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Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 #4106217 05/25/16 11:41 AM
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Bighorn2500 Offline OP
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Hello there,

I just picked up a 1978 model year John Deere 400 lawn & garden tractor with 133 original hours on the OE Kohler K532.

I know oil technology has come a long way since 1978 as the manual states SAE30 in the summer, and 5W30 or 5W20 in the winter. Looking for some alternatives to the straight 30.

It came with the mower deck, frt. plow, and frt. snowblower so it will be used year round. Plan on changing out fluids soon before using, can I go with a heavy duty 5w30 whether synthetic or conventional such a diesel oil or 5w40 with strong additive pack year round? Any experience or suggestions?

Thank you


2012 Ram 2500 SLT 6.7L Cummins 4x4
2018 Dodge Durango GT 3.6L 4x4
Re: Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 [Re: Bighorn2500] #4106251 05/25/16 12:09 PM
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racer12306 Offline
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Why are you looking for alternatives?

While oils have greatly evolved, many people still like to run 30 in their OPE.


16 Ford Focus/2.0/6A
04 Dodge Neon SXT/2.0/MTX
17 Chrysler Pacifica/3.6/9A
Re: Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 [Re: Bighorn2500] #4106263 05/25/16 12:22 PM
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AirgunSavant Offline
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I'd run a full synthetic 10w30 all year round.
A top tier oil that is.

Re: Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 [Re: Bighorn2500] #4106273 05/25/16 12:29 PM
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Rand Offline
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5w40 is good if you are going to snowblow.

or maybe 15w40 then change to 5w30 or 5w40 for winter.


2019 Jeep Cherokee Trailhawk 2.0T
2020 Hyundai Elantra "Value Edition"
Re: Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 [Re: racer12306] #4106282 05/25/16 12:33 PM
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Bighorn2500 Offline OP
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Originally Posted By: racer12306
Why are you looking for alternatives?

While oils have greatly evolved, many people still like to run 30 in their OPE.


Looking for year round protection, less maintenance hassle changing over seasons, and stocking the shelf with one vs. two kinds of oil.


2012 Ram 2500 SLT 6.7L Cummins 4x4
2018 Dodge Durango GT 3.6L 4x4
Re: Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 [Re: Bighorn2500] #4106312 05/25/16 12:56 PM
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DSparks Offline
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Use what you have in the garage already if you have anything in the 30 or 40 range...if you have to go buy something the diesel stuff is awesome for OPE....that thing wont care...anything nowadays is better than any 1978 oil...imho.:)

Last edited by DSparks; 05/25/16 12:59 PM.
Re: Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 [Re: Bighorn2500] #4106336 05/25/16 01:26 PM
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bubbatime Offline
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I'd use 30 weight year round down here.

For your climate, 30 weight summer and Delo 10W30 or Rotella 10W30 winter would be ideal.

Delo 10W30 or Rotella 10W30 year round would be ok too.



2019 Honda CRV 1.5T dealer bulk
2017 Chrysler Pacifica SuperTech synthetic 5W20
2013 Yamaha XT250 Valvoline motorcycle 10W40
2006 GMC Sierra SuperTech high mileage 5W30

Re: Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 [Re: Bighorn2500] #4106346 05/25/16 01:45 PM
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mazdamonky Offline
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My vote is go with any good 5w30 year round. 5w30 supertech would probably be a fine option in either synthetic or Dino.


2018 mazda3 hatch 2.5 26148 miles
1985 rx7 1.1 100k miles
2002 protege 236k miles
1985 rx7 with a 5.0 swap
2020 corolla 750 miles
4 more running cars in yard not mentioned
Re: Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 [Re: AirgunSavant] #4106356 05/25/16 01:51 PM
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tig1 Offline
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Originally Posted By: AirgunSavant
I'd run a full synthetic 10w30 all year round.
A top tier oil that is.


Good advise.


2007 Ford Fusion 253,000 miles
M1 5-20HM
2017 Ford Fusion 86K
M1 0-20EP
10,000 mile OCIs on both engines
M1 ATF and M1 LV HP ATF
M1 10-30 in all OPE
MC filters

Re: Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 [Re: Bighorn2500] #4106403 05/25/16 02:38 PM
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Eddie Offline
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I would seriously consider using 5w40 Rotella T6. Walmarts for ~ $24/Gal Jug

Last edited by Eddie; 05/25/16 02:40 PM.

2014 CX5 Touring 2.5L :-)
Re: Kohler K532 Engine John Deere 400 [Re: tig1] #4106519 05/25/16 04:50 PM
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AirgunSavant Offline
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Thank you sir!

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