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John Deere Z Trak Mowing Like Crap

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by chip25521, Aug 31, 2013.

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  1. chip25521

    chip25521 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    Lately my John Deere Z Trak is mowing like crap unless the grass is just really thin. When the grass is just a little thicker (but should be able to easily mow through the grass) is seems like it's trying to mulch the grass. The mower is throwing clumps horrible and it is acting like I'm mowing in the pooring rain. When I'm mowing, grass gets clogged up in the deck as if it's above the blades and I have to go to the edge of the property to get rid of it. When I turn off the blades, a bunch of mulched up wet looking grass drops. In the exact same conditions my scag walk behind with the chute up can easily handle the thicker grass. I have tried re-leveling the deck, which it was a little off and scraping tons of stuck grass out from under the deck. I'm not sure what else to try. Any ideas?
     
  2. chip25521

    chip25521 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    Also, It did not used to mow like this.
     
  3. Jimslawncareservice

    Jimslawncareservice LawnSite Platinum Member
    from mn
    Posts: 4,128

    we need more info and if possible pics
     
  4. chip25521

    chip25521 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    What type of info and pictures of the grass throw or mower?
     
  5. LawnCareNoobie

    LawnCareNoobie LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 434

    Such as what Model, and pictures of under deck and mower blades.
     
  6. chip25521

    chip25521 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    Model is z820a 48inch with mulch on demand deck. 25 hp Kawasaki engine. I can get pictures in the morning of the blades and under the deck.
     
  7. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,862

    I've heard this before about the 48" MOD deck. I am not sure what would cause such a huge difference in performance from the 54" or 60" MOD decks. I have the 60" MOD and while I am not a fan of it at all, it doesn't have any of the problems you mentioned.

    Make sure all the linkage that opens and closes the baffles underneath are connected and working correctly. If you don't need to truly mulch with it very often, then remove the two adjustable/removable baffles at the rear in between the blades on each side to open the deck up some. It makes a big difference with mine. The way they come from the factory is really too tight for side discharging unless the grass is thin and/or short. If you're using Gator type blades of any kind, get rid of them and go back to OEM high lifts, or if you mulch a lot of the time, get the OEM wavy mulcher blades. They work 10 times better for mulching the any other blade you can stick under the deck.
     
  8. chip25521

    chip25521 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    I usually just use oem high lift blades. I have tried aftermarket that were high lift but just weren't quite as high and I've also tried the gator blades. I just don't understand why people love them so much. Thy don't even come close to the oem high lifts in my opinion. I like he concept of the mulch in demand deck but I constantly have to clean grass off the top of the deck also. All I mainly use the mulch on demand for is pretty much a ocdc.
     
  9. Ridin' Green

    Ridin' Green LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Michigan
    Posts: 12,862

    Well then, remove those two baffle plates I mentioned in between blades at the rear. One bolt is all there is to remove to take them out. It makes a large difference in QOC, and discharge on my deck, and I get less buildup underneath too (though to be honest, I don't really get that much under it even when mowing right after a long rain as set up by the factory, but then again, mine is a 60").

    I get a lot less buildup on top the deck or on me with those baffles removed. When I switch to the OEM wavy blades for fall, it almost totally eliminates the buildup on top of the deck, and they do a much better job mulching leaves and grass than the high lifts do, but still leave a good cut.
     
  10. chip25521

    chip25521 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 164

    Ok, I'll try that. I get grass throw all over me sometimes.
     

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