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520H clippings on engine blower screen

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I bought the tractor a couple of months ago and have been slowing cleaning it up and looking for a 48" deck.  Well I now have it together and got some seat time mowing yesterday.  Wow, it drives and mows nicely!!  Tons of power and way more maneuverable than I expected.  A huge improvement over the Craftsman lawn tractor I've been using.  I mounted gator blades above and at 90 degrees to the regular blades, so my clippings are very small.  I had read that it was important to keep the screen on the engine blower clean, but I had no idea how quickly it would get clogged.  I had to clean it 3 times in the hour and a half it took to mow my lawn.  I was wondering if anyone has made a shroud that forces the airflow to come from above?  I think that would help keep the clippings away from this intake.  

 

Thanks for any help

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There are several old posts on this problem.     Do some searches on 520 screen.

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I have a 520 and I know what you are talking about with the clippings.

I use my compressed air to blow the entire machine off after a mowing session.

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Three times in an hour and a half?  I have to clean mine every lap and a half around the yard.  In the fall, I can't make it around one time without removing leaves.  No, I'm not kidding.

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For me it depends how hard the wind is blowing and the direction I'm mowing. Sometimes quite often and other times not at all. I am glad you are keeping an eye on it.  Lots of guys don't and wonder why their Onans  die a pre-mature death.:)

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Has anyone tried mowing without the outer stationary cover? The inner cover spins like the Kohler engines which throw the grass off. I have a Kohler magnum that was missing the screen, so I fastened. one to the cover that didn't spin and it would get covered with grass and leaves also..:bitch:If anyone has tried mowing with a 520 without the outer cover what were your results???

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SD decks are the problem child here.  They disperse the clippings and when you run over them, the left front wheel will kick them up and they get sucked into the engine fan intake.  Happens on my 314 with a Command Pro engine but the air intake is much smaller than an Onan.  If you use a RD deck it is not as much of a problem but they do not cut as nice.  A couple of years ago, I made a prototype fender out of a 5 gallon pail, a piece of flashing and some scrap metal to go over the left front wheel and limit how much grass can get kicked up. Worked ok but ugly as hell. 

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I'm not sure if the rotating screen is the answer or not. The airflow through the screen tends to pull clippings onto it no matter what. I clearly recall the two Kohler-powered Wheel Horses that were used to mow the lawns and athletic fields at my school in the 1970s and 80s (Quite possibly where I got the beginnings of my :wh: affection...) and they always accumulated plenty of clippings on the screens -- in a nice spiral pattern. Oddly, of the tractors I've had them most experience over the years, the horizontal engines -- a John Deere 112 and my 520H, have had stationary grilles over the engine fan screen. (The JD's fixed mesh screen was kind of unique in its day.) The vertical engine ones -- an old Craftsman and a Bolens Suburban, both had rotating screens. They all accumulated clippings at about the same rate.

 

At least with a fixed screen, you can stop and reach down to brush the screen off easily enough. The rotating screens are a bit less finger-friendly. :wacko:

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I honestly think a lot of the issue is clippings being blown out of the front of the deck along the discharge path - some of these decks have a pretty high front lip in the way they were made and it seems if you run the double blades it makes it worse . My old 80's 48" model is also running Gator blades above the standard Toro high-lift set and it blows air out the front of the deck like crazy . I plan to add a baffle strip across the front if I ever get time , still trying to get the D back together as well as my utility trailer .

 

Same with my rotating screen on the K-341 - it plugs up after about 30 minutes . They are not only non-finger friendly , but also like to kill timing lights and boot toes...lol .

 

Sarge

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