Mowing Deck repair and maintenance
Corrosion and rusting of mowing decks are common. Even if all of the inner parts of your lawnmower are in perfect condition, a corroded and worn-out mowing deck will make your machine less useful and even will make it breakdown over time. Eventually, you may even have to throw away your trusty mower. But getting rid of the whole machine is not the solution to this problem. There are several fixes that you can try to repair and maintain your mower deck.
How to Repair, Rehab, and Renew your Mower Deck. John Deere L, LA, D, E Series & more
Mowing Deck repair and maintenance:
- Step 1: Remove the rust from your mowing deck
- Step 2: Use Hammerite Kurust
- Step 3: Glass fiber kit
- Step 4: Clean and protect the underside with a silicone spray
This blog contains a step by step guide on how to repair your rusty mowing deck.
How to repair a rusty mowing deck?
A rusty mowing deck will affect the performance of your machine. When the grass is somewhat damp or wet, it will stick to the mowing deck’s underside. It will clog and means you have to stop and clean it all the time. When the damage is worse, the grass will not be sucked into the mowers bag. It will follow the path of least resistance and spew out of any hole created by rust and corrosion. If you recognize these issues, we can help you fix them with the step-by-step guide on how to repair a rusty mowing deck.
Step 1: Remove the rust from your mowing deck.
Clean the area of your mowing deck covered in rust carefully. You must make sure that there are no freshly cut grass clippings, dry leaves, bird droppings, grease, mud, dirt, debris, or stains on your mowing deck. Get a wire brush, it will help you remove the loose parts of paint and flakes of rust. It will give you an excellent surface to work on.
If the mower deck is still in good shape and does not have any holes or very thin parts, it is a good idea to spray the underside of the deck with a high-quality Silicone lubricant. This will protect it and make it smooth so the grass will not stick as quickly.
Step 2: Use Hammerite Kurust:
Use an old brush to apply Hammerite Kurust on the holes created by the rust in your mowing deck. This is a magical substance that will convert the rusty spots in your mowing deck into an inert, stable surface. This substance also has the power to transform iron oxides into durable iron surfaces. You can also use one of the other brands with similar properties. Check the manual on how to apply it correctly.
Be careful not to put the same brush that you use to apply it into the main Hammerite Kurust container. The original composition will get bad if it is contaminated. It is better to transfer a small amount of the substance into a different container, just as much as you need. After finishing, allow it to dry for at least 15 minutes.
Step 3: Glass fiber kit:
This product is easy to use because it comes with simple instructions. Make sure you clean the parts that will be covered with the fiberglass as well as you can. This will ensure that it will stick and keeps sticking to the mower deck.
– Things that you will need:
- Application brush
- a pair of good-quality gloves
- a cup for mixing
- 500 mm of resin
To repair a hole created in your mowing deck by rust, follow the below-given instructions carefully.
First, you should wear a pair of plastic gloves before starting. Cut the fiberglass into long and workable strips. Make sure you cut enough, so you don’t have to repeat this step later on. Then mix some hardener and resin. Check the manual of the product for the exact amounts of both.
Make only a small amount of mixture that you can use within 5 minutes. It dries quickly and is difficult to use when it is getting dry. Use the brush to apply the mixture onto the fiberglass strips and put the strips on the holes in your mowing deck. Make sure the sticky side is down.
You must apply the fiberglass mixture generously. If you use more resin to the fiberglass with the brush, you will be able to see the strips of the fiberglass beginning to separate, which is a sign that you have applied an adequate amount of the mixture. Continue applying the mixture on the remaining strips and let them overlap (or better use a 90-degree overlap). It takes up to 20 minutes to allow this substance to harden.
If you want, you can apply another layer of fiberglass on top of the previous. The different layers will set hard and be unbreakable. When the fix is thick and strong enough it is ready to be used
Step 4: Clean and protect the underside with a silicone spray
When the repair is done, all parts can be cleaned. It is a good idea to spray the underside of the deck with a high-quality Silicone lubricant. This will protect it and make it smooth so damp or wet grass will not stick as quickly.
You have renewed the life of your old mowing deck by just spending 25 and saving more than 1000. over, this task does not need more than one or a couple of hours of your busy time, depending on the size of the hole that you intend to repair.
