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skunkhome

perforated mower deck.

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skunkhome
Mower looked pretty good until I removed from tractor and removed those belt shields. There is some pretty significant pitting and about a dozen perforations in the deck under the shields.


I have left the shielding off so that I can clean after mowing. I wire brushed the area and sprayed with rust converter to stop the rusting. What should I do to repair? Should I Bondo the holes or have some plates welded in to strengthen these areas? I wish there were a way to keep the shielding on and effectively clean the top of the deck as well. I liked the old mower on the B-1 as you could run a stream of water in the ends of the shields and wash all the ole grass clippings out the other side of the mower. I was thinking of making some shields that would cover the outboard spindles only and allow debris to be washed out the ends. What is your take on such modifications and methods to preserve the mower from destruction from rust.

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BigSix
Good work with the rust converter. What brand is it? I use Extend, but I can't find it in liquid form anymore--just aerosol. I would weld the holes up, ideally. As a second choice, you could "bondo" them, but I would use a high-strength, good quality fiberglas, WITH REINFORCING FIBERS. One I've used is Eagle brand's "Claw Glas" but be careful re: the length of the fibers. You do not want "extra long," which are inches long--this makes it VERY hard to spread, precludes neat results and results in more rasping/sanding. I can't remember exactly, but I think the shorter version has fibers that are 1/4" in length. The fibers make the filler much stronger than typical "bondo", whatever the actual brand may be. No offense, but do people actually wash the decks' belt drive areas with a hose? Isn't the presence of water in the arbor bearings going to dramatically shorten their lifespan, due to corrosion? If not, I would still opt for compressed air before I reached for a garden hose. Just my .02

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RedbarnRick
I always use air to blow off the deck after mowing, water and wet grass mold and stays damp it will eat thru paint and metal quickly, use Pam in the blade housing to help keep grass from sticking there. it really works well

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skunkhome
quote:
Originally posted by BigSix
No offense, but do people actually wash the decks' belt drive areas with a hose? Isn't the presence of water in the arbor bearings going to dramatically shorten their lifespan, due to corrosion? If not, I would still opt for compressed air before I reached for a garden hose. Just my .02
I do... are you telling me that your arbors never get wet? Aren't the bearings sealed? I am sure the corrosion on my mower is not from someone putting a water hose on the mower... quite the contrary I am sure it is from someone never bothering to clean under the shields. When I removed the shields I found a new belt had been installed but the installer had not bothered to scrape the caked up grass out of the area where the mower has the perforations. Grass left under the shields is going to get wet and mold whether you spray water on it or not, at least in sunny, humid Louisiana. I would prefer to get all the grass off and with the shields in place that is not going to happen regardless of your method of cleaning. BTW, no offense taken.

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builder386
the fiberglass reinforced bondo that i have used is called tiger hair and kitty hair. tiger hair having the longer fibers and kitty hair having the finer shorter fibers. I would think that welding the holes would be a much better choice of repair tho.

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skunkhome
quote:
Originally posted by builder386
the fiberglass reinforced bondo that i have used is called tiger hair and kitty hair. tiger hair having the longer fibers and kitty hair having the finer shorter fibers. I would think that welding the holes would be a much better choice of repair tho.
Thanks, I will probably have it welded up this winter (all three days of it) when I don't have to mow grass.

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DMedal
quote:
Originally posted by skunkhome I will probably have it welded up this winter (all three days of it) when I don't have to mow grass.
Don't rub it in. MPH and I have all of a month when we need to mow.

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DMedal
quote:
Originally posted by skunkhome I will probably have it welded up this winter (all three days of it) when I don't have to mow grass.
Don't rub it in. MPH and I have all of a month when we need to mow.

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toomanytractors
Hi Phil: If a deck is good and solid there are two methods I've used in the past. First clean it to bare metal and spot in the holes with a mig welder. The second is to clean to bare metal and put a thin coat of JB Weld over the perforated/pitted area and then prime and paint. I put two or three coats of primer and two or three coats of color on. I,ve used JB on many mower decks and on the bottom of the old style steel gas tanks and it works great. If you finish the JB as well as you can while spreading it it saves a lot of work trying to make it look nice....This stuff gets very hard overnight. Hope this helps.

