Now that spring has arrived, your lawn grass has also begun to awaken and most likely needs a good trim. So now it’s time to get your lawnmower out and program the first grass cutting of the season. Do you want a great-looking lawn? A level lawnmower deck is indispensable for a beautiful lawn.
Since your goal will be to achieve a nice even cut, your lawnmower maintenance and care will include ensuring that your mower deck is level. The blades for cutting are directly attached to your mower deck, so if it is uneven, the cut of your grass will appear uneven as well. If you cut your grass and notice this, or that ruts appear in the lawn’s appearance, the culprit is probably a mower deck that is not level.
Not to worry! Leveling your mower deck is much simpler than it seems. Consult your owner’s manual for specific information regarding your mower before you begin as well as any special instructions from the manufacturer with regard to leveling the mower deck. Instructions will tend to vary a bit depending on the model.
How to Level a Mower Deck – An Expert Guide
- Safety gloves
- Protective safety glasses
- Wrenches the correct size for your mower
- A tape measure
- A pressure gauge for the tires
- Air pump for tire inflating
These are steps to follow for leveling the mower deck
Step 1: Park your mower on a level surface such as concrete or asphalt. A driveway or garage is appropriate. The surface should be truly level because you will use this surface as the foundation for your measurements.
Step 2: Block your lawnmower by inserting the parking brake. This safety precaution is important so that the mower doesn’t move and injure someone working on it. The lever for the engagement should not be inserted, it should be disengaged.
You should shut off the ignition and afterward remove the lawnmower’s key from the ignition for safety purposes. It is advisable that you wear a pair of safety gloves when you are working with or near blades.
Blades and any other moving parts should have stopped completely. The wire for the spark plug should also be disconnected. This is necessary to avoid the wire coming into contact with the mower engine spark plug as this contact could inadvertently start the engine up.
Step 3: Control the tires for the air pressure with the pressure gauge. All of your mower’s tires should be filled to the maximum appropriate pressure. Check the owner’s manual for indications about optimum tire pressure for your brand of mower.
In this way, the tires will safeguard that your mower is level. With the mower level, it is much easier to align the deck properly.
Step 4: Your mower’s blades should be rotated to the side. Using a tape measure, take the measure of the distance from the blade’s edge to the ground surface. You need to do this on both the left and right sides of the mower.
When you have the two measurements, subtract one measurement from the other. The difference in measurement will tell you if you need an adjustment side-to-side. If this difference is close to 1/8 of an inch, no adjustment needs to be made. If it is more, you need to make an adjustment.
Step 5: Now that you know you need to make an adjustment, begin by going to the left rear wheel. Turn the nut or bolt for the lift link lock.
For every full turn, the height of this side of the mower will change approximately 3/16 of an inch. If you turn the nut clockwise your mower deck will be raised. If you turn it counterclockwise, it will lower the mower.
Repeat measuring the distance from the edge of the blade to the ground surface again on both sides and continue adjusting until the difference measures within 1/8 of an inch.
Step 6: Now the blades must be rotated into a front-to-back position. As your reference, use the edge on the bottom of the blade that is closest to the mower’s deck. Now measure the distance from the ground to the front blade and from the ground to the tips of the rear blades.
Should the front blade tips have a measurement that is lower than the back blade tips that measure between 1/8 and 1/2 of an inch, the positioning is acceptable. Should the difference measure outside these parameters, you will need to adjust the blade.
If you need to adjust, loosen the jam nut a few turns with a wrench. Now you will be able to turn the nut for adjusting either clockwise or counterclockwise to raise or lower the mower’s front end.
Step 7: Remeasure the blade tips in both the front and the rear of the mower to ensure that the difference falls in the acceptable range. Once you have achieved that the measurements are within the correct range, you can tighten the jam nut again. When doing so, be sure not to move the adjustment nut further.
Now your lawnmower should be ready to do its job with a correctly leveled deck. When using your mower, this season, try to avoid running over debris, bumps, rocks, pipes, or dramatically uneven terrain that can be a cause of damage.
Your lawnmower deck may need leveling once or twice during a season in order to guarantee the best possible cut for your lawn.
We hope this guide has helped you level your lawnmower deck successfully and we appreciate that you’ve read our expert tips.
Should you have need assistance, we recommend contacting the manufacturer or manufacturer-authorized repair service.