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View Full Version : Toro 21" kickers and cut issues


S man
06-18-2007, 12:56 AM
I have a toro 21" proline that has kickers under the deck. the one in the back fell off and now I have two. The mower has left more mulched grass on top the lawn now. Just for fun, I took the kickers off today and the mower cut like crap. So I put the two back on. I'm going to replace the missing kicker soon, but what blade should I run and how do I keep the grass from clumping and leaving those lines of cut grass under the rear wheel? Do I have lack of airflow? How can I get this thing cutting the way a darn toro mulcher should?

jeremyt1998
09-29-2007, 08:47 PM
Did you ever figure this out? I have had such a bad cut with these 21" toro mowers. We mow 95% St. Augustine and most yards look like we don't sharpen our blades even though we sharpen everday or ever other day(magnamatic). There is a ton of blades left in the lawn and sometimes we have to mow a couple of times to make it look great. The lower we mow (sometimes 2(1 1/4"), usally 3(1 3/4") or 4(2 1/4")the better the cut. If we mow high like the grass needs it, because of the heat, it will miss a lot grass. It won't even cut the grass not a bad cut. It must be somehow pushing the grass down instead of sucking it up and cutting. Some ideas I was thinking, my RPM's might need to Rev'ed up or maybe somehow have a discharge chute on it. I have to figure out this if I want to continue with these mowers. I have 20 toro 21" and need to figure this out. Please help with your ideas!!!!!!!!!!!

Bill M
09-30-2007, 01:01 AM
I raised the rpms slightly on my 6hp Toro personal pace, really helped. The mower really needs a 7hp engine,

S man
09-30-2007, 12:42 PM
I've found that toros really are not that good. Some parts needed repair on my year old proline, parts that never break with a snapper. I sold the toro and now have two snappers. Both work and cut great. I don't know why guys use the toros? The cut is bad and can't discharge from the side if the grass gets high. I can with a snapper.

topsites
09-30-2007, 01:08 PM
I would have to agree, even as a Toro fanatic it seems to me their only mower worth anything is the Wb, and then it's only because of the T-bar. Cut-wise I find other brands leave a far better cut first time over, seems like with the toros it's always double cut.

But I noticed something else, and that's deck air turbulence and the characteristics of various brands...
It seems there are two schools concerning air turbulence, I call them directional blow, and swirl.

Both types throw clippings far out the side, but the blow kind of deck appears to be more concerned with straight air direction... Nothing cleans off a driveway or a lawn of debris like my toro Wb's (except the backpack blower), the swirl types just play around in it, but the toro is great at cleaning debris.

Meanwhile the swirl does just that, the air underneath the deck doesn't seem to want to go anywhere, but it cuts far better.

It seems there's little compromise, either a great cutting machine or one that can clear the debris, it sure is nice to be able to windrow leaves with a toro, I noticed my everride doesn't care much for that... No, I'm not talking about big leaf cleanups, just the light stuff we get throughout the year, wow the toro always picks that stuff right up and without bagging, the toro almost always seems to leave a cleaner yard.

Just weird, I'd guess to each their own but I do wish Toros cut better.

Bill M
09-30-2007, 01:36 PM
I've found that toros really are not that good. Some parts needed repair on my year old proline, parts that never break with a snapper. I sold the toro and now have two snappers. Both work and cut great. I don't know why guys use the toros? The cut is bad and can't discharge from the side if the grass gets high. I can with a snapper.I replaced my Toro with a Snapper also. I just tried dual high lift blades on it, works real well, plus it really has a vacuum sound now. The one blade required some custom machining on a bridgeport and then with a grinder.

S man
10-02-2007, 01:48 AM
Interesting topsites, I've noticed with any 21", especially toro, when placed on a driveway with debris, they will swirl the grass around and not move anything. But why the bad cut? In my area, the lcos just love that 32" single blade mulching toro. I almost bought one too. But if it operates the way a 21" recycler does, I don't want it. I always had to double cut with the toro and it always had loads of crap under the deck. The snappers on the other hand are awesome. and when I need to bag, they ACTUALLY BAG! not throw grass around like the toro.

