Here's a pic of the 'wimpy' lift rods used for the mower. They are 3/8" rod. They attach onto 1/2" studs on the center lift arms.
I plan to make some from 1/4" X 1" strap and use 1/2" pins at the blade if I decide to use the center lift for the blade.
Those lift rods aren't to bad if you weld the loop shut.The ones on my neighbors FF24 were pulling apart so we beat them back together and welded them.