Since Hustler no longer sells the grass catcher kit for Zeon, this conversion may be of interest. A Craftsman 3-bin hardsided catcher, a frame built from stock metal, and a couple of Hustler Sport parts. A solution for front weights is also shown.
It is possible that the catcher for a Sport or some other Hustler model could be used as is or close to it. Because of a fluke in the parts software, there is no way to see the support structure in the former Zeon kit. If someone has a parts list for the Zeon catcher and can figure out if it matches other Hustler models, let us know, it could be an easier, if expensive option. In any case, I need larger capacity than the small 2 bag Hustler kit, for leaf collection.
A 3-bin catcher on my deceased Craftsman lawn tractor was my starting point. Since there are a lot of craftsman bagger units out there, new and used, this can be replicated. Mine is a hard bin model 917.249660. New Craftsman 3-bin soft-sided units are $360-$450. You won't use the lower chute that is specific to certain Sears mower decks, so it may not matter much which one you get. Take a look at the parts diagram, and maybe newer units have nifty attachment brackets that would be easier to mount than my older catcher.
My design criteria were that I have no drill press or welder, so I needed to use a hand drill and jigsaw, stock metal material, and simple square bolted connections.
The main issue is mounting the catcher as far foward and as low as possible, while clearing the hitch and rear cover. This was my way of doing it, with the verticals mounted as far aft as practical while being plumb. The bagger needs to bolt to a vertical surface to maintain the slight inward cant of the bin holder that holds the bins in. 2.5" square tube for the horizontal adds the additional depth needed for the bins to clear the hitch. Other methods could be devised.
The Hustler parts needed were available as of September 2014 because they are used for other Hustler 42" mower decks.
- 602577 CHUTE, CATCHER 42in. $86.42
- 112449 CHUTE, CATCHER BRACE 42in. $9.32
- 602688 BLADE, F20.50-H-F-CW $14.94
And 2 each of fasteners:
- 086660 NT .375-16 HXZY NL $1.16
- 767954 FW .406 X .812 X .060 SAE $1.16
- 025395 CB .375-16 X 1.00 STD ZN $1.16
A complete set of photos and explanation is at https://plus.google.com/photos/11601685
Click on the heading Zeon Grass Catcher Conversion
to see the whole series from the beginning. (For some reason the opening page shows a selection in random order . . . )NOTE: see next post for a Word doc that may be easier to access.
Happy to answer questions.