John Deere 400 Tractor Specs and Review

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Humans invented agriculture to provide for their needs, and the development of tractors was probably the biggest step in agricultural advancement. 

And the technology developed for agricultural land quickly gained popularity and became helpful in backyard gardens and yards. John Froelich created the first gasoline-powered tractor in 1892. 

But John Deere is one of the most well-known tractor manufacturers today. The company has significantly facilitated manual labor through its selection of garden tractors and mowers.

The John Deere 400 series was one of those garden tractor lines. The John Deere 400, the first tractor in this line, debuted in 1975 and remained in production through 1983. 

Later, it was followed by 420, 425, 430, and 445. This one-of-a-kind lawn tractor had brand-new features and a body design, making it popular. It was ahead of its time. This tractor was praised for its wealth of features and for working with various attachments.

Don’t you think it would be worthwhile to write an entire post about this fantastic John Deere 400-riding tractor? We answer in the affirmative! The specifications and features of the John Deere 400 tractor are spheres.

Why the John Deere 400 a Special Series?

Why the John Deere 400 a Special Series

There are lots of tractors that John Deere has produced that were celebrated. But there is something special about the JD 400 riding lawn tractor series. But what is it? Let’s dig in!

As previously mentioned, the John Deere 400 series debuted in 1975 and continued through 2001, with the JD 445 serving as the series’ final model. And the “versatility” of this tractor series makes it so well-liked. 

The models came equipped with some of the most powerful features that continue to astound John Deere fans. The engines on the tractors in this series, which were designed for domestic and industrial use, ranged in horsepower from 20 to 22. 

Due to their powerful engines, dependability, and cutter width of 48 to 60 inches, they are ideal for trimming 3 to 5 acres of grass. In addition, this series has an advantage thanks to the added power it packs, which also allows it to accommodate more attachments.

John Deere 400 Specs

John Deere 400 Specs

While reviewing this tractor, we found it to be a “wonder machine.” But first, let’s take a closer look at its treasure trove of specifications in a table. As you move through the tables, you will eventually reach the John Deere 400. It will also make it easier for you to understand its features.

General Specifications:
ModelJohn Deere 400
ManufacturerJohn Deere
TypeRiding lawn tractor
Length (overall)76 inches
Weight975 lbs
Wheel Base52 inches
Width49 inches
Height44 inches
Lawn/turf front18x8.50-8
Lawn/turf rear26x12.00-12
Engine Specifications:
Engine Manufacturer/ modelKohler KQ532
Engine typeAir-cooled horizontal shaft and V-twin
Engine Power (Gross)19.9 hp
No. of cylinders2
Bore and stroke3.38x3.00 inches
Displacement879 cc
Starter volt12
Cooling SystemAir
Rated RPM3500
Fuel typeGasoline
Battery12 V
Rear PTOIndependent
Rear RPM840
Front PTOIndependent
Transmission & Chassis:
TypeShaft-driven hydrostatic
Oil Capacity5.5 qts
BrakesMechanical shoe
GearsInfinite forward and reverse
Steering typePower
Operator systemOpen
Chassis4x2 2WD
Differential lockYes
Hydraulic system1.375 gal
Valves 2
Attachments (optional):
Mower deckMid-mount 60-inch
SnowblowerFront-mount 46-inch
Blade 54” front-mount blade
LoaderJohn Deere 20 Loader
BackhoeJohn Deere 430 Backhoe
Manufacturing locationHoricon, Wisconsin, USA
Production years1975 - 1983

Newly Added Features in the John Deere 400

Newly Added Features in the John Deere 400

The John Deere 400’s innovative features were one of its benefits. The way we currently perceive tractors was altered by this tractor.

With the additional features, it became a packed garden tractor that could easily handle all landscaping tasks. Here are a few of the newly added features.

  • 4.5-gallon fuel tank mounted at the back.
  • A power take-off shaft 
  • A Kohler KQ532 engine
  • 19.9 horsepower from a twin-cylinder air-cooled engine
  • Hydrostatic transaxle with two speeds.
  • Power-assisted steering to make navigation smooth even in the tightest corners 
  • Oil filter
  • A 60” mower deck 
  • An option for three-point attachments 
  • Rear PTO
  • An optional Rockshaft installed Category “0” three-point hitch

John Deere 400 Features in Detail

John Deere 400 Features in Detail

Already impressed with the John Deere 400? Well, don’t be so soon, as the best part is yet to come. We will go over the features of the John 400 in more detail in this section.

We’ll go over every crucial detail of this marvel machine, from general specifications and engines to attachments. So let’s get started without holding it any longer!

