John Deere 997 Cut Problem

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by REVOLUTION LAWN CO., Aug 31, 2005.


    REVOLUTION LAWN CO. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    I am running a couple of the new John Deere 997 Z-track mowers. I am having a problem with its cut quality. The mower mows normal grass fine until you hit large patches of what is called "goosegrass" and "dallisgrass" i'll try and confirm that. We have been debating the use of double blades or meg-mo blades. I was told at the John Deere dealership that they did not think you could run doubles on that mower. I was under the impression that double blades consisted of two highlifts or your preference placed in a T pattern and bolted down as tight as possible? If anyone has used meg-mo blades how do they work in taller grass?

    Revolution Lawn Maintenance Co.

    PS: If anyone knows of any other blades that you recommend please let me know.
  2. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    Hi Dillon,

    are you running the side discharge deck, or the rear discharge deck?

    As far as running doubles....why not?

    just bolt the blades in a + fashion....

    You will most likely need to buy a longer bolt, the standard j.d spindle bolts are just long enough, I tried doubles and found I needed longer bolts.

    I was told meg-mos are good at most things, but rough mowing, tall grass, thick heavy grass, weeds etc the bulk of the material bends the swing back blades back enough to get uncut grass....but in heavy going most decks will miss grass anyway.

    I wish the meg-mos would come out with a less high lift blade though, I'd love to try low or med lifts meg -mos on my rear discharge deck, would be awesome!

    So, how do you like your 997 so far?

    mine clogs the rear screen due to rear discharge deck, and dusty aussie conditions, and it gets hot, radiator can't breathe....j.d is looking into it dealer says....

    REVOLUTION LAWN CO. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Hi Tony,

    I have the side discharge deck. As far as you running double blades did you notice a engine drag or a better cut etc any and all experiences since switching over to doubles would be greatly appreciated :) . Our two 997 mowers only clog around every other day of heavy mowing (150 acres). I have noticed after blowing off the machines at the end of the day greatly helps with the clogging. Hopefully you know that the rear radiator slings out so you can wash behind it (commonly packed with grass) but overall I have been very happy with the mower. Other than the fact that it wont cut certain types of weeds/grass as well, which I was told was a common thing among all zero turns.

    Thanks Again,
    Revolution Lawn Maintenance Co.
  4. all ferris

    all ferris LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,307

    I think your problem is the type of grass you are trying to cut. crabgrass/goosegrass (grassy weeds in general) have a much higher moisture content and when cut the clippings tend to stick together when discharged.
    I have yet to see a mower that disperses mass amounts of crabgrass well?

    REVOLUTION LAWN CO. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Hi Ferris,

    At the moment that is not the problem I am having. Once the grassy weed is cut it seems to disperse pretty well it is just getting it cut that is giving us a hard time :angry:. Any other suggestions would be great.

  6. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    Some mowers just struggle to cut that sort of tall stemy stuff.
    Working it out is a trial and error routine that can sometimes take several tries.
    I've been able to work it out on some mowers...
    But not on others...

    Some mowers just will never acceptably cut this sort of growth.
  7. Tonyr

    Tonyr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,973

    I messed around with quite a few different doubl blade combos, none cut better than the single standard highlifts that come with the rear discharge deck....I think your deck uses different blades....which I'm wanting to try but can't get :angry:

    I don't do fine lawns etc, so a lot of my work is overgrown, or is just large areas of spindly grass weeds etc, my old toro with turbo force deck wasn't great either, side discharge and spindly grassy weeds don't usually mix well...

    So, with new prefferences here with councils etc for contractors to start using rear discharge decks for safety, liability etc, and the fact double cutting stalks wasn't funny, I took the risk...

    The J.D rear discharge eats any weeds, any grasses, and spindly crap, no stringers, it leaves side discharge for dead in that type of work....but clipping despersal ain't great so not the best for finish mowing.

    For 150 acre job, I think you would be faster and better cut with rear discharge....all fine and dandy to say that now though eh...

    What your experiencing is typical of side discharge, not necessarily ZTR's, it's the deck type, not mower type.

    I no nothing about the J.D side discharge, with stalks etc sometimes decks have too much lift and a negative action occurs, leaf blades partially pass under the mower blades....too little lift won't suck em up enough to get a good cut's finding that ideal blade...

    For e.g....with my toro I found the best allrounders were the toro recycle mulch blade and the raptor aftermarket mulch blade, the toro high lifts were bad with spindly grass, low sail terrible, but a mulch blade on a side discharge deck was a point. go figure lol.

    like said, I think folks will tell you in heavy going the grass, weeds etc fold the swinging blades on the meg mo system back and you get streaks, I read it here many times.

    But they may perform on the 7 iron deck different!

    I was told the 7 iron you have is a new model, new design, is this right?

    Can ya post pics of your mowers?

    And work done, or work you do? Please:)

    REVOLUTION LAWN CO. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Hi, Tony

    At the moment I cant find it feasable to go and buy two new rear discharge deck 997 models :D. However I do believe the two mowers use the same blade. As mine is a standard high lift as well. I'll try and get some pictures when they get cleaned up. Please share my insight on your double blade experience I'm very interested becuase dpuble cutting 150 acres is not going to work :angry:.
  9. Meg-Mo

    Meg-Mo Inactive
    Posts: 1,020

    WE can make lower lift knives . It's easy just cut off a little of the lift. some were around 1/4" will do good when you don't all the lift.
  10. DLCS

    DLCS LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,378

    The best setup that i have found for the 7 Iron is double high lifts. I use the stock JD highlift step blade on top and a Dixie Chopper high lift blade on bottom. I can cut through just about any grass cleanly and don't have to worry about rooster tails and missed grass from knives folding back.

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