poor cut

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by ProMo, Jun 13, 2002.

  1. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    im getting a bad cut on my 36" turf tracer hp I sent my wife to get me some exmark mulching blades and she went to the dealer that has never given me the right part and returned with gators wich are cutting worse i have stringers a missed strip in the middle and on the right side im cutting st aug at about 4" the machine is 2 yrs old and due to a bad few months cant put it in the shop 2 more pmts and its paid off then i could put it in but its not going to make it.Ive cleaned the carb and it needs it again it idles rough but seems ok at high speed dealer never told me there was a pre filter and it did not come with one when i bought it.The thing that you align for belt adj looks dead on looking from a standing position but there is about 1/2" diff if you look under machine accordind to diagram it should align not sure on that one.when i engage the blades i noticed today that the belt going to large idler pulley on trim side is wobling back and forth 6-8 inches and machine shakes this seems to be were my problem is.The pulley has a little play in it would this cause the problem?or should i replace the belt.Wish i had the money to have dealer look at it but i dont, trying to reorg my biz but things like this are killing me any suggestions.
     
  2. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    Promo,

    I'm sure the Exmark guys will say similar,....

    Not many mowers can even attain a 4" cut height to begin with, so feel lucky that you can get it to go that high.

    Next, not many people cut turf at that 4" height. This is simply too high to get the proper suction of the blades to stand up the blade of grass to be cut.

    Finally, of all blades to be using when your complaining about cut quality.....GATORS??? They simply can NOT produce the lift necessary to attain a QUALITY 4" cut.

    My suggestion, try a set of the new Excalibur high lift blades and then consider lowering your cut to 3.5" or so. Also make sure your engine is capable of at least 3600 RPM.

    I'm not going to touch your other complaint items, as I really cant comment on them.

    Good Luck!
     
  3. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,732

    are you running a mulch kit? if so that's why the gators did a bad job. also, are they 18" blades? how many spacers above and below the blade?
     
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Promo,

    Sounds like you've got your hands full. There are some things that you should do. First and foremost get a set of Exmark mulching blades p/n 103-2518 on the machine. The gators may work great but for diagnostic purposes we know more about our blade and it will help us figure out what's going on.

    The next thing that needs to be done is determine what is causing the belt shake. Generally it's going to be a belt with a high or low spot, chunk missing or a bent pulley. Next you'll need to check the deck idler. Place a 9/6" socket on the deck idler pulley bolt and pull against the idler spring. While doing this slip the belt off one of the deck pulleys. You should now be able to remove the spring. What you’re looking for is any resistance to the idler pivot. That idler arm should pivot so freely it feels sloppy. If it doesn't feel sloppy unbolt the arm at the pivot and clean all surfaces and then polish them with emery cloth to ensure there is not caked on grease, rust, burs, sand etc. to prevent the arm from pivoting. Smear some grease on the pivot point surfaces and re-install everything in reverse order. I'm guessing you may have several issues. One being the blades, two being a bad belt or pulley and three the deck idler may be hanging up.

    There is one other possible problem your having. Most of the issues we've discussed relate in some manner to blade tip speed with the exception of the type of blade your using. You should also have the engine rpm's set as well. I'm not sure which engine your running but if you have the 15 hp Kohler single check to make sure the choke is completely releasing. The engine should be set at 3600 rpm with the blades engaged but not cutting any grass.

    The other thing to consider is the cutting height. It's not easy to mulch at 4". The quality of cut will probably improve in large increments as you lower your cutting height.

