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How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

Posted by coody 8 (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 5, 10 at 0:08

My JD 125 has run about 50 hours. The operation manual indicates one of the maintenances is sharp or a change of the blade. But, it needs to raise the mower. How to effectively raise the mower for the change of the blade? What blade is better, by the way?


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Mon, Apr 5, 10 at 6:24

Your blade should last for many years and can probably be sharpened.

Other than using a chain hoist or lift, there is no safe way to work under your mower. Most people drive the front wheels onto some blocks to raise the deck about 6 inches, or maybe take off the deck itself.

Sometimes the nut on the blade is so tight that you need an impact gun or long wrench. And be careful how you reinstall the blade. There might be a "step" in the shaft to center the blade.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

I take the deck off...


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

2 of those auto ramps. Its still tough getting under there.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

I pick the rear end up with a chain hoist, put jack stands under, lower it so that some of the weight is on the jack stands.

I've been very pleased with Gator blades (made by Oregon Chain); I've tried a set of the Gator knock-offs from a big box store, but they weren't near the quality of the Gators. A bonus is that I can order a set of Gators for less money (even after paying shipping) than a set of OEM blades cost.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

I have not tried this yet, but I read where someone suggested backing one rear wheel of your tractor on an automobile ramp. I guess that would lean the tractor over enough to get at the blade. Might work but be careful!


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

I use a floor jack to lift the front of the mower up as high as it goes,put 2 stands under front wheels,and my impact wrench just fits under the blade to remove them.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

Second on Bill. The deck removal is not difficult, plus you will save time/ have a better job when you figure in the scraping of the old grass off.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

If you plan on sharpening or changing the blades, I would just remove the deck. The 125 (same as a LA now and the 100 series a couple years ago) have a pretty easy deck removal. Also, as tomplum said, it gives you a chance to scrape the deck good. Automotive ramps didnt work well at all for me. Hard to reach because the tractor is narrow and wide, there is no room to get under. They are on pretty tight, so a big breaker bar or impact wrench and a sturdy holder will work. Also, there is a torque spec listed right in the owner's manual. Should be 46ft lbs if I recall.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

I would be a little leary about raising the tractor from the rear.
Most horizontal engines have their cylinders towards the front so raising from the rear would allow all the oil to run into the cylinders and if the rings are not the best into the upper cylinders.
It seems like everyone that is looking at a new tractor never takes the deck into consideration.
You know that you are going to have to do maintenance on it so why not check to see how easy it is to remove and install?


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

The pros use a tool (see the link below) that's shaped sort of like a cargo dolly. It goes under the front of the mower and using the leverage of the dolly, it lifts the front of the mower about 18 inches, giving plenty of room for deck service. The pros remove and sharpen their blades multiple times per week, so this tool is a worthy investment for them.

At about $170, this tool really isn't all that expensive for a homeowner either. I would recomment to the O.P. to invest in a magnamatic blade balancer if you're going to do a lot of your own blade sharpening sharpening. Keeping the blades finely balanced as well as sharpened, will give your spindles a long and happy life.

Here is a link that might be useful: Mower Lifting Tool


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

Dynamike, all three of my lawn tractors (2 Deeres, 1 Husqvarna) have vertical shaft engines, not horizontal. I pick the rear end up only about 9-10 inches, slide the ramps under (with the sloped pieces to the rear), and lower to the approx 8 inches of the ramp. Been doing it that way for years, and never had a problem.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

No offense but if you cannot figure out how to raise the mower you are not qualified to remove and sharpen or replace the blades. With 50 hours your blades are probably sharper on the back side than on the front. Get a mower service to do the blades for you.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

Just take the deck off, you will eventually have to learn how to do that anyway. now you can inspect the deck, clean it and service it which includes inspect the belt pulleys, sharpen the blades, grease the spindles, clean all the grass leaves off the top of it and underside of the deck. You should be blowing the deck off anyway after use, unless you want the grass, leaves, and dirt to start Galvanic corrosion!?!

Now you go to go for another 50 hours. Unless you have sandy soil, then you blade maintenance will be 3 times more. If you don't want to take the deck off and you can't Safely raise the LT, just remove the blades with the tractor on the ground, not that hard either


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

If you want to do it right, you will have to take the deck off, read the manual first and it should only take a few minutes. This will also allow you to give the deck and belts a good inspection. Once again, read the manual. If you are not comfortable doing this, John Deere has a service (in most areas) that will come to your house and do it for you. It's called "Ready to Mow" (see the link below).