I wonder why the proline 21" is still the most popular??

lawnboy dan
10-02-2007, 09:59 AM
because when it comes to actually cutting grass-the toro is still king-snapper is only good for bagging -leaves a very poor cut . if any one has figured out by now -the snapper is the only way to go with leave cleanup-but if i am only cutting grass-i dont use a snapper.

bohiaa
10-02-2007, 12:29 PM
Did you ever figure this out? I have had such a bad cut with these 21" toro mowers. We mow 95% St. Augustine and most yards look like we don't sharpen our blades even though we sharpen everday or ever other day(magnamatic). There is a ton of blades left in the lawn and sometimes we have to mow a couple of times to make it look great. The lower we mow (sometimes 2(1 1/4"), usally 3(1 3/4") or 4(2 1/4")the better the cut. If we mow high like the grass needs it, because of the heat, it will miss a lot grass. It won't even cut the grass not a bad cut. It must be somehow pushing the grass down instead of sucking it up and cutting. Some ideas I was thinking, my RPM's might need to Rev'ed up or maybe somehow have a discharge chute on it. I have to figure out this if I want to continue with these mowers. I have 20 toro 21" and need to figure this out. Please help with your ideas!!!!!!!!!!!

same issue here.......I tired everything... finley I returned it.....

dont thing I will be going with toro anymore

lawnboy dan
10-02-2007, 12:59 PM
never had a problem with the cut on a toro but mine are all 80-90,s models. i use a gator blade

Nelawnguy
10-02-2007, 09:20 PM
S-man if you need toro kickers make me a offer and I will ship you a set or two.

J&T Kiev
10-03-2007, 01:47 AM
I noticed a theme on this thread--those most "dis-satisfied" with Toro are located in the deep south, which probably means you mow warm season grass? Maybe that is the reason for the wide variances on Toro cut quality opinion. I mow cool season grass and the Toro is the best period, for my grass species by far the superior mulching mower in the 21in class. I bump the RPM's up to 3600 which makes second gear the perfect mowing speed.

As far as the kicker go..one of my mowers is an Exmark metro 21(Same mower less the kickers) on cool season I see no variances of cut quality between it, and the mower with kickers stamped with the "Toro brand name" .

LawnDawg65
10-03-2007, 08:02 AM
I've found that toros really are not that good. Some parts needed repair on my year old proline, parts that never break with a snapper. I sold the toro and now have two snappers. Both work and cut great. I don't know why guys use the toros? The cut is bad and can't discharge from the side if the grass gets high. I can with a snapper.

We run about 48 of the toros with the honda engines - beautiful cut, if you are having problem with the cut maybe slow down the ground speed, but make no mistake toro is far superior than snapper. www.candbcustomlawns.com

S.A.L.
10-03-2007, 09:34 PM
I raised my RPMs and cut in 2nd too. Big difference when necessary. Most of the time 3rd is fine though.

...and Toro is far superior to Snapper. Been there, done that, I now use the Snapper's connecting rod as a paperweight to remind me, never again.

DSIM
10-03-2007, 10:32 PM
A high lift blade will help in the St Augustine.

I have had a Snapper and Toro and I will remain with Toro.

S man
10-04-2007, 10:58 PM
Interesting. I have two snappers and out of both, I like the cheaper one better than the commercial one.

whoopassonthebluegrass
10-07-2007, 04:29 PM
My first commercial mower was a 2001 Toro Proline with the Suzuki 2-Cycle. I loved it. I worked it to death and just bought a replacement for it this year. I bought the same unit, but with the Kawasaki.

And I have to say IT IS SUCH A PIECE OF CRAP!!!!!!!!! It leaves soooooo much grass uncut, won't pull up the tire tracks - so I have to overlap instead of running in the tracks.

I was excited for more HP, but this thing was a terrible $1300 waste! I have to mow slow, I have to bag everything (mulching will not happen for me at all). Are you guys seeing this at all? Were the old 2 strokes just that much better? Back then I could mulch nearly anything... almost always was at full speed. Even when you heard the engine bog down, it still carried on admirably...

DSIM
10-07-2007, 08:03 PM
My first commercial mower was a 2001 Toro Proline with the Suzuki 2-Cycle. I loved it. I worked it to death and just bought a replacement for it this year. I bought the same unit, but with the Kawasaki.

And I have to say IT IS SUCH A PIECE OF CRAP!!!!!!!!! It leaves soooooo much grass uncut, won't pull up the tire tracks - so I have to overlap instead of running in the tracks.

