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.