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I waited decades for my first John Deere lawn tractor and after using it for 92 hours I must say that it is a huge disappointment. The S-240 ALWAYS leaves a strip of grass uncut, regardless of which brand or type of blade I use. My local John Deere dealer has informed me, after checking it two times, that there is nothing wrong with the mower, that everything is working as it should. I have to cut my grass at least two times and sometimes three to get everything cut. It doesn't matter how high the grass is. It doesn't matter that the spindles are perfectly OK and the blades are not bent or damaged in any manner. It doesn't matter that the tires have equal air pressure on both sides. It doesn't matter how fast the mower is traveling when cutting the grass. That's two or three times the gas, two or three times the wear and tear on the mower and two or three times the necessary amount of time I spend cutting the grass.

The latest set of John Deere mulching blades I bought had installation instructions that say that 42 inch mulch mowers have blades that rotate in opposite directions and to make sure that the proper blade is installed on the correct side. However, every set of blades I have bought for this mower, regardless of the brand or type and including John Deere blades, are exactly the same, with no marking to indicate direction of rotation. I don't know if my S-240 is considered to be a 42 inch "mower" or a 42 inch "mulch mower". Therefore, I don't know if the installation instructions apply to my mower.

Does anyone know if both blades on the S-240 rotate in the same direction or opposite directions? If John Deere has been selling me the wrong blades that may explain the problem with the uncut strip of grass. If not, then all I can say is that I should have bought the Cub Cadet I was looking at when I was shopping for the lawn tractor. The Craftsman, Troy-Bilt, Simplicity, Toro, Ariens and Cub Cadet lawn tractors used by my neighbors don't have this cutting problem. They cut much better than my S-240. My neighbors have to cut their lawns only once to get it right and it takes them one half or one third the time to do it.

If the John Deere dealer and/or I can't get this S-240 to cut my grass properly by the end of this year I'm going to buy a different brand of lawn tractor next spring, one that will properly cut the grass, and put this S-240 in storage and use it as an emergency backup. I'm certainly not going to sell it or give it to someone and transfer the problem to a new owner.
 

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I'd think you could look at the pulleys/spindles on top of the deck, and see what direction they are rotating? Does your owners manual comment on blade orientation?
 

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The latest set of John Deere mulching blades I bought had installation instructions that say that 42 inch mulch mowers have blades that rotate in opposite directions and to make sure that the proper blade is installed on the correct side. However, every set of blades I have bought for this mower, regardless of the brand or type and including John Deere blades, are exactly the same, with no marking to indicate direction of rotation. I don't know if my S-240 is considered to be a 42 inch "mower" or a 42 inch "mulch mower". Therefore, I don't know if the installation instructions apply to my mower.

Does anyone know if both blades on the S-240 rotate in the same direction or opposite directions?
Looking at the belt diagram in section 55 of your's machine's operator's manual, it appears that both blades rotate in the same direction (clockwise).

The owner's manual for your machine simply says to mount the blades with the cutting edge down. (aka Beveled side up!) Blades usually only have a cutting edge on one side at each end. There is only one way that they can go on if you your belts are properly installed and you are following the manual's instructions.

Is it possible that the mulching blades you got are for a different machine?
 

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When viewed from the seat, where exactly is your deck leaving a strip of uncut grass?

The parts list for the S240 shows both a 42" Accel Deep and a 42" Edge deck. They both have similar belt routings. If you look at the illustration below you will see that the drive belt runs along the back of the deck from one spindle to the other. This means both spindles have to rotate in the same direction.



The main difference between full mulch blades and other blades is that a normal blade will be flat with just a section on the end that is a cutting edge. A mulching blade will have a cutting edge on the end but will also have have a curved cutting edge section closer to the spindle. This is what makes mulching blades a bit more difficult to sharpen.

Also, the full time mulching blades are designed to work with the full time plastic mulching baffle. Do you have the mulch baffle installed on your deck>

 

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If Im not mistaken, that same deck, or a very similar variation of it, has been used for quite some time by Deere. They have always, generally, given a good cut.
Something is definitely wrong somewhere. I would have had it at my dealer the first time it did it, and every time after until they figured it out.

