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318 Deck Height

4892 Views 11 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  bigdog3d
I picked up an '83 318 last fall which included the original 48" mower deck. I used the mower a couple times last fall and wasn't impressed compared to my old 112 with 47" deck. I didn't mess with it last year. I did my first mowing of the season last week and the day afterwards it didn't even look like I mowed.

Looking at it, it looks like the front is sitting way too low compared to the back but that's not what taking measurements off the blades say.
Today I went out and check the deck level. One thing I noticed is that with the wheels set at 2" (2nd hole from the bottom) if I set the deck level to put them 1/4-3/8" off the ground the height from the ground to the mower blades is over 3 1/2". I put the wheels all the way up and set the stop to leave them off the ground the required amount which should be 1 1/2" and it gives me a cutting height of 3" still. Quite a difference. I also measured the difference from front to back and I have the required 1/2" on the blades but the rear wheels are a good 1 1/2" off the ground while the front ones are 3/8". I just mowed again, not that you can tell from all the long grass still sticking up. Other than looking for a new model 48" or 50" deck I don't suppose there's anything else to do with mine but live with the lousy cutting.

Looking at it, it appears the front of the deck is way too low, but as I mentioned the measurements off the blades say different.
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The draft plate on the 318 includes the mule drive so I doubt I have the wrong one.
Thanks for the suggestions. I'll look to see if something is bent. I checked the length of the arms and they are the correct ones for the 46" deck. I think I incorrectly identified the deck as a 48" but should have said a 46". The 48" is the one I could upgrade to if I could find one.

As far as the PO doing something to mess it up, I doubt it. The most the PO did was take it to the dealer, which he did regularly. I would hope the dealer did things right.

I know the height adjust at the rear sets the height, not the wheels. If you look at the label though it states if you want your cut at 2" set the wheels in a specific hole and then set the deck height so the wheels are 1/4" off the ground. I know most WFMers say to go with 3/8" instead of a quarter. My issue was that if you put the wheels in the 2" hole and then set the height, the blades are actually well over 3 1/2" off the ground. Thinking about it, I wonder if my front anti-scale wheels have been changed as I mentioned the rear wheels were close to an inch off the ground... jdparts lists a gauge wheel kit but I don't know what the difference is.

kb: Things haven't worked right since I've owned it, but as I've only mowed with it a few times I wouldn't put much stock in that fact.

Kurt: I've seen those gauges and wondered if they were any good. Perhaps I'll pick on up the next time I'm near the dealer.

Last fall after I purchased the tractor my initial suspect was dull blades but the blades I got on my deck were actually brand new.
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