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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I purchased a D130 this Spring and after 6 months of use I still cannot get it to cut evenly. I've checked tire pressure and have spent what seems like hours doing my best to level the deck using the John Deere leveling gadge. The deck rollers are on their lowest level but yet there's a good ½ or more difference when I cut.

I'm at my wits end trying to get this thing leveled up. Any suggestions?

I'm hoping to attach a couple of photos I took this morning after cutting the grass.r
 

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Welcome from West Virginia

:wgtt:


Just a suggestion, maybe you have tried. Raise the right side 1/4" and lower the left side 1/4" . Also try lowering the gauge wheels another 1/2" so they are closer to the ground.
 

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Welcome,,, and,,,

Is the front tip of the blade lower than the back by the correct amount,,,, or are the blades "level"?:dunno:
 

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Welcome to GTT!

You should also check for the blades being straight. With the leveling gauge it's an easy thing to check. Simply check the height of the end of one blade, turn it 180* and check it again. The measurement should be the same. If not, you need new blades or possibly a spindle. :good2:
 

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One thing I noticed is the slope you're mowing. I've found that it can be really tricky to get a standard riding mower to cut even across a slope like that because the play in the deck linkage lets it shift enough to get goofy. Check your rear tire pressures as well, if one side is a little low that could let the tire 'squish' a bit when the weight shifts on the hill.
 

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:wgtt:
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for your insights

Thanks to those of you who have taken the time to share your insights into my problem.

The problem does seem to get worse on the part of my lawn that's on a slope and where the grass is fuller and thicker so the tires seem to naturally sink down into the grass a bit deeper in that area. I've tried literally leaning to the left (uphill) as I make the pass hoping that by throwing my weight opposite the low side that it would help. But it doesn't. And the uneven cut happens even on level ground, just not as noticeable.

I'll double check the blade measurements again to make sure a blade or spindle isn't warped and also the front/back adjustments. If that still doesn't work I may try the suggestion to go ahead and make the deck purposely uneven in the opposite direction to offset the uneven cut.

I owned a Yard Machines mower for years and never had this kind of issue.

One more thought/question: is this something I could take to a local JD dealer or retailer and have them check the mower and/or check my deck settings? I bought this from Lowes back in the spring of this year.
 

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Your machine is the exact same model that's sold at the dealer, for the exact same price. They can certainly look at it and should be able to repair it, but I'm not familiar with the warranty structure for those particular machines. It may or may not be covered. :dunno:

Water under the bridge now, but for others who may read this thread later that's one of the benefits of buying from the dealer. You become "their" customer in addition to John Deere's customer.
 

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Decaharms, Does it cut the same pattern when mowing either direction? As in, always on the low side or always on the high side?

BTW, Welcome to GTT.
 

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Deca,

When you check your blade height check one side of the blade then spin it around
and check the other.
When you think you've got it level, take it out and make a test cut on level ground. Cut a strip, go back
around and cut another strip beside it (in the same direction of travel) just like you normally
would.
Is there now a ridge? If there is, adjust the deck in the direction it's needed. Don't worry about
using anything to measure the height at this point.
Repeat your test cuts until there is no ridge.

Now that the deck is cutting level, on hills you'll have to deal with deck/tractor lean. I can tell
by your pics that you're cutting in a circular pattern. To reduce the ridges make a larger overlap
on hills. This happens because the high side and low side of the lean will now be more equal.

Now if you want the best looking cut you can get in any situation, hills or level, you do it like this-
Cut a strip, turn around and cut back the opposite direction. Even if your deck is not level, if you
use this method there will be no ridges. This is because the high side and low side will meet up
on your passes.
 

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Water under the bridge now, but for others who may read this thread later that's one of the benefits of buying from the dealer. You become "their" customer in addition to John Deere's customer.
^^ This. While paying the same price from Lowe's or the dealer for the machine you miss out on the dealer support when buying for a box store.
 

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Park it on level concrete. Make sure tires are inflated evenly. Measure the exact height of each blade bolt (or spindle) from the concrete. Then measure the height of each blade tip. Turn the blades 90 degrees and measure again.

If the spindles (or blade bolts) are NOT the same height, it means your whole deck is leaning. If the spindles are even, but the blade tips are not, that means a spindle is bent or leaning.

If the deck is bent, that's pretty hard to fix. If it's just a spindle, that's not so bad.
 
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