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Unbalanced blade= Big Problems


Outdoor Power Equipment Discussion, Repairs, Buy or Sell

Outdoor power equipment discussions. Questions on commercial lawn mowers, lawn mower, mower parts, lawn tractors, engines, edgers, trimmers, pole saws, aerators, hydro seeders, snow plows, chain saws, stump grinders, trucks and trailers?
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  #1  
Old 08-17-2009, 12:20 PM
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Default Unbalanced blade= Big Problems

This week the pully over the center blade of my Cub ztr pulled 2 bolts off the deck and was tilted back. Left me with about 2 hours of push mowing last saturday. I wasn't sure of the exact threads, so I installed 2 bolts that just fit through the holes with washers and nuts on the end, which snapped off in about 4 seconds. As I tried to undo one of the other 2 bolts to take one to the hardware store to buy the correct thread, it snapped off. There are 4 bolts holding the center pully/blade to the housing. Now, 2 are missing and 2 are broke off. Sooo, I drilled out the holes slightly bigger, rethreaded them, and installed new, tightly fitting bolts, and more importantly, got to the root of the problem- an unbalanced blade. I grinded off the back side of the blade until it seemed balanced (stayed still when the deck was held vertically). So far so good. This probably sounds dumb but I didn't realize an unbalanced blade would snap off bolts in 4 seconds. Lesson learned. Do you guys have a way to keep blades balanced or check them, or can you just know somethings wrong by the vibrations? Instead of grinding one side, do they make strong enough little magnets or weights to add to the light side?
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Old 08-17-2009, 02:09 PM
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Originally Posted by andyjoneslawncare View Post
This week the pully over the center blade of my Cub ztr pulled 2 bolts off the deck and was tilted back. Left me with about 2 hours of push mowing last saturday. I wasn't sure of the exact threads, so I installed 2 bolts that just fit through the holes with washers and nuts on the end, which snapped off in about 4 seconds. As I tried to undo one of the other 2 bolts to take one to the hardware store to buy the correct thread, it snapped off. There are 4 bolts holding the center pully/blade to the housing. Now, 2 are missing and 2 are broke off. Sooo, I drilled out the holes slightly bigger, rethreaded them, and installed new, tightly fitting bolts, and more importantly, got to the root of the problem- an unbalanced blade. I grinded off the back side of the blade until it seemed balanced (stayed still when the deck was held vertically). So far so good. This probably sounds dumb but I didn't realize an unbalanced blade would snap off bolts in 4 seconds. Lesson learned. Do you guys have a way to keep blades balanced or check them, or can you just know somethings wrong by the vibrations? Instead of grinding one side, do they make strong enough little magnets or weights to add to the light side?


Usually I'd just take the blade off & balance it on a piece of wood. If one side is heavier, I grind it a little more... Eventually it becomes balanced with a little time.


If there is an awkward vibration, your blades are most likely unbalanced.

I don't know about magnets working too well...
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Old 08-17-2009, 04:46 PM
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Stick a bolt or screw horizontally in a vise. Put the blade hole over that.
Which ever end is down gets the weight removed.
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Old 08-17-2009, 06:57 PM
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Stick a bolt or screw horizontally in a vise. Put the blade hole over that.
Which ever end is down gets the weight removed.
Exactly. However, some mowers (including some Cub Cadets) have a star or spline center hole. There is a cheap blade balance that is available that looks like a cone so you can set the blade on it and see easily if the blade is balanced. Once your blades are balanced right, make sure you sharpen equal amounts from both ends. And NEVER, let me repeat, NEVER, grind from the back side of the blade. Always grind more off the cutting edge of the blade. Grind the blade as if you were sharpening a dull blade. This is the only acceptable way to sharpen the blade.

The reason for this is that if you grind off the back of the blade you will affect the effectiveness of the discharge because the upturned part of the blade is what lifts the grass to give you a cleaner cut, discharges the cut grass, and helps keep the underside of your deck cleaner by discharging he grass out the side or bagging it. Needless to say, if you grind too much off the back you would most likely never be able to bag with those blades again. Also do not grind off the ends since the length of the blade is what keeps you from having skips in the grass where you just mowed.

And yes, blades can get out of balance to the point that it will literally shake your entire mower. This not only affects your deck by vibrating bolts loose, but also the rest of the mower.

Hope this helps,
Eli
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Old 08-18-2009, 02:30 AM
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There is a cheap blade balance that is available that looks like a cone so you can set the blade on it and see easily if the blade is balanced.
I think Eli means something like this.



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Old 08-18-2009, 09:47 PM
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That is exactly it. It is relatively inexpensive and does the trick for most blades. Just be aware that most blades will not fit perfectly on the cone, and thus if the blade is slightly to one side of the hole or the other it can appear it is balanced when it really is not (or vice versa).
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