I was excited for more HP, but this thing was a terrible $1300 waste! I have to mow slow, I have to bag everything (mulching will not happen for me at all). Are you guys seeing this at all? Were the old 2 strokes just that much better? Back then I could mulch nearly anything... almost always was at full speed. Even when you heard the engine bog down, it still carried on admirably...

I still have the Suzuki 2 cycle since 01. I need a replacement for next year and keep this one as a backup OR just eventually buy a new short block for this one and keep using it since it seems the newer Toro's aren't as good.

Toro does have several different models of the 21" mower. One is specifically for bagging, one for mulching (Recycler) and one that does it all including side discharge.

whoopassonthebluegrass
10-07-2007, 08:05 PM
Mine is the mulcher with the kickers, their sorta-high-lift OEM blade, and BBC. So there's no excuse for it sucking this bad. Not for that kind of money.

S man
10-07-2007, 09:42 PM
Guys. I have a toro 21" proline deck from '00 maybe with a suzuki 2 stroke it. The engine doesn't want to work right now. Sounds like a griding sound when chord is pulled and is very hard to pull. Won't start.

My hypothesys, I have had two toro prolines. A 06 proline with the kawasaki engine and the zone start non bbc. The mower turned out to be worthless with cutting performence. I have tried blades and rpm raising, but still the bad cut. It actually would cut alright before the raised rpms. But after the airflow was gone and it would push the grass down and not cut it even. Nothing to do with hp or rpms I believe. It still would stall or cut bad. I sold the mower this year. Good ridance!

Second, I have a toro with the suzuki engine that I found on the side of the road for trash pick up. Brought it to the dealer and he tuned it up. Ran it for two months and then the engine crapped like I said. The deck is from '00 I believe and is in perfect shape! The wheels look new and the tranny pulls like a motha. Also it cut beautifully with the little 5.5 hp suzuki.

Experiment, What if I put a legendary honda gxv on the old proline deck? Would it cut good like the suzuki did?

Or I wanted to try a new toro with the honda engine. I wonder if the honda powered toro will cut better?

Any ideas on this?

whoopassonthebluegrass
10-07-2007, 10:28 PM
Experiment, What if I put a legendary honda gxv on the old proline deck? Would it cut good like the suzuki did?

Or I wanted to try a new toro with the honda engine. I wonder if the honda powered toro will cut better?

Any ideas on this?

Actually, the extended version of my tale is that my old Suzuki died a year before I replaced it. So I traded a customer some work for a TroyBilt POS with a 6.75hp B/S motor.

Then I frankensteined the two of them. :weightlifter: While it was rickety and tired, with a new motor on the old chassis, it ran incredibly well. I could plow through anything, and it was FAST. It sucked up everything.

Some thoughts on my results:

-- The shaft was longer than the suzuki. I added spacers to raise motor height to bring the blade height up to its original placement.

-- I had to use the cheap a$$ blade from the troybilt b/c of the unique shaft end. But it did just fine with the excess of power.

-- It performed BETTER than the 2-cycle.

-- But I had to remove the BBC and rework the throttle cabling. (Which, by the way, makes for a very light front end - and was, therefore, very nice to work with).

-- I replaced it this year because the chassis was shot. The motor is still fully operational, etc... but it is all but limping along these days. I wonder if maybe I should get it back out of storage.

In the end, I take from these musings the thought that there must be a deck difference that has a strongly negative impact on airflow. Motor changes didn't stop the beauty of my old one... But this new one, in spite of an allegedly good motor, just doesn't cut the mustard...

Perhaps it's an RPM thing? I doubt it, but it's possible. Higher RPM's will just increase the mower's velocity in tandem with the blade speed - so I don't see how that could remedy the problem from a physics standpoint...

Any thoughts?

S man
10-07-2007, 11:45 PM
Raised rpms on the kawasaki doesn't help anything. Tried that already. I'm going to check with my dealer on getting the honda put on there.

J&T Kiev
10-08-2007, 12:28 AM
Raised rpms on the kawasaki doesn't help anything. Tried that already. I'm going to check with my dealer on getting the honda put on there.

