How to Install a Drag Link for a John Deere Model LX172

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John Deere began his company in 1838 by developing steel plows.
John Deere began his company in 1838 by developing steel plows. (Image: Ambleside Walmsley Brothers/Valueline/Getty Images)

The John Deere LX172 was produced from 1990 to 1997 and built in Horicon, Wisconsin. The LX172 featured a five-speed transmission and a Kawasaki 422 cc 14-horsepower engine. The LX172 came available with a 38-inch mower deck as well as a 38- and 42-inch snow blower attachment. The drag link on the LX172 connects the steering assembly to the front wheels of the mower. The drag link absorbs much of the brunt of rough terrain, as well as any turn the mower makes.

Things You'll Need

  • Floor jack
  • 2 jack stands
  • Open-end wrench set
  • Drag link (Part No. AM116873)
  • Drag link ball joint (Part No. AM125418)
  • Tie-down nut (Part No. 14H856)
  • 2 lock nuts (Part No. M91187)

Raise the front of the LX172 with a jack. Place jack stands beneath the front chassis. Turn the steering wheel to the straight position. Turn the front wheels so they are facing straight forward. This will ensure the wheels align straight with the steering wheel after you install the drag link. Position your body on the left-hand side (facing forward on the mower), so that you can access the bottom of the steering shaft and steering gear.

Insert the ball joint of the drag link upward into the steering gear shaft link. The link is facing the left side of the mower, just below the steering gear shaft support. Install a lock nut onto the ball joint, and tighten the nut snug with an open end wrench. Do not over-tighten the nut, or the drag link will not pivot correctly.

Install the tie-down nut onto the threaded end of the drag link, and spin the nut as far down the threads as possible. Insert the threaded end of the drag link into the ball joint you just installed by turning it clockwise into the ball joint end. Move out from beneath the mower, and hold the drag link by the forward end. Turn the drag link so that it lines up with the hole just behind the front left wheel of the mower.

Push the forward end of the drag link up through the front axle mounting hole, behind the front wheel. Install a lock nut onto the drag link with your fingers to ensure proper threading. Stand up and visually inspect that the steering wheel and front wheels are turned straight. Make adjustments by turning the drag link in or out of the ball joint end to straighten the front wheels with the steering wheel.

Tighten the forward end of the drag link with an open-end wrench until it is snug. Turn the wrench a half turn farther to add the approximate 20 foot-pounds of torque needed for this part. Tighten the drag link tie-down nut up against the forward end of the ball joint. This will lock the drag link in place with the entire steering assembly. Turn the nut snug, then half turn farther with an open-end wrench.

Raise the mower off of the jack stands, then remove the stands from beneath the mower. Lower the mower to the ground carefully.

Tips & Warnings

  • While you are beneath the mower, make sure all of the steering components below the mower are tightened and secure. Use an open-end wrench to check the steering gear mounting bolts at the gear shaft support (four bolts). Check the tie rod between both front wheels to make sure the nuts are tight on the tie-rod ends as well.
  • Do not raise any riding mower or tractor on uneven ground, as this can cause jacks and jack stands to collapse suddenly.

References

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