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How to Adjust a John Deere Gator Gear Shift

Updated April 17, 2017

The John Deere Gator is a multi-use utility vehicle; it uses a centrifugal clutch to propel the machine. This system is belt driven, so that when the accelerator is depressed the belt opens up the clutch causing the Gator to speed up. There are no gears to shift through, only a forward and reverse position. As the machine ages or if the Gator is used in rougher terrain, readjust the gear lever linkage to keep the shifter gliding smoothly into the forward and reverse position.

Park the Gator on a level surface and pull up on the park brake lever beside the driver's seat. Remove the key from the ignition. Raise up the cargo box, and lock it into place.

Locate the shift lever rod on top of the transmission, under the cargo box. Move the shifter lever into the "Neutral" position; you hear a click from the transaxle. The shift lever rod will be perpendicular to the transmission. Locate the adjustment rod that's connected to the shift lever rod.

Loosen the two nuts on the adjustment rod with the 15mm wrench. Adjust the adjustment rod until the gear shifter is sitting perfectly in the "Neutral" slot beside the driver's seat. Tighten down the nuts on the adjustment rod.

Push and pull the gearshift from forward to reverse. Look for an even amount of gap from neutral to forward and neutral to reverse. If the gearshift is pressed against the quadrant stop in either forward or reverse, readjust the rod until the gearshift no longer touches the quadrant stop.

Place the gearshift in the "Neutral" position. Start the engine to check neutral start. Drive the machine over rough ground to check adjustments.

Things You'll Need

  • 15mm wrench
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About the Author

Based out of Orlando, Fla., Yvonne Grant has since 1997 done everything from designing and outlining company handbooks to preparing reports for the IRS. She maintains a popular interior design blog where she gives advice and design tips. Grant has bachelor's degrees in both business and interior design from the University of Central Florida and the International Academy of Design and Technology.