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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last season.. I had a problem with grass clippings building up on my 50" deck (prestige)
I wrote to simple and they said, yes, its a common problem... we will send you out a baffle kit.
Since installing the baffle kit, the chute gets clogged all the time and it does a pretty poor job of cutting... well it cuts fine, but leaves clumps all over the lawn..

See pic below..

<img src=http://www.tractorforum.com/forums/attachment.php?s=&postid=47903>

now since last year, i have done 3 things...
1. Added the baffle kit
2. Changed to AG tires
I mention the AG tires because technically, i think they are a little shorter than my turfs, so i am wondering if that may be causing the problem.
3. switched to gator blades.



I called the dealer and he indicated that the baffle kit tends to lower air flow and that may cause the discharge problem..
I inquired about just swithing to a mulching deck.. He did not recommend it, as he said you have to cut the lawn more often and it cant be wet.. ect ect.....



The 1st thing i wish to try is removing the baffle kit..

if its between grass clipping buildup and a crappy looking lawn.. ill stick with the grass clippings.

I also want to check the deck heights to see if they are correct.



Anybody out there with a mulching deck? you happy with it?
anybody add a bafle kit? did it cause any problems?


FYI: in this pic the grass was very high but it clogs at all grass lengths..


Any thoughts or suggestions would be welcome..
 

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SJ,
I have a JD 48C deck with a mulching kit. I started to notice it wasn't cutting that well so I thought my blades needed sharpening. Took the deck off and grass was caked pretty heavily above each of the three blades. I first scraped the big chunks off and then power washed the entire underside and put on the newly sharpened blades. Finally I lubed all the spindles and guide wheels. The other thing I did which appears to have made a difference, as hard as it is to believe, is lowered the cutting height from 3" to 2.75". My lawn now looks better than it ever has since I got the tractor 2 years ago. I have no discharge chute, only the mulch plug which will not work with gators. I believe the improvement may have came from a combination of cleaning the caked grass and lowering the cutting height but I don't know for sure. When I use the Power Flow Bagger in the Fall and Spring for leaves, I use the gators and a lip kit on the deck with no chute clogging problems even when the grass is more moist.

I usually take my deck off once every six weeks or so to sharpen the blades and lube everything. This was one of the few times when there was a really thick build up of grass on the underside. Usually I just scape of the big pieces and don't need to power wash it.
 

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Whoooooooaaa John,

I never had that problem like that with my baffle kit. How long is the grass you are cutting?

Even when I was cutting about 4" off in some areas it wasnt like that. Since then, I now have the mulching kit. I love it, it chops up the the grass blades to about 1/4" and disperses them to the lawn. I can tell that it circulates them in there for a while, if you do a tight turn, or stop and back up, it will leave a small clump which I basically runover in the next pass. All in all, not bad at all.

<img src=http://www.trailtamer.com/letsrace/landscapeweb/july-2004/lawn1.jpg>

<img src=http://www.trailtamer.com/letsrace/landscapeweb/july-2004/lawn2.jpg>

These pictures were taken last week.

I do cut about every 3-4 days and usually cut about 1.5" off.

Hope it helps,

Mike
 

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forgot to mention,

I do have the same tractor as John, Prestige with 50" deck.

Also, when I said I usually cut 1.5" off at a time, that is the minimum, it usually varies between 1.5"-2.5" in my yard that I am cutting off. I cut it at 4" height.

FWIW,

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks DB: I should have clarified..

I regularly pull the deck off and clean it down to bare metal.. before this last cutting.. it was cleaned & greased..

I also have put WD40 on the deck and most recently put about 4 coats of mo-deck onto the deck & chute....

I never thought about trying to alter the height... id think lowering the height would only cause more grass to be cut.. but ill give anything a try...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
viper,
this time out the grass was high but usually i cut it every 4-5 days... and it still clogs...


did you go from a side discharge w/ a baffle kit then to a mulching kit?

the dealer really swayed me from getting a mulching kit.. do you need to cut 2 times a week? how does the muclhing kit do on high grass??


if you had just the baffle kit and saw no problems.. that would lead me to believe my AG tires messed up the deck level or height!!


thanks
sj


ps. Viper: your lawn looks great... did you enter the simplicity beautiful lawn contest? if nothing else.. you'll get a hat!
 

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Usually one of three things that cause this:

grass is too tall (try to cut no more than 1/4 to 1/3 the height of grass)

grass is too wet or juicey

mower has an excess amount of built up grass cutting stuck to the under side of the mower blocking the ejection pattern of the grass clippings.
 

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Originally posted by simple_john
...I never thought about trying to alter the height... id think lowering the height would only cause more grass to be cut.. but ill give anything a try...
SJ,
It surprised me too but perhaps the slightly lower cutting height plus removing the caked grass created a little more air space above the blades to improve the mulching action. The only reason I mentioned the cutting height is I have had it set at 3" every since I got the new tractor 2 years ago. I lowered it slightly to see if the lawn would look better between weekly mowings. It may be that every deck has an optimal mulching cutting height based upon it's design and I just happened to stumble into mine. An unintuitive result which is why I posted it.
 

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SJ,

did you go from a side discharge w/ a baffle kit then to a mulching kit?

Yes, I dont know if you remember, I posted the pictures of what the mulching kit consisted of... http://www.tractorforum.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=3318

the dealer really swayed me from getting a mulching kit.. do you need to cut 2 times a week? how does the muclhing kit do on high grass??

I do try to cut twice a week. It really ends up being about every 4 days. Last week it was really tall, I ended up cutting about 5" off at one time. I did have clump spots and ended up cutting the other direction to go over it a second time.

I did enter the checker board picture you see last week, dont see anything up on their website.

Mike
 

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sj your belt isnt slipping that maybe your problem your blades might not be turning as fast as they should. Just a thought how old is it :question:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks mike,
I remembered the pic of the mulching deck.. did not remember if it had a baffle on it initially....

the dealer said it was fairly expensive for the mulching kit.... (he indicatedd it would be around 200$) do you recall what you paid? does that sound right?

i still may go with a mulch kit... just have to cut a little more often..
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
jody: belts only a few years old.. it does not sound or appear to be slipping... just gets too much grass under the deck when the chute clogs...
sj
 

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The only thing I have is good sharp blades, clean deck and don't let it get too long.........More tractor time!!!!:tractorsm
 

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Viper --- WOW! What a yard.......fabulous looking place you have there and really great pride in that yard...really shines! :D

Andy
 

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Thanks Andy,

End of august will be 1 year from when I seeded, plain old fashion seeding here.

Early spring I was going to rip it all up and start over because it was 50% weeds. I decided to try weed-b-gon first. That and fertilizer did the trick. Now its so thick, you cant even tell that I seeded.

We do spend alot of time in the yard, too much sometimes but it keeps me out of trouble.

Here is a close up of one of the many beds we have

<img src=http://www.trailtamer.com/letsrace/landscapeweb/july-2004/bed1.jpg>

And a dark one from the shade of the front

<img src=http://www.trailtamer.com/letsrace/landscapeweb/july-2004/yard1.jpg>

We still got alot to do.

Thanks for the kind comments,

Mike
 

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Man Viper you and SJ and your yard an tractor pics!!!! Just keep rubbing it in!!!!!!!

Just kidding that is one nice looking yard!!! :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
mike you posted before about the rocks getting stained with your iron water... did you ever get that resolved?
 
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