How to Get More Power out of a John Deere Gator

Written by ryan hotchkiss
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How to Get More Power out of a John Deere Gator
Focus on fuel and a clean engine for more power. (gas pump image by Tammy Mobley from

Getting more power out of a John Deere Gator is one way of improving its performance. Gators are a family of all-terrain utility vehicles made by Deere & Company. If the Gator is not new, getting more power out of it may require only basic maintenance. Focus on using good fuel and keeping the engine running cleanly. You can also modify the Gator to get more horsepower out of it.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Spark plug socket set
  • Fuel filter
  • Premium fuel

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  1. 1

    Put nonmethanol power additives in the fuel. This will boost the performance of your Gator by increasing the combustion efficiency of your fuel. Add engine cleaners to your fuel, which remove debris and sludge that slow your engine with friction.

  2. 2

    Use high octane fuel -- 87 octane or higher is recommended. If your Gator runs on diesel, use white, rather than red. As with many other vehicles, the higher the octane content, the less build-up the Gator gets throughout the engine. The John Deere factory conducts equipment tests with aviation fuel. A clean engine means a more powerful engine.

    How to Get More Power out of a John Deere Gator
    The difference high-performance spark plugs can make in power is significant. (spark plug image by Yali Shi from
  3. 3

    Change the spark plugs. Replace them with high performance spark plugs if your Gator has a gas-powered engine. The firing capacity of a spark plug can greatly enhance or detract from the torque your Gator can exert.

  4. 4

    Replace fuel filters and fuel lines on your Gator regularly. A clogged fuel line or filter can greatly inhibit your Gator's ability to get the right mixture of fuel and air into the carburettor, as can a crack in the fuel line that sucks in air.

  5. 5

    Recalibrate the governor setscrew on the linkage attached to the carburettor -- if your Gator does not have electronic fuel injection. With the setscrew you can determine the Gator's top-end speed. Back the setscrew out a little and you will notice the additional power.

Tips and warnings

  • Consider the purpose of owning a Gator. If you have children and they use the Gator regularly, you may want to prevent a high top-end speed by leaving the governor setscrew fully engaged.

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