DIY Operator Controlled Discharge Chute for Push Mowers

OakNut

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Pittsburgh PA
I've been using bungee cords for years now when I need to side discharge some grass that's too tall to mulch or bag. I'm sure a lot of people do it. It's not so hard to figure out how to hold the side cover open.



That said, doing it this way is not exactly ideal if you need to open and close the chute multiple times - you have to step away from the controls and move the bungee before proceeding.

There has to be a better way.

I started using the side discharge option more often with my 30" Toro Timemaster because of the way the deck builds up with clippings, and I was working on some ideas for mounting a bracket or two to the deck to run a cable/rope through in order to open the side cover WHILE I'm standing at the controls - open/close without stepping away from the handle.
The tricky part with the Timemaster is that the side cover is under very strong spring pressure and you really need a strong pull "upwards" to get the flap lifted before you can "set" it where you need it.

I sort of put my ideas on the back burner while attending to more important things.
Then one day I was looking for Youtube videos on OCDC flaps for walk behinds and zero turns, when I stumbled upon a video showing how to do what I wanted on a PUSH MOWER!

The idea is so simple, I can't believe I didn't think of it! I had been overthinking the whole thing.
I can't take credit for this method, but I figured I would share it as well as what I did differently to make it work for MY application.

This was so absurdly simple - and it WORKS.
Details in the following posts...

 
OP
OakNut

OakNut

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Pittsburgh PA
Here's the video that I based this on.

The music he used makes me want to break branches off a tree and shove them into my ears, but if you pay attention, you will only have to watch it once. LOL


Quick links:
:42 - Materials list
1:00 - drilling side chute
1:10 - zip tie "loop"
2:35 - tape around zip ties (I skipped this)
3:02 - locate where you want to add eye hooks
I couldn't bear to listen to it any more - the rest is mostly just showing how it works.

Materials:
Zip ties
Electrical tape
35" bungee (I used 41")
7/32" drill bit
7/32" eye bolts (2)


Next post - my photos as I assembled my version...
 
OP
OakNut

OakNut

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Pittsburgh PA
This is the location I chose to drill my holes.
There's a "groove" on the underside where I have previously hooked a bungee onto, so I know that it should work OK here, plus the areas on either side of where I drilled are thicker, which should help to keep the holes from becoming enlarged/breaking the plastic.






I didn't care for how he just used the S hook on the end of the bungee. I wanted mine to be secured, but also be able to remove it if I want.

I removed the S hook and was planning to use a split ring (think key ring) to connect the end of the cord to the latch hook, but I couldn't find my spare key rings, so I used zip ties.
The zip tie "loop" actually has the benefit of allowing you to "fine tune" the overall length of the bungee, so it worked out better this way.

Note: I suppose you could use a "shock cord" type bungee, but I found that they stretch TOO much - it's a bit of an issue for the initial "pull to open", so I scrapped the idea of using that style bungee in favor of the rubber style.



(photo taken to note the length I used)



Continued...
 
OP
OakNut

OakNut

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Pittsburgh PA
I may or may not use eye bolts on the mower handle to hook the bungee to.

I first tried using a 36" similar to what the Youtube guy used, but I found that it was not long enough to place it at a point on the handle that was high enough for me to easily grasp it while standing at the controls.
I tried the 41" rubber bungee that I had on hand and discovered that I could hook it right onto the heavy, plastic "cable management loop" that already exists on the handle!

The 41" bungee doesn't need to "stretch" much at all - it's just the right length, and just sturdy enough, that I can easily open the side chute, and hook it in place, with no excess tension pulling on that factory loop.
If I think it would be better to drill and add an eye bolt, I will, but for now, this is working just fine.



When I close the side chute, I can hook the end of the bungee on the strap of my "pouch" that is mounted on the handle. If not for the pouch, I'd probably need to drill and add an eye bolt on that side, but as it stands, I got lucky.




Sorry the pics aren't more detailed, but I think anyone familiar with the mower can figure it out if they choose to do something similar.

Just be careful not to have too much tension on the bungee - you don't want either end snapping, or getting bumped off, causing you bodily harm, OR DEATH! :oops: :oops:

Disclaimer:
Use at your own risk. Operating mowers without discharge covers in place voids your warranty and my cause birth defects.
Persons in the state of California should forget they ever saw this, and go back inside where it is safe, and hug a teddy bear.
 
OP
OakNut

OakNut

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Pittsburgh PA
To "operate"...

To open:
Using your left hand, pull "up", to lift the side flap, and then "back" until you hook the S hook end to something to hold the flap up.



To close:

Using your left hand, unhook the S hook, and move your hand forward, and to the right, allowing the flap to spring closed.



Hook the loose bungee onto something on the right side to keep it handy until you need to open the side flap again.




It works. Nothing complicated. Nothing expensive.
Easy to remove, and no serious alterations to the mower.
 
OP
OakNut

OakNut

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Pittsburgh PA
This thing is working out GREAT!!!

Since it seems to be working as intended, I decided to drill a hole, and add a permanent eye bolt to the handle for the "at rest" position, rather than hooking the bungee onto my pouch strap.

I enlisted the help of my dog, Roofus since he's smart - and was already out in the yard...



Holy CRAP! He's right!
There's an unused factory hole already in the exact spot that I planned to install an eye bolt!
SWEET!




(puts away drill and gets out hardware)



 

Crazy 4 grass

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Minnesota
Yer nutz junior
This thing is working out GREAT!!!

Since it seems to be working as intended, I decided to drill a hole, and add a permanent eye bolt to the handle for the "at rest" position, rather than hooking the bungee onto my pouch strap.

I enlisted the help of my dog, Roofus since he's smart - and was already out in the yard...



Holy CRAP! He's right!
There's an unused factory hole already in the exact spot that I planned to install an eye bolt!
SWEET!




(puts away drill and gets out hardware)



 

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