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Asikr
08-01-2007, 05:50 PM
I have been researching this issue with google for about a month now. I have tried doing searches in these forums, but have not been able to find related issues to what I am experiencing.

My wife and I own 2 acres in Iowa, and we purchased a 3 year old Huskee with a 46" deck (or 48", i'm not at home right now) from the previous owners of the house we bought.

I thought we invested smartly the first few times I mowed. Eventually the mower started struggling with cutting grass in 2nd gear.

Took the deck off, and it was just filled to the brim with grass clippings.

I replaced the blades, and cleaned the deck out to start from scratch. That night after I mowed, I checked the deck and it was filled (though not to the point of it's first cleaning).

I now have to clean out the deck everytime I mow :/ (note: This happens with the grass dry or wet)

The deck has 3 blades, non-mulching.

Is the build up from using a 3 blade deck? Is it a design flaw with Huskee's deck?
If I switched to a 2 blade deck, would I still have this issue?

Thanks in advance!
Asikr

carcrz
08-01-2007, 05:57 PM
How often are you cutting
Amount Cut Off
All maintenance up to date; i.e. blades sharp, belts @ proper tension, motor tuned up & good fluids


Just some things to start with.

Asikr
08-01-2007, 06:13 PM
How often are you cutting
Amount Cut Off
All maintenance up to date; i.e. blades sharp, belts @ proper tension, motor tuned up & good fluids


Just some things to start with.
1. Once a week
2. Depends on rain amount. Anywhere between 2"-10" (sometimes more)
3. Blades: New (Assume sharp?)
Belts: How would I check "proper tension"? (the deck design around the drive belt for the deck is not my favorite. I know that the lower it goes, the more tension on the belt)
Motor: runs great (big fan of b&s)
Fluids: good, checked everytime before I mow

Thanks for the quick response carcrz!

carcrz
08-01-2007, 06:19 PM
10"? Holy cow! I thought we were getting a lot of rain this year. I guess in that case, just cut as high as possible & work your way down to a reasonable height w/ multiple cuts.

As for tension, you might be able to track down a manual online to see the proper procedure for tightening the tension spring. If not, check w/ a local dealer.

I'm surprised Dano hasn't chimed in yet, but you could try Fluid Film. One of its uses is for mower decks & helps grass from sticking. It also prevents rust.

chammons
08-01-2007, 06:20 PM
you are taking too much off each cut!! There is a old rule of not taking off more than 1/3 at a time. Example 6" lawn should be cut no lower than 4". Try to cut the lawn higher...better for mower & lawn.

carcrz
08-01-2007, 06:20 PM
This is a side-discharge deck, correct?

jkingrph
08-01-2007, 07:02 PM
Clean under deck throughly, Apply a product called Fluid Film. It's a lanolin based coating that does wonders in keeping grass from stickin. Until you can get some you might try spraying well with Pam(cooking spray), although I doubt that it will last as long as the Fluid Film.

Jay Ray
08-01-2007, 11:44 PM
Took the deck off, and it was just filled to the brim with grass clippings.

Had a Murray that did this. After scraping the deck clean, I would use a rag to rub a thin layer of grease on the underside of the deck. Did not stop the build up, but then it took very little effort to scrape it the next time.

Also, maybe try some gators or high lift blades for the Huskee.

Also, if you had rain and can find a puddle as big as the deck, park over the puddle, engage the blades, and slowly lower the deck toward the water. Three minutes in the spray should clean it good. Only thing is, if your seals are not good on the lower spindle bearings, you could lose all spindle bearings. If I was sick of scraping, I looked for a puddle. Seems like I never had a problem with the bearings.

Dano50
08-02-2007, 10:48 AM
I can't believe it took me so long to post here! :hammerhead:

Yes, try Fluid Film (http://www.eurekafluidfilm.com)! It contains no solvents so it will never get gummy or tacky. It retains a super slick coating that will imbed into the pores of metal and ease grass build-up.

If you haven't tried it and live within the Continental United States, just PM me with a physical shipping address and I'll get one right out to you.

Asikr
08-02-2007, 11:46 AM
Thank you for all of your responses!

It appears there's an answer other than buying a new mower :)

Height of the cut: I unfortunately can't any higher than I already am. I am using the highest setting, and the deck is not adjustable (that I can find, other than just leveling).

With this Huskee mower, you engage the deck and set the height at the same time. (Lever on the right side).

I live out in the country and I am still amazed at how fast this damn grass is growing.


