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How to Get More Power out of a John Deere Gator

by Ryan Hotchkiss

Getting more power out of a John Deere Gator is one way of improving its performance. Gators are a family of all-terrain utility vehicles made by Deere & Company. If the Gator is not new, getting more power out of it may require only basic maintenance. Focus on using good fuel and keeping the engine running cleanly. You can also modify the Gator to get more horsepower out of it.

Step 1

Put nonmethanol power additives in the fuel. This will boost the performance of your Gator by increasing the combustion efficiency of your fuel. Add engine cleaners to your fuel, which remove debris and sludge that slow your engine with friction.

Step 2

The difference high-performance spark plugs can make in power is significant.

Use high octane fuel -- 87 octane or higher is recommended. If your Gator runs on diesel, use white, rather than red. As with many other vehicles, the higher the octane content, the less buildup the Gator gets throughout the engine. The John Deere factory conducts equipment tests with aviation fuel. A clean engine means a more powerful engine.

Step 3

Change the spark plugs. Replace them with high performance spark plugs if your Gator has a gas-powered engine. The firing capacity of a spark plug can greatly enhance or detract from the torque your Gator can exert.

Step 4

Replace fuel filters and fuel lines on your Gator regularly. A clogged fuel line or filter can greatly inhibit your Gator's ability to get the right mixture of fuel and air into the carburetor, as can a crack in the fuel line that sucks in air.

Recalibrate the governor set-screw on the linkage attached to the carburetor -- if your Gator does not have electronic fuel injection. With the set-screw you can determine the Gator's top-end speed. Back the set-screw out a little and you will notice the additional power.


  • Consider the purpose of owning a Gator. If you have children and they use the Gator regularly, you may want to prevent a high top-end speed by leaving the governor set-screw fully engaged.

Items you will need

  • Spark plug socket set
  • Fuel filter
  • Premium fuel

About the Author

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