Q44 Poor cut due to uneven front caster mounts?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by docj78, Mar 18, 2012.

  1. docj78

    docj78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    So for the last 2 years, I've been chasing as perfect a cut as possible with Bermuda grass and a rotary mower. (I know--not ever gonna be perfect, but we all compromise.)

    I've had the lawn topdressed for leveling the last 2 years, but kept getting some cut quality issues from my BOP 44 Dually. This got me thinking perhaps it's the mower/deck--and i took a closer look today.

    ...The mower will be 2 years old this Sept., and is used only on my personal 1/3 acre yard.

    For referrence, left/right is determined as if you were standing in operator position.

    1. As it turns out--the Left front caster wheel has a much smaller gap/clearance between the wheel itself, and the inside edge of the caster fork as compared to the left.

    2. When placing a level on either side of the midline weld on the front apex of the deck, the Right side is nearly level, where as the Left is way low.

    3. This does seem to cause the majority of the weight to sit on the Left caster, as it does NOT spin easily because it's resting under weight on the concrete. The Right Caster touches the ground, but can easily be spun by hand.

    I fear that this may be an actual manufacturing defect. the deck has never been abused or slammed into anything.

    Certainly this will cause a lousy cut if the L side is always a bit lower--especially with bermuda blades only being green on the top 1/3.

    Any help/insight is great. I can post some pics if that would help.

    Of course--BOP is nowhere to be heard of these days. Figures.:cry:
  2. Hawkshot99

    Hawkshot99 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,431

    To make sure it is actually the front castors, why dont you take them off the mower and reinstall them on the opposite sides.
  3. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Messages: 4,357

    The rear tires will affect the front. Right rear tire diameter less then the left then the left front will be high and vice versa. Check the rear frame heights side to side to see if it something back there.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,699

    Aren't the caster heights adjustable with those big rods?
  5. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    If you have topdressed, why are you cutting Bermuda with a rotary? Get rid of that Quick and get a reel!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    How many spacers under the forks?
    Rear tire presure?
    Rear deck setting L/R?

    Have you parked it a perfectly level concrete and measured the height to the blades? Fore and aft? All 3 blades?

    Pics would help.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    I have this same mower FWIW
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2012
  8. docj78

    docj78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    Thanks for the responses thus far.

    Few things:

    1. I have swithced the castors to se if that made a difference--it does not. I thought the castor itself may have been bent--but that is not the case. I fear that it may be the actual castor mounting arm that comes off of the front of the deck.

    2. Need to chech rear tires with a gauge, but the "press by hand test" seems pretty even.

    3. I have both sides of the deck leveler set at 0 in the back, and with NO spacers up front.

    4. I parked the mower on my level garage floor prior to the evaluation.

    5. I can post some pics once I resize them to fit on here.

    6. What would explain the difference in clearance/gap between the actual castor wheel and the castor fork other than a bent castor rod--or a bent castor mounting arm??
  9. docj78

    docj78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    Ok--back to this. I am in the process of trying to resize my jpegs to the max 800x800 size allowable to attach on this forum...

    This may help you guys better evaluate my concern and offer suggestions...
  10. docj78

    docj78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 83

    Ok--here are the photos. I truly have concerns that the actual structual components/deck itself is out of whack. Any ideas what is typically done to get these types of problems addressed?

    Is this something that requires disassembly, heating, banging, straightening?

    I need to send these to the now non-existent BOP. My mower was bought in spetember of 2010, and probably has about 30 hours on it--I've mowed only my own yard since I bought the thing, and bermuda does NOT like uneven mowing.

    Thanks to you guys for the help.

    Left Caster--from outside.JPG

    Left caster--INSIDE view.JPG

    Left Gap index reference.JPG

    Right Gap index referrence.JPG

    Level Floor.JPG

    Left deck Level.JPG

    Rigth deck level.JPG

    Rigth caster--from outside.JPG

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