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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello

I've just acquired a JD 170 riding mower. Despite its age, it looks in very good condition apart from a couple of tears in the seat.

I'd like to get a manual for it but there is no sign of the S/N anywhere on the mower. I have looked all over the chassis, under the seat, you name it!!!
The Deere Bookstore lists 2 manuals depending on the S/N, so my question is:

Is there a huge difference between the JD 170s? I really just want a basic user's manual - what each switch does etc. so could I just get either of the 2 manuals?

Manuals:

OMM 78999 for S/Ns 595001-750000, 595001-

OR

OMM 95262 for S/Ns 010001-100000, 010001-420000

Any advice would be greatly appreciated, but please be gentle as I'm not technically au fait with garden machinery!!

Thanks
 

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Welcome! The JD you have is a sturdy ok machine. The serial # should be on left side of chassis. Might be gone. Getting manual online is not likely as JD keeps them from free downloads. They don't allow that. Not sure of difference of serial number breaks for buying physical copy.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
bwdbrn1 - no that's not the one. You're looking at the LT170, mine is plain old 170.

I have no problem paying for the manual which is around $25 from the Deere Bookstore but I don't want to end up getting the wrong one. It also seems that these manuals aren't downloadable so postage will need to be added and that would make it more expensive. Hence the need to get it right first time.

I've attached a photo (nicked from the internet) to give you an idea.
 

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Ahh, O.K., I had hoped that would be the one. Sorry, I don't know my John Deeres, so I'm going to learn a lot from you on this one. Unfortunately, like Eric said, they don't just give them all away, and from what I've seen in my attempt to find one for you is that John Deere evidently stamped all sorts of their machinery with that 170 number.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yes, it does get a bit complicated!

Have a look at the site:

http://techpubs.deere.com/products/ProductResults.aspx?start=45techpubs.deere.com/products/ProductResults.aspx?start=45

The manuals for the 170 start about 7th on the list.

What makes it worse is there is no email address, just address and phone number which would cost a fortune from here. JD France are so extremely unhelpful because I'm not buying from them so refuse to help! JD UK don't know what I'm on about because the 170 is sooooo old!!

To top it all, it won't start and backfires from the exhaust.

Wish I'd never got the flipping thing!! :banghead:
 

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I take it you haven't been able to track down the serial number of your 170.

Let me ask this then, is the place you bought the 170 from able to give you the owner's manual, and by chance was there a record inside it for that information? Or, can they give you an idea of when they bought it providing they were the original owners?

Then let's try this. What brand engine is on it? There may be a way to determine the age or year of manufacture of the engine, and then put a year to the tractor that might help in narrowing down the serial number range on the tractor.

I used to work in Moline, IL, USA, the home town of the international headquarters of John Deere. Woo hoo! Anyway, I toured one of their plants where they manufacture their humongous harvesters. A very interesting tour, and at the end of the assembly line there was a gold carpet leading up to the finished machine. If the new owner was so inclined, they could be there to be the first to turn the "gold key" and start their brand spanking new $250,000.00 dollar machine. At, $250,00.00, I would hope so! But, you want a tech manual for it, sorry, those aren't free.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
No, no owner's manual, just the mower itself!!

The engine is a Kawasaki FC420V. The barcode on the side is FC420V-DS00
and beneath the barcode - FC420V049320. That's all there is.

I said in my last post that it won't start. I opened the lid to check the spark plug and while trying to remove the rubber connector thingy (!!!), the plug just fell out. It obviously wasn't fitted properly but the new one will only screw in about half a turn! I bought the exact same spark plug as the one that fell out (Champion RC12YC), but on checking the internet, it transpires that it should have been a completely different one (Champion N11YC). No luck locally, so after a 100km round trip I finally got the right one but it still won't fit!!
So I'm not sure what's going on. :scratch: (There should be an emoticon for banging head against brick wall!!)

John Deere do seem to have got their prioprities a bit mixed up. For a $250,000.00 machine I'd expect a free tech manual and a bit more!!
 

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Well, we do have this one...:banghead:...feel free to use it as liberally as you would like.

I might have been wrong about the technical manual on the harvester, for all I know, they send a technician out to your house if you want, but you would have to provide room and board. Anyway, JD doesn't give their manuals away, except in some cases.

Actually, it sounds like you've got a pretty good idea of where to start and what to do. Since the plug you went to check fell out when you pulled on the spark plug boot, it obviously didn't need a wrench to get the job of removal done. Do you have a wrench or socket that will fit the new plug? Does the new spark plug turn in easily, or does it feel like it wants to go off sort of cockeyed as you begin to thread it in?

Guys, anybody else have any helpful hints for tutti-fruitti? She needs to get this JD running!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Actually I'm surprised the spark plug just fell out - it didn't need unscrewing whatsoever - as if it was just lying in socket!!

I do have a suitable wrench for the new plug but the plug just won't screw in, half a turn is all I can make it do - like it's too big for the hole. I've checked and double checked the reference numbers for the spark plug that should fit this engine, so I'm pretty sure I've got the correct plug.
Is it possible that the thread is worn?

Another thing - after having tried to start it several times, the engine got slower and slower until it just went 'click' and I thought I'd just drained the battery, but it has a magic eye on it that is bright green which means it still has a fair amount of charge left in it.

