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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
After 6 decades and over a hundred blade changes, you'd think I'd learned my lesson on assembling a mower deck.

As a public service, here is what I just encountered here on a rainy day, dedicated to sharpen the blades on the Cub Ultima ZT2 60" deck.

They were beat up but managed to get a nice new edge on them. Cleaned up some minor stuck clumps under the deck and went to install the blades.

One refused to mesh with the star on the spindle...hmmm....馃槧

Here is the warning:
Don't be in a hurry installing blades. BE SURE THEY ARE FULLY MESHED WITH THE SPINDLE STAR if you have a star or other cut out type of mounting arrangement. If you don't mesh them, and tighten down the blade, it WILL SPIN the blade on top of those star points and mushroom them down, and will mushroom the cut out in the blade as well, never to go back together again.

Using a Dremel I salvaged just enough star points on the spindle. Using a small file, I managed to salvage just barely enough star cut outs on the blade. It was very tight but the nut pulled it all the way in. This may last a few more cuttings, but not more and certainly will not go back together again.

Now, here I am, $127.67 poorer than 2 hours ago, because I was too hasty last time to confirm the blade was fully meshed on the star spindle mount before torqueing it down. I've done this job maybe a hundred times and still this time, screwed it up royally. Hope this will cause you to double check that on your next blade install and save yourself the cost of a spindle.

Beware of haste!馃槱
 

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When I read the title to your post, I thought you were talking about shaking your head at your reflection in the mirror! I was going to say, "shoot, I do that all the time"! Wondering what happened to that handsome devil, thirty something guy that used to look back at me 20 years ago! :) Well, in all honesty, I may have not have even been "that" handsome, but in my mind I WAS! LOL.
 

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Been down that road more than once with my Craftsman GT.
When you remove the deck it is easy to keep the blade on the star.
If you just try to reinstall the blades on the deck while it is installed on the tractor, it is very easy to let the blade drop off the star.

So far I have only damaged the jackshaft when that happens, not the blade.

As far as that guy that watches me shave, well he is looking a little ragged these days, but I also have to say a class reunion a couple years ago left me feeling a lot better about how that guy in the mirror looks. It was rather obvious I was a little more active than most of the guys in my class. And we will not talk about the women in my class.
 

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My first lawn tractor was a TSC Huskee MTD and had those star blades. I was very careful about tightening the nuts. I'd stick the blade up there on the star and seat it then run the nut all the way up to the blade by hand before tightening.

As much as people bad mouth MTD I have to say I think those spindles were made of adamantium. I never replaced one and used that thing for 10 years mowing 3.5 acres of fields, hitting rocks the size of baseballs, and even twisted a piece of rebar in half after hitting it with the blades.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've become used to the DAILY shock of that old guy in the mirror, but yesterday's episode was just beyond the pale. Especially since it was pouring rain and I got soaked coming back from the barn. Had a few short words that our admins won't allow here, for that guy in the mirror for sure.

Anyway, PartsTree got a new customer and have shipped my new spindle assembly to arrive in 4 to 6 days. If it does, I'll only have to rely on my temporary "fix" for one cutting.

Live and learn, but then, don't get careless and forget like me. It'll cost ya.
 

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Can you not get just the jack shaft and bearings?
That is how I replace mine, much lower cost and I always keep a spare or two on hand.
My first mow this year I hit a rock that had rolled off the hill and broke one of the mounting tabs of a mandrel.
And like all things seem to go, I could only find a three pack of mandrels at a reasonable price, so now I have spares.
But then again, we have 4 mowers than use the same mandrels, so they will not go to waste.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am relying on this machine to mow 4 acres about every 5 or 6 days in this wet spring/early summer. The grass is growing fast so keeping this in service is top priority..

I went for the entire unit to quickly replace the existing. As rain days occur, I will see what I can salvage from the original. Likely all is OK except for the shaft with the mushroomed star points. If I confirm it is only that, I'll order a new shaft and put that old assembly on the spare parts shelf. Ready for my next brain fart to occur.