Would it be possible to post pictures of the deck, the blades mounted to the deck, and the strip it leaves?
That would help with attempting to identify the issue(s).
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'd think you could look at the pulleys/spindles on top of the deck, and see what direction they are rotating? Does your owners manual comment on blade orientation?
Thank you very much for the prompt reply, SRG.

I just checked by pulling on the drive belt and both blades are turning in the same direction so I guess my initial post was unnecessary. Nevertheless, the uncut strip of grass should not be there and there's absolutely no excuse for my local John Deere dealer being incapable of solving the problem.
 

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Thank you very much for the prompt reply, SRG.

I just checked by pulling on the drive belt and both blades are turning in the same direction so I guess my initial post was unnecessary. Nevertheless, the uncut strip of grass should not be there and there's absolutely no excuse for my local John Deere dealer being incapable of solving the problem.
When sitting in the seat, can you give us more detail on the location and width of the strip of uncut grass?
 

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Always looking at the most simple stuff first - are you certain the blades are installed correctly?

Second question would be - are you mowing at full throttle?
 

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Looking at the belt diagram in section 55 of your's machine's operator's manual, it appears that both blades rotate in the same direction (clockwise).

The owner's manual for your machine simply says to mount the blades with the cutting edge down. (aka Beveled side up!) Blades usually only have a cutting edge on one side at each end. There is only one way that they can go on if you your belts are properly installed and you are following the manual's instructions.

Is it possible that the mulching blades you got are for a different machine?
Thank you for the prompt reply, JimR. I appreciate it. All blades for this mower were purchased at the local John Deere dealer or through John Deere online. I've always mounted the blades with the cutting edge down. I don't know what the problem is and the John Deere dealer, after twice inspecting the mower, tells me that everything is OK and working as designed.
 

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If Im not mistaken, that same deck, or a very similar variation of it, has been used for quite some time by Deere. They have always, generally, given a good cut.
Something is definitely wrong somewhere. I would have had it at my dealer the first time it did it, and every time after until they figured it out.

Would it be possible to post pictures of the deck, the blades mounted to the deck, and the strip it leaves?
That would help with attempting to identify the issue(s).
Thank you very much for your reply, IndianaJim. I really appreciate the diagrams and the depth of your response. I'll be cutting the grass again soon and I will provide photos of the deck, the blades mounted and the strip of grass left after cutting.
 

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There is a 42 much deck that’s different from the 42s shown above. I don’t think it fits an s240.

Those blades have a notched center hole to keep them aligned to the spindles. You should have just round center holes.

I did see one post a couple years ago where a brand new deck was leaving strips. The problem was either a bent spindle mount or the hole drilled off center. It took a lot to get to the root cause, and Deere to warranty it. Eventually a replacement deck did fix the issue.
 

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I know it’s maddening to spend that much money and have something not work. Get us some pictures, we will figure it out. Just spit balling here, have you ever done anything that could have possible bent the deck? Is the front of the deck a little lower than the back? Anything keeping the deck from hanging all the way down from its support brackets?
 

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There is a 42 much deck that’s different from the 42s shown above. I don’t think it fits an s240.

Those blades have a notched center hole to keep them aligned to the spindles. You should have just round center holes.

I did see one post a couple years ago where a brand new deck was leaving strips. The problem was either a bent spindle mount or the hole drilled off center. It took a lot to get to the root cause, and Deere to warranty it. Eventually a replacement deck did fix the issue.
Thank you very much for the reply, rydplrs. I need all the help I can get. My blades, whether they're regular, lift, high lift or mulching, all have a notched center hole which locks into place when installed. The included photo is of one of the high lift blades I just removed. I've been through the operator's manual ( OMGX25279 Issue 14 English edition) more times than I can count, so many times that the pages are almost dogeared. Nothing in the manual states that the blades have to be in any particular position when installed, which is what the John Deere dealer also told me. I've installed them at many different angles to each other and it changes nothing. One thing I do know is that if an end of both blades face each other they will not come into contact with each other. Common sense told me to check that the first time I replaced blades. There is no "center" that both blades overlap. My uncut strips of grass are several inches wide. I'll take some photos when I cut the grass in the next few days. The issues concerning "Patches Of Grass Uncut" in the manual's troubleshooting section don't apply to my problem because I always cut the grass at the proper speed at full throttle and I keep my machine, including the top and underneath of the deck, meticulously clean. It has 92 hours on it but it is exceptionally clean. I remove the deck at least twice during the cutting season and clean it thoroughly. I also keep equal and correct pressure in the front and rear tires.

