This is a short review of some electric lawn care products that I have purchased. The main reason I went with electric over gas is because there is less maintenance involved with electric products. I also went with electric so I did not have to deal with transporting and storing gas. Ariens AMP Electric Riding Mower http://www.ampbyariens.com Purchased from HomeDepot.com Price $3,299.00 Coupon -$250 Shipping free Tax $213.43 Total cost $3,262.43 * Voltage - 48v 75Ah * Cutting Path - 34" * Cutting Heights - 1 1/2" - 4 1/2" * Ideal Property Size - up to 1 Acre * Run Time - 75 minutes * Speed - Forward 5mph, Reverse 2.5mph Here is a video overview of the Ariens AMP riding mower. [video]http://stuff.jaygroh.com/videos/ariensampoverview.ogv[/video] Battery SOC, AMP meter Blade Stop/Start, On/Off key The reason I chose the Ariens AMP mower over the other brands is because of cost and brand name. The only other electric riding mowers I found were the Recharge Mower by a company I never heard of and the Hustler Zeon zero turn mower. The Recharge Mower was cheaper at $2395 but only has a 27 inch cut. The Hustler has a 42 inch cut but they want over $7000 for it. If I had the money I would go with the Hustler but the Ariens Amp won the deal for a good price and a wide cut. Plus I plan on getting a lawnbott robot mower next year to cut 70% of my lawn for me. So the Hustler would be overkill for the use I would get out of it next year and the Recharge Mower would be too small to use this year. I also think the Recharge Mower looks like they took a mobility scooter and slapped a push mower deck on it. After receiving the mower I looked everything over and it seems to be built very well just like a well built gas mower. The mower came fully charged and I only had to top it off with about 200Wh. The mower is easy to operate. Just turn the key, release the parking brake and the electric motor will start turning. This to me is the one let down of this mower. The mower uses a hydrostatic transmission. This means that like a gas mower the motor is always on even if your not moving. Unless you set the parking brake then the motor will turn off. This means that it wastes energy just like a gas mower if you just sitting there with the parking brake off only not nearly as much. I really would have liked to see the electric motor control the wheels directly or have an electric motor for each rear wheel. This really is not a big deal because if your not moving why do you need it on anyway? You can ask the same question with a gas mower. My point is don't idle your electric mower. Let me tell you this thing has some serious torque. I have not timed it but it feels like you can go from 0-5mph in about a second or less. It will push you back in the seat if you floor it. It also stops on a dime and quickly too. Once you release the pedal from 5mph you better hold on. Reverse is slow at 2.5mph and can get to that speed and stop almost instantly. I would say that you can go from 0-5-0 mph in less than 30 feet. How do I know? Because I tried it in my garage with my Prius inside. My garage is 24x36 and only has my Prius and some junk inside next to the walls. I think I scared the Prius a few times with my "testing". Mowing the grass should be pretty fun with this mower because its almost like driving a good electric go-kart. I think I would have more fun tearing up the grass than mowing it. I just need to figure out if I can disable the 5mph speed limit on this thing because it feels like it could go much faster. This thing is quiet. How quiet? Well according to my cheap dB meter with the mower on and moving it registered in at about 72dB. With the blades engaged it registered at about 92dB. These readings were recorded inside a steel garage with the doors shut. So this thing is about as loud as a vacuum cleaner or a little louder. You can easily talk to someone with the mower on and moving. You might have to yell a little with the blades on. I know with a gas mower you have to shut them off before you can even hear someone scream from 3 feet away. So that should give you an idea on how loud or quiet this mower is. I think I could get away with cutting my lawn at 3AM with this thing. But I'm not going to. One thing I don't like is if your mowing and have to back up the blades stop. The only way to enable them is to push the button in to turn off the blades and pull it back out again then the blades start up. I'm hoping I can disable that "feature" in the near future as I can see that getting on my nerves very quickly. [fIMG=right]http://www.cleanmpg.com/photos/data/647/batteries.jpg[/fIMG]Yet another thing I don't like is the way you have to get to the charging port. You have to lift the seat then lift the rear hood to gain access to the charging port. I think I will add an external port to it so it makes it easier to charge. I think a port like I have on my Plug-In Prius would work just fine. I just need to find one that's not a 110v port so I don't accidentally fry the batteries. The charger is nice and small but it does not have the nice handle you see in picture provided. Instead it has one of those flat collapsible handles. Not really a big deal. The charger is a 5A 48v charger that continuously monitors the battery while its plugged in. It will fully charge the batteries