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Hello WBP: Good to hear from you...thanks. Have you made any decision yet on getting the shifting issue corrected for your Gator. I am somewhat embarrassed that I did not do my homework before buying the Gator. I thought I could trust the John Deere brand, but that was a big mistake. The sad thing is the JD dealer and service department have know about this problem for years. Good luck and please stay in touch.
Thanks, cebceb
Hi cebceb,

I've been in touch with JD Clutch Doc (use the email address Bradhill sent you) and will be sending them my clutch as soon as I get it off. I was looking at the other threads regarding the clutch puller tool. I didn't have any luck finding the OEM JD tool but EPI sells an aftermarket version. If you need JDG11200 for your model Gator the EPI version is at the following link: I ordered one - should be in Monday. I will let you know how it goes.

As far as John Deere goes in general... I've always been proud of the brand and have had several large mowers over the years as well as a couple of generations of tractors. My old 1979 model is rock solid, starts in any temp and hasn't given any trouble. My 2016 5065 is a lot nicer to use, but is finicky in cold weather, finicky about operating RPM to keep the exhaust filter clean, etc. However I'm very disappointed in both JD and their dealer network from a customer service standpoint. Yes, the Gator clutch problem is a well known issue for several model years. The dealer I purchased the Gator from was more than willing to replace the clutch but took a lot of arm twisting to get them to do it under warranty even with only 21 hours on it. When I asked the service manager what his recommendation was if I had any more problems - his response was "trade it in".
 

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Discussion Starter #24
Hi cebceb,

I've been in touch with JD Clutch Doc (use the email address Bradhill sent you) and will be sending them my clutch as soon as I get it off. I was looking at the other threads regarding the clutch puller tool. I didn't have any luck finding the OEM JD tool but EPI sells an aftermarket version. If you need JDG11200 for your model Gator the EPI version is at the following link: I ordered one - should be in Monday. I will let you know how it goes.

As far as John Deere goes in general... I've always been proud of the brand and have had several large mowers over the years as well as a couple of generations of tractors. My old 1979 model is rock solid, starts in any temp and hasn't given any trouble. My 2016 5065 is a lot nicer to use, but is finicky in cold weather, finicky about operating RPM to keep the exhaust filter clean, etc. However I'm very disappointed in both JD and their dealer network from a customer service standpoint. Yes, the Gator clutch problem is a well known issue for several model years. The dealer I purchased the Gator from was more than willing to replace the clutch but took a lot of arm twisting to get them to do it under warranty even with only 21 hours on it. When I asked the service manager what his recommendation was if I had any more problems - his response was "trade it in".
Thanks and please keep me advised. I am not surprised at the "trade it in" comment.
Good luck with the clutch replacement. The Clutch Doc has a lot of satisfied customers on this forum.
cebceb
 

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Hello Members: I discovered this forum some time ago and I will let my first post serve as an introduction and perhaps help me decide what to do with my Gator. My screen name is cebceb and I live in Middle Tennessee. I am a retired Engineer and am not a mechanic. This post is likely too long, but I wanted to offer a little background. Thanks.
After living all of my adult life in or near large cities, in 2014 I purchased a small house with several acres of land in a rural area of Middle Tennessee. The previous owner had been keeping about 6 or 7 Acres cleared and the balance of the property is woods.
My initial idea was to try to maintain the property in the same manner as the previous owner and went to the closest John Deere dealer and bought a Gator XUV 825i and a tow behind mower from another dealer. Now I am somewhat embarrassed to say that I did not do any homework or study before buying the 825i Gator and believed I could trust the John Deere Brand. My trust in John Deere turned out to be a big mistake. This 825i has had shifting problems from the very beginning. I bought an extended warranty with the Gator and the Dealer claimed they corrected the problem after two visits to the shop. But… the problem was never corrected. After the warranty expired, I went back to the dealer again and was told they could correct the shifting issue for about $600. I told them the problem started when the Gator was under warranty and it should be corrected at no cost to me. They claimed the best they could do was split the cost three ways with John Deere paying $200, the Dealer $200, and $200 for me. So, I paid them $200 and still have the same shifting problem.
At some point during this 6-year time period, I called the John Deere headquarters and much to my surprise received a return call from someone claiming to be a manager. This manager told me that they had a problem earlier with the 825i but not in my series. He told me it was those Gators with a number less than 80,000. He claimed those above 80,000 had been redesigned. My Gator was in the 87,000 series and I told him I was having major shifting problems. He claimed that although my Gator was out of warranty the dealer would likely take care of the problem. The dealer will not do anything for me at this time.
After I discovered this forum, I found that many members were having the same issue with the primary clutch. How do I get in touch with MBDiagMan? I am not a mechanic and my only grandson who has been helping me is now off to College. I think I have found a mechanic that will remove and reinstall the clutch.
I would very much like to keep the Gator if I can get this clutch issue corrected.
Thanks in advance.
cebceb

Cebceb
I had a similar story with my brand new 825. Long story, dealer replaced the clutch under warranty. It got worse. It was so bad, my wife would not ride in it. It sounded and felt, like it was destroying itself and knocking the earth out of orbit.

