Stringers / Poorly cut grass

Discussion in 'eXmark' started by deason, Sep 15, 2002.

  1. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    I have been running the mulch kit on my Lazer HP 52" most of the year this year. I have noticed that in some cases (more often than not) it leaves stringers and poorly cut grass on lawns that are not thick. The poorly cut grass seems to be directly in line with the spindles on the deck. On lawns that are thick and lush, a smooth level cut is produced. My blades are razor sharp and deck is ALWAYS clean. I know that this is an airflow problem. The grass that is light is being blown downward from the blades when the blades pass. In heavy grass the deck is sealed and works properly. I have done everything including dropping the deck a little lower in thin grass to get a better cut. Is there any cure for this?
     
  2. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Deason,

    Thanks for dropping us a note. We've seen some of this from time to time in dry conditions, when the lawn is not very dense or when the grass simply becomes "weak" and doesn't want to stand up.

    Most often simply switching to the solid airfoil Excalibur blade will usually eliminate this. The correct p/n for your mower is 103-1578.

    You should also look very closely at the deck idler. I've seen several instances where if the main deck idler isn't operating properly it can cause fits for the quality of cut. Check to make sure that the idler pulley is sitting level with the drive pulley's for the spindles. If it's not level take it too you local dealer and have him call me at 402-223-6358. Now to inspect the pivot point simply removed the LH/trim side belt shield. Grab the belt with both hands (one on each side of the LH pulley) and pull it towards you. This will allow you to lift the belt off of the LH pulley.

    With the belt removed there should be NO tension on the idler pulley and you should be able to remove the spring for the deck idler. Work the idler arm back and forth it should be so loose it almost feels sloppy. If it doesn't I can walk you through the corrective measures but I'd prefer that you take it to your dealer for further inspection.

    Hopefully you'll find that the blades do the trick but if not we can certainly fix it. This may require that you take the mower to your dealer but rest assured we should be able to fix the problem.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  3. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    Thanks Terry -

    Is the excaliber blade you are talking about a "mulching" blade? Only excalibers that I have heard of is the one for side discharge. Of course, I havent really done any research on them.

    I will order the blades and check the pully and give you and update by the weekend.
     
  4. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Deason,

    Sorry, I got a little ahead of myself and didn't read your post as closely as I should have. The solid airfoil blades are for SIDE discharge. Keep using the mulching blades with your mulch kit.

    Do double-check the deck idler however. For whatever reason if the deck idler isn't working properly it will cause some pretty funky things to happen sometimes.

    Also make sure your cutting at 3" or below. I personally prefer 2.0-2.5" with the mulch kit. The thinner the grass the more difficult it can get to leave the lawn with a "clean" looking cut. To a degree it's the nature of the beast. How tall are you cutting?

    I mulch my lawn exclusively and have run into the same thing on occasion. It seams that if the lawn is stressed do to drought, frost or poor soil quality the problem is compounded. When this occurs I've only been able to correct it by lowering the deck a little, and backing my throttle off slightly. About a 1/4" on the throttle or just enough till you hear the slightest change in engine tone with the blades off.

    Please let me know what type of grass your dealing with and what cutting height youÂ’re at.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  5. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Hello terry

    Is the Idler Situation Just on LHP Or can it show up on lazer 60"
    ultracut's.

    Thanks Johnny G.

    Oh is Lenny M. still Around:confused:
     
  6. deason

    deason LawnSite Member
    Posts: 236

    Terry -

    Different heights. I have some very, very healthy bermuda that I am cutting at 4.25" right now. These are the ones that look fantastic when finished. I am able to cut them (cutting no more than 1" of growth) at full speed without a problem. And, I have some that I am at 3.5, 3.25 and 3.0. The most problems that I have are at 3.5. But, the grass is not as thick and a mixture of variety ( fescue, bermuda ect.)

    This problem is driving me crazy. I expect the mower to give a finished clean cut with one pass. I find myself double cutting a lot. When I double cut, I cut my productivity in half along with my profits for the time I am double cutting.

    Dont get me wrong...... the machine is a work of art and I would not think of buying another brand of machinery. In my opinion it is the best of the best.
     
  7. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Johny G.,

    Lenny is still around I think. He's sometimes tough to spot and he's in the middle of a large project right now getting ready for some training he and his compadre's will be doing.

    One of the first thing to check if you have a quality of cut problem is usually going to be the deck idler, no matter what deck we're talking about.

    All spring loaded idlers are dependent upon spring tension and pivot condition to perform properly. Springs are not usually the culprit because when they go bad they usually break (but not always). Maintenance to the pivot point is probably the biggest issue. If your power washing you will probably have an idler pivot hang up sooner or later, if your not greasing the pivot after washing it is almost a certainty that you'll have a problem sooner or later. Lack of lubrication in a timely manner can also cause the same performance issues.

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  8. John Gamba

    John Gamba LawnSite Fanatic
    from ct
    Posts: 10,812

    Thank's terry
    My Mowers are wipped Of by hand. I will check the idlers More Often.

    Please tell lenny i said Hello.
    johnny G.
     
  9. eXmark

    eXmark Manufacturer / Sponsor
    Posts: 4,258

    Deason,

    For your situation you should see a dramatic improvement at say 2.5". You can see a noticeable improvement often by simply backing the throttle off a 1/4".

    Thanks

    Terry
     
  10. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    Stringy thin bermuda always does this. Slowing the throttle down does help. Lowering the height does help too. But, based on airflow with thin grass, it sometimes happens. Guess its time you sell them on me aerating and seeding to thicken it up. :D
     

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