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Notacop

48" vs 60" deck on a Sunstar

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Notacop
Hello, I have been tossing around the idea of downsizing to a 48" deck. A few reasons: -My deck (60" part number 1691339) has 1 blade that spins left and 2 that spin right. There are no mulching blades available for it. I end up with LOTS of clippings on the lawn and I don't have a sweeper to rake them up. -The rollers on my deck are extremely worn, there are 7 rollers and they cost $20-30 a piece. -I broke the belt on it over the weekend, in taking off the covers to get to the belt several of the bolts were missing or frozen. All said and done I have only 2 bolts on each side holding the covers on -My deck does not have the discharge chute and I get a face full of clippings every time I mow. I priced the chute at the dealer, it is about $70 not counting install hardware. If I keep my deck I will probably end up putting a few hundred dollars into it between new rollers and the discharge chute, not to mention quite a few hours drilling out the broken bolts and tapping new holes in addition to sanding and painting it. I found a really friendly small town, family owned dealer nearby and he has a couple 48" decks that he said "are not pretty" but work great and we might be able to make a deal for an even swap (I am hoping for even swap and have him throw in a set of gator blades....). I already bought a new belt and have a brand new set of blades as well. What am I giving up besides an extra foot of cutting width? I don't mind seat time on my tractor, if a deck that is 20% narrower increases my seat time by 20% that is not all that bad of deal. Also I was thinking that if the smaller deck takes less power to run, I could probably mow at a higher ground speed to make back some of the time. My sunstar has a 22 hp Kohler Command engine (repower) but still bogs down a little with the 60" deck.

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a-cman
I have both 60" and 48" decks for my SunStar. I prefer the cut of the 48" deck over the 60", although you do not cover as much ground with each pass. The ends of the 60" deck tend to dip when you turn, and can cause an uneven cut. The 60" deck also weighs almost twice as much, makes it more difficult when you have to remove or install it. The 48" deck has the same deck shell that Simplicity has used throughout the Sovereign line, since the early 1970's, which has proven to do a very good job, due to it's deep shell design.

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Notacop
That is what I was hoping to hear. My Sunstar has the optional 26" tires, so it has a very wide track. I need to grab a tape measure and make sure that the 48" deck is wider than the rear tires or I will not be able to get very close to my landscaping at all. I might take a trip friday and swap out decks. Depends on the condition of the 48" decks he has at the shop and how much he will give me for my 60".

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Notacop
What do you mean to clear the tires? Width wise? Or is the 48" deck deeper (front to back)? I will probably load up my tractor on the trailer to go to the shop, see how it fits first hand. The dealer is about 30 miles away, but I gotta run that direction anyway to pick up a Mothers day gift for my wife..... ;)

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ambler
I think he means the 48" comes further back toward the tires. Shame you aren't nearer, I'd trade you one of my 48s. Funny I don't have your problem with a 60, I think the clue might be your statement about 60 bogging with 22hp, I don't observe that with my old 20s. Sounds like your not getting the deck up to full revs. Hve you been over the deck and drive train? The counter rotating blade throws the clippings straight out from the back edge of the deck throat. I could see if you wanted to get rid of the 60 because of its weight. The 48 is easy to throw around.

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Notacop
Well in fairness the only bogging down was in grass taller than it should have been allowed to get. Sometimes when going over tall grass that has clippings in it as well. First mow was with dull blades, Second mow was with 2 brand new blades and 1 dull blade in the center (ordered 2 LH and 1 RH due to mislabeling on the site). I am sure mowing with properly sharpened blades would make a difference with the bogging down and amount of visible clippings, but I still would like to be able to run Gator Bades, and I am not sure the discharge issue would be helped at all. On top of that I am looking at $150-$200 for a set of new rollers for the back. I also forgot to mention one of the pieces that connects the rear of the deck to the lift chains broke. The simplicity dealer said the replacement part is an upgraded kit that costs $53. Interesting that the 48 would come further back. I didn't see anything in the owners manual that mentioned incompatibility between the 48" deck and the 26" tires.

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Notacop
Forgot to mention that the drivetrain on the 60 was suspect when I was using it. The belt snapped last weekend and when I pulled off the covers there was a LOT of wet and nasty grass under there. With the belt off all the arbors spin freely, but I expect the belt was binding quite a bit.

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a-cman
I have used my 48" with 26" tires, and there is more rear wheel clearance with the 48". the 48" is still wider than the 26" tires also.

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Notacop
Well as the guy warned me, the deck is not pretty. It has a hole on the non-discharge size from running into headstones (it was used to mow a cemetary) but has good bearings and pulleys. No driveshaft, no lever for adjustment, will have to swap those over from my 60". He threw in a discharge chute and a set of gator blades, said I can have it all for $150, but didn't need any money yet. He said I can take it with me and mow with it for a while. If I don't like it he will take it back. Overall an awesome shop to deal with.

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comet66
If you run the 48" deck with the 26" tires, the vertical pieces that connect the roller bar with the height adjuster will rub the center of the tire tread. In fact, when I ordered my first 1920 new (fall 1992) equipped with the 26" tires, the dealer cautioned me the 60" deck would required due to the interference issue. I have since ran the 48" deck with the 26" tires and found this to be correct. I have no problem with my CH20, or my CH18, engines bogging, even with the deck driven, discharge mounted, blower. Which in itself is a pretty heavy load. Unless I try to use them in very high, thick grass. In the fall, I mow, and pick up a very heavy cover of leaves, at the same time with no problems. I use my 60" deck and CH20 like a brush hog. If the tractor will push it down, that deck, engine combination will grind it up. I've pushed down and ground up 1" thick brush and saplings with no problem. I have never felt the need to use anything other then Simplicity blades on my decks. My son bought some other brand for his 1918 because they were cheaper, but went back to Simp. blades the next season as he was unhappy with their performance. You may try checking your throttle cable adjustment to assure you are coming up to full RPM.


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Notacop
IS your 60" the one with all blades spinning the same direction or do you have the counter rotating blade on the discharge side? The guy at the shop confirmed that the counter rotating blade is a power hog. He said it would feel like I added a turbocharger when using this 48" deck. The 48" deck definitely has more clearance. It was a royal PITA getting the 60" deck out from under the mower with the 26" tires, the 48 slides in much easier. I will take some pics to show that there is more than enough clearance.

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blackfarms1
There used to be a kit you could buy to make all blades turn same direction. Sounds like that is your main issue. I like the 60" due to the ability to cover more ground and trim closer. I have had issues with the uneven cut but added a roller to the discharge side of deck like the other side has and now it cuts beautifully.

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comet66
I have 3 60" decks all have the odd blade on the discharge side. The only time I've had any trouble running one was when one of my ignition mod. failed. Hard to carry one when firing on one cylinder. Jack up the front of the tractor and the deck will slide right out. Well...more like you have to pull real hard...but it comes right out. It's just the weight that make it hard to handle. The only thing I don't like about mine is the fact that the rollers are so close to the back of the housing, that it doesn't take a very big stick or piece of debris to plug one up and drag a big furrow in your lawn.

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Notacop
I prefer not having to grab a jack to pull the mower deck. I can get the 60" out without having to jack it up if I slide it fore and aft at the right times, but it is a royal PITA. Not to mention the rollers hit the tire in transport position if the deck is set low. The 48" deck is shorter front to back so it does not appear to have this problem. Tomorrow I will swap the driveshaft and handle over to the 48" and give it a test cut. I might use some redneck engineering to repair the hole in the deck... I have a few old license plates I can donate to the cause.

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