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Curtis B.
Curtis B., Technician
Category: Small Engine
Satisfied Customers: 28122
Experience:  have worked on and around most engine models for 35 yrs./Polaris ATV expert
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I have a cub cadet zero turn mower that does not mulch and

Customer Question

I have a cub cadet zero turn mower that does not mulch and throw the grass out. I keep the grass cut so it is not a problem with tall or extra thick grass. It also skips and does not cut all the grass. It leaves cut grass laying under the deck. I have sharpened the blades and keep them sharp.
JA: What's the make and model of the mower? And can you guesstimate how old it is?
Customer: It is a Z-Force 50. 2007 - 23 HP
JA: Do you plan on doing the work yourself?
Customer: Yes, I have a very long history of doing this type work and am very capable.
JA: Anything else we should know to help you best?
Customer: I have adjusted the deck heights multiple times, checked measurements on blade height, checking the actual blade, not just the deck. The deck is clean, no grass build up. Belts are relatively new and in good shape.
Submitted: 10 months ago.
Category: Small Engine
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

Welcome to JUST ANSWER small engines, let me try to help you !! I don't know it all, but maybe together we can get you a satisfactory answer!

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

The typical mulching deck will have baffles under the deck with the blades. Could one of the baffles have fallen off and is no longer there? Have you had te deck flipped over so yu can see if there is any welding marks showing where an old baffle may have been? With a 10 year old deck, it is possible. Assuming it used to work correctly!

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I bought the mower new, no baffles. Yes, it used to cut good. Mower has never been abused. We live on a flat lot with no rocks, or anything to hit that could possibly cause damage to the blades.
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
this is not actually a mulching deck, what I mean by mulching is cutting all of the grass and throwing it out and not leaving anything behind.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

Blades are good, and installed with the raised tips up?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
they are new blades and raised tips are up
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

Do the blades seem to spin as fast as always, or could the deck belt be slipping? When was belt last replaced?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
the blades seem to spin as fast, the belt was last replaced midway through last season. Replacing it did not correct the problem.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

Th e drive belt from engine to deck replaced, as well? and it is tight?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
All belts are good, changed at the same time and e drive belt is tight.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

Engine rpm fine with no loss of power? Just the deck does not cut!

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

I think I would flip it over and look for missing parts. All decks come with some kind of baffling or rounded corners , to help guide the grass to the output.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
That is correct. Especially if you get into a thicker section of grass. It will cut and leave a windrow of grass, it looks like between the left and center blade. It will leave that row as far as you cut a row in the thicker or taller grass.
It also seems like it will not vacuum the grass up to cut at the base of the blade of grass but pushes it down and only cuts the tips.
My deck does have rounded corners. The outer edge baffles are all in place. Didn't realize you were referring to the baffles around the underneath edge of the deck, they are there.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

Almost sounds like the blades are the wrong length.

Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

18 inch blades?

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
They are the blades made for this mower, if they were any longer they would hit each other.
The exact measurement of the blades from end to end is 17 5/8.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

Blades show to be 17.9 inches. Not a lot of difference, but a 1/4 inch on each blade would be 1/2 left standing. Looking at basic Z force 50, this is the blade it shows to require, see link below.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
The blades that are on the mower are Cub Cadet brand and for Z Force 50. I was measuring with a standard tape measure. The mower is not leaving just a straight row of grass uncut, it is randomly leaving spots of uncut grass laid over with just the tips cut off. it is not specific to any part of under the deck that this happening.
Expert:  Curtis B. replied 10 months ago.

OK< I will opt out, maybe someone else has seen this. Please do not respond to me, as it will lock the question. Personally I think the blades are wrong length.