How to Install a Mulch Kit on a John Deere 42 Mower Deck

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John Deere makes all types of tractors and farm equipment, from combines and farm tractors to garden tractors and lawnmowers for use on suburban lawns. The 42-inch mower deck on the John Deere garden tractor utilizes two mower blades and throws grass out of the mower chute that must be raked. A bagging system can also be installed, but it must be emptied when it becomes full of clippings. Another alternative is to install a mulching kit on your 42-inch mower deck. The mulch kit returns finely mulched grass clippings back to the yard, eliminating the need for raking or bagging.

Things You'll Need

  • Two blocks of wood
  • Adjustable wrench
  • John Deere mulch kit
  • Drive the front wheels of your tractor onto blocks of wood to create working space under the mower deck. Raise the deck to its highest setting. Remove the key from the ignition so that tractor cannot be accidentally started.

  • Remove the center holding nut from the mower blade on the underside of the mower deck with an adjustable wrench turned in a counterclockwise direction. Hold the blade with a gloved hand to keep it from turning while removing the nut. Lower the blade from the deck and save it for possible re-use, or discard it. Save the nut for installing the mulching blade. Repeat this step for the mower blade on the other side of the deck.

  • Place the center hole of the mulching blade over the mounting stud on the underside of the mower deck. Make sure the cutting end of the blade faces forward when spinning in a clockwise direction. Hold the blade with a gloved hand while tightening the holding nut with an adjustable wrench turned in a clockwise direction. Repeat this step for the mulching blade to be installed on the other side of the deck.

  • Remove the nuts from the bolts that hold the black plastic chute guard to the deck with an adjustable wrench turned in a counterclockwise direction. Save the chute guard and the hardware for possible re-use in the future.

  • Push the blocking plate from the mulch kit into the mower’s chute from the inside of the deck. Secure the blocking plate with a bolt and washer (provided with kit) placed through the mounting hole in the deck from the underside. Place a washer and wing nut (also provided with kit) onto the protruding threads of the bolt on the top of the deck and tighten in a clockwise direction by hand.

  • Back your tractor off of the wood blocks.

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