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I have the same issue, only have 33 hours on mine. Dealer says John Deere is aware and should have the fix by end of October. something about a washer needs to be added to shifter, hope this is all it takes really frustrating that John Deere has not already fixed the problem. :mad:

:mad: I only have 44 hours on my new 550 S4 and the transmission and the clutch both have had to be replaced!!! I have only had the gator since Oct.31 it's been in the shop for over a month of that time, over three weeks just for the transmission! Because there was no rush on fixing something under warranty!
Now it is back in the shop, because the transmission is bad again!!! I am very disappointed in the product, has any one else had problems like this with their 550 S4? Because at this point I am really considering doing something about it?
At this point I am waiting on John deer to see what they are going to do!!!:mad::(:confused::confused:
 

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Bad luck here too!

Got a 550 last November and have had too many troubles for a brand new machine. Chasis and body work are great. Fit and finish are supurb. Motor and tranny are junk. I have had nothing but trouble with the Briggs motor and the tranny keeps sticking in gear or slipping out. Dealer cant find anything wrong, tells me it's bad gas. Right now I've got some bad gas for big green.
 

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Dad and I just bought a JD 550 S4. So far all good - except for a sqeaking noise from the back end. I raised it up and spun the rear tires. I THINK the brakes need to wear in (or are set too tight). I HOPE this is not the beginning of a transmission failure. Any advise?
 

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Update on s4

Same problem on squeaking. It's your brake pads dragging pull both rear tires and give the calipers a bath in wd40. Worked on mine.

On another note. After two clutches in under 20 hours and a blown head gasket under 40 I continue to have big problems. This gator is a piece of junk. Anyone heard of any lawsuits against deere ? I'm strongly considering it. Been a gator guy for nearly 20 years but sad to say I'm going to check out that new honda 4 seat sxs. Maybe it will run.
 

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I have 30 hours on mine and had the primary and secondary clutch replaced. The only other problem is it coming out of 4WD but I'm told it's a linkage adjustment problem. Otherwise I love my 550 S4. I did buy an extra year on my warrantee just incase.There seems to be a lot of problems with this model but my dealer is good with getting them fixed. Hang in there they'll come up with fixes.
 

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Ive got the same issue as well on the 4wd not disengaging. Found that putting the lever in 2wd and reverse tends to release the 4wd. Im just baffled at the poor quality. Had a late 90's 6x4 and put it through hell. Ran like a top. This new one breaks every time I touch it and its predominately been a kiddo hauler. Nothing ever hard on it. Did put a hell of a buck in it a week ago though and no joke, blew a head gasket hauling it out of the woods. At the dealer for the third time in under 40 hrs.

Im scratching my head on what to do. Lawyer up and force a buyback or dump it and get something more reliable. Any suggestions?
 

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Just got a JD XUV 550

Hi, I just picked up a 550 with 30 hrs. And the shifting is really stiff and on a grade jams in reverse. This is the third JD gator I have owned. The first was the 6x4 which worked great, the second was a HPX which was also trouble free. I wished I Knew about the forum before the purchase. I called the JD trouble phone number and was told that it had a 2 year warranty which was not true and that they were not problem solvers. I am wondering what it is going to cost to solve this shifting problem...
 

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Head gasket AGAIN

Well my 550 is showing the same blown head gasket symptoms. Running rough, stalling and if I check the oil dip stick when running a lot of exhaust blows out the tube.

I have 170 hrs on it. The first head gasket failed last spring. At that time they replaced both head gaskets.

Let's compare with a car. Assume an average speed of 30mph over the life of a car - 170 hours equals 5100miles. Imagine a blown head gasket in your car every 2550 miles!!

Recap:
Suspected head gasket blown (Nov 2013)

Previous problems (14 months, 170 hrs)
1)Head gaskets blown -both
2)parking brake cable broken
2a)parking brake disc replaced during repair (faulty assembly at factory)
3)parking brake pin worked loose (separate from the snapped cable incident)
4) Shift cable broken
5)4WD cable broken
6) leaking oil seal on front diff
7) Shift cables needed adjustment


-W
 

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New to the forum; just joined because my 550 purchased march last year with 50 hours was just picked up with blown head gaskets. Since I am not the first does anyone know if John Deere is working on a fix?
 

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Dealer called yesterday. John Deere will cover even though it is out of warranty. Dealer did not seem to know if the fix was changed to keep from happening again.
 

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hi i currently have a gator hpx 4x4 and am having problems starting it. however when i do get it started i have problems keeping it running. i have checked the fuel system and that is alright as far as i can tell. it is maintained but not used everyday mostly for snow plowing. if anyone can give me any help or ideas on what it could be or direct me to a better place to ask this question it would be a huge help thank you
 

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I have a 2012 550 with about 80 hrs, out of warranty of course. I have already had to have the trans changed out due because it wouldn't shift into gear. Now I can't keep it running, it dies out as soon as I give it any gas and on top of that the same shifting issue is coming back. I use it for plowing and general farm work, I'm not too happy with the quality of this machine so far.
 

