Assembling a John Deere 7-Bushel Rear Bagger

CaptainDan

CaptainDan

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
84
Reaction score
2
Points
13
  • #1
I must say, this John Deere ride-on mower has been a real treat to work with. What once took half a day to do, now takes a mere 45 minutes. I cut at 3.5 inches and everything is working out smoothly. Also, I now longer sweat like a pig while mowing the lawn. Well, the hillside in the front still needs to be mowed with the push-mower, so there is a whole heck of a lot of sweating and swearing at that one.

------

I've got a few other John Deere lawnmower posts you may be interested in. They're excellent in the way of "How-To" and "DIY" if I don't say so myself. Check them out here:

Assembling a John Deere 7-Bushel Rear Bagger
Installing a John Deere X300 Mulching Kit
How to Make Leaf Mulch & Leaf Compost

------

These days, the issue isn’t so much mowing the lawn, but picking up the leaves. Back in the day, I would just mow over the leaves and hope for the best. I actually liked doing it. I love the sound of the leaves getting all crunched up and shooting out of the side of the mower. Well, with joy, sometimes comes pain. All Winter and once Spring rolls around, all those piles of shredded up leaves are still on the lawn. The create a bunch of dead spots.

The grass clippings from the previous (and current) season create what is called “lawn thatch.” If you care about the health of your lawn and care about what it looks like, thatch is something you are going to want to deal with.

With all this in mind, I ran down to the local John Deere dealer this afternoon to pick up a shiny new 7-bushel rear bagger for the ride-on mower. I have wanted this for a while, but with the onslaught of leaves falling from the trees, a little mini-fire was lit under my butt.

dsc00708.jpg

The rear bagger came unassembled and took about a half hour to put together on the back of the mower. I decided to take photos for all my loyal readers to enjoy. Heck you never know…someone might actually “Google” how to put together a 7-bushel rear bagger for a John Deere X300 and my site may pop up. I’m such a genius.

dsc00709.jpg

Here are the pics.

dsc00712.jpg

dsc00713.jpg

dsc00714.jpg

dsc00715.jpg

dsc00717.jpg

dsc00718.jpg

dsc00720.jpg

dsc00722.jpg

dsc00723.jpg

dsc00724.jpg

dsc00725.jpg

dsc00726.jpg

dsc00728.jpg

See, wasn’t that exciting? Ok, I will admit that after posting these photos, I understand that not all of you may be as excited as I am. Well, maybe this will do the trick. After setting everything up and mowing the whole lawn, the place is now leaf free. The lawn looks great. I can’t even believe how easy it was. I dumped about 12 bags worth of grass clippings and leaves and that made me feel good.

Oh yeah, one more reason to catch your grass clippings is because the weeds on your lawn keep coming back because of their seeds. If you catch your clippings, you reduce (theoretically) the amount of weeds on your lawn. I made that one up myself, but I think it makes sense.
 
JodyBuchanan

JodyBuchanan

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
Points
11
  • #2
So I am about to pull the trigger on the same mower and bagger you are talking about. I have read that the tube leading up to the rear bagger gets clogged. What is your experience when picking up dry leaves and grass?

Thanks,
Jody
 
JGaulard

JGaulard

Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
327
Reaction score
18
Points
23
  • #3
JodyBuchanan said:
So I am about to pull the trigger on the same mower and bagger you are talking about. I have read that the tube leading up to the rear bagger gets clogged. What is your experience when picking up dry leaves and grass?

Thanks,
Jody
I got the bagger to do just that…pick up leaves. I would say that out of 16 bags emptied, I had the tube clog once. But, that was only because I went through a pretty hairy high grass area.

I would recommend this setup. I have not experienced any negatives about them and I am actually enjoying doing the leaves and cutting the grass a heck of a lot more than I thought I would.

It’s a wonderful thing to be able to ride around and after a half hour look at a nice, clean lawn with no leaves on it.

UPDATE: Yes it does clog, but it really depends on what you're mowing over. The thicker the grass and leaves are, the more the tube will clog. At least often enough to be a real problem when using to pickup leaves which is why I bought it.
 
Newman

Newman

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
100
Reaction score
0
Points
21
  • #4
Just bought a x304 a few weeks ago and the bagger worked perfect. It was amazing how much it picked up…until now. Nothing changed, it just started blowing grass around the left side of the hopper lid and out of the right air exhaust. I was completely covered in grass. I had to stop mowing several times to get the grass off of me. Have you had any trouble with this? Any suggestions?
 
CaptainDan

CaptainDan

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
84
Reaction score
2
Points
13
  • #5
Newman said:
Just bought a x304 a few weeks ago and the bagger worked perfect. It was amazing how much it picked up…until now. Nothing changed, it just started blowing grass around the left side of the hopper lid and out of the right air exhaust. I was completely covered in grass. I had to stop mowing several times to get the grass off of me. Have you had any trouble with this? Any suggestions?
It sounds like you may have mowed in wet grass or something. If you had, the wet grass may be lining the actual bags, not letting the air through. Air needs to flow through those “mesh” bags in order for the grass to collect properly.

