ride on mower blades revisited


Thanks for the tip Don .
Try slackening off the nuts holding the return springs at the rear of the U bolts on the hangers . I found it helps quite a lot , doesn't make it an easy job , just one where fewer ' words of encouragement ' are used .
 
Sadly, a week or so ago, not far from me, a
man was found dead under his zero turn
mower. The chain from his front end loader
on his tractor holding it up slipped or
failed and he died.
I was about to comment on this also, since I just lift the mower using the FEL of my tractor. Its so much easier then dropping and flipping the deck. I block up everything before getting under there.
 
I use a lifting strap attached to the bucket on my 2025R to lift the front end of my zero turn high enough to get to the blades, or to scrape grass from underneath the deck. Trick is to not lay directly under the bucket or the mower. I lay off to the side, so if it were to let go, I'm not ending up like the guy several posts back.
 
I also have a X340 but mine has a 48" deck. Bought it used at an estate sale. I have zero clue why owner swapped to a small deck.



HTH...Don.
Probably had a lot of obstacles to cut around and found the smaller deck easier to use.

I had a neighbor that dropped down to a 36 inch deck on his lawn tractor because he felt it easier to get around the dozen or so trees in his back yard when he mowed. Used to take him twice as long to cut his yard as it did me but he has ok with it.
 
The replacement blades for the JD X340 arrived , as far as I can tell they are identical so I have no doubts that they will fit .
It's a shame but the 54'' deck is a screaming Pain in the Fundament to remove and replace . So many skinned knuckles , colourful words and cramped hands , what should be a simple straightforward job is something I just don't want to do so soon after the last . Just why JD made it so hard to get the deck on and off is beyond me .The spring loaded U bolts are the product of a perverse mind , they really couldn't have made it more frustrating if they tried .

So are there any tricks to changing the blades while the deck is still fitted ?

The best I could think of was to run it up on ramps to the trailer and crawl underneath but the ramps will most likely get in the way . Otherwise I could lift the front with a chain block in the barn , just not sure if that will allow oil into parts of the Kawasaki twin engine where it shouldn't be .
Thanks as always .
My Cub Cadet gets lifted to a 45º angle (or a bit more) with the loader to work on it/clean it off. No leaks there. There are also mini scissor lifts that will do the job for you.

Mike
 
The replacement blades for the JD X340 arrived , as far as I can tell they are identical so I have no doubts that they will fit .
It's a shame but the 54'' deck is a screaming Pain in the Fundament to remove and replace . So many skinned knuckles , colourful words and cramped hands , what should be a simple straightforward job is something I just don't want to do so soon after the last . Just why JD made it so hard to get the deck on and off is beyond me .The spring loaded U bolts are the product of a perverse mind , they really couldn't have made it more frustrating if they tried .

So are there any tricks to changing the blades while the deck is still fitted ?

The best I could think of was to run it up on ramps to the trailer and crawl underneath but the ramps will most likely get in the way . Otherwise I could lift the front with a chain block in the barn , just not sure if that will allow oil into parts of the Kawasaki twin engine where it shouldn't be .
Thanks as always .
Our Toro zero turn mower has a 21.5hp Kawsaki engine. I routinely lift the front 'way up to change the blades. I usually take the precaution of letting it set for 15 or 20 minutes after I let it back down before I start the engine to let the oil settle back where ir should be.

By then it's usually time to take a break anyway.
 
The replacement blades for the JD X340 arrived , as far as I can tell they are identical so I have no doubts that they will fit .
It's a shame but the 54'' deck is a screaming Pain in the Fundament to remove and replace . So many skinned knuckles , colourful words and cramped hands , what should be a simple straightforward job is something I just don't want to do so soon after the last . Just why JD made it so hard to get the deck on and off is beyond me .The spring loaded U bolts are the product of a perverse mind , they really couldn't have made it more frustrating if they tried .

So are there any tricks to changing the blades while the deck is still fitted ?

