I wanted to show the underneath of the deck design on the 36". This is the Hydro model, but notice the front of the deck doesn't have mulch baffles?
I purchased the side plate accessory for my 36" and was a little disappointed with the results while mowing.
First I tried with the stock Hi-lift blades, didn't cut up the clippings good enough for my taste, as the Oregon g5 blades cut smaller clippings while side discharging.
Second I used the factory mulching blades, and they worked well, but noticed the grass kind of tracked along the discharge plate side, almost a solid trail.
Third I put on my Oregon G5 blades, ZERO visible clippings but the blow out from the front of the mower was unacceptable. Literally threw clippings out the front of the mower and made a mess, constantly clearing clippings off the top of the deck!
In the fall one pass with the mulch plate and leaves were shredded so fine you couldn't even notice they were mulched into the lawn. The mower never bogged down even in thick wet leaves, and never clumped up either.
But I wanted to use the mulch plate to mulch grass clippings, not leaves. I think I see the reason why. Notice how there is no curved plates in the front of the deck? I think grass just gets blown everywhere because these machines were designed to discharge large volumes of clippings evenly. While running the G5 blades and side discharging the clippings vanish.
Sorry for the late review on that one, its been a busy year for me. I love and hate how far these machines throw clippings. They are evenly spread out but I need to make two (sometimes 3 passes) around objects that I don't want grass to get thrown on.
I think the factory hi-lift blades are junk, but I don't like stock hi-lifts from any brand of mowers.
I think the factory mulch plate paired with the mulch plate is designed for leaves, and it's best suited for mulching leaves, not grass clippings.
Overall I think the Oregon G5 blades are best suited for these machines, and probably the best blade available for them, so if your thinking of getting one... do yourself a favor and order a few sets of G5's for it.