A problem I've been fighting for a few years now and have not found a
Simplicity Regency 12hp lawn tractor (about 1996?- last year the
hydrostatic drive handle was in the middle). It has a mulching kit
(which is just a discharge shoot block) and I use 'leaf cutters' on the
leaves. When I first got the tractor, it did a superb job of mulching -
both the grass clippings and leaves in the fall. The lasts three years
or so, it has started leaving a trail of grass clippings down the
middle, and it take repeated passes to chop up the leaves in the fall.
I typically mow once a week.
I have tried all the following with no success:
Sharpened the blades
Changed the blades
Cleaned the deck
Leveled the deck
Tilted the deck forward and backward
Changed the drive belt
Cheched the RPM
Mow more often
Still it leaves unsightly clippings. The neighbor with a cheap MTD gets
a better cut.
Any suggestions? What have I yet to try?
You said you changed the blade. There is a special mulching blade,
different from normal blades. They have more tilt to them and a curve
about halfway between end and center. The theory is that it sets up
upward air curents around the blade which blow the cutting up and as they
fall, the blade cuts them again, and again. They kinda work okay, but
you need to travel slower since (in theory) you are cutting more grass by
cutting the same grass more than once. The second thing is that the blade
must be kept very sharp for maximum effectiveness. By very sharp, I don't
mean new blade sharp, because most new blades are not sharp. I mean
knife-like sharp. The edge doesn't hold long, so blades need to be
Don't know if any of this will help you or not. Hope so.
The new blade I tried was called a 'gator' blade. It looked like it had
greater lift, and a serrated trailing edge.
I normally have the blades sharpened at the local hardware store. When
they are done, they have all the nicks ground out, but they are not
knife sharp. I'll have to see what kind of an edge I can get on them.
Well, I spent quite a bit of time and put the best edge I could on the
blades. They were not razor sharp, but there were knife edge sharp- I
wouldn't have wanted to run my finger down one.
Cleaned the deck again when I was working on the blades. Bearings are
all snug, there is no up and down or side to side play in the shafts.
The blades pass each other with about 1/4 inch clearance. The belt
appears OK, and I retensioned it.
No improvement. It's almost as if the airflow under the deck is blowing
the clipping into the ground down the middle of the deck. It leaves a
trail right down the middle. Multiple passes over the same area in
different directions only move the clippings around.
There has got to be something simple I am missing, but I sure can't
figure out what it is.......
Is your mower a mulching mower? Does it have a discharge chute
attachment that forces the discharge back onto the blade? Just adding a
mulching blade will not make a mower "mulch," per se. What's your brand
wrote in message ...
Yes. It's a Simplicity Regent Hydro12, with 36" cut. (somewhere around
a 1996 model year) It has a 'mulching kit' on it, which really consists
of just a plate across the discharge chute. Worked well at first, but
for the last few years just will not chop up those clipping.
Blades are turning the right direction, and are mounted properly. Check
RPM on advice of an email from Simplicity service and found it proper at
2500 RPM. Belt has been tightened and then replaced. A real mystery...
there are other reasons. At one point you mentioned that in recent years,
it has not been mulching good. Are you mowing a different grass?
No doubt this problem can be fixed. But, without seeing it, I am at a
loss. Your descriptions are good, but are only what you observe.
Sometimes a different person may notice something that someone else has
overlooked and therefore could not include in a verbal/written description.
I'd suggest taking it to a local mower shop - not a large company like Sears
that sells mowers - just a fixit shop where you can talk to the owner,
manager, and mechanic (all in one person). Just talking doesn't cost,
and he might look at it as a challange (I know I would) and get real
interested in the problem.
Sorry I can't come up with anything better than this to offer.
Funny you mention that. It seemed to stop mulching the second year we
had a 'Chem-lawn' clone doing our yard. But we stopped that service,
and nothing has changed. The neighbor still is having his lawn
fertilized and he does not have the mulching problem.
That's very true.
I talked to the service guys at the (small-medium sized) lawn and garden
shop where we bought the mower. They suggested the 'gator' blades which
did not help. I may break down and take it in to the shop, but I'm
concerened I end up being charged hundreds of dollars and there will be
I assume you're mulching "dry" grass at approximately the same
time/day as you did before? What do the cuttings look like? How does the
mower discharge "without" the mulching blowback bar in place? Almost sounds
like your blade is put in upside down (not backwards .. . which would be
obvious). Does the mower "cut" at all?
wrote in message ...
Thanks for the reply...
I always shoot for the dryest day possible. The clippings appear to be
about the length of what was cut off. As if the blades cut ok, but the
clippings are not recirculating and instead are just 'blown down' into
the middle of the cutting path. I haven't tried it at all without the
Putting the blades in upside down would also mean they are turning the
wrong way; i.e. sharp edge trailing instead of leading. You don't know
how many times I've checked that possibility. The blades are mounted
such that the sharp edge is moving into the uncut grass. The pitch on
the blades is such that the air should be drawn up into the deck. The
'flat' part of the leading edge is down, and the tapered part is up.
What's the "angle" of the new mulching blade vs that of the original
blade? I've noticed that my Honda cuts better at a 45 degree blade edge
(more vertical) than at a 67 degree (more angle) (from the vertical. You DO
have an interesting problem.
wrote in message ...
Not quite sure what you are asking. I haven't tried it without the
discharge blocking plate (blowback bar?) for a long time. I have the
mower set at it's highest clipping height, clipping at a lower level
seems worse as there is not as much turf left to drop the clippings
into. I'm guessing that the grass is about 4" long when I cut it, and I
cut off about 1/3 (perhaps a bit more) of that length.
The clippings that remain on the lawn appear like they were cut once and
dropped - not recycled into the blade for further 'processing'.
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