View Full Version : Ferris 3000Z....need help leveling the deck

10-21-2006, 08:14 PM
I just picked up a used Ferris 3000Z with a FastVac system. I had it serviced, the deck leveled, etc; however, it's still cutting low on the discharge side. I tried to get under the deck to run the bolt down a little further on that side's eyebolt, but it 'seems' to be at the lower limit (at least it wouldn't turn any further). Any ideas?

I've had a 1500Z for a year and a half and just traded it for this mower. I've let the shop do all the service up until now, but I guess I should learn certain things myself......like leveling the deck.



I also need a source for replacement bags for the FastVac triple bagger! I've been looking/searching everywhere..... :dizzy:

dave k
10-21-2006, 09:04 PM
Larry, Did you try measuring from the tip of the blades to the ground? This is how I do it on my Walker.

10-22-2006, 06:23 PM
No......I haven't tried ANYTHING myself. The dealer supposedly leveled the deck that way.....I inquired when I picked it up. However, it is definitely NOT level! It runs a little LOW on the discharge side. Because I always stripe and am cutting discharge-to-discharge, then nondischarge-to-nondischarge it's not that noticeable except when circling around trees, etc.

I don't know if it's the weight of the FastVac unit causing this......wear in the suspension......or it's just NOT level. I haven't had time to return to the dealer with it yet. I've got to get one of those leveling gauges so I can check it myself.


Travis Followell
10-22-2006, 07:51 PM
It may be the weight of the fastvac unithanging on the right side of the deck causing the rught side suspension to sag down a little with the added weight. You can check this by getting the machine on a level surface like a concrete floor and measure from the frame to ground on each side. It should be level. You can raise and lower the frame by adjusting the bolts above each rear suspension spring.

Are you sure you just don't have a low tire on that side? If you only notice it cutting lower going around tree's that may be normal if the ground around your tree's is built up a little higher that will cause the right side of the deck to cut down a little making a gouge around the tree. When you have the machine sitting on a level surface just measure from the bottom of the deck to the ground on each side and that will tell you if its level or not. No need to get under there and try to measure from the blade tips.

10-22-2006, 09:36 PM
Tire pressure is good, but I will def check the frame height. Thanks for the tip!

I notice it everywhere, but since, as I said, like sides always run together because I'm striping (back and forth) it's not noticeable to people NOT LOOKING for it. If I cut in a circular pattern I think it would be VERY noticeable because the discharge side would be next to the non-discharge side and they would be off by probably a 1/2" or more.

The scalping nearly always occurs on the discharge side and IF I'M NOT CAREFUL, that side of the cut has some browning/yellowing due to being cut lower than normal. This time of year it's more about vacuuming/clean-up than cutting so I'm not as worried about it.

I will have to take care of it before next spring.......and I'd like to be proficient at leveling the deck myself. The manual doesn't really explain it and I don't want to be dependent on the dealer for this.......especially since they were less than perfect at it this time. Actually, due to the hours (1500....yikes!!!) I 'hope' to take the time to remove the deck and give it a good overhaul this winter........if I can figure out HOW to easily remove it?!?!


mr mow
10-22-2006, 09:44 PM
I had to do this on my great dane(no vac) its pretty tedious. goes something like this- on level surface, measure discharge side blade from tip to level surface(with blade in parallel direction to travel)start with tip all the way forward then rotate blade 180degrees and measure SAME tip (according to g.d.) the back measurement should be no more 3/4" higher than front tip(some say back tip should be lower than front and vice versa,this is what great dane said for mine, either way no more than 3/4" either way) then do the other side of deck, much more tedious. that will get you front to back levelness or "correctness". now (once thats done) turn blades perpendicular to direction of travel(straight) and do the same method, but in this direction outside tips should be the same. Hears is the kicker this all has to be accomplished with no slack in the chains that go from frame to deck. it took me several hours, but now i know and i could probably do it in an 1 1/2 hrs. good luck

10-23-2006, 10:43 AM
This is the ONLY gauge I could find.......ordered it. Thanks!


10-23-2006, 03:17 PM
Get a small level 6 " long. Put lawn mower on level surface. Put on top of belt pulley for and aft first to get deck level or just a little lower in front. Do this on both sides of deck. Then do the same cross ways to level deck from side to side. Do this also to make sure you do not have a sprung deck. Level is a lot more accurate then a measure is under a deck.

10-23-2006, 06:52 PM
Does this unit have four wheel suspension or rear suspension and a pivoting front axle?
give me your e-mail and I will send you the dealer setup instructions. it will tell you how to level deck.

10-24-2006, 12:07 AM
Could this be a suspension issue more than a deck one. I was just browsing around and saw a picture of a similar mower/bagger and it had some weights added up front. Maybe I need that to balance the load.....the FastVac unit is QUITE hefty!!!??

Here's the picture:


Ebay listing here:


10-25-2006, 07:08 PM
As the founder of McDonald's, Ray Kroc said........."KISS!!! (Keep It Simple, STUPID!!!)"

As suggested in another POST, I decided to try the Ferris Manual way of leveling the deck. I'd have thought of it sooner, but I DID PAY A DEALER to level the deck!!! God forbit I should expect someone to do what you pay them to?!

I even asked (for my own future reference) how he leveled the deck. He even went into great detail about leveling by measuring the blades not the deck....even pulled out a gauge (like the one I just bought), etc. It was so far off!!!! And here I am thinking that the deck might have been warped, the suspesion shot, etc, etc

A couple more ol' true-isms come to mind here.......

1) If you want something done right, do it yourself!

and, of course

2) When all else fails......read the manual! :hammerhead:

Anyway.......with the leveling done as per the 'book', the cut is MUCH improved

10-25-2006, 08:52 PM
Glad you got it lined out. I think you'll like it. I've had one about three years and I'm well satisfied. I did add a suspension system under the seat this fall for an even smoother ride. And your right do it yourself, your better off and you learn about your machine.

10-25-2006, 09:27 PM
Suspension seat........SMOOTHER RIDE........hmmmmmmmmmmmm ;) :) :rolleyes: As smooth as it is; there's always room for improvement. What kind of system did you put on?

I'm waiting for my striping kit (backordered). I had one on my 1500 and loved the way it improved the 'look' of the cut. Yes you are right....it was good to get to know my machine better. I hope to drop the deck after the season and spend the winter overhauling it.........cleaning and painting......checking all the pulleys.....replacing anything that looks suspect.......etc. I think that'll be another worthwhile learning experience and I'm confident that I'll end up with a better deck than I would IF I PAID almost anyone else to do the job. You know I love my Ferris, but THAT is the only thing I'd really like them to have done differently on it...........a tilt up deck a-la Walker/Encore would be sweet! (but maybe there are drawbacks that I wouldn't like to it???)


....A BIG Thank You to everyone for their imput. My girlfriend is always amazed at the help I find in forums like this one.......and others covering PC's, Home Theater, etc. You can always find a good answer from fellow owners! Kudos to all who help their fellow enthuiasts!!!!:clapping: :dancing: :drinkup: