Raising the blade for more clearance on a Sears Lawn Tractor.
I have a well worn Sears LT 1000 lawn tractor that I use for grass cutting, hauling firewood, mulching leaves and snow plowing on 2 1/2 acres. Quite often, we get snow before I’m ready to remove the cutting deck. That means that I have to install the plow. The problem is that when the plow is raised, the ground clearance of the plow is about 1/2 inch.
The front lawn has stinking Norway Maples so there are roots that that can get hit by the plow. In the woods, there are uneven spots, rocks, fallen branches, dead bodies and other hazards (ok, just kidding about the dead bodies). I tried adjusting the clearance but other than playing with the adjustment on the spring, I didn’t see any way to adjust things.
I tried using a chain to hold the blade up but the tolerances are just too tricky. Then I hit on the idea of using a cargo strap. The ratchet will allow me to put tension on the blade.
The process was simple.
- Drill a 3/8 inch hole through the top of the blade (Use a center punch and oil when drilling)
- Insert an eye bolt
- Use locknuts to make sure that I don’t impale my shin on the protruding bolt. A better solution would be to shorten the threads on the eye bolt but I was pressed for time.
- Run the cargo strap as shown and ratchet it tight.
Total time was about 30 minutes. Cost, less than $10.
Here is the plow after the mod. I have enough ground clearance to be able to mulch the leaves and collect firewood without having the plow bottoming out.
There are a couple of drawbacks to this.
- If the strap fails, the plow comes down suddenly. That has not happened yet.
- If I don’t have the front end covered during an ice event, the ratchet will freeze up. If that happens a whack from a katana will fix things quickly for the cost of a strap.
- It looks like a real schlock job but heck, who cares?
Update – Jan 2018. I had to remove the cargo strap because I needed to plow. It was a lot harder to release than I thought it would be. Luckily, the ratchet handle didn’t get my knuckles despite it’s best efforts. We are expecting a couple of inches tomorrow so I was looking for something more temporary. I tried using a bungee to pull the control handle down a bit. That was OK but it made it a little harder getting on and off. I’m still trying to figure out exactly how the lift mechanism works. That sounds goofy but I’m not exactly sure what I can adjust.
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