Try taking a hose and cleaning those bags out nice and thoroughly.

If that isn’t the issue, try looking down the chute (bagging tube) to see if you have something clogging it.

Let me know what you find.
 
15Katey

15Katey

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
85
Reaction score
3
Points
13
  • #6
Boy I wish I had googled this prior to putting together bagger. The only problem I ran into though was that the support bar’s predrilled hole did not line up the the bagger’s frame.
 
KristinaW

KristinaW

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
86
Reaction score
2
Points
13
  • #7
I have this setup on my X304. As delivered from the dealer it did not work well. When I ordered my X304 with the bagger the dealer neglected to put the high lift blades on the mower. It only had standard blades from the factory. The dealer would not own up to this being his problem, so I had to pay for him to pick it up and install the high lift blades.

Now the bagging is excellent. I get an occasional plug, but it is when the grass is damp and when I try to mow too long grass too fast. I have a long thin pole I poke down the chute from inside the open open hopper to loosten a clog. Parts of the clog drop down on the driveway with each push. Then swish underneath the raised deck for the pushed back clog. Cleans fairly easily.

Then you must learn about the indicator. The basic design is OK, but then comes the sticky grass, which sticks to the paddle in the airflow, making it heavier, and falsely indicating lower air flow. You must clean the paddle frequently. That means disassembly of the indicator. Take off only the two screws on the paddle side of the indicator and pop up the top part of the indicator. This will allow you to pop out the flag/paddle and clean it off with a scraper (knife or screwdriver). Clean the pivot area of all grass clippings and reassemble. Just snap it together leaving the two screws off. Easer to open next time. I generally clean the indicator flag at least once per mowing of my 1/4 acre. It’s pretty easy to do now that I know about it.

Also, I always use plastic contractor bags in the fabric hopper except when I’m chopping leaves. No problem with air flow if you have the correct blades.
 
EmeraldHike

EmeraldHike

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
85
Reaction score
0
Points
11
  • #8
Echoing previous comments…great posting! Your info and other folks' comments/questions are very helpful. However, I’ve got a question that I didn’t see addressed. I’ve got a 304. A couple times a year I tow a fertilizer spreader behind while mowing to lay down lime and/or fertilizer. I realize that I’d need to take off the bags while using the spreader, but I have a question:

With the bag support structure in place will I still be able to connect the spreader’s towbar to the hitch plate… or will I need to remove the entire bag support structure when I use the spreader???

I will appreciate hearing any and all comments and suggestions. Thank you.
 
EmeraldHike

EmeraldHike

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
85
Reaction score
0
Points
11
  • #9
After reading all of these postings I went over to my local John Deere (JD) dealer and bought a complete set up for my x304 (main unit, wide mesh bags, blowout baffle, etc). Unlike some folks I had ZERO issues. My guess is that, since some of your posts were a few years old, JD has heard your comments and made changes as needed. It is not unusual for a Brand Manager to monitor websites for comments and also talk with JD mechanics, JD parts staff and actual customers to get real world feedback. Some comments on my experience:

1) Some folks reported difficulty in getting the supports to fit together – My unit fit together perfectly, with no need to force things. The only thing I may have done different is that I assembled all components loosely and tightened the bolts/nuts only at the end of assembly.

2) One poster didn’t get the hi-lift blades in his install – My dealer showed two kits/part numbers. One kit had just the uptube, the other had the uptube and hi-lift blades as a package (presumably sized for either a 38″ or 42″ set up.) At first I didn’t realize that my kit had the blades, so I’d ordered the blades as a separate line item only to back them out of the order when I realized the duplication. The hi-lift blades REALLY do the job.

3) I first assembled the base unit and tested it for a couple of mowings. Everything looked great! Then I installed the front blowout baffle and tested the wide mesh bags and I can only say “Wow!”

4) A poster said that he was disappointed in the quality of the instruction manual pictures/descriptions. My unit came with TWO manuals, one for the main unit, and a second one for the uptube. I found both to be clear and well illustrated.

5) Lastly, and this is just a “Nit” – In the last picture of the original “How To” posting it appears that the front of uptube isn’t fully seated into the channel on the mower deck. This could result in a bit of lost suction/reduced airflow. When I did my installation I placed a small 2″ x 4″ block against the bottom of the uptube at about the 2 o’clock position and rapped the block with a hammer. The bottom of the tube popped into the channel. I’m guessing that the uptube has now conformed to the channel as subsequent removal/re-installs are easy.

That’s about it. Again thaks to everyone’s postings I was sold on the product and I suspect that the constructive comments may very well have been heeded by JD. Happy mowing!
 
