When mowing the grass with a Husqvarna riding lawnmower, it is vital to have a clean, even cut. However, if your cutting deck is uneven, you could wind up with slanted blades, which will resemble steps. When that happens, you’ll need to adjust the deck.
There are two lift-link adjustment bolts on either side of the cutting deck. Turning these bolts clockwise will raise the arm while turning them counterclockwise will lower it. First, you will need to measure the blades from the ground to determine which side needs adjustment. You will have to do this from side to side and then back to front.
Overall, adjusting your Husqvarna riding lawnmower’s cutting deck is relatively simple. Even if you are not mechanically inclined, you should be able to do this in about 10 minutes or less. We’ll show you how.
What You’ll Need to Level the Cutting Deck
- Work Gloves
- Wrench Set
How To Level A Husqvarna Lawnmower
1)Park the Mower
Although you could technically do this job on the grass, we highly recommend working on a flat, level surface. If you have space in your garage, that will be best. This is because you want to be as accurate as possible when measuring the distance between the ground and your mower blades. If you’re working on a soft or bumpy surface, it could create more problems.
Once you’ve parked the lawnmower, be sure to remove the ignition key and raise the deck height all the way. Also, we recommend disengaging the blades and disconnecting the spark plug, just to be safe. Doing this will ensure that there are no accidental starts.
2)Orient the Blades Side to Side
If you have a discharge chute attached to the cutting deck, you will have to remove this piece to access the blades. Otherwise, you will have to get underneath the deck to take any measurements. Once the discharge chute is off, you need to orient the blades from side to side. You may have to reach underneath the deck to find them.
3)Measure the Blades
Using a ruler or tape measure, mark down the distance from the ground to the blade’s edge. You will have to do this on both sides of the machine for comparison.
4)Adjust the Lift-Link Arm
Each side of the cutting deck has an arm attaching the deck to the mower’s chassis. There is a bolt that allows you to adjust the height. As a rule, one full turn of the nut will raise or lower the deck by about 1/16 inch, depending on the direction you turn it. So, based on your measurements, you should be able to figure out how to correct the difference.
For example, let’s say that the right side of the deck measures three inches high, and the left side measures 3 1/2 inches. You can either raise the right side by half an inch or lower the left side accordingly. For the most part, we recommend lifting the lower arm since that will give you more leeway when using the deck adjustment lever.
After correcting one side, be sure to measure the distances again. This way, you can level them precisely. Another point to remember is that the lawnmower blades are not evenly flat. Because they are uneven, you will have to make sure to measure them from the same angle. Otherwise, your deck will be offset even further.
5)Orient the Blades Front to Back
Now that the deck is even from the sides, you want to make any adjustments from front to back. Turn the blades so that they are facing in this direction.
6)Measure the Blades
If you are having trouble reaching the blade to measure it with a ruler, you can use wooden blocks to lift the entire mower. If you do this, though, you have to make sure that the blocks are precisely the same height. Otherwise, they will throw off your measurements. Alternatively, you can use a flashlight and get on the ground to see the ruler.
Unlike the side-to-side measurement, the cutting deck should be slightly lower in the front. According to the manufacturer, the front should be between 1/8 and 1/2 inch lower than the rear. So, if the blades are already at that distance, you don’t have to correct anything.
7)Loosen the Front Mounting Nut
A bar connects to the cutting deck, which allows you to raise and lower it. On the front of this bar are two nuts. The outer nut is used to hold the piece in place, so you will need to loosen it.
8)Adjust the Front Height
The second nut on this bar is used to adjust the height of the deck. Turning it clockwise will raise the deck, while turning it counterclockwise will lower it. As a rule, one full turn will adjust the height by about 1/8 inches, so you can calculate accordingly.
Again, be sure to re-measure the blades after making any adjustments so that they are even.
9)Tighten the Mounting Nut
Once the deck is level, you can re-tighten the front nut so that it stays in place.
10)Mow the Lawn
Hopefully, you still have some grass to cut after leveling your cutting deck so that you can make sure your adjustments were correct. Alternatively, you can wait until it is time to mow again and make a note of any sloping that might occur.
Bonus Step: Check Your Tire Pressure
Although the cutting deck is the most likely cause of slanted grass, your tires could also cause the problem. If your riding lawnmower has tubed tires, use a tire gauge to check all four of them. If one or more is low, use an air compressor to fill it. You should be able to tell if there is a significant difference in air pressure. If the difference is negligible, the issue is almost definitely the cutting deck.
Tips and Tricks for Leveling a Cutting Deck on a Husqvarna Lawnmower
Overall, this project is relatively simple, but here are some ways to make the most of it.
- Use an Assistant – Since you’ll likely have to be lying on the ground to take your measurements, it helps to have someone nearby to jot the numbers down as you call them out. Otherwise, keep a pen and pad next to you while you work.
- Clean Your Cutting Deck – Unless you are diligent about keeping your lawnmower sparkling, chances are that the deck needs a good scrubbing. Inspect both the deck and the blades for any signs of rusting or denting.
- Inspect Other Components – When mowing, grass will get everywhere underneath your lawnmower. Unfortunately, as the clippings dry off, they will expel water, which can rust various pieces of machinery. Check everything on your cutting deck from the belt to the cotter pins. If anything is excessively rusted, you might have to replace it.
How to Tell When Your Cutting Deck Needs to Be Leveled
Over time, the various nuts and bolts on your Husqvarna lawnmower will rattle and come loose, leading to an uneven deck. Here are some of the warning signs that it is time to level the deck.
- Uneven Cutting – The most common result of an uneven mower is slanted grass. However, it may be hard to notice at first, particularly if you mow in tight, concentric lines.
- Loud Knocking – In extreme cases, the cutting deck’s tilt may be enough to cause the blades to wobble. When that happens, you’ll hear them strike against the deck itself.
- Worn Belts – Because the blade belt moves at such high speeds, an uneven cutting deck can cause excess wear and tear. In rare instances, you might notice a strong odor or hear a loud squealing noise when the blades are engaged.
Do I have to level my cutting deck?
If you don’t take care of the problem now, it will only get worse. As we mentioned, the nuts can start to come loose due to the vibrations of the mower. Over time, they could come down even more until your deck is completely out of sync.
Should I sharpen my blades when leveling my deck?
That depends on the age of your lawnmower. If you haven’t touched the blades in years, they likely need sharpening. However, if your machine is relatively new, they should be able to last a while longer.