Cleaning: I have tried using water (spray nozzel) and it's just too caked on. I found a garden trowel (example: http://www.lowes.com/lowes/lkn?action=productDetail&productId=57754-000076908-PC601&lpage=none)

The trowel works good, just time consuming.


Jay Ray -
Also, maybe try some gators or high lift blades for the Huskee.

Would this cause the clippings to stay in the deck longer, producing accumulating within the deck quicker?

carcrz -
This is a side-discharge deck, correct?

Yup

Fluid Film - Is this a spray? would I have to pre-treat and or immensly clean the underside of the deck for this to work?


Side note:
The 2 blade deck vs. 3 blade, is there any difference in how these decks work with side discharge?

Thanks again all!

Dano50
08-02-2007, 11:53 AM
Fluid Film - Is this a spray? would I have to pre-treat and or immensly clean the underside of the deck for this to work?


Fluid Film comes in an aerosol can. You would use it just like you would a WD-40 type product. You are going to want to scrape the deck before applying. Basically, the cleaner the better.

It will also work better after a few applications. Because Fluid Film imbeds into the pores of the metal, after a while you will have a good coating built-up underneath.

Asikr
08-02-2007, 11:53 AM
Dano50 - Tried to PM you for more information, but the forums will not allow me (I do not have sufficient privileges?)


Also, sorry about posting in the wrong forum, thought I had it right! :( never saw the home owners one

Dano50
08-02-2007, 11:59 AM
Just shoot me an email (dwilliams@eurekafluidfilm.com) and let me know where you heard about it, and I'll take care of it.

Thanks!

Nosmo
08-03-2007, 07:00 PM
First of all not everyone does it but it's best to remove the blades -- especially if you have just sharpened them. We had a fellow on this site earlier in the week sharpen the blades , put them back on and the begin scraping and cut himself badly.

Scraping the underside of a deck is not the easiest chore but you can make one simple tool that works pretty well.
Get a piece of 1/2" electrical conduit a couple feet long. Use a hammer on one end and flatten it out an inch or a little longer. Put the flattened end in a vise and bend it to an angle around 45 degrees. Sharpen the out side edge
just the opposite the way you would a hoe.

For tight places a 3/4" wide chisel works well. This will give you a couple ideas how to get at that crud.

Nosmo

Jay Ray
08-06-2007, 12:08 AM
I live out in the country and I am still amazed at how fast this damn grass is growing.

Jay Ray - would this cause the clippings to stay in the deck longer, producing accumulating within the deck quicker?

I've heard you guys got rich, black soil 3 ft. deep up there, so it can only grow fast.

I've noticed the high lift blades throw the clippings farther, and assume they are passing thru the deck at higher velocity. Can't guarantee it will reduce the buildup in the Huskee deck, but seems like it could not hurt.

Also try clipping the chute up with a bungee cord. Drill a small hole in the chute and clip it somewhere convenient on the tractor. Let the chute down when you are aimed at the picture window, clip it back up when you have clear mowing.

jeffinsgf
08-06-2007, 08:32 AM
A couple of thoughts:

I am highly skeptical that your deck is not height adjustable. Take another look -- even $150 big box walk behinds are height adjustable. Now, you may already be at the highest setting, but that is a different issue.

Sorry to give you this as an answer, but you're not mowing often enough. You can't have a nice yard and a clean, well running mower when you're cutting more than 1/3 of the grass height. In deep rich soil, with consistent rainfall, that might mean you need to mow every three days. Don't whine, I am envious. I love to mow and we're dry as snuff down here and my soil is more rock than soil.

I don't think you will find any difference whatsoever between a two blade and a three blade deck. Most professional level machines are three blade, like you're using.

Moving the deflector as mentioned may help, particularly when you're mowing very tall grass.

Cleaning the deck immediately after mowing EACH TIME is the only way to make sure the deck doesn't cake. I don't always practice what I preach, but I rarely go more than a couple mowings without a good pressure washing of the deck. I am going to take Mr. Fluid Film up on his offer of a free sample. With something like that, frequent hosings (or better yet, pressure washings), and more frequent mowing your lawn and your mower should learn to get along.

Jay Ray
08-06-2007, 10:22 PM
I am highly skeptical that your deck is not height adjustable. Take another look -- even $150 big box walk behinds are height adjustable. Now, you may already be at the highest setting, but that is a different issue.

I think this is an MTD type deck lowering system with six notches. With the long handle all the way up the blades are disengaged. Go down to the next notch and the blades engage (the motor to deck drive belt now has tension and turns the main deck pulley) and it cuts at over 3" height. What Asikr is saying is that he is using the highest possible deck setting for mowing.

