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Mower question: Is this normal?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mark123, May 10, 2010.

  1. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    I put a new set of blades on my Toro Proline 36 today. After testing, I was ready to scrape the deck and noticed that the blades don't line up:

    Is that normal? It's about a 1/8" difference. I imagine there is a tolerance and that may be within spec. The mower has been leaving stringers even with sharp blades. I suppose that could be attributed to the 19" of growth per week this crazy spring.

    Concerning the blades being offset, I wonder if I have a bad spindle. It doesn't vibrate so everything seems to be in balance. Am I worrying about nothing or is this a serious issue?
  2. Greenery

    Greenery LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 512

    What kind of blades? Maybe there just not a quality blade. Also 19" of growth in a week?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    These are Toro OEM. Part #103-2528.

    There is the same offset using my other three sets as well.
  4. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    Is measuring deck to blade an accurate indicator of the spindle being crooked?
  5. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,397

    Blades that are bent just slightly will cause that. If you don't have an accurate balancer /blade trueness tester, then you can lay the blades on a flat surface and that will be an indicator as well. You can also look down the length of the blade and that may tell you as well if you see a difference between the two.

    You mentioned that those were new blades. New blades are not always perfect.
  6. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    They are flat. I checked them before installing. The same thing happens using all blades or switching the blades to the other spindle.

    Hmm. Could the deck be warped? :(
  7. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,268

    When I was changing the blades on my JD yesterday I noticed the same thing on my middle blade. The middle blade was about 1/8" lower than the discharge side blade. I couldn't figure out why because the mower is brand new and I knew I didn't hit anything with it. Upon a little better looking with my "eyes open" this time I found that the blade didn't go straight onto the spindle. Part of the spindle on my mower needs to go into the center hole on the blade (that keeps it centered) then the bolt goes on. But the blade was just off centered enough when I put the blade on that it caused only part of that spindle piece to go into the blade center hole which made the blade unlevel.

    Its hard to explain what exactly my problem was. But try taking the blades back off and reinstalling them.
  8. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    I see what you're saying. There is a piece on your spindle that the blade goes onto that fits into the hole in the blade that must be lined up before putting on the bolt.

    I don't think there is anything like that on mine but I'm willing to give it a go.
  9. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    No, it's not normal.

    Check the spindles first. Take the blades off and make sure both of them are identical. It is possible that the mower has been like that since you bought it. If you can measure from the deck to the blade mounting surface on the spindle that would be great. They should all have the same exact measurement. Make sure the lower bearing hasn't fallen down. If that checks out then place the mower on a flat surface and measure from the floor up to the bottom of the deck. Don't measure to the side skirt, you want to get right up to the bottom of the deck.

    If this mower is out of warranty and there is a difference from one side to the other of the deck you can shim the spindles to get them the same. It is unusual but not unheard of for mower dealers to fix mildy out of whack decks like this.
  10. mark123

    mark123 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 486

    It's possible that I switched the washers around the blade to make both sides equivalent at some point. There is a thick washer at the top of both blades and a thin one below. I switched the thin one to the top of the lower blade and they seem to meet in the middle now. I'll test it on a lawn tomorrow to see if it works out.

    Yeah, it's a little bit out of warranty. It's circa 2001. ;)

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