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John Deere 111 Troubleshooting

The John Deere 111 is a 2-wheel drive lawn tractor. This model was manufactured from 1979 to 1985. The John Deere 111 powerline components: Briggs and Stratton 252707 4-cycle vertical-shaft single cylinder air-cooled gasoline engine and Peerless 801 belt-driven gear transmission with 5 forward and 1 reverse gears.

A 24.4 cubic inches (399 cc) engine has a cylinder bore of 3.44" (87 mm), piston stroke of 2.63" (67 mm), and rated power of 11 hp (8.2 kW). The maximum travel speed (forward/reverse): 4.9 mph (7.9 km/h) and 1.6 mph (2.6 km/h).

The John Deere 111 was equipped with a manual steering system, mechanical disc brakes, 15x6.00-6 front tires, and 18x8.50-8 rear tires. The wheel base is 44.7" (1130 mm). The tractor is compatible with the following attachments: a 38" mid-mount mower deck with cutting height of 1-4 inches (25-101 mm) and manual lift system, 42" front-mount blade, and 38" front-mount snow blower.

Engine Troubleshooting
Engine starts hard or won't start
Fuel tank is empty - Fill fuel up
Wrong grade of gasoline - Use correct fuel grade
Water or air in fuel system - Remove air or water from system
Loose or disconnected spark plug wire - Check spark plug wiring connection, repair or change
Damaged spark plug - Replace spark plug
Fuel filter is clogged - Fuel filter needs changing
Faulty safety switch - Change damaged switch
Carburetor malfunction - Check and repair as required
Low cylinder compression - Check cylinder block and replace worn parts
Choke cable is damaged or not adjusted properly - Adjust correctly or change the cable
Unstable engine running
Plugged cooling fins - Wash or clean as required
Ignition system problems - Test ignition and replace failed parts
Choke cable is faulty or stuck - Replace or service the cable
Air filter element is clogged - Clean or change air filter
Fuel pump is faulty or clogged - Inspect fuel pump and change as required
Engine starts but then stops
Spark plug is defective - Spark plug need to be replaced
Carburetor is dirty or defective - Clean or replace carburetor
Damaged ignition coil - Ignition coil must be replaced
Valve springs are broken or bad - Change valve springs
Valves are stuck - Service the valves
Engine keeps overheating
Insufficient engine oil - Add oil to the engine crankcase
Excessive engine load - Reduce engine load
Cooling fins are clogged - Need to wash or clean
Too lean fuel mixture in carburetor - Use proper settings
Ignition timing is wrong - Ignition timing needs to be adjusted correctly
Wrong valve setting - Valves needs to be adjusted properly
Engine knocks or noises
Stale gasoline - Use proper gasoline
Engine is overloaded - Reduce the load
Engine oil level low - Check and refill engine oil
Incorrectly set low idle speed - Adjustment required
Fuel pump is damaged or dirty - Clean or install new fuel pump
Worn crankshaft or main bearings - Repair or replace defective parts
Valve clearance is wrong - Adjustment procedure required
Piston rings or cylinder bore are damaged - Replace faulty parts
Engine power is insufficient
Carburetor is improperly adjusted or clogged - Carburetor needs to be adjusted correctly or cleaned
Air filter is dirty - Replace or clean air filter
Clogged or defective fuel pump - Clean or install new fuel pump
Defective ignition system - Test ignition and replace failed parts
Cylinder head gasket is blown - Change cylinder head gasket
Stuck or burned valves - Replace or service valves
Push rod is bent or worn - Change push rod
Cylinder block components are worn - Replace defective components
Engine using too much gasoline
Choke is not fully open - Check choke cable and adjust it
Carburetor main jet is incorrectly adjusted - Adjust main jet as required
Defective or loose spark plug - Re-tighten or replace spark plug
Worn, stuck, or burned valves - Service or replace valves
Sleeve, piston, or rings are damaged - Change faulty parts
Valve clearance is improper - Adjust valve clearance
Engine consuming too much oil
Gaskets or seals are excessively worn - Defective components must be replaced
Damaged valve stems or valve guides - Install new valves
Stuck or defective piston rings - Change piston rings
Piston or cylinder liner is damaged - Check liner and piston, change as required
Breather hose or pipe is blocked - Service or replace

Transmission Troubleshooting
Gear hard to shift
Gear shift linkage is stuck or damaged - Clean or change shift linkage
Shift forks are worn or damaged - Replace the shift forks
Worn gear shifting mechanism - Repair or change worn components if necessary
Excessive transmission noise
Transmission oil insufficient - Fill up the transmission oil
Dirty transmission fluid - The fluid must be changed
Bearings are worn or gears are damaged - Replace defective parts
Transmission jumps out of gear
Shift lever is damaged or installed improperly - Install the lever properly or replace it
Gears are worn or damaged - Change gears
Shift forks or shift rods are faulty - Change defective forks or rods
Transmission slips
Defective drive shaft/belt or incorrect drive shaft/belt adjustment - Adjust belt/shaft or install a new one
Brake/clutch is incorrectly adjusted or faulty - Adjust or replace clutch/brake
Drive pulley is damaged or worn - Change pulley

Mower Deck Troubleshooting
Mower vibrates excessively
Mower deck drive sheave is clogged or worn - Clean or change sheave
Loose or damaged drive belt - Change belt or adjust belt tension
Warped or not balanced mower blades - Balance blades or replace it
Loose blade mounting bolts - Bolts should be tightened
Discharge chute keeps clogging
Fast ground speed - Need to slow down
Tall grass - Must be set to low cutting height
Reduced engine rpm - Open choke fully
Mower cuts too low - Must be set to high cutting height
Mower drive belt installation is improper - Drive belt must be installed correctly
Patches of grass uncut
Cutting deck is clogged - Inspect and clean cutting deck
Excessive blade dullness - Sharpen the blades
Worn or defective blades - Blades need to be replaced
High ground speed - Select a slower speed
Mower deck set to low cutting - Need to set high cutting height
Grass bag is overfilled - Remove grass from bag
Blades are scalping the grass
Bumpy or not smooth lawn - Lawn leveling required
Cutting level is too low - Use correct cutting height
Mowing speed is too high - Use a lower speed
Incorrect level of mower deck - Adjust mower deck level properly
Blades are worn or bent - Install new blades
Low tire pressure - Inflate tires as required
Mower cuts uneven
Tire pressure is too low - Need to inflate tires
Improper mower deck level - Adjust mower deck level properly
Blades are not sharp - Sharpen the blades
Worn or bent blades - Blades must be changed
Deck is plugged with grass - Clean out the mower deck
Deck housing is damaged - Repair or change the deck
Mower spindle is bent or loose - Spindle needs to be repaired or replaced

Electrical Troubleshooting
Battery does not charge
Electrical cable connections are corroded or loose - Tighten or clean connections
Battery terminal connectors are faulty - Replace terminal connectors
Battery failing - Change the battery
Starter turns slowly
Low battery voltage - Battery is drained, recharge it
Battery will not hold charge - Service charging system or change battery
Disconnected cables or faulty battery terminals - Check wiring and clean or replace terminals
Starter will not crank
Battery is discharged or worn - Change or recharge battery
Battery cables are disconnected or improperly connected - Inspect cables and connect properly
Low battery voltage - Battery is drained, charge it
Spark plug dirty or improperly gapped - Clean, gap or change spark plug
Faulty solenoid or starter motor - Starter/solenoid needs to be replaced




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