How to Install a Side Discharge on a Lawnmower?


All mower owners have the same goal, to make their lawns look fresh and tidy. But not all environments are similar. Some have a big yard, and others have a small yard. Some yards are flat, and others move up and down and have steeper slopes. Also, the frequency of mowing and the type of grass can be different. Depending on your situation, you need a lawnmower that fits your specific environment. If you often have to cut tall and thick grass, you need a mower to cope with this. Many lawnmowers have problems with this type of grass and will get slow and inefficient. When the grass is slightly wet or damp, this problem is even more apparent. Using a proper discharge system will significantly help. In this case, using a side discharge on your lawnmower will ensure a much better grass discharging.

How to install a side discharge on your lawnmower:

  • Step 1: Securely turn off your mower.
  • Step 2: Locate the area where the discharge chute is to be installed.
  • Step 3: If applicable, remove the bolts that are already present there. If you are replacing an old side discharge, unbolt and unhook the old discharge chute.
  • Step 4: Pull up the mulch plug.
  • Step 5: Install the side discharge.
  • Step 6: Lower the mulch plug.
  • Step 7: Make sure that the side-discharge is firmly attached.

The procedure is relatively simple, and it’ll take you around 30 minutes max to complete this procedure.

This blog will explain how to install a side discharge in more detail and look at the advantages and disadvantages.

What is Side Discharge?

Mowing is more comfortable when the grass is not too tall and thick. If you have to cut tall and thick grass, you will notice that your lawnmower will have more difficulty. It is slower and requires more engine power. More waste gets stuck in the mower’s cutter with larger grass, increasing the friction and making it need more power or go slower. When the grass is slightly wet or damp, this problem is even more significant. But there are solutions for this problem, using a side discharge.

A side discharge will provide a proper channel for the outflow of grass debris and ensure that the cutter area doesn’t get filled with grass. With a side discharge attached to your mower, grass waste will be thrown out towards a side, close to the blades. If you use a backend discharge system, where the grass is collected in a container on the back, the grass needs to follow a much longer path. Particularly with slightly wet grass, this path is even more challenging to follow, and often the cut grass will get stuck somewhere.

Installing a side discharge is easy to do, so you don’t need to take your mower to a mechanic. You can perform the installation yourself. It should take you no more than 30 minutes. Consulting the manufacturer’s manual or an online tutorial will also help.

Tools that You’ll Need:

You’ll need two main tools in this entire procedure. These are:

  • Side-discharge Bolts and hooks: You need to ensure that the side-discharge gets firmly and adequately attached to the mower. For this, you’ll need the bolts and hooks that came with the side-discharge so it can be attached to the mower.
  • A socket wrench: You’ll need a socket wrench to loosen or tighten the bolts.

How to Install a Side Discharge on Your Mower step by step:

Follow these simple steps to get the job done:

● Step 1. Preparation:

Park your mower on an open flat area. Make sure the lawnmower is turned off. In the case of an electric lawnmower, you should unplug the power cord. In case of a gas lawnmower, make sure that the mower cannot accidentally turn on, as you will be working close to the blades during the installation procedure.

Using Safety gloves is a good idea to protect your hands from getting cut by sharp edges or the lawnmower blade.

● Step 2. Press the Chute Downward:

There is a bracket that crosses that deck’s bottom on your lawnmower. You must make sure that the side-discharge is below this bracket. To meet this requirement, press the bottom side of the side discharge chute downward.

● Step 3. Attach the Rubber Strap to the Deck:

To ensure that the side-discharge gets firmly attached to the deck, extend and attach the chute’s rubber strap to the deck.

● Step 4. Locate the Installation Area:

Now you’ll need to locate the area on the deck where the chute is to be attached. Visual inspection would be enough in this regard, but you can still consult the user manual for locating this area.

● Step 5. Remove the Bolts:

The area allocated for installing the discharge chute will have bolt holes. If there is an old discharge chute that you are replacing, you’d see that it is held in place with bolts. Remove these bolts using the socket wrench.

● Step 6. Install the Discharge Chute:

The discharge chute might be covered with a mulch plug. Pull the mulch plug upward and install the discharge chute. Attach the discharge chute’s hooks to the mulch plug’s grip carefully. Tighten all the bolts using the socket wrench, turning it clockwise for tightening. Make sure that all the hooks are locked and all the bolts are tight.

● Step 7. Test the Side Discharge Chute:

If the discharge chute is not firmly locked to the deck, it can remove itself during the mower’s operation and potentially damage even the blades. To avoid this situation, make sure that the discharge chute is attached firmly. You can check it by giving a jerk to the chute with your hand. If it is tightly locked, it won’t fall off. If it does, it means that you missed a bolt or a hook or attached it wrongly.

● Step 8. Lower the Mulch Plug:

Once you have confirmed that the side discharge chute is firmly attached to the mower, carefully lower the mulch plug. You have completed a side discharge installation process with this step done, and your mower is ready for use.

Things You Should Know:

Now that you know how to install a side discharge on your lawnmower, there are several other things useful to know:

  • Removing the side discharge: Say you need to remove the discharge chute that you just installed. You can do so by opening a few bolts and unhooking a few hooks.
  • Turning the mower: Now that your mower has a side discharge chute attached to it, don’t turn it like you used to before. If you need to turn your mower, make sure that the side discharge chute is well set and does not carry the mower’s weight during the turn.
  • Please turn off the mower before install or removing: We cannot stress this point enough. Your mower must be turned off when you are installing or removing a side discharge chute. This is to avoid injury to any persons or harm to your mower.

Advantages of a Side Discharge Installed on Your Mower:

Installing a side discharge on your lawnmower has the following advantages:

  • Clean cutting area: With the side-discharge attached, grass debris will not get caught in the cutting area, keeping it clean.
  • Clean blades: The side discharge will ensure that the blades stay clean for longer, increasing blade life and efficiency.
  • Cutting tall grass: A side-discharge attached to your lawnmower will allow your mower to cut taller and thicker grass—something difficult without the discharge chute.
  • Speed and efficiency: Ultimately, your lawnmower’s speed and efficiency will increase with a discharge chute attached.

Disadvantages of a Side Discharge Installed on You Lawnmower:

A disadvantage from using a side discharge could be that if you do not use a side discharge chute, the grass will be sent flying out the mower’s side. If you use a side-discharge chute, you will collect the grass, but the chute is often smaller than if you collect the grass in the back container. This means you have to empty it more often. And where this is easy to do with the container at the back by just reversing and pull a handle, emptying the chute takes more time.

The mower with a side-discharge will be wider than using the container in the back. Particular with the chute attached. So if you have a situation with narrow locations, it can difficult.

Final Remarks:

Using your lawnmower to cut bigger and thicker grass is difficult. With the increased grass debris getting caught in the cutting area and getting attached to the blade, the cutter speed will decrease, and the mower’s efficiency too. This means you’ll be spending more time and effort on the mowing process. Furthermore, you’ll have to clean the cutting area more often. Or, you can avoid all these problems by installing a side discharge on your lawnmower. A side discharge will allow the grass debris to move out toward a side instead of getting caught in the cutting area. This will increase the speed and efficiency of your mower. Installing a side discharge chute is not difficult. Following the step by step guide provided in this article, you’ll be able to install a side discharge on your mower in less than 30 minutes and enjoy faster mowing.

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