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  1. #1
    Veteran Member deepNdirt's Avatar
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    Default Removing the baffle from a Mower deck?

    I have used Toro zero turn mower I traded for several months ago, I've been getting it straighten out little by little, Put new blades and belt on last month and cleaned the accumulated grass clippings that was packed in out from the deck, Yesterday the bolt that holds the tensioner pulley onto the deck broke, I had to remove the deck from under the mower, I decided to drill the hole out and install a larger 1/2" bolt,
    While at it I once again cleaned the packed grass out from under the deck,

    I've had standard type ridding mowers in the past and clippings packing under the deck were never a problem, although these mowers were smaller in cut @ 42" having only twin blades and not having the baffle partially dividing the blades,

    This Toro Being 50" cut requires 3 -17.5" blades, And where the blades are located there in some sort of baffle that closely surrounds each 3 of the blades, ( You can see in the photo )
    Now My question is: can these be removed? or do they provide something other than a place that grass will collects and pack in the clippings, When I looked under the deck the only space left is the area in which the blade turns, The grass is packed in 3" thick everywhere,

    I try to not cut grass when it is damp but lately it just cannot get completely dry due to the humidity and the lack of sunshine, I'm sure this is partly the problem, But somehow I feel like if were not for these baffles it could throw the clipping out better,

    Thanks

    BTW- the Mower calls for High-lift blades, whatever this means....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0923-jpg   -img_0924-jpg  
    Last edited by deepNdirt; 07-07-2013 at 06:19 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Removing the baffle from a Mower deck?

    Without those your deck will cut like crap as the vacuum will be less and the grass wont 'stand up' for the blade. The grass wont move out to the discharge as well either and since that already isnt very good.. well. What I would do is try Arnold Extreme blades as they are high lift blades designed to help clear clippings from the deck faster.. You can buy them anywhere..

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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Removing the baffle from a Mower deck?

    How would removing he baffles let the grass out better? Its not like the baffles are blocking the discharge port. Leave them.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member deepNdirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the baffle from a Mower deck?

    Quote Originally Posted by Groo View Post
    How would removing he baffles let the grass out better? Its not like the baffles are blocking the discharge port. Leave them.
    Well my thoughts were referring back to the other smaller mower decks that had only 2 blades and no baffles, it was rarely they ever got packed with clippings, On another note this zero turn doesn't seem to disperse clipping along the side of the discharge shoot as other mowers I've had has done, maybe I should try cutting with the shoot-guard up and take notice if they're anything coming out,
    after-all it does ride close to the ground,

    I just thought while having the mower deck off I could remove these baffles it it would've helped,
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  5. #5
    Veteran Member deepNdirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the baffle from a Mower deck?

    With the advice I received I decided not to remove the baffles, Instead I mowed the lawn with the side discharge deflector tied up, This seem to resolve the problem of grass clippings packing in underneath the deck, though many times before I would check if grass was backing up around the deflector but never seen any signs or thoughts of needing to tie it up,
    But of course I couldn't keep my eyes on it the entire time,

    I do remember many years ago having a Snapper mower that when getting in tall grass I would have to tie up the deflector, But now having the zero turn to drive I don't let the grass get very high before having the opportunity to cut it again,

    So the fix was to cut off about 3" from the edge of the deflector, Now allowing the grass to disperse much easier, Plus gives me the ability to get a closer cut to things,
    Never judge a man until you've walked a day in his shoes,

  6. #6
    Veteran Member deepNdirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the baffle from a Mower deck?

    Well I have cut 2 times more with the mower since the modification of the deflector, Even though it seems somewhat better the grass clipping still accumulate and pack in up under, I think the design of the deck was made more for mulching and to leave as little clippings as possible behind, But I'm sure its not supposed to accumulate and pack under the deck, I'm trying to only cut when the grass is completely dry, although waiting for that lets the grass grow even taller,

    I now have another issue to deal with, Because the grass growing taller and due to the rain it also grows thicker I'm having to run the engine almost wide open, Resulting in the muffler becoming red-hot and Blowing completely off,
    It's not the bolts are backing off, it's the muffler getting hot and breaking at the weld from the Intake port/pipe, I re-weld it back together and it broke again only this time was not at the weld but in the thiner part of the muffler around the weld,

    So I happen to have another muffler of a different design, ( square box ) I used it for about 30 minutes until I heard it becoming louder, so I stopped to let it cool and later remove this muffler to find that it's intake pipe had split at the mounting flange, I again weld it up and put it back on to finish cutting, after another 30 minutes I can hear it leaking again, so I figure the weld didn't hold ,

    Question: being I'm having to run the engine at such high rpm's and presuming this is whats causing the muffler's to fail and break,
    Would it be possible to run this engine with just a straight open exhaust with no baffles inside, (Gutting a Muffler ) I realize it will be louder but will it cause any engine problems?

