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out-of-balance deck mystery

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Stonewall, Jun 2, 2001.

  1. Stonewall

    Stonewall LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I've been battling an unever deck (Turf Tiger Advantage) for several weeks now and still haven't figured out the problem. With all tire pressure checked and uniform, my mower is cutting shorter on the right side than it is the left. I measured the right and left side height of each blade and the results were curious. Measuring from left to right (as you sit on the mower), here are my left and right measurements on each blade:

    1. 3 3/8" -- 3 7/16"
    2. 3 1/2" -- 3 1/4"
    3. 3 3/8" -- 3 1/8"

    It's not a consistent decline from left to right, which is what has me confused. Otherwise, I could simply level the deck. It's almost as if #2 and #3 need shims under one side of the bearing assemblies. Has anybody done that before? I don't think it's a bent blade shaft, because it would then cause one whole section to cut lower. When measuring, I double checked the measurements by rotating each blade half a turn and the measurements came out basically the same. I also measured with a different set of blades with the same result.

    Any ideas?
  2. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,555

    What happens when you alin the blade tips of the center,and one outside spindle up,which is lower?,the rotate just the out side spindle 180 degrees-is the measurement still the same?or is it lower or higher now?If the measurement changes when you spin it 180,you have a bent spindle,and you'll never get it to cut right with bent spindles,believe me Ive put 40 spindles in my steiner in 11 yrs.Check all 3 spindles,against another,this way,and see if you do have bent spindles on the outside.Cut problems are very frustrating,I got a few grey hairs getting by brand new mower to cut right last year.
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    It sounds to me like your deck is bent. Judging by the measurements you have given, it is tweaked right between the left and the center blade. It is bent up at this point, and sags as it goes toward the edges. Sorry to have to say that.:(
  4. edward hedrick

    edward hedrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    If that is the new deck you just put on ? If you have another machine
    check that one.Check to see if the deck is level. Measure left, center and right. Some mid mounts have ajustments in the chains?
  5. Stonewall

    Stonewall LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    I don't see how the spindle could be bent. I measured each blade at one position then after rotating it half a turn. Same results. It's as if the whole spindle assembly is sitting at an angle.

    I put a level on the deck last weekend and it was fine from side to side. I didn't check it from front to back to see if it was bent that way. I don't have another machine to check it by. If all else fails, I'll take it to my mechanic and see what he can come up with. Do you think I can shim up one side of the spindle assembly?
  6. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    How long have you had the machine?
  7. Stonewall

    Stonewall LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    1500 hours on the whole unit, 100 hours on new deck.
  8. Keith

    Keith LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,979

    So the deck cut ok when you first put it on?

    I know this is different, but I bought a Scag walkbehind in 1993 and it basically cut uneven or rather stepped. After a deck was put on, the whole machine was replaced. No one ever figured out what was really screwed up.
  9. Stonewall

    Stonewall LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 280

    Yes, the mower cut fine when the new deck was installed. I may try the shims just out of curiosity. Any reason why I shouldn't?
  10. racerdave

    racerdave LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    Stonewall, first I would remove the deck and lay it on a flat surface. Look to see if there is a noticeable warp to the deck. It sounds like it was crashed pretty hard, and the spindles have been "dominoed" over a little. Flip it over and see what happens with your shim idea. Be sure to keep rotating the blades for clearance issues.
    good luck.

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