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Calling all 7-Iron owners

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, May 30, 2005.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    (This is only an idea I'm considering.)

    Please hear me out here....

    OK, as previously "hashed out".... 99% of you guys seem really happy with the 7 Iron deck, while I on the other hand have demoed the M665 and did not like the cut at all. Then later, after reading all of your rave reviews, I tried the 757 when the opportunity was offered to me. Again I was not impressed and I was even more confused. I took that machine on a second demo with different blades and still did not like it.

    So at that point I decided that it must be a geographical thing. Cuts fantastic in your area, but cuts like crap in mine. I got this mostly because I see what few do run them here get the same results.

    So anyways, other than the cut quality I like the mowers pretty much otherwise. So I have kept them in the loop all along. At this point I'm considering making a few changes and this one idea has crossed my mind. Tell me what you think.....

    OK, I have found out that you can sign up for a 2 day Quick Trak demo, which goes great along with something I have considered....

    What if I'm getting crappy results from the 7 Iron deck because neither of the ones I've tried were set up correctly???

    Do you think this is possible? Stranger things have happened, no?

    The point here is I was thinking this.... what if I signed up for that 2 day demo of the Quick Trak and used the extra time to find out? In other words, I ask you guys exactly how this deck should be set up to be just like yours. What blades? What rake setting? What engine RPMs? Ect?

    The exact point being to take the 2 day demo and use part of that time to personally check the total setup of the demo mower and make adjustments if need be. I'm thinking this might not be such a bad idea. Heck, if nothing else, I'd get to see what it's like to run a stand-up mower.

    What do you all think?
    Pointless or an OK idea?

    If you think I should do this, then take a second to tell me how yours is set up. Make note of the deck size also. I'm guessing I'd need to request the 667A because most of you run the 60" and this would need to be apples to apples.....

  2. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Envy, I think you have a good idea going.

    As some of you know, I'm a huge JD supporter. I posted a thread on here a while ago about my JD 667 showing the features and specs of the mower. I just picked up a 647 last week too. If anybody ever has a question about the Quik Traks Im probably the person to ask.

    Back to the question at hand. On my 667, I hated the cut at first. I would cut and no matter how many times I went over the lawn it would still look like a hay field. You know how if you double cut the clippings usually disapear and get cut even smaller, well the 667 would only move the clippings from point A to point B. Absolutely no stripes what so ever either. To solve this problem I have put gator magnums on the mower and adjusted the deck. The stock wavy blades sucked on the mower.

    On my 647, the stock blades did just fine. Nothing like when I first got my 667. I put gator magnums on the 647 as well hoping it will enhance the stripes and cut the clippings even smaller. Granted the 647 did stripe and cut fine with the stock blades.

    In either case I would definately make similar adjustments to the deck. First level the blades from side to side. Park the machine on a flat/level surface. Set the deck cutting height at 3" and adjust the U bolts so that both the left and right blades are the same distance from the ground. Keep in mind you want to make the blades line up so that they are streching across the mower from side to side as well. Also use a deck leveling gauge to do this, not a tape measure. You place the gauge on the ground and measure up from the ground to the tip of blade. Do this for both sides and make adjustments to both sides until both blades are 3" from the ground.

    Now level the deck from front to back. You want to turn the blades so that they face front to back with the mower. Measure from the ground up to the front and the back blade tips on the outside blades. You want the front tip to be a 1/4" lower than the back blade tip. The key to doing this is to loosen both side adjustment supports and whatever adjustments need to be made you do them to both sides at the same time. So if you turn the nut on the left 1 turn, then turn the nut on the right 1 turn. Lastly after you have the deck level make sure all the chains that hold the floating deck have equal tension on them, adjust if needed.

    Make sure the anti-scalp wheels ride about 1/4"-1/2" above the ground, adjust if needed. Sharp blades are a must and cut at full throttle.

    These machines have a learning curve of a bachelor's degree, so dont get frustrated. I would say spend at least 10-20 hours on one before you evaluate the mower. Keep both wheels moving, especially when turning. Shift your weight when you are cutting on hills. These moweres aslo have a puke factor of 10 out of 10 when cutting on hills until you learn how to use one.

    I would say go for the demo, make the adjustments I named. Try some gator magnums if the stock blades are not cutting well after the deck adjustments have been made. Let me know if you have any other questions.
  3. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062


    Wow! Thanks for the great post! That's exactly what I was looking for!

    Also, if you were to go back, find and read what I've posted about the 7 Iron deck you would read that my experience was pretty much just like what you ran into with the 667.