The best I could think of was to run it up on ramps to the trailer and crawl underneath but the ramps will most likely get in the way . Otherwise I could lift the front with a chain block in the barn , just not sure if that will allow oil into parts of the Kawasaki twin engine where it shouldn't be .
Thanks as always .
Charles.
If I recall, my JD mower blades are self tightening bolts like my two 6 ft woods mowers
So don't over torque the bolts. I torque mine to 50 ft-lbs.
You want to have the blade slip if you hit something or it will get tighter.

If you are worried about the engine oil, drain the oil then lift the front with a chain,
If my impact doesn't do the job, I have two pieces of aluminum pipe, each 3 ft long
I slip a 3 inch pipe over the blade and the smaller pipe is used as a cheater pipe
that goes over the breaker bar.
IMG_20240524_084457.jpg
 
Charles.
If I recall, my JD mower blades are self tightening bolts like my two 6 ft woods mowers
So don't over torque the bolts. I torque mine to 50 ft-lbs.
You want to have the blade slip if you hit something or it will get tighter.

If you are worried about the engine oil, drain the oil then lift the front with a chain,
If my impact doesn't do the job, I have two pieces of aluminum pipe, each 3 ft long
I slip a 3 inch pipe over the blade and the smaller pipe is used as a cheater pipe
that goes over the breaker bar.View attachment 74659
 
The replacement blades for the JD X340 arrived , as far as I can tell they are identical so I have no doubts that they will fit .
It's a shame but the 54'' deck is a screaming Pain in the Fundament to remove and replace . So many skinned knuckles , colourful words and cramped hands , what should be a simple straightforward job is something I just don't want to do so soon after the last . Just why JD made it so hard to get the deck on and off is beyond me .The spring loaded U bolts are the product of a perverse mind , they really couldn't have made it more frustrating if they tried .

So are there any tricks to changing the blades while the deck is still fitted ?

The best I could think of was to run it up on ramps to the trailer and crawl underneath but the ramps will most. likely get in the way . Otherwise I could lift the front with a chain block in the barn , just not sure if that will allow oil into parts of the Kawasaki twin engine where it shouldn't be .
Thanks as always .
Here is
The replacement blades for the JD X340 arrived , as far as I can tell they are identical so I have no doubts that they will fit .
It's a shame but the 54'' deck is a screaming Pain in the Fundament to remove and replace . So many skinned knuckles , colourful words and cramped hands , what should be a simple straightforward job is something I just don't want to do so soon after the last . Just why JD made it so hard to get the deck on and off is beyond me .The spring loaded U bolts are the product of a perverse mind , they really couldn't have made it more frustrating if they tried .

So are there any tricks to changing the blades while the deck is still fitted ?

The best I could think of was to run it up on ramps to the trailer and crawl underneath but the ramps will most likely get in the way . Otherwise I could lift the front with a chain block in the barn , just not sure if that will allow oil into parts of the Kawasaki twin engine where it shouldn't be .
Thanks as always .
Here is how I do it. I need to drop the deck,

Guido.
 

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    IMG_20240611_092629393~2.jpg
    1.8 MB · Views: 20
Our Toro zero turn mower has a 21.5hp Kawsaki engine. I routinely lift the front 'way up to change the blades. I usually take the precaution of letting it set for 15 or 20 minutes after I let it back down before I start the engine to let the oil settle back where ir should be.

By then it's usually time to take a break anyway.
With zero turn mowers, the engine being at the back, lifting the front end usually doesn't change the angle of the engine enough to allow oil to flow where it doesn't belong.

I lift my push mower to scrape grass off the deck routinely to more than 45 degrees on its side. Haven't ever had issues with it. Not saying anyone should do this but it's only a push mower so I'm not too concerned.
 
I have not done a zero turn but the MTD decks aren't terribly difficult to get off. It does make changing the blades easier. I have gotten them off without taking the deck off or raising the mower by raising the deck to the highest position, blocking the blade and more or less by feel getting a long 1/2 inch socket wrench on the nut. 2x blocks under the wheels can help. Many of the zero turns are dangerously heavy and care should be taken.
 
