John Deere Maintenance Monday: Lawn Mower: Removing grass buildup
Radio interview source: Gregg Jameson, Factory Service Representative, John Deere
In this edition of Maintenance Monday, we're answering a question from Andy in West Virginia. While he was inspecting the mower blades on his lawn tractor, he noticed there is a build-up of hard, caked-on grass underneath the deck. What's the easiest way to clean it up?
Gregg Jameson is a factory service representative for John Deere. He says the easiest thing to do is prevent the grass from building up in the first place by removing it when needed during the spring mowing season. Once it's caked on and sticking like glue, Jameson says it's best to remove the deck, summon up some elbow grease, and scrape it off.
"You don't necessarily want to go use a metal scraper, because as you get through your grass, you might scratch the deck up and make more rust," says Jameson. "One thing that works good is carpenter's shims. Two-or-three-bucks and you get a little bundle of these things. They're shaped in a nice little wedge, and they're wood so they aren't going to scratch anything. Other things that kind of work good, a plastic scraper, sometimes they'll break because they're not all that stout, or something like a paint stirring stick."
Jameson notes that it's a good idea to take the mower blades off while you're scraping so you don't cut your hands. If you can't remove them, put duct tape over the cutting edge. A power washer can also come in handy to remove stubborn grass. First, scrape off as much as you can. Then, use the power washer to clean off the rest. But, you need to do this carefully.
"You don't want to force water into your spindles," warns Jameson. "We have sealed bearings there, but they're meant to be sealed from grease and the elements, not from 100, 200, 300-pounds of pressure from the pressure washer."
When you're finished, don't put the machine away while it's still wet. Start it up and let the mower run in place for 5-10 minutes. As the blades spin, the moving air will help dry everything out.
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