Thank you for pointing me to the Service Bulletins, I was unaware of these. PSB #5 answers my long time question of...what deck layout gives the best cut with 3" Kentucky Blue Grass; rear or side discharge?
This is GE's answer..."Some lawn conditions such as long, limp or wet grass and no sweeping are not well suited to the rear discharge kit due to the front baffle pushing over the grass immediately before the blades hit it. The side discharge kit design is best suited to long limp or wet grass and leaving the clippings on the lawn. The large space between the mower front and the blades without baffling, and the rear baffle vacuum action for a second cutting, combined with the broad scattering of the discharge, give the cleanest appearance."
It goes on to say..."An easy test for difference is to operate the tractor- rear discharge mower in reverse and observe the appearance. In this case the rear discharge is acting like the side discharge does in the forward direction and provides a good comparison before making a changeover."