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Possible to modify rear discharge deck to mulching?


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#1 Altaxis OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 12:56 PM

I've got a 42" rear discharge mower deck. If I just block the discharge hole, will it be converted to a mulching deck then? Or do I need to do something more? Different knives or whats the thing with mulching?

/Samuel

#2 Texas Deere and Horse OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 01:24 PM

Altaxis, Some of the mower companies make a mulching insert that bolts or clips into your deck. I would check with the dealer to see if that is available. If not, You will need to change the blades to mulching blades, I think it will work OK...

#3 mikebramel OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 05:12 PM

Ideally you would want to have a continuous shroud around each of the blades

#4 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted June 29, 2011 - 09:59 PM

I agree with Mike. A lot of the function of mulching comes from the way that the grass is "recirculated" through the blades several times. The shape of the deck has a lot to do with this as as it causes the air flow to circulate the grass back above the blade to be cut again and again. Mulching blades are half of that equation too. The shape of the blades causes the air flow. The shape of the deck directs the flow. That being said, I believe that you will have acceptable results as long as you don't let the grass get too high and keep the deck clean in between cuts.

#5 Alc ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2011 - 07:54 AM

I have a side discharge deck and when using a lawn sweeper to pick up leaves I have to block the opening . I tried leaving it blocked to see how it did as a mulcher ( reg style blades ) it did OK when I wasn't trying to cut too much it did let a little strip of built up grass on the chute side . Had to take the cover off now that the grass is growing like crazy . Maybe you could try attaching something temporary just to see how it works , Al

#6 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted June 30, 2011 - 10:41 AM

You'd definitely need to mow more often, or drive very slow if the grass is tall. When you switch to mulching mowing, it takes a LOT more HP, and the deck can't handle nearly as much grass volume. Gator blades would work well for this. I bought a 6.75hp push/self propelled mower a few years back. It had NO discharge except for a removeable plate in the rear for a bagger. The bag would be filled so quick you couldn't get anything accomplished. So I tried it set up for mulching, and the engine just didn't have enough power to be useful. A nearly 7hp engine & couldn't barely mow a 22" swath! So I cut a discharge hole into the right side & added a flip chute. It mows up a storm now! So be prepared to see your engine work much harder, or even struggle as a mulcher.

Edited by olcowhand, July 02, 2011 - 01:49 PM.
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#7 Altaxis OFFLINE  

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Posted July 02, 2011 - 12:23 PM

Thanks for all the input. Have been working way too much overtime to be able to think about this but now it's Saturday and that meens r&r.

First up; I don't think there's any distributor who's got mulching parts for my mower since I've dated it (or at least the tractor) to ca 1973. Spareparts are hard to come by and the easiest way for me is Ebay but I often have to guess if the part will fit and work based on dimensions because there is almost no parts with the right partnumber.

Second; I think there's enough power in my gilson to manage mulching.
I realized that the bearings in the middle knife spindle was busted 3 weeks ago when the engined just died when I tried to engage the PTO. It was hard to engage the PTO before as well, you had to carefully engage it or the engine would die. So based on this I THINK there's enough power.

About the knifes, I've found mulching knives that are very similar to my original knifes and that makes me believe that it's possible to convert to mulch if I close of each knife.

In my first thread here I told you about my walkbehind-mower, a Stiga turbo. When the bearings in my gilson mowing deck broke down Murphy (-s law) couldn't stay away and the stiga gave it's last breath away as well. That meant I had to buy a knew walk-behind and I got a new Stiga with mulching. The knifes in the Stiga are almost similar tho the ones in my gilson.

I'll start with trying to make separate compartments for each knife and we'll see how it works.

#8 olcowhand ONLINE  

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Posted July 02, 2011 - 01:50 PM

Also, be prepared to clean the underside of your deck after every mowing, & possibly before one mowing is even finished. Mulching really packs them up under there, even when grass appears dry.




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