The deck on your John Deere riding mower requires servicing from time to time just like the rest of the machine. Servicing the blades or replacing the blade belt, requires removal of the John Deere mower deck. John Deere mower decks are held in place through a series of retaining pins and cotter pins. This makes the removal of the mower deck a quick process. Although John Deere manufactures many different riding mower models, the deck installation and removal are generally the same.
Park the John Deere mower on a level surface. Set the parking brake and remove the key from the ignition. Place two 1-foot-long blocks of wood under each side of the mower deck. Lower the deck with the lift lever, to the lowest setting. The deck will rest on the wood and the wood will help provide slack to the various pins that require removal.
Go under the left side of the mower, and locate the rear arm assembly. The arms form a "V" and attach to a plate on the mower deck. Remove the cotter pin connecting the top of the left arm to the bottom of the mower frame with a pair of needle nose pliers. Grab the left arm and push the retaining pin out of the frame to fully disconnect the left arm.
Remove the cotter pin securing the bottom of the right arm to the mower mounting plate with a pair of needle nose pliers. Grab the right arm and maneuver the retaining pin away from the bracket to disconnect the arm. Repeat the rear arm disconnection on the right side of the mower.
Look for the rod connecting to the front of the mower deck. The rod will be under the front drive pulley in front of the mower deck. Remove the cotter pin securing the retaining pin with the needle nose pliers. Grasp the rod with one hand and push the retaining pin away to disconnect the rod. Allow the end of the rod to rest on the ground.
Pull the mower deck forward to provide slack in the upper drive belt. Roll the belt off the front drive pulley. Remove the wood from under the mower deck, and pull the deck out from under the mower.