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I can't take total credit for this solution as somewhere I saw something similar on-line but for the life of me I can no longer find it.

If you are like me you jack your tractor up to clean the deck and swap blades from underneath. That means you are working upside down and gravity is working against you.

One of the problems I have had is how to keep the blade from turning while you torque the retaining bolt. A while back I had bought one of those fancy blade holders shown below. It was around $20 and while it does work on the outer blades it is very cumbersome to attach and detach and it's nearly impossible to use on the center blade (it does work quite nicely however on a push mower).



I've also tried using a block of wood, which does work as long as the blade is pressing against it but as soon as you relax tension to reposition the torque wrench the block of wood has a tendency to fall out and do its best to wack you in the face. If you remove the deck and stand it on end or flip it upside down the block of wood works great.

Which brings me to the solution below. I cut a chunk of 2-1/4 inch exhaust pipe and then squished the end so it would just slide over the width of the blade. The length is such that it is easy to slide on to the blade but then when the blade tries to rotate the other end of the pipe section will contact one of the deck baffle walls and prevent the blade from turning. It works amazing, does not fall off and hit you in the face, and is extremely inexpensive as a 27-inch chuck of pipe is less than $6.00.





 

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Oh man I like that pipe idea!:good2:
 

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Pretty good thinking for a guy from PA. I like the idea because it stays in place. Although, I use an air gun and I don't use anything to hold the blades
 

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Pretty good thinking for a guy from PA. I like the idea because it stays in place. Although, I use an air gun and I don't use anything to hold the blades
Battery powered impact gun does a great job as well if you can get it under there. I always just drop the deck when I do my blades... Man I love that drive over deck.
 

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Battery powered impact gun does a great job as well if you can get it under there. I always just drop the deck when I do my blades... Man I love that drive over deck.
I have plenty of room when lifted on my Mo-Jack. I use my Milwaukee M18 impact to remove the blades but I always tighten the bolts with a torque wrench when re-installing.
 

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Good idea on the pipe!
 
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This must take orders of magnitude longer than simply using the right tool for the job the first time... an impact gun.
 

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This must take orders of magnitude longer than simply using the right tool for the job the first time... an impact gun.
I'm not sure I understand? The blade bolt is removed with an impact gun but for proper installation blade bolts should always be torqued to the value listed in the owner's manual. So the "right tool" for the job is a torque wrench and that means you must keep the blade from spinning.

Previously I've used blocks of wood and the fancy retainer shown above but this chunk of pipe works much better and requires literally 2-seconds to attach.
 

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In 37 years, I've never actually seen or known anyone that used a torque wrench on lawn mower blades, nor have I seen blades jettison or jam due to not being torqued to some specified number. There's probably a lot of nuts and bolts on every tractor that have some torque specification ignored or not even known by most everyone, and are functionally irrelevant if common sense is applied.

If you choose to make removing and installing the blades that complicated, I guess I can't really say you're wrong. But I can say you're probably wasting a lot of time and effort.
 

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In 37 years, I've never actually seen or known anyone that used a torque wrench on lawn mower blades, nor have I seen blades jettison or jam due to not being torqued to some specified number. There's probably a lot of nuts and bolts on every tractor that have some torque specification ignored or not even known by most everyone, and are functionally irrelevant if common sense is applied.

If you choose to make removing and installing the blades that complicated, I guess I can't really say you're wrong. But I can say you're probably wasting a lot of time and effort.

Particularly with battery powered impact tools there is a chance as the battery starts to die to tool will not develop full torque. This can lead to a bolt with far less torque on it than you might expect. For critical fasteners like lug nuts or blade bolts its always a good idea to double check that the bolt is securely fastened. In most cases that double check takes a few seconds of your time. Just a month ago I was rotating my wifes tires and went back over and checked with a torque wrench. I found one of the nuts needed a full turn and a half to get to full torque.

I don't break out a torque wrench on the mower blades but I do go back and make sure they are tight. If I had a torque wrench handy out in the shed where the mower is I might though.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
.

I don't break out a torque wrench on the mower blades but I do go back and make sure they are tight. If I had a torque wrench handy out in the shed where the mower is I might though.
While it is true that every bolt has a torque spec, not every bolt on a machine has a critical tightness. My practice is that if a torque is listed in the “Owners Manual”, then I consider it a critical fastener. I guess I’m in the minority as for 50+ years I have always torqued mower blade bolts. But... everyone has to decide for themselves on what to do.

As for convenience and time consumption, my torque wrench is in the toolbox located 36 inches from where I am working (as is my blade holder) and is just as fast and easy to grab as any other tool.
 

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To each their own as they say!

I for one applaud you taking the time to share your solution. I don't think you can do a job overly correctly even though it may seem excessive to others. I have way too much going on and it makes me cut corners. I would have no problem not cutting them if time permitted. I myself tend to be lazy on this process and use an electric ratcheting driver. It does the job and I havent had issue.

Good job at solving your challenge.
 

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I torque mine using a wood block to hold the blade. Using a torque wrench doesn't cost me extra time. JD lists the torque spec right in deck owner's manual, so I figure if it's listed, why not do it.

Sent from my SCH-I545 using Tapatalk
 

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I never torqued blades either. But it is in the manaul! So, now that I have my new X390, I will start adhering to the manual for it and my 2520.
 
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