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post #1 of 17 Old 11-13-2017, 09:45 AM Thread Starter
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How much is too much mower for an L?

I usually have this 40" three bladed mower mounted to my 5665 as a backup mower. I've been tuning up and adjusting my fleet of 3 L's. Luckily all are built within a year of each other making the project easier with the same 6.6 hp engine, carb, governor, etc.

They all turn the 30" mower just fine, but I figured I'd add a bit more of a load to make sure they are running properly if that makes any sense.

After some tuning I'm starting to think this mower is just too much for these engines. It spins up just fine, but rpm's drop when average length grass is mowed. I can see the governor opening up the throttle all the way. One runs the mower better than the other, but neither does a good enough job to be used as a full time mower in my opinion.

I'm running the range selector in High and the ground speed in low.

Am I correct in this assumption? Or should the L put out enough power to run this mower?

Thanks!
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Alex

1985 5665
1986 18G
1965 LI
1943 Allis Chalmers B
1969 JD 400 Industrial
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post #2 of 17 Old 11-13-2017, 09:58 AM
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Interesting. Looks like some sort of old direct mount setup. I probably would not run that on anything less than 10hp.

Have you tried the 2 blade 40" commercial deck on your 6.6hp T-heads? Probably the better choice.

I run a the quick hitch version of the 40" Commercial deck on a k181t-powered Pro8 and it will handle tall thick grass no problem. Downside is that it is front discharge, as the side panels have not been cut out.

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Thanks.

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post #3 of 17 Old 11-13-2017, 12:18 PM
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Get a 5660 or 5665. That will handle that 40" mower. Taxing a L at it's limit constantly assures a short life. The most I would put on a L is a 30" mower.

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post #4 of 17 Old 11-13-2017, 01:26 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Quote:
Originally Posted by PA RedRider View Post
Interesting. Looks like some sort of old direct mount setup. I probably would not run that on anything less than 10hp.

Have you tried the 2 blade 40" commercial deck on your 6.6hp T-heads? Probably the better choice.

I run a the quick hitch version of the 40" Commercial deck on a k181t-powered Pro8 and it will handle tall thick grass no problem. Downside is that it is front discharge, as the side panels have not been cut out.

Sent from my SCH-I605 using Tapatalk
I do not have a 2 bladed 40" Commercial deck. It seems now that finding one would be a better fit for the L.

The 3 bladed 40" deck is kinda screwy anyway, the quick hitch receptacle has some wear on the inside. That along with the very slight wobble of the quick hitch horn inside the casting itself leads a shorter mowing height going downhill and a taller cut going uphill. it's enough to drive you batty.
The deck is in excellent mechanical condition with minimal rust and again it's a back up to my 18G with the 60" deck.

Thanks!

Alex

1985 5665
1986 18G
1965 LI
1943 Allis Chalmers B
1969 JD 400 Industrial
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-13-2017, 01:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard-tx View Post
Get a 5660 or 5665. That will handle that 40" mower. Taxing a L at it's limit constantly assures a short life. The most I would put on a L is a 30" mower.
Thanks Richard, that deck is mostly hooked up to my 5665. I tried it on the L's to give them a workout and it seems to be a bit much for them to handle.

.

Alex

1985 5665
1986 18G
1965 LI
1943 Allis Chalmers B
1969 JD 400 Industrial
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-13-2017, 03:36 PM
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

My understanding about the L tractor is. That in real hot weather when pushed hard and constantly it will over heat and stall. And also give less power if it is over heated but still running for you. Maybe a new condition engine will take longer to act up, but based on my experience, old worn engines won't run right for long.
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post #7 of 17 Old 11-14-2017, 12:56 PM
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Okay so hereís my setup

First off I regularly cut my yard with an L that has a 40Ē commercial mower at the front.

The tractor used for the last few years is a straight L from the 50ís it has a governor as well I installed a the larger aluminum carb which has the largest Venturi, itís what was used on the 7.6 C8ís. Also I installed larger tires as the standard L tires are a bit too short for the big mower deck.

