Bad Boy blade setup - My findings

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by dwost, Sep 14, 2009.

  1. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,667

    I've been experimenting with several different types of blades as well as combination's to give me the best all around performance in cutting thick, wet northern grass. I will say overall the standard fusions work extremely well for me. I did find, however, there needs to be a bit more lift when cutting high (4"+) as it will not pull up the grass that is matted down from the casters. This is what started the search. To date, here is what I've tried and the results I've found.

    Stock hi-lift fusions: Work very well in most conditions but suffer a bit on suction when cutting at higher settings. Overall cut is very smooth, no stringers and can mow effectively at 8-10mph. There is some minor clumping when cutting very high (10"+) grass down to 4" and a fair amount of buildup left on the underside of the deck. I've found this is pretty much the case with most setups. Dryer tall grass doesn't have this problem at all and it provides very even disbursement and no clumping. Overall they work very well.

    Dixie Chopper Solid Foil: Work good but not as good as stock. I was looking for this design as I've had great results in the past with the eXmark solid foil. Unfortuantely they don't make these for a 60" deck so I gave these a shot. These are 1/2" wider (3") and heavier than the stock Fusions. They create decent suction but I found it left an uneven cut. There was a strip of stringers on the trim side of the deck. Not sure if it was the air pattern under the deck but the cut was just OK.

    Dixie Chopper w/ SilverStreak Gators stacked I also ran these in a double configuration with a set of thin SilverStreak gators. This combination created WAY too much blow out and turbulence under the deck leaving an uneven cut. The only good thing was the disbursement and particle size was much better.

    Stock Fusion's with SilverStreak Gators Stacked This is what I'm currently running and have found to be the BEST setup to date with this deck. I've cut a variety of lengths of grass, various speeds, and with various levels of moisture. Overall it performs extremely well in every task. The big difference with this setup compared to the DC blade is the reduced lift on the Fusion combined with the lift of the Gators provide more lift than stock but not so much it upsets airflow under the deck. I can easily cut thick high grass at 8-10 mph and leave very little if any stringers. It all pulls almost all the grass up from under the wheels. The other great result is again the disbursement is incredible as is the reduced grass size being discharged. Build-up is reduced except an area at the end of the discharge chute. I think this is a design issue in the deck as I get buildup there from any blade configuration. No big deal but it does create some sticking. I've also found this eliminates clumping in really wet, tall grass. I'm really pleased with this setup and will continue to run it.

    Gator Magnums I just received a set in the mail last week but have yet to try them out. I'm going to try them solo as well as with the stock fusions and will post up an update. Upon closer inspection, it really doesn't look like the Magnums have that much more lift than the stock Gators. Anyone have input on this? The specs say it's 40% more but I really cant see that from the design. Maybe they sent me the wrong ones? Who knows but I'll give them a shot.
  2. h0mr12

    h0mr12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    Nice thread with very good info. Do you have any online sources we can put your info to task and orders some different blade set ups? Thanks for your efforts and sharing!!
  3. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,667

    Yeah, let me pull that together. I'll provide links as well as part numbers if I can dig them up.
  4. puppypaws

    puppypaws LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,163

    This is a very informative post and the type information people need to see. Thumbs Up
  5. eludemann

    eludemann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    how much do the gator blades cost? when you say stacked, does that mean x or one on top the other?
  6. zman2307

    zman2307 LawnSite Senior Member
    from OR
    Messages: 328

    Have you tried Scag's Eliminator blades? These fit Bad Boys and are made from Marbain steel, so you get the reduced lift of a gator like blade and an extended wear edge!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. dwost

    dwost LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,667

    Thanks Pup

    Eludemann: they run about $12 or so. The Magnums are around $15. Yes I do mean in an + pattern.

    zman: No, I've not tried them. I'm not overly worried about edge life as the gators are simply chopping up the media that's already been cut. If I end up running these as the main blades I'll give them a shot! Thanks for the info.

    MS_SURVEYOR LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,002

    I bought a set of Gator Magnums 5 years or so ago. Ran them on a 46 inch deck. I didn't get the lift I needed. The Magnums left a lot of uncut grass with poor disbursement. The Magnums are thicker and heaver then the stock Gator blades. I experimented with JD high lift blades on the bottom, and Gator Magnums on top. It did ok. A lot of noise and a lot of blow out. It was like I was running in a dust storm. The cut wasn't as good as the JD high lift blades alone. In fact I was just over at my mother in laws where my lawn tractor is, and it has been mowing her lawn. Good grief that that lawn looks good. I'm through with Gator blades of any type myself. But I sure would like to hear what you find out.

    I only mow my grass. So I can wait on dry grass. My grass is 8 inches to 10 inches in height right now, it's raining, and has been for the last several days. But it'll stop soon enough. I just might try the double blade set up again.

    Thanks dwost. A very good post!
  9. grub32

    grub32 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Yeah excellent post...My problem is that I am seeing matting when cutting at 2.5 - 3.5 inches and the standard blades don't pull it up...I am hoping to find through your thread a pattern that will allow a better lift and cut situation...

    We all need to help each other out with our bad boys, this place creates a lot of negative press for them and mine really is one tough machine!!

  10. Kutz Lawns

    Kutz Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 526

    Why can't you make your own high lift blades?

    Just get someone that does welding and extend the pitch of the blade however you want it!

    Mine are left handed blades and nobody makes high lift blades for it so that's what I did, it works great now!

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