Are mowing decks interchangeable?
In most cases mowing decks are not interchangeable. Mounting points and pulleys are different from mower type to mower type. Even when the brand is the same. But it is worthwhile investigating if your mower deck is used by other types as well. It is also possible that the lawnmower manufacturer uses the mower deck for multiple brands. Several users have let us know that they have found an identical mowing deck fitted to a product made by another brand. But in all cases, check the dimensions and location of the parts that are mounted to it are exactly similar.
The widths of the different mowing decks vary, and obviously, the lawnmower’s blade’s width needs to match the new deck’s width. Some lawnmower manufacturers don’t have standard deck specifications, but they often share the designs of the decks they manufacture.
Different types of mowing decks and their unique features:
There are two types of mowing decks sold separately on the internet and in your local hardware stores.
You must check your mower’s model number and find a compatible mowing deck if it needs a replacement.
1) Cyclone mowing deck
A cyclone mowing deck is a high-quality, affordable, and heavy-duty alternative to the conventional belt-driven mowing decks supplied by famous brands such as John Deere, Kubota, and Iseki. It is a professional mowing deck characterized by robustness, fuel efficiency, and cost-effectiveness. This mowing deck will help your lawnmower do a perfect job in a place with extremely heavy grass use, such as golf courts, other sports pitches, roadside verges, parks, housing estates, and school grounds.
It is a type of professional mowing deck that delivers an entirely flexible finish in everyday grass or hay mowing tasks yet comfortably copes in severely harsher mowing environments. A cyclone mowing deck has a heavy-duty gear-driven driveline, eliminating all the irritating complications associated with belt-driven mowing decks. The significant features of a cyclone mowing deck include the following:
- Construction: A cyclone mowing deck is constructed out of extremely high-strength stainless steel.
- Mowing Style: A cyclone mowing deck has a rear roller, optional for you to use for an extra striped finish and some additional protection.
- Durability: A cyclone mowing deck has the most extended lifespan and durability in the market because its body is hot-dipped-galvanized.
- Wheels: A cyclone mowing deck has heavy-duty castor wheels that have robust and durable inner bearings.
- User-friendly: A user-friendly height adjustment system is also the main characteristic of a cyclone mowing deck.
- Blades: A cyclone mowing deck has a “tri-cut” blade system, which will provide you with an admirable professional finish in fine turf applications.
- Width: A cyclone mowing deck can cut and mulch material up to 30 millimeters in diameter, even in extreme conditions.
2) Free-floating mowing deck
A free-floating mowing deck moves independently from the rest of the body of your lawnmower. It usually comes with full-width rollers. The main advantage of the free-floating deck is that it will follow the contours of your lawn, and there is a minimum risk of scalping. Most brands have models that use this type of mowing deck. It is attached directly to the mainframe of the lawnmower. The features of free-floating mowing decks include:
- Warranty: A lifetime warranty to put lots of confidence in your purchase when you invest a significant amount of your valuable money into it.
- Movement: The rear rollers of a free-floating mowing deck always move up and down to allow the worker to select his or her preferred cutting height, which causes no uneven cutting and minimizes the risk of scalping.
- Stripping: When the rear rollers of a free-floating mowing deck pass over the blades of the freshly cut grass, this bends them forward slightly; when the rays of the sunlight are reflecting off the blades of the newly cut grass, something wonderful happens. The rows of the grass angled towards the viewer appear darker in color than the rows of the grass angled away from the viewer.
- Blades: A free-floating mowing deck comes with precision matched blades.
- Noise-free operation: A free-floating mowing deck is easy to start and offers smooth and quiet operation.
- Height: You can easily adjust the cutting height of a free-floating mowing deck by merely pushing a button.
- Comfort: A free-floating mowing deck is characterized by a rear suspension, which makes the operator feel 25% less impact than a tractor without any suspensions at all. It has an improved cut and sewn seat to provide lots of comfort and stability to the operator.
- Lights: A free-floating mowing deck has powerful LED headlights to help you work properly if you want to do it after sunset.
- Additional features: A free-floating mowing deck has an improved heat management system.
How to clean the underside of my mowing deck?
One of the best and easiest methods to remove the dried grass clippings from the underside of your mowing deck is to use high power water spray. This can be a garden hose or a pressure washer. If you leave the grass clippings under your mowing deck, your machine’s efficiency and performance will be reduced. And it will increase the chance of rust.