So thatís the background now on to performance

Honestly Iím shocked at how well a supposed 5.5hp engine can power a 40Ē two blade deck...did I mention that I also have a sulky hooked to it and Iím 5,11 about 220lbs, no? Mmmm. Anyway...the tractor has been kept tuned per the Gravely manuals, timed spot on, valves and Governor adjusted.

If the machine is tuned correctly, fan belt adjusted and ALL cooling tin installed these machines will perform fantastic in the heat without power degradation.

As I live in hazy hot and humid north east North Carolina I have put my Gravelyís through a lot of heavy hard heat, no issues at all. Also it rains quite a bit so Iím always behind the grass growing to dry ground ratio. Generally speaking my grass is about 6Ē tall being chopped down to 2Ē.

Verdict- is the Gravely L/C a good mower? Itís not too bad, properly tuned and used itís not too bad. I would not use anything bigger than 40Ē and two blades. I stress that the engine needs to be in top working order and well tuned and adjusted. Also the tractor Must be in high range and the throttle just about wide open. Remember cutting grass is mostly about RPMs. And donít even begin to use an L for grass cutting without a good well adjusted Governor, it makes all the difference in the world.

This year saw the recommissioning of my beloved C8, it now has the 40Ē deck and perhaps a quick hitch 40Ē kidney mower for next year. Also I shaved a bit off the head, this seemed to give the engine a more power.

Of course a more powerful tractor with a 10hp or better engine will make a much better mower, Iíve used a 10 hp 5000 series tractor with a 40 in deck and itís a great machine, much better than an L at grass cutting. Regardless in my opinion no Gravely two wheel tractor is an amazing mower, they just donít spin the blades fast enough.



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post #8 of 17 Old 11-14-2017, 12:57 PM
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Oh and hereís my early 50í L with the 40




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post #9 of 17 Old 11-14-2017, 01:18 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

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Originally Posted by cmeyers77 View Post
Oh and hereís my early 50í L with the 40
Couldn't help but notice your brewing setup in the background...
Control panel too!

Alex

1985 5665
1986 18G
1965 LI
1943 Allis Chalmers B
1969 JD 400 Industrial
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post #10 of 17 Old 11-14-2017, 01:58 PM
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Another thought to consider is if a big mower came off a big engine kohler. Then you might want to check the safety clutch torque to confirm it is down in the recommended L range as it is often useful to try higher settings on the big kohler models to minimize slip as a PO might have done this. The best field mower setup I ever ran was a Pro 10 on a 30 in deck with the crossed blades but this is vulnerable to blades not staying crossed when used as a field mower in bad areas. Maybe Scag makes best grass mower over all again just a thought. A lot of money into a dedicated mower is not realistic for many of us yours truly included.
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post #11 of 17 Old 11-14-2017, 01:59 PM Thread Starter
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Quote:
Originally Posted by cmeyers77 View Post
Okay so hereís my setup

First off I regularly cut my yard with an L that has a 40Ē commercial mower at the front.

The tractor used for the last few years is a straight L from the 50ís it has a governor as well I installed a the larger aluminum carb which has the largest Venturi, itís what was used on the 7.6 C8ís. Also I installed larger tires as the standard L tires are a bit too short for the big mower deck.

So thatís the background now on to performance

Honestly Iím shocked at how well a supposed 5.5hp engine can power a 40Ē two blade deck...did I mention that I also have a sulky hooked to it and Iím 5,11 about 220lbs, no? Mmmm. Anyway...the tractor has been kept tuned per the Gravely manuals, timed spot on, valves and Governor adjusted.

If the machine is tuned correctly, fan belt adjusted and ALL cooling tin installed these machines will perform fantastic in the heat without power degradation.

As I live in hazy hot and humid north east North Carolina I have put my Gravelyís through a lot of heavy hard heat, no issues at all. Also it rains quite a bit so Iím always behind the grass growing to dry ground ratio. Generally speaking my grass is about 6Ē tall being chopped down to 2Ē.

Verdict- is the Gravely L/C a good mower? Itís not too bad, properly tuned and used itís not too bad. I would not use anything bigger than 40Ē and two blades. I stress that the engine needs to be in top working order and well tuned and adjusted. Also the tractor Must be in high range and the throttle just about wide open. Remember cutting grass is mostly about RPMs. And donít even begin to use an L for grass cutting without a good well adjusted Governor, it makes all the difference in the world.

