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Sooners
08-10-2004, 12:09 AM
Well, evidently the deck on my 60" Exmark isn't indestructible after all. I have been getting a bad cut (sawtooth effect) on my Bermuda lawns lately. I periodically hit stumps, rocks, tree limbs, etc. in some of the tall grass I cut.

I leveled my deck and then checked the blades blade tip to blade tip and then from concrete to the bottom of the blade tips going across the 60" dimension. I found all three are not parallel with the ground. DUH!

Anyway, I shimmed the mandrels with a washer, but I still don't have a great look. It's better, but not perfect.

My question is: How do some of you guys (or gals) repair your decks. My dealer didn't really offer to work on it. I plan on taking it off, turning it upside down and putting a straight edge across the bottom from front to back and measure around each mandrel hole. Where it's off I would try a sledge hammer to beat it back. Since the blades were off approx. 1/4" max. at the tips, that would mean the mandrel area might be off only 1/16". If this is true, that could be very difficult to find. Any suggestions??

Kelly's Landscaping
08-10-2004, 12:45 AM
Could be a bent spindle or atleast you can hope thats a lot cheaper then a new deck. When I use to work for my last boss he bent the deck unloading and loading it on a trailer that was to steep. The way he fixed it was banging the spindles back to level with a sledge hammer not pretty but it did work.

steve122
08-10-2004, 12:53 AM
Did you check for bent blades? Take them off and sight along the blade. I've found that just hitting sticks in the grass will bend a blade slightly and cause it to give the yard an uneven look. I've got six lasers Z's, all 60" decks and my guys over the years have hit sewer lids, power steering pumps, rocks, tire irons, you name it they've hit it. We mow in low income housing projects where it is not unusuall to find somen stripped a car over the last week and used the grass for disposal. Never have bent a deck, but had to buy a 20 ton press to straighten blades. Before anyone says they'll break if staightend, could be but haven't had one break in 4 years. Many times we've found a cracked spindle housing, with the crack hidden by clippings causing the problem. I'd try a set of new blades before I'd go banging on the deck with a sledge. I did manage to bend the deck on the Great Dane we've got, used a sldge on it just as you are contemplating. Worked fine, but I feel I got lucky in getting it just right.

txlawnking
08-10-2004, 01:04 AM
Sooners, I would definately check for a bent blade, AND a bent bolt. I hit two gnarly things with in a week with my Dane Surfer... a Torque converter ( not kidding, it was partially buried ) and a burly telephone guy wire anchor someone had buried to tie a dog with... the damage was.. cracked, then busted spindle housing, bent blade, and the bent bolt, plus a bearing that needs to be replaced... Check ALL of these items before you go beatin'... BTW, though, I have straightened decks with the Hammer/ torch method.

Sooners
08-10-2004, 02:48 AM
Originally posted by Kelly's Landscaping
Could be a bent spindle.

Good idea! I can take the spindles and put them in a lathe to check for concentricity. I'll check that out first.

Sooners
08-10-2004, 03:01 AM
Originally posted by steve122
Did you check for bent blades? Many times we've found a cracked spindle housing, with the crack hidden by clippings causing the problem.

1. I did put new Exmark Excalibur blades on to check the deck. I thought the same thing at first since I have so many resharpened blades. But it's not the blades.

2. I didn't mention it earlier, but one of the mandrel housings is cracked clean through. The largest pc. has the entire spindle through it and four bolt holes. The smaller pc. has 2 bolt holes. Since the large pc. is tight against the deck, I basically ruled it out. May be worth looking at again though. BTW, all 3 blade are pointed at an angle and only 1 mandrel hsg. is cracked.

Sooners
08-10-2004, 03:12 AM
Originally posted by txlawnking
Sooners, I would definately check for a bent blade, AND a bent bolt, plus a bearing... Check ALL of these items before you go beatin'... BTW, though, I have straightened decks with the Hammer/ torch method.

1. As I mentioned in the previous response, I checked it with new blades.

2. I don't believe my bolts are bent because I change blades daily and don't have any problems. How can you bend a bolt? I would asume the spindle could be bent without harming the bolt.

3. The bearings might be worth looking at. However, wouldn't I have a bad vibration if they were bad? I didn't feel slop in the blade spindles, but then again, I wasn't looking for it. Could be in the early stages of bearing failure though. I'll check it out. Thanks.

BTW, you don't think it could be that tough St. Augustine grass causing the damage? Just kidding Tex. LOL.

sawman65
08-10-2004, 06:45 AM
sooners,
exmark had a problem back 8 or 10 years ago with the decks bending or warping around the spindle ring.there is a fix i have done a few with great results.
they have 3 steel plates that take the place of the old ones under the deck i dont have the part numbers but there is a service alert on it i am at home so i dont have the part numbers
call me today at work and i will give them to you
1-800-926-3881 my name is john i work for chuck mason equip sales

Sooners
08-10-2004, 07:18 PM
Thanks Sawman. I didn't read your post until after 5 pm. I'll try and call you tomorrow (wed). BTW, my Lazer is a 2002 model.

dvmcmrhp52
08-10-2004, 07:36 PM
Sooners,
I know you used new blades to check it but............
I have a new set of blades that are FAR from straight.

Might just check the blades themselves for straightness just for kicks and giggles.

Sooners
08-10-2004, 11:04 PM
WHAT? Are you suggesting Exmark would sell a defective blade?!

Actually that's not a bad idea. Thanks for the input.

txlawnking
08-10-2004, 11:17 PM
Uh, sooners, I would not ASSUME the bolts are OK.. Ichecked mine in a lathe and they were most certainly bent... Better to check and prove wrong than assume and rape the bearings...Just think of the leverage that 9" ( like from blade tip to center hole ) something inches exerts on a 5/8" bolt... Plus the force behind it... Bolt will bend pretty easily..

Royalslover
08-11-2004, 12:29 AM
I had a warped deck on a walk benind once. I took it off and had a machine shop put it in their press and bend it back. Wasn't perfect but it was much better than before.