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Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by chefdrp, Jul 8, 2003.
what are deck baffles and how do they help striping?
Someone correct me if I'm wrong but i believe deck baffles are pieces of metal that seperate the blades from one another. When the baffles are installed each blade has its own little "circle" area. It improves striping because it increases the suction inside of that "circle." Could be wrong tho- do a search and click on links with pictures- i know ill get bashed for this lol but the last pic i remember seeing of baffles was posted by BHB or FSM don't remember what his name was at the time.
go to exmarks site they have pictures of there deck baffles.
I'll probably take a bashing for this, but I'll say it anyways....
I don't think baffles have anything to do with better stripes.
I have not experienced any change with any of my mowers, with or without baffles, mulching or not mulching....makes no difference.
In fact, since buying the Z, every thought I ever had about what makes a mower stripe has been proved wrong.
Some things will make some, but not all mowers stripe better.
So in closing I'll say this is my conclusion of the stripping issue....
Some mowers naturally stripe well or better than others and I'm not sure why.
I like the isolated blade suction theory whether or not it helps striping. It just sounds so cool. The grass pulls up nice and straight for a cut and then the flaps, chains, or rollers pass over for bending it uniformly.
I wonder if you could trace each part of the mower to striping effects. Tire pressure could change the pitch of the deck not just right and left but also forward and aft, thus ultimately enhancing or diminishing the stripe.
Maybe best quality of cut = best stripes, since quality cutting means good vacuum, uniformity, and all the stuff that sets up the grass for the results of consistent bending.
Cut quality = stripe quality, or C = S. However, we should consider the condition of the engine (E), the make of the mowing deck (M), and the cut in total square footage (C squared); so E = MC(squared).
Anyone remember the old style Scag decks? Before Advantage came along? These did not have baffles in them. They had half baffles in the back of the deck but I won't count those. Scag Advantage and eXmark TriVantage and UltraCut decks all have the baffles in the front (as well as many other brands). Toro does not have baffles in any of their floating SFS decks. Baffles do increase suction in each blade chamber. Suction does help striping (some grass types are different Envy and I guess yours don't require suction like ours). It helps alot. Ever striped with single regular blades then with double regular lift blades? When I tried that I saw a dramatic increase in striping action. I did have a 61" Scag STHM 3 wheel rider that had an old style deck (baffle-less) and I built some baffles for it so it looked and performed much like a Scag Advantage or eXmark Trivantage/Ultracut deck. It did do alot better. How? Better suction (better cut less stragglers especially in fine, thin grasses), better clipping chopping, better more even dispersal with no clumps, just overall better performance. It cut hard to cut weeds better because it helped lift them up into the blade and kind of held them there while they were cut. I liked it so much I'm going to do it to my walk behind soon as I get the steel.
I also beleive it is alittle more horsepower effecient. It definately cuts better at a faster speed where before I would see several stragglers and some clumps when mowing wide open on the rider (6.8mph I think it was).
Here's a picture of the baffles I put in the rider's deck. I did modify them later after this pic so they had a more gradual flow from one blade chamber to the other, that helped alot. They had less of an angle to the baffles in front there. I tried to take a few pics after the change but the lighting wasn't good. They looked VERY similar to Scag Advantage or eXmark decks and the performance was enhanced alot IMO. Will try to get pics after I do this to the w/b.
Hope this helps some.
Like the new sig, bhb Myabe I should look at making a baffle for my Surfer, because the difference between the cut of my surfer and the newer Z's I've been on is big. How thick of steel did you use btw.
I have been thinking lately that maybe there are other factors which a mower must have to allow the baffles to be taken advantage of (ie. Blade tip speed) I know it seems like some manufacturers have it figured out and some don't even when they try to copy one that does (Kubota)