Weekend Freedom Machines banner

318 Deck Height

4889 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.
1 - 1 of 12 Posts
Hello Andrew
As Bob has said getting a deck level takes patient's. I would suggest that the first thing that you do is make sure that both Draft arms are of equal length and not bent at all, you can see this easily if you remove the draft arm Plate and lay it on the floor if an arm is bent it will not sit straight on the floor like the other one will they have to be straight and the same length to get a deck leveled correctly. It is not uncommon to find draft arms that have been Tweaked or slightly bent so make sure they are straight as well so that they support the deck evenly on both sides. John Deere sells a deck leveling Gauge tool it is Plastic and shows many different height's on it and it takes the guess work out of leveling the deck and makes it much easier than trying to measure the blade height tip's with a Tape measure. Make sure your Gauge wheel's are not touching the ground when measuring deck height they are to prevent scalping and should be off the ground some when the deck is lowered into the cutting Position. Once I make sure my draft arm's are of equal length and not bent I start measuring Blade tip's on the Right side of the Tractor looking at it from the front of the Tractor I always start with that right blade facing straight ahead.

I then check the center blade facing straight ahead, Then move to the last blade on the left that has an adjustable Lift strap where you can adjust the level height of the deck. In measuring the blade tip's it is easier to do this with the deck set in a Higher Position. Once they are all of the same height you can adjust the rock shaft screw on the rear of the Tractors to what ever height you need and check the discharge side blade tip as the Other two are all ready level now so the Three blades will be at the same exact height. If you are getting Blade tip measurement's that way off in height it may be your deck shell is bent where the blade spindle bolt's into the deck shell. I had this happen a few year's back when I hit a very large Tree root with my John Deere 140 that was hidden by leaves in the fall of the Year. The Hit was so violent that it stalled the tractor when I hit it and it Bent the deck shell where the center blade was so I had to remove the blade spindle from the deck to straighten the shell so that it was square and the mowing spindle sat flat & true again. Once I reach the desired height that I want by adjusting the rock shaft screw I put the gauge wheel's in a Position where they are barely off of the floor being a Half inch or so which completes the deck leveling process. I hope this helps, Kurt
See less See more
1 - 1 of 12 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.