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Discussion Starter #1
July 2014 we bought some land that needed a lot of work! Went to our local JD dealer and bought a 3038e and several attachments. Wanted a 3039-but would have had to wait for 6 weeks. The 3038e has far exceeded our expectations-very happy. Love green.

We also wanted a Gator to use as a "support vehicle". We didn't do our research. Relied on the JD reputation. It's now back at the dealer for the second time-shifter problems. This time I think the shift cable broke. It has 40 hours on it. We do not abuse this machine. It's used to haul passengers around the property-usually in low-half speed. The other use is for equipment to the work area-usually chain saws, gas and tools.

I've seen all over the internet where this model seems to have continuous problems. I did read one post where a JD tech commented that if they are fixed right they are a good machine.

We did have it at the dealer at around 20 hours under warranty and the claim was that it had a clutch upgrade.

From a performance/use standpoint the 550 is just fine for us. In fact we really like it-but we like stuff to work-not lose weeks at a time taking it in for service. Plus it's 2 years old now and out of warranty.

My son is done with it. he wants to go get a Polaris or another brand. When we dropped it off at the dealer yesterday we did see a XUV825iS4. Looks nice. Can we expect that machine to be more reliable? Looks like it has been around for a couple of years and I'm not finding much negative on the forums about it.

What could we expect to get for the 550 as a trade in on the 825?

Are there any 550 owners that feel their machine can be fixed and used reliably? Another reason I'm on the forum is to see if there are any aftermarket transmission/shifting upgrades to improve the 550-Haven't seemed to find any. Thoughts?

What I don't want to do is to keep the 550 and have to have it serviced all the time. We do maintain our equipment so routine hourly maintenance is acceptable to us-not replacing shifter cables and clutches every 40 hours or so.

Any advice? We have friends that went with Polaris and they seem to be happy. I'd prefer to stay green-but I don't prefer to stay with equipment that will be a problem. With 40 hours on this Gator-it's been in the shop for several weeks. So I guess you could say that John Deere has spent way more time with it then we have!

I'm OK with staying with the 550-but then again I would trade with JD-my preference- to get into a better more reliable Gator or go to a Honda or Polaris.

Any thoughts? advice? after market fixes for the 550?
 

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What about the 590?
 

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One issue that has plagued some JD Gators is the fit tolerances with internal clutch components This issue seems to be exasperated in warm climates. The good news is there is a relatively easy fix by trained service personnel.
 

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What about the 590?
Or the 560 biggrin.gif

I researched the Gators forever and found just what bhill stated about the 550. Bought the 560 a few months back. The XUV825i was a tad too big for us.
 

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Have the 2013 825i. No problems so far, does a lot of work and play. Been very happy. Hasn't been back to dealer yet other than for installed assosories. Not home to look at how many hours are on it. I bleed green so I didn't think of another brand when started looking at them. I do have Polaris quads and been very happy with Polaris also, but Gator was all I thought about for a utv.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
What about the 590?
Probably need to look into it. If we make a move, and if we stay with JD (I hope we do-son doesn't have the bleed green loyalty that I do) I want to get away to any similarity to the 550 transmission/shift implementation. Not a believer in it.
 

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Have the 2013 825i. No problems so far, does a lot of work and play. Been very happy. Hasn't been back to dealer yet other than for installed assosories. Not home to look at how many hours are on it. I bleed green so I didn't think of another brand when started looking at them. I do have Polaris quads and been very happy with Polaris also, but Gator was all I thought about for a utv.
I can't find much bad on the forums around the 825. The engine is supposed to be bullet proof. I really don't need the size/power/capacity of the 825 but if we stay with green and have to get into that series of machine to get reliability then we will be happy with the extra size. As I mentioned in the first post we like the 550. But I've read that I may be faced with engine problems (head gasket failure), and more clutch, shifting problems.

Remaining open minded. On Saturday we were ready to see it go. Yesterday we were discussing and the comment was lets not do anything crazy-try and get it fixed. My JD dealer has been great to work with to date-but if we have to take a huge financial beating on the 550 to get a 825-that will make us re-think everything.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Or the 560 View attachment 200874

I researched the Gators forever and found just what bhill stated about the 550. Bought the 560 a few months back. The XUV825i was a tad too big for us.

