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318 with 46" mower deck - keeps bending the side-side adjustment bolt

2615 Views 12 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Jeremy_c
I replaced the side to side adjustment bolt on my 46" deck and adjusted the deck height. When I checked it the other day, it was bent again. The lock nut is tight with the clevis which is correct according to the JD dealer. What side of the tractor should the adjustment clevis be on? Also, is there anything else I may be overlooking?
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Mine is on the right side. What is bending? the bolt, bracket or the clevis. I have the locking nut against the bottom of the bracket not the clevis.

Just my thoughts. I would think that possibly your anti scalp wheels may be a bit too low. If one catches the ground in a turn, it will swing the deck to the side possibly causing this.


I purchased a 318 3 weeks ago with a 46" deck, while looking the machine over I noticed the adjustment bolt for the deck was bent. I have a newer 48" deck from my 317 which I want to put on. Being as the lift arms were different I went to my dealer and purchased the new lift arm and a new adjustment bolt. I have a couple different owners manuals for the 46" deck and each manual stated to put the adjustment assembly on different sides. The way the tractor was when I received it, the adjustment was on the left side (determined by sitting in the seat). When I looked at that setup it was evident that would not work, too much of an angle. I swapped the lift arms, putting the adjustment on the right side and so far so good.

Look where the lift arms from the mower deck are attached to the lift mechanism. Make sure that it is rotated to the COUNTER clockwise position (LEFT side). You may have to take the arms loose from the deck to rotate them. If it isn't it will bend the bolt every time the deck is raised. If you need a picture I can take one tomorrow after church. Let me know.

I'd like a picture if you could post one. I've went through two of these bolts now and I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong.
I'll post a picture tomorrow afternoon (Sunday)
It's Picture time...Go to the site (FOTKI)and click on the pictures for a larger view. I hope this helps.

Jerry, That is a perfect explanation and I hate you for not posting it last summer when I couldn't figure out what was wrong with mine. haha, just joking... I too had the same problem with the lift clevis bending the bolt....until I took the deck off while doing something under it and I noticed one side was different from the other side. (lift arms) That is when I had a burning bush experience and I saw the light. It seems when the deck is not on the tractor these lift arms can get rotated to the wrong position and I didn't notice when I hooked it back up. After replacing the bolt a couple of times and straightening out my clevis, NOW I know why it was doing that, as you show in your great pictures. Thanks for the posting.....even if it was a year too late for me, haha.
Jerry, thanks for the good pics and description. My lift arms were in the wrong position. Should make hooking it up a lot simpler too.

Thank you for posting the pictures. I am almost certain the clevis is at an angle which is incorrect per your pictures. I will pick up a new bolt and hook it up properly. Thanks again for the detailed pictures.
That was the problem. I picked up a new adjustment bolt and corrected the installation so both the clevis & bolt assembly and straight link were vertical and the problem is solved. I need to buy a new clevis as the original one is bent slightly.

With the links in the proper position, the mower lifts much higher and is even throughout the lift. Funny how well it works when it is installed properly...LOL.

One thing I noticed is when I set the blade height to 2-1/2" with the Deere leveling gage, the gage wheels need to be in the 2" position in order to meet the 1/4-1/2" clearance to the ground. Anyone else notice that?
Just finished switching mine around last night. What a difference!! The deck never lifted as even or high before. Thanks again for posting the pics.
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