Honda--Kawasaki-Suzuki, the 21' proline mower deck design(minus the kickers) is over "twenty years old"..the deck and transmission design are at least 20 years old. The Honda engine will have less horsepower and "torque", what is the difference between the Honda and the Kawasaki spinning at 3600 rpms, on the same deck design, other than losing the Kawasaki's power and "torgue" to muscle through tall grass while mulching? Or to lose a little of the Kawasaki's weight.

I don't see how less power and torgue can improve the cut. Just my 2 cents.

whoopassonthebluegrass
10-08-2007, 12:30 AM
There are visual differences between my old suzuki and my new kawasaki. I believe the decks are not universal. If I'm right, it would, perhaps, help to explain the inconsistencies.

Any toro mechanics out there?

J&T Kiev
10-08-2007, 12:58 AM
There are visual differences between my old suzuki and my new kawasaki. I believe the decks are not universal. If I'm right, it would, perhaps, help to explain the inconsistencies.

Any toro mechanics out there?

You could be right if your's is a 2007 proline model..I can't disagree as my most recent proline is a 2006..I have 1993 through 2006 21' proline classics , they all have the same 20 year old deck design.

whoopassonthebluegrass
10-08-2007, 01:00 AM
It seems to me that when I bought my Suzuki in 2001, that my model's deck was aluminum - whereas the 4-cycle ones were steel. Does that sound off???

J&T Kiev
10-08-2007, 01:13 AM
It seems to me that when I bought my Suzuki in 2001, that my model's deck was aluminum - whereas the 4-cycle ones were steel. Does that sound off???

All of mine are aluminum(Both my Suzuki's and Kawasaki's)..if you have the "classic" heavy duty proline 21' with a steel deck..that definitely is a design change in 2007.

jeremyt1998
10-08-2007, 08:28 PM
Hey thanks for all the help!!! I've tried the higher RPM's and haven't got the results in just yet. Has anyone tried the side discharge on the Toro 21" proline? It sells for $73 which seems very high for a plastic discharge that will probly get stuck with grass or leave great little clumbs in the grass. I am just looking for the perfect 21" lawnmower; one that needs no maintenance, gives a perfect cut and blades never need sharpening. They clean themselves up and when you go to sell them you get all your money back.

Have a great day

S man
10-09-2007, 12:58 AM
Hey thanks for all the help!!! I've tried the higher RPM's and haven't got the results in just yet. Has anyone tried the side discharge on the Toro 21" proline? It sells for $73 which seems very high for a plastic discharge that will probly get stuck with grass or leave great little clumbs in the grass. I am just looking for the perfect 21" lawnmower; one that needs no maintenance, gives a perfect cut and blades never need sharpening. They clean themselves up and when you go to sell them you get all your money back.

Have a great day

What in the hell are you talking about??
There is no "perfect 21" mower" in this world. I've checked. I have had both snapper and toro "commercial". Both have their ups and downs. But really they are not what I want. The toro was solid and heavy but cut bad. The snapper cut a little better but breaks down easier. So I don't know anymore. I just wish I didn't sell my $1180 toro for $600 this year.:cry:

jeremyt1998
10-09-2007, 03:17 AM
It was just a joke. I thought you would catch on pretty quickly. I seem to get a great cut on 80% of our properties; just hoping someone had a great idea to fix the problems we do have. I would trade my toro's in for anything just yet. THanks anyways

Have a good one.

cgaengineer
10-09-2007, 08:02 AM
I dont know about you folks, but my Snapper 21" cuts great and even mulches good. There used to be 2 different decks, one that was rolled under for bagging and one that was rolled out for mulching...I have the mulching deck. The unit I have is the home owner unit with the vibrating and rattling B&S 6.75 unit, but never fails to start even though it sounds like its about to detonate. My next 21" will also be a Snapper, but this time a commercial with a Kawi or Honda on it.

S man
10-09-2007, 02:25 PM
It was just a joke. I thought you would catch on pretty quickly. I seem to get a great cut on 80% of our properties; just hoping someone had a great idea to fix the problems we do have. I would trade my toro's in for anything just yet. THanks anyways

Have a good one.

