Earlier this year, I was able to pick up a hardly used (less than 10 hours) John Deere D100 Lawn Tractor. The previous owner hadn't used it as a "mulching mower," which I prefer, so I went to my local Lowe's and picked up a mulch cover for the mower deck. As you can see from the picture below, the rear clip is attached in such a way that it will scratch the side of the mower deck. Metal-to-metal contact like that with the vibration inherent with a mower deck will soon lead to rusting. As you can also see, my solution was to slip a small wooden shim in between the deck and the clip.
After trying the local JD dealers, one solution suggested was to snip off the end of the clip so it wouldn't reach the side of the deck. Well, after 20 minutes of sawing away with a hacksaw, I hardly put a dent in it. It might be a lousy design, but it is extremely hard. The other solution was what I had done with the shim. However, the most often repeated response was "Well, no one's ever complained about it."
Here's how the shim fixed the metal-to-metal problem.
That's a sad commentary on what we Americans have come to expect from our "Made in the USA" manufacturers. After playing with it some more, I was able to force the clip through the slot from the inside out so that the pointy end was not coming in contact with the side of the deck. However, there is still metal-to-metal contact, which, with the inherent vibration, will abrade the paint on the deck and therefore will still require the shim.
I just find it hard to believe that a competent engineer couldn't figure out a better way to design that clip so it would accomplish the task of keeping the mulch cover in place without damaging the mower deck.
I sent a letter to the CEO of John Deere, including the attached picture, describing the issue and asking for their input. As of today, I'm still waiting for a reply. I guess the "monkeys" can't write... or design.
This entry was submitted by Ken Brindle and edited by Rob Spiegel.
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