JD 530 or 540

   / JD 530 or 540 #1  

architect

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Western PA
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Kubota B1750, traded, L3010 sold, B2920, Mahindra eMax 25
looking at JD 530 verses JD 540, what is difference in gas consumption? Does water cooled 540 last longer? difference in cost is $1000.
 
   / JD 530 or 540 #2  
looking at JD 530 verses JD 540, what is difference in gas consumption? Does water cooled 540 last longer? difference in cost is $1000.

I never bought either but I went thru this early last year. At that time it was $600 difference.
I suspect little difference in gas consumption. The water cooled engine is supposed to deliver slightly more HP. Maybe 26 vs. 25.
But the 540 also has the hyd deck lift and a differential lock I think.
My decision was down to the 340 or the 540, with the 540 as my pick.

For me the 340 is a better choice considering the dollar value, but the power steering and hyd deck lift is better suited an older member of my family that also uses the mower.
I have 2 mowers that are water cooled and I like the feature. It seems like a cooler engine would last longer to me.
Others will say the air cooled engine lasts just as long, and is WAY easier to work on without that radiator shroud in the way.

Especially if you get one with the 54" deck, make sure you can easily work the manual deck lift on the 530.
On my 445 with a 60" deck the deck lift is a problem. If you happen to hit a rock it will dislodge it from the dirt, and could even damage the deck. A smaller lighter manual deck will raise up easier and faster to mow over rocks.
My 445 hyd deck lift has a slightly delayed response to raise...

The 530 or the 540 does move fast at 7.2 MPH where the 340 is only 5.8 MPH. This was one of my main reasons to want the 540.
But the 340 would use less gas if that is important for you. But unless you have a real big yard, I don't consider this a big deal.
If you mow 6 acres, get a diesel.
 
   / JD 530 or 540 #3  
The liquid cooled will last longer. I've heard the rule of thumb is 1500 hrs for the air cooled and 2500 hrs with the liquid cooled, but that is hearsay.

All the other specs are the same.

Good Luck.

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   / JD 530 or 540 #4  
I believe the main difference between the x530 and the x540 is that the x540 is water cooled. I have read that the water cool will last longer but we have air cooled engines at work that have 2500 hrs on them and are going strong. Once up to temperature, they should be the same, if you do a lot of short runs, the air cooled might not last as long. But I will say, the water cooled engine is quieter than the air cooled.
 
   / JD 530 or 540 #5  
But I will say, the water cooled engine is quieter than the air cooled.

I think this is related to the simple fact that it has this huge shroud with the radiator to somewhat smother the engine noise.
My LX188 is a quiet running engine. I can even hear my cell phone ring.
But this is a smaller engine than the 500 series, and has only a 48" deck also.

The larger decks that spin faster are louder than the engine.
 
   / JD 530 or 540
  • Thread Starter
#6  
Over the weekend I added the Kubota GR2120 Diesel AWD to my look at list, probably $1000 more than the x540.
 
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   / JD 530 or 540 #7  
Now you are into the x700 series type tractors. I started looking at an x320 then went to the x530/540 and finally stepped out and purchased the x720. It is much more tractor then I need but now I am finding uses for it that I did realize that I needed. I plan on getting a FEL to move mulch, logs, soil, etc next month. I use it to move water in a 15 gal drum to water/fertilize the flowers that are not near a water supply. I mowed the lawn yesterday with my old snapper tractor that I have been renovating over the past year and half. It was fun but realized how much I enjoy mowing with the JD. It is quiet, easier to drive and does a better job. I don't know that much about theGR2120 but I don't think you can get too much tractor.
 
   / JD 530 or 540
  • Thread Starter
#8  
when you get into the X700 series, you are over $12k, I have a Kubota B2920 with FEL, this is for my daughter's house, I am tired of loading up the trailer with Kubota and taking to her house min. of each week.
 
   / JD 530 or 540 #9  
Over the weekend I added the Kubota GR2120 Diesel AWD to my look at list, probably $1000 more than the x540.

Kubota makes some nice equipment but I never seem to like the pedals as well as the JD.
And if you look close you may not find $1000 more value in the comparisons.
I would look close and evaluate the blades to see if the standard blades are the same ones as the replacement.
I know a fellow that just bought a nice $9500 mower and says it leave uncut grass in areas.
He is still fussing at the dealer about this with only 11 hours on the machine.
 
   / JD 530 or 540 #10  
Also, do not forget the X530 has NO tilt steering, the X540 does. Some may not find that a big deal, but to others it can be a deal breaker.

My advice to you, buy an X720, instead of an X540, even if you do not need it. The X540 is very overpriced in my opinion. It is an embellished riding mower, the X720 is a true garden tractor, for about $1,000 more. I am still seeing brand new 2012 X720 models floating around on tractorhouse for as little as $8,900. That is a steal of a deal.

Also, working on the X540 is a major PIA. Since the radiator is mounted horizontally, over top of the flywheel, it makes any work difficult. When the day comes that the magneto, or the coil burns out, and you need to get to those items, I wish you luck. Water cooling in an X500 series is simply not needed. Quite frankly, I don't know why John Deere ever did it.

You should also research the numerous X540 reviews around the web that have some bad things to say. The X540 has been famous for burning oil and blowing smoke. I also remember X540's breaking bolts on a regular basis, up until sometime last year. I have heard quite a few complaints about the engines being extremely delicate with the choke. Some units also stall when engaging blades, even at full RPM's.

Just my $0.02
 
 
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