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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well, I had some time yesterday to do some stuff before I went out mowing. Figured I would sharpen the mower blades on the tractor first. Well, they were REAL bad. With all the rocks I have been mowing for the last year it is expected......But I did not expect this......

OK, so I jack up the front of the tractor to remove the blades. I am taking the first one off, and notice that one of the deck hangers is missing. :eek: OK, no biggy, with my bumpy yard, the pins probably broke, or wore out, so I grabbed another from my box of spair parts, and I was all set.

Second blade comes off no problem. They are real bad, but they were new last year, so still a lot of meat on them.[BTW who ever was talking about sharping blades with an angle grander, THANKS!! Worked awsome] I was going to get new ones, but till the lawns in shape, it would be just wasting money.

Get to the last blade. And its ready to FALL OFF!!!. One of the bolts was gone, and the other was almost all the way out!!:eek: :eek: :eek: I can only imange what would have happand if that bad boy let loose. See when I installed the deck, I just put it on. Never checked it out or anything. With all the stumps, sticks, and rocks I hit, I REALY should have known better.

OK, so I sharping them up, and also another set I had,[now I have a set in standby] and then reinstalled them. Figured I would check the decl level.......

:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: OMG the front tip of the blade was about a 1/4 inch from the ground, and the rear was about 3"!!!!!!!!! I cant belive I did not check it before!!!!!

See what happand was I have a lot of spare parts from different tractors. When I mounted up the deck, I used all the best parts I had, ot make up the hanger bracket. Well the rear hangers was from my parts 446 I used to have, but they were perfict, so I used them. Well with the diferent hight of the big wheel Case/Ingersolls, and the small wheel ones, left the deck WAY out of level. The scary part is I mowed like that the day before.:eek: :eek:


Just goes to show, that you have to stay on top of things. It is WAY to easy to get comfortable with these mowers, and forget how dangerous they can be when things go wrong. So everyone check there mowers over well before the next mowing. The life you save could be your kids.
 

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Wow. Definately a wake-up call post. I hope people take this post to heart and head out to check out their deck setup. I am not a religious deck checker myself, but I will definately take a gander at the setup just for safety sakes next time I get out there. I am certainly glad that you found the problems now and not while mowing past your kids while waving at Daddy on the tractor. Cannot imagine the pain associated with knowing you could have injured or killed one of your own in any circumstance.
I do check for oil level, air filter cleanliness, basic solid frame and nothing loose check before hitting the grass, but I will be more mindful in the future with this! :D

Thanks, Paul.
Andy
 

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WoW...I can't imagine a blade holding on by a whisker....didn't that slam around and make noise?

Good info Paul...I think as the mowing season progresses everyone gets too complacent.
 

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Paul Paul Paul see if you would finish some of your other project you might have time to do some checking of other things like your mower.:winky: Glad you caught all of it and nothing happen. How did the motor do did it die on you after 15 min what was the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Still working on that Jody. I have the hood off it now, and that way it keeps running. Once I get the lawn mowing cought up, I will start testing it agean. HAD to mow. was REAL tall.

Argee.. Well I never heard it, but it is pretty louad, and makes all kinda noise, so probably would not have till it started wacking the underside of the deck.
 

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This is another reason to remove the deck when using the tractor for other jobs, like plowing or tilling. You might not realize what's banging around under the deck while doing something else. Then when you turn on the deck to cut grass, it might be too late. This is the problem I see with the new independant sleeve hitch from sears. Some of these decks will never come off and no one will realize what needs to be tightened or repaired. The advantage to having the old style sleeve hitch is that the deck has to come off to use anything else. My deck is off almost as much as it's on. This gives me a chance to clean it and check the blades/spindles more often.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well SOME good news. I found the missing hanger. I was working in the yard, and walked up the drive near the house, and there it was sitting on the driveway. At least I will not be mowing THAT next time.
 

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Paul

This is a great lesson to be learned, that you check out the machinery each and every time before we use it, thanks for the heads up on this:cheers: :cheers:
 

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What you mention about the blade loosing a bolt and the other one being loose is exactly why I use a torque wrench to install and tighten down my blade bolts. I religiously go by the torque specifed in the manual. That is still no guarantee that the bolt won't ever loosen up again but at least you have verified as much as is possible the correct tightness in a uniform manor. If you have a problem with a bolt that will not hold torque well, I would suggest first to try replacing it and if that does not work, try some Loctite Red. If that does not solve the problem, you most likely have bigger problems that could require replacement or helicoiling the spindle. Great post to make us ALL think and take another look! :thumbsup: Glad you caught things before dissaster struck.
 

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Good advice, Chief. I periodically torque all bolts on my CUT and attachments per what is specified in my manual. The wheel bolts required frequent re-torquing during break-in.

A decent torque wrench is a must have in my book.
 

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i know somewoner who lost a blade.. he said it flew by him and stuck in the cedar siding of his house....

you would be glad not to have a lost blade...

i agree with 6 chows.. pull the deck 'early and often' I pull it whenever not cutting..
 

