A Vibrating and Shaking Ferris Zero Turn Mower!

You can’t eliminate the vibrations from a lawnmower’s operation¬† whatever you do. There will be some vibration while the engine is on.

In addition, if your grass isn’t level, the vibrations may be more noticeable. There are, however, components on the mower that, if they break, will generate a very noticeable vibration.

When the engine mounting bolts are worn, loose, or missing; when the PTO clutch is failing; when the mower blades are incorrect or unbalanced; when the spindle housing is damaged; when the bearing in the pulleys fails; when the belt wears out; when the bearings go bad; or when debris becomes caught in the mower, a Ferris lawn mower may begin vibrating and shaking.

Remove the ignition key and spark plug wires, and let everything come to a complete stop before continuing your search for the source of the vibration. Wear appropriate protective clothing and observe all other safety measures outlined in the instructions.

worn belt

Causes of a Ferris Mower’s Persistent Shaking and Vibration

Vibration is produced by a Ferris mower with loose or absent engine mounting bolts.

When the engine mounting nuts break, become loose, or disappear, the regular vibrations from the engine can feel quite intense. Often referred to as “motor mounts,” these fasteners are bolted to the underside of the engine to dampen vibrations.

Make sure all the bolts are in place and in good shape. Bolts should be snugged up. If bolts are missing or look worn, replace them.

Vibrations Occur When the Ferris Mower’s PTO Clutch Breaks

The blades are driven by the engine via the PTO (Power Take Off) clutch. Your mower could be shaky if the electric clutch’s ball bearing gave out. You need to change the clutch on the PTO.

Deck Vibration Occurs Due to Improperly Adjusted or Imbalanced Ferris Mower Blades

Vibrations could occur if the wrong blades were used on the Ferris mower or if the blades weren’t set up correctly.

Blades for a Ferris mower that are the wrong size:

Mower blades made specifically for use with Ferris mower decks are available. Mower blades made by aftermarket manufacturers may or may not be compatible with your mower. There’s still a chance they won’t fit, even if you measure the blades and the center hole exactly to spec.

Using the incorrect blade can cause problems with the shell of the mower and the spindle housings. To make sure it fits properly and won’t damage my zero-turn, I only use OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) blades.

Make sure the blade you’re using fits the size and model of your Ferris mower’s deck.

If you insist on using a replacement lawnmower blade, set a brand new original equipment manufacturer blade on top of the replacement to check the center hole size, length, and width to make sure they match.

It is not always the case that an aftermarket blade will work with your specific model of Ferris lawn mower, even if the manufacturer claims it would. A number of times I have ordered replacement blades for consumers from a source that guaranteed the blades would be compatible, only to find that they were not.

Ferris mowers with out-of-whack blades:

When blades are out of whack under the deck, they won’t spin as freely. As they rotate, they will start to wobble. An intense vibration can be felt at very high speeds.

An imbalanced blade is one in which one end is significantly heavier than the other. Several things can throw off the equilibrium of a mower blade.

  • Normal operation might cause uneven blade wear due to dirt whirling under the mower deck.
  • When sharpening a blade, it’s common practice to remove more material from one end than the other.

If you’re going to install new blades on your mower, it’s important to use a blade balancer on your Ferris blades first. Here you may read up on how to properly sharpen and balance your knives.

Deck Vibration Caused by Material Wrapped Around Ferris Mower Blade Spindle

The blade spindle of your Ferris mower can become tangled in wire, string, or even long weeds, causing the blade to vibrate. Items like these are hard to spot when mowing, making them difficult to avoid.

Look at the spindle and take off anything that’s wrapped around it. After this is complete, make sure your spindle and housing are free of any more damage.

Deck Vibration on a Ferris Mower Due to Broken Spindle Housing Parts

Ferris mower deck vibration can be caused by a bent spindle or worn bearings in the spindle housings, which causes the blades to wobble when engaged.

Wear sturdy work gloves to shield your hands from the blade’s sharp edges before checking the spindle housing for damage. Be sure the ignition key is out of the ignition and the spark plug wires are unconnected.

The mower blade can be swung up and down by grabbing both ends. Simply put, you are watching for any sign of life. The additional motion could cause some knocking noises.

If you detect any wiggle room, you should take apart your mower’s spindle housing and blade. Look for signs of damage to the bearing or spindle, and fix it if necessary.

As the Deck Belt on a Ferris Mower wears, the deck begins to vibrate.

The belt will not fit snugly around the pulleys on a mower with a worn and stretched out deck.

Because of the slack in the belt as it goes around the deck, your Ferris mower’s cutting surface may shake. A stretched, cracked, or glazed belt should be discarded and replaced.

If the belt seems to be in good shape, then you should focus on making sure it is routed properly around the pulleys and that the tension is regulated so that there is no slack.

Ferris mower deck vibration caused by faulty pulley bearings.

Using low-quality pulleys will cause your Ferris mower to vibrate, namely in the mower deck. If the bearings wear out, the pulleys won’t rest flush and level on the deck.

If the pulleys aren’t perfectly still and sitting perpendicular to the deck, the mower will vibrate as the belt goes around them.

Each pulley must be steadily fastened to the deck without any swaying.

The pulley shouldn’t sway too much to the point that one side is elevated above the surface. When this occurs, it’s usually because of a faulty pulley bearing.

Using your hands, slowly rotate each pulley to locate the one with the faulty bearing. In order to locate a bearing noise, you must first feel for a limitation. Your bearing will need to be replaced if you notice either of these issues.

It is important to remember that sealed bearings are required for some pulleys. In this instance, the pulley and bearing unit must be replaced.

Vibration on a Ferris Mower is Caused by a Worn Idler Bracket and Spring.

If the deck of your Ferris mower is vibrating, check for a loose or damaged idler bracket or spring. Either the spring can extend or the hole in the bracket can wear out.

An idler spring or bracket needs to be replaced. If the engagement linkage’s bushing and bearing are worn, you’ll need to replace them.

Vibrations are caused by debris stuck in a Ferris mower.

Lawn detritus gets kicked up as you mow with your Ferris. Mowers can be made to vibrate if little debris gets caught in its moving parts. Even a small piece of wood like a chip can set off a powerful vibration.

Spindle covers should be removed and the deck should be cleaned regularly. Pulleys may not be sitting flat and parallel to the deck if debris has accumulated under them.

In the event of an accumulation of debris, the tensioner may lose its ability to maintain the correct belt tension. Your mower deck will tremble because of the extra slack. If it happens, the mower’s belt could possibly break loose.

Thoroughly inspect your mower for any debris and remove it. Your zero-turn mower will last longer if you clean it after each use and keep it clear of debris, which will do double duty by getting rid of vibrations and preventing rust from moisture being trapped in the grass clippings.

Get the aid you require with your cleaning tasks. See “How to Clean Your Mower for Best Performance” for details.

Is Your Ferris Mower Still Giving You Trouble?

You will have issues with your mower at some point or another, regardless of the brand.

For this reason, I have developed a list of typical issues with Ferris lawn mowers and how to fix them so that you can get your mower going again the next time it dies prematurely, cuts poorly, overheats, or exhibits any other problem.

You should bookmark this page and return to it whenever you need assistance locating or servicing your mower. Solution Guide for Common Issues with the Ferris Zero Turn Mower.