Mower not discharging clippings correctly

hopskeens

LawnSite Member
I have a late 90s john deere tractor/mower. Its leaving cut/mowed grass in the middle of the lane, although it does discharge some or majority. I'm only cutting about 1-2 inches off, nothing thick.

Seems like I started noticing this after the deck kinda bottomed out on a small hill/bump. So after getting tired of cutting my yard twice sometimes three times, I replaced the blades, leveled the deck, and even replaced the mower and traction belts, checked tire pressure. That didn't solve it. So I took it to a local small engine shop, they replaced a belt and leveled the deck, after paying $130 I have the same issues. Is there something me and the "pros" from the shop are missing? It's not like I ran it off a cliff and bent it all to heck. Just frustrating. Let me know if you need more info, attached some pics. Thanks in advanced.

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Valk

LawnSite Platinum Member
Location
KS
Deck clean and spindles showing no play?
 
OP
H

hopskeens

LawnSite Member
Deck is clean.

Wasn't sure about spindle play so I googled it, all I knew to do was grab the blades and see if they wiggled, which they didn't. Is there more to checking for spindle play?

Blades are fine.

Deck is level.


Thanks for the input.
 

MS_SURVEYOR

LawnSite Bronze Member
I have a late 90s john deere tractor/mower. Its leaving cut/mowed grass in the middle of the lane, although it does discharge some or majority. I'm only cutting about 1-2 inches off, nothing thick.

Seems like I started noticing this after the deck kinda bottomed out on a small hill/bump. So after getting tired of cutting my yard twice sometimes three times, I replaced the blades, leveled the deck, and even replaced the mower and traction belts, checked tire pressure. That didn't solve it. So I took it to a local small engine shop, they replaced a belt and leveled the deck, after paying $130 I have the same issues. Is there something me and the "pros" from the shop are missing? It's not like I ran it off a cliff and bent it all to heck. Just frustrating. Let me know if you need more info, attached some pics. Thanks in advanced.
Yea! Measure the blade tip distance from a flat level concrete slab with the blades pointing forward and rearward. Do that and tell us what you find.
 

Mickhippy

LawnSite Platinum Member
Release the belt tension to check spindle play.
Be sure the surface your doing any measuring from is perfectly flat. Even small undulations will give a false measurement.
Maybe the pulley is spinning on the spindle.
If you hit something and it's been bad cut since, something must of broken.
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Ridin' Green

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Michigan
From the rear your mower looks like a LT133, 150, 155 etc.

I owned an LT133 for several years for mwoing in places I couldn't get with a bigger machine. It cut beautifully with the std lift baldes that come stock on it, and BTW, those blades have more lift than most any other machine does with high lift blades, including those for commercial ZTR's. Their high lifts have a rediculously tall sail.

That said, make sure you are running the OEM std lift blades that come on your mower. I say that because there are also medium lift blades. If you have them, they may not be lifting the grass up cleanly for the cut to happen, and the high lifts will drag down the engine enough to affect the QOC too.

A couple of other things, and one of these is most likely the problem, if you have the owners manual, check to make sure that the PTO lever/cam is adjusted correctly and tensioning the belt properly. If it is out of adjustment, it'll allow your belt to slip, and your blades to skip grass. Check to see that when you "bottomed out" your deck, you didn't bend the front skirt in, in the middle of the deck. Even a fairly small bend inward will act sorta like a baffle for a mulch kit and recycle some of the clippings (instead of blowing them on out the chute), where they end up dropping down in between the blades like yours is doing. If it does have a bend in, it is a easy fix. Just be careful and hammer it back outwards to where it looks normal again. I have had to repair quite a few bent decks over the years for other people, and one of my own even. It can be done without damaging, or weakening the deck if you are careful.



The deck that comes on those mowers is classed as a high performance deck, and when all is set up correctly, they certainly are that, with plenty of vacume/left, and excellent discharge/ and QOC.
 
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Mickhippy

LawnSite Platinum Member
I couldnt see the pics before my last post so disregard it.

I also had an LT155 back in the day, was a great little machine that cut well and worked very hard.

Are the revs set correctly?

Like Ridin Green said, are they the correct blades? Looks like there isnt enough lift or vacuum or maybe something to do with air flow.

Maybe try lowering the front of deck a little more.
If memory serves me correctly (it doesn't always) I think the front deck hangers are pretty easy to sort, just a couple of nuts. If it is put a mark on one side of the nut with a white pen or something, count how many rotations on first nut then do equal to the other.
 

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