    Check those things out and let me know what you find. I'll be out of town for most of the weekend so I won't be able to check your progress until tomorrow evening. Leave a post here on Lawnsite if you still have any questions and I'll do my best to get to a computer and take a look Saturday evening.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  5. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    called the dealer(worthless)and they agreed to look at machine so i brought it to them guy engages blade checks under deck say i have wrong blades (duh)I asked them why they sold them to my wife she told them i wanted exmark mulch blades he said belt was ok and idle pulley is ok and it is normal for machine to shake like hell and for the belt to wobble 6-8 inches coming from engine hmmmmmmm he brings out the blades i ordered in the first place and mechanic if thats what they want to call him puts his impact on bolt on top of spindle yanks it off and i guess he figured that was not the way to get blade off so he impacts it back on washer crooked as ##@@ and then removes bottom bolt and puts blade on says its ready to go.get to a lawn and it cuts bad i then got home and checked idle arm polished it and regreased it started it up and ive never heard blades roar like they did and it never cut as good no belt shake at all but somehow the belt slipped off the back pulley and was riding on the brake drum under pulley and shredded it on back edge i put it back on and wobble came back looks like it is rubbing top of eng pulley at heights i use and bottom of idle pulley well now i know i need a belt im wondering if the screwups may have set this machine up wrong to start with because it never cut as good as it did with belt off back pulley ive yet to be satisfied with this machine until i saw the great job it did but a belt will only last about 5 minutes in that position i think my problem is buying from an incompetant dealer i took it in when it was under warranty and was told everything ok just like everything was ok today grrrrrrrrrr they piss me off.luckily none of my customers have ever said anything about cut quality but i always leave my jobs knowing something is not right well ive seen a great cut today just need to figure out how to get it that way with belt on pulley
     
  6. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    yes im running a mulch kit and gators are not the problem they just make it more noticable i got pins in 4th hole have room to go up to more spaces and have some lawns i must cut at full height or scalp away my dixie cuts at 5 inches during summer and doesnt miss a blade and for a few minutes i saw today that ex is capable of delivering the cut i want now to figure out what needs adjusting because it never cut that good before the gators are what the place i bought mower gives you when you ask for exmark mulch blades ask for a filter for 15 hp kaw and they give you a filter 2x bigger than what is supposed to go on it.Ive bought two mowers from them and service well i wont go there.
     
  7. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Promo

    Sorry for any inconvenience. The belt problem could have been caused by either the idler not working properly or it's possible that something threw it off. More than likely you've fixed the problem with the R&R you did not the idler pivot.

    Let me know if you have any problems after the new belt is installed.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  8. ProMo

    ProMo LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,468

    Well sorry to say ive lost faith in this machine its letting me down when im having financial problems only 1 payment left went to a new dealer to get belt and i asked them why they were selling me a white belt they told me thats what you guys have used for years well i bought a new machine and my belt was black no exmark markings at all anyways i put it on line up the tension indicator wich has always been 1/2 below bolt it lines up with but appears to be even looking down at it and belt is still shaking excessively to line it up it is adjusted almost as tight as it will go not sure why it had a non oem belt when i bought it but the new dealer says it shouldnt have and should also have come with a pre filter etc etc just wish it would have been as nice as my dc 6 yrs never had a problem,o well i always seem to learn the hard way anyways i give up
     
  9. chariot

    chariot LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 319

    Probably not the problem but I will suggest anyway. I had a belt wobbling on a new Lazer and come to find out it was caused by bent pulleys. The edge of my center and left blade pulleys were bent and not allowing the belt to fully lay into the pulley. This caused a major wobble and my cut quality seemed to have suffered. Just thought that you may want to check the pulleys extra close.
     
  10. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Promo,

    If you've got that much belt shake you've got to have something out of round. Possibly a pulley or one of the belts that has not been replaced has a high or low spot on it. I talked to engineering at they suggested that you look at the pulley that's bolted to the brake drum first.

    Your profile shows you’re in the Casselberry area. There are two Exmark dealers that should be with in a reasonable distance. If you’re not confident in the dealer your currently using then we probably need to get you into the second dealer. The other option is to call me at 800-667-5296 and we'll see if we can diagnose it over the phone.

    Here's how I look at it. The mower is designed and built to cut grass. If it's not cutting grass we can fix it. That may mean you'll need to take it into another dealership but I assure you if there is something wrong with that machine we can fix it.

    Thanks

    Terry
     

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