in it.

So I took a closer look and discovered that the end is nearly rounded off. Has anyone else experienced this? I know the tool JD supplies (M162737) isn't exactly tool steel but I sure didn't expect it to wear out this fast. You can't really abuse it. You stick it in the adjusting hole and give it a turn one way or the other. The leveling bolts do seem to turn a bit hard but I believe that it by design so they hold the adjustment.

JD Parts doesn't give any specifications on the tool but I seem to remember reading somewhere that it was an 8mm ball hex head. Does anyone know where you can get a long 3/8 drive 8mm ball hex tool? It has to be at least 7" long to get down in there and reach the adjusting bolt through the access hole.

M162737.jpg IMG_1947.jpg
 

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I feel your pain

I feel your pain. I just posted a thread about the cheap design of Deere's deck leveling system and I noticed that you also posted problems with yours. The tool that is supplied is junk and the angle that you have with it and adjustment bolt head is stupid. Deere could have designed and more robust system and better engineered one. If they are sold on this design at least beef it up. When my dealer was showing me how to adjust deck we both commented on how difficult it was to adjust.
 

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Sorry to hear this , I've used a x738 now close to 100 hrs and have never had to adjust the deck. Haven't even had the adjustment tool out of the holder since the delivery person showed me and the owner .
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sorry to hear this , I've used a x738 now close to 100 hrs and have never had to adjust the deck. Haven't even had the adjustment tool out of the holder since the delivery person showed me and the owner .
My deck seems to need adjustment every 25 hrs or so. It's never off by much, at times it's only 1/8" and the most it's been off is 1/4". At least the tool only costs $8.08.
 

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You should be able to buy a T handle tool or extended socket that would work. Just has to be ball allen on the end.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You should be able to buy a T handle tool or extended socket that would work. Just has to be ball allen on the end.
Thanks for the tip. I didn't think of that, duh! I'm going to look for one of those first.
 

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Sorry to hear this , I've used a x738 now close to 100 hrs and have never had to adjust the deck. Haven't even had the adjustment tool out of the holder since the delivery person showed me and the owner .

I'm with you on this one. Did mine after hitting a cast iron curb valve with the front U shaped support bar. Was totally covered by debris and I didn't even see it. After replacing the bar I leveled the deck on a nice flat concrete shop floor. That was 2 years ago and it has been good ever since. I bang my deck off of a lot of stuff on a regular basis. I got 3 bad spots just to cut the place I'm living at now. Plus I trailer the tractor all the time. Usually set the hight to cut knob at 1.5" and drop the deck onto the anti scalp wheels. Doesn't bounce around as much.
 

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If your lawn is rough or you step on the deck to get on the tractor that would cause adjustment problems.My neighbor had a rough lawn and had to keep adjusting his Cub Cadet.I rolled his lawn the last few years and he hasn't touched his deck since.
 

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If your lawn is rough or you step on the deck to get on the tractor that would cause adjustment problems.My neighbor had a rough lawn and had to keep adjusting his Cub Cadet.I rolled his lawn the last few years and he hasn't touched his deck since.
Every place I cut is not exactly golf course smooth. My deck does take quite a beating. I'm pretty sure my daughter, FSIL and kids were using my 54" deck as a step and not just getting on or off the tractor. Just trying to walk by it in a cluttered garage. It's another reason I'm glad it's being stored in my girlfriend's garage. Plus they just had a small garage fire at my daughter's place. Luckily she got it put out with the garden hose before the fire department needed to show up. She said they had 2 extinguishers but neither worked. This guy was fixing the carb on the FSIL's Sportster. The bike backfired out the intake and the show was on.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
If your lawn is rough or you step on the deck to get on the tractor that would cause adjustment problems.My neighbor had a rough lawn and had to keep adjusting his Cub Cadet.I rolled his lawn the last few years and he hasn't touched his deck since.
My lawn is very rough and has a lot of dips and valleys. It's one reason why I opted for the 48" deck over the 54" because I knew the 54" would scalp all over the place. I roll it several times in the spring and while it reduces those lunar surface-like freeze/thaw craters it would take an earth mover to smooth out the dips and valleys.

