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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    5
    Location
    Michigan
    Mower
    Bolens 11A-020W765

    Bolens 11A-020W765 - How to turn it into mulching for leaves

    We moved into a new house this summer. My in-law had fixed up an old Honda mower for us at our previous house. It worked great until the last cut of the season the previous year in which the self propel cable snapped off. I found out just how much extra weight that extra "feature" adds. He repaired it over the winter. On the second pass of the first mow the next spring, it snapped again. It had worked perfectly prior to that. Needless to say, as we were selling the house, I used my neighbors "franken-mower" that was a mish-mash of different parts and hack-job repairs. The thing was super light weight, cut through the tall, thick stuff like it was nothing, and so easy to push. I wanted one immediately!

    Our new property is about .43 acres and have a lot of house/driveway/deck/garden that brings that down a bit. Honestly, pushing isn't bad at all in my opinion - I felt like it only took about an extra 15 minutes over our last place and that was a .3 acre lot with a smaller house footprint (2 story vs ranch), less driveway, less garden, and less deck. We also had more sun there so the grass grew faster and thicker. Anyway, the big issue we have at our new house is we are surround by leafy-trees. We have mowed just leaves probably 3 times so far, due for a 4th time whenever, and many of our trees still look pretty full...thankfully a couple are finally empty. The Bolen's model I got has a side-discharge only option. I know the deck is 1" smaller than the larger model, which I regret that I didn't buy given it is a pain to adjust mowing height on my model. It would also probably solve my issue since it would be easier to find a solution. That said, what is the best way to convert my 11A-020W765 (it is a Lowe's exclusive) into a mulching mower? Looking online, I see there are replacement mulch plugs available from the manufacturer for like $12, but that is the 21" deck, not my 20" deck. I don't care if it is a "perfect" fit so long as the vast majority of leaves are getting ground up. I got a pretty good mulch with the side discharge, but it took double the time and many more passes. Between my new neighbor and I, I imagine we could trim the plastic or add new holes to the deck.

    I'm not looking for "perfect" mulching. I'm looking for a similar outcome, but closer to my 1 hour mow time as opposed to 2 hours. I will probably be on yard duty all of next year since we are trying to have our second kid and my wife will (knock on wood) be pregnant or have recently given birth at "leaf time". The following year, my wife will more than certainly insist we buy a riding mower. The mower is kept in a shed. I really just need something that will function for the rest of this year and next. Given how little sun our lawn gets, I would probably just leave the mulch plug on at this point since there are only 2 small spots that actually grew at any noticeable rate this summer and has any thickness to actually have a chance to clog anything. A couple of times, we spent 10 minutes total and just mowed the little section in back and the little section in front - probably ~300 square feet or less.

    Thank you!

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    12,806
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: Bolens 11A-020W765 - How to turn it into mulching for leaves

    A bit left field but the Husqvarna articulated Pro Rider series comes with a 36" bio mulch deck that litterally turns leaves into dust as the mulching blades are timed so they double cut in a single pass.
    Jonsored and Stiga both do a similar mower and being articulated they will go anywhere than a wide push mower will.

    Would not look at a new one because they are a professional grade mower and come with a professional grade price tag but I have 28 in my service run and unless some one runs over wire or a hose , all they ever need is a grease & oil change.
    Drive and deck drive belts are std belts, not kevlar so 1/3 the price, toothed blade belt is expensive but they are std camshaft belt so easy to get from discount suppliers.
    Just done a blade repair ( ran over fence wire ) so right now they are top in the mind.

  3. #3
    BlazNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    6,973
    Location
    Missouri
    Mower
    RZ5424

    Re: Bolens 11A-020W765 - How to turn it into mulching for leaves

    I want one of those mowers but they are hard to find here.
    Chuck
    We Do Not Stop Playing When We Grow Old
    We Grow Old If We Stop Playing

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    12,806
    Location
    Australia
    Mower
    Victa slashers & Push , Rover Rancher II's, Cox ( several ) & White LT120 + GT 200

    Re: Bolens 11A-020W765 - How to turn it into mulching for leaves

    Yes,
    I am always happy when I get the oppertunity to bring one back to the shop so I get to play with them but most owners want them serviced on site and as it is such an easy job I rarely get to trailer one back.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    5
    Location
    Michigan
    Mower
    Bolens 11A-020W765

    Re: Bolens 11A-020W765 - How to turn it into mulching for leaves

    What are the options for my particular situation though? Is there any reason simply duct taping cardboard over the side discharge chute wouldn't work? I can't imagine I need something more than just to hold blowing leaves.

  6. #6
    BlazNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Missouri
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    RZ5424

    Re: Bolens 11A-020W765 - How to turn it into mulching for leaves

    You need mulching blade and a discharge cover at the least. Regular blades will just blow everything out the bottom and not recut it.
    Chuck
    We Do Not Stop Playing When We Grow Old
    We Grow Old If We Stop Playing

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    5
    Location
    Michigan
    Mower
    Bolens 11A-020W765

    Re: Bolens 11A-020W765 - How to turn it into mulching for leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by BlazNT View Post
    You need mulching blade and a discharge cover at the least. Regular blades will just blow everything out the bottom and not recut it.
    What kind of discharge cover will fit this model? Is there a particular mulching blade that I need for this model, too?

    Thanks :)

  8. #8
    BlazNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Missouri
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    RZ5424

    Re: Bolens 11A-020W765 - How to turn it into mulching for leaves

    OEM blade is mulching and it should have come with a discharge cover. Your mower is a mulcher first and a discharger second. If you do not have the origional cover let me know and i will see if one is still avalible for sale.
    Chuck
    We Do Not Stop Playing When We Grow Old
    We Grow Old If We Stop Playing

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Nov 2017
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    Michigan
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    Bolens 11A-020W765

    Re: Bolens 11A-020W765 - How to turn it into mulching for leaves

    Quote Originally Posted by BlazNT View Post
    OEM blade is mulching and it should have come with a discharge cover. Your mower is a mulcher first and a discharger second. If you do not have the origional cover let me know and i will see if one is still avalible for sale.
    It only came with a side discharge chute. I guess my original question is what will fit my 20" deck? I know Bolens are made by the same company as MTD, Yard Machines, etc. I think it is Yard Machines that has a 21" mower with a $12 mulch plug replacement part. If the holes line up, I imagine I am all set. Even if the holes don't align, as long as the opening will be largely covered, I don't mind if I have to drill a hole and use a bolt to keep it on.

  10. #10
    BlazNT's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2012
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    Location
    Missouri
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    RZ5424

    Re: Bolens 11A-020W765 - How to turn it into mulching for leaves

    Here is the part you need. https://www.amazon.com/MTD-987-02516.../dp/B00DEJPQFS
    This is what it looks like on the mower.
    bolens.jpg
    Chuck
    We Do Not Stop Playing When We Grow Old
    We Grow Old If We Stop Playing

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