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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
LX188 scalping my new lawn

Hi gang. Bought my 1997 LX188 last year for $300. Been having fun bringing it up to speed, but then I had an engine fire. $200 worth of Ebay parts later, I have it going again. You can read about that unfortunate episode here: http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=277729&highlight=

I have found a lot of bent parts , the mower deck linkage, and I am changing those out.

I have two questions about adjusting the mow height. First, if the mower is sitting on concrete and I set the adjustment knob to 3.5", should the blades actually be 3.5" off the surface? I would think it should be, I just wanted to confirm. I am measuring about 2.75" actual blade height at the 3.5" setting.

Second, I raised the gauge wheels so they are about 1/2" off the concrete, per the service manual. When I did that, I wound up scalping a big hunk of my lawn when going over a crest of a small hill. Anyone have more suggestions for fixing that?

When I first started using this mower, the gauge wheels were set so they dragged the ground, but that wound up pressing tracks into the lawn and it's got to be really hard on the gauge wheels.

Thanks!
 

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YMMV but my 48" deck says to put the gauge wheels at 1/4" off the ground.

I'm also curious about how exactly to go about setting deck height. I just put the blades the indicated distance from the concrete but I read somewhere that the blades should be at a slight angle with the leading edges lower than the trailing edges.
:dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
YMMV but my 48" deck says to put the gauge wheels at 1/4" off the ground.

I'm also curious about how exactly to go about setting deck height. I just put the blades the indicated distance from the concrete but I read somewhere that the blades should be at a slight angle with the leading edges lower than the trailing edges.
:dunno:
Yes, Maybe I meant 1/4" clearance for the wheels.

You adjust the rear of the deck with an adjustable link that actually holds the deck up. If you remove the big fender deck you can see them a lot easier. Operate the lift lever and you can see how the motion is transmitted.

You adjust the front of the deck by adjusting that big U-bolt that the front of the deck hangs on. My book says the front blade should be 1/4" lower than the rear blade.

It is darned hard to measure the blade height! :00000061:
 

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To check blade heights , I use a block of pine that I stand up under the deck and press against the blade while keeping the end on the floor. The pine is soft and the blade will put a very easily measurable mark in the pine block.


Depending on the severity of the hill crest your scalping, you might just need to approach it differently. Some spots just wont mow well with a large mower.
 

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Humps are trouble and, as Leinie said, approaching them from a different direction or cutting 1/2 at a time or SOMETHING :) is the only solution. You may have to raise the deck momentarily.

Edit, I adjust my deck so that the #3 knob setting actually is the 3" cutting height I desire for my fescue.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I got 'er up and going, so just thought I'd post a follow-up in case it helps someone else.

My LX188 was obviously worked on by someone who doesn't read service manuals.

The problem was the lift links were woefully out of adjustment. So, when you had the black knob on the 3.5 setting, the blade height was actually about 2-1/4" off the ground. In addition, one of the links was bent making adjustment very difficult, so I replaced that. (I am a firm believer in new parts).

Also, the front U-bolt that supports the front of the deck was bent, so I also replaced and adjusted it per the John Deere destructions.

I intend to set the cutting level at 3", and the grass hasn't grown up to that level yet, so I haven't been able to give it a try, but I'm sure it will be much better.

Thanks for your input.

Sam :greendr:
 
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