in about 12-16 hours. You can buy a quick charger for about $420 that will charge it in about 4-5 hours but it will decrease the life of the batteries. InterActer makes the battery chargers for this mower. The model number for the quick charger is ICS 4820. I found one for $344.50 online but you would have to add your own Anderson connector to it which would be about $12. The charger will go into hibernation mode after a full charge and check the batteries once a month to top them off if your storing it for winter. One thing I did not see mentioned in the manual is if the charger also desulfates the batteries. From what I understand its best to desulfate lead batteries to make sure they have a longer life. It looks like the charger that comes with the mower does not desulfate or its not mentioned. The standard charger is a special charger made for Ariens and is based off of the consumer grade InterActer charger which desulfation is not mentioned. The quick charger is from InterActer's Industrial Commercial series which desulfation is listed. When charging be sure you have it in a well ventilated area. The out side of the charger can reach about 110F and the inside can reach over 150F. So try to keep it in a cool place. The batteries have a 1 year warranty and the second year is prorated. From my experience with SLA batteries with no desulfation I'm expecting them to last about 4-5 years max. After they die or can no longer hold enough charge for my needs I want to replace them with LiFePO4 batteries. With LiFePO4 I will get longer run time, lighter weight, and longer service life. Good SLA batteries should give you about 500 charge discharge cycles before they die. LiFePO4 are rated at 2000+ charge discharge cycles. Since LiFePO4 have not been around long enough to see if that claim holds true I'm hoping that by the time I need new batteries that data will be available. I'm currently replacing SLA that are in my UPS's with LiFePO4 so that should give me first hand experience on how well the LiFePO4 will perform over time. In order to get the best run time the manual says to keep the amp gauge in the green. Which according to the amp gauge is between 0 and 40 amps. The gauge reads all the way up to 80 amps but you don't want to be pulling that many amps for very long. The less amps you pull the longer the batteries will last during a mowing session and the less amps you draw you will get longer service life from the batteries. Since the gauge is to the right and down this might make it hard to monitor the amp reading during mowing. I may later on try to find a way to either bring the gauge up around the steering wheel or buy a digital gauge to put on the steering wheel. First test drive... I took the mower around my yard for the first time just to see how well it will tackle the small incline my yard has and also try out the two steep sides of my house. The mower does just fine for 98% of my yard but struggles on the steep sides next to my house. As you can see in this picture the incline is pretty steep and the mower has a hard time climbing it. Its about a 20 degree incline but I don't have to mow it up hill. In fact I should not mow it up hill since the side discharge for the grass clippings is on the right side of the mower and that would cause grass build up next to the house. In this picture you can see the the other side of my house. This incline is about 25-30 degrees and the mower just does not have the power to go up it even with the blades turned off. I circled the steep part and I can mow just fine around it. I could mow down hill and get the rest with the push mower. Since I have disabled the reverse blade cut off I could also just mow it backwards down hill. A little unsafe but it would get the job done. This area would be good to plant some shrubs in that way I would not have to worry about mowing it. The rest of my yard is only a slight grade downhill and I wont have any problems mowing it. First mow. On my first mow I was only able to cut about .4 acre of my .9 acre lot. Kind of disappointing but I still need to figure out the best way to get the job done using as little energy as possible. Since this mower is not a zero turn it kind of makes it hard to start at the top and work my way down hill. The mower will not leave you stranded when you run out of power. What it does is disables the blades at around 47v or 11.75v per battery which is about the right voltage you want to stop at. When the blades stop you should have plenty of energy left to make it back to charge the mower. First mow stats. Distance Traveled: 1.21 miles Time: 34 Minutes Average speed: 2.1 MPH kWh used: 1.88 Area covered: ~.4 acre According to my first charge I only used 1.88kWh of electricity. If you do the math four 12v 15Ah batteries in series and five of those packs in parallel there should be about 3.6kWh worth of energy in them. Half of that is 1.8kWh. To get the longest life from lead acid batteries you should only use no more than 50% of the energy that the battery can hold. So it looks like Ariens is limiting the SOC to about 50% but doing so cuts the rated 75 minutes of cutting in half. I know new batteries have a small break in period but if Ariens says you can get up to 75 minutes of cutting time they cant be limiting the SOC to 50% unless they