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Cleaning crud from underside of mowing deck makes a difference!

BitShift's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 87

04-18-09, 04:18 PM   #1  
Cleaning crud from underside of mowing deck makes a difference!

This is my first riding mower, and I did not bother to clean the underside of the deck after the previous season. Now that Im using it again, I started to notice it was harder to engage the blades. I stumbled across an article that mentioned cleaning the underside of the deck. Really, how much could that make a difference I thought?! So what its probably just a "little dirty". Boy, how wrong I was. I tilted up my mower and discovered layers of caked up grass/dirt that had the consistency of semi-dry mortar. It was close enough to the edge of the blade that would explain the mowing performance decay. After spending about 30 minutes with a pry bar chipping and scrapping, I fired up the mower again and it ran much better. Engaging the blades was a snap. Live and learn.

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cheese's Avatar
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Join Date: Jul 2001
Posts: 16,564

04-18-09, 08:30 PM   #2  
Plus it helps cut back on corrosion, and restores the dynamics of the wind tunnel under the deck for proper airflow. Thanks for the tip!

"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

BitShift's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 87

04-19-09, 08:10 AM   #3  
Also, the immediate area where the blades come close to the inside of the deck, the grass/dirt buildup had become so compacted it was resembled laminate flooring. You could tell because the stuff had a "shiny" surface. That indicated to me that the blade was rubbing that area enough to cause that.

Gunguy45's Avatar
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Join Date: Dec 2007
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04-19-09, 08:18 AM   #4  
Maybe you've discovered a "green" alternative flooring material..lol. Compress wet grass clippings, bake dry, and burnish to a sheen!

"I sometimes wonder how some people ever made it to adulthood..."

Baldwin's Avatar

Join Date: Jun 2002
Posts: 1,438

04-19-09, 08:59 AM   #5  
After I clean mine I spray the underside well with WD-40. What little grass that does stick will wipe right off. I do that every other or so cutting.

Would have to think it helps combat the rust under there also.


CanuckRoy's Avatar

Join Date: Mar 2009
Posts: 111

04-19-09, 10:01 AM   #6  
My boss once took a seized mower on trade to make the sale. I tipped the mower to start stripping it for parts and discovered the deck was packed solid. I cleaned it up, serviced the mower and it ran like a champ. I had never seen one that bad, it could not have been cutting well due to reduced air flow.

bontai Joe's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 592

04-19-09, 05:56 PM   #7  
Yep, it's amazing what a little maintenance under the deck will do for perfomance. It restores the air flow back to what was intended. Another thing you might want to do is remove the sheet metal shrouding around the motor and blow out or brush off the accumulated grass clippings and possible mouse nests. This allows proper air flow around the engine keeping it running cool. Be sure to reinstall the metal shrouds after it's clean to keep the air flow as it is supposed to be. Little stuff like this can help your machine have a longer trouble free life.

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