Craftsman riding mower deck adjustment.

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Old 09-04-18, 05:01 PM
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Craftsman riding mower deck adjustment.

Hi -

I bought a used Craftsman riding mower (my first riding mower), model 917.288516 off a family member. The mower is in mostly good shape, except that it cuts unevenly -- it either leaves streaks down the center between the blades or, more recently, it's been digging into the dirt.

I've replaced the blades and used the adjustment nut on the front of the mower to raise the deck almost all the way up and this seems to have helped substantially. I'm aware of a second adjustment area on the back of the deck on one of the bars to hold it in place, but haven't touched that one. What I've noticed is that the front right is much lower than the rest of the deck to the point where I can scrape it on the ground when the rest of the deck sits normally.

I suspect that the deck is warped and that I need to move the one deck wheel down until it evens out and then buy a new deck for next summer, especially since it looks like the sheet metal to protect the underside is gone on the right side of the deck. Before I do that, is there another adjuster that I'm missing or any reason why only the right side would be "sagging" that I'm not thinking of? Is adjusting the one wheel the right short-term answer?

Appreciate any help.
 
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Old 09-04-18, 05:14 PM
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Old 09-04-18, 05:26 PM
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Ah, thanks! I found a manual online, but it didn't have these details. I thought the adjustment in the back was to raise and lower the back of the deck, didn't realize it handled the left/right tilt. Thank you!
 
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Old 09-05-18, 06:04 AM
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Check tire pressure. It could be the blades are not parallel causing the uneven cuts. Deck adjustment can't make the 2/3 blade planes the same. This requires shimming the blade shaft housing relative to the mower deck. It is a trial and error process and very crude because it is near impossible to establish a reference plane to make measurements from. I would guess where to install shims. After shimming I would make some trial cuts and observe the cut grass, make assessment and go from there.
 
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