How to protect the underside of my mowing deck?
Some owners paint the underside of their mowing deck with anti-rust paint. This can be an excellent idea to protect the deck, and it makes cleaning more comfortable. After the anti-rust paint, you can use some other oil-based paint on top.
Another method to protect the underside of the deck is to spray it with a protective solution. First, clean the bottom with a pressure washer or a power hose. Make sure you scrape the underside completely clean and allow the machine to dry thoroughly. When it is dry, spray it with a mixture of diesel fuel and oil; 10% to 25%.
If you have forgotten small bits of rust or any grass clippings on your mowing deck, they will get soaked through this spray. You will find that the dirt comes off even quicker, and the metal will get a protective layer and stay shiny.
After reading this blog post, I am confident that most of your questions will be answered. The instructions, tips, and suggestions included in this blog are proven by experienced mechanics. They will help you maintain your mower deck and improve the life span for many years to come.
The Best Zero-Turn Mowers of 2023
These achieve the rare feat of making lawn mowing fun.
By Roy Berendsohn Published: Mar 1, 2023
When it comes to yard work, zero turn mowers do the impossible. They make lawn mowing fun. They accomplish this by putting unprecedented speed, control and maneuverability at the disposal of the person mowing the lawn. The so-called “zero turn” feature of these mowers converts a grass cutting machine into something akin to an amusement park ride. You steer the machine with two levers—the left lever controls the left wheel, the right lever the right wheel. With that steering setup, you can zoom over the landscape cutting straight lines, curves, or pivot the mower into and out of a corner. What’s not to like?
Read on to understand how these agile grass cutters work, how we go about testing them, and see some candidates that we’ve recently tested as well as some that we haven’t but that we think look particularly promising.
How Zero-Turn Mowers Work
A zero-turn riding mower consists of an operator platform, a frame and wheels, an engine (or battery bank), transmissions (or motors), and a pair of control levers commonly known as lap bars. In gas mowers, the engine powers a pulley system. One group of pulleys drives the blades, another group powers a pair of transmissions–one at each rear wheel. When you move the lap bar forward or back, you are directing the transmission to go faster, slower, or even turn the opposite way. When one drive wheel turns clockwise and the other counter clockwise, the mower pivots. When the wheels rotate at different rates, the mower turns in an arc-shaped path. When the lap bars are in the neutral position, the mower stops. Aside from a parking brake, there’s no other braking mechanism. Battery-powered zero-turn mowers work the same way, but have separate motors to drive the rear wheels and one for each blade inside the mower deck.
When it comes to transmission, most mowers have a Hydrogear EZT—a well-known and cost-effective residential-grade transaxle with a reputation for durability.
Some mowers use a deck stamped from one piece of steel, others use a deck fabricated from multiple pieces and welded together. A fabricated deck can be built from thicker steel at a lower cost than it would be able to be built otherwise. Once you’re talking about stamping metal as thick as 10 gauge (about 1⁄8 inch thick), the cost of stamping such a deck would push up the mower’s price beyond what most people are willing to pay. The decks in the mowers below range from 42 to 52 inches, a typical size in this class of product. When powered by these engines and the Hydrogear, these mowers will deliver a decent cut quality at their rated top speed of 7 mph. Note, however, that cut quality declines steeply if you maintain that speed in very thick grass or on uneven terrain.
As to the electric mowers, they represent the leading edge of the technology in this category. These are remarkable and expensive mowers powered by large-voltage lithium-ion batteries. If you’re interested in reducing mowing noise and simplifying your maintenance routine by eliminating gas and oil, they’re worth a look.
Selecting a Zero-Turn Mower
Everyone would like to select the biggest possible zero-turn mower with the hope of whittling a big grass cutting job down to size as quickly as possible. Reality usually intercedes because these machines are expensive and the wide range of options available today quickly drive up the cost. Roughly speaking, you start somewhere in the range of a mower with a 42-inch deck costing in the vicinity of 3200 to 3500 and move up in increments of 1000 to 1500 until you reach entry-level commercial-grade equipment that costs 7000 to 8000.
