View Full Version : deck chains suck

Envy Lawn Service
06-18-2003, 01:47 AM
I have came to the conclusion that these dang deck chains suck. I've been tinkeing around with different air pressures in my tires. So I've been adjusting the bolts and chains way more than normal. That's how I came to the conclusion they suck.

I think I might convert them over to the floating bolts like Country Clipper has. Simple fine adjustments with a socket and ratchet.

06-18-2003, 02:15 AM
Never had that problem with my exmark.

Smooth, even cut out of the crate. :D

06-18-2003, 02:16 AM
Originally posted by deason
Never had that problem with my exmark.

Smooth, even cut out of the crate. :D Ditto.

Envy Lawn Service
06-18-2003, 02:39 AM
This is not an "Exmark" or any other brand issue. Last time I checked, your brand had chains and bolts for adjustments. It's pretty much a standard design and they are all a pain in the @ss to adjust, I don't care what the sticker on your mower says.


It's not that the mower was cutting badly either. The Y/K demo that had 1/2 reverse rake cut better than the properly adjusted Exmark demo. So it's not finicky about how it cuts. I'm the finicky one who wants precise adjustment.

Go let half the air out of your rear tires and see if your deck rake is still 1/4" and see if it's still cutting at the height the indicator says. That is what I'm getting at in a nutshell. The chain and bolt style isn't easy to adjust unless I'm somehow going a it all wrong and as I was cussing I remembered the Country Clipper design.

06-18-2003, 02:56 AM
I have had 3 different brands of mowers with chains deck supports, not a one had any problems with the chains or bolts.

Of course over time, the chain links and bolts will wear, but they will all wear evenly.

06-18-2003, 03:03 AM
Envy, I didnt mean that it was a "brand" issue. I just stated the truth about a machine that I own.

You know why the decks are so hard to adjust on "these" machines? Because the adjustments are not meant to be made every day. These adjustments should be made only when -

A) They are assembled by a qualified tech.

B) Replacement of parts warrants the removal of the deck

C) Quality of cut is an issue

As you said , there was nothing wrong with the way it was cutting, you were just trying to get a precise adjustment. Sounds like that you may be having trouble getting it back to its original setting. I suggest taking it to your dealer and getting a professional to adjust it properly.

If it aint broke, dont fix it.

Envy Lawn Service
06-18-2003, 03:25 AM
I never said anything was broke, worn or any likewise problems. It's just not easy to adjust when you want too. The old Murray takes all of about 2 minutes to totally re-adjust perfectly.

I know the adjustments are not "meant" to be made every day. Believe me, I never noticed that it was much of a pain to adjust to begin with. After getting the height set to match the selector, I realized it was no cup of tea. But it was no biggie.

Now that I've tinkered around and made several air pressure changes out of curiosity, I've also made several adjustments to those chains. Now is when I've realized the adjustment is a real pain sometimes.

Now I'm thinking it wouldn't be such a bad idea to convert those over to something that is just as functional, yet a breeze to adjust reguardless of how often an adjustment has to be made.

I did manage to get it adjusted properly every time. It just wouldn't hurt for it to be quicker and easier when you are trying to do some quick monkeying around like I sometimes do.

06-18-2003, 04:23 AM
Ever notice your the only one that thinks that? Ever thought that mfg never intented you to be "monkeying" around with it? I have never had one that needed anything done to it at the chains. Never. Most people don't.

Richard Martin
06-18-2003, 05:55 AM
They can be difficult to adjust at first. Once you get the hang of how to adjust them though they get a lot easier. The most important thing to remember is that you always have to adjust 2 chains at the same time.

It's just like a push mower. If you only adjust 1 wheel the mower will teeter on the wheel directly in front of (or behind) and the wheel to the side of the wheel that you adjusted. You have to adjust both wheels on that side or both wheels on that "axle".

06-18-2003, 06:26 AM
OT, sortof. How much air are you running and are both sides the same? Be sure and use a "low pressure guage". The mowers at our shop come crated with enough air to knock down a brick wall, we set them at 14 psi. Also, use a tape measure to check the circumference of your tires at the proper psi, one may actually be taller than the other. We sell your mower and I can tell you all it will hang on a hill better than anything else we sell, except the Ferris.

John Gamba
06-18-2003, 07:30 AM
The lazer's From 02 and newer Have a Micro Adjustment On The rear Of the deck, It Make's It really Easy To Make adjustment's. John.
It Looks as If You Over Looked This In You Big hunt For Info!

Strawbridge Lawn
06-18-2003, 07:48 AM
I recently noticed by ZHP cutting a little lower than the deck height setting. Yesterday in the rain(g figure) I nted that the discharge side had drpped abut 3/4 f an inch based on measurements. I never had touched them before and all the bolts were tight when I went t make adjustments. I will say that making adjustments are difficult if yu have never done it.. I had the manual but I must say it was a test patience.
I had t take a link up in the rear chain t get it closer to the height of the trim side, and then adjust the front so the angle (front to back) matched. In the end I am abut a 1/4" low yet but better. Praying for more patience (not rain) to get back at it.