Physical Specifications

Like its successor, the John Deere 420, the 400 is a sizable tractor. How do we know this? Well, by looking at its dimensions- 76″ X 49″ X 44″ (LXWXH).

As far as its weight is concerned, this tractor weighs around 975 lbs, a bit less heavy than the John Deere 420, which weighs around 993 lbs. And this lawn tractor is indeed heavier than the norm, which could be a drawback.

There are several similarities between the JD 400 model and its successor, the 420. Would you love a comparison? Let’s do some straightforwardly.

FeaturesJohn Deere 400John Deere 420
Dimension76” X 49” X 44”77″ X 51.5″ X 47.5″
Weight975 lbs993 lbs
EngineKohler KQ532Onan B48G
Onan P220G
Gross Power19.9 hp20 hp
Wheel Base52 inches52 inches
Fuel Tank Capacity4.5 gal6.5 gal
TransmissionShaft-driven hydrostaticShaft-driven hydrostatic
Chassis4×2 2WD2WD

What makes this tractor sturdy is its welded body that is powder coated to be rust and corrosion-free for years to come. The color coding is also very attractive and is complete “John Deere” type- yellow and green. 

The wheelbase is 52 inches, making turning in tight corners easy. If you’re curious about the kind of operator cabin, it is an open one with a seat for the operator.

Among other features, this tractor also includes the option to attach a three-point hitch, a rear PTO drive, three spools of hydraulics, and a two-speed hydrostatic transaxle. 

Additionally, like the JD 420, this model also features three levers on the deck, four hydraulic ports on the front, and the option to attach a three-point hitch. Cool, isn’t it? 

But on the downside is the noise. Yes, the John Deere 400 does not cancel noise while operating. Although the noise is not that bothersome, it may initially cause some level of disturbance. 

However, because it is an outdated model and the tractor you will receive is a refurbished version, we always advise you to check its components. If you do not purchase a well-maintained or serviced JD 400, you may have to deal with issues like pump leaks, transaxle leaks, worn PTO pulleys, etc.


The John Deere 400’s engine deserves special attention. The air-cooled, horizontal shaft, v-twin Kohler KQ532 engine is strong and reliable enough to meet most of your gardening needs. 

The JD 400 engine is a gasoline-powered unit with 879 cc of displacement and 19.9 horsepower. In a nutshell, this engine is dependable in addition to being powerful for its time. The John Deere 400 is still in high demand enables us to attest to this.

However, the tractor’s gross power in relation to its displacement rate throws us off. Compared to later models or more contemporary tractors, the 19 horsepower is considerably less. 

The displacement, however, is quite impressive. The engine would have only been of the “bang-on” type if the gross power had been higher.

If we shift our attention, however, we can see some of the engine’s better characteristics, such as its 3.38×3.00-inch bore and stroke, 4.5-gallon fuel capacity, and 3500 rpm rated speed. Also, the feature of the air-cooling system is great, as it demands less maintenance.

Electric Start

The John Deere 400 has an electric start, just like the other tractors in this series.

An electric start option makes it incredibly convenient to start the engine without accelerating. A 12 V battery is a feature of the John Deere 400 that also makes it simple to start the engine in below-freezing temperatures.

Fuel Tank

The John Deere 400’s fuel tank has a capacity of 4.5 gallons. Although the fuel tank’s capacity is lower than its successors, this is not entirely unfortunate. This will make it simple for you to mow a small to medium-sized lawn and complete other landscaping tasks.

Transmission and Chassis

The vehicle’s transmission is what makes it run efficiently. The John Deere 420 has a hydrostatic shaft-driven transmission and a 4 X 2 2WD chassis, just like its successor, the John Deere 425. 

The Sundstrand transmission makes it possible for the tractor’s components to transfer energy effectively. Additionally, the tractor has an infinite forward speed of 10.8 mph and an infinite reverse speed of 4.0 mph. 

The icing on the cake is that it has a 5.5 qt capacity for transmission oil and power steering. Finally, it is a mechanical shoe brake, speaking of brakes.


The actual foundation of a tractor is its tires. These unsung heroes are responsible for evenly dispersing the vehicle’s total weight. The John Deere 400 has substantial tires. 

They effectively support the tractor’s weight, which in this instance is 975 lbs. The tractor also travels all over your farm. Because of this, they are crucial. 

The wheelbase of the John Deere 400 tractor is 52 inches. The rear tires are 26×12.00-12, and the front tires are 18×8.50-8.


The PTO’s primary function is power transfer from the tractor to the attachments. The front and back PTOs on the John Deere 400 are each independent and furnished with a mechanical clutch. 

