Help!! Scag 32" cutting lower on right side

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by scagman, Jan 12, 2002.

  1. scagman

    scagman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 270

    I have an older scag 32" gear. Towards the end of the Oct I noticed the left side was green and the right side was cutting lower leaving that side yellow. I took it to a local dealer and he said it was tire pressure, so they filled up the tires with air still mowed uneven. I took a look under the deck matched the blades up and it looks like the right blade is lower then the other, by the way it has new blades so I know their not bent. The washers are all the same. I called a different shop the other day and he said it would cost me $270 for 2 spindle jobs. If its something simple I would like to save my money any tips on what to checkout would help thanks.
  2. eslawns

    eslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 712

    I had a guy working for me once who put the washers on one blade the right way, but on the other side they were under the blade, with the blade against the spindle housing. It made a 3/4" difference in the cut where that blade was.

    Set your machine on a flat (concrete?) surface. Use a tape to measure the distance from the concrete to the tips of each blade. If your tires are all good, unless the deck/frame is bent (and it should be obvious) it's either bent blades or a problem with your spacing washers. If the spindles were very very worn, it might cause some difference, but it shouldn't be enough to tell.
  3. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    When my mower was cutting in a similar fashion, and after exhausting all the fixes you've tried, I did what eslawn suggested and found that the deck was bent. I had been mowing at dusk and hit a stump. The dealer was able to straighten the deck and brace it. No more problem.
  4. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    Maybe place this thread on mechanics forum. The only other thought I had was to check the bolts (3 per side) that hold deck to frame. They could have loosened up on one side. If they are, re-tighten w/ threadlock.

    If your spindles were loose, I think you would be able to hear them when cutting, and when not cutting, if you grab the blade bolt, you'll feel a lot of play in them. Spindles are a relatively simple repair and replace. Our dealer "swaps" out resealed ones for $50 each w/ the old ones in trade. At most 1.5 hrs/side to remove pulleys and spindles and install new. Less time of course w/ air tools:D

  5. lawnkid

    lawnkid LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 935

    I had the same problem this past fall when I never realized that my drive wheels on my hydro were low on pressure. You could have four problems most likely. A). your tires are leaking without you realizing. B) one of your caster wheels is really worn down C). your 1/4 inch caster spacers and blade spacers are not equal, or D) your deck is not level like Pelican and TurfDude said. Solutions- Put tubes in your drive tires, measure blade heights, check caster wheels, and lay in front of your mower and see if it leans one way. I don't know of any other possibility? Is this your only machine? Anyway Good Luck!
  6. TLS

    TLS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,943

    If all checks out with spindles and spacers (are the spindle housings the same type?) and deck is level (skirt all the way around is the same), then I would venture to say that the deck plate is warped (the part that the spindle housing bolts to). Meaning that the centerlines of the spindle shafts are not | | <---like that but are maybe like this --> | / (viewing from the front down on your knees) The sideways one will cause the mower blade to cut lower on that particular side.

    I had an older 48" SCAG that I totally refurbished, sandblasted and structurally enhanced. Well, I got it a little too hot with the welder and warped the deck plate. Didn't notice it until I couldn't get the deck to cut level. It was close, but on finely manicured lawns it was very noticable. I ended up selling it! The older SCAG's were 10 gauge top plate with just reinforcing rings around the spindle mounting areas. The newer ones are 7 gauge all around and would be harder to warp.

    Good luck and let us know how you make out.
  7. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I thought the scags were built like tanks. You mean a stump did it in??:eek:
  8. Pelican

    Pelican LawnSite Member
    Messages: 164

    After I posted I thought I should have clarified. It was Sun. eve at my own house at dusk and I was making the first pass around the perimeter. I was cutting a little deeper into the higher grass on the edge of my lawn and didn't see the cut off stump in the grass (on my ZTR). The deck went up and over the stump and everything came to an abrupt halt, engine included. I'm lucky I only bent the deck. The dealer said they had some problems with the ZTR decks in this area, but I blame myself, not the manufacturer.

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