add more batteries. Second mow. Distance Traveled: 1.35 miles Time: 25 Minutes Average speed: 3.2 MPH kWh used: 1.64 Area covered: ~.4 acre I was able to finish my second mow without the blades shutting off but the battery was still drained. Third mow. Distance traveled: 1.6 miles Time: 35 Minutes Average speed: 2.7 MPH kWh used: 2.29 Area covered: ~.5 acre I think I actually traveled faster on this mow than my GPS calculated and I got a little more cut. I'm guessing I got almost half my yard cut. It was definitely a little more than when I cut the first time. I was taking more of an approach to cut down hill most of the time by starting at the top and working my way down. I was trying to cut faster even with the amp draw in the 50's. I think if you can cut on flat ground as long as you don't floor it but keep cutting as fast as you can without bogging down the blades is your best bet to cut as much as you can in one charge. My kill-a-watt meter said I used 2.29kWh to charge this time. Maybe the batteries need a few more charge cycles to get longer run times. Fourth mow. Distance traveled: 1.23 miles Time: 23 Minutes Average speed: 3.2 MPH kWh used: 1.75 Area covered: ~.4 acre This was a quick cut. I'm seeing more energy being put back into the batteries now. Fifth mow. Distance traveled: 1.5 miles Time: 36 Minutes Average speed: 2.5 MPH kWh used: 2.04 Area covered: ~.5 acre Still only getting about 35 minutes on a full charge. Trying to cut from top to bottom seems to help cut a little more but not by much. Sixth mow. Distance traveled: 1.6 miles Time: 20 Minutes Average speed: 3.3 MPH kWh used: 1.55 Area covered: ~.5 acre Overall I'm impressed with the cutting performance but disappointed with the run time. I was expecting to cut at least .75 acre of my .9 acre lawn but I'm only getting about 1/2 of it cut per full battery charge. Ariens claims up to 75 minutes and able to cut up to 1 acre but I don't see how that is even possible even in the best conditions and cutting down hill. I would only suggest buying this if your lawn is a half acre or less or an acre or less if you don't mind cutting part of your lawn one day and finishing it the next. I would also only suggest this mower only if you have a slight down hill grade or completely flat land. This mower would also be good for anyone that is not able to push mow a small lawn. If you have a small lawn the Recharge Mower might be you better option if you don't want to spend too much money and don't want to push mow. Since I plan on buying a robot mower to cut about 70% of my lawn next year I can deal with cutting part of my lawn one day and part the next for now. If I was not planning on getting the robot mower I would be looking into getting higher capacity LiFePO4 batteries. I would guess I would need about 4-5kWh worth of batteries and that would put another $2000-$3000 on the price of the mower just to cut about 1 acre. So how quiet is this mower? Just watch this video and find out. [video]http://stuff.jaygroh.com/videos/ampquiet.ogv[/video] Update 2010/05/06 The grass is getting getting thicker and the mower is starting to struggle a little and this is even with cutting once a week. I'm still getting about .3 to .4 acres cut per charge. Speaking of charging I made a graph of the charging process. This graph is 16.25 hours of charging. I started with the SOC meter flashing empty. So this should represent a full charge. By the looks of it most of the charge is finished in about 4-5 hours and then the rest of the charge is done in about 7 hours. I'm guessing that the 16 hour charge time is either to top off the batteries or from a more drained state. Which from what I've seen I think maybe only about half of the battery capacity is available for use. So I could actually get about 75% of my yard cut in one day if I wanted to and I could possible get it all cut in one day if I start early enough. I might have to experiment with this a little to see how well that would work out. It seems that no matter how long its plugged in it uses about 35 watts after charging. That means it uses 840Wh per day just to be plugged in. Update 2010/05/26 I was able to get my whole yard cut in one day. I did not start as early as I wanted to but I was able to get it all cut before the sun went down. I started at about 11:00am. I cut for about 30 minutes then charged it. I let it charge for about 4 hours at which point the SOC resets to full. At about 3:30pm I cut again for 30 minutes then recharged for 4 hours. At 8:00pm I took the mower out and finished the job. So if you have about an acre to cut you can get it all done in one day with the standard charger if you start cutting early enough. Update 2010/06/15 I can no longer recommend the Ariens AMP electric riding mower. The more I use it the more I can see that this thing just is not built right. You would figure that a company like Ariens thats been building mowers for quite a while would know how to build one. I'm not talking about the electric part of the mower but the mower as a mower. As an electric mower is OK for their first attempt but as just a mower its just poorly designed for general maintenance. Problem 1. To sharpen the blades you must remove the deck. In order to do that you have to remove 6 pins. Thats not hard at all. Since this is an electric