How to Install the Side Discharge on a Lawn Mower

In Brief: How to Install the Side Discharge on a Lawn Mower

If your lawn mower has a mulching flap, install the side discharge by lifting the mulching flap and sliding the discharge’s hooks onto the hinge. It should fit snugly with the mulching flap resting on top of it, holding it securely in place. If there are bolts holding the flap on, undo them all before bolting down the new discharge.

Most lawn mowers allow you to choose where you want the grass clippings to go when you’re mowing. You can use a collection bag, a mulcher that puts the clippings straight down, or a side discharge that shoots them off to the side as you move.

Side discharge is one of the easiest ways to handle clippings. The mower won’t get bogged down with extra grass and you don’t have to empty the bag as you go. Here’s how to install the side discharge on a lawn mower.

2 Ways to Install the Side Discharge on a Lawn Mower

Side discharges are easy to install. Depending on how your mower is designed, you may be able to install it without any tools using the snap on method. Or, you may need to bolt the discharge on. Check your mower and choose the appropriate installation method.

Method 1: Snap On

If your mower has a mulching flap on the side that’s held down with a spring, you can install your side discharge flap with this method.

  1. Step 1: Placing the Discharge

    Disconnect the spark plug before touching the mulching flap, to avoid injury if the mower unexpectedly starts.
    Lift up the mulching flap and hold it open with your hand. Using your other hand, grab the side discharge and slide the connecting hooks into place on the mulching flap hinge. Once the flap is in place, snap the mulching flap down on top of the side discharge.

    The mulching flap should be pushing down tightly against the side discharge.

  2. Step 2: Checking the Installation

    You want to make sure the discharge won’t come loose as you’re mowing, or else it might end up getting damaged by your mower blades. Tug on it in all directions to see if it comes loose. If it’s secured on properly, the mulching flap should hold it firmly in place.

    See this quick installation method:

Method 2: Bolt On

If your mower does not have a spring held mulching flap, it may have a discharge secured with a bolt. Try this method of installation instead.

Step 1: Remove the Old Chute

If your mower has a bolted on chute, there is likely something installed in the position already. Whether it’s a mulching attachment or an old side discharge, you need to remove it before you can put on the new discharge.

Undo the bolts securing the discharge in place. There will be at least two bolts, with some mowers having more. To remove the bolts, use an appropriately sized socket wrench. Place the bolts in a spot to the side where you won’t lose them. Put the old chute away and take out the new one.

Step 2: Install the New Discharge Chute

Place the new side discharge onto the mower. Secure it in place with the same bolts that were attached to the old chute. If the new discharge does not fill properly over the bolt spots on your mower, you may have gotten the wrong size for your mower.

When you finish bolting it down, tug on the discharge to make sure it doesn’t move too much. Tighten the bolts as much as possible to preventing loosening from the vibration of the engine as you mow.


Switch up your mower with a new side discharge to get the grass out of your way and reduce your workload. Snap the new discharge in place or bolt it down any time before you mow.

Do you have any questions about how to install the side discharge on a lawn mower? Leave a comment below.

About Ryan Henderson

Ryan has more than ten years of experience of writing on power tools - use, reviews, and more. During his free time, he loves cooking and spending time with his dog.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.