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Cub Cadet 301 48" Mower Deck Restoration

mower deck cub cadet cub 2206

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#1 mike912e OFFLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2014 - 07:42 PM

My 15 year old Cub 301 mower deck on my 2206 mower is looking rather ragged . It functions just great, but has lots of rust and worn parts .
I just finished the restoration of my Cub cadet 104 tractor ( Cub cadet forum/pics below ) and since it's winter, the old deck is available . I'll be doing the snow thrower this coming summer . And try to do the 2206 next winter . Already started rounding up a parts tractor that I can strip down and get sandblasted and powder coated ahead of time .
I have attached some pics that show the disassembly of the deck . It's hard to believe that there are that many parts that make up a mower deck !
I do things my way, which might be different from someone else's way but it's the results that matter . My goal is to turn out a product that exceeds the original factory product .
My background is building large transport and commercial airliners as well as some of our best fighters . In the 30 years I built airplanes I was involved in the Lockheed L-1011 and F-119 Stealth Fighter , North-American Rockwell's B-1B and McDonnell-Douglas's/Boeing's C-17 . So when it comes to things mechanical I tend to get anal !
In spite of the disorganization shown in the pictures, I tend to be better organized as to logical sequence of reassembly . I prefer powder coat over paint in that I get a finish that is tough , matches the original factory finish and will outlast paint . My tractors get shown but also get used .
Please feel free to offer constructive criticism/advice .
The only paint on the 104 is the engine block, transmission housing and fastener heads and dash .
Mike

Attached Thumbnails

  • 2206 mower deck 005.JPG
  • 2206 mower deck 002.JPG
  • 2206 mower deck 003.JPG
  • 2206 mower deck 004.JPG
  • 2206 mower deck 005.JPG
  • 104 Cub back on the ground 001.JPG
  • 104 Cub back on the ground 002.JPG

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#2 Cat385B ONLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2014 - 08:00 PM

I've noticed quite a few of the 2000 and 3000 Cubs sporting decks with paint leprosy. I wonder what went wrong? Did they have a bad year or a paint process issue at some point?

 

An example from CL:

 

00m0m_eQcdY6b2F3f_600x450.jpg


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#3 larrybl ONLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2014 - 08:16 PM

That doesn't look too bad. I am at the deck restore on my project (1978 Roper) 48" deck and although a simpler design, it does pose some challenges. I too look to make it better than "new" but have found little that can be improved on so far. Mainly rust removal, and using JB weld to fill in the rust divots. I was able to find a new top cover. I plan on replacing the mandrill bearings and belts. Hope she looks as good as the brochure picture when I am done.

Attached Thumbnails

  • Hubcaps.JPG
  • Old Girl is Home.JPG
  • P1110338.JPG
  • P1110361.JPG

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#4 mike912e OFFLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2014 - 08:18 PM

I've noticed quite a few of the 2000 and 3000 Cubs sporting decks with paint leprosy. I wonder what went wrong? Did they have a bad year or a paint process issue at some point?
 
An example from CL:
 
00m0m_eQcdY6b2F3f_600x450.jpg

Mine started showing signs of rust the second year I had it . Both the 2206 and the 301 deck were purchased together in Fall of 2001 . They had been the dealership's demonstrator tractor . Unfortunately by the time I complained about the rust, the dealer went out of business . So I lived with it since then . In the mean time I discovered narrow-framed Cubs and spent the last four years doing restorations on three of them . So this deck's turn is due . It's possible that they had a bad paint process those years . I know that some automobile manufacturers have had paint problems in the past . I haven't heard anything specific about Cubs though . Powder coat will fix the problem ! My supplier sandblasts , then powder coat primes ( high zinc content ) then the final color coat . Both layers are baked on at 350 degrees .
I also suspect that grass left on the painted surface draws moisture and after laying there for awhile ( all season ? ) could cause rust . Let's face it . These deck aren't easy to clean unless they are removed from the tractor and both the top and bottom are thoroughly cleaned and dried . I'm almost 69 years old and believe me when I say that the deck gets heavier every year !
Mike
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#5 mike912e OFFLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2014 - 08:27 PM

That doesn't look too bad. I am at the deck restore on my project (1978 Roper) 48" deck and although a simpler design, it does pose some challenges. I too look to make it better than "new" but have found little that can be improved on so far. Mainly rust removal, and using JB weld to fill in the rust divots. I was able to find a new top cover. I plan on replacing the mandrill bearings and belts. Hope she looks as good as the brochure picture when I am done.

One option you might consider is powder coat . The hood for my Cub 72 was badly rusted because it sat outside for ten years uncovered . When it was powder coated the finish almost looked like orange-peel . I could have sanded it down and sent it back for another top coat of powder, but decided to leave the finish as this tractor has a story to tell .You have to get real close to see it but it's there .
Here's the mower deck I restored two years ago . It fits either my 72, 104 or 124 Cubs . It's 100% powder coated . note: the picture was taken as I was fabricating a new baffle which is why it's still bare metal .
Mike

Attached Thumbnails

  • mower deck 2-27-13 008.JPG
  • mower deck 2-27-13 009.JPG
  • mower deck 2-27-13 010.JPG

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#6 larrybl ONLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2014 - 08:46 PM

I would like to be able to afford power coat, but She will be rattle caned, I am pretty good with painting, and the three previous have held up well. They are all shop stored, and I never leave debris on the deck. Nice job on the baffle, I hope to save mine.

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1110510.JPG

Edited by larrybl, December 07, 2014 - 08:46 PM.