Just starting the research on this. Our dealer was scarce of Gators this visit. We just saw the 825i sitting there. How long have you had the 560? Hours? Any shifting or other issues? Do you know what is different about it mechanically then the 550?
 

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  • :hi: My 550 is still running and running and running...
Used the GATOR the last two weeks to drive to work - what a pleasure :yahoo::good2:
 

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  • :hi: My 550 is still running and running and running...
Used the GATOR the last two weeks to drive to work - what a pleasure :yahoo::good2:
No troubles? Any warranty upgrades to the drive train? I believe we had a clutch upgrade the first time we had it in. It did work better then when it was new after we got it back from the first service.

I wonder if the 550 overseas version is the same version as the US version?
 

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Try the product selection program on Deere's site, it might help.

Gator Selection
 

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We had the x550 s4 for close to 4 years thinking over 200 hrs , head gasket replaced, belt, clutch assembly all replaced under warranty over the first 2 years. Then after close to 4 yrs. had always stalled when trying to move or start to drive the Gator. JD paid to clean the carb and found dirt inside the carb.. GEE put up with this for over 3 yrs. Then the seals went bad we paid 1/2 the bill around $200 . When we got it home ran like a new machine. Decided then it was time to get rid of the Gator. I would have looked at the 590 if I had know it was coming out. Instead went with the Honda Pioneer 700 been Happy and no complaints.

I just wasn't a fan of the air cooled engine , especially a B&S. Just my 2 cents.

We used ours for 15-25 mile rides instead of trips just to the garden or maybe a 1/2 mile at a time. If it had been used that way may have lasted don't know.
 

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Just starting the research on this. Our dealer was scarce of Gators this visit. We just saw the 825i sitting there. How long have you had the 560? Hours? Any shifting or other issues? Do you know what is different about it mechanically then the 550?
13 hours. We had wanted a new gator for a couple of years but the bigger units were just too big and would not fit through our barn doors. I never realize the 550/560 were smaller.
I spoke with my dealer about the known issues with the 550 (clutch, shifting problems) and he assured me the 560 was NOT going to have those problems:dunno:. The dealer also said, the fixes/repairs/updates, if done correctly, did in fact solve the issues, although he had not seen many come back with issues.
The 590 is pretty much the same machine as the 560 but with a different engine, 28 mph is fast enough for us.
 

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No troubles? Any warranty upgrades to the drive train? I believe we had a clutch upgrade the first time we had it in. It did work better then when it was new after we got it back from the first service.

I wonder if the 550 overseas version is the same version as the US version?

Sorry, I forgot the hour meter was chanced after 178 h - a warranty upgrade. That's all.

I don't think that there're great differences to find in the versions. The 550 is only homologised for the german market. Maybe we have the better Gator climate...
 

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Discussion Starter #15
13 hours. We had wanted a new gator for a couple of years but the bigger units were just too big and would not fit through our barn doors. I never realize the 550/560 were smaller.
I spoke with my dealer about the known issues with the 550 (clutch, shifting problems) and he assured me the 560 was NOT going to have those problems:dunno:. The dealer also said, the fixes/repairs/updates, if done correctly, did in fact solve the issues, although he had not seen many come back with issues.
The 590 is pretty much the same machine as the 560 but with a different engine, 28 mph is fast enough for us.
Thanks for the feedback. I asked the dealer for a quote for a 590 and the 825. We shall see what they come up with. I hope I'm surprised favorably-but not counting on it. The 590 doesn't seem to have a track record yet-but I learned that it has the water cooled Chery engine-and there seems to be favorable reviews on that. I appreciate the help on this. The deere site doesn't really provide an "in-depth" level of knowledge on what engines they use, etc. You really have to dig around the internet to find the real story. Very appreciative of folks that can share real life experiences.
 

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We own a 2008 850D Gator as well as a 2014 825i. Both have been absolutely rock solid and never been back to the dealer. The 850D diesel is a bit loud and lacks power steering but it was so incredibly handy we didn't think twice about buying another Deere UTV. In all fairness, my Polaris and Honda ATVs have been just as reliable and we did look at those brands, as well as Kawasaki, before buying the Deere. The 825i has been a versatile machine and we use it nearly every day. I hope you can iron out the kinks with your 550.
 

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Update: Dealer confirmed a broken shifter cable. Likely caused by the clutch sticking. Our initial return to the dealer at 20 hours was to fix "sticky/hard" shifting. As part of that warranty repair they replaced the clutch with a new and improved model. That clutch is now diagnosed as having issues.