mower you must disconnect the wires from the blade motors. This is where poor design comes in. The wire connectors are located in a very hard to reach area in the back/bottom of the mower. These connectors are zip tied in a way that you must clip the zip ties. Since there is no slack you must have long arms and small hands to do the unclipping and pulling. This makes the job of sharpening the blades very difficult because you have to disconnect them then reconnect and use new zip ties to secure the cables. I had to remove the deck because I bought the mulching kit and needed to install it. The next problem I ran into was that the steel plates that fit in the mower to keep the grass inside did not fit all the way. I had to bend them a little to line up the holes to screw in the bolts. The next problem I had was that the instructions said the bolts that bolt onto a triangle shape in the center of the deck had to be placed with the nut inside the triangle. This wont work at least with my tools. Since the bolt was a rounded head the only way to tighten its was with the nut. So I had to put the nut on the outside instead of the inside. I don't see this being an issue since it does not look like it will interfere with anything since its outside the cutting chamber. The next problem I had after installing the mulching kit was that one of the blades was hitting the side of a triangle shape thing in the center of the deck. To fix this I reseated the blade and just for good measures I took a hammer to the triangle thing to try to dent it inward to make more clearance. In the end I got the mulching kit installed and working. Problem 2. One of my battery sub packs outgassed and bloated. I'm currently in the process of getting this replaced under warranty. Now your supposed to be able to replace the batteries as need and it should be very easy to do so. Well apparently they made it so you cant replace the batteries. I'll explain. There is a bracket that secures the batteries in place. This bracket is secured by a rounded head bolt and nut. The rounded side of the bolt is under a plate. Since you cant use a wrench on that side anyway there is no use of making it have a hex head. This is one of those bolts that have a square fitting under the head to fit in a square hole. This makes it so you can tighten the nut with only one wrench. Well some jack hole decided it would be a good idea to press the top of the nut and the top thread of the bolt. Normally you do this on things you want to permanently secured and never removed. Well thats all good if these are some miracle batteries that last forever. Well I need to remove one. I eventually backed the nut off the bolt while having to keep the bolt pushed up on to the square hole in order to keep the bolt from turning. In the end the nut is now rounded and I still cant use the bolt since the top threads are damaged. I'm going to have to go to Lowes to get a replacement. Or better yet I should make Aires replace it. Only get this mower if you want an electric and don't mind spending some money on making it better. Like LiFePO4 batteries and nuts and bolts that acutally work. I don't know what to do about the cables yet. Update 2010/07/06 I finally received my replacement batteries. They decided to replace all 5 sub packs just to be sure the other 4 were not damaged. So now I have a brand new battery pack. Lets see if this pack will last the rest of the year. After receiving the batteries I topped them off which only took about 30 minutes with the quick charger. After they were topped off I decided to cut some grass. Based on the first cut times I got how much do you think I was able to cut this time? I'll give you a few seconds to look over my cut times above...........DONT LOOK AT THE ANSWER YET............. Would you believe I was able to cut my whole .9 acre lot? YES A WHOLE .9 ACRES!!! I just barely cut it all before the blades stopped. Now I don't know if its the new batteries but when I first got the mower I never came close to getting even 75% of my yard cut on one charge and that was brand new! So now I'm thinking I just had a bad set of batteries to begin with. I'll have to cut for another month or two just to be sure. If I'm still able to cut even 90% of my lawn by the end of the cutting season I may just have to reverse my decision to not recommend this mower. The mulching kit is working just fine but since the grass is now trapped you have to take the mower just a little slower so it does not bog down. Since my new set of batteries is lasting twice the amount of time I thought they would I wont have any idea if the mulching kit affects cutting time. My guess is that they will reduce it by a little since I do see more of a current draw on the amp gauge. I installed a volt meter on my mower so I know what voltage is while mowing. This is more helpful than the SOC gauge. More on that below. All I did was tap into one of the sub packs positive and negative lines and hooked them to an old cheap multimeter I was not using. I velcroed the meter to plate where your feet would be. Its placed next to the battery box between the legs. Since the LCD is big and readable in the daylight all I have to do is take a quick look down and see what my voltage is. Since lead batteries have an almost linear voltage for SOC