How to Level a Mower Deck
Spring is on its way! It’s just about time to hop on the mower and start cutting. You can almost smell that fresh cut grass!
We know you take pride in your lawn and your lawn care equipment, so you want that first cut to look great. You don’t want ruts or an uneven cut to ruin all of your hard work. If you do notice these common issues while mowing, you are likely working with an unlevel mower deck.
Thankfully, leveling your mower deck is simple and can be done quickly. Be sure to reference your owner’s manual for specifics and follow the steps below to adjust and level the deck height of your mower so you can get back to cutting grass the way it was meant to be cut.
Tools and Equipment
- The appropriate size wrench or socket set
- Tape measure
- Tire pressure gauge
- Safety glasses
- First, place your riding mower on level ground. This is important because you will be using the ground for your measuring foundation.
- Stabilize your mower. Engage the parking brake so that the mower cannot roll back and injure those working beneath it. Also, place the mower engagement lever in the disengaged position. Turn the ignition off and remove the key.
- Ensure all the blades and moving parts have stopped and disconnect the spark plug wire so it can’t come in contact with the spark plug in the engine.
- Now check the tire pressure with your pressure gauge and make sure all tires are at maximum pressure. This also helps to ensure that the mower is level so you can align the deck properly.
- Make sure that the blades are rotated to the side and use the tape measure to measure from the edge of the blade to the level ground. Repeat this step on both sides. Note the measurements and subtract the two to get a difference. If the difference is close to ⅛ -inch, a side-to-side adjustment is not needed. If there is more than ⅛ -inch difference, you will need to make an adjustment.
- If an adjustment is needed, begin turning the lift link lock nut located in front of the rear wheel on the left side. Each full turn of this lock nut will change the height of this side of the mower about 3/16-inch. Turn the adjusting lock nut clockwise to raise the mower and counterclockwise to lower it.
- Measure from the blade to the ground again on both sides and adjust until the difference between the blade tip heights are within ⅛ -inch.
- Rotate the blades so that their direction is now front to back. Using the bottom edge of the blade closest to the deck as a reference, measure the distance from the ground to the blade at the front and rear blade tips. If the front blade tips are ⅛ -inch to ½ -inch lower than the rear blade tips, the position of the blade is acceptable. If the front-to-rear angle of the deck is outside the ⅛ -inch to ½ -inch range, adjust the blade.
- To make the adjustment, use the wrench to loosen the jam nut several turns. You can then turn the adjustment nut counterclockwise to loosen and drop the front of the mower or clockwise to tighten and raise the front of the mower.
- Measure the front and rear blade tips to make sure the difference is within the acceptable range. When the measurements are within range, tighten the jam nut while being careful not to change the position of the adjustment nut.
- Now you can prepare the mower for use again. Check that all pulley guards and deflectors are in good condition and properly secured in place on the mower deck. Replace the spark plug wire, turn the ignition key in the switch, and test your mower.
You are now ready to mow your lawn with clean lines and an even cut. To lower your chances of having to fix an unlevel deck in the future, be sure to avoid bumps and debris that can cause damage.
We hope that this guide helps you to successfully level your mower deck, but if you have any questions or need assistance with your mower, call the team at Koenig Equipment. We will be happy to assist you. Our mobile maintenance team can service your equipment at home, on the farm, or on the job site. We can even pick it up and bring it to our shop for more comprehensive repairs!
Is your lawn mower in need of service that a mower deck level adjustment won't fix? The team at Koenig Equipment can help. Schedule a service appointment with our expert technicians and get your mower trimming lawns again.
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