John Deere STX38 Black Deck

The John Deere STX38 Black Deck is a lawn tractor model produced between 1994 and 1997 in Horicon, Wisconsin, USA. This particular model is known for its affordability and simplicity, making it a popular choice among homeowners for lawn maintenance. It replaced the original “yellow-deck” version and is considered an economy model with fewer features. It features a one-cylinder, air-cooled gasoline engine, either a 5-speed gear transmission or a hydrostatic transmission, and a mid-mount mower deck with a cutting width of 38 inches. The STX38 Black Deck is appreciated for its straightforward design and ease of use, making it suitable for basic lawn care tasks. However, it does come with manual steering and fewer advanced features compared to other lawn tractor models.

John Deere STX38 Black Deck Specs
Model Year1994-1997
ManufacturerJohn Deere
TypeLawn tractor
Built inHoricon, Wisconsin, USA
Original Price$2,000 (1995, gear transmission), $2,500 (1995, hydrostatic transmission)
Engine Detail
EngineKohler CV13S
Fuel TypeGasoline
Cylinder Configuration1-cylinder
CoolingAir-cooled vertical-shaft
Displacement398 cc (24.3 cubic inches)
Bore/Stroke3.425×2.638 inches (87 x 67 mm)
Power13 hp (9.7 kW)
Compression Ratio8.5:1
Starter Voltage12 volts
Oil Capacity2 quarts (1.9 liters)
Transmissions Overview
Gear Transmission5-speed gear
Hydrostatic TransmissionTuff Torq K-50 (belt-driven hydrostatic)
DriveTwo-wheel drive
BrakesIntegral mechanical disc brakes
Operator StationOpen
Power Take-off (PTO)
Mid PTOIndependent
Lawn/Turf Front13×6.5-6
Lawn/Turf Rear18×8.5-8
Wheelbase44.7 inches (113 cm)
Length60 inches (152 cm)
Width52 inches (132 cm)
Height38.6 inches (98 cm)
Weight433 lbs (196 kg)
Serial Numbers
1994210001 (STX38 Black Deck)
1995240001 (STX38 Black Deck)
1996270001 (STX38 Black Deck, STX38 Motorsport)
1997290001 (STX38 Black Deck, STX38 Motorsport)
Charging SystemFlywheel alternator
Battery Voltage12 volts
Mower Deck
TypeMid-mount John Deere
Cutting Width38 inches (96 cm)
The John Deere STX38 Black Deck stands out as a lawn tractor due to its simplicity, affordability, and ease of use. Its unique features and characteristics set it apart from other tractors:
John Deere STX38 Black Deck Advantages

Affordability: The STX38 Black Deck was designed to provide a budget-friendly option for homeowners looking to maintain their lawns without breaking the bank.
Simplicity: This tractor offers a straightforward design and easy operation, making it suitable for users with limited tractor experience.
Compact Size: Its compact dimensions and maneuverability allow it to navigate through tight spaces, making it ideal for residential use.
Mid-Mount Mower Deck: The mid-mount mower deck with a 38-inch cutting width provides good visibility and helps achieve a clean and even cut.
Versatility: It can handle a range of lawn maintenance tasks, from mowing to light hauling, thanks to its independent mid PTO.
Motorsport Edition: The STX38 Motorsport special edition, available in 1996 and 1997, adds a touch of uniqueness to this model.

John Deere STX38 Black Deck Disadvantages

Manual Steering: One of its drawbacks is manual steering, which may require more effort compared to power steering systems found in some other models.
Basic Features: The STX38 Black Deck is relatively basic in terms of features and lacks some of the advanced options available on higher-end tractors.
Limited Power: With a 13 hp engine, it may struggle with heavy-duty tasks and may not be suitable for larger properties.

John Deere STX38 Black Deck Historical Value

While the STX38 Black Deck may not be considered a collector’s item like some vintage tractors, it holds historical value as an affordable and user-friendly lawn tractor that catered to the needs of homeowners in the 1990s. Its historical significance lies in its role as a practical and accessible lawn care machine for the residential market.

John Deere STX38 Black Deck Comparison with Similar Models

Compared to its predecessor, the STX38 Yellow Deck, the Black Deck model is more budget-friendly but comes with fewer features. It is less powerful than many larger garden tractors and is intended for lighter-duty applications. Other modern lawn tractors and garden tractors offer more advanced features, power, and versatility but often come with a higher price tag.

The John Deere STX38 Black Deck and STX38 Yellow Deck are two different versions of the same model series, and they have several key differences:

Color: The most obvious difference is in their color schemes. The STX38 Black Deck features a black mower deck and other black components, while the STX38 Yellow Deck has a yellow mower deck and corresponding yellow accents.
Production Years: The STX38 Yellow Deck was produced from 1988 to 1993, while the STX38 Black Deck replaced it in 1994 and was manufactured until 1997.
Features: The STX38 Yellow Deck was available with more features than the Black Deck version. It often had additional options such as headlights, which were not standard on the Black Deck model. The Yellow Deck was considered a more feature-rich version of the tractor.
Availability: Since the Yellow Deck was produced for several years before the introduction of the Black Deck, it may be more readily available in the used tractor market.
Collectibility: Some collectors may prefer the earlier Yellow Deck version due to its longer production run and the availability of more features. As a result, it might have slightly higher collectible value.
Price: The STX38 Black Deck was introduced as a budget-friendly option, so it typically had a lower initial purchase price compared to the Yellow Deck. This price difference might still be reflected in the used market.
Historical Significance: Both versions have historical significance as they represent a specific era of John Deere lawn tractors. However, the Yellow Deck might be considered more iconic due to its longer presence in the market.

Summarizing, the primary differences between the John Deere STX38 Black Deck and STX38 Yellow Deck models lie in their color, production years, available features, and historical significance. While both tractors serve similar purposes, the Yellow Deck is often viewed as a more feature-rich and potentially collectible version.