Manufactured in Arkansas, the Bad Boy mowers address residential and commercial users looking for quality American machines. Its design is slightly different from other popular riding lawn mowers, such as Craftsman or Husqvarna. Thus, the fine tuning is a bit different too. That doesn’t mean that the Bad Boy mower deck adjustment is hard to achieve. This article will guide you through the process.
If you’re wondering how to adjust the Bad Boy mower deck height, know that you should start with adjusting the tire pressure. Measure the distance from the ground to the deck on all sides, then lower it to adjust its level. While doing this, maintain a 1/4-inch pitch forward.
How To Adjust Bad Boy Mower Deck Height
Whether you’ve assembled your Bad Boy riding mower for the first time or have just reinstalled the deck after troubleshooting or maintenance, leveling it is a must. Without this crucial step, you may end up with a scalped lawn and uneven mowed grass. As intimidating as it sounds, adjusting the mower deck isn’t complicated, and you can do so by following the quick steps below.
1. Adjust the tire pressure
Starting on a flat, even surface is paramount, so park the vehicle on a driveway or in the garage. Check the tire pressure and adjust it to optimal levels. According to the user manual, the front tires should have a pressure of 8 PSI and the rear ones 12 PSI. However, you may find that 6 PSI for the front tires and 8 PSI for the rear ones work better on bumpier terrains.
2. Adjust the blades
Raise the deck to the highest setting. Turn the blade with the tip facing the side of the mower and measure the distance from the ground to its tip. Write down the number, then spin the blade so that you can measure its other side.
If the two numbers differ, the blade is likely bent and needs to be replaced.
3. Check the deck level
If the blades are straight, it’s time to check the deck level. You have to measure the distance from the ground to the deck on all four corners.
When doing measurements, remember that the deck must be level from left to right, but it must have a 1/4-inch pitch down the front (some recommend a 1/8″ pitch), measured from the cutting edge of the blade.
4. Adjust the deck
To adjust the deck, you have to lower it all the way down. Most riding mowers have a lever that allows you to do that, but some Bad Boys models may lack it. If you’re wondering how to lower the deck on your Bad Boy mower, know that you should simply press the deck lift actuator button.
When lowered all the way down, the deck’s rollers should touch the ground. Since the deck isn’t level, you’ll notice ample clearance between the ground and one of the deck’s wheels.
Loosen the deck hanger bolts with a pair of 3/4-inch wrenches, adjust the deck level, and tighten the bolts again.
Tip: Having a strong support when adjusting the deck can ease up the process. You can use two wooden blocks and rest the deck on them while making the adjustments.
5. Check the results
Proceed to engaging the deck once fully re-aligned and measure the distance again. The sides of the deck (left to right) should now be perfectly level, with a slight pitch forward, as explained above.
Bad Boy Mower Deck Won’t Raise
If your mower has an automatic deck lift (as opposed to the mechanical height adjustment knob), you may sometimes find that the deck won’t raise when pressing the button.
The most common cause is a rusted screw shaft that doesn’t let the lift move up or down. Another frequent cause is a faulty actuator. You can fix the issue by replacing the screw shaft or actuator.
6 Causes Of An Uneven Cut From Your Lawn Mower
Uneven cuts are often the result of an unlevel deck. However, if you’ve aligned the deck and the mower still scalps the lawn, you may deal with one of the following causes.
Clogged Mower Deck
A plugged deck can cause a variety of cutting issues, from striking to leaving sparse patches of uncut grass behind.
Fix the problem by cleaning the deck and preventing it by keeping it clean. Ideally, you should wash the deck with a garden hose after each use.
Damaged Deck Shell
To understand the importance of the deck shell, you must understand how cutting the lawn with a riding mower works. When you engage the blades, the deck shell creates suction that raises the grass blades for an easier cut.
If the deck shell is damaged, suction might not happen, and the result is an uneven cut. The only way to fix this issue is by replacing the deck shell with a new one.
Damaged Mower Blades
The Bad Boy riding mowers come with solid blades, but rocks or other hard obstacles you might hit while mowing could dent or bend them. If the blades are damaged, leveling the deck is no longer sufficient for achieving even cuts.
Depending on the damage, you could straighten the blades (if they are only slightly bent), or you may have to replace them.
Worn-Out Mower Blades
Like all other components of your lawn mower, the blades will wear out and become dull in time. You don’t necessarily have to replace them when this happens; sometimes, sharpening them could fix the issue.
If you decide to sharpen them, make sure to hone both sides of the cutting edge. Work at a 45-degree angle to maintain the bevel as you’re sharpening.
Worn-Out Deck Pulleys or Belt
Another frequent issue that affects the cut quality is the deck vibration. If you maintain all parts correctly, the mower deck doesn’t vibrate. However, vibrations can happen if the deck pulleys are worn-out or if the drive belt is damaged.
Inspect the parts and replace the drive belt or pulleys if needed. If they are in good shape, but the deck still vibrates, check the alignment of the blades and adjust them if necessary.
Uneven Tire Pressure
The tire pressure is another thing that can make or break the deal. As explained above, the ideal tire pressure for your Bad Boy mower should be 8 PSI for the front tires and 12 PSI for the rear tires. Measure the pressure with a tire pressure gauge and deflate or add more air as needed.
If your terrain is bumpy, you can inflate to a lower pressure, but no lower than 6 PSI for the front tires and 8 PSI for the rear ones.
Questions And Answers
Should a mower deck be higher in the front or back?
The mower deck should be slightly higher in the back. Pitching the deck forward is essential for enabling the aerodynamic design of the cutting chamber. If the front and rear are leveled at the same height, the deck may not be able to lift the grass, cut it evenly, or dispose of the clippings effectively.
According to the Bad Boy user manual, you should maintain a 1/4-inch pitch down to the front of the deck. However, some users found that they can achieve cleaner cuts when the deck is pitched about 1/8 of an inch.
What deck sizes are available for Bad Boy mowers?
Bad Boy manufactures a range of residential and commercial zero-turn mowers and lawn tractors. Deck sizes vary from 36 inches all the way up to 72 inches, making it easy to find a model that suits your yard size or that you have to maneuver around obstacles.
Why does my mower deck leave a strip of grass?
The most common cause of streaking (your mower leaving strips of grass) is unbalanced, worn-out, or dull blades. Balancing or sharpening the blades will likely solve the issue.
If the problem persists, make sure you’re mowing at the right speed. The engine speed should always be high (full throttle), but the ground speed shouldn’t be too fast. Moving at speed up to 4-5 mph is generally recommended.
Streaking can also happen when the cutting deck is plugged or if you’re not overlapping the cutting rows.
For this reason, you should always make sure that the deck is clean before starting the job and pay attention to overlapping your cutting rows.
Getting that even deck level on your Bad Boy riding mower can seem complicated at first, but anyone can adjust it by following the right steps.
The most important thing to keep in mind is that the front of the deck must be slightly pitched compared to its rear. However, the deck should be perfectly aligned from side to side. That’s why carefully measuring each side before you get started and after you’re done is necessary.
We hope this guide can help you level the deck and also teach you what to check if the deck is level, but you’re still not getting clean cuts.