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Mower deck cleaning

Post in 'The Gear' started by smokinj, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    How are you cleaning and maintaining your deck? (Lots of rain here this year so mowing every 4 days)

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  2. lukem

    lukem Minister of Fire

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    Blow off with leaf blower on top. Putty knife on bottom. Not fun.

    I've heard good things about Fluid Film but have never tried it.
    smokinj likes this.
  3. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    That's what I have been doing...lol Its getting pretty sporty mowing all the time, and cleaning that deck.
  4. NH_Wood

    NH_Wood Minister of Fire

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    Same here - I use compressed air to clean the top and scrape the underside of the deck. If possible, I tilt the front wheels about 6" off the ground and let it bake in the Sun for a day before I scrape the underside. Cheers!
    smokinj likes this.
  5. bogydave

    bogydave Minister of Fire

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    Water fitting on top of the deck.
    Crank it up & turn on the water ;)

    Saw the new mowers at Lowes have this feature on them .
    Power wash

    Do it right after mowing, should keep it from sticking

    I might be drilling a hole & give it a go :)
    smokinj likes this.
  6. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    Have one of the those.
    Haven't used it in the 5 years I've owed it.>>
    smokinj likes this.
  7. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Keep using those wash out ports....... Daddy needs a new truck! ;)
    ScotO, Joful and smokinj like this.
  8. wesessiah

    wesessiah Member

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    interested to hear your take on them. i got in a discussion with a john deere employee, and his final words were "well, grass has moisture anyway, so if you don't use it, you're going to have moisture held in by grass you couldn't get!"
    smokinj likes this.
  9. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    I pull out what grass piles up around the belts & pulleys with a piece of wire when it needs it, and grease the spindles once a year. Check tension when I do that, but haven't had to adjust the last couple years.

    And I don't mow when it's wet.

    That's it.

    I'm with MasterMech on the wash port - seems to me running the blades with a hose hooked up will drive moisture into the bearings.
    smokinj likes this.
  10. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Wash ports are a double-edged sword at best. The problem isn't when the blades are running, it's when they stop. The spindle assembly cools, creating a slight vacuum inside and unless your spindles have good double-lip seals in them, moisture will find its way in for sure. Also many spindle units have a cup of some sort that is to protect the bearing seal from debris that wraps itself around the shaft. These will get paced with dirt and grass in short order and then they are perfect for holding water directly under the seals.

    You can counteract the damage by greasing the spindles often. And only using water to clean under the deck when absolutely necessary. After you use water to wash the machine off, you should grease each fitting to flush out the water.

    Wash ports on. 21" walk-behind mowers are totally legit however.
    ScotO and smokinj like this.
  11. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    What kind of mower? I've got a big 61" ZTR mower and I hate cleaning the deck, but I've developed a system that's not too bad. I pull the front end up high with a chain hoist and scrape. It's what you have to do. Don't mow when it's wet (not easy around here sometimes).

    I spend some time on the "Lawnsite" forum for professional lawn care guys and the consensus is that the water hookup thing is more trouble than it's worth. Some guys swear by FluidFilm for mower decks, but the reviews are mixed. I think you'd have to use it before every use for it to help.

    Oh, and never, ever, use a pressure washer! In fact, no water is best. You just gotta scrape.
    smokinj likes this.
  12. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I always been afraid to use it just figured it would rust out the deck. I got it off now and strip it with a wire brush. Repainting it now and will get 6-8 coats on before the new belt gets here. It was hanging on by a thread. :eek: Glad I got it mowed and the parts ordered. Hope to be up and going before Thursday.....
  13. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    use silicone spray or the dry slide by PB blaster both seem to help as long as you start clean

    cheers
    smokinj likes this.
  14. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Yea I got some dry graphite spray to. Once the pant job sets up I will do a couple coats of that. My mower was bought in 2006 doing 2 acres a week, so its time to do it right.
  15. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    What is this cleaning you talk of? ;?

    I pull it out and clean it all out every couple years. along with sharpening the blades. I only mow about 4 acres for 4.5-5 months though.

    velvetfoot and smokinj like this.
  16. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I am on at-least the 8 cut this year so far and with all the rain so far the wind rows just dont look right. Kind of like a sweeper thats just not working right. (35 cuts is average for my area per year)
  17. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I just rebuilt the deck spindles on my old John Deere STX38 last month. They were DESTROYED.....had a fun time taking them apart. I'm convinced that the reason they went bad is because A) they have no grease fittings on them and B) I used to wash the underside of the deck after every three or four mowings. Haven't done that in years, but the bearings were wore out. I scrape the deck once or twice a summer now, especially since I just put new bearings in it. I've already had to weld a couple patches on that deck and also do some tweaking to the lowering arms.......but she still cuts like a dream!
    smokinj likes this.
  18. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Haven't cut any grass yet, maybe in the next week or two will be the first mowing.

    smokinj likes this.
  19. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Mine is still very sound in every way. I am good about grease but lazy as heck with the deck. I am using an enamel rust paint. It ;ppks really good.......280 hours on it with no issue other than I rebuild the carburetor because it was a little sluggish in the deep grass. (Rubber gaskets in there look pretty fat)
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  20. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Bawhahahah! >>
  21. Bocefus78

    Bocefus78 Minister of Fire

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    After you paint it all up, use the fluid film. It helps. I use it on my commercial mowers. It's not an end all solution, but it sure helps keep alot of it from sticking. Reapply it every month or so and all is well. On your tractor, use a set of car ramps and you dont even have to drop the deck. The spray cans are pretty pricey for what you get, so I buy quarts and use an old paint brush to apply it.

    FWIW, it works pretty darn good on snowblower chutes too.
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  22. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    I one that page now. The bottom of the deck now looks really good, but I am going to pick up another can today. The new belt will not be here before Wednesday so what the heck.:)
  23. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I've never cleaned a deck. Never had one rust through either. What does this do for you, the guys at work say it helps the suction and the bagging work better?

    I did accidentally clean the bajeepers out of the deck underside once. I chipped several trees/branches onto the lawn and cleaned the piles up the best I could. The remaining smallish 3/8" chips were then sucked up with the mower. Wow did that ever clean things out. It was like a bead blast.

    I suppose I shoudl have then coated the underside with some sort of oil or paint. Can one apply used engine oil for this purpose? I need to change the 16 quarts in my ford soon.
  24. colin.p

    colin.p Burning Hunk

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    I just take my deck off in the fall and clean it as best I can. I store the deck in the shed and leave the lawn-tractor covered out in the snow. Been doing it for 4 years now and so far it's ok.
  25. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    Mower will not work as hard spindles will run cooler suction better and or wind rows will be thrown right. Less wear and tear on the whole thing. I been working on the blades to I think there looking the best there ever have too.

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