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going to dump mine and get a honda

Ive had it. in 40 hrs i have had clutch work done 3 times and new head gaskets. Im not hard on it either.

Ive decided to sell mine and buy a honda. Our dealer has been great but the quality and support that comes from deere is in line with their union standards. Im hoping a non union built sxs will actually run and do what it is supposed to do.

Anyone interested? Runs good, reliable, barely used gator for sale....:p
 

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making oil

So what I thought was a second blown head gasket wasn't a gasket at all. The Gator was making oil. (gas getting into the oil and overfilling the crankcase).

The interesting thing is that this seems to be weather related - it's cold here in the north. Even more interesting is that there are a handful of OTHER 550s at the dealer with the same problem at the moment.

Be sure to check your oil level, if it is high or strongly smells of raw gas see your dealer.

-W

PS I only use 100% gas (no ethanol) and it'a always fresh.
 

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550 Gator won't Shift

We bought our 550 in April, 2013. When it was 2 weeks old would not go into gear. The dealer sent someone to pick it up. He forgot his tools so he borrowed a screwdriver and hammer and proceeded to beat the shifter back into the slot without success. They had it for 2 weeks and we drive it very little. In October it wouldn't go into gear again. They took it again. Supposedly replaced the cable and did some adjustments. Brought it back it worked that day the next day same thing. They said it was fine. It was because they washed it and it was cold so they kept it for another couple weeks. We had it for a couple days same thing. They kept it for another 6 weeks. They said there is nothing wrong with it. It still won't go into gear. It seems it has something to do with the cold weather. Now the dealer says we aren't driving it correctly. Really? I have drove everything from a tractor, to a 6 speed racecar. I can drive anything. I am very disappointed in John Deere. I am going to file a ATV Ohio Lemon Law. We have only had maybe 3 months use out of it. Same problem. We spent over $35,000.00 at the dealer when we bought the gator, tractor, garden tractor and this is the way they treat us.
 

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Mjhilltopfarm, I bought the extended warrentee and I just had my 550 S4 in again. They replaced the primary Clutch the first time and it worked for awhile but started sticking in reverse again. Actually wouldn't shift at all unless I turned it off. This time they put a longer belt on the transmission. A fix JD reccomended. Also it would not engaged or disengage in 4WD. They adjusted the linkage. I got it back yesterday but it's been to dang cold to test it out but I'll let you know how it works out. Gulf Tractor has been really good to me great service just hope this fix is the one. I really like my 550 S4 but I would think for 12 thousand dollars it would work better. I'd think that your dealer would be bending over backwards to please you. Wow $35,000.00.
 

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As a JD tech, I am very familiar with the 550 problems. There are many fixes out there for it depending upon the root cause of the actual problem. Sometimes parts get changed that dont need changed and what needs changed doesnt get changed. I feel many techs dont go through the whole process to do a complete and detailed diagnosis. They just look at the problem and throw a part at it. I have recieved more than a few of the 550's and 825's that were come backs from other techs. I have fixed every one of them the first time and so far, no come backs. Customers drove them upon return or pick up and were pleased with the results.
For those of you with multiple dealer repairs for the same problem, I can only suggest you stay calm and cool. Call or better yet, have a sit down with the store mgr and service mgr. Request that Deere extend your powertrain warranty another year. If you are out of warranty and the problem is still there, ask for a special allowance to REALLY fix the repair AND have them extend the powertrain warranty for a year.
 

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Just to let everyone know my 550 S4 is shifting very smoothly with the belt change. Adjusting the linkage fixed the 4WD problem. I'm once again a happy Gatorer :eek:) You know JD makes a good product but the 550 was a new less expensive way of enjoying off roading. It does have some bugs but JD and Gulf Tactor have bent over backwards to fix them. Anyway in my case they have.
 

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Just to let everyone know my 550 S4 is shifting very smoothly with the belt change. Adjusting the linkage fixed the 4WD problem. I'm once again a happy Gatorer :eek:) You know JD makes a good product but the 550 was a new less expensive way of enjoying off roading. It does have some bugs but JD and Gulf Tactor have bent over backwards to fix them. Anyway in my case they have.
Glad to hear that the belt solved your problem. They just came out with a new kit to solve some of the shift problems that are clutch related. New clutch and new belt. They are many other shift problems and you have to be very careful to get it right. I know as a customer its hard to be cool when you paid for something with the Deere logo and it doesnt perform right. Even more hard to be cool when the dealer says they all do that or to live with it.
 

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xcopterdoc I must say Gulf Tractor never told me I had to live with it. They have been great. They reseached the problems with shifting got back to me and last time they did not charge me for the pickup and return.
 
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