Again, speaking in terms of approximation, a mower with a 42-inch deck will cut a two-acre lot (that takes into account that the house, driveway, outbuildings and various landscape features are taking up some of that space). Use a mower with a larger deck to cut anything over two acres. But here’s the caveat. That entry-level ZTR mower (3200, say) with a 42-inch deck will wear out faster and need more maintenance than a mower with a 50-inch deck, a heavier frame, larger engine and higher quality transmissions, and thicker deck with more robust blade spindles, costing 4500.
In the simplest possible terms, you can cut a smaller area with a larger mower and expect more longevity out of the machine (not to mention a nicer mowing experience) or you can cut a larger area with a smaller machine and encounter more maintenance and a mowing experience that will be, we might say, a bit more rugged.
But there are still other factors to consider, in selecting a mower other than deck size and your budget. Larger mowers take more space in a garage or outbuilding. And a mower with a 50-inch or even 60-inch deck, as useful as it might be in getting the job done more quickly, may not fit through a fence’s gate, and it might be more difficult to maneuver in tight spots without creating scalp marks on the lawn from a lot of close-quarter pivoting.
Carefully consider all these factors when shopping for a mower: your budget, maintenance and whether you will perform that work yourself, mowing speed and time, maneuverability and trimming in tight areas, the importance that you place on your comfort while mowing, cut quality, longevity, storage, and access to the landscape.
How We Select and Test
There’s only one way to test a mower, and that’s to cut grass with it. But we also do more than mow.
We raise and lower the deck and adjust the seat. We look at service point access (the air filter, the spark plug, and the oil filter) and how easy it is to remove the deck. We mow approximately an acre with each mower, considering cut and mulching quality while running uphill, downhill, across washboard, and along sidehills. (On sidehills, we’ll mow surfaces pitched up to approximately 20 degrees; manufacturers generally recommend not going steeper than 10 degrees, but we like to be thorough.) We evaluate power and speed relative to cut quality—we investigate whether the mower delivers a decent cut mowing at full speed. When mowing in damp conditions, we look at whether the mower’s tires accumulate grass and how effectively it discharges moist clippings. Finally, we test maneuverability (these machines are, generally, very nimble) and how readily they come to a stop when you back off the lap bar control levers.
Can You Repair a Rusted Lawn Mower Deck?
Having a rusted lawn mower deck seems inevitable. With all of the dirt, grass, and moisture our lawn mower decks are exposed to, it makes sense that rust would be a threat, not only cosmetically but structurally — especially if you store your lawn mower outside. But, that doesn’t mean you cant repair the cosmetic rust.
There is nothing quite as annoying as having an old, rusted lawn mower deck. At the same time, it seems to be an experience most people have in their time owning a lawn mower, and it takes a lot of care and effort to prevent it. Storing your lawn mower in a dry, clean shed can be a great way to prevent rust, but it isn’t an option for every lawn mower owner. Rinsing it off after use also isn’t a bad idea, but if it is going to continue to sit outside in the elements, buying a cover is the only solution. If you’re sick of staring at a rusted lawn mower deck and want a quick repair that you can get done in a weekend and get back to mowing your lawn, these easy steps from NAPA will cost you only a little bit of money and time.
Remove dirt, grass, and whatever gunk has been stuck on the mower deck for years
The first step seems simple, but after hours in the heat mowing the lawn, it’s also the easiest to ignore. Removing the dirt, grass, oil, and whatever gunk has made its home on the lawn mower deck is essential for deck maintenance, but also the first step to seeing just how bad the damage actually is. Using some water, a degreaser, and a wire brush, you can remove just about anything off of the surface. Be sure to use the wire brush to remove big chunks of rust and surface rust, and clear the area of residual paint to ensure that the new layer of paint will adhere well to the surface.
Analyze the damage on the lawn mower deck
Rust can be annoying and cosmetic, but it can also cause structural damage too. Once you’ve cleaned off the dirt and debris, take a moment to check out how extensive the rust damage is. Surface damage can be easily revived, giving you a lawn mower deck that looks almost as good as new, but giant holes and spots that have been rusted through will need replacing.
