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hufhouse

Mower Deck Cleanup

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hufhouse
Last night, I scraped all the old grass clippings off my mower deck and partially disassembled it just to clean it up really good for next season. I figure this will give me something to fiddle around with in the basement in the evenings this winter. I thought I would just clean it really good, grease the arbors and sharpen the blades. If I see any really worn parts, I'll replace them. However, I wonder if I'm missing something important: 1. What is the best way to really clean off the hardened grass clippings and rust? I was using a brass brush mounted to my hand drill, and that seemed to work well. Are there other ideas? 2. If everything is working well, what maintenance items do you perform every winter or when you have the deck all torn down? Should I paint the deck? Would you disassemble the arbors and check the bearings or just leave well enough alone (if it ain't broke don't fix it)? 3. If I do paint the deck, what steps should I take to make sure that the paint holds up well? Do I paint the inside of the deck, too? How do I get rid of ALL the old paint, grass clippings and rust? I just wanted to see what you all thought would be best. This is a really pretty tractor, and I want the deck to be pretty, too. It's ok now, but it has a lot of chipped paint and the inside of the deck is pretty rusty.

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acjohn
If you want to do a complete overhaul, remove arbor housings and all hardware, shotblast and paint with an epoxy primer and paint. It is very durable and will last a long time. There are products available to spray on the underside of the deck to prevent clippings from sticking and make clean up easier. A lot of landscapers use it on their ZTR's.

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HubbardRA
I have been using the aluminized roof paint like is used to paint mobile home roofs. This seems to work very well to prevent rust. Clippings seem to come off easily. For the top side, be sure to sand the old paint thoroughly to make paint stick and prevent chipping. Use a good primer on bare metal. For uniform color I usually prime the entire surface to be painted.

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RonT
I agree with John. I would sandblast the deck prime it with a good epoxy primer and use a good gloss paint. Then in the spring right before you put it on give it a good heavy coat of wax. Most of the grass will come right off in the fall with a hose. I use a small pressure washer and there is almost no grass left at all. I have two decks that I did the mentioned paint prodcedure on and they one has been used for three years and is only showing some little chips in the paint underneath. The other has only been used one summer but it has held up well also.

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jackcobb
Agco dealers sell an old Allis-Chalmers product called "Slip Plate". Comes in quarts or an airesol spray can. We used it on plow bottoms, corn head snouts, the hopper bottoms of gravity wagons and our mower decks. I remove the deck and spend a 1/2 or so with a pressure washer. Then I take a drill powered wire brush and really "scrape" or power brush the underside. I then do the epoxy primer thing. Finally I give it a good even coat of slip plate. The clippings just jump out from the bottom next year. I grease it good after the power wash, and add either a new set of blades or sharpen the old. Then I usually put a good coat of wax on the top of the deck. About every 3 years I take off the shields and put on a new arbor drive belt.

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thedaddycat
One place to get the whole deck shell blasted is a local monument(headstone) shop. I had my Sportster frame done for ten bucks about ten years ago. I would guess it wouldn't be more than 20 for a deck today....

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Rapalla7
I sand blast everything, once i get it apart I figure what the heck. I bought a craftsman sand blaster a couple years ago that works well for little projects and it srips paint quick of my tractor. I paid around $60.00 for it and its worth every penney. M. Spetz

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EZDUZIT
I have a friend who has been a craftsman die hard for over 30 years,but ! one of those perfectionest types.When I tell you he has a 1/2 acre of hilly terrain to mow I mean hilly.Will take all the time it needs,and, at a slow place.Super fussy especialy with wife watching him!!Well I was there one week when he was cleaning deck.I laughed whan he was removing deck to clean,does this 4 times a season.What I saw was amazing,he has a high pressure wash nozzle for 5/8th hose ,like for driveways,every blade washed washed off like ,POOF !!! it was gone.What was underneath almost shocked me. It was CHROME PAINT !!! That he applied when deck was new,yes shiny chrome paint.He called me over after wash off had dried and asked me to watch his procedure,wiped underneath with a prepaint prep,let it dry and,applied another coat of chrome plate spray to it,I ws astonished,the deck was 17 years old !! and perfect.He said the secret was that he did this when deck was new,and never failed to wash every mowing,spraying water from hose from underneath,then removing deck after 4 mowings and give it a thourough washing and new prep,and wipe down with preprep,then a new coat of chrome spray. I had my 1970 42" deck blasted and cleaned last summer,and tried it.I did install 3 hose nozzle connectors to deck,as on my bolens 38" deck, it worked perfect !! Took it of after 4th mowing and was very surprised how easy old clippings came off,prepreped it and resprayed it with chrome pait,No I repeat No scrapeing at all. Unbeleiveable. The moral of the story Is I had to see this to try it MAYBE just Maybe, those craftsman diehards have something there.I am still amazed as to how it looks.I can peak under there and almost see myself peeking back. He used cheap chrome paint from Home Depot or True value. I went farther and wired down the blades ,cleaned same way and they are staying like brand new. Clippings do not bunch up and fly out or should I say slide out,and leaves when I did my fall cleanup were sliding out of my TRAC-VAC when I dumped after floor was done.I was gonna not post this as It involved a craftsman But you have to try it,you too will be as amazed as me.Next will be snowblower housind and chute and to perfect Trac Vac the discharge chute to bog and maybe hose from deck to impeller case,and maybe interior impeller case. Laugh if you like but I experienced a great feelig and saved a lot of time driving around,no stopping for clogs,not once ! Have fun guys ! Maybe an answer to thise wasted minutes cleaning thise hoses and decks. Good Luck !

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