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Mower deck covers

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I have been running my mower without the deck covers because it is so much easier to keep the mower clean. I really don't like operating the mower with no shields whatsoever but don't see the need for the entire deck to be buttoned up like a Carolina Schoolmarm. I decided to try to get the best of both worlds by cutting away the inboard portion of the shields. The outboard section is just large enough to cover the outboard sheaves and belt to the running board mid-line. You would have to put your hand pretty far under the tractor to make contact with any belt or pulley. I think it would be easier to stick your hand in the main clutch belt than in the mower deck drive assembly. I cut the shield/cover about 1/2" inside the 2nd front deck screw on a line perpendicular to the back edge of the shield/cover.

The modified covers give the deck a finished appearance and degree of safety while allowing easy cleaning of the underlying deck. BTW, I think the manual calls for 1/4"-20 x3/8 cap screws to fasten the covers. I find that the holes in my deck are too big to hold the 1/4"-20 screws securely. Should I just put a self-locking nut on the bottom or go to a coarse thread 1/4" sheet metal screw?

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I had the same issue with the deck cover holes; switched to 7mm bolts (0.276" dia). Did tap the deck for the new thread size. PS - Like your idea for deck covers - may have to do that myself. My Homelite T-12 mower deck only has covers over the outboard arbors and I haven't had any safety issues. It sure is easier to keep the Homelite deck free of grass build up.

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