    Taking just the 757 demo into account. I ran into the same thing with the 60" 7 Iron Deck on it. Hayfield look, stringers and clumps. I took it back and told the dealer my findings. I took it back out with some gator blades (not magnums) and found little improvement. It did a little better, but seemed to have less lift. Afterwards my impression is that this mower just wouldn't make the cut with me side discharge.... which I don't do much. So I tried to get the dealer to install a mulch kit for me to try, as this is how I mow most of the time, and this is a totally different aspect than side discharge.

    No dice on the mulch kit.... and I really couldn't say anything negative about the dealers choice. I guess he didn't feel that the opportunity to sell a ZTR was worth demoing a mulch kit.
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Oh.... so setup #1 would be Gator Magnums and 1/4" forward pitch/rake.

    On a side note, I never even checked to see what the rake adjustment was on the demos.
    So I was thinking setup might have been a possibility.
  5. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Envy Glad I could help. Let me know if you have any other questions and how the quik trak works out for you. Im sure you will when you get the quik trak to demo. I cant speak for the mulch kits because I have never tried a 7 Iron on any mower with a mulch kit. I was interested in purchasing one though.

    The biggest thing I can tell you is level that deck. I was also thinking, I would probably recomend demoing the 647 or 657 because the 60" is a really big stander to start out with. If your not careful you will scalp quite a bit on some lawns. The downside to the 647 is there is no trim side to the mower. The deck is even with the rear tires on both sides. The 657 has a couple of inches that stick out past the rear tires which allows you to get closer to trees and such. However If you just demoing one to see how the deck cuts the 647 is by far the most manuverable and probably the one to start out on to learn how the standers work and the techniques to cut with them. Wider tires come on the 657 and 667 which leave a nice foot print on the lawns. Narrower tires come on the 647 which can be an issue on really wet lawns, but thats with all mowers really. Another trick I learned is use cooking oil in a spray can and spray the underside of the deck. This only works if the deck is spotless before you use the spray, but it keeps the deck really clean and what does stick flakes off really easy.

    One last thing I just remembered, make sure the belt has the correct amount of tension on it so you get the maximum blade tip speed. If memory serves me right you measure from hook to hook on the spring and you want that distance to be between 8-7/8" and 9-1/4".
  6. Tider6972

    Tider6972 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 649

    what kinds of grass do you mow, Envy?
  7. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Both the 647 and the 667 are running with level decks from side to side and a 1/4" lower on the front than the back. Remember this is measured fromt the ground up to the blade tips, dont measure the deck itself. I am running gator magnums on both standers as well. The stock blades sucked on the 667 and the gator magnums were the way to go.(same deck adjustments). The gator magnums and the stock blades worked about the same on the 647(same deck adjustments).

    I wouldnt be supprised if the deck adjustments were way off. They come in on a crate from JD with the deck already attached so Im sure the dealers dont check or adjust them. Make sure you ask for the manual as it will show you the correct ways to make adjustments to the mower.
  8. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I mow several different varieties of cool and warm season grasses.
    I guess it's easier to say I don't cut Centipede.

    Of these though, the large variable accounts are the most challenging. Areas where it is just not feasable to keep them in prestine condition. Many are a mix of several varieties of both cool and warm season grasses, along with a few weeds.

    For instance:
    Turf type tall fescue/common burmuda/foriage fescue/few weeds/little bahia
  9. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062


    All I have seen are pictures of the '05 models. Nice updates. But hard to really tell about the setups. From the pictures it looks like the rear track is about the same width on all 3... don't see why they don't widen the larger deck machines... I also don't care a lot for the '53" Lazer HP like' offset deck. OH WELL.

    Anyways, the 54" version does look to be set up the best of the three. But I'll just be careful and cut high. I was thinking of the 60" because that was what was on the 757. Plus I am not at all sure I can actually do the stand-up thing. I have diabetes, so it's not going to be as easy for me. This is the same reason I don't currently run any stand-up or walkbehind/sulky combos. Not sure I can handle it and not sure it's a good idea for me. Never tried.

    The main point in trying the Quick Trak is the 2 day demo, so there is time to play with adjustments while still having time to cut plenty of grass. The fun of trying something new like this is just a bonus more or less.
  10. heavenlydeere

    heavenlydeere LawnSite Member
    Posts: 109

    i run four jd machines 2 757s 2 777s the 54'' 7 iron doesnt do as good on the 757s as the 60 on the 777s but i have had absolutly no problems with them , i only run jd highlifts , standards will not throw the grass far enough, i also recommend 0 level to 1/4 rake ! my 777s run very well at level rake, i have noticed that in the morning it takes a little while for the decks to "warm up"
    if you want to call it that , just about ten mins of cutting and they really start to work great, i believe it may be the engine warming up to operating temp! at any rate just demo one for a while and play with it like mjl suggested and i think you will fall in love!! i havent tried gators , cant say anything as far as they go but i have tried preditors and they suck pond water!! went right back to highlifts !! good kuck

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