Thanks to these forums I now understand that the 550 clutch has tolerance issues that seem to show up in hotter climates. It was the first hot day of the year when the clutch/cable went south. I understand that the clutch can be pulled and sent to a performance shop for tuning. That costs $350-$500 dollars. And we would still have a Briggs and Stratton, air cooled, engine with a carburetor. Not good.

We shall see how this works out with the dealer-hope we can get into something new w/o taking a beating-otherwise it's Craigs List for the 550 and move on to another brand. Seems like the Honda's are the favorite. Really hate to do that-as I do think a 590 might be a nice machine. But the jury is still out on that model as it's so new.
 

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BoomerangJ, What turned me off with a lot of other brands is a live rear axle with both rear wheels driving all the time.
 

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BoomerangJ, What turned me off with a lot of other brands is a live rear axle with both rear wheels driving all the time.
Thanks. I appreciate the inputs. It's hard to find the time to do ALL the research! Since I last posted i took a look at the Honda site. Too much money for me. Really hope I can give the 590 a try or even the 825.
 

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July 2014 we bought some land that needed a lot of work! Went to our local JD dealer and bought a 3038e and several attachments. Wanted a 3039-but would have had to wait for 6 weeks. The 3038e has far exceeded our expectations-very happy. Love green.

We also wanted a Gator to use as a "support vehicle". We didn't do our research. Relied on the JD reputation. It's now back at the dealer for the second time-shifter problems. This time I think the shift cable broke. It has 40 hours on it. We do not abuse this machine. It's used to haul passengers around the property-usually in low-half speed. The other use is for equipment to the work area-usually chain saws, gas and tools.

I've seen all over the internet where this model seems to have continuous problems. I did read one post where a JD tech commented that if they are fixed right they are a good machine.

We did have it at the dealer at around 20 hours under warranty and the claim was that it had a clutch upgrade.

From a performance/use standpoint the 550 is just fine for us. In fact we really like it-but we like stuff to work-not lose weeks at a time taking it in for service. Plus it's 2 years old now and out of warranty.

My son is done with it. he wants to go get a Polaris or another brand. When we dropped it off at the dealer yesterday we did see a XUV825iS4. Looks nice. Can we expect that machine to be more reliable? Looks like it has been around for a couple of years and I'm not finding much negative on the forums about it.

What could we expect to get for the 550 as a trade in on the 825?

Are there any 550 owners that feel their machine can be fixed and used reliably? Another reason I'm on the forum is to see if there are any aftermarket transmission/shifting upgrades to improve the 550-Haven't seemed to find any. Thoughts?

What I don't want to do is to keep the 550 and have to have it serviced all the time. We do maintain our equipment so routine hourly maintenance is acceptable to us-not replacing shifter cables and clutches every 40 hours or so.

Any advice? We have friends that went with Polaris and they seem to be happy. I'd prefer to stay green-but I don't prefer to stay with equipment that will be a problem. With 40 hours on this Gator-it's been in the shop for several weeks. So I guess you could say that John Deere has spent way more time with it then we have!

I'm OK with staying with the 550-but then again I would trade with JD-my preference- to get into a better more reliable Gator or go to a Honda or Polaris.

Any thoughts? advice? after market fixes for the 550?
Prologue: Our John Deere dealer hit it out of the park! Coufal-Prater Taylor, Texas. I was very concerned about keeping the 550. It's not a good use of time/equipment to have to haul it to the shop or make arrangements to have it picked up and worked on-when you could be using it. When I originally posted we were somewhat frustrated as this machine has never shifted correctly, had already had one clutch replaced and only had ~45 hours on it. This time I inquired about trading it for a 590 or 825. But the fact of the matter is that for us the 550 is the right machine if it could be reliable. The dealer could have taken my money and I could have been convinced to trade. Instead they said-"let us make this right for you". They installed another complete upgrade kit which included clutch, cable, shifter and shifter gate. They brought it back yesterday. I briefly drove it and the differences are night and day. With this new kit it actually feels like a shifter, clicking into the various gears, etc. Only time will tell-but my first impression after this repair is very positive. I realize these forums can be a negative place with only negative news or worse trolls. Only fair to put in positive results when they occur.
 
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