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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a picture of my mower deck that I use for mowing my lawn. I have useed it like this for over a year now and I believe it offers a superior cut compared to the original setup. I thought of this when looking under a friend's Exmark Commerical walk behind. Each blade on this deck was enclosed by a plate. That is basically what I did. On the stock deck the rear of the deck in enclosed but the front is wide open. I noticed while cutting, that the clippings would shoot from both the discharge as well as coming out the front. Couple that with the old low-lift mower deck blades and the only grass that gets cut is what is standing upright. Since I have done this I noticed my clippings are smaller and it will dispurse the grass a bit more than original. I am ordering (3) Hi-Lift Gator blades in hopes that it will cut even better. Oregon does not make direct replacements but I am going to modify a set that is close. Any questions let me know.

 

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I can see the advantage of putting those deflectors along the back side of the deck. I think the deflector at the front is hindering the exit of grass from the furthest deck to the exit. The centre and furthest blades may be mulching now. You may as well close in the exit and have a three blade mulcher, or remove the front deflector to allow easier exit of clipping. Just my 2 cents.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
The rear ones were there originally. I put the front ones in to keep the grass in the deck longer hopefully cutting it up more which I think I have accomplished.

Here is a pic of the Exmark deck I am referring to above. Very similar to what I have done.

 

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Old Iron......Forever
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Ok, I have a Bolens 48" deck for a large frame that needs the deflectors repaired in the rear area. I see what you were doing and yet you didn't follow the Exmark example closely, where their design allows for a more unrestricted flow of clippings into the next blade chamber, until exiting out, yours has quite a restrictive opening from the far chambers to the next chamber which is causing the blade in the next chamber to meet the clippings head on instead of moving into the mass of clippings thrown out of the previous chamber and moving them along to exit the chamber and out the shute. I think now that you show this I know what to do to my 54" deck to make it a better mower deck as well. I do agree a high lift blade such as a Gator would be a better blade.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I agree now that I have time to examing a picture of the Exmark deck. I am going to modify my modification to more closely resemble it. I will add some pics later today.
 

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I'm somewhat new to the Bolens mower decks having used Simplicity for years. Are the baffles the reason the the Bolens decks leave partially cut strips in the lawn? I've mowed with both a 1600 and a GT2000 and the results were the same. The 1600 had a 42" deck and the GT2000 had a 48" deck. I even increased the blade speed on the GT2000 with on improvement. Both had sharp blades. I would like to do whatever it takes to get them to cut better.
Thanks for your help!
 

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Your design shows promise but more work is needed. I never liked a side discharge mower. On my 50 HP Kubota I had a 6 FT side discharge and did not like the way it left a windrow.All the grass coming out the same side. It all starts slowing down very soon. I went to a 7 FT rear discharge and I like this a lot better. I need to find a spare 54 " deck to experiment with. I would like to find some Gator blades that would fit it not modify some existing ones.
 

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Old Iron......Forever
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I don't know if that is the reason, but Cakes may have stumbled onto something. At least it is worth trying. Anytime you can get the flow of clippings to keep moving outward to the shute opening, and fly out totally dispersed instead of just barely making it and making a "windrow", has got to be the better way. IMHO, anyway.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Ok, I have modified the deck to better resemble the Exmark unit. After looking at it I can see how my first modifications may have improved the cut some but was choking the blades down some. I hope the new design will better enable the clippings to move into the next "chamber" and disperse properly. I will keep everyone updated on my findings.

You can see from the picture where I cut and rewelded the baffles.



 

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I'm somewhat new to the Bolens mower decks having used Simplicity for years. Are the baffles the reason the the Bolens decks leave partially cut strips in the lawn? I've mowed with both a 1600 and a GT2000 and the results were the same. The 1600 had a 42" deck and the GT2000 had a 48" deck. I even increased the blade speed on the GT2000 with on improvement. Both had sharp blades. I would like to do whatever it takes to get them to cut better.
Thanks for your help!
Have you leveled the deck? Could you maybe be moving too fast?

Jason
 

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Old Iron......Forever
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Wow Cakes! You work fast! Yea, that looks way more better. Better watch ot though, now Exmark may sue you for copy design infringement! Bet it works better, or at least the blades won't work so hard now.
 

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Yes I have checked the level and the deck appears to ride pretty evenly. The biggest area of missed grass appears to be between the right and center blades. When I look back it looks as thought the grass is being flattened by air pressure. It is just inside of the front wheels so I don't think that it's the tires. When I mowed with the Simplicity, the deck made one wide stripe. The Bolens leaves a stripe for each blade and some grass is missed completely. Both Bolens decks did it and the mower speed does not seem to affect things much.
Thanks,
 

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I went to a 7 FT rear discharge and I like this a lot better.
Would the rear discharge throw clippings all over the hydrostatic, or would they be thrown under the transaxle?
 

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The way the rear comes down they hit it and then the ground. The clippings do not fly out like they do on a side discharge.Remember now this 7 ft is on a large tractor and the mower mows on the rear 3PTH. Bolens started making a few rear discharge for the HXL's and on up.
 

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I'm looking forward to a product reports on Cakes modifications. Looks like a good solution. What gauge metal did you use for your baffle?
 

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I know I'm going to try it out on my 54" deck! Looks like it will be helpful. Biggest problem I see is getting a blade that has a higher lift.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I used 14 gage steel for the baffling. You would not think it would be that strong but once welded it seems to be very durable. I would think now that I have a better design you could go with .100" thick steel and have no worries of it ever bending. Thinner material is much harder to weld.
 

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I beleive that 14 ga will be more sufficent. I am not sure if the baffle is AR steel. I use my 54" deck on my 1886 with no problems. I think it mows better than my 50 " on my 332 JD.
 

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Thanks for the information. After I hear how it works for you I think I will try the same thing. Please keep in touch.
Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I just ordered (3) Gator blades for this setup. The P/N I choses is 96-327. They will need some modification (cut to length, bushing, drilled holes) but I think will work with minimal effort. They are slightly thicker than the factory blades and are 1/4" wider. I will keep everyone posted on my findings. Now I wonder if this works could I adapt a rear bagger to the tractor.....hmmm....
 
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