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skunkhome
quote:
Originally posted by duckman
quote:
Originally posted by skunkhome I will probably have it welded up this winter (all three days of it) when I don't have to mow grass.
Don't rub it in. MPH and I have all of a month when we need to mow.
I always say we have two seasons in Baton Rouge...Summer and Mardi Gras.

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BigSix
skunkhome: Re: this:
quote:
I do... are you telling me that your arbors never get wet?
No, I'm not telling you that. I'm also not suggesting hosewater caused your deck rust. I agree that the deck perforations resulted from caked on, wet grass--but (in the absence of seeing a picture of the topside of the deck, under the belt covers) I would suspect that the rust came from the underside of the deck, and went up. If you have corrosion under your drive belt shields, then perhaps it did come from the top down. However, in the one pic you posted, the pitting appears to be starting from the bottom surface of the deck, IMO. On my decks, the area under the belt drive covers is about the only spot that didn't have corrosion, because it stayed relatively protected, under the belt shields. Your mileage may vary. However, there's a big difference in how "wet" the arbors get from the minimal fluid contained in fresh cut grass, and from running water. In other words, you can't wring running water out of a clump of grass. I point this out to suggest that the arbors weren't designed to face running water. Further, if you're hosing out the belt drives, that is an area that is not even exposed to the damp, fresh-cut grass. Any grass that flys up in there has to be light enough (i.e., largely "dry") to literally "fly" up in there. The heavy, "wetter" grass under the deck clumps up and, as you know, can corrode a good deck, from underneath. But it doesn't get slammed up into the belt drives, as it does up under the deck. (At least not on my Simp. decks, and I've removed the belt drive covers, at times.) When you ask me this:
quote:
Aren't the bearings sealed?
I have several answers: a) I don't know, but one would hope so. b) Any seal in the 40 year old deck (mine) is likely to be forty years old, too. c) The bearings may be "sealed" against dust and humidity/moisture from grass, designed to be encountered from underneath, but think about this: Were they designed to have pressurized, running water sprayed down from their upper sides? Are the "seals" actually water-tight? Were they ever? I've not yet dissassembled a Simplicity arbor, but tell me, if you do get water inside the arbor area, around the shaft/bearing assy., where is it supposed to go? The belt drive is at least somewhat exposed to air, but if you get water inside the arbor housing, from the top down, how is it supposed to evaporate? Slowly, if at all, through whatever crack it seeped into, I'd say.... I expect the seal on my Mercruiser's lower unit to be waterproof to a depth of 24-36", but I don't expect the seals on the top side of a mower deck to be waterproof, at all. Does that make me a pessimist? :o) Also, I find that I can blow out as much or more debris with 125 psi of compressed air, as I can with a few lbs. of municipal waterpressure. Lastly, if the water creates rust on the faces of the pulleys, and the tractor sits awhile, that rust can only shorten the belt life, in my opinion. Hey, it doesn't matter to me how you clean your deck. But I think I'll stick with the compressed air. However, I'm not even sure the grass that finds it's way into the belt drive area is even worth worrying about, though (no offense). The decks I have have been rusted underneath, like yours, but have had good paint in the belt drive areas. Given the general neglect, I believe any grass in there was ignored by previous owners, to no ill effect. Other than (possibly) gumming up any grease-covered belt-tensioning cams/devices, what harm can the grass do? And is water pressure actually going to blow it out of any grease it's stuck into? You may just have a solution in search of a problem...I think the water-on-the-deck treatment could create more problems than it solves.... Of course, if my decks rot out from the top down, due to neglected grass left by using only compressed air, you can say "I told you so." :D All the best, Peter

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slb04786
quote:
Thanks, I will probably have it welded up this winter (all three days of it) when I don't have to mow grass.
I envy you. That's our summer here in Northern Maine, 3 days. If you are sick and miss it, oh well. There's always next year:D:D 3 days is how long we have to get the snow blower or snow plow ready for next winter.

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