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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    UK
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    MTD - Yard-Man

    MTD YARD-MAN RIDE ON HA 4145 - choking up with grass

    Not the exact model, but near enough - same colours and same controls as near as I can tell. It is located at the very rear of the garden and it is very, very wet out there.

    Here in the UK we have recently had a few quite wet summers, but none the less the grass still does need to be cut regularly. I wait as long as I can after rain to allow the grass to dry out, but still the plastic duct between the deck and the grass collector on the rear completely chokes up with the cut grass. It is so tightly packed, that it is a PITA to force a way through it and eventually clear it. It doesn't seem to make much difference whether the grass is long or short, whether I use the collector box or not - it sticks in the duct and chokes it up. Ignore it and it becomes so compacted that the grass springs back out and jams the cutting blade.

    I've checked the fan air intake, which is all clear, cleaned out the duct thoroughly and pressure washed it all out numerous times. Other than that it works fine, when the grass has had several weeks to completely dry out, but that dry long enough weather just doesn't seem to happen, so I have to mow when I can.

    We bought the ride on used, so we don't have a manual for it, but I cannot see any obvious way to close the duct and let it just cut the grass without it trying to flow down that duct and choking it.

    I was thinking to add some sort of removable cover plate over the deck discharge slot, to prevent any grass entering the duct, but wondered if anyone might have already found a better solution?

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  3. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    MTD - Yard-Man

    Re: MTD YARD-MAN RIDE ON HA 4145 - choking up with grass

    On the same subject - is there any good reason why mowing whilst reversing is inhibited on this particular mower?

    If the gear stick is thrown into reverse with the deck down and cutter engaged, the engine is cut. So to reverse a couple of feet, I have to heave the deck up, reverse, then drop the deck back down and continue forward, seems rather long winded and I cannot see any obvious need for it.

  4. #3
    pugaltitude's Avatar
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    Jan 2012
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    Lots

    Re: MTD YARD-MAN RIDE ON HA 4145 - choking up with grass

    elf and saeftie in a cockney accent!!!

    MTD say its a safety feature.

    MTD Products

    Basically you cant see reversing and you may run something over.
    Also the way some decks are designed do not cut well in reverse and could cause blockages.
    The "best" engine you will ever own!

    Briggs & Stratton MST.

  5. #4

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    MTD - Yard-Man

    Re: MTD YARD-MAN RIDE ON HA 4145 - choking up with grass

    Quote Originally Posted by pugaltitude View Post
    elf and saeftie in a cockney accent!!!

    MTD say its a safety feature.
    So no good reason not to fit a push button to bypass it, to allow me to reverse a couple of feet with the deck down.

    Anyone any thoughts or suggestions with regards to avoiding or fixing the duct choking up?

  6. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2012
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    7
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    UK
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    MTD - Yard-Man

    Re: MTD YARD-MAN RIDE ON HA 4145 - choking up with grass

    No replies to the blocking issue so in the best Heath-Robinson tradition - I decided to see what could be done....

    The deck fan discharges its air through a slot, which is located directly adjacent to the duct which becomes blocked with wet grass, so it is blowing grass straight from the rotating blade into the slot feeding the duct. My options were to block the air from the fan, or block the discharge duct entry.

    The duct entry was a narrow slot and very close to the blades so not much room to fit anything without risk of the blades hitting what ever I fitted. I therefore decided what ever I fitted, had to go inside the main part of the duct itself.

    I cut a sheet of thin galvanised steel of the right size to fit the duct and mounted that on some thing steel tube, which allowed it to rotate horizontally up and out of the way - rather like a butterfly valve in an old type carburetta, except I offset the tube or spindle it rotated upon, to the top of the duct so maximum clearance when open was at the bottom of the duct. I also drilled holes in the duct for the tube to pass out at either end, so it could pivot to open and close the 'valve' as required. I bolted the sheet steel to the tube, then finally checked it could rotate. After much trimming down of the sheet of steel, it finally worked, but with several gaps when fully closed - I didn't think small gaps would matter too much and they didn't.

    To enable the valve to be turned, I drilled and tapped the tube for a long bolt and added some more bolts sticking out of the duct, to act as catches for the bolt, so I could fix it in the open or closed position.

    Whilst I had the tracter up in the air, I also decided to have a look at the safety device which cuts the engine when you select reverse with the deck down. Simply disconnecting the wire bypasses that, so I decided to disconnect it.

    The underlying soil is still quite wet from the recent rain we have had recently, but the grass on the surface was dry due to no rain for two days, conditions which would certainly block it up normally, so I gave it a full run around the lawn with the valve or flap closed. It worked fine - only the section of duct before the valve was chaked up, which wasn't compacted and would be fairly easy to remove. Rather than the cuttings being left piled up in strips behind the mower, they were well distributed evenly and not visible. Obviously I will need to test it later if and when the lawn is sufficiently dry to run with the valve oepn to collect the cuttings.

    Bypassing the reverse inhibiter device made my progress much faster, enabling me to cut almost right into the corners without all the messing about raising the deck to reverse.

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