Envy Lawn Service
06-19-2003, 02:20 AM
Originally posted by Tharrell
OT, sortof. How much air are you running and are both sides the same? Be sure and use a "low pressure guage". The mowers at our shop come crated with enough air to knock down a brick wall, we set them at 14 psi. Also, use a tape measure to check the circumference of your tires at the proper psi, one may actually be taller than the other. We sell your mower and I can tell you all it will hang on a hill better than anything else we sell, except the Ferris.

Well, I've ran all sorts of different air pressures. When mine arrived from the factory they had a lot of air in them for sure! The dealer took them down to 15 PSI in all 4 as the manual called for. Anyways, now when it's raining I make little tweaks like that. It helps me not be so disgusted about a wasted day.

I came down a little 1st and promptly got a flat on one of the castors from bumping a curb. I was so mad after getting it to seal again that I put 20 PSI in them all because the castors felt good and firm there. Since then, I've backed down several times just to see if there is any real noticable difference in tire performance at different pressures.

Anyways, right now I'm at 9 PSI in both rears and 11 in both up front, that's down from 11 all the way around. I have a guage that seems to be accurate down to 5 PSI. But I have not measured the tires with a tape yet.

Yeah, this little mower is "trick" on hills for sure. I'm well pleased. It's only real weakness on hills is the same one all rigid frame Z's suffer from. That's where the strenght of the Ferris IS system shows its merit.

I was really impressed by the looks of the Ferris design. I was interested in the IS 1000. But I couldn't find a dealer. I used the web site dealer search and contacted one about 200 miles away. He gave me a price I was all over on a 48" and a 52" so I scheduled a demo and made the trip down.

The dealership was in flat country. So I can't report as to how it did on hills. But I will say I'm glad I didn't attempt it. I thought the controls were extremely jumpy. It didn't take me long to loose interest. I don't know if they are all that way or not, you would know better than me. But I was plain upset about it.

I could have hauled a 52" home for $5,799. :cry:

However, other than the controls, I'm still sold on the Ferris IS design. Actually I'm more sold on it now than I was then. If and when I'm in the market for a Z with a big cut, Ferris will be the 1st one I try and I hope the jumpy controls are long gone.

For bumpy, rolling and uneven terrain, you just can't beat the suspension period. But the big plus with Ferris is that the deck follows however the suspension pivots. That makes for a better contour cut with all decks and is a big plus with larger decks. Ferris is way out ahead of every MFG with that and I think we have Simplicity MFG to thank for that.

Envy Lawn Service
06-19-2003, 02:25 AM
Thanks! I don't feel all alone in this now. I appreciate your post. When I get around to figuring out a good modification for these adjustments and put it through some field testing, I'll pass the info on to you so that you'll be able to upgrade if you want.

06-19-2003, 07:19 AM
There must have been a problem with the controls on your Ferris demo unit. That's the first thing I noticed that differentiated it from other Z's. I thought it was extremely smooth and precise. Also, Ferris was way ahead before Simplicity bought them or Snapper. Thank you Simplicity for keeping Snapper and Ferris alive. I just hope they don't homogenize all the brands like MTD or GMC. Look at Bolens. They used to be a classic, now they're just another MTD at Lowes.

Strawbridge Lawn
06-19-2003, 07:57 AM
When I was 14 I had a John Deere 212 Garden tractor with a mini hydraulic pump. Reversing hardware allowed use of a small light materials bucket in front. With the mower deck attached this same hydraulic system raised and lowered the mower deck. There were no chains. hmmmm. Of course we are talking abut a different beast now, but it is funny how abandoned ideas of the past seem relevent again today using new creativity and materials.


Envy Lawn Service
06-22-2003, 04:08 AM

Dang man, are you kidding me? I'd hate to think Ferris didn't get a fair shake from me because of that. The hydro's on the one I tried were horrible! Maybe that's why the low price? Or is that just a fair price?

Anyways, I drove the IS 1000 all over the place around the dealership. The controls were way too quick and jumpy. It tore the heck out of the turf when turning ect... I finally gave up on it after attempting to follow around the curb line with it. Trying make smooth curved turns was really bad. I parked it and never looked back.

The Gravely controls felt sorta that way to me too. But not near as bad. Honestly, I didn't really think anyones were really all that smooth except Yazoo and Grasshopper. As far as controls go, I thought the Grasshopper was the best, hands down and Ferris the worst.

Now since you mentioned Snapper, have you checked out there new Z-Force? The 52" looked pretty slick to me. They were just starting to arrive when I bought the Yazoo. I would have demoed one but I had already decided on a 48" deck by then. The Snapper 48" also had a 48" rear track width, so it was out.

I don't believe you'll see much homogenizing of these brands. I think Simplicity is content to let Snapper do it's thing because they have such a following in the homeowner market and I believe they will continue to let Ferris build their line and the Derby line.