    I'm beginning to wonder if having this zero turn is really worth all this trouble,
    Never judge a man until you've walked a day in his shoes,

  7. #7
    Super Member LD1's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the baffle from a Mower deck?

    Not sure what the issue is with your muffler. ZTR's are designed to be run wide open. Perhaps you have a tuning issue with the engine causing it to run hot or something???

    What engine does it have?

    As to the baffle, leave it as others said. Otherwise cut quality will suffer big time. And make sure you keep the blades really sharp.

    And how are you mowing?? Are you blowing clippings out into the open where you already mowed? Or are you constantly blowing them inward only to mow them again and again??
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
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  8. #8
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    Default Re: Removing the baffle from a Mower deck?

    Quote Originally Posted by deepNdirt View Post
    Well I have cut 2 times more with the mower since the modification of the deflector, Even though it seems somewhat better the grass clipping still accumulate and pack in up under, I think the design of the deck was made more for mulching and to leave as little clippings as possible behind, But I'm sure its not supposed to accumulate and pack under the deck, I'm trying to only cut when the grass is completely dry, although waiting for that lets the grass grow even taller,

    I now have another issue to deal with, Because the grass growing taller and due to the rain it also grows thicker I'm having to run the engine almost wide open, Resulting in the muffler becoming red-hot and Blowing completely off,
    It's not the bolts are backing off, it's the muffler getting hot and breaking at the weld from the Intake port/pipe, I re-weld it back together and it broke again only this time was not at the weld but in the thiner part of the muffler around the weld,

    So I happen to have another muffler of a different design, ( square box ) I used it for about 30 minutes until I heard it becoming louder, so I stopped to let it cool and later remove this muffler to find that it's intake pipe had split at the mounting flange, I again weld it up and put it back on to finish cutting, after another 30 minutes I can hear it leaking again, so I figure the weld didn't hold ,

    Question: being I'm having to run the engine at such high rpm's and presuming this is whats causing the muffler's to fail and break,
    Would it be possible to run this engine with just a straight open exhaust with no baffles inside, (Gutting a Muffler ) I realize it will be louder but will it cause any engine problems?

    I'm beginning to wonder if having this zero turn is really worth all this trouble,
    Enrichen your mixture a bit.. sounds like you are running too lean..

    It seems you just have a high moister content grass. Even though its 'dry' there is water in them. make sure you keep your blades sharp. In Wisconsin, I needed to keep 2 sets and swap the every 2-3 mowings or the grass would just be pulverized and torn instead of 'cut' and tend to stick and clump more. Also, cut less off. If that means mowing more often, so be it.

  9. #9
    Veteran Member deepNdirt's Avatar
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    Default Re: Removing the baffle from a Mower deck?

    17 Hp. B&S, My method of cutting is, I cut back and forth, making one pass on uncut grass and then the pass coming back has me cutting both the grass and the clippings left from the previous pass, and then the next cut of course is cutting just the standing grass again,etc,etc,
    I know I can cut counter clockwise in a circle cutting toward the center and would save cutting the clippings over, however when finished it has that bullseye look to the lawn,
    I think I may have resolved the problem, again I was experimenting by cutting the discharge hole about 3" larger out of the length of the hole, I then cut the lawn and the clippings didn't back up around the discharge hole as before, I think the problem lied between both the guard deflector And the size of the discharge hole,
    And the muffler didn't blow off,
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Removing the baffle from a Mower deck?

    I have a 54" ZTR that has baffles. They allow each blade to create a vaccume. The furthest away from the shute is blowing to the middle, then the middle is blowing to the outer blade which pushes all of it out the shute. So the grass actually gets mulched three times before exiting the deck. If those baffles get slightly bent will create a missing strip while cutting. When I sharpen my bladed I look at the baffles/shrouds or whatever you call them to make sure they are as close to factory as possible. One of mine had a tab broken and replaced the entire three half loop baffles. The mower now cuts even and good as new.

    I had a heck of a time this year because of the amount of rain and trying to stay ahead of the growing grass. When the grass has alot of moisture, I always wait till the afternoon to cut to allow the grass to dry out a bit so as to not clump up under the deck. It was getting the point I was cutting twice a week to keep from looking like I was raking hay.

    In a nutshell, keep those baffles in good shape and clean to assure a smooth cut. -kid

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