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post #1 of 12 Old 09-17-2019, 05:07 PM Thread Starter
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Increase mower blade speed?

I have a 455/60" deck that doesn't seem to discharge as well as what newer mowers can do. It also seems newer equipment has blade rpm's higher than what I have. Is that true, or am I just hearing things wrong? If it is true, that newer spin/discharge faster and better, is there a way to re-pulley the deck for better performance?

Thanks!

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post #2 of 12 Old 09-17-2019, 05:14 PM
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

Are you sure the engine is turning at full rpm? Are your belts and blades in good condition? Is the grass wet or very long?
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post #3 of 12 Old 09-17-2019, 05:55 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by RoyM View Post
Are you sure the engine is turning at full rpm? YesAre your belts and blades in good condition?New on both Is the grass wet or very long?Negative
See my answers in BLUE I've had the mower since 2005, it's a '95 model. Got it with 300 hours, it's now just over 1000.

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post #4 of 12 Old 09-17-2019, 06:17 PM
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

Belt tension will affect the blade speed.
I just replaced the belt on my Bad Boy 60" Elite and it was still leaving small occasional stripes on the far end from the chute and worse yet not blowing out as far as it should. The deck was clean. I adjusted the belt tension and it perked right up and cut the way it should.

Spitballing here... Worth a look.
How are the spindle bearings?
Belt Idler bearings? A little loose but not spent will drag on the belt slightly.
Are the edges of the Vee on the pulleys worn with that many hours so the belt rides deeper than it should?
Is your engine speed set correctly?

Last edited by hatzie; 09-17-2019 at 06:24 PM.
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post #5 of 12 Old 09-17-2019, 07:44 PM
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

I seem to recall there was a recent thread (or maybe I was searching something recently) that the discussion went into detail about blade speed. Some people were arguing that only commercial mowers had higher speeds. It was an interesting read with different perspectives. Might be worth a search.

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post #6 of 12 Old 09-18-2019, 12:27 AM
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

It might be worth the time or cost to put a tach on the engine.
If push mowers are any indication, the actual rpm is rarely at the
rated rpm. My Honda 160 works much better once I raised the rpm
by moving the governor spring to the next hole.

My 2
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post #7 of 12 Old 09-18-2019, 12:41 AM
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

A 20" mower blade spinning at 3200 rpm has a tip speed of 190 mph, or 279 feet per second. I doubt that more tip speed is going to accomplish much of an improvement in discharge velocity.

Maybe try different blades with better lifting wings on the back edge.

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post #8 of 12 Old 09-18-2019, 01:44 AM
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

I had a 455 with the old 60-inch monster and it didn't seem to be running as fast as I remembered. I ordered an optical/contact rpm meter and sure enough, it was running about 800 rpm low. I still have the meter if you are interested in buying it. I paid $60 for it and will sell it to you for $30. It works by either pressing the little shaft with a rubber tip to the rotating member or placing bright tape to it and then using the optical scanner. It will work on any type of rotating machine or object. If there are enough people that would like to buy it we could pass it around and each person buys it from the last plus shipping. There are probably many diesels running a low rpm. Gas twins can be tested with the $10, one wire tachs so there is no need for more complicated equipment.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-18-2019, 07:40 AM
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

This scenario is probably unique to me but here goes!
I have a 332 with the 50" deck. I run the G6 Gators on it.
To me it seems to have the best discharge when I run at a little above half throttle to about three quarter throttle. As gauged by throttle lever position.
At this setting it has more than enough power to mow and do a great job.
If I run the throttle up to full it seems to hold more grass in the deck, mowing at the same ground speed, and especially so if it is a bit taller and or damp.

I discovered this by throttling down a bit on the very hot summer days out here and found it seemed to be doing a better job at a reduced throttle.

Now, on my X585 I do run at full throttle and it discharges great.

Maybe this is a gas vs diesel thing? Anyway, just my observations.
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-18-2019, 08:05 AM
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

Quote:
Originally Posted by inspectorudy View Post
I had a 455 with the old 60-inch monster and it didn't seem to be running as fast as I remembered. I ordered an optical/contact rpm meter and sure enough, it was running about 800 rpm low. I still have the meter if you are interested in buying it. I paid $60 for it and will sell it to you for $30. It works by either pressing the little shaft with a rubber tip to the rotating member or placing bright tape to it and then using the optical scanner. It will work on any type of rotating machine or object. If there are enough people that would like to buy it we could pass it around and each person buys it from the last plus shipping. There are probably many diesels running a low rpm. Gas twins can be tested with the $10, one wire tachs so there is no need for more complicated equipment.
Great, now I want to buy a handheld tach. lol

--Alex
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post #11 of 12 Old 09-18-2019, 10:45 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

Wow, thanks for all the responses!

I mowed last night, and noticed belt tension wasn't the greatest. I didn't have time to fool with it, as dark-thirty was rapidly approaching, and I wanted to finish. I'll check the tensioner tonight, and see if that does the trick. If not, well, I'll try other things.

Thanks again, gents!

Todd Lester

If I'm not on MTF, I'm parked at The Curb!


In my barn:
1995 JD 455AWS/54 blade/80 cart/mini loader
2015 F150 King Ranch
1968 Mercury Cougar

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post #12 of 12 Old 09-19-2019, 10:28 AM
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Re: Increase mower blade speed?

Well, my experience goes way back to my Sears Super Suburban 12 48 inch deck when I still had it. Even on the largest / aggressive of the engine pulleys, it was always a slow tip speed deck and even with razor sharp freshly ground blades, would leave certain grasses, not even very long grass, laid over or just twisted if you know what I mean. I always cursed those stubby little blades.

However, increasing blade speed on an older deck may have some issues. Are the spindles and bearings designed for increased speeds? Are blades well balanced? Are the pulley bearings capable of increased speeds, or belts able to handle possible increased heat? I'd hate to see something come apart at a high speed it wasn't designed for.

Maybe its just time for an upgrade to a newer, higher speed mower and deck?

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