fine tuning a 48" viking deck

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by snapper, Jun 22, 2008.

  1. snapper

    snapper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 399

    Try to get my viking deck set up just right. How much pitch do these decks need to mow good? Right now the the pitch seems to be about 3/8". The the front tip looks to be about 3 1/8" while the back tip looks to be 3 1/2" high. It seems to mow fine and the discharge is actually a bit wild. Now i thought about dropping the rear of the deck down one hole, which should be a half inch. Which should make the back of the blade about 3" but not sure what the front will do. Proably would end up about level or pitched back, which seems from what i have read you dont want. I will primaraly mow at about three inches. And accasional one at about 2.5" and the occasional at 3.5". So looks like where it is now is about optimal for most, but when i take a half inch spacer off the front the front tip ought to be 2 5/8", and the back would proably be close to 3.5" still, which should be way too much pitch.. So i guess what i am asking is if where it is now(3 1/8") is going to be my primary cutting height, i proably should just leave every thing where it is at and then try a yard with the front a half inch lower and just see what it looks like. So how much pitch do you all run? level or the back slightly higher? And how much does moving the blade up and down with the blade spacers effect the cut quality? That would be another option for adjusting the height. What have you all found te be the optimal rear axle setting? Mine is in the second hole down from the top.. Does pitch effect how much vaccum is created? This just sucks the dirt up from the bare spots.. So basically any advice for setting this up. Mostly gonna mow at the 3 1/8" and occasionally go to 2.5" and 3.5".

    Thanks!! chris
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Not trying to tell you what to do but if you change the pitch and then you find out it's no good you might not remember what exactly it is you did and it couldl be a royal affair to get it all back just right.

    So if it cuts good now don't fix it, and if it only does a half decent job I still wouldn't touch it.
    Now if it cuts like total crap and you don't got nothing left to lose, then by all means.
  3. snapper

    snapper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 399

    bump.. anybody? I tried a yard last night by just taking a half inch spacer out from the front casters. It had a pretty good pitch to it. But it mowed all right. If i was going to mow that height much i would defineately drop the back down a hole. So any body else?

    later!! chris
  4. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,923

    I have an Exmark Viking, 36" deck. I have never changed the rear hanger positions. I change cutting heights often, sometimes as often as three times on a given property. The changes are all with the spacers on the caster post. After much experimenting, I like to run the spindle bolts with two washers on top, two on the bottom. If I need an extremely high cut (e.g. knocking down tall grass on first pass), I will move all the spacer washers on the blade bolt to the top. I think I get the best cut, the best discharge, with the two/two arrangement.

    As far as the change in pitch when moving the caster spacers, I don't see any difference in the quality of cut. I know much has been said on LS about deck pitch, but the changes in deck pitch by just moving the caster spacers makes no discernable difference in cut. I run 0/4, 1/3, 2/2 (above the sleeve/below the sleeve). The 0/4 gives me about a 3" cut, perhaps just a bit higher.

    I've read so many posts about the change of height with the caster washers being such a problem, and difficult. On my machine, the front end weight is low enough that I can pick it up with one hand. So, changing those spacers is an easy task -- undo the latch pin, take off the washer, lift the deck letting the spindle fall out, move spacers as necessary, let the deck down over the spindle, replace washer, replace latch pin -- good to go. It gets changed many times per day.
  5. BZACK

    BZACK LawnSite Member
    Posts: 30


    I own a 48 inch Viking and like to keep the rake at about 1/4 inch, though I have to admit I don't see big changes in it's ability to stripe as I make castor changes, etc. I have almost entirely bluegrass which is well maintained and has lots of 'spring'. It's pretty 'stout' stuff and does not lie over easily.

    My current set-up: Exmark mulch kit; 3 spacers above blade; castors 4 below; rear axle in position 'D'. This set-up has no rake and cuts at about 3-1/4 as I recall. I am going to raise the wheel motors to the highest position (E) to cut slightly higher and this will also give a positive rake. We'll see if this alters the stripes.

    Check with your owner's manual or online at Exmark for the chart which details the various castor, blade, and axel settings.


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