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heron

To paint or not to paint deck...?

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heron
Just got my soon to be father in laws deutz 1918. This thing is beautiful. Like new except some surface rust right by the chute. It's got 418 original hours, still has ripples on the tires. It's kind of a gift to my father in law who cannot really do anything mechanical(great wood worker though). Anyhow, I'm in the process of changing all fluids, greasing, tuning up, deck belt, pto belt..basically all the maintenance so I can deliver it to him next week ready to cut. It's got the Kohler Magnum 18. Would you guys, while I have the deck off and some POR 15 left over from the deck on my sunstar, go ahead and coat the bottom of the deck and the top where the rust is? My father in law currently uses an MTD that he has had for 7 years and probably has never cleaned it out under the deck. I do mine every cutting. I really cannot believe his MTD yardman has lasted so long cutting his 2 acres. Amazes me but he has to go over his grass 3 times to cut all of it..:(( I have a feeling you guys will say yes but is it worth doing if I'm not dismantling the entire deck and re-doing hardware, sandblasting and all? That is what I did with my 97 Sunstar when I got it at 550hours. I only have time to maybe hit the bottom with wire wheel then treat it with the POR15 cleaner, etcher then paint. Or, would you go ahead and run it and simply do it over the next few years?

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MysTiK
While you are at it, remove the top covers on the deck. A lot of grass particles, and moisture, can become trapped under there. That can lead to small (or worse) holes in the upper main body of the deck, around the spindle and pulley areas. Replacing rusty deck cover bolts, with new clean shiny bolts, also adds a bit of "bling" to a new paint job. Also get some grease in the "arbor housings" themselves, assuming there are grease nipples, on the lower housings. The grease is to offset condensation (water due to heating during use, and cooling after use) potentially accumulating in the housings, causing rust from the inside out, which over time will cause the center shaft to lose the support afforded by the effective "load bearing surfaces" - the very top, and the very bottom, of the upper, and the lower housings. The actual bearings, mounted on the shaft, "ride" on those load bearing surfaces. Uppers and lowers are bolted together, like an unusual sandwich, as they mount in the concave "deck wells" of the deck. I hope that makes sense. A quick look at a manual with an exploded view diagram will reveal the support system - it's a patented design btw. (If the housings rust away, there's no support for the shaft, and catastropic failure follows as the spindle shaft breaks loose. That's potentially expensive and can be a difficult repair). The good news is that it's probably not a problem with relatively low hours, like you mentioned - grease them, and they last longer. You can grab the blades and wiggle them to feel for play in the shafts, bearings, housings - all the same really. Little or no play, smooth turning, are good signs - and that's likely what you have. Your "FIL" is going to love this machine. sm03

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heron
Yes, I agree with everything u say Graham. Looks like this machine is a 1989...owner thought it was a 94/95. The apprehension on my part is the deck still has some green paint underneath, the only rust is out by the shute and next to the pulleys. Maybe a couple dime size flakes around the cover holes. Otherwise, stickers and all looks factory.

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MysTiK
I looked at x-reference table, http://www.simpletractors.com/X-reference/s_ac_pg11.htm and found this about 1/3 down the page. 1691380 = SunStar X-reference 1691391 = 1918H //18 HP Tractor Hydro I found no dates. Discovered it must be a Simp Sunstar equivalent, in colour "Spring Green" and probably named Deutz "ULTIMA". (I thought it was a Sovereign). But no dates given. If you have original stickers etc., then you should have the MFR (or MFG) numbers for both tractor and deck. And, as xref indicates, it might be a MFR = 1691391. which still doesn't date it. Sunstars or Ultimas used shaft drive decks - decks are otherwise the same as the Sovereign decks (AFAIK) which are belt driven. I noticed your were going to replace deck belt (singular), and not 2 belts (plural), and you are correct w shaft drive, there's only the 1 belt under the covers. (couple of little mysteries solved).8) Unless someone knows more, the only way I can suggest dating the tractor is perhaps from the engine codes. It's also possible the tractor is an '89 that was sold in '94. Kinda guessing here, there is little info in the thread. I am wondering where these dates are coming from. x-ref page 12 shows 2 more MFR'S both with PS = Power Steering (????) and page 14 has yet another MFR?? etc.?? There are other date indicators - based on standard equipment being present or absent. They were made over several years with few changes. More info required. I tend to think the engine codes are pretty good indicators of date, esp. when you have the MFR. Pix can also help. The 20hp models can also be little mysteries.

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