How to Install a ZGlide Front Suspension System on John Deere Z9 Mowers
By: Katie McKinley
Worn ragged from mowing all summer on rough or uneven terrain? Save your future self all that trouble by installing a ZGlide Front Suspension System on your John Deere Z9 mower!
Get ready for a smoother ride.
What you will find inside this ZGlide kit:
- Installation guide (but hey, that’s what we’re here for!)
- 2 ZGlide Suspension Forks
- Hardware kit
What tools you will need:
- Floor jack
- Jack stand
- Grease gun
- Ratchet with 1-7/16-inch socket
- Ratchet with 15/16-inch socket
- 15/16-inch wrench
Preparing Your Mower for Install
For a more detailed overview of the steps outlined in this blog, check out our video below!
To prevent any rolling during install, park your mower on a flat surface and make sure the parking brake is engaged.
Next, use the floor jack to raise your mower up allowing you to easily work on the wheels. Carefully place your jack stand so that both you and the mower will be protected if the jack were to fail.
Removing the front wheels
It’s now time to remove the mower tires. We will be starting on the right side of our mower.
To begin, pop off the dust seal cap and reveal the nut inside. Now fasten the 1-7/16-inch socket and ratchet to the nut to loosen and then remove by hand. Now slide the shaft of the existing fork out of the spindle, like shown here.
Next, detach the wheel from the fork and use the 15/16-inch wrench and ratchet to loosen the nuts on either side, like shown. Finish unscrewing them by hand and then remove the pin from the wheel bearing, being careful not to lose the caps on the tire rim.
You can now set the old forks aside. But keep in mind, it’s a good idea to place the old hardware back onto the old fork. This will ensure everything stays together in case you decide to trade in your mower, install the old fork set onto a different machine, or reinstall them on the current one.
Repeat these steps to remove the left wheel as well before installing your ZGlide kit.
Installing Your New ZGlide Front Suspension System
First, apply a small amount of grease on the shaft of your ZGlide suspension fork to make for an easier installation. You can use the grease found on the previously removed fork for this purpose.
Now insert the greased ZGlide shaft into the spindle making sure the bearings are seated properly. Place and securely tighten the nut onto the ZGlide shaft using the ratchet and 1-7/16-inch socket—the wheel should be loose enough to allow for rotation, but tight enough so that a slight amount of friction is felt during movement.
Reinstalling the front wheels
When installing the wheel into your newly placed ZGlide, line up the tire and wheel assembly correctly and use one of the pins provided in your hardware kit to secure placement. Push the pin through top hole, into the wheel bearing, and all the way through to the other side of the fork. Now secure with a nut and tighten using your ratchet and 15/16-inch socket and wrench.
Once all nuts are tightened and your wheel is installed, spin the wheel to test for proper rotation. If all is well, repeat these steps on the opposite side.
Notice above that there are two holes found on either side of a ZGlide suspension fork. When a set of forks are older and have sustained some wear and tear, it may be desirable to push the pin through the second hole to achieve a more level ride. That being said, your starting point should always be and remain at the top hole until that wear and tear takes place.
Once both the ZGlide forks and wheels are secured, finish by replacing the dust seal caps on both sides of your mower and applying two shots of grease to each spindle using a grease gun, like shown here.
Congrats! You’ve now successfully completed the install and are ready to tackle that rough terrain.
If you have questions about any of the steps outlined above, or are just more of a visual learner, head over and subscribe to our YouTube channel to watch our step-by-step video (also attached below)! Be sure to leave a comment with your questions to receive a personal reply from Brent himself, our resident YouTube John Deere expert.
Follow along on Instagram too!