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DoubleT

mower deck protection

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DoubleT
I've heard on several occasions here where people are having problems with their mower decks rusting. I was curious if anyone has tried having it coated with that spray on bedliner stuff, as a prevention of course, not a cure.

I came up with a good idea about 20 years ago....I've been trying to do it again ever since :o)

Bruce H.

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Hi Bruce!
I've got an old AC 314H and the deck is in pretty bad shape but I think I'll be able to get several more years out of it. I just spent a day with a drill & several wire brushes scraping off rust, sanding, degreasing and then painting it top & bottom with undercoating from a local autoparts store. Give me 3 or 4 years and I'll let you know if it worked. :0)
I had know idea what to do and I hope this works. I'm a novis at all this but this site has given me hope that I'll be able to salvage this ole rust bucket. Good luck....Jim

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tej
Bruce, Since no one else seems to have offered an opinion I'll give you credit for a good idea. I think on these old tractors that many of the decks bought used just suffered from years and years of neglect. If you take the deck off every fall and clean it and touch-up or repaint it I don't think rust is a major problem. I like to repair all my attachments in the winter months when all that is in use is the snow blower and tractor.

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tej
Bruce, Jim, If the rusty old deck is still structurely sound then treating the rust with the Rustolem Rust Reformer will stop any further rusting of the deck. Then paint it with Rustolem Rusted metal primer before putting on the color coat. Rustolem Sun Burst yellow works good for the AC B series although not an exact match. Maybe we should try Teflon coating the bottom of the decks so no grass clippings can become stuck to them. Tim

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B-Man
A few years ago when I was working for Hobart Brothers Welding Manufacturing Company, I had access to a machine that used an arc and compressed argon gas to spray molton metal onto just about any type of base metal provided the spray and base were compatible.

One of my coworkers brought me a stripped down 3-blade deck (Green and Yellow brand) that was down to the bare metal. I sprayed the entire underside of the mower deck with a nickel/moly coating. This was almost 5 years ago. Still holding up, but I am not sure just how well that stuff really sticks, and warpage would be a factor due to the heat incurred by the deck during the process. This deck was very heavy guage steel so it did just fine, but you would want to remove any and all bearings from it first.

I realize that not everyone is going to have access to such an expensive piece of machinery, (I don't anymore) but it would be neat to experiment with it.

The 3 blades that went with the deck, were ground back about 1/8" and then welded with Hardalloy 120 (railroad track repair rod) which work hardens itself as you grind on it. They have to be sharpened with a special grinding stone, but boy do they keep an edge. Sticks, pop cans, plastic you name...it won't hurt the edge. Rocks on the other hand will break off the hardened surface if you hit a big enough rock. Then you have a real balancing problem to take care of!!

Sorry this was so long.

Brian R

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Al
We have some customers that use Plow-coat on the bottom of their decks. It is a black thick coating that gets hard, and seems to last. Farmers use it to coat their plows when they finish plowing in the spring. They then remove it next year with solvent and they don't have to "scour" their plow. On a mower you don't remove it. Also some use slip plate, the "stuff" they coat wagon boxes with to make grain slide out when the boxes are hoisted up. Both swear by what they use. These products are available at Farm Supply stores. For whatever its worth. AL

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Kent
The most important maintenance you can do is to remove any wet or damp grass buildup from under the deck as soon as you are done cutting and leave the deck standing up to air dry for a while - nothing rots good metal like damp grass.

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DoubleT
The bed liner stuff was just a thought for those in the rust belt. We get little rust here and the deck I bought is in very good shape other than front brackets were modified.

For stopping rust, all my VW friends down South rave about POR-15, or one of the POR products. And at least one has used the bed liner to protect against it on the pan of their VW. He mentioned it made a big difference in quieting road noise. Perhaps that would be an added benefit to a mower as well?

On an off note, since another Bruce appeared after signing by that name, I went to Bruce H. Now I see another Bruce H. I wonder if I will now find another from Alaska :o)

Bruce in AK

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Al
Right on Jeff. If you take a hose and rinse uunder the deck as soon as you are done mowing the grass will come right off, with little effort and pressure. The deck will dry and the next time you mow will mow and spread so much more effectively. On the left hand deep decks be careful about water getting under the covers and soaking the grass under them, it stays wet and rusts. We have customers that cut these covers back in the center and drill a hole in the end of the cover so they can blow the grass out with air. Since this is a Safety issue think about how much you want to change them. We will not modify these covers or deflector shields in our shop because of liability reasons. My 2 cents worth and its free, and mayybe all its worth, AL

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Fred
I'll just add my 2 cents worth. All of my mower decks are in great shape and I never clean them during the season. Every fall I scrape and clean them up top and bottom before I put them away.
One thing I think is important: always park the tractor on concrete or blacktop. If the tractor is parked and stored on dirt or lawn there is a constant moisture source to keep the grass on the deck wet, at least here in high humidity Wisconsin. I have pulled my deck (to change to the rototiller) and found the grass build up completely dry the day after mowing.
MS

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terry
i'll let you know in 3 weeks.i ordered enough to do three decks,and a wagon/john-deere gator bed.the local dealer gets $250 to coat a 72 inch belly mower.--material cost approx $60 per gallon(probably 1 gal will do it)-you use a pop corn gun you can buy at wall mart.it apparently holds up "very well" i live in florida,where sand blasting is the problem,rust is no problem here,but sand blasting leaves your deck paper thin.a friend used to install this stuff,he coated a friends dump truck.he hauls gravel,ect daily,and for 3 years now it has held up great.--so i'm going for it.

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