ruined blades?

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by faithfulFrank, Aug 8, 2004.

  1. faithfulFrank

    faithfulFrank LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    hi guys,
    please excuse the typing, broke my hand.
    anyway, i have a 2003 52" laser HP, with 45 hours on it.
    at around 30 hours, i had some brake shoe problems, and the dealer fixed it under warranty..
    (thanks terry). at that time, i also asked the dealer to change the blades for me......when he returned it, he said he thought the blades were fine and did not need changing yet.
    i was disappointed.
    i just changed them myself....(one handed)...i had a hard time getting them off even with an impact wrench.......putting the extra set on that came with it. (my dealer gives two sets with each mower, i don't know if all do).
    Some guys at the firehouse who have some pretty big accounts, who run dixies, looked at my blades and said they looked ruined...not hit with anything, but worn down a lot.
    should blades last more than 45 hours? i do have a little sandy soil, but i think if my dealer took them off and changed them when i asked, they would still be good now. the guys at work change theirs every 20 hours or so.
    the guy at work says his dixie blades are much heavier, thought mine were cheap.
    my question......what blades should i buy? are there better ones then these that came with the exmark?
    i do not think 15 more hours made much difference in them.....they should have been changed when i asked.....i was willing to pay them for doing it....should blades wear down to being ruined in 45 hours?....how often should you take them off and sharpen them?.....i think they would have still been good if they were changed when i asked......now they may be ruined.
    the blades do not look like they have been hit with anything, just worn. we have had a lot of rain so far this year, so nothing has been dry. i clean underneath the deck regularly.

    also, can i put wd-40 or never seize on the blade bolts? i almost did not get them off, even with a impact wrench.....i think the factory put them on too tight.
    any recommendations?
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Faithfull Frank,

    Communication always seams to be our biggest hurdle in life. If I had to guess I'd say the guy you talked to probably told his guys to check the blades to see if they needed sharpened rather that stating that you wanted them sharpened. My recommendation would be to let the dealer know they asked to have the blades sharpened and not just checked. That way he'll know that the next time how you like things done and there won't be any confusion.

    As far as blade life is concerned it's a bit of a guess. I've seen sand eat blades up in less than 40 hours and I've seen guys run one or two sets of blades for a full season. If the blades are being worn away by sand you'll usually see some erosion at the base of the airfoil or in the bend. Sand will usually show its abrasive properties here before you'll notice an issue anywhere else. Sand will shorten the life of the blades significantly. Often switching to a low lift or solid airfoil blade will help (if your side discharging or bagging). If youÂ’re mulching the only thing we really offer is the standard mulching blade.

    Our blades are .204 thick. I believe the chopper blades are .250 thick so there is a difference.

    Adding WD-40 or and anti-seize to the blade bolts will probably make the problem worse. If a blade bolt isn't tight or if there is a lubricant added to the mating surfaces (washer, blade, spindle) then the blade can "self tighten". To reduce the effort needed to remove the blades you should make sure the blade bolt is tight (115-120 ft. lbs) and the spring disc washer is in good shape.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  3. faithfulFrank

    faithfulFrank LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    thanks terry.
    not a big deal, but when the exmark went back to the dealer, it went with my second set of new blades, and they were told to change them....i sharpen my own usually.
    this mower is a year old now, so those bolts were on there for almost a year....all through winter, etc. they were frozen. i first used a 6 foot long breaker bar, moved the end three feet without the bolt budging. the impact wrench took 4 tries before budging them.
    hopefully they will come off easier the next time, which won't be another year from now.....i'd still like to know how often the avg. person sharpens their blades, etc.
    i will see my dealer this week, and have him look at the blades......i suspect they may not be ruined, but i believe that if they just would have done what i asked, they would have been still good, and i would now have two good, but used sets of blades, and not what i may have now, which is one still brand new set and one set that may be too worn now to keep.

    on a slightly different subject, i never received anything official on you guys transfering the owqnership to me on this mower, as per our last conversation. i'd just like the peace of mind that if there were ever a recall, etc, that i would be notified and not the guy who first owned it and used it for 4 hours.
    thanks again terry........i appreciate your good service.
    respectfully,
    frank d.
     
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Frank,

    If yours in the unit I'm thinking the registration has been changed. Send me a pm to terry.eckert@exmark.com with your serial number and I'll verify.

    Also we recommend sharpening the blades every 8 hours of use. I sharpen mine by clamping them in a vice and clean the cutting edge up with a file or a 4" angle grinder.

    Terry
     
  5. faithfulFrank

    faithfulFrank LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    thanks terry, i'll do that......
    wow, 8 hours....i which my dealer felt that way.
    that is what i will do.......no sense spending time, gas, etc using bad blades......you can work hard or work smart.....smart is better.
    thanks again!
    frank d.
     
  6. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Frank,

    Look at blade sharpening this way. If you must double cut one yard because the blades were dull how many times could you have sharpened the blades in the time added time it took to double cut. If you start out the day with dull blades and you cut for 6 hours at 5 mph instead of 6........again you would have been time and money ahead by sharpening the blades.

    Also sharpening the blades more often usually makes the last longer.........sounds backwards doesn't it? Here's why.

    When a blade becomes too dull the cutting edge becomes overly rounded which requires you to remove even more material from the blade to get it sharp. When this happens it's very easy to overheat the blade especially where it is thinner at the cutting edge. If it gets too hot you can loose the hardness added during heat treating making the metal soft. Once it's soft it gets dull much faster and requires even more frequent sharpening and consequently less blade life.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  7. faithfulFrank

    faithfulFrank LawnSite Member
    Posts: 28

    hi terry,
    i saw my dealer yesterday.....he said two of the three blades were shot. i bought a new set for $30.00
    he told me that for the amount of mowing i do, i should get away with only sharpening the blades once a season.

    i contend that if he took the blades off and put my other set on at 25 hours or so like i asked, both blades would have been still good. 45 hours on one set without ever taking them off and sharpening them killed that set.

    it's my fault for listening to him....i know now that to keep from throwing away a set of blades in less than a year, i need to change and sharpen them regularly. i bought an impact wrench, and will do that from now on.

    a lesson learned. my dealer is a good guy....i'm just disappointed that he did not do what i asked, and now a set is shot....but i know better now, and will do the right thing.

    speaking of changing blades.....does exmark have any plans on having anything like the toro "Z lifter bracket" ? seems like a really nice feature. will theirs fit on an exmark?

    thanks,
    frank d.
     
  8. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Frank,

    At this time I am not aware of any plans to offer the Z stand. This is a welded on item and will not retrofit any other riding mowers.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  9. Navig8r

    Navig8r LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 477

    Forget "x" per season as a guideline..... sharpen the blades every 8-10 hours of use...... This is the best guideline.
    Or sooner if you've been mowing in dusty/sandy conditions, or if you hit something...... or if you just notice a decrease in cut quality.


    Good luck with the machine!
     

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