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Uneven cut

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by MauiBoy60, Oct 13, 2000.

  1. MauiBoy60

    MauiBoy60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Aloha, everyone!

    Got a question for those of you who are using a 1994 Sears Craftsman 15 hp lawn tractor, 42" cut:

    I've been plagued with uneven cuts (at least 3/4" difference between the blades..noticeable as stripes like those in baseball stadiums!) ever since I've gotten this lawnmower. Balanced the deck I don't know how many times already. Replaced the mandrels twice, removed at least a dozen bent blades and on and on and on. Tire inflation is to spec. The anti-scalp wheels are presently set to their lowest position. I'm using a cut no more than 1/3 of the height of the grass blades.

    I'm at my wit's end. The Sears repair department has been no help at this point. To quote Princess Leia in "Star Wars"..."you're our last hope". Otherwise, I'm dumping this tractor for something with a single blade.

    A little more info: the terrain I'm mowing isn't the levelest, but it's passable...maybe a few high spots and low spots here and there.

    Hope this is enough info for you. If not, please let me know.

    Mahalo! (Thank you!)
  2. bob

    bob LawnSite Platinum Member
    from DE
    Messages: 4,262

    Find the nearest volcano and drop the crapsman in! Then get a commercial rider or walkbehind.

    PS. Welcome to Lawnsite!
  3. MauiBoy60

    MauiBoy60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    *LOL* Thanks, Bob!

    BTW...forgot to tell everyone...I mow about 4 acres (2 lawns) every other week...
  4. MJB

    MJB LawnSite Silver Member
    from Wa
    Messages: 2,870

    If your serious about lawncare then get rid of it. I have never seen one that cut even. Get a zero turn rider like an Exmark, or a Dixie Chopper, or Walker if any dealers are in your area. I dumped an account I've been mowing this spring because it was to cheap $145 per week. They brought in a guy using a sears 42" crapsman and he mowed it for about 1 month and it looked like crap uneven cuts etc.
    They begged me to come back and gave me $40 a week raise with no questions. They wanted a professional and you do a professional job with Craftsman mowers period. The extra money you spend on Zero turn will be made up by efficiency, & quality. If you are a homeowner and just trying to mow your lawn I would still get rid of it, and look at different affordable options for mowers. Good luck..
  5. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    After checking everything you have, it almost sounds like you have spindle shafts of different lengths. Take the blades off and put something flat across the bottom of the spindles and check.
  6. MauiBoy60

    MauiBoy60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Hmmm...that's a new one, Eric. I guess it wouldn't hurt to check that one out. Will do and report back my findings.
    P.S. I already lifted the mower to look under the deck..lined up the blades...and that's where I came up with my 3/4" difference between the blades. You can actually see the difference when you sight down the blades.
  7. MauiBoy60

    MauiBoy60 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 7

    Advice noted, MJB. It disturbs me greatly when I can't do a good job on these two lawns. There are spots where it mows nice and even, and a few feet away, boom...stripes. *SIGH*

    Oh...and another reason I "settled" on this particular mower...my better half works for Sears...and this was a Christmas gift for me. One that I had threatened to return...in hindsight, a threat I should have carried out..*LOL*
  8. cutting edge

    cutting edge LawnSite Member
    Messages: 194

    I started out using a 42" Craftsman. I now use a 48" Lazer HP. I did not know what mowing was until my Exmark. I think this is an Exmark dealer in your area:

    115 KIO LOOP
    KIHEI, HI    96753
    Phone:   808-874-5050
    Fax:   808-874-5950
    E-mail:   lear@hawaii.com

    If you try one out be prepared to buy or stop mowing altogether, because you will never want to use that sears again.
  9. Jeff in AL

    Jeff in AL LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 799

    Mauiboy- Is the 3/4 difference from one blade tip to the other? like Eric said try to use a straight edge.
    Another thing to do if the difference is from blade tip to blade tip is to rotate the lower blade and find it's lowest spot, then place some washers between the deck shell and the spindle, to raise it up. If you look at the spindle, there should be three self tapping screws running from the top of the deck down through the deck into the spindle.
    place the shims or washers on the bolt closest to the lowest point of the blade. Do not use any more than a couple at a time, because an 1/8in shim at the spindle can turn into a 1/4 in at the end of the blade tip.

    Hope this helps some
  10. 1stclasslawns

    1stclasslawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 565

    Been there done that! I too started with a craptsman. Mine did the same thing deck was bent the thing was bowed down in the middle.. Jim

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