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Mower Deck Rebuild

bolens mower deck 18420

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51 replies to this topic

#1 mark843 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 25, 2012 - 01:31 PM

As spring has sprung a bit early and the last 2 weeks having been very warm here with some days getting to about 80 degrees, I better get started on rebuilding this mower deck or I will be push mowing just under an acre of grass. It is changing from brown to green so I will not have long.

I will be ordering 2 belts (one for a spare) 2 idle pulleys and the spring. I will see if the local parts store can match bearings for cheaper as I will be needing 6. I Also need to find a new belt cover as the one I have has some cancer around the lip that bolts the cover down. I did order one but it was the wrong part and does not fit. I may also replace the u-joints just to have most of the movable parts new.

I still have to finish stripping down the deck, and I hope to get to that in the next week after I can get parts on the way.

The next step is to decide if sandblasting and powder coating would be best, or should I look into epoxy paint? One thing I heard about epoxy paint is that it is pretty bad to work with. I do have a respirator, but my garage is attached to my house. I am looking for something that is very durable and will last a long time.

I don't think I will strip the gear box this year and will wait until winter.

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#2 Bruce Dorsi OFFLINE  

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Posted March 25, 2012 - 02:04 PM

Just my opinions:

(1) Check the u-joints for looseness or "slop." ....If they are not loose, I would not bother replacing them as they are very durable.

(2) As long as you are stripping the deck and will have to loosen the gearbox to install the new belt, now is the time to open the gearbox and check for metal shavings or broken roll pins. ....If all looks OK, then new gear lube should be all that is needed. ....If there are metal shavings, broken pins, or broken gear teeth in the gear box, now is the time to make repairs before total destruction takes place.

(3) I can't advise which coating to use on the deck. ....It may be difficult to get a good color match (if that is important to you) if you decide on powder coating. ....Fertilizer, and abrasion from the "sandblast effect" while mowing will be tough on any coating.

(4) Ball bearings should definitely be cheaper from a bearing supply or some auto parts stores. ....If you need new needle bearings inside the gear box, they can be had through bearing supply houses.

(5) The idler pulley bracket pivots on a stud with nylon bearings. ....Clean & polish the stud, and plan on new nylon bearings if yours are not in good condition.
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#3 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 25, 2012 - 02:14 PM

:ditto:

Bruce has pretty much covered it all

I have painted my 2 decks with rustoleum paint and so far they are holding up quite nicely.
I had the green for mine custom mixed at my local hardware store.
The green deck I have is mainly for shows but the red deck gets used about once every other week during mowing season and the underside has minimal paint missing from it after about 2.5 years of use.

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  • bolens painted deck 1050 005.JPG

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#4 gbrown OFFLINE  

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Posted March 25, 2012 - 02:39 PM

What about the truck bed liner stuff for the underside of the deck? Anyone tried that yet? I'll soon be restoring a Bolens deck myself and wondered if using the truck bed liner (the kind that has hardener in it) would be a good idea. Thoughts?

#5 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 25, 2012 - 02:56 PM

What about the truck bed liner stuff for the underside of the deck? Anyone tried that yet? I'll soon be restoring a Bolens deck myself and wondered if using the truck bed liner (the kind that has hardener in it) would be a good idea. Thoughts?


I was originally thinking about that but since that stuff has grit to it, I am thinking the grass would build up even more and cause problems. The decks need to be smooth so the grass can effectively flow out
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#6 redcarkids OFFLINE  

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Posted March 25, 2012 - 05:17 PM

I agree with Brian, truck bed liner is rough and i would think the grass build up would be horrible.

#7 mark843 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 25, 2012 - 05:19 PM

I had a few minutes so I decided to tear into the deck some more. I stopped when I didn't have a puller for the drive pulleys. The u-joints look to be in good shape so I may just leave them. It looks like I will need the nylon bearings. I will also need spacer part #33 as mine looks a bit worn and would just want to replace it anyways. The belt looks to be in good condition so I may just keep that as a spare and get one. I will also have to get the cap that goes over the deck wash system.

The deck is solid with no soft spots. The biggest pain is 3 of the bolts from the belt cover were sheared by the previous owner. What is the best way to deal with these?