I've had this mower for 2 weeks and Thursday was the first time I wanted to use it, having cut the grass the day before the man brought it over. So, I've only really seen the guy start it up himself and am wondering if he's done some botch-up job that has now failed. Could something have blown to cause the spark plug to blow and stop the engine from turning????

I swapped my very old Bolens/MTD riding mower for this 'thing' thinking I was getting a better piece of kit but now I so want my Bolens back. The deck shell was literally being held together by the rust so all it really needed was a new one which is really hard to find here.

This'll teach me to want something better!!
 

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Sounds like they striped the head installing wrong plug. Don't go by the "Eye" on battery, they aren't reliable. Use a multi-meter or volt gage. Sounds like he did something to have fired it in front of you with sounds of that plug. Could you provide some pictures of the head and plug for us to see the issue. The condition of the threads will say if he did something or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
OK. So, the guy I got the mower from came round, charged the battery and fitted the new spark plug with his super duper wrench!! The problem was the really bad angle in which to fit the plug. I normally offer the plug up to the socket and screw it in by hand then tighten with the ratchet, not so with this mower because the angle is so tight even a child's fingers couldn't fit around the plug to insert it let alone offer it straight in without damaging the thread.

Anyway, it starts :2th: but it does take a very long time to fire up. Would that be the igniter at fault? Also the dead man's switch doesn't work. The guy had no idea why so back to you smartiepants for any suggestions!!

I've attached photos of the plug socket and plug itself in case you were still interested.

So, now we're back to the original dilemma - what's the S/N so I can get the operator's manual???
Also, are engine cleaners any good? The oil is black and the guy said he'd changed the oil and filter only 4 months ago. I'm thinking of getting the JD kit that has the air, oil and fuel filters amongst other stuff just to be sure most everything is clean. Suggestions?
 

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Whew, well, you're getting somewhere. The threads look to be alright to me, but you're right, the plug can be a bugger to get in on some engines.

I've sent off an email to the green giant to see if they can tell the year of manufacture and which technical manual would be the correct for you from the engine information you have. When looking at the parts lists, they show a few different engine choices and each had a range of serial numbers, so hopefully they will be able to answer your question from what those engine numbers.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Oh wow bwdbrn1, thanks!! Where did you get the email address from because it's not on their website?

Btw, I want the user/operator's manual, if there's a difference! Some technical manuals are exactly that - technical!!!

But thanks again! :2th:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
While we're waiting for JD to reply regarding the manuals, can someone tell me what a traction/transmission belt is? I think I understand there are 2 other belts - primary and secondary but not sure about a transmission belt!!! :scratch:
 

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Well heck, I gave it the old college try, but here's the response I got.

Hello Bruce,

I am sorry but, I would require the Product Identification Number of your tractor, to be able to give you its Year of Manufacture.

Also, only the parts catalogs are available on this web site. The Parts Catalog Number for your Lawn Tractor Model-170 is PC-2056. The Technical Manuals are not available on-line. You can contact our Publications distributor at 800-522-7448 to order paper copies or CD's, or order on-line from the Technical Information Bookstore at http://techpubs.deere.com.

Or you can contact the Service Dept. at your local John Deere dealer for assistance. You can locate your closest dealer through our Dealer Locator search on John Deere's home page. Here is the web site:
Dealer Locator.

• Select your Region.
• Select your Country.
• Type in your city or postal code.
• Select the type of your equipment.

You might have some luck getting an owner's manuals through one of those sites they listed.

I'll keep looking.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Oh dear!! Thank you, I really appreciate your efforts bwdbrn1.

Yes, i know techpubs sell the manuals but we go back to the original problem - the S/N for the mower!!!

As I said in my previous post, JD cleverly don't have an email address, just a postal address and phone number. All I really want to know is how big a difference is there between the 170s made in year x and 170s made in year y. If there's very little difference then I can just buy either of the 2 manuals regardless of the S/Ns.

Did you read my other query regarding the transmission belt?

Why is nothing simple these days????
 

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I'm feeling your pain here. I've been over this before in the past, but John Deere seems to be about the only major manufacturer, that comes to my mind anyway, that does not supply free owner's manual downloads. It isn't easy to navigate their sites either. For the life of me I cannot seem to navigate my way back to where I was able to fill out a form to send that email off to them! I've hit the "contact us" thing several times, each one opening up another page that ultimately took me right back to where I started.

Here's the address that was associated with their response.
[email protected]

Who knows what results you might have with it. I would have thought that offering up the numbers on the engine could have gotten them into a range on the tractor itself, but it seems not.

You might actually have better luck with ebay.

But, to John Deere's credit, they do offer a pretty darn wide selection of residential lawn tractors and such.

For your viewing pleasure, here's some really nice pictures and information about John Deere's headquarters and pavilion.
https://www.deere.com/en_US/corpora...tors/tours_attractions/worldheadquarters.page
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
OK. So I received a reply from the French side of JD stating the manual OMM79880 is the one I want, although that particular reference number doesn't feature on either of the 2 manuals I stated in my OP!! I think they mean OMM78999.

I must admit, I didn't think I would get a response from the US side let alone the French side, but there you go!!

So, thank you for your help.
 
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