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Changing Height on Fixed Deck Walk Behinds

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by scagdude, May 29, 2010.

  1. scagdude

    scagdude LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 344

    Hey guys,

    I have 3 36" walkbehinds. They have all been set at the right height since i bought them. I have only had to move the spacers on the front wheels. However, I have a couple of accounts that need the grass cut higher. Therefore, I need to change the height of the actual deck, as the spacers still do not make it high enough. How would I go about changing the height?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Robert Pruitt

    Robert Pruitt LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 552

    it should tell how to do this in the manual. there should be adjusting holes at the back around the tires.
  3. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    its pretty easy if you look at it. Just change the holes that the bolts in the back of the deck are in and adjust the front caster spacers accordingly. This is probably not something you are going to want to change from lawn to lawn. I do not let customers dictate cut heights because not all my machines have quick adjust and it would be a pita to use certain machines for certain yards.
  4. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    For instance...if you measure from the middle of the bolt to the middle of the hole you want to move up to you will find how much you are raising the deck. Pick the appropriate hole and if your deck is already set properly pick a half inch spacer if you move the back up a half inch or two half inch spacers for an inch on the front casters and so on.
  5. ShooterK2

    ShooterK2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 815

    I don't know about your Toro or Lesco, but if your Scag is like mine, you can change blade height with spacers. Remove the blades, move blades up or down using the spacers that should already be on the spindle bolt, and then replace the blade. I leave my Scag in the middle set of holes at the rear of the deck, with 2 spacers under the front casters, and then just use the blade spacers to fine tune my cut height. Works great for the Bermuda lawns I cut around here.
  6. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    What are your w/b mowers? I have a 36" Exmark Viking. I have never changed the position of the mower deck frame to the traction unit. I do change the caster spacer washers often, sometimes a couple of times on a specific property.

    My mower has a through bolt, the head on a washer under the blade, the the nut on top of the deck (access through a hole in the deck belt cover). The bolt uses four 1/4" washers, and they can be positioned where needed for best blade position. My usual setup is two washers below the spindle, and two above the spindle. The two washer below positions the blade in a mid-height position -- high enough that it is above the deck edges. If the blade is run higher under the deck,the flow of clippings isn't quite as good, and the cut quality isn't quite as good. I have found the best position for me is two below, two above.

    However, I am confronted with one property where the cutting height isn't high enough, even with all four caster washers under the support. In this case, I remove the blade bolt, and take out all washers below the spindle, and put all four above. This moves the blade a 1/2" higher, closer to the underside of the deck.

    This is certainly much easier than repositioning the deck frame to the traction unit. I know, I know, ... heard it all before about deck pitch. For me, I can't see a lick of difference when repositioning the caster spacers. I use three positions, 2/2, 3/3, 4/0 (spacers below the support/spacers above the support). To be sure, a change in the caster spacers means a deck pitch change, but I can't detect any loss of cut quality when making these changes.
  7. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    You have to raise the rear of the mower..the rear axel to the lowest hole...takes 5 minutes after you have done it a few times. It will thrown off your hand brakes and sometimes your belts a little bit though if its not hydro. My 36's come stock with 4 1/4" spacers under the deck, so thats another inch. Keep in mind that as you reduce the amount of blade spacers, you will cause more layover in the grass.

    ROGER-It depends where your rear wheels are set. If they are not in their highest position, the front castors can only handle 3 half inch washers before the blades will have a negative pitch. Trying to raise the height beyond that point doesnt continue to raise the back of the blades and causes the mower to cut very poorly. Mine has 4 positions on the rear wheels (and every 36 I have seen) In the 3rd highest rear setting...you have a max cutting height potential of 3.5 inches..thats with 3 half inch washers up front and no blade washers. Trying to raise the castors beyond this point only raises the front of the blades....not the back.
    Last edited: May 29, 2010
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,943

    mdlwn1 -- I checked my machine today. The attachment of the deck frame to the traction unit has four possible positions. Mine is bolted into the next to highest cutting position. In other words, as I look at the traction frame, I see two other holes above the attachment.

    I've used this mower for 14 seasons, cutting at least 12K lawns. It has been set in any of the three positions mentioned above. I see no discernible difference in cut quality from one setting to the other on the caster spacers. I do see a difference when I take out two spindle washers between the blade and the bottom of the spindle, a position putting the blade up closer to the underside of the deck. Raising the blade higher under the deck makes for a lesser quality cut.
  9. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I'm not sure if we're on the same track here, but on the rear wheels,
    the LOWER the hole it's in, the higher your cut?

    So, and again I'm not sure if we're talking the same thing, but if it's in the third hole from
    the top then that would be the third lowest cutting position?
    Once it's in the absolute bottom-most hole, that would be the highest cut, that is again
    assuming in the rear, the axle, the further down it goes, the higher it brings UP the frame.

    Hoping I didn't just confused it all up.
  10. jhawk60

    jhawk60 LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 241

    He is in the third hole down out of four holes. He is, as he said, in the second highest position. He can only drop down one more hole to raise the mower.

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