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I dropped one of the two blades on my old Jacobsen. Fortunately they had a steel bowl monted on them covering the bottom of the spindle. Two bolts to the bowl, one into the spindle. The spindle bolt came loose and the bowl started hitting the deck bottom. Hearing the noise I shut it down and as the blades were coasting to a stop the spindle bolt unscrewed the rest of the way throwing the blade over into the other one. The noise about scared the crap out of me. Come to find out the previous owner had stripped the spindle threads and it was only holding by a couple of turns at the top of the bolt. I just assumed since they had been using it to mow every week that it was in good working order. Wrong! :rolleyes:

Mark
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Next blade change I will be getting all new bolts for the blades. I did check them out, and all loked good, but hardwere is cheap, and they are 20 years old, so it's time.


BTW the lawn looks great now. Clippings are a lot smaller with the sharp blades, and with it level, it not scalping any more. Few aeras are real bad from the bad blades/out of level. Just glad its on the old part of the yard, not my new grass.
 

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Ingersoll444, Thanks for sharing. We had a rotary cutter blade get loose once after we had the blades replaced by a shop nearby. The blade flung out of the back of the machine and travelled some 100 yards where it embedded itself a cluster of large trees. I can only imagine if we had been closer to the shop when this occured someone would have been killed. Spinning blades are serious business. I am glad you found this out the safe way. Chief, what type of torque wrench do you recommend?

-LC
 

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Guys,
I'm all for prudent use of ones mowing equipment but help me out on this one. How can a mower blade fly out from underneath a deck when the blade is above the bottom of the deck housing? Maybe John Deere designs their deck differently, because on mine unless I have the deck lifted into the highest position, then turn the blades on, there is no way the blade could fly out from underneath the housing. Also a rotating blade will tend to lift aerodynamically versus drop so can someone explain to me how this could happen?
 

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Originally posted by luckycharms
Ingersoll444, Thanks for sharing. We had a rotary cutter blade get loose once after we had the blades replaced by a shop nearby. The blade flung out of the back of the machine and travelled some 100 yards where it embedded itself a cluster of large trees. I can only imagine if we had been closer to the shop when this occured someone would have been killed. Spinning blades are serious business. I am glad you found this out the safe way. Chief, what type of torque wrench do you recommend?

-LC
I have a Craftman 1/2" drive torque wrench but I would imagine that you will require a 3/4" drive torque wrench for a rotary cutter. The tool truck brands, like Matco, Mac, and Snap On are very good but VERY expensive. I think you would be fine with a Craftmans. Good tools for the dollar spent. As far as the design type. I prefer the click type as opposed to the stress scale type. That way you are certain you have the right torque at the click. No more no less.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Originally posted by DeereBob
Guys,
I'm all for prudent use of ones mowing equipment but help me out on this one. How can a mower blade fly out from underneath a deck when the blade is above the bottom of the deck housing? Maybe John Deere designs their deck differently, because on mine unless I have the deck lifted into the highest position, then turn the blades on, there is no way the blade could fly out from underneath the housing. Also a rotating blade will tend to lift aerodynamically versus drop so can someone explain to me how this could happen?
Few things.. First a blade is designed to lift the grass up when it turns, so if the bolt, or bolts come off, it will "fly" down.

Also, my deck anyway has two bolts per blade. Odds are one will fall out first. When that happands, the blade will wobble pretty bad. Up, down, side to side. Not to far fectched to think that the louse end could be down, when the other bolt lets go, alowing it to skitter under the deck.

You have to remember also, that that spinning blade has a lot of force behind it. It could easly bend, or rip through the deck, leaving plenty of room to exit stage left.
 

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Paul,
I guess I see how it could happen with your explanation but I am still a bit skeptical but that must be the engineer in me. The moral of the story is still check your blades frequently to make sure the bolts are tight and the blade is in good shape.
 

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Originally posted by DeereBob
Guys,
I'm all for prudent use of ones mowing equipment but help me out on this one. How can a mower blade fly out from underneath a deck when the blade is above the bottom of the deck housing? Maybe John Deere designs their deck differently, because on mine unless I have the deck lifted into the highest position, then turn the blades on, there is no way the blade could fly out from underneath the housing. Also a rotating blade will tend to lift aerodynamically versus drop so can someone explain to me how this could happen?

Bob, if you were referring to my post about the blade that flew out of the guys mower and stuck in the house.. i am not sure as to the specifics.. i used to work with the guy and he told me it happened when he started his push mower... said it just missed him and stcuk into the side of the house...
 

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SJ,
I could believe that would happen with some of the old push mowers since the housing did not drop down that low. But my JD JX75 along with my tractor deck have housings that are about 1"-1.5" above the ground which may part of the safety requirements mandated by the government which might have been to protect people from having blades fly out from underneath along with keeping feet from going under the mower. As far as a blade penetrating the housing, again possible but improbable with my equipment because of the gauge of the metal but could be the case with other decks.
 
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