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#7 mike912e OFFLINE  

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Posted December 07, 2014 - 10:56 PM

I would like to be able to afford power coat, but She will be rattle caned, I am pretty good with painting, and the three previous have held up well. They are all shop stored, and I never leave debris on the deck. Nice job on the baffle, I hope to save mine.

Larry,
My entire 104 Cub tractor only cost me $300 for the sandblasting and powder coating , plus I had extra parts for another tractor done as well . Granted that's more than spray paint but I'll bet a mower deck would cost less than $150 . I'll keep you guys appraised of the costs as this progresses .
Mike
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#8 mike912e OFFLINE  

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Posted December 13, 2014 - 07:36 PM

Going over to my nephews house tomorrow morning to weld the broken parts to the deck . Then Monday I should be able to take all the pieces to be sand-blasted and then powder coated . While waiting for the parts to get coated I plan on bead-blasting the remaining parts like pulleys and some of the support rods . I'm still trying to figure out how to re-plate some of the parts that looked like they were cadmium plated from the factory .It's not a nickel or chrome finish . Does anyone have experience getting parts cadmium plated ( I'm assuming that's the factory finish ) I'm also going to explore the possibility of a painted finish that resembles cadmium . Some of the spray paint manufacturers have some very interesting finishes available these days !
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#9 diesel nut ONLINE  

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Posted December 13, 2014 - 10:14 PM

I've noticed quite a few of the 2000 and 3000 Cubs sporting decks with paint leprosy. I wonder what went wrong? Did they have a bad year or a paint process issue at some point?

 

An example from CL:

 

00m0m_eQcdY6b2F3f_600x450.jpg

It wasn't a bad year or process issue they had.  They started having bad rust and peeling issues in the late 80's when they switched to powder coating everything cause the metal was cut with a shear and the paint didn't stick too good to the edge.  Then I'm pretty sure they started going with cheaper powder and not bothering to clean the metal very good before paint.  It's probably still going on today too.  The last new one we sold at work was about 3 years ago and when it came in this fall for service the deck was almost as bad as the pic you posted. 


Edited by diesel nut, December 13, 2014 - 10:14 PM.

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#10 mike912e OFFLINE  

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Posted December 17, 2014 - 10:12 AM

Finally have everything ready for the powder coater . Two colors : mostly yellow and a few pieces in black . I take copies of the pictures along with notes for specific areas to omit the coating . Also helps in ensuring that all the parts are there when I pick them up after they are done . After 14 years of hard service she shows a little rust , but will look brand new in a month or so . The spindle bearings are all good with no excess wear ( surprising given the sporadic maintenance ) and they will be reused . Mower blades will need sharpening after getting a coat of black powder . I'll also replace the belts and save the old ones for spares . Might as well start off completely , almost new !

Attached Thumbnails

  • Cub 103 mower decak pieces 001.JPG
  • Cub 103 mower decak pieces 002.JPG
  • Cub 103 mower decak pieces 003.JPG
  • Cub 103 mower decak pieces 004.JPG
  • Cub 103 mower decak pieces 005.JPG

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#11 Gabriel OFFLINE  

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Posted December 17, 2014 - 10:34 AM

Thanks for the pics and update!
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#12 B10Dave OFFLINE  

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Posted December 19, 2014 - 12:58 AM

Mike; argent silver; as used during the Korean war years chrome shortage; might make a good substitute for cadmium plating and is not toxic like the plating...Dave


Edited by B10Dave, December 19, 2014 - 12:58 AM.

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#13 mike912e OFFLINE  

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Posted December 19, 2014 - 04:03 PM

Parts for the deck were dropped off at the powder coater yesterday . I doubt that they will be done before the New Year . I am going to try to get the remainder of the parts bead-blasted in the next week or so . I'll keep you guys posted and provide pictures . Still exploring the possibility of cadmium plating some of the parts . Paint just won't work because it would get rubbed off during adjustment, etc .
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#14 larrybl ONLINE  

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Posted December 19, 2014 - 11:31 PM

I have been on hold for a  week while the mandrills were at at the machine shop, and a couple more hours tonight with the vice and bearing splitter I finally have my three mandrills dissembled! Like you, it will be after the holidays before I can order new bearings and races. The Deck restore is back on! 

Attached Thumbnails

  • P1110516.JPG

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#15 mike912e OFFLINE  

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Posted December 20, 2014 - 05:52 AM

I have been on hold for a  week while the mandrills were at at the machine shop, and a couple more hours tonight with the vice and bearing splitter I finally have my three mandrills dissembled! Like you, it will be after the holidays before I can order new bearings and races. The Deck restore is back on!

Larrybl,
Like most things in life , this is an exercise in patience ! Your deck looks great so far . Paint or powder coat ? It amazes me the directions this hobby can take a guy . I never would have considered powder coat , but here I am powder coating almost my entire tractor . You end up purchasing equipment you always wanted but just couldn't justify the expenditure . Now you wonder how you ever got along without it ! And to think I would end up making my own engine tags from scratch , dealing with metal suppliers and silk screen professionals, as well as an engraver . That's one of the rewards you get from this hobby ; the learning experience . Keep us posted on your progress , post lots of pictures and we can all learn along the way . Thank you for sharing .
Here's pictures of my first deck restoration and the engine tags I make .
Mike

Attached Thumbnails

  • old and new Cub 72 I.D. plates 1-17-13 002.JPG
  • old and new Cub 72 I.D. plates 1-17-13 003.JPG
  • mower deck 2-27-13 008.JPG
  • mower deck 2-27-13 009.JPG
  • mower deck 2-27-13 010.JPG

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