There are a number of reasons you may be wanting to change your mower blades. In many cases, age and rust make the blades inefficient, and dull blades cause damage to your grass. Rocks, sticks and other debris can also damage the leading edge of your blades, leading to inefficient and uneven cutting. On the other hand, you may be upgrading your blades for mulching or extremely thick growths of weeds that need to be cut down. Fortunately, eXmark has made it relatively simple for anyone to change out their blades in no time and get back to mowing.
Before you even think about getting under the mower to change the blades, you first need to ensure that there is absolutely no chance of the engine turning over or the blades rotating unexpectedly. Apply the parking brake so that the mower cannot move while you’re working, and go ahead and put a block behind the rear tires just in case. Remove the key from the ignition completely, and pull the spark plug wires off of the plugs, tucking them away from the engine. This will keep any spark from reaching the engine altogether.
Raise the Mower
The easiest way to access the blades is simply to adjust the mowing deck up to its highest position. On most eXmark mowers this is the 5″ cutting height, set by the handle on the side of the deck. We recommend using a MoJack lift, specifically designed for zero turn mowers to lift the front of your tractor the rest of the way. Regular automotive jacks and ramps are more difficult to line up with a tractor frame and do not provide the same level of security as the MoJack system.
Use a socket with a long breaker bar to loosen the center bolt. A properly torqued bolt will be very difficult to get loose, so you will need the leverage of a breaker bar in most cases. In addition, mowers that have been left to collect dirt or rust will be harder to work with. Loosen the bolt completely and remove the washer. Make sure to keep both together for reassembly. Remove the mower blades from the shaft, and be careful not to let them fall.
Now that you have the blades off take some time to inspect them, along with the shaft for any signs of wear, damage or rust. Hopefully, even if your blade becomes dull over time, its remained in good shape otherwise. These blades can typically be sharpened and reused. However, a blade that has sustained heavy damage from rocks or other debris may not be reusable.
Put your new blade on the same way you pulled the old ones off. Make sure you have the blade on in the right direction and reinstall both the washer and the bolt. Check your owner’s manual for proper torque specifications. After the blades are safely installed, carefully lower your mower and reconnect your spark plug wires before testing it.
For more helpful hints about eXmark mowers, and other landscaping equipment visit Shank’s Lawn Equipment today. Their shop is located at 4900 Molly Pitcher Highway in Chambersburg, off of Route 11 in South Central Pennsylvania. If you live outside of Pennsylvania, Shank’s Lawn is happy to provide you parts and accessories over the web at shankslawn.com. They will ship any part throughout the US and Canada, and can help you find the right fit for your equipment.