this makes for a really good SOC meter. Under load 50v starting out at full charge and 40v is when the blades stop. Here is where I put the volt meter. I also bought the quick charger a few weeks ago. I originally ordered from Home Depot for $419 plus tax. Well after a week of waiting I finally got an email saying it was back ordered. I decided to cancel the order and get it cheaper from another site. The quick charger has an amp LED gauge with 80% full mark and ready light. I found the Interacter ICS 48v 20A charger here for $344.50 http://www.batteryweb.com/interacter-detail.cfm?model=IC 48/20 After shipping the total was $373.51. Since this was not coming from Ariens this charger will not have the blue 48v Anderson connector needed to connect the charger to the mower. I found a place that sells them cheap. http://www.scrubbercity.com/servlet/the-960/Anderson-Power-Product-connector,/Detail It was $2.96 with 8AWG contacts which is the size you need. After shipping it was $6.86. Total for the charger $380.37. Thats a total savings of about $68 after you include taxes from Home Depot. If you don't mind crimping the connectors yourself you can save a lot of money by not buying from the Home Depot or Airens. If you do by this charger from someone other than Ariens then make sure the DIP switch in the charger is set to normal. Normal is default and normally shipped this way unless specified. The DIP switch has two switches. One marked N and the other G. Normal mode is set with the N in the ON position and G in the OFF position. If you need to adjust this a nice thick paper clip can do the switching or some other small object. Just make sure the charger is unplugged before you make any changes. Since my new batteries have a longer runtime than the original set I'm thinking I may have wasted my money on this quick charger. Only time will tell. It does have the benefit of desulfation which can help make the batteries last longer. As far as I know the standard charger does not offer this feature. The only issue I found with the quick charger is that it may not reset the SOC gauge. Which brings up another issue. Since mowing with only 4 of the sub packs and charging with the quick charger I found out the SOC gauge is not accurate at all. If any of you know how the Prius SOC gauge works and the gas gauge works well the Ariens AMP SOC gauge works kind of like them. I think its partially based on voltage and time. What happened when I was running on 4 sub packs is that the cut time was reduced. When you reach 40v the blades will stop. Well since I had reduced cut time I reached 40v sooner than I would have otherwise. When I reached 40v the SOC was only showing half of the energy used. With my new battery pack I was able to cut for about an hour and was able to cut my whole yard on one charge. When I was half way done cutting the SOC was reading empty. So the SOC is based on time. Which means its totally useless. Now the second issue with the SOC gauge is that in order to reset it the voltage must be above something like 57.5v for a length of time. The standard charger will reset the SOC every time but the quick charger will not. The quick charger will not reset the SOC gauge because it has a temperature adjusted charge voltage. During hot days the end of charge voltage is about 55.5v and will not reset the SOC. Interacter or Ariens may modify this slightly to reset the SOC but the only way to find out is to order a quick charger from Ariens. But since the SOC is time based its useless anyway. Plus its impossible to read when the sun is shining on it. Charge time with the charger is pretty quick. As you can see in this charge graph you can get about an 80% charge in about 90 minutes and a full charge in about 165 minutes. If you was needing to cut as much grass as possible in the shortest amount of time just charge it to 80%. I'm sure you can get some trimming done while you wait 90 minutes. As you can see I was able to put in about a full 3kWh into the batteries. This is a good sign that I may be able to actually cut my .9 acre with just one charge. The most I was getting with the old pack was around 2kWh. The batteries are rated at around 3.6kWh. So this looks like its much closer to spec than the old batteries. On a side note when I had all the batteries removed I took some measurements of the battery compartment and I found that I could fit 16 Thundersky LiFePO4 110Ah cells in there. So when it comes time to replace the lead I should not have any issues dropping in 16 LiFePO4 cells. And the best thing is that I can use the chargers that I all ready have with the LiFePO4 battery since it will not over charge them. Also the 40v blade cut off is perfect for LiFePO4 battery. 