The John Deere STX38 Yellow Deck

The John Deere STX38 Yellow Deck is a dependable and versatile lawn tractor designed for residential lawn care needs. Produced from 1989 to 1993 in Horicon, Wisconsin, USA, this model gained popularity for its affordability and reliability. Powered by a Kohler CV12.5-1215 gasoline engine, it delivers 12.5 horsepower and features a simple yet effective transmission system. With options like a 38-inch mid-mount mower deck and a front-mounted snowblower, it can handle various lawn maintenance tasks year-round. The comfortable foam-padded seat and an open operator station enhance user experience. While the STX38 Yellow Deck is known for its value, it’s worth noting that later black-deck versions offered additional features and improvements.

ManufacturerJohn Deere
TypeLawn tractor
Model year1989-1993
Original price$2,350 in 1993
Engine Detail
EngineKohler CV12.5-1215
CoolingAir-cooled vertical-shaft
Displacement398 cc (24.3 cubic inches)
Bore/Stroke3.425×2.638 inches (87 x 67 mm)
Power12.5 horsepower (9.3 kW)
Air cleanerPaper and foam
Compression Ratio8.9:1
Idle RPM1350-3350
Starter volts12
SparkplugChampion RC12YC
Sparkplug gap0.040 inches (1.016 mm)
TransmissionPeerless 920
TypeBelt-driven gear
Gears5 forward and 1 reverse
Oil changeSealed unit, owner service is not recommended
DriveTwo-wheel drive
SteeringManual sector-and-pinion
BrakesIntegral mechanical disc brakes
Operator StationOpen with foam-padded seat
Power Take-off (PTO)
Rear PTOElectric
Lawn/Turf Front Tires13×6.5-6
Lawn/Turf Rear Tires18×8.5-8
Wheelbase44.69 inches (113 cm)
Length60 inches (152 cm)
Width52 inches (132 cm)
Height38.6 inches (98 cm)
Weight433 lbs (196 kg)
Charging systemFlywheel alternator
Charging amps15
Battery CCA200
Battery volts12
Attachment Options
Option38″ Mid-Mount Mower Deck
TypeMid-mount John Deere
Blades2-blade with manual lift
Cutting width38 inches (96 cm)
Cut height1 to 4 inches (2 to 10 cm)
Cut positions7
Option38″ Snow Blower (John Deere 2461M)
Width38 inches (96 cm
Clear height17 inches (43 cm)
MountingFront-mount with manual lift
Weight210 lbs (95 kg)
Optional AccessoriesTwin-bag 6.5-bushel rear grass bagger (BM16868), rear-tire chains, and a rear suitcase-style weight bracket for use with the snowblower.

The John Deere STX38 Yellow Deck stands out as a popular lawn tractor due to its unique blend of affordability, simplicity, and reliability. Its distinctive features and characteristics set it apart from other tractors in its category.

John Deere STX38 Advantages:
Affordability: The STX38 Yellow Deck was known for its relatively low purchase price, making it an attractive choice for homeowners on a budget.
Simplicity: This model is straightforward and easy to operate, making it suitable for users with minimal experience in lawn care equipment.
Compact Size: With its compact design, it’s maneuverable in tight spaces, making it ideal for residential lawns with obstacles like trees and flower beds.
Versatility: The availability of attachments like a 38-inch mid-mount mower deck and a snowblower enhances its versatility, allowing users to tackle various lawn maintenance tasks.
Kohler Engine: The Kohler CV12.5-1215 engine delivers reliable power for cutting grass or clearing snow, and it’s known for its durability.

John Deere STX38 Disadvantages:
Limited Features: Compared to more modern lawn tractors, the STX38 Yellow Deck lacks some advanced features, such as hydrostatic transmissions or power steering.
Maintenance: Some owners might find maintenance requirements, such as oil changes and belt adjustments, to be more frequent compared to newer models with improved engineering.
Limited Availability: Since it was produced only from 1989 to 1993, finding replacement parts or locating a well-maintained used unit might be challenging.

John Deere STX38 Historical Value:
The John Deere STX38 Yellow Deck holds historical value as a representation of the simplicity and reliability that John Deere has long been associated with. While newer models have surpassed it in terms of features and capabilities, collectors and enthusiasts appreciate it for its nostalgic charm and place in the brand’s history. Its limited production years also contribute to its historical significance among John Deere enthusiasts.