Asikr
08-10-2007, 01:36 PM
Dano50 - Spray arrived, thank you! I will be trying this out soon and will post back results.

Nosmo - Thanks for the advice. I am planning on removing the deck and blades, cleaning then spraying the sample of Fluid Film that Dano50 sent. When I clean the deck after mowing, I usually ding my hands up pretty good. Will be nice to clean it w/o having to try to angle around the ground and the blade.

Jay Ray - Thank you for the response. I am going to keep the blades in mind incase this fluid film does not work.

jeffinsgf - Jay Ray's response pretty much sums it up. When I take the deck off, I will re-verify if the bars holding the deck are adjustable or not. Although not a wine, I unfortunately do not have the option of mowing 3 times a week unless I do not want to see my wife and daughter.

I pretty much just want to not have brown grass, and have a mower than doesn't have the build up problem that I am experiencing. This past weekend it took me about 4 hours to cut 1 acre of grass. In 3rd gear (out of 8), and the grass was a reasonable height compared to what I usually have to cut.

Frustrating, to say the least :P I've been reading up when I can, on a few threads with people asking for advice on what mowers to buy for acreage. I may eventually, finances providing, try out one of those solutions. scag freedom z, was one mentioned. I am not sure if these work on extremely hilly land though.

-Asikr

Jay Ray
08-22-2007, 11:03 PM
Hey Asikr how you been doing? Has anything solved the problem?

Asikr
08-30-2007, 02:08 PM
Well I've mowed the lawn twice, wanted to get more than one mow in before commenting.

Let me preface this by the following:
1) My lawn mower probably sucks
2) My lawn is on steroids
3) I may not have applied the fluid film correctly.
4) I may have not waited long enough before mowing, after applying it.


I took my deck off, and cleaned it as well as I could. Took some sand paper just to work on any left over dirt/rust that still existed. I applied the fluid film in trouble areas of my deck first, and then elsewhere as I wasn't sure if the sample would cover my whole deck. Surprisingly enough, it did. I then hand sharpened my blades.

Probably 2 hours passed (eat lunch, put blades back on, put deck on) and I mowed the lawn.

I mowed for maybe 5 hours, at times the mower had it's normal issue, just not able to keep up with shoving grass out the deck. It was clumping, etc. It did seem the clumping that occurred in the deck, was being discharged more often while I mowed.

When cleaning the deck afterwards, I did notice:
A) Existing clumps did remove easier
B) I had less overall grass build up in the deck

The next time I mowed, the discharge issue was worse for more of the lawn.

When cleaning the deck afterwards, I did notice:
A) Existing clumps did remove easier
B) I had the same amount of grass build up I did before applying the film.


I may still buy a bottle if I ever get a ZTR (the forums seem to rave about their ability to cut through grass) and apply it to the deck.

Thanks for all of the help, and Dano50 thank you for the sample.

I will try to get another response in after another few months of mowing.

I'm pretty close to burning my lawn and mower :hammerhead:

All_Toro_4ME
08-30-2007, 02:51 PM
Is your deck level? Is this a Z mower or tractor type with steering wheel?

Asikr
08-30-2007, 03:18 PM
Deck is level as can be for the poor design, and it's a Huskee Riding Lawn mower (tractor)

Jay Ray
08-30-2007, 09:09 PM
Sorry to hear the problem is persisting. At least the grass will be slowing down fairly soon.

If the Huskee were mine think I would consider cutting some steel off the trailing edge of the deck to make it a combination rear discharge / side discharge deck. Guess it depends on what the mower is worth.

As you can tell, I'm a maniac when a buckeye grinder is in my hands.

CenKan
09-01-2007, 11:16 PM
I'm new here... found the site because of a huge need for answers to this discharge issue:

I have a 2003 Craftsman DYT 4000 with a 48" deck. If there are ANSWERS to the discharge problem I want to hear them. The Sears representative says that I (1) need to slow down my ground speed or (2) wait until the grass is dryer or (3) cut my lawn more frequently. Oh yeah, he also told me to (4) get a spray-on product (I forget the brand he was selling) to undercoat the deck. And finally he also suggested (5) that I use hi-lift blades as opposed to mulching blades.

Having applied all of those suggestions, I can now say that I have noticed absolutely no improvement. The best tool I have to clean the mess is a hand spade that I formerly used to dig earthworms when I had time to go fishing -- back then I had a Snapper mower (48" deck also) that almost never needed a deck enema.

On some thread or other I have heard of owners cutting off the metal frame piece that crosses all the way below the discharge chute and of also raising the chute guard to give more discharge clearance. Great ideas. I tried them. They don't help either.

