John Deere 170

The John Deere 170 is a ride on lawn mower built by John Deere at their Horicon factory in Wisconsin. It had a production run of just 1 year from ’89 to ’90. The JD 170 came with a Kawasaki FC420V engine. This is a natural aspirated, 0.4 liter, gasoline engine with just 1 cylinder. It’s air cooled and uses a dry foam air cleaner. This gives it a power output of 14 hp. The transmission is where the John Deere 170 gets very interesting. It is a Peerless 800 gear transaxle transmission that give 5 gears going forward and 1 in reverse. This transmission requires 1.1 liters of oil. With this transmission, the 170 lawnmower has a top speed of 5 mph.

This chassis on the John Deere 170 is a 4×2 2WD. It’s fuel tank holds 8.3 liters (2.2 US gallons) of gasoline. The mowing deck on the mower is 38″ and is adjustable from 2 cm to 10 cm (1 inch to 4 inches). Interestingly, the 170 has a front PTO that is available for a wide variety of attachments and implements such as a 38″ single stage snow blowers/snow thrower and brushes. It can also take a 42″ wide blade. The JD170 does not come with a cab, but you can get an optional one. The seat on the garden lawn mower is the traditional yellow that you will find on almost all JD lawnmower seats.

The shipping weight of the mower is 258 kg (570 lbs). It has a wheelbase of 1.13m (48 inches) and measures 1.65 m (65 inches) long. Due to it’s front PTO, the John Deere 170 is a highly flexible and versatile tractor capable of many different tasks from cutting lawns to getting rid of snow to moving (very small amounts) of earth. You probably won’t see this tractor in a commercial operation, but rather in a residential setting.

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10 Reviews of the “John Deere 170”

  1. Ron Royer says:

    Was reliable. Wish i never would have faithfully changed oil. 3rd time changing oil and engine ruined per John Deere. Problem is that there is no way to tell if the cartridge works properly and delivers oil to engine. It’s a twist off and twist on in blind faith. The last time of which failed. Ruined engine per John Deere and costs over 1700 to replace. So. Thise are the facts. Use them as you may.

    Year of Manufacture: 2021
    Pros: Cutr short grass well
    Cons: EZ oil change can cause unforeseen engine trouble and ruin engine. John Deere stated engine ruined after EZ oil change. 33 hrs total on tractor
    Attachments: None
    Modifications: None

  2. Charles Lewis says:

    Still like it overall. Don’t like having to fill tank after each use – Craftsman could do two cuttings on a tankful. Old key from my Craftsman or Cub Cadet fits this mower so not very secure.

    Year of Manufacture: 2020
    Pros: Fast, maneuverable, even cut
    Cons: Zerk fittings hard to reach. Must remove belt guide rod to reach center vspindle zerk. Easy oil filter costs $50! Gas tank too small & splashes back. Key fits other brand mowers.

  3. Mark Skau says:

    Been mowing with it for 30 years, replaced an electric clutch for the blades, a fuel pump, pulley on transmission and after 28 years had to replace the belts. Now this year 2020 can’t get anymore out of the blades so need a new set. Hate the thought of getting anything new because everything today is engineered to the cheapest possible spec, most of the parts are china junk and made of plastic. At some point will need to upgrade will need to look for quality over a price point for profit plastic big box store cheap china junk unit!

    Year of Manufacture: 1989

  4. JUNIOR HATLEY says:

    Never buy anouther one I have 150 hours on motor plastic flywheel came apart in pieces knocked hole in cover and broke off alluminum piece that holds on starter and no wy to fix starter bracket now i have a choice BUY NEW MOTOR OVER 1,OOO DOLLARS AND LABOR OR SELL TIRES AND SET FIRE TO IT

    Year of Manufacture: 2010
    Cons: grass comes in where belts are have to undolt plastic covers to grease pulleys

    • w.m. Hesler says:

      30 years and still going. Replaced trans after 13 years while it was still cheap. Rebuilt the trans after 25 years. Trans acting up again. Motor still strong. Original bagger still working with all original parts. Relay fixed the starting problem. On 2nd battery. Was looking to replace it with a X300 but they seem to be cheaply made so I will bite the bullet and replace the trans again. The reviews above were for D170s which is NOT the same as a 170. My seat cover is pretty chewed up after 30 years and there are no cup holders But ‘come on’, I’m an old fashion guy.

      Year of Manufacture: 1989
      Pros: GREAT Motor
      Cons: Ho Hum Transaxel
      Attachments: bagger
      Modifications: Starter Relay

  5. linda hummel says:


    Year of Manufacture: 5242016
    Pros: none
    Cons: 5 24 2016 bought a d170 john deere tractor paid 3235.43 in 2 mo the bolt that holds the mower deck on broke home depot or ritchie would not stand behind the warranty i will sell this tractor and will never tell any one to buy anything from john deere or home depot i am out alot of money because no one would do anything why would it coast me 150.00 for them to come and fix it when it was only 2 mo old
    Attachments: none
    Modifications: none

  6. linda hummel says:

    not good

    Year of Manufacture: 5242016
    Cons: bought a john deere lawn tractor d170 at home depot on may 24 2016 at 2 and half mo the bolt that holds the deck on broke home depot would not back any warranty or john deere i paid 3235.43 i was told at ritchie supply it would coast me 150.00 to come and fix it on the card it says bumper to bumper warranty i will never buy another john deere product from you or home depot i had to pay to get fixed

  7. Jeff says:

    Great residential machine. I would have used it for comercial service. The 38″ deck might be a little more mow time but quality mow time.

    Year of Manufacture: 1989
    Pros: I bought my 170 new in 1989. I thought the $2500.00 including the twin bagger system was a little high, but after 22 years ill have to say its been a good one. I just replaced all belts {original} drive belt and mower deck belts {replaced one time}. I also just had to replace the pto clutch today. If I can do it anyone can. This is one of the best purchases I have ever made. When I bought it my neighbor said he would never pay that much for a mower. HE IS ON HIS THIRD MOWER NOW. He bought a Huskavarna this time. I think im going to try to outlast this one. NOTHING RUNS LIKE A 1989 JOHN DEERE 170………
    Cons: NONE
    Attachments: Bagging system
    Modifications: None needed

  8. Robert says:

    Original owner, seemed to be costly in 1990 at about $2500, but after 22 years of service, turned out to be a great investment. Other than routine maintenance, carburetor cleanings and a rebuild, and the occasional battery replacement, no other engine work ever needed. The engine is a Kawasaki FC420V, 14 hp. The FC540V engines were also used for lawn tractors with the 46″ mower. Replaced main & mower drive belts once about 5 years ago and the mower bearings about 3 years ago. The Electric PTO is still going strong even though it has rattled for years. The starter does exhibit a common trait with these engines in that the solenoid does not always pick up correctly and may click several times before the starter engages.

    Year of Manufacture: 1990
    Pros: Reliability, engine make/design, regular maintenance costs.
    Cons: Difficult mower adjustment process. No external fuel level indicator.
    Attachments: 38″ mower. Bagger.
    Modifications: None. When/if engine ever fails or repair costs are too high, will convert tractor to electric drive.

  9. Marquise says:

    I love Johnny, he has been very good to us!

    Year of Manufacture: 0
    Pros: I love this tractor, I use it on our acreage for snow removal and lawn cutting. It has the super reliable Kawasaki engine and starts even in -30.
    Attachments: 48″ lawn cutter, snowblower

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