Help - My eXmark cut quality stinks...

Jashley73

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisville, KY
I wanted to poll the forum to see if there's a way to improve my mower's cut quality.

This spring I purchased a used eXmark X-series mower. 29hp Kohler EFI motor, 60" cut, I believe it's an Ultra-Cut series 6 deck. (Model number is an LZX29EKC606 - I believe that indicates 60" series 6 deck...?)

Anyway,

I've picked up a few yards, but am left feeling totally unimpressed with the mower's quality of cut. I'm a little confused, because what I've read online suggests that this machine should have incredible quality of cut.

The mower has factory blades, and they're sharp. I've experimented with double-blading by adding Oregon G5 gator blates + stock blades hoping this would improve the cut quality, and give me that "carpet" look with one-pass mowing.

I don't mind slowing down to get a good quality of cut (3-6mph maybe?) But regardless of how slow I mow, I don't feel like this mower ever offers "great" quality of cut...

For comparison, I have an antique Scag SW walk-behind, and on my own yard, I notice almost no difference with one-pass cutting.

The eXmark also doesn't stipe very well either. Subjective I know, but I'm unimpressed.





Most of the grass I'm cutting is mixed fescue, with weeds, clover etc... (No designer turn unfotrunately)

I typically mow between 3-1/2" -to- 4" cut height.

Adding the G5 gators + stock blade (stock blade on bottom) offered no improvement in cut quality, and dare I say, little difference in clipping size. It DID increase discharge distance. Wide open areas, I can blow off using just the mower, and don't need to come back with a blower, so that's a plus. (Blowing force is insane really...) BUT, it also increased the blow-out in front of the deck too. I'm getting tons more grass built up on the deck, the operator's floor, and in my face. :(



Any suggestions? I'm not sure if this deck has adjustable front baffles or not. To be honest, I wouldn't know how adjusting up/down would help or not.

I've emailed eXmark, but am awaiting a response, and thought I might as well ask here.

Thanks folks.
 

Integrity-LC

LawnSite Member
Location
West Michigan
Have you checks the deck level and pitch? Is the engine running at top RPM? Is the deck belt slipping? These are the things I would start with.
 
OP
J

Jashley73

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisville, KY
I'll check pitch this weekend if I have time. I haven't seen anything to indicate that it's off level. RPM is fine. (No tach, but this Kohler screams at WOT!) PTO & belts are healthy with no slippage.

IF the deck were off pitch, how badly would that affect vacuum & cut quality?
 

Integrity-LC

LawnSite Member
Location
West Michigan
I'll check pitch this weekend if I have time. I haven't seen anything to indicate that it's off level. RPM is fine. (No tach, but this Kohler screams at WOT!) PTO & belts are healthy with no slippage.

IF the deck were off pitch, how badly would that affect vacuum & cut quality?

If it was off by a lot I suspect it could affect it significantly, especially if it is higher in the front vs the back. For reference my Exmark manual for my machine recommends the back of the deck be set 1/8" to 5/16" higher than the front.
 

NickTF

LawnSite Member
Location
Laurel, DE
$10 tach is worth $100 or more, rpm makes all the difference. Deck pitch as well. Scag, Red, Green, Yellow......same story each time with what to check when cut quality is not as desired.
 
OP
J

Jashley73

LawnSite Member
Location
Louisville, KY
How high is the grass before you cut it at 3.5-4? How often are you cutting them?

Without busting out a tape measure, I'd say 3" or less is getting cut off the top. Weekly properties. Bear in mind this is spring time, but nothing out of control.

I'd expect 4+" of growth to take double-cutting to get good cut quality. But not 2-3".
 

JLH52

LawnSite Senior Member
I'll check pitch this weekend if I have time. I haven't seen anything to indicate that it's off level. RPM is fine. (No tach, but this Kohler screams at WOT!) PTO & belts are healthy with no slippage.

IF the deck were off pitch, how badly would that affect vacuum & cut quality?

Just because the KOHLER screams at WOT is absolutely no indication that you are turning 3600 rpm's at work.

Without a Tach you’re clueless to how many rpm's you’re actually working at.

While actually mowing if you’re turning 3550 rpm's or less you’re lacking in power and the components of mower cannot function as designed from manufacturer.

Many people don't realize how much difference a few rpm's actually makes.

I learned this from experience after installing a Tiny Tach. My mower was only turning 3350 rpm's at WOT. Once I installed Tach, and increased rpm's to proper setting I thought I had a new mower.

I was running a 28 hp. EFI KOHLER on a 60” Hustler Super Z.
 

Freaky Fido

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Northeast USA
If an Exmark X series isn't cutting to your expectations either it's not set up properly or you're expecting too much. I'd check the pitch as others have suggested.
 

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