John Deere Mower Deck Stuck In Up Position: 6 Ways to Fix It

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By Marvin Tucker

Farming Equipment

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A stuck deck in the up position is a disturbing problem that affects your mowing results. You will try to bring the stuck deck to the down or middle positions, but nothing works out. Fortunately, this problem can be tackled with some maintenance and fixing.

So, if your John Deere deck gets stuck in the up position, keep reading this blog. We will widely discuss the causes and solutions to this issue. With our guide, your mowing deck will become free. This way, you will easily diagnose the cause of the John Deere mower deck stuck in the up position.

Why is your John Deere Mower Deck Stuck in the Up Position?

This problem occurs frequently in different models of John Deere mowers. This is not a result of defective manufacturing, but the deck components may wear and tear over time. Also, some of these parts will become jammed and need to be freed.

Moreover, frequent use on uneven terrain can make your mower hit something rocky. Below, we will discuss the potential reasons in detail. So let’s delve deeper into the John Deere mower deck stuck in the up position while mowing.

1. Corroded Deck Lift Pedal

This pedal plays a vital role in temporary deck raise while the machine is mowing. This significantly helps in avoiding rocks and similar obstructions. This pedal can get rusty or corroded during the winter season.

This metal part might develop rust after being stored for a long time. This is why the deck lifts cranks, but the pedal won’t work.

2. Damage to the Lift Cable

All John Deere lawn tractors and riding mowers models have a lift cable. This cable acts as a link between the engine and the deck. Like any other cable in the mower’s body, it can get damaged or worn.

This way, there won’t be a connection between the engine and the cutting deck. Subsequently, the power won’t reach the deck and will end up stuck in the up position.

3. A Disengaged Latch

All JD riding mowers have a deck latch. This part keeps the deck attached to the machine’s body. However, the latch will fail to perform its task if disengaged. This way, the deck will never stay attached to the body. Subsequently, you will end up with a stuck mower deck.

Usually, all the latch problems are associated with improper lubrication or incorrect positioning. Fortunately, both issues are easily fixed.

4. Stuck Debris

When you mow clumps of grass more frequently, the deck is prone to getting jammed. Tall grass clippings and loads of leaves can get stuck in the deck. Without the regular clean operation of this component, the stuck debris will make the lift blades unable to spin. Subsequently, the mower deck lift system will become stuck in the up position.

5. Damaged Pistons

Despite the different engine manufacturers, the pistons are always present. The pistons are mainly responsible for the opening and closing motions of the intake and exhaust valves. The engine’s life will be extended as long as the pistons are in good shape.

However, faulty pistons will negatively affect not only the engine power but also the motion of the deck. Typically, these pistons aid in supporting the deck’s weight.

6. A Problematic Hydraulic System

The hydraulic components significantly contribute to the function of the mowing deck on John Deere mowers. Parts like the mower deck belt and hydraulic pump affect the deck. However, just like any other component in a mower, hydraulic parts get cracked or damaged. If these parts malfunction, the deck may lose its ability to move.

How to Fix a John Deere Mower Deck Stuck in the Up Position?

Determining the exact reason behind the deck being stuck in the upright position is the first step in the right troubleshooting process. Unfortunately, there are different culprits leading to this problematic issue. But in general, these issues are simple.

1. Remove the Rusty Layer

Any John Deere riding mower is prone to dust and rust. If not cleaned regularly, rust will accumulate and jam the pedal. You should do some cleaning if you spot rusty buildup on the lift lever. In all cases, you will need to shut off the lawn mower. Also, gently disconnect the spark plug from its wires.

Start by using the wire brush to remove the corroded layer. If there are some rough spots, you should use sandpaper. This also contributes to smoothing uneven surfaces. Lastly, add some grease to protect the freshly sanded surface.

2. Get a New Cable

Replacing is the right thing if the lift cable malfunctions for any reason. Unfortunately, worn cables are not fixable. But before making any changes, you must carefully inspect the cable to determine its condition.

To do this, you should remove the seat by untightening its bolt. Then find the cable and inspect it. If it looks frayed, then you will need a new one.

3. Fix the Latch

Troubleshooting the deck latch is one of the most uncomplicated issues to address. If it lacks lubrication, you can add some lubricant. In case it needs adjusting, tightening the latch is very easy.

The first thing to do is find the latch on the top part of the deck. Then, inspect it thoroughly. If it lacks sufficient lubrication, then lubricate its surface and underside.

As for a poorly adjusted latch, you can retighten its screws using a scrench. Tighten the screw clockwise, but avoid extreme tightness. There should be looseness in the adjustment.

4. Remove the Debris

Regular debris removal is a part of ongoing lawn mower maintenance, regardless of the engine model. But if you neglect this routine, you can quickly correct this mistake using a wire brush and a scraper.

Use both items to remove the stuck debris. But avoid doing so when the machine is on. Also, remove the spark plug to prevent the accidental generation of sparks.

Clean the deck using a water hose for better results and smooth operation. Finally, let the deck dry off or use a leaf blower to speed things up. Then your mower should be good to go.

5. Replace the Pistons

If you suspect the lifting pistons are the culprit in the stuck deck situation, you should inspect them first. Testing pistons is easy, but you should remove them from the machine. If the pistons are no longer shrinking and expanding, they are bad. The best thing to do at this event is to replace the pistons.

Some users, however, might try to clean and grease the old pistons. Although it may not always be the best option, trying it out won’t do any harm.

6. Inspect the Hydro Components

A functional hydro system guarantees a smooth ride and successful mowing sessions. So, if your John Deere mower deck gets stuck in an up position, you must look deeply at the hydraulic parts. It is essential to check the levels of hydraulic fluid and the condition of the oil. Keep it always fresh, clean, and at sufficient levels.

Also, look for corroded or clogged components or loose bolts that must be fixed accordingly. Also, ensure that there is no air in the lines. Moreover, this system should be free of leaks. Remember that changing the hydraulic systems is challenging for all mower owners.

So, consulting with a certified technician to fix complex hydraulic issues is better.

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