Stripping - Toro 100 Series SFS deck

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by btriplett, Aug 4, 2008.

  1. btriplett

    btriplett LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I'm not a professional; I'm just a homeowner who appreciates a beautiful yard and I would be very grateful indeed for any information that would help me solve to 2 issues involving my ZTR.

    First the background - - - I just purchased a 1999 Toro 100 Series Z-Master (Z147) with a 44" Super Flow System deck and the Dump From Seat clam-shaped vacuum bagger.

    Although I have read enough to know the SFS decks don't flow nearly as well as the newer Turbo Force decks; I'm just a homeowner looking to mow only my own acreage and I was able to buy this mower with only 155 hours on it for about 1/2 the cost of a new equivalent.

    Although I have installed new standard Toro blades, use the vacuum bagger, mow my yard at 3 3/4" with full throttle and low ground speed; the stripping quality just doesn't appear nearly as good as I've seen with other commercial mowers; or even as good as with my old Toro Wheel Horse.

    Secondly the mower kicks up way more dust and debris from the front of the deck than I would have thought would be acceptable to you guys who ride these mowers hours daily - - - - I'm talking about enough debris in the air that I need to wear goggles to protect my eyes and my legs have a noticable amount of grass/debris on them in only 20 minutes of mowing.

    I'm aware that Toro has a stripping kit for this deck, but I have not purchased one yet. So with this as a background my questions are as follows - - -

    1) Is it normal for a ZTR, or more specifically this one, to kick enough debris into the air from the front of the deck to be a nuisance?

    2) Is the Toro stripping kit effective in improving the "cut-appeal" stripping of this older SFS deck; or do you think the deck is just too shallow to ever produce a good-looking stripe?

    3) Has anyone ever put a flexible shield, similar to a stripping kit, on the front of the deck of any ZTR to minimize the debris that is kicked up? I'm thinking it may also help with the stripping, but I'm also concerned that the air flow may be reduced so much that the deck will not effectively pick up leaves this fall. Ideas / comments / recommendations ????

    Kind Regards,
    Ben Triplett
  2. Laner

    Laner LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 349

    The mower you are describing is very similar to the one that I just traded off, the only difference is deck size (52" SFS). I had ~1000 hrs on the old mower. I had real good results with that mower as long as I was using gator blades. Yes, it did kick up a significant amount of debris in front of the deck, but was reduced with the gator blades. The SFS deck will produce a nice stripe in Kentucky Blue grass when cut at about 3.5".
  3. DJ Contracting

    DJ Contracting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 487

    Check the pitch of your deck, the deck needs to be between 1/8 and 1/4 lower in the front than the rear this should take care of the dust and poss the striping issue.
  4. South Florida Lawns

    South Florida Lawns LawnSite Platinum Member
    from usa
    Messages: 4,784

    Well I cant help you on striping but I have the 44 sfs and yeah it can kick up a lot of dust in dry conditions.
  5. btriplett

    btriplett LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Thanks for your help and suggestions - - -
    1) I will look into getting some Gator Hi-Lift Mulching blades

    2) I ordered a striping kit for the mower today; but I was hoping that someone else who had already done so would have given me some hope that the striping kit would be worth the money and time to install - - - comments please- - -

    3) The deck pitch is closer to 1/2" front to rear with the front lower of course - - - - is this too much?

    Thanks for you time and efforts to respond,
    Ben Triplett
  6. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    Given you have a 44" deck, I wouldn't set the pitch any larger then 1/8" A 44" blade isn't long enough to have a 1/2" pitch. My 61" Velocity Plus deck is set at 1/8" and it cuts and stripes great. I cut my lawn at 2 3/4" 2 times a week! :D Don't mind the mess, it's a work in progress. LOL

  7. Accu-cut Lawn Care

    Accu-cut Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,206

    1/2" is a bit much; but, it's due to having an empty load in your clamshell. I'd bet that when you are half full, it's closer to 1/8. You may want to try a new set of front tires and some caster weights to defeat this anomaly.

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