Quality of Cut – Lazer Z HP – New Spindles

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by Z2000, Sep 7, 2007.

  1. Z2000

    Z2000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Quality of Cut – Lazer Z HP – New Spindles


    Hey gang, I have a long one here for you. In a nutshell, after replacing all three spindle assemblies on my Lazer Z HP, I have a serious cut issue. When cutting the mower is leaving two stripes (or strips??), at about where the blades meet, at a higher cut than the rest of the path.

    Here are my troubleshooting tasks so far:

    At 2.75” cut height, full speed, two strips remain very pronounced. About .5” over rest of cut. Mowing average heavy grass, maybe 4” tall

    At 2.25” cut height, full speed, two strips almost go away, but faintly can see them mowing average heavy grass, about 4” tall.

    At 2.25” cut, full speed, going over the previous 2.75” cut, no strips at all.

    If I mow slowly, the strips are still present.

    I have completed the following:

    Rear tire pressures both at 15 psi

    Front tire pressures both about 11 psi

    Three brand new spindles (eXmark 103-1105)

    New deck belt

    Tension pulley bushing new, no slop or play

    New straight eXmark blades and bolts

    Deck is level with front tracking ¼’ lower than the back

    I can get about 3611 rpm with blades running, no load. (optical RPM gauge)

    I set the left and right blades both to “3 and 9” and the center blade to “12 and 6” after mowing only a few passes, they did NOT hold their position, so I know something slipped??? Normal ???

    Anybody know what I can do? This cut is HORRIBLE….. Even with worn out, noisy, wobbly, and loud spindle bearings I had an OK cut. Before they wore out (like last summer) this thing was top notch and that is what I was expecting with ALL NEW parts…..???
     
  2. Z2000

    Z2000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Bump (late approval)
     
  3. greengiant9963

    greengiant9963 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 761

    What blades are you using? Is this a trivantage deck or the triton?
     
  4. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,937

    All else being identical. Lets say your only change was the new spindles.

    When you replace spindle housings there is a considerable amount of play with regard to actually bolting them to the deck itself.

    Could you have them too far apart? (ie: center placed as far forward as possible, and the other two placed as far out from the center?)

    This is the only thing I can really think of. If your cutting THAT low, just about ANY deck can cut well.

    EXACTLY what changes in other things did you perform?

    Did you adjust deck pitch when you did spindle replacement?

    Did you change blade type when you did spindle replacement?

    How about idlers....are they free for the FULL movement? Sometimes they wear and they're loose in a certain range, and real tight beyond that.


    Clocking blades isn't an issue. They will never stay in the same position.
     
  5. Z2000

    Z2000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Hey Green, I have the older TriVantage deck, and using normal straight eXmark dealer blades.

    TLS, thanks for the great info, here is my report:

    ****** QUOTE FROM TLS *********

    All else being identical. Lets say your only change was the new spindles.

    When you replace spindle housings there is a considerable amount of play with regard to actually bolting them to the deck itself.

    Could you have them too far apart? (ie: center placed as far forward as possible, and the other two placed as far out from the center

    ** Yes this is ONE thing I did not check :) ***

    This is the only thing I can really think of. If your cutting THAT low, just about ANY deck can cut well.

    EXACTLY what changes in other things did you perform?

    No other chages made, I was very careful to not move any of the deck adjustments.

    Did you adjust deck pitch when you did spindle replacement?

    No, I measured before and after the job, the deck maintained the settings as if it were new.

    Did you change blade type when you did spindle replacement?

    No, still using just straight regular eXmark blades

    How about idlers....are they free for the FULL movement? Sometimes they wear and they're loose in a certain range, and real tight beyond that.


    Idlers and tension pulleys are still good. Less than 1mm play in each of them, and they have full motion, no hang ups in any certain areas



    Clocking blades isn't an issue. They will never stay in the same position.

    This is good to know, did not ever find a definative answer to this one.



    I looked at my deck and I might be able to get each outside spindle about 1/8" closer to center, but not a bunch. I also mic'd all three, and total play for all three rotation arcs will be just shy of 1/4" total. Is there any published spec on how close each blade tip should be, or would equidistant be the obvious choice? Currently my blade tips are equidistant from one another within .01". This could be the one variable that I was not aware of, and would make sense for this circumstance if I am out of spec?

    Additionally, now that I have put 2 hours on the new spindles, the machine seems to cut better. Is there such a thing as the new spindles getting "broke in" in some way that affects cut? Would this indicate deck pitch? Maybe I should go back and double triple check my deck pitch???? They say on a lazer Z HP to go with 1/4" or about?

    I do mow 5 to 7 acres of "country lawn" so I usually mow it close, but it would be nice to move up to 2.75" from 2.25" so I don't have to raise the deck for every turn! :)
     
  6. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    TLS gave some good advice, we need to look for what changed, I don't think the new spindles should have an affect on the cut.

    A couple things to look at...

    1/4" rake is typically too much rake for a 48" deck, typically I'd recommend no more than 1/8". Too much rake can actually increase the distance between your blades as they react to the grass.

    I'd also do what we call 'swinging the blades' here at the factory. If you think of each blade as having an 'A' tip and a 'B' tip, your going to want to match each of those up. For the following, T means trim side blade, C means center blade, and D means discharge blade.

    T 'A' to C 'A'
    T 'B' to C 'A'
    T 'A' to C 'B'
    T 'B' to C 'B'

    C 'A' to D 'A'
    C 'B' to D 'B'
    C 'A' to D 'B'
    C 'B' to D 'A'

    The blades should not vary in height more than the thickness of the blade. At the same time they should come with in the thickness of the blade from contacting each other. If they don't, that tells us that we have either a bent blade, spindle, or deck.

    Thanks all for stepping in and lending a hand!

    Lenny
     
  7. Z2000

    Z2000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Hey Lenny!

    Wow thanks. I have a few ways that I could take these measurements, but what does the factory say as the best method? I have not read anything on the "how" which the factory recommends to do this type of measurment....

    Thanks again, and I will report back with my findings after I find out the "best practice" way to measure.

    In the meantime I will get my Exact deck rake measurement and make sure I am at 1/8"

    Z
     
  8. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    As far as measuring the rake, just get the machine on a decent piece of concrete and set your deck to probably 4" (that way you can see). With the blades pointed to the front and back of the machine, the front blade tip should measure 4" off the ground and the rear 4-1/8".

    As far as 'swinging the blades' it's all just visual. You should be able to see if they don't match up within the thickness and guestimate how far apart they are from each other.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    Thanks,
    Lenny
     
  9. Z2000

    Z2000 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 32

    Thanks again Lenny!

    I got stuck out of town for two days, so I will be reporting my findings here tomorrow or Saturday. I am sure between these two measurements I should find a solution ( or problem hahaha??).

    Additionally, have you ever heard of new bearings needing adjustment time? It seems as though now that I have a few hours cutting, that the problem had diminished a little. It hasn't gone away but was getting better.

    I am sure I will have to adjust my deck rake, I know it was at least 1/4" so i will dial that back.

    Thanks again!
     

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