Repairing some common problems on a 42″ cut john Deere deck. Welding / metal work
This is the part where you need to be realistic about how the rest of this process is going to go, or you might find yourself frustrated with the results. While you can patch holes that have rusted through the lawn mower deck, this will requiring welding in new metal, and if you don’t have the tools and skills to do that at home, there is little point in attempting to make a major repair. For the purposes of the next few steps, it is important to note that this process will only resolve non-structural rusting that is cosmetic. It is still worth doing if you decide you don’t want to replace the deck lid because it will neutralize the rust and prevent it from spreading and causing further damage.
Spray rust converter and paint
If you’ve never used a rust converter before, I promise it will change your life. Not in any big ways, of course, but the product itself is really cool. Rust converted neutralizes the rust — which, it does in a complicated chemistry-based way. The rust converter doesn’t take long to work, and it will actually change the color of the metal in any place there is rust present. Once the surface is dry, you can prep it for paint and cover it in a few layers of your new paint of choice.
What Is A Fabricated Mower Deck: All You Need To Know [FAQs]
A fabricated mower deck is a type of cutting deck used in lawn mowers. Unlike stamped mower decks that are made from a single sheet of steel, fabricated decks are constructed from multiple sheets of steel that are welded together to create a sturdy and durable cutting platform. Fabricated decks are becoming increasingly popular among homeowners and landscaping professionals due to their strength and ability to handle tough mowing conditions.
How Is A Fabricated Mower Deck Made?
A fabricated mower deck is made by welding together multiple sheets of steel. The sheets are cut, bent, and welded together to create a cutting platform that is strong and durable. The welds are carefully inspected to ensure that they are of the highest quality and will not fail under heavy use.
What Are The Benefits Of A Fabricated Mower Deck?
Fabricated mower decks offer a number of benefits over stamped decks:
Durability: Fabricated decks are stronger and more durable than stamped decks, making them ideal for heavy use and tough mowing conditions.
Accuracy: The welding process used to create fabricated decks ensures that they are accurate and precise, resulting in a cleaner and more consistent cut.
Cutting Power: Fabricated decks are designed to handle higher horsepower engines, allowing for faster and more efficient mowing.
Customization: Fabricated decks can be customized to fit specific mowers and desired cutting heights, making them a versatile option for homeowners and professionals alike.
What types of mowers can use a fabricated deck?
Fabricated decks can be used on a variety of mowers, including zero-turn mowers, riding mowers, and walk-behind mowers.
Are fabricated decks more expensive than stamped decks?
Yes, fabricated decks are generally more expensive than stamped decks due to the additional materials and labor required to create them.
Do fabricated decks require any special maintenance?
Fabricated decks require regular cleaning and occasional maintenance to keep them in top condition. This may include sharpening the blades, replacing worn parts, and checking for any signs of damage or wear.
Can fabricated decks be repaired if they are damaged?
Yes, fabricated decks can be repaired if they are damaged. However, the repair process may be more complex than with a stamped deck, and it may be more cost-effective to replace the deck entirely depending on the extent of the damage.
Do fabricated decks perform better than stamped decks?
Overall, fabricated decks tend to perform better than stamped decks in terms of durability, accuracy, cutting power, and customization options.
Can I install a fabricated deck on my existing mower?
It depends on the make and model of your mower. Some mowers may be compatible with fabricated decks, while others may not. Consult with a professional to determine if a fabricated deck is a viable option for your mower.
How long do fabricated decks last?
Fabricated decks are designed to last for many years with proper maintenance and care. The lifespan of a fabricated deck will depend on factors such as frequency of use, mowing conditions, and maintenance practices.
Are fabricated decks difficult to install?
Fabricated decks may require some assembly and installation, but the process is generally straightforward and can be completed with basic tools and equipment.
Pros Of Fabricated Mower Decks
Durable and long-lasting
Accurate and precise cutting
Powerful and efficient
Customizable to fit specific mowers and cutting heights
Tips For Maintaining Your Fabricated Mower Deck
Clean your deck regularly to prevent buildup of grass and debris
Sharpen blades regularly to ensure a clean and efficient cut
Inspect for damage or wear and replace any worn or damaged parts promptly
Fabricated mower decks are a durable and versatile option for homeowners and landscaping professionals. With their strength, accuracy, cutting power, and customization options, fabricated decks offer a number of advantages over stamped decks. By following proper maintenance and care practices, you can ensure that your fabricated deck lasts for many years and provides a consistent and efficient mowing experience.
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