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Warped Deck or Spindle Issue?

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by auaero, Jun 30, 2020.

  1. auaero

    auaero LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 4

    Hello everyone! I'm a homeowner but I've always found this site to be extremely useful when trying to figure out issues with my lawn or equipment. I've got a problem with my mower that I hope you guys can help with.

    I have a Craftsman Pro Series 46" lawn tractor (model 27042). I am cutting a Bermuda grass lawn. When mowing perpendicular across slight slopes or when turning sharply, the right (discharge) side of the deck leaves a noticeable step in the grass.

    Here's what I've done so far:
    1. Verified tire pressure on all four tires (I've tried running at 10 PSI and 15 PSI with no difference in cut result)
    2. Verified the blades are straight and sharpened blades
    3. Remove the deck and checked to that the blade tips are in the same plane left to right
    4. Leveled the deck
    When leveling the deck, I was able to get the left outside and right outside tips leveled at 2 1/2 inches. When checking front to back, the right blade is 3/16" higher in the back than the left blade while both blades are level when measured at the front. Measuring from the floor to the bottom of the sheet metal of the deck, the right side of the deck is 1/8" higher. See the attached drawing for a visual explanation.
    Blade Heights.png
    So, here's my question? Is this a spindle issue or a deck issue? If it's a deck issue, could I shim up the back side of the right hand spindle to level it out and bring the blades level on the back side?

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. MowDaddy

    MowDaddy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,750

    From what you are describing it sounds like your deck may be bent right near where spindles bolt on.
    Another possibility is deck hanger linkage is warn, and on a slope, deck moves towards the downhill hill side.
    How old is the mower ?
     
    Youngandfree likes this.
  3. OP
    OP
    auaero

    auaero LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 4

    Thanks for the suggestions MowDaddy. It is one year old with 23 hours on it.
     
  4. MowDaddy

    MowDaddy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,750

    Shouldn't be worn linkage with only 23 hrs. See if you can run a straight edge across top of deck. It should sit flat.
     
  5. OP
    OP
    auaero

    auaero LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 4

    I'll pull the deck off tomorrow and check it.

    I'm curious if you've got any thoughts as to a deck with a front to back warp could be causing the step cut issue I'm seeing? I would think that if the blades are level left to right it should mow flat.

    This is by far the most aggravating mower I've ever owned! Thanks again for your help.
     
  6. BigFish

    BigFish LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,910

    Yeah, you can shim it. Try it and see what happens. The problem is the MTG bolts seize in the alum. and usually snap off. May not be a problem since yer unit ain't that old.
    Look, the whole deck assy on most all them riders just kinda flops around, so...

    Since the front axle pivots in the center, ya might try jamming a wood wedge on either side between the axle beam and frame to eliminate that pivoting. Never really tried it, but it might work, right ?
     
  7. OP
    OP
    auaero

    auaero LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 4

    Thanks, BigFish. You're right about the "floppiness" of the mower deck. It seems like two deck hangers in the front like there are in the rear. I'll try your wood block suggestion.
     
  8. Justin Hightower

    Justin Hightower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    One way to tell if it’s a spindle issue is loosen the blade and move it 90 degrees. If it’s a bent deck, you’re measurements won’t change
     

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