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318 Deck Height

4887 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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Andrew -
I agree with Jeremy - Forget about what the sticker says and use a ruler for all of the heights off a level floor in the garage or drive.
I've used the following method on many different types of mowers with great success. The adjustments are different from one brand to the next, but the procedure is pretty much universal.

1. Set deck height to the approx. height for rear.
2. Set front deck height. recheck rear height and keep adjusting front and rear until you are satisfied. Front should be 1/4 to 1/2 inch shorter than the rear.
3. Once the height is set, level from side to side using the draft plate and the lift adjustment screw on top of the deck(not sure what it is called).
4. After deck is leveled from side to side make a final adjustment, if necessary, to the deck height in front and back.
5. Set wheel height to avoid scalping. (I don't use a rule and the stickers are long gone from my deck. I just eyeball it so my wheels are approx. 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch off the floor. (1/4 to 1/2 inch difference in the height of the wheels won't visibly affect the cut. The wheels are only there to keep the blades from hitting the ground or cutting really short on unlevel surfaces)).

Hope this helps.
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