I know it was a joke. I was screwing around.:laugh:

S man
10-09-2007, 03:22 PM
I dont know about you folks, but my Snapper 21" cuts great and even mulches good. There used to be 2 different decks, one that was rolled under for bagging and one that was rolled out for mulching...I have the mulching deck. The unit I have is the home owner unit with the vibrating and rattling B&S 6.75 unit, but never fails to start even though it sounds like its about to detonate. My next 21" will also be a Snapper, but this time a commercial with a Kawi or Honda on it.

do yourself a favor and get the honda powered one. I wish I did.:cry:

mowranger
10-09-2007, 06:17 PM
I have a small fleet of toro 21 inchers, honda powered! I turned the rpms up from 2800 to 3600, much better! I tried gator blades, it seems as if there is any moisture at all you can get ready for clumps of grass and deck build up. If you try to take more then 2" of grass off the top bad news! The things that get me is replacing the gears, height adjusters, cables, wheel bearings, wheel halves, tires and belts!!!!!! Oh kickers too!

I have a brand new Honda powered unit that has a different set up for the engine, it has a coke bottle size fuel tank on it, but runs just as long as the others on a take of fuel!

Has any body done any modifications to the deck of the mowers to make them do any better?

S man
10-09-2007, 06:27 PM
I have a small fleet of toro 21 inchers, honda powered! I turned the rpms up from 2800 to 3600, much better! I tried gator blades, it seems as if there is any moisture at all you can get ready for clumps of grass and deck build up. If you try to take more then 2" of grass off the top bad news! The things that get me is replacing the gears, height adjusters, cables, wheel bearings, wheel halves, tires and belts!!!!!! Oh kickers too!

I have a brand new Honda powered unit that has a different set up for the engine, it has a coke bottle size fuel tank on it, but runs just as long as the others on a take of fuel!

Has any body done any modifications to the deck of the mowers to make them do any better?

Same with my toro. I had to clean off the deck everyday. The snappers don't have build up underneath that much. Also will cut better in wet grass.

whoopassonthebluegrass
10-09-2007, 08:25 PM
I was pondering this thread as I worked today and came to a conclusion about the problem.

In regards to cutting ALL the grass:
The thinner the stand of grass, the more my mower struggles. It seems to me that this is a clear indicator of a lack of vacuum. Thick strands cut well because the grass is all vertical - even the mower tracks. The opposite is true for thin grass. Mowers hit it, there's nothing pushing it back up... and the mower hasn't the capacity to draw it back up...

In regards to mulching crappily:
I suspect the same principle applies. Since the cut grass is not being carried around in the wind tunnel, it's not necessarily hitting the kickers with enough force to chute it into the grass - as a result, it just gets moved around and around at blade-height. As this cut grass compounds under the deck, it covers the blade tips in such a manner that prevents the cutting of much of the grass.

IF these postulations are correct (and they may NOT be - I am only a lawn guy, after all), then it seems to be a matter of getting better lift.

This boils down to blade design and air space between blade and deck. I don't know if anyone has ever tried double-blading a push mower, but that might achieve the desired results. If I can dig my old mower out of storage, I'll pull its blade and give this a try. If not, then I'll maybe try to add a washer or two above the blade to create more air space.

Any thoughts??????

mowranger
10-09-2007, 08:36 PM
I was pondering this thread as I worked today and came to a conclusion about the problem.

In regards to cutting ALL the grass:
The thinner the stand of grass, the more my mower struggles. It seems to me that this is a clear indicator of a lack of vacuum. Thick strands cut well because the grass is all vertical - even the mower tracks. The opposite is true for thin grass. Mowers hit it, there's nothing pushing it back up... and the mower hasn't the capacity to draw it back up...

In regards to mulching crappily:
I suspect the same principle applies. Since the cut grass is not being carried around in the wind tunnel, it's not necessarily hitting the kickers with enough force to chute it into the grass - as a result, it just gets moved around and around at blade-height. As this cut grass compounds under the deck, it covers the blade tips in such a manner that prevents the cutting of much of the grass.

IF these postulations are correct (and they may NOT be - I am only a lawn guy, after all), then it seems to be a matter of getting better lift.

This boils down to blade design and air space between blade and deck. I don't know if anyone has ever tried double-blading a push mower, but that might achieve the desired results. If I can dig my old mower out of storage, I'll pull its blade and give this a try. If not, then I'll maybe try to add a washer or two above the blade to create more air space.

Any thoughts??????

You are right on the money about the thin grass! The high lift blades seem to cause more problem then good, so you may have something with the air space!