Here is a link that might be useful: Ready To Mow


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

Thanks for all replies. First, I checked the price of the blade at the Home Depot, about $25. It seems not worth of sharp but just a replacement if it becomes necessary. Second, many repliers suggest to remove the deck. Do you know how the JD mower service people take off the blade on site?


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

  • Posted by baymee LehighValleyPA (My Page) on
    Fri, Apr 9, 10 at 16:37

Usually you need a lever of sorts to raise the deck an inch or so and then usually pull out some clips and off it comes. Refer to your manual.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

I have found I could use (1) auto ramp to ride up on giving me access to (1) side of the deck. Service that side, then ride up the ramp to service the other side of the deck. That's for working on my ztr. For my Sabre LT, I just pull the deck. That's if I'm going to pull the blades on the Sabre. If I'm just going to scrape the deck clean, I ride up on the one ramp. Plenty of room to work with. I really hate pulling the Sabre deck off. Not that's it's too hard. I just hate doing it. At 250 lbs, I'm not about to pull the Bad Boy deck!

ms


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

Try this link to Northern Tool.
http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200379222_200379222&issearch=3303201

I just ordered a set of these neat ramps for riding mowers. Like others I have been stumped on how to clean the mower, grease the spindles or remove the blades. The auto ramps get in the way and the auto floor jack is a pain to use out in the grass. An old style car jack like they had when cars had bumpers should work good but be sure to use the parking brake and block the wheels. I usually remove the deck completely once or twice a year but it is heavy and awkward to handle.


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Link correction

I posted the link incorrectly, sorry.

Here is a link that might be useful: Northern Tool


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

I looked at that ramp at Northern Tool. It didn't seem to get many good reviews. Seems it slides along the ground trying to roll up on them.

"SLIDES ALONG WITH THE WHEELS AND IF THERE IS ANY WEIGHT THEY SPREAD. REMEMBER THE FRONT MOWERS ADD WEIGHT TO THE MOWER."

I think I'll pass.

I remember looking through Bad Boy Pup Accessories. They've got a Quick Lift Jack that fit in the receiver trailer hitch fitting on the front of the Pup for $100. Seems in my readings the Bull Dog Jack has a 5000-Lb Lift Capacity, and a Length of Travel of 15 inches. The Length Retracted (in.) 15, and Length Extended (in.) 30. The Exmark and Bad Boy Jacks look to be the same Bull Dog Jack.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

jack stands, no substitute. Ramps would be OK, but my two little tractors will not go up auto ramps. I use a floor jack to lift the front and set the front axle on jack stands. Then I disconnect the spark plug wire. Only then do I begin to loosen the blades.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

Ditto measure_twice's comments. When yer down on the floor/dirt/grass with yer arms/shoulders/mebbe head up under thet 500 lb rig - either jerkin on a big wrench or runnin an air wrench - ain't a good time for some flimsy bumper jack to lay over on it's side and let thet tractor drop down on you.
Use them floor jacks. Cheap insurance.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

Most of the JD tractors have decks that are fairly easy to remove. It is the safest way to do the maintenance of scraping all the old grass from under the deck and blade sharpening. I have a 425 with a 54" deck and it takes just a few minutes to take the deck off. I usually stand it on end and lean it against a corner of my building to work on it.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=546808


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

http://www.sportsmansguide.com/net/cb/cb.aspx?a=546808


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

I simply tilt it on it's side using blocks against the ground for clearance. then its safe and easy to work on the underside


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

I guess there are a variety of ways to SAFELY raise a mower or lawn tractor. I've taken the deck off several times, just for maintenance, or for replacing a belt or a blade. But for simple blade removal, I've had good success just raising the deck (installed) to its highest setting and simply reaching underneath with a wrench after blocking the blade with a 2 x 4. There's maybe 4 inches of clearance, which is enough to reach under and remove/replace the blades by "feel." Laying a tarp out next to (or completely under) the deck may be helpful, since the job requires laying out flat on the ground and reaching underneath the deck. I've done it this way several times, and it seems to work just fine, and not take terribly long to accomplish the task.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

A few replies up I suggested the EZ Rider Blocks from Northern Tool since I had just ordered them. They looked like durable Rhino blocks but I was in for a surprise when they came in. They are flimsy, thin and poorly made. I did get my LT 1050 up on them twice but I believe the hot exhaust made the one on the left weak and it collapsed over and over again. To Northern Tool's credit I must add that they are sending me a complete refund and told me to discard the blocks. Talking with their represenative was a pleasant experience.


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RE: How to effectively raise the mower for a change of a blade?

I just saw this at Home Depot this morning.

Don

Here is a link that might be useful: MoJackEZ


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