Finally, talked with the service manager one on one. I paid for a new clutch and labor, to install it.

That was two years ago. It has never misbehaved since. A very nice vehicle now.

I am wondering, did they really replace the clutch under warranty the first time?

Now, I have a nice vehicle. This one as a problem starting at one hour of tach time.

Tom Milam
 

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I fully expect that they replaced the clutch the first time. Replacements will fail. I had mine replaced under warranty and two months later the replacement failed after warranty expiration. That’s when I said if you want it done right do it yourself. I welded together a stand and lagged it to the floor and built tools as I needed them. It then grew into my side business.

A new replacement from John Deere is a crapshoot. Sometimes they will be okay and sometimes not. I hand fit them and our customers have had great results for roughly half the cost of a new clutch from Deere that may very well fail like the original.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
That’s why when it came time to buy a compact tractor a couple of years ago I bought a Kubota
Cebceb
I had a similar story with my brand new 825. Long story, dealer replaced the clutch under warranty. It got worse. It was so bad, my wife would not ride in it. It sounded and felt, like it was destroying itself and knocking the earth out of orbit.

Finally, talked with the service manager one on one. I paid for a new clutch and labor, to install it.

That was two years ago. It has never misbehaved since. A very nice vehicle now.

I am wondering, did they really replace the clutch under warranty the first time?

Now, I have a nice vehicle. This one as a problem starting at one hour of tach time.

Tom Milam
Hi Tom:
I am pleased JD got your clutch corrected on the second try. Many of the members on this forum were not so lucky.
I like what Hog74 said a few days ago, "That’s why when it came time to buy a compact tractor a couple of years ago I bought a Kubota."
My son-in-law will be buying a tractor at some point and it WILL NOT BE A JOHN DEERE .
Thanks for responding and enjoy your Gator. Good to hear a happy ending.
cebceb
 

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Discussion Starter #28
I fully expect that they replaced the clutch the first time. Replacements will fail. I had mine replaced under warranty and two months later the replacement failed after warranty expiration. That’s when I said if you want it done right do it yourself. I welded together a stand and lagged it to the floor and built tools as I needed them. It then grew into my side business.

A new replacement from John Deere is a crapshoot. Sometimes they will be okay and sometimes not. I hand fit them and our customers have had great results for roughly half the cost of a new clutch from Deere that may very well fail like the original.
Hi MBDiagMan: I am finished with the John Deere dealer and their Service Department. My son-in-law will be pulling the clutch for me in just a few days and I will send it to you. JD has known about this issue for years and have way too many unhappy Gator owners.
This forum is great!!
cebceb
 

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they replaced my clutch under warranty only after i contacted deere corporate and it failed too.i've lubed it a few times and it helps,but it's not right. because of this and problems with cold solder joints on my x595 cluster, i also bought a small kubota with a loader last year. i'm done paying a premium price for a junk product and poor support.
 

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Discussion Starter #30
they replaced my clutch under warranty only after i contacted deere corporate and it failed too.i've lubed it a few times and it helps,but it's not right. because of this and problems with cold solder joints on my x595 cluster, i also bought a small kubota with a loader last year. i'm done paying a premium price for a junk product and poor support.
Hi Miker2: Well said :"a premium price for a junk product and poor support." This was my first experience with John Deere and will be my last. Very sad that a USA company treats us like that. But...now we know and will go to other Brands.
cebceb
 

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Another very pleased customer here in Michigan! My 590 is as smooth as butter. Really enjoyable drive now!! My neighbor was close to getting rid of his 835 but I talked him into sending his clutch in. Waiting on that one now, but I know he will be very pleased! Thanks again you guys for the great work!!
 

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they replaced my clutch under warranty only after i contacted deere corporate and it failed too.i've lubed it a few times and it helps,but it's not right. because of this and problems with cold solder joints on my x595 cluster, i also bought a small kubota with a loader last year. i'm done paying a premium price for a junk product and poor support.
The CVT system in your Gator is designed to be operated without any lubrication, doing so will attract more dirt and grime.

While lubricating the clutch may help in the short term, lubricants will only compound the dreaded sticky clutch issue.

If you want a long term solution for a sticking primary clutch contact JD Clutch Doc, for information you can contact JD Clutch Doc at [email protected]
 
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