I never step on the deck.
 

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The tool is cheap junk and so are the bolts that actually lift it up. ON a side note though....they did change the bolts that lift the deck in mid cycle year 2016. The deck doesn't stay level on the 54" Accel or the 54" HC worth a crap. I level mine every other week and it's always off at least 1/4" side to side. On my previous X590 that only had 49 hrs, I had to replace both bolts that you level it with. They both rounded off. The new bolts are much better. ON my new X738, I have leveled the deck 2x now in 13 hrs of service so far. Both times it was off 1/4". Very annoying that it gets off level that often! But oh well, what can one do?!
 

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Discussion Starter #12
The tool is cheap junk and so are the bolts that actually lift it up. ON a side note though....they did change the bolts that lift the deck in mid cycle year 2016. The deck doesn't stay level on the 54" Accel or the 54" HC worth a crap. I level mine every other week and it's always off at least 1/4" side to side. On my previous X590 that only had 49 hrs, I had to replace both bolts that you level it with. They both rounded off. The new bolts are much better. ON my new X738, I have leveled the deck 2x now in 13 hrs of service so far. Both times it was off 1/4". Very annoying that it gets off level that often! But oh well, what can one do?!
I assume they changed the bolts but did not change the part number as the parts listing does not show any revision to the bolt.



9M168774Socket Head Screw2
 

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I assume they changed the bolts but did not change the part number as the parts listing does not show any revision to the bolt.



9M168774Socket Head Screw2
I was at my dealer today to let them know about my problem with broken leveling link on my 2016 x590 and he was ordering new parts and I bought up the updated bolts that I learned about here and he said part number hasn't changed and there was no service bulletin about improved bolts but he did tell me they sometimes update parts but don't change parts number. I'll know in a few days when my new bolts , nuts and links come in .
 

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Discussion Starter #15
I took the advice of H-D dealer dude and instead of wasting $8.08 on another stock JD adjusting tool I spent $15.46 on a decent quality USA-made 8mm ball-end T-handle. This tool is 11" long (one inch longer than the stock tool) and fits like a glove. The T-handle and shank appear to be all one piece.


IMG_1949.jpg

IMG_1951.jpg
 

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I took the advice of H-D dealer dude and instead of wasting $8.08 on another stock JD adjusting tool I spent $15.46 on a decent quality USA-made 8mm ball-end T-handle. This tool is 11" long (one inch longer than the stock tool) and fits like a glove. The T-handle and shank appear to be all one piece.


View attachment 408378

View attachment 408386
That's exactly what I was talking about. An actual tool. lol Believe it or not that tool will be less likely to strip out the head of the adjusting bolt then that stock thing.

I can't even hardly stand using the factory tools that came with my Stihl equipment. Never broke any but using a real tool is so much nicer.
 

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Dealer changed my deck adjustment system not a month after I bought my X738. going on three years ago paid for by JD, Why?????. the repair guy adjusted the deck and it's still in adjustment to this day.. the tool is junk though. I never used it but looking at it tells me it will strip. The Tee handle will last you Mike, I have a set of those I bought years ago metric and SAE. If I do need to do an adjustment (and I do check this every now and then) I will not use the factory tool wherever that is,, it's not in my tractor toolbox for sure....
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Another small tidbit of advice that will extend the life of your tool and the adjusting bolt. Whenever you make your adjustment, either raising or lowering the adjuster, grab the edge of the deck with your hand and lift up just slightly to take some of the weight off the adjuster. The adjuster will turn much easier and it will relieve a lot of stress from the tool tip and the hex head.

I know this probably seems like common sense but I haven't been doing it but I will be going forward.
 

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Another idea for replacement tool

I was able to replace my Lift Link and other hardware tonight after work. I was bound and determined not to use the supplied John Deere Allen t-wrench. I used my 1/4" drive ratchet,long extension,universal and a 8mm Allen socket. I also enlarged the top access hole a little with a step bit so I could put 8mm Allen and Universal though the top. This worked really well and might help others with deck leveling. Grease under flare of adjustment screw and anti - seize on threads made adjustment a lot easier also.
 

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