This year saw the recommissioning of my beloved C8, it now has the 40Ē deck and perhaps a quick hitch 40Ē kidney mower for next year. Also I shaved a bit off the head, this seemed to give the engine a more power.

Of course a more powerful tractor with a 10hp or better engine will make a much better mower, Iíve used a 10 hp 5000 series tractor with a 40 in deck and itís a great machine, much better than an L at grass cutting. Regardless in my opinion no Gravely two wheel tractor is an amazing mower, they just donít spin the blades fast enough.


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Thanks Corey,

I'm slowly coming to the same conclusion as you have posted above. The 40" 3 bladed deck is a bit much for the L, I'll keep in on my 5665.

BTW which exhaust is that on your L?

I guess I'll be on the lookout for a 40" commercial deck.

Does anyone have one a reasonable distance from Eastern PA?

.

Alex

1985 5665
1986 18G
1965 LI
1943 Allis Chalmers B
1969 JD 400 Industrial
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post #12 of 17 Old 11-14-2017, 03:34 PM
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet-A View Post
Couldn't help but notice your brewing setup in the background...

Control panel too!


Yep!


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post #13 of 17 Old 11-14-2017, 05:30 PM
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jet-A View Post
Thanks Corey,



I'm slowly coming to the same conclusion as you have posted above. The 40" 3 bladed deck is a bit much for the L, I'll keep in on my 5665.



BTW which exhaust is that on your L?



I guess I'll be on the lookout for a 40" commercial deck.



Does anyone have one a reasonable distance from Eastern PA?



.

You are very welcome.

Itís an exhaust I got off eBay, however I do believe that GT Gravely Enterprises sells them too. It is much better than the traditional pepper pot. I couldnít bare my Lís without this style, still noisy but more tolerable.


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post #14 of 17 Old 11-14-2017, 05:38 PM
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

Oh and check this out, I added more and better baffles to my 40Ē. This old deck started life as what was referred to as a 40Ē homeowners mower. The difference between it and the commercial version was the lack of self adjusting belt tensioners and front gauge wheels, which I latter added.

This old mower was given to me by none other than Chippy Old, he swore it was too beat to put back in service. The front has been rebuilt with extremely heavy plate which makes this mower extremely heavy. I had to rebuild both spindles, replace both blades and both tension pulleys. Now the drive unit is leaking oil.







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post #15 of 17 Old 11-14-2017, 08:33 PM
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Re: How much is too much mower for an L?

I used to mow 3 acres on a regular basis with my 1962 L. But, I have come to the conclusion Gravely never made the 40 inch mower for the old L's. The reason I say this, when you have the original 4.80x8 tires and hook the mower up, it is nose high. This is a terrible power waster. The blades come around the front and cut the grass higher, and then they are cutting the grass lower in the rear, doing twice the work. A mower needs to be level or a little nose down to work the best and not waste power.

I see the previous poster says he runs larger tires to level it out. I didn't realize all this at the time I got my 40 inch. It also was one of those mowers ready for the scrap pile. Someone had cut the side rails completely off on the bottom. So I set the mower up level, and then made new rails out of black water pipe, and then new runners to bolt to the bottom. My "hoop" or "u" is a lot narrower than a normal 40 inch mower, which lets the mower drop down level for the original small tires that I run.

One thing that I notice on mine looking at the underneath picture above, when I dropped the mower down, to be able to mow at around a 2 inch height, I have almost all my spacer washers on the bottom of the blades, leaving a lot of shaft/washers hanging down underneath the blades. This has not caused any problems, but I realize now that is a situation caused by how I modified the mower.

I used it for years like this till I got the larger Kubota diesel. I just used it again the other day since I had the mower off the Kubota, and it still mows great with the old L. If you have very thick fine grass like bluegrass, it may struggle if you let it get too high. It will not power through it like a large engined Gravely would. The yard I have now has that Zoysia grass and it's pretty thick, but it mowed it with no problem.
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