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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What is the best Mulching blade for Z997R with 72" deck and JD mulch kit installed.

I am pretty sure I bent a blade Saturday when I hit a tree root in some tall grass with the 997R.

This only about the 3rd time mowing with this machine and I had the JD dealer install the JD much kit before I picked it up.
I have the 72" Mower deck on my Z997R.

I should have the high lift mulching blades that are still really almost new under there.

I am curious should I just replace the one bent blade. Or swap them all out for something better, that is if there is something better beside the OEM mulching blades.

The JD parts website does show an optional predator Blade for the 72" 997R deck.
B1PD5018D

Assuming the dealer installed the mulching kit correctly this is the part number I should have on it right now.
It is the OEM JD high lift mulching blade that comes with the mulch kit.
part number M142514.


Anyone have any thoughts or experience with this ?
 

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In my experience you should always replace blades in sets.

Also - Deere mulching kits require a certain blade if I am not mistaken. I would stick with the stock blades that came with the mulch kit.

I know with my mulch kit there is no way my Gator blades will work with it.
 

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Have to ask, how bad is the blade bent in comparison to the two others?

Is the spindle shaft still true?
 

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Id want to be 100% sure the spindle wasnt bent before I went after blades.

For blades, Id use Deeres. They designed the kit, they know what works best.
Ive replaced tons of blades on lots of different mowers over the years, and have found that very rarely does anyone make a better blade than the manufacturer of the mower. Some make less expensive ones, but in general, with a mulching deck/blade, Id stick to OEM. There are a lot of things that have to happen just right in order for all the parts to work like they should.
Side discharge is easy. Mulching is not.

Just my two cents.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In my experience you should always replace blades in sets.

Also - Deere mulching kits require a certain blade if I am not mistaken. I would stick with the stock blades that came with the mulch kit.

I know with my mulch kit there is no way my Gator blades will work with it.
I have only had the machine a 2-3 weeks, otherwise I would agree changing in complete sets would make sense.
I ordered a complete set from the local JD dealer today and also ordered a single blade to make for 2 complete functional sets when all said and done.
The single blade I ordered from an Amazon JD dealer.

I figured the other two blades would have to be still so new that tossing them in the trash wouldn't make sense that no more mowing time that is on those other two blades from the past couple weeks maybe 6-10 acres of mowing total on them, I can't imagine they are worn much at all.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Have to ask, how bad is the blade bent in comparison to the two others?

Is the spindle shaft still true?
Don't know yet.
Thought I would start the process by changing the outer right hand blade since that was what hit the tree root, and that is where the noise is coming from.
I figured if the new blade resolved it and it was cutting normal and no more rubbing noises, I am good. if still have a problem or I can clearly see it is not bent when I get it off there I will have to dig into it deeper.

I am concerned that the blade may not solve the issue. Just figured it was a somewhat cheap easy thing to replace and try.
 

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I have only had the machine a 2-3 weeks, otherwise I would agree changing in complete sets would make sense.
I ordered a complete set from the local JD dealer today and also ordered a single blade to make for 2 complete functional sets when all said and done.
The single blade I ordered from an Amazon JD dealer.

I figured the other two blades would have to be still so new that tossing them in the trash wouldn't make sense that no more mowing time that is on those other two blades from the past couple weeks maybe 6-10 acres of mowing total on them, I can't imagine they are worn much at all.
Makes sense - just be sure the bad blade is balanced properly after getting it straight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Id want to be 100% sure the spindle wasnt bent before I went after blades.

For blades, Id use Deeres. They designed the kit, they know what works best.
Ive replaced tons of blades on lots of different mowers over the years, and have found that very rarely does anyone make a better blade than the manufacturer of the mower. Some make less expensive ones, but in general, with a mulching deck/blade, Id stick to OEM. There are a lot of things that have to happen just right in order for all the parts to work like they should.
Side discharge is easy. Mulching is not.

Just my two cents.
I figured since the JD OE mulching blades were only $60 bucks for a set of 3, I just figured I would start with the blade before tearing it apart to check that spindle shaft.

I figured having an extra set of blades on hand wouldn't hurt either, I can get one set sharpened while the mower is running on the other set.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Makes sense - just be sure the bad blade is balanced properly after getting it straight.
?I am not sure what that means, the bent blade is being replaced with a new blade.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Update.

Thanks all.
Mower is now fixed.

Turned out the blade was not bent only the mulch kit shroud was bent slightly inward making contact with the blade. After pulling that blade I thought was likely the problem, held it up with the new one no sign of being bent. I put the new one on anyway, and still had the same racket from under the mower deck when the blades were engaged.
All it took to fix the actual issue was about 5 seconds with an old fashion hammer. Problem solved.
 

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Mind sharing what you used to lift the mower? I have the same exact mower i just purchased and none of the lawn mower lifts are built for this machines weight.
 

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