Its rear PTO rotates at 840 rpm. The mechanical clutch, which is unusual these days and caught our attention while reviewing this tractor, is what caught the most of our attention. 

Additionally, it is not present in the JD 400 series’ later tractors; an electric clutch is used instead. Although the mechanical clutch is not inherently bad, it does not operate as smoothly as the electrical one. Additionally, they need adjusting and frequently feel heavier. 

On the plus side, the mechanical clutch is a straightforward system and is simpler to maintain or repair.

Operator’s Cabin

The operator’s cabin on the John Deere 400 is open. Naturally, this improves the tractor’s appearance and makes it simple for the rider to get on and off. However, this system is not beneficial in terms of safety. 

An open cabin won’t protect the operator from the elements’ effects or harm during unintentional turnover. Furthermore, the operator’s seat does not have an armrest. After prolonged use, the lack of this feature may result in hand strain.


Now let’s discuss the available attachments. If you recall, we mentioned in the first sections that the John Deere 400 lawn tractor was well-liked due to some of its innovative features at the time.

One of those features is the capability to attach various pieces of landscaping equipment.

With this model’s rear PTO and the choice of three-point attachments, heavy loading equipment is a breeze and hassle-free. For example, one can mount the following attachments on the John Deere 400 lawn tractor.

  • Mid-mount 60-inc
  • Front-mount 46-inc snowblower
  • 54″ front-mount blade
  • John Deere 20 loader
  • John Deere 450 backhoe

Tillers, plows, and other ground engagers can be attached to garden tractors.

Pros and cons of John Deere 400

Pros and cons of John Deere 400

Is the John Deere 400 lawn tractor attractive because of its features? Are you using the investment to find this vintage machine?

If your answer is YES, we would be glad. Even so, consider the advantages and disadvantages of this riding lawn tractor before making a final choice. Although this is a wonderful machine, it is not all roses; there are also some thorns.

The data in this section can be used to help you decide whether or not this machine is appropriate for your yard.


  • This model’s power steering allows simple maneuvering even in the most challenging corners.
  • The small- to medium-sized yards can use the air-cooled, horizontal shaft, v-twin Kohler KQ532 engine to complete the necessary yard work.
  • The 4.5 gals fuel tank capacity is not too bad.
  • Yes, this machine is dependable and robust.
  • The body’s powder coating prevents rust and dents.
  • This tractor can operate on thick grass with efficiency.
  • The John Deere 400 has a limitless number of forwarding and reverse gears.
  • This tractor can operate on uneven inclines.
  • It is user-friendly.


  • The open operator’s cabin is not ideal in terms of safety.
  • 19.9 hp is not at all a respectable amount of power.
  • This tractor is pretty heavy.
  • When used on larger yards for an extended period, the JD 400 is not particularly suitable.
  • Operating noise can be highly annoying.
  • It might be challenging to maneuver the tractor in confined spaces due to its length.
  • It is more susceptible to problems like transaxle leaks and pumps leaks because it is an older version.

Manufacturing Year

The following table can be used as a reference if you’re unsure of the exact year of the 400 tractors. Here, we’ve provided the production year and corresponding serial number for the JD 400.

YearSerial Number

Is the John Deere 400 Tractor Worth The Investment?

Is the John Deere 400 Tractor Worth The Investment?

We understand that investing in a tractor is for a long time. Customers will, therefore, always seek out models that offer good value. And in most cases, we talk about new lawn tractor models. 

But some older, retired models still steal the spotlight. The John Deere, 400 series tractors belong to that category. 

But whether this series or the John Deere 400 riding lawn tractor is worth the money would depend on how the customers see it. 

We cannot answer this question since it is a very subjective subject. But what we can say is refer to this post and other customer reviews to truly understand if this tractor is worth your money and intention for landscaping.

The Bottomline

Before concluding, we would like to state that the John Deere 400 is a good, reasonably priced model of refurbished tractor. In its prime, the tractor was way ahead of its time. 

Even though it wouldn’t be fair to compare it to today’s high-tech riding tractors, we cannot discount the features it provides. This device is excellent for simple landscaping tasks and small- to medium-sized lawns.

Do you feel this model worth the money? Share your opinion in the comment box below.

Other John Deere Tractors

List of John Deere Tractors
John Deere 317 Tractor
John Deere 318 Tractor
John Deere 400 Tractor
John Deere 420 Tractor
John Deere 425 Tractor
John Deere 430 Tractor
John Deere 455 Tractor
John Deere 650 Tractor
John Deere 955 Tractor
John Deere 2305 Tractor
John Deere 4440 Tractor
John Deere 3010 Tractor

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