I tested my temp fix today, and re leveled the deck. Seems to be OK for now but I just can't stand having a "hack job" that I know is there. 馃槧
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Don't know if you use an ugga dugga machine, but that can lead to a lack of precision in the process :)

Sent from my SM-G970U using Tapatalk
If 'ugga dugga machine" is a 15/16" box wrench at the end of my arm, while laying on my side, with the dog trying to bite my ears for play time, then yes.
 

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My first lawn tractor was a TSC Huskee MTD and had those star blades. I was very careful about tightening the nuts. I'd stick the blade up there on the star and seat it then run the nut all the way up to the blade by hand before tightening.

As much as people bad mouth MTD I have to say I think those spindles were made of adamantium. I never replaced one and used that thing for 10 years mowing 3.5 acres of fields, hitting rocks the size of baseballs, and even twisted a piece of rebar in half after hitting it with the blades.
If I could only say the same for their blades. Did not take much at all to bend one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Randy, yep, I too always pushed and held the blade onto the star mounting and hand tightened the nut before wrenching it.....until one day, I didn't. For me, it was haste makes waste.
 

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And don鈥檛 put blades on upside down. The Dixie Chopper X2002 Quad Loop I bought complete not running for $100 4 years ago had two blades on upside down. 馃お
 

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After 6 decades and over a hundred blade changes, you'd think I'd learned my lesson on assembling a mower deck.

As a public service, here is what I just encountered here on a rainy day, dedicated to sharpen the blades on the Cub Ultima ZT2 60" deck.

They were beat up but managed to get a nice new edge on them. Cleaned up some minor stuck clumps under the deck and went to install the blades.

One refused to mesh with the star on the spindle...hmmm....馃槧

Here is the warning:
.............BE SURE THEY ARE FULLY MESHED WITH THE SPINDLE STAR ......................................

Beware of haste!馃槱
Kubota has no indexes for blade fitment. That is, their blades have a round hole that mates with a matching, round end on deck spindle. Between fixing bolt head and blade is what they term a 'spring plate'. Basically, it is a slightly cupped, 1/8th inch thick, round washer. Torqued to specified 81 ft-lb that blade is not going to spin-out. No messing around, I guess.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Kubota has no indexes for blade fitment. That is, their blades have a round hole that mates with a matching, round end on deck spindle. Between fixing bolt head and blade is what they term a 'spring plate'. Basically, it is a slightly cupped, 1/8th inch thick, round washer. Torqued to specified 81 ft-lb that blade is not going to spin-out. No messing around, I guess.
Yes, I much prefer the round hole blades with the cupped pressure washers, such as those on my X500 deck, but alas, the Cub guys use that star design. It probably would be OK if I had not been in a hurry and "assumed" it had meshed before torqued it down.

And, as others have noted the CC blades are not that stout, they tend to bend and flex a lot more than the JD deck's blades. The edges do not hold up well either.
 

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I've become used to the DAILY shock of that old guy in the mirror, but yesterday's episode was just beyond the pale. Especially since it was pouring rain and I got soaked coming back from the barn. Had a few short words that our admins won't allow here, for that guy in the mirror for sure.

Anyway, PartsTree got a new customer and have shipped my new spindle assembly to arrive in 4 to 6 days. If it does, I'll only have to rely on my temporary "fix" for one cutting.

Live and learn, but then, don't get careless and forget like me. It'll cost ya.
****
I have purchased several orders from Partstre ee and always got excactly what I ordered. Good service...
glenn
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks Glenn, this was my first PartsTree order. Should arrive tomorrow. Seems that they have the Cub Cadet stuff with the OEM part numbers, at least it matched the one in my user manual.

Have a great day.
 

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I was sharpening my XT3 blades today and found one of my old MTD LT star blades. When I bought my XT3 I was worried that they had the same cheesy star blades on it but it doesn't. These are 1/4" thick and super tough. Really shows they didn't have to use those cheapos.

Wood Automotive tire Hand tool Gas Tool
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Yes I wish they made the super thick blades for the Cub Cadet ZT, like the JD blades. MTD blades are wet noodles by comparison and won't hold an edge. I've gone almost an entire season on my JD blades before touching them up with the two angle method.
 
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