I also use the JD mulching blades all the time. The clippings seem to rot up much faster even when using them for side discharge. A little less wind is also better during dry and dusty periods. I have some allergy problems so I seldom ever pull the mulch plug even with tall grass. I just take it slow, and go a second pass if needed.
I used to run high lifts n my 180 w/38" deck mainly becasue they would lift taller grass up better and throw it much further out the chute than standard or medium lift blades did, so they were great if you let grass get tall and instead of getting a windrow of cut grass it spread it out better because it threw it further.....
Used in conjunctin with the deck lip extensions that JD sold for on the 38" deck it was one heck of a vacuum cleaner.......there is one trade off though, you will seemore fuel consumption with a 180 and high lift blades as compared to reg blades.
Does your fuel inidicatopr light work on your tractor? Just hope it never goes bad. Its a very simple sending unit, looks like a float in a carb does, and all it does is make or break a contact in the sending unit. Sloshing of the gas etc and age makes the float leak. A new float if it was available would be about $5, but they do not sell repair parts for these sending units. A new one will set you back better than $75.00 last I priced on at the local dealer........who does drastically jack his prices up, but other than leaky floats the rest never goes bad.......I refused to pay what they wanted, and just removed the light bulb!
Bit off the topic but the 180s were nortorious for acting like they had dead batteries and refusing to crank. Usually does it in hot weather or after long use. Acts just like the battery is dead or low, and just clicks the solenoid. There is asimple addon kit JD sells that recifies this problem, costs about $40.00 and IMHO should have been a retro fit on a recall, but not according to JD, who blames it on Kawasaki, and Kawasaaki blames it on JD...typical pass the buck deal.
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