KristinaW

KristinaW

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
86
Reaction score
2
Points
13
  • #10
Hi - Since these catchers and baggers are so expensive, a friend of mine is looking at building his own. Any tips/ideas?
 
CraigHardy

CraigHardy

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2020
Messages
190
Reaction score
0
Points
21
  • #11
Hey thanks for putting up the info on this item. I just bought a JD mo0del LA105 and planning to get the twin bagger and lawn sweeper. I have not ANY lawn work for like….40 years?? Just plain lazy but now I have this house for retirement in utah. Looking forward to attacking the lawn!
Thanks again for taking the time to put the info up for everyone to see and understand!
 
LukeLewis

LukeLewis

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
87
Reaction score
1
Points
13
  • #12
Hello:

Many thanks for posting this info. Given the dealer was going to charge for installing at he collection system on the new X304 I am about to purchase, your installation pics were very helpful.

Regards, Luke
 
KodyWallice

KodyWallice

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
92
Reaction score
0
Points
11
  • #13
I had two surprises when I purchased a bagger for my X300 Deere. The first was after I paid 362.25 for a big box I thought wss the complete bagger the parts man asked me if I wanted a chute kit. Since I didn’t know how the grass and leaves would get in the hopper without one I said yes and that came to another 84.00.
The second surprise came when I opened the big box and found brackets,rods,bag of nuts, bolts, spacers, washer, and keys plus an instruction book with little gray pictures that were hard to understand.
I was glad to find this web sight. .My other mower bagger came complete with hopper and shute in three peaces and no brackets, nits & bolts.to put together.
 
Phoenix1

Phoenix1

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
100
Reaction score
1
Points
23
  • #14
Thanks for posting . I just bought the same mower and bagger and was pressed for time and didn’t want to wait for the dealer to put the bagger on. They were pretty busy.
I am a carpenter over 40 and consider myself very skilled esp when given a set of instructions. The one complaint I would have with this unit is the directions are almost useless. I could see a novice really struggling with this assembley. They are trying to cover installation for multiple mowers and the directions and pictures are just not very helpful. I certainly could’ve gotten it together correctly BUT I’d bet I woulda had to do one or 2 things twice.
It was really nice to google this unit and have clear pictures of each phase. Thank you very much for taking the time to put this up. You defintely helped 1 person have a pain free install.
 
CampFireJack

CampFireJack

Member
Joined
Aug 1, 2020
Messages
84
Reaction score
2
Points
13
  • #15
This helped a lot. I had a chuckle when you said “you never know someone may google how to install a JD bagger unit”, I looked at my wife and said “that’s me”. Anyhow thanks for posting the pictures and details, very helpful I have the exact same unit as yours.
 
Cameron

Cameron

Member
Joined
Aug 7, 2020
Messages
91
Reaction score
0
Points
11
  • #16
Can someone tell me which grass bag will fill up first. Is it the left or the right if you are standing at the rear of the tractor and look at the grass bag,
 
Newman

Newman

Member
Joined
Aug 5, 2020
Messages
100
Reaction score
0
Points
21
  • #17
Excellent write up and very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to post pics.
 
15Katey

15Katey

Member
Joined
Aug 8, 2020
Messages
85
Reaction score
3
Points
13
  • #18
Excellent write up. Thank you. I am having trouble installing the bagger on my x300. I’m hoping someone can help me out. First, should the hole in bagger frame and the hole in the hitch frame line up perfectly? Mine works, but the pin is cocked. Also, the support rod from the bagger frame to the hopper is too long. The hole at the top, that attaches to the hopper is off by 1/4 inch. Anyone have similar problems?
 
JodyBuchanan

JodyBuchanan

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
84
Reaction score
0
Points
11
  • #19
I have a 7 bushel rear bagger. I need the piece of rubber for the right side of the top cover. This was never glued properly and was lost. This bagger is mounted on a lt133.I hope you can save me.
 
WendyMay

WendyMay

Member
Joined
Aug 3, 2020
Messages
88
Reaction score
0
Points
11
  • #20
This write-up was helpful. I had the same issue as someone above who thought the support rod was too long. You have to make sure you install the rod before dropping the bagger unit on the two posts. After that, I really had to force the posts down in order to get the two bolt holes to line up. Everything does fit correctly, but it definitely takes some effort.

This thing is great once installed. I have a combination of oak leaves and inches of pine needles (very tall trees) in my front yard. After one run, it looks like one of those before and after carpet cleaner commercials with one clean path where the cleaner has been. I’d highly recommend this pricey, but very useful bagger to anyone who has a ton of leaves to pick up.
 
Assembling a John Deere 7-Bushel Rear Bagger was posted on 08-18-2021 by CaptainDan in the Motor Forum forum.

Forum statistics

Threads
523
Messages
1,665
Members
38
Latest member
[email protected]
Site by Gaulard.com.
Top