Someone suggested finding a puddle of water and then engaging the blades in the water to wash out the caked-on mess. My suggestion is to drown the whole mower.

All kidding aside, I like the Kohler 25 hp motor and the hydrostatic controls are good too. Maybe you get the idea that I REALLY, REALLY need some help with this issue. You'd be correct.

Or is it just a sad reality the Sears sells this piece of junk for which there is no cure?

Nosmo
09-02-2007, 05:06 AM
Some of the problems causing Clumping and Buildup under the deck are caused by WET GRASS. This is not necessarily because of dew or rain but the type of grass can also be the cause. Crabgrass is one of the wet type grasses and we have plenty of it right now.

Try slowing the engine speed and also a slower gear . Also wire open that discharge chute (or take it off). Continue to use that Fluid Film and if it is possible experiment with that deck. Try completely level and try it 1/8" to 1/4" higher (blade tips) in the rear.

Nosmo

Asikr
09-02-2007, 12:52 PM
Mowed yesterday, grass was a little drier than normal, and I used lower setting on the deck (potentially increasing the tension on the belt). The mower performed better than usual. I still had some clumping in areas, but once again easy to clean off.

I think I may try treating those areas that are clumping with another coat of Fluid Film next spring, incase I did not get enough in that area.

Nosmo:
"Try slowing the engine speed and [sic.]..."

By slowing the engine speed down, do you mean throttle?

Would this not affect the RPM of the main pully (at least on my belt driven system)?

lawnboy858
09-02-2007, 01:38 PM
This is most likely your problem:
the deck is designed poorly, and is not capable of discharging the 10 inches of grass you are cutting off. Mabye, you should try mowing more frequently. If that doesn't work i think it would be the husky deck design.

Jay Ray
09-02-2007, 11:25 PM
Asikr, does the deck on the Huskee have a piece of roundbar, maybe 1/2" diameter, on each side that is bent to sort of look like skids?

If so, that looks to be a pretty shallow deck, so it would not be a surprise that it has some difficulty clearing the clippings in peak season. But it is the deck you got so will offer some more ideas.

If you can watch the discharge and when you see it has stopped throwing the clippings in thick patches, sometimes on old Murrays if you put it in reverse and back up about 6 to 10 feet that will clear the deck, leaving a mess of clumps, but it will start throwing again. A whole lawn can't be done like that but sometimes it will get you thru the worst parts. Don't know if that would work for the Huskee.

You could take old blades and cut them to about half the original length (equal both side of the hole) and then take a torch and bend some sails up on them. Then mount them crossing the new blades to be running doubles -- not to cut grass as with full length doubles -- but primarily to see if the change in air flow would keep the deck clear. The shorter blades wouldn't load the motor as much as running full length doubles.

Since it looks like nobody on the board has a Huskee to experiment with, you might have to try some things outside the box to get a solution. You already know for a fact that the stock deck is not going to cut the grass. Either that or replace the Huskee.

Asikr
09-04-2007, 12:17 PM
JayRay,

Thanks for the suggestions. I actually took a few pictures of the deck pre/port clean and fluid film.

I will try to upload a few to see if that helps. I'm pretty much convinced it's probably just a poor deck design.

I'm not sure about the skids. There was a piece of metal on the underside of the front part of the deck that was bolted on. I removed this, as there was always quite a bit of grass build up in this area. It seems to have helped. (The pics might answer the part about the roundbar.)

One of the tricks I use is to dis-engage the deck, let it stop completely. Once it's stopped, it will usually let some grass fall. I then re-engage and it discharges down and to the side, quite a bit of grass. Sometimes it takes a few of these to get going again.

The double blade configuration is interesting, I don't have access to a torch though. I'm also thinking about your other idea about removing some of the rear deck panel. Would take a bit with a saw, so i may wait till winter on that.

I really dislike this Huskee :dizzy:
The way the deck engages, the lower the deck setting the more tension gets placed onto the belt. Is there any possibility that I'm getting belt slippage that may be affecting it's cut/discharge ability?

Jay Ray
09-05-2007, 11:16 PM
You could try an aerosol can of spray on belt dressing. But if it works you have to keep spraying the belt often.

NAPA usually has the best price by far on belts. If you can give them the Huskee or MTD part number they probably can cross-reference it -- this I have done several times for other MTD mowers. I've heard you can take the old belt in and NAPA can measure and match, but have never tried that.

The operators manual might show how to test the belt for the right amount of give, but I doubt it.

Might be a stretched, worn belt, possibly from doing the heavy August cutting you described.