Hey Zipstar, how are the Gators working?
I don't know yet. Sorry for taking so long to reply.
After I'd made my original post I tried to order the 1694508SM mulch kit from 3 different websites. They each had it listed for around $275.00 but my order was cancelled by each of them and I received an email that the price on the website was incorrect and the correct price was around $345.00. I got kinda frustrated by that and things got busy at work and with other projects at home. Getting the mulching kit kinda fell by the wayside as it came time to focus on buying a snowblower and getting ready for winter.
I checked just now and 2 of those sites have updated the price but the first place I ordered it from is still listing it for $277.50.
At the time of my post I'd setup an eBay search with email alert and it was dead silent until the week before last. A complete brand in the box mulching kit popped up. It was $125.00 "Buy it Now" with the shipping. I grabbed it. UPS dropped it on my door step last Thursday. It is brand new in the box and complete so I am happy.
The kit includes Simplicity's high lift blades but, I'm going to order the Gators too. I'll be servicing and painting the deck and getting it setup for spring soon.
I may just for experimental purposes try the full Simplicty kit with their blades first then the Gators with the ramps removed. I mean I've got them, might as well try out different combinations.
After my first fall clean up on the property I don't believe I'll be able to get away with mulching the fall leaves. Leaves pile up quite think over most of the place and trying to pick them up with the turbo vac and triple bagger on the first pass was impossible. In several spots the leave just piled up in front of the deck. The turbo vac itself clogged or the duct would clog almost instantly. The duct would clog either where it attached to the turbo vac or emptied into the baggers. The duct just isn't big enough for the volume of material the deck is picking up. What finally worked was going over all the leaves twice while side discharging. Once with the deck fully rasied and then again with it half way lowered. I did a final pass with the turbo vac with the deck at 2 inches. Even then the triple bagger would fill up very quickly. Turned out to be a very time consuming and frustrating process.
I did have my mind on mulching though in the fall. Just in case I did get a mulch kit I saved a big pile of leaves in the shed behind the barn. They've been kept dry all winter and after the mulch kit is on I'll spread them out and see how it does. I am skeptical and am keeping an eye out for a leaf vac / cyclone rake on craigslist for next fall.
I'll post my results soon, winter is almost over (I hope