Ferris Z2 Purchase & Deck Alignment

douglee25

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
TX
Time for a little back story -

I bought a brand new Z2 back in Sept 2019 from a dealer 1500 miles away. I was told the unit was a demo with a few hours but came with a new warranty. The pics looked good and the price was right, so I had it shipped to me.

I was slightly disappointed when the unit arrived because it was evident the unit was sitting outside. The unit wasn't clean and the blades were as dull as a butter knife. I sharpened the blades and tested the unit out on some thick bermuda. Within 20 mins I saw some smoke coming out from the belt area. Upon inspection, the pulleys had significant rust on them from sitting outside which caused immediate wear on the belts. When I inspected the mower a little more closely, I found the baffle bent significantly on the center blade. I used a pry bar and got it straightened out.

I called the dealer and complained. They sent me qty 2 new belts, a new set of blades, a filter set, and 3 new pulleys. I did a full round of maintenance and cleaning on the unit and it's essentially in new condition now and up to my standard.

Fast forward... every time I've used it, I look at the cut and think man something is just not right. It was missing stragglers, the cut was uneven, etc. So to fix it, I've literally tried 4 different sets of blades. Factory Ferris, super high lifts, high lifts, and G5s. Depending on what time of year it is, I've had the best results with the super high lifts (1.5" sail) or the G5s. I've releveled the deck about 5x+ and confirmed tire pressure. With each change the cut has improved.

This year on a new Bermuda lawn I've noticed the eveness of the cut is just not there. I had to get to the bottom of it. I completely removed the deck from the mower and cleaned it up so I could take some measurements. I should have taken some pictures. All three blades were not level with each other. Taking measurements at 4 points on each spindle showed the middle blade the worst - a full 3/8" on one side. I finally have figured it out that whomever demoed the machine hit major stumps/rocks, etc doing some major damage (in retrospect the baffle and blades confirmed this now). The left and right spindle were out anywhere from 3/16" to 1/4". I ended up removing the trim spindle and the middle spindle and using a sledge hammer got the deck perfectly true. The other spindle I was able to use a punch and a sledge to massage the deck back into position without removal. It wasn't bad. Now all three blades actually meet in the middle and are flush to each other. I remember checking the distance from the blade to the deck about a year ago, but I thought that the deck was purposely mfg'ed with the rear portion of the deck lower than the front. Turns out I was incorrect and the spindle was just not true.

Tomorrow I'm calling the dealer just to inform him. Obviously he won't do anything at this point, but I'm definitely super frustrated that I needed to go through this hassle to get to the bottom of it on a new mower. Definitely looking forward to mow time next week.
 

EricC

LawnSite Bronze Member
Dealers definitely all aren't alike. I also bought a dealer demo pretty much site unseen, with the expectation it passed what he was telling me when I went to pick it up in another state.

it was immaculate. Every nook and cranny shone like it was new. I did some re-setting of the deck, just so it would match up height displayed vs actual height of grass cut.

Glad you got it figured out, I think the Z2 is a great machine. Our grasses are different of course, bit it cuts very well up here.
 
OP
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douglee25

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
TX
Finally spoke to the dealer. He stated that the demo mower never left his property for use. He doesn't recall any stumps or debris that could be hit on his property, but that doesn't mean it couldn't have happened. He was apologetic and offered his assistance if I wanted to go through my local dealer to help get Ferris to warranty a new deck. It's definitely covered under their terms.

What do you guys suggest if the cut is OK now? Try to warranty it or just move forward?
 

Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
I think I'd rather have the new deck. That way I'd KNOW what has happened to it and how it was treated. I don't like the idea of having things bent back in to shape to make work as those areas will always be a bit weaker than they should be and can bend easier in the future should something be hit while mowing.

Just my opinion.
 

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
That dealer is not an honest character....how on earth could have not have seen the damage? And what idiot takes out a demo and mows stones and stumps purposely? I'd never leave a demo out of my sight if I were a dealer.
 
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douglee25

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
TX
Dropped the mower off today at the local dealer. Gave him the story in person. He didn't come outside to look at anything and had his worker pull it off my trailer. I hope I'm able to get some help from them, otherwise I'm sure I'll have to truly fight for what's right. Should know something within a few days I'd imagine.
 

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