I've been dealing with this problem for four years and believe me, I wish I could get it resolved. The dealer has checked it twice and has informed me that everything is OK, including the spindles. I'm dumbstruck. I just can't figure out what the problem is.
 

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Ok. I didn’t realize Deere went with that design on the newer lts without timing.

What part number blades do you have? JDparts shows std blade GX22151. It’s 21.5 inches long.

Being an untimed deck the blades should not have direct overlap/ interference, otherwise eventually the blades would hit each other and bad things would happen.
 

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Ok. I didn’t realize Deere went with that design on the newer lts without timing.

What part number blades do you have? JDparts shows std blade GX22151. It’s 21.5 inches long.

Being an untimed deck the blades should not have direct overlap/ interference, otherwise eventually the blades would hit each other and bad things would happen.
Blades with a spline-shaped hole are used on all types of "non-interference" decks. My brother has a 10-year old X300 that uses that type of blade. I'm not really sure why some non-interference decks have blades with a plain hole and others have blades with the spline-shaped hole.
 

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One of the things I have run into with my 60 inch deck with mulching set-up installed is deck height really makes a difference. If I mow with the deck in higher settings with the mulch I get stripe left. If I from it down a bit it does a perfect cut.
 

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Ok. I didn’t realize Deere went with that design on the newer lts without timing.

What part number blades do you have? JDparts shows std blade GX22151. It’s 21.5 inches long.

Being an untimed deck the blades should not have direct overlap/ interference, otherwise eventually the blades would hit each other and bad things would happen.
I don't know the part number of the mulching blades I installed about a week ago when I removed the high lift blades. I bought them last year and stored them in a JD box that had contained, I think, high lift JD blades. I discard all my blades after they've been sharpened and then reused two or three times. If JD Parts shows GX22151 as the standard blade then that would have been the standard blade I've used in the past because I buy all my blades from either the local JD dealer or online at John Deere. Of course, when I order online JD simply routes the order to my local dealer, who fills the order and notifies me that it is ready for pickup. All my blades have been JD blades.
 

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One of the things I have run into with my 60 inch deck with mulching set-up installed is deck height really makes a difference. If I mow with the deck in higher settings with the mulch I get stripe left. If I from it down a bit it does a perfect cut.
I believe that has to do with the vacuum action of the lift of the blades.

I am still experimenting with a mulch kit in my 62D deck. I am mowing higher now at 2.5” and notice a difference between the mulch blades which have hardly any lift and the Gator blades which have a lot of lift.
 

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Not familiar with the S240 in particular, but with a 2 blade deck, your blade "overlap" occurs because one blade sits further forward than the other, same reason why on 3 blade decks the blades are in a triangular layout.

Check the deck alignment and anything having to do with the lift mechanism. Your deck may not be sitting 'square' with the tractor causing both blades to be sitting close to the same distance from the front. In other words (and I'm making up these numbers), when the 2 blade deck is properly aligned, the left spindle may be 27 inches from the front of the tractor where as right spindle may be 30 inches. This allows one cut circle to tuck behind the other, eliminating the dead zone. If both spindles are close to the same distance from the front of the tractor you start eliminating the tuck and create the dead zone.
 

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Not familiar with the S240 in particular, but with a 2 blade deck, your blade "overlap" occurs because one blade sits further forward than the other, same reason why on 3 blade decks the blades are in a triangular layout.

Check the deck alignment and anything having to do with the lift mechanism. You deck may not be sitting 'square' with the tractor causing both blades to be sitting close to the same distance. In other words (and I'm making up these numbers), when the 2 blade deck is properly aligned, the left spindle may be 27 inches from the front of the tractor where as right spindle may be 30 inches. This allows one cut circle to tuck behind the other, eliminating the dead zone. If both spindles are close to the same distance from the front of the tractor you start eliminating the tuck and create the dead zone.
Excellent idea. :good2:
 
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