John Deere Z970R Problems Troubleshooting!!

Whether it’s for residential use or for commercial use, the John Deere Z970R is undoubtedly the ideal one. This zero-turn lawn mower is constructed similarly to a tank, making it your lawn’s favorite barber. However, it does have a few defects that might ruin your perfect mowing experience. 

In terms of ratings, customers who bought this mower gave it high marks with everything being next to perfect, except for two major complaints: hydraulic deck lifting and abrupt power shut while blades disengage. And there are some minor issues too.

So let’s not beat around the bush and go through this article to see what type of stress, this Z900 series mower can give you and how you can scrap away these challenges along with the grass clippings. 

John Deere Z970R Key Specifications

It’s important that you know about the specifications of your mower and I believe you obviously studied the key features of this mower. However, I have listed a few key specs of the John Deere Z970R below to brush up your memory. Have a look at these: 

  • Engine power: 3,600 rpm, 35 hp or 26.1 kW
  • Battery voltage: 12V
  • Fuel type: Gasoline
  • Fuel tank capacity: 11.5 U.S. gal. or 43.5 L
  • PTO type: Electro-magnetic, 225 lb-ft, 305 Nm
  • Number of blades: 3 ( each of 0.25 in. or 0.64 cm thick) 
  • Rollover protective structure (ROPS): Present 
  • Length: 84 in., or 213 cm 
  • Width: 74, 86 in. or 188, 218 cm (with a chute down), 75.8 in. or 192.5 cm (with rear discharge)
  • Height: 73 in. or 185 cm (with ROPs up) and 47 in. or 119 cm (with ROPs down)
  • Weight: varies from 1,326 to 1,445 lb or 601 to 655 kg

The Most Common John Deere Z970R Problems 

john deere z970r problems

Three of the most prevalent problems with the John Deere Z970R will be covered in this section. 

  • Hydraulic deck lifting
  • Abrupt power shut while blades disengage

Of course, there are other probable inconveniences as well like misfiring of the engine, overheating of the engine, vibration of the mower, overconsumption of fuel, and emission of black smoke from the exhaust. 

These are, however, common to almost all vehicles. This section will focus only on the problems specific to the John Deere Z970R version only. 

How to Deal with the John Deere Z970R Common Challenges?

What can be done to get rid of all these setbacks? You are in luck if you are looking for the answer to this question. I have created a step-by-step guideline for you to address the solutions to the mentioned problems.

The initial step toward dealing with these issues involves recognizing what the actual culprit behind the trouble is. Once you know where the trouble lies, you can do it all by yourself. Fortunately, most likely all the issues mentioned may be resolved by either replacing the damaged parts or just by simply cleaning them.

So without any further ado, let’s set out on our troubleshooting expedition.

1. Hydraulic Deck Lifting Issues: Clean or Replace the Hydraulic Solenoid Valve

One of the best features of the John Deere Z970R zero-turn mower is that it has a push button on the handle of the mower that helps to raise or lower the deck and to shut off the blades. Although this is a vital feature of this mower, if there is a hump, you can’t go past that hump. You will have to either raise it or lower it, there isn’t any option for curves. 

Not all of this, but it is also extremely challenging to level or lift the hydraulic deck of the mower. This primarily occurs when a solenoid and valve are malfunctioning. Follow these instructions to troubleshoot it.

Step 1: Lift the deck and you will see an OEM assemble where a valve is attached to a solenoid. 

Step 2: Use an ohm meter to check the voltage at the plug of the hydraulic lift solenoid. Make sure it is 12V. 

Step 3: Using pliers, untie the knot at the top of the assembly.

Step 4: Disassemble the solenoid valve and rub it against a firm or flat surface to straighten it out. 

Step 5: Use a cotton swab and pin to clean the solenoid and remove any dirt on the holes of the assembly respectively. 

Step 6: Reassemble the solenoid valve into the assembly

If you still notice any problem with deck lifting, first try replacing the coil on the coil on the solenoid, and if not replace the entire hydraulic solenoid valve assembly. 

Below is an initial replacement cost breakdown: 

JD Z970R Parts NameReplacement Cost (Approx)
Coil on the solenoid$430
Solenoid valve assembly$555

Here’s a video that demonstrates how to clean a solenoid valve of the John Deere Z970R zero-turn mower.

2. Abrupt Power Shutting off the Mower While the Blades Disengage: Replace the Seat Switch

It is a very common phenomenon in the JD Z970R mowers where power suddenly shuts off and blades disengage automatically. This occurs mainly when you have a faulty seat switch. 

Below your seat, there is a safety seat switch. So when you sit, pressure is exerted on the seat which pushes the switch down eventually turning it off which is the main reason why the power shuts off. Simply changing the switch will stop this; just adhere to the steps.

Step 1: Lift the seat up and you will find a wire leading to the switch.

Step 2: Push the switch upwards with your thumb and raise it inwards. This will create a gap and you can easily lower the switch into the gap removing the assembly of the switch and adapter.

Step 3: Unplug the switch from the adapter. Use a dry cloth to clean off the area of the adapter. You can also use a cotton swab to clean the inside of the adapter where the switch will be fitted.

Step 4: Plug in the new switch into the adapter.

Step 5: Insert the component into the place again.

Replacing the JD Z970R seat switch costs only 11 bucks! 

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are several more questions and answers regarding the Z970R John Deere zero-turn mower.

Q. How much is the horsepower of the JD Z970R zero turn mower? 

A. The JD Z970R zero-turn lawn mower’s two-cylinder motor is powered with 35 hp, 26.1 kW battery volts, and 3,600 rpm. The engine of the JD Z970R is more effective and spins at a higher RPM than the other mowers of the John Deere R series.  

Q. What is the specialty of the JD Z970R mower?

A. The JD Z970R comes with a few specific features that make the mower more favorable for use like-

  • Michelin® X® Tweel® Turf airless radial tire technology to lower operating costs
  • ComfortGlide™ fore/aft suspension for seats to make the driver more comfortable
  • 7-Iron™ PRO Side-Discharge decks to improve longevity
  • 7-Iron™ PRO Mulch On Demand to allow smooth mulching. 

Q. How long will the Deere Z970R mower last?

A. Regardless of when it wears out, the mower will last for 36 months or 1500 hours. Additionally, there is no hour restriction for the first 24 months.

Q. How much is the JD Z970R zero turn mower?

A. The original price of Z970R John Deere mower was $16,739 in 2021.

Q. Which deck system (side discharge or rear discharge) will be better for Deere Z970R? 

A. The 72-in or 183 cm mower deck of the John Deere Z970R comes either with the side discharge system or the rear discharge system. Depending on what you want to do with your mower, one of these will be better than the other. 

For instance, if you are looking for the ease of the mower and good quality mowing, then you can opt for the side discharge deck. And if you are looking for better safety, speed, and seamless cutting, pick the rear discharge deck. 

Wrap Up 

With the John Deere Z970R, lawn care is made much simpler and more sophisticated. The aforementioned are just a few of my easy attempts to make mowing less difficult for you. Even if your tractor is in perfect working order and never experience any issues, make sure to do regular maintenance. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry. 

Additionally, if you want to be certain what went wrong with your JD Z970R tractor, you may always look into the operator’s manual. Consult a technician if you discover that the issues persist despite all of this troubleshooting. 

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Hi! I’m Wesley Thomas, a mechanical engineer with over 5 years experience in the garden and heavy machinery. I'll guide you to fix lawn tractors and mowers issues as well as other machineries used in lawn projects. Read my blogs and make your mowing and lawn projects easier.

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