I would like to keep it the same color if possible. I don't think the bed liner would work as from what Bolens 1000 stated earlier. I could even paint the underside a different color with something more durable and keep the top close to original as possible. I would not have to paint this for a minimum of 5 years but 10 would be more ideal. I know the bottom paint is going to get beat up, but I would like the top to stay in decent condition. does anyone have a paint code for the green mower decks?


What is the cutting height or is there a way to adjust it?

Edited by Bolens 1000, March 25, 2012 - 07:05 PM.
Acidentally clicked edit instead of Reply :)


#8 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 25, 2012 - 07:04 PM

I had a few minutes so I decided to tear into the deck some more. I stopped when I didn't have a puller for the drive pulleys. The u-joints look to be in good shape so I may just leave them. It looks like I will need the nylon bearings. I will also need spacer part #33 as mine looks a bit worn and would just want to replace it anyways. The belt looks to be in good condition so I may just keep that as a spare and get one. I will also have to get the cap that goes over the deck wash system.

The deck is solid with no soft spots. The biggest pain is 3 of the bolts from the belt cover were sheared by the previous owner. What is the best way to deal with these?



I had a few like that. You can try and get them out with an easy out or just drill them out and re-thread with a larger bolt.

I would like to keep it the same color if possible. I don't think the bed liner would work as from what Bolens 1000 stated earlier. I could even paint the underside a different color with something more durable and keep the top close to original as possible. I would not have to paint this for a minimum of 5 years but 10 would be more ideal. I know the bottom paint is going to get beat up, but I would like the top to stay in decent condition. does anyone have a paint code for the green mower decks?



If you take a paint chip in to where you are going to buy your paint they can usually scan it and give you a custom match.

What is the cutting height or is there a way to adjust it?




The only way to adjust height is with the lift lever....

#9 speedyg OFFLINE  

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Posted March 26, 2012 - 12:23 AM

you can use the bed liner paint minus the texture, I think it would work better than you think.

#10 goodnews OFFLINE  

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Posted March 29, 2012 - 06:19 PM

i would stick to rustoleum with a hardner works great i'm about do one myself.

Edited by goodnews, March 29, 2012 - 06:20 PM.


#11 mark843 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2012 - 03:06 PM

I never thought of adding hardener. When I strip the mower deck, Do I need to take it down to bare metal, or will just cleaning it up, putting on a rust preventative on and then painting be OK?

#12 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted March 31, 2012 - 06:30 PM

I never thought of adding hardener. When I strip the mower deck, Do I need to take it down to bare metal, or will just cleaning it up, putting on a rust preventative on and then painting be OK?


How do you plan on removing the paint?
I'd get it sand blasted right down to the bare metal and do any necessary body work to it, then add a good quality primer then paint.
The most important thing in making a paint job look great is the prep and body work.

#13 mjodrey OFFLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2012 - 06:27 AM

Yeah,I agree with sandblasting. It gets down into the pours of the metal,to get all the rust,even what you don;t see.

#14 KennyP ONLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2012 - 06:35 AM

I've been using Rustoleum Rust reformer as a first coat over rusty parts. I put some on the hood of my Cub 108 two years ago as a test bed. Still haven't finished it yet, but no rust is showing thus far. seems to work okay for my use.

#15 sodisr OFFLINE  

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Posted April 01, 2012 - 11:25 AM

I did my 1477 husky last year.. cleaned,, scrapped all loose paint, wire wheeled the whole surface... The paint that was left on was on for a porpose--( IT was doing its job--) sealing the metal..Then I used rustolium primer in a rattle can..and then brushed on rustolium enamel approx---1 pt. It came out beautiful... Wish I had pics.. As for the underside I didn't paint it.. My soil is a sand base.. and is like a sandblaster when running.. When I a'm done with the 1 acre the underside is just shiny...As for rebuilding ,,, 6 new berrings for the blade shafts,, 3 new gator blades,, lower caps,, keyway keys stainless bolts and washers,, ,, new belt..( Old one was good But there a pain to remove the gear box to change ) ,, new tension spring and idlers-----Approx.. 500.00 But hope thats it for awhile..The worst thing is you don't want it to break in the middle of mowing season on an acre of lawn...

I heard Appliance enamel is some good hard stuff.. but choise of colors may be limited.. Good luck on your'e project !!




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