Assembling a John Deere 7-Bushel Rear Bagger

  • Thread starter CaptainDan
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May 9, 2021
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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.

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.


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.


Here are the pics.


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.

COMMENT: 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?

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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?

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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!

COMMENT: Hi - Since these catchers and baggers are so expensive, a friend of mine is looking at building his own. Any tips/ideas?

COMMENT: 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!

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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 & put together.

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: Excellent write up and very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to post pics.

COMMENT: 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?

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: 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.

COMMENT: Would a mulcher blade work better with the bagger? I just got mine and it keep clogging up the leaves are wet. Does this matter? Thanks for the web page it made it easier to put together.

COMMENT: I actually think it would. I think a mulching blade moves more air than a regular blade does, so perhaps it would push the grass and leaves through the chute with more ease. Would love to get others' opinions on this.

COMMENT: Hi, does anyone know if this bagger can pick up pine needles and pine cones??

COMMENT: It can. I do just this all day long.

COMMENT: I have a high lift blade on my LT133 and I pick up leaves, grass, tree cones, needles, small branches and even dry dog dudu with it. If you have a bagger, you need a high lift blade for it to work properly.

COMMENT: Can someone tell me what kind of glue they use to glue the rubber gaskets on the lid of the rear bagger? Mine keep falling off each time I open the rear bagger to empty the bags.

COMMENT: The X300 mower has some other uses and another driver so I need to know how difficult is to remove the grass catcher assembly when straight mowing. I occasionally use a sprayer attachment - how is this done?

COMMENT: Thank you for your post. Helped me significantly to install a bagger on my LT133.

COMMENT: How do you assemble the parts on the lid where the chute goes in the lid for a John Deere STX38? I’ve got a twin bagger.

COMMENT: I have a x300 with a 42inch deck. Was wondering the part number for this bagger, if you still had it.

COMMENT: I bought a used bagger and it appears to be missing both the vertical and horizontal mounting pins. Do these have sub-part number or identifier that I can use to order replacements?

COMMENT: I have to thank you for your photos! They are extremely clear where the JD manual photos are NOT. I didn’t want to spend $400.00 dollars to have it installed and thought I’d attempt it myself. I’m proud of what i’ve done! My husband “only” helped on a couple of items (like removing the nut that holds the mower blade assembly). What I didn’t find in the manual is anything about modifying the main chute. It does have embossed markings on it (A, B, C, D) to mark where to cut off. I have an X540 with a 54C deck and I didn’t realize there were cutting marks on the one end of the chute that goes into the another small chute at the top then into the bagger. I had a heck of a time getting the chute fitted onto the blower motor end. Then it got clogged my first time out. Could NOT get the chute off to clear the clog. Finally, I got the PowerFlow chute end off and saw the cutting marks (UGH!). Today I’ll cut an inch or two off, not an entire section that is marked. I just don’t think I need to modify and remove that much of the chute to be able to easily remove and replace the chute on the PowerFlow end. Any other suggestions?

COMMENT: Just went from a sweeper to a bagger. I like to bag every few weeks….not every time I mow so what do I do when I don’t want to bag? Please tell me I don’t have to room he bottom section every time. There must be another way!

COMMENT: There are a total of five pieces to be modified to make it fit properly. The cover for the pulley to be replaced with a double pulley on the mowing deck; the cover which comes with the kit to match your deck size; the discharge guard on the deck to open up space for the blower’s belt, the belt cover of the blower and finally the chute length to suit the model variation. The only one reasonable is the length of the chute. The remainder don;t make sense. Why not add a new cover for the pulley with an integrated guard for the double pulley and the belt? Well, of course, the answer is cost cutting. The corner of the discharge chute of the deck needs to be cut too but the mark is not sufficiently clearing the belt. It requires a little more for the belt not to rub against it. The belt cover of the blower clears the belt just fine. I did not cut it. One thing to look out is the lower belt might be touching the top of the deck. In order to save the belt from wearing out prematurely and breaking, I placed a couple of washers under the V-pulley on the blower to raise it about 3/16″.
All the mounting parts and the hardware fits very well. If there is a difficulty, it must be most likely because it is not in the right order or place. One thing I can add is the main shroud making up the blower’s body does not match the other half. Combination of poor engineering, poor manufacturing and poor quality control.

COMMENT: Great post. I have the same tractor - x300 - and want to get a bagger. What model or part number is the one you have? If you can email me a pic of the manual cover too, that would be great. Thanks.

COMMENT: I just installed a Power Flow system on my x324. It works fine, however I can’t understand why the bagging system is offset to the same right side of the mower as the Power Flow assembly is installed. I also have the MCS 7 Hopper Attachment installed which makes the right side of the mower even heavier. With that said, the entire deck tilts slightly to the right which means the left side is up higher than the right side by appx 3/8 to 1/2 inch. I’m sure this can be corrected using the deck leveling adjustment, but then every time I switch the deck back to mulching (instead of bagging) I’ll have to level the deck again. I can’t understand why JD did not offset the bagger to the left of center instead of to the right. That way there would be better weight distribution (left/right) and the deck would presumably remain more level with the Power Flow and bagging system installed. I’m consider installing a weight of some sort on the left side of the mower to compensate for all of the bagging system weight that is on the right side. Has anyone else noticed this problem or had this same experience?

COMMENT: Thanks for your effort in presenting clear photographs. It’ll help me as well as others. I will be installing mine soon. It seems like only a 7 bushel capacity will fill quite rapidly. Thanks again. PS - You took good pictures. Why not put a video together showing how to put the unit together?

COMMENT: The left.

COMMENT: Thank you!


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May 13, 2022
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I don't know if this is the correct forum for my question but here it goes. I have a 2002 LX277 with a 48" deck that has been well cared for, a great mower and almost part of the family. I am now looking to install a rear bag material collection system. A visit to a nearby John Deere dealer revealed that the specific part number is no longer available. I was able to purchase the chute that is specific to the mower model with the hopes that I am not the first one to try and retrofit a bagging system to an older John Deere mower. Has anyone experienced installing a newer bagging system to an older John Deere? I have the resources to fabricate mounting hardware if I have to, but I don't want to invest in the system and learn that my idea is impossible. Any help would be appreciated.