The replacement blades for the JD X340 arrived , as far as I can tell they are identical so I have no doubts that they will fit .
It's a shame but the 54'' deck is a screaming Pain in the Fundament to remove and replace . So many skinned knuckles , colourful words and cramped hands , what should be a simple straightforward job is something I just don't want to do so soon after the last . Just why JD made it so hard to get the deck on and off is beyond me .The spring loaded U bolts are the product of a perverse mind , they really couldn't have made it more frustrating if they tried .

So are there any tricks to changing the blades while the deck is still fitted ?

The best I could think of was to run it up on ramps to the trailer and crawl underneath but the ramps will most likely get in the way . Otherwise I could lift the front with a chain block in the barn , just not sure if that will allow oil into parts of the Kawasaki twin engine where it shouldn't be .
Thanks as always .
I pull whichever one I need sharpened up to my cherry picker, raise the front enuf to get an impact on the bolt, and off they come. Reverse that procedure for reassembly. ;-) gm
 
Harbor freight sells two different lawn tractor lifts. One is the economy version and one is a little higher end. Of course for more money. Don't recall lifting capacities of either but if I didn't already have a means to lift my mower, I'd consider buying one.
 
I have multiple methods of lifting my mower from jacks to a lift to a front end loader and an engine hoist. If I didn't have those I'd look at FB marketplace and buy a pair ramps for a car or better yet make a set out of wood. On youtube there's a good plan where they stack together and you mount casters on them for storage. The best is where the ramp part is hinged and latched and you can pivoy the ramp section away leaving the mower or vehicle on blocks with nothing in the way.
 
I just changed the blades on neighbors X320 couple hours ago. I use a Harbor Freight mower
jack. Engine hoist, block and tackle, boom pole are ok to lift with( use safety stands) The mower
jack has lift cradle lock pins built in so you have a little more room to maneuver under the deck. I
have taken the deck off a couple times(54 inch) with the assistance of YouTube videos. The rear
deck latches are usually the most aggravating.
That HF mower jack works well and doesn't break the bank.
 
Here is

Here is how I do it. I need to drop the deck,

Guido.

The replacement blades for the JD X340 arrived , as far as I can tell they are identical so I have no doubts that they will fit .
It's a shame but the 54'' deck is a screaming Pain in the Fundament to remove and replace . So many skinned knuckles , colourful words and cramped hands , what should be a simple straightforward job is something I just don't want to do so soon after the last . Just why JD made it so hard to get the deck on and off is beyond me .The spring loaded U bolts are the product of a perverse mind , they really couldn't have made it more frustrating if they tried .

So are there any tricks to changing the blades while the deck is still fitted ?

The best I could think of was to run it up on ramps to the trailer and crawl underneath but the ramps will most likely get in the way . Otherwise I could lift the front with a chain block in the barn , just not sure if that will allow oil into parts of the Kawasaki twin engine where it shouldn't be .
Thanks as always .
 

Attachments

  • IMG_20240611_110826447~2.jpg
    IMG_20240611_110826447~2.jpg
    1.9 MB · Views: 14
For those with simple ignition systems make sure that the engine won't turn over as you work. The blade drive should be disengaged. Better still, unhook the spark plug(s). You don't want and accidental hit while you are working with those blades.
 
Me neither,cherry picker,chain hoist and on my big from deck I just run it up on car ramps and grab a creeper. I will say to anyone be careful, I had a friend who always had a side hustle going. Plowing snow,painting what ever. He started a mowing business on the side, he hooked up a cable hoist to his rafters and lifted him big zero turn to sharpen the blades. His wife found him two hours later.
Currently use the car ramp method myself, aluminum ramps to 07 Chevy 2500hd gives plenty of room for a full size impact. Only problem is ramp supports getting in way. Do not back a lawn tractor up the ramp. I acquired an old Husqvarna 54", and backed it up the ramps due to blade bolt alignment. Oil ran to the head of the motor. I cranked it and blew the rings. Should have just used brakes to bring it down and waited to crank it
 

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