Tuesday, May 14, 2013

MTD riding mower blade removal, sharpening and balancing

  It's spring and time for some annual lawn mower blade maintenance. I have an MTD riding mower from the mid-nineties, but the principles are the same for most any mower. First, gather together some tools. You'll need a 15/16 half inch socket, a breaker bar or ratchet. a crowbar, an electric drill and rotary sanding stone, a vice and a blade balancer. And of course don't forget safety glasses and gloves.



This is the tool set needed for this job, minus the vice

1) Disconnect the battery.This is a safety must do.
2) Get the front of the mower off the ground to access the blades. I like to use floor jack under the front crossbar of the mower. Chock a back wheel so it stays put.
3) Stick a crowbar in an opening in the mower blade deck and put your socket and ratchet on the blade holding nut. Turn counterclockwise to loosen the nut.
Lefty-loosey

4) Put the blade in a vice and pass the drill-mounted blade sharpener over it five or six times or until a nice cutting edge is attained. The drill-mounted sharpener is designed to maintain the proper angle of the cutting edge as it passes over the blade. Repeat on the other side.


5) Now balance the blade. Put the blade on the balancer and if it leans one way, take some material off that side and check again. Repeat until it stays up on both sides.

I need to shave a bit off the right side

5) Now reassemble the blades on the machine. Make sure you wear gloves as these blades are now sharp. Good cutting. 

   While we're at it , lets change the oil. Run the mower awhile to heat up the oil. Gather together a oil collection pan, a six inch long or longer 3/8" socket extension, a ratchet, the plastic draining half-tube that came with the mower and a quart and a half of 5W-30 oil. And gloves and a rag. 
   1)Put the draining tube in place under the drain fitting. If you can't find the original tube, you'll have to fabricate a piece out of cardboard or maybe a plastic milk jug. 
   2) Put the drain pan or other receptacle in place under the end of the tube.
   3) Put on some gloves and remove the drain plug with the socket extension and ratchet. 
   4) Fish the loose plug out of the tube.
   5) Weight down the tube with the ratchet so the oil easily makes it into the drain pan.
   6) Do something else while it all drains out.
   7) Put the plug back in.
   8) Dispose of the old oil.
   9) Refill with specified amount of correct oil. My MTD takes 1.5 quarts of 10W-30.

     Both in one handy kit!          Nice corded drill
                        

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