40V takes them down to 2.5v per cell which it just at the empty state of the cells. I all most cant wait to replace them. Update 2010/07/11 I finished my second cut with the new batteries and things are looking good. Second cut with new batteries Distance traveled: 2.88 miles Time: 52 Minutes Average speed: 3.3 MPH kWh used: ~2.8kWh Area covered: .989 acre And I still had about 43v under load at the end of the cut. Which should be good for another 5-10 minutes of cutting. So it looks like my old batteries were bad all along. The AMP can cut up to an acre and since you can now purchase an AMP for about $2k I would now recommend it again. I still hate that it has some of the other issues I mentioned above but since a good battery pack can cut up to an acre I think that and the new price out weighs the other small issues. I'm back to recommending it. At least for now. As long as nothing else comes up I will give an end of year review. Update 2010/07/20 After getting home from Green Drive Expo I had to cut the grass before it started raining and the grass was not cut for a week so its a little thick. I found that using the the mulching kit with thick grass results in clogged blade and or motor over heating. The simple fix is to cut the grass every 5-6 days when the grass is dry and short. When I was cutting grass I could hear the blades slow down and one even stopped. A few seconds later the other blade stopped. What happened was that some grass got balled up and stopped one of the blades. The only way to clear it was to reach under the deck and move the blade until the clog was cleared. I think the motor is overheating because when the blades stopped and I checked to see if they were clogged I could not find anything. I let the mower set for about 10-15 minutes and the blades started back up. Since using the mulching kit it does use more amps and while mowing I even seen the needle get into the red zone. This is the reason why I think they overheated. Nothing else new to report. Update 2010/08/27 Just a quick update. The new batteries are still letting me cut my whole yard on one charge. I do have to cut about every 5-6 days in order to keep the blades from bogging down from the thick grass. I'm guessing part of the problem is the mulching kit. Since the grass is trapped under the deck the blades will get bogged down pretty quick if the grass is thick. If I was still running without the mulching kit I may be able to cut every 7-8 days but I think the mulching kit is worth it. If you are cutting grass that is bogging down the blades you have to make sure you dont bog them down for very long because the motors will overheat and shut down. If they shut down you have to turn off the mower and let it sit for a while until the motors cool off. Other than that and the occasional clog the mower is doing fine. Update 2010/10/20 Here is a quick year end review. Overall the Ariens AMP mower has performed well but as I mentioned there are many thing that can be improved. As long as you don't cut long grass, wet grass, or cut too low the mower works great. The last time I cut grass was last week and the batteries only let me cut about 90% of my yard. Still not bad since a quick 15-30 minute charge is enough to finish the job. I'll report back next year on how well the batteries held up over winter storage. I do have a major problem with the mower deck. While cutting the grass some how the front edge of the deck caught a root of a dead tree which is no longer in the yard. I was cutting up hill when this happened. Anyway when the deck got caught it bent in a little and caught the blade. This caused a big gash in the mulching kit part of the steel. I'll be taking the deck off and I will try to fix this issue either over the winter or before mowing season starts next year. Lucky for me this happened on the 2nd to last cut of the season. I was able to get things shifted back to a point where I could cut one more time. I think that if you can still pick up this mower for $2000 then it would be a pretty good deal even if you have to make a few changes. Disabling the reverse blade cut off. This little safety feature might be annoying for you if you do a lot of reversing in your yard. What happens is if you go into reverse the blades stop and wont start again until you press down and pull up on the blade stop/start button. I think this will be very annoying so I have disabled this "feature" on my mower. Disabling this "feature" is very simple. The switch is normally open and closes when you go into reverse activating the "feature". So all you have to do is disconnect the switch and the blades will stay on while in reverse. First you need to remove the black cover in the rear of the mower. Just remove the two bolts with a .5 inch ratchet. This will allow to you reach the connector. If you have big hands you may need to get someone with smaller hands or you will have to take a few more things apart. Now on the right side of the mower between the batteries and the motor controllers ( where the black cover you just removed was ) and below everything you should be able to see the switch. All you have to do is pull it out. You will then see the two pins sticking out. You will want to put some electrical tape around these pins to keep them from getting dirty. Its a little hard to do but can be done. If you cant wrap up the pins don't worry too much about it. They should be OK if left bare. You will also want to wrap the plug up that you removed with some tape to keep out the dirt. You may also want to secure it to some other wire so you can easily access it and so it does not rattle around. All you have to do now is put the cover back on. Thats it! You can now mow in reverse. After mowing for the first time I can tell you that if I had the reverse blade cut off enabled I would be pulling out my hair. Getting this safety "feature" disabled is a time saver.