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Deck Balancing

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by Mack77, Sep 4, 2009.

  1. Mack77

    Mack77 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 212

    My 23HP 61" bobcat Z cuts like $hit.

    I believe in not only keeping the lawn short and maintained, but also looking GREAT. I just can not keep lawns looking nice without double, or triple cutting sometimes while running this machine. (Luckily I have less powerful 19HP/52" bobcat Z that cuts great)

    I examined the machine yesterday and the deck hangs from a series of chains. 3 of which are tight, and one is very loose. When I took a level to the deck it measured that the discharge chute was hanging maybe 1/2" lower than the opposite side. When the machine cuts, it looks like the grass isn't lifting/shooting as high as on my other bobcat Z. Could this be the problem? If it is, how would I go about correcting the balance on the deck?

    I also know this machine is underpowered for the deck size, but I have a hard time believing that bobcat would produce a mower that cuts so poorly right out of the box, something has to be wrong and i'm hoping balancing will solve the problem.

    Many thanks :)
  2. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    Go to www.bobcatturf.com

    Go to the parts section. Lookup your machine. Click on Literature. Somewhere in there will be the setup/maint/parts manual in a PDF format. That will have instructions to setup your deck.
  3. Mack77

    Mack77 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 212

    i'll look into that...thanks!
  4. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    Quick/dirty would be level it side to side and get the front of the deck 1/8-1/4" lower than the back. Easiest is to just measure from the top of the deck since they are nice and flat...unless you are messing with a 72".

    The procedure in the book will get it to match the settings on the lift mechanism more closely but if you just want level the above will work.

    Also its very difficult to get all 4 chains tight. 3 points determine a plane so....
  5. WhitakerServices

    WhitakerServices LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    make sure tire pressures are exact before starting.
  6. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,025

    Good call. Bobcat generally recommends 14psi in all tires.
  7. ricky86

    ricky86 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,122

    All four chains should be tight. It's best to measure from the blade tip. Is this a new unit?
  8. Mack77

    Mack77 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 212

    it's a used unit, but it has NEVER cut well. I sharpened the blades, changed belts, scraped all the grass buildup from underneath the deck and it cut better, but not great. I noticed the chains not even, and the deck looks like it's not hanging level so i'm hopeful this will correct the problem.
  9. loafycleetus

    loafycleetus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 36

    I operate a bunton bzt2190 48 cut Z and the cut looks great after I leveled the deck. I simply put the deck down on some 4x4's, put a 1/8 spacer on top of the 4x4 on the BACK side to set the rake. I set the deck down on the wood and adjusted all the chains until they where tight. My deck was either tweaked or the chains where too long to adjust the slack out with the adjustment bolts so I had to loosen the bolts that attach to the deck, jam the nut against the chain and clock the last link in the chain to make it up. Works great now!:clapping:

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