S man
10-09-2007, 08:57 PM
But why some toros cutting good?

mowranger
10-09-2007, 09:01 PM
I notice on the grass in the midsouth the higher you raise the mower the better it cuts!

whoopassonthebluegrass
10-09-2007, 09:01 PM
But why some toros cutting good?

Beats me. Maybe folks with all thick lawns? Maybe different types of grass we're dealing with? Maybe not cutting in 3rd gear? Maybe rpm's are higher? Maybe some folks just don't pay attention to the deficiencies? Maybe paid their tithing at church? Maybe the planets have aligned in their favor?

These inconsistencies are what make this such a crap shoot. Very aggravating.

S man
10-09-2007, 09:10 PM
Beats me. Maybe folks with all thick lawns? Maybe different types of grass we're dealing with? Maybe not cutting in 3rd gear? Maybe rpm's are higher? Maybe some folks just don't pay attention to the deficiencies? Maybe paid their tithing at church? Maybe the planets have aligned in their favor?

These inconsistencies are what make this such a crap shoot. Very aggravating.

You said it man. I was sooo excited last year when I bought my first toro proline. But oh what shame. It did pretty good at first but then cut very inconsistently. Also It would leave a bad cut in thick or thin grass. Thick grass was just a big mess. Mulch on top and thick wheel tracks. And the powerful kawasaki bogged down.

Bill M
10-09-2007, 09:54 PM
This boils down to blade design and air space between blade and deck. I don't know if anyone has ever tried double-blading a push mower, but that might achieve the desired results. If I can dig my old mower out of storage, I'll pull its blade and give this a try. If not, then I'll maybe try to add a washer or two above the blade to create more air space.

Any thoughts??????I have doubles on my 7hp Intek Snapper. Currently I have 2 high lifts............sounds awesome. I also have a straight no lift blade. I also want to try a gator high lift. The jury is out on what works best. I can say the high lift/no lift works better than one high lift. The 2 high lifts is still under evaluation.

whoopassonthebluegrass
10-09-2007, 09:56 PM
Good to know. Thanks.

S man
10-10-2007, 12:42 AM
I have doubles on my 7hp Intek Snapper. Currently I have 2 high lifts............sounds awesome. I also have a straight no lift blade. I also want to try a gator high lift. The jury is out on what works best. I can say the high lift/no lift works better than one high lift. The 2 high lifts is still under evaluation.

I never tried doubles on any 21" mower yet. How can I do it for my snappers?

Bill M
10-10-2007, 01:34 AM
I never tried doubles on any 21" mower yet. How can I do it for my snappers?You will need to modify the shaft adaptor and one blade. The adaptor needs about .100 shaved off and one blade needs to be modified to accept the 2nd blade, a bridgeport and hand grinder are what I used.

S man
10-10-2007, 01:58 PM
okay. I had the dealer raise the rpms on it. So I'll see if it cuts better now.

whoopassonthebluegrass
10-10-2007, 02:11 PM
Very nice. Please let us know...

S man
10-10-2007, 07:22 PM
any toro updates?

jeremyt1998
10-10-2007, 10:26 PM
okay. I had the dealer raise the rpms on it. So I'll see if it cuts better now.

So tell us how they raised the RPM's. Did they just move the spring or actually adjust the motor? What did they raise it to, 3300 RPM or higher?

S man
10-11-2007, 01:50 AM
So tell us how they raised the RPM's. Did they just move the spring or actually adjust the motor? What did they raise it to, 3300 RPM or higher?

The engine is now at 3550 rpm. The max is 3600. I haven't tried it yet. Can't wait for tomorrow.

Oh and it's just the slot with two nuts on it.

S man
10-11-2007, 10:39 PM
Hmmmn. Snapper cuts better with higher rpms.

S man
10-11-2007, 11:56 PM
Any new info??

TheChiefsLawnCare
10-12-2007, 02:02 AM
what are the kickers on the toro 21" for and where are they located

mowranger
10-12-2007, 08:37 AM
what are the kickers on the toro 21" for and where are they located


Underneath the deck there are 3 black plastic triangular pieces.

S man
10-12-2007, 12:44 PM
They help mulch better.

TheChiefsLawnCare
10-12-2007, 04:33 PM
are they on the toro 21" commercial heavy duty model

S man
10-12-2007, 10:39 PM
Yes. The exmark doesn't.