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Large frame mowing deck quality?


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#1 TokyoDrift99 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 08:48 PM

(You can skip the 1st section of this post if you don't like listening to my B.S.)

 

Alright everybody I haven't been on GT talk in a while, and even though my 1886 is covered in 4 ft of snow spring is on the way. We use a Cub Cadet 1440 around here to mow the yard, it is starting to show signs that it may need replacement. Its a very solidly built tractor by MTD standards, or by any standards but its from the 90's back when MTD was still making some nice stuff. Anyways the deck is severely rotted and will not last another season, one of the anti-scalp wheels broke off, there is a few holes in the deck that can not be patched because the surrounding steel is very tender, and the holes are near some wonky curves. It is in need of a complete re wire which is a task on this tractor, battery discharge idiot light comes on all the time, hour meter won't count, and there is a parasitic draw. The control lever for the transmission literally snapped right off when we parked it in the shed for the winter. The electric clutch is starting to have issues and the Briggs Vanguard burns a trace of oil. We just had $500 worth of engine work done at the dealer, I would have done it but I just didn't have time. So needless to say I am pissed that I found the more expensive problems after $500 was shelled out, and I need a mower. What in the world cost $500 anyways??? It was just a carb rebuild, headgasket job, a voltage regulator, and maybe a few other things I can't remember!!! They said I need a new carb because it was cleaned like 5 times and still runs like crap out of nowhere sometimes. Apparently its a "common issue" and that the carb "doesn't flow as well anymore". I don't buy a word of it. 

 

(Start here if you want)

I apologize for the wall of text/rant you just read, but I digress. We started looking on CL for a new to us GT, found a few tempting John Deere units, but not much is being sold right now. I liked the JD 316 with a sleeve hitch and fresh paint, but I kind of want a tractor with power steering; I had a Cub Cadet 3000 series tractor and the power steering was amazing, but I have parted that out. I was interested in a Case/Colt/Ingersoll  but found nothing. I got to thinking and had a facepalm moment. I have a perfectly capable GT in the yard! I went on craigslist and found a large frame mower deck from a 1886 with all the bracketry, and drivelines. These decks appear to be well built with the driveshaft going to the gearbox and I'm sure the deck spindles are monsters. I was wondering how thick the stamped "body" of the deck is. Is it relatively thin, or really heavy duty? I would sandblast it and use some POR15 or really good truck bedliner on the bottom to try my best to prevent rot that plagues my current mower. The guy is asking $180 which is pretty steep in my opinion. I want to be sure this is the right choice, the guy lives a little over 2 hrs away according to google maps, and he said that it has "light surface rust" and "no heavy rot" but has no pictures. Pictures will be required before I drive 2 hours. So I'd like to know. Right choice? Is the deck well made? Worth $180? Let me know, and thanks for reading. 

 

IF YOU LIVE IN THE NEW ENGLAND / UPSTATE NY AREA AND HAVE A DECK FOR SALE P.M. ME, I WOULD ALSO BE INTERESTED IN A DECK FOR THE CUB 1440. LET ME KNOW.


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#2 WrenchinOnIt OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 08:56 PM

LF decks are not stamped, they would be touted as fabricated this day and age, the are heavy in weight and duty. Probably 14 gauge steel at least, bearings are readily available, NOS blades and aftermarket ones are about dried up, IMO fair price if as you described. Good luck

Edited by WrenchinOnIt, February 13, 2015 - 08:57 PM.

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#3 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:11 PM

They are heavy Duty!

Only thing NLA is the blades, rest of the parts are stocked by most of the Bolens sellers


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#4 TokyoDrift99 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:16 PM

 

 

They are heavy Duty!

Only thing NLA is the blades, rest of the parts are stocked by most of the Bolens sellers

 

 

LF decks are not stamped, they would be touted as fabricated this day and age, the are heavy in weight and duty. Probably 14 gauge steel at least, bearings are readily available, NOS blades and aftermarket ones are about dried up, IMO fair price if as you described. Good luck

 

What do I do if I ever need blades? Not interested in spending almost $200, and having a pile of scrap when the blades wear out. 


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#5 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:19 PM

Just blades for the 54'' decks are hard to find, a 48'' your ok still


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#6 WrenchinOnIt OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:23 PM

Thus the fly in the ointment , Bob Hill ( one of the site sponsors has or did have) new ones, I think I may of came across some new aftermarket ones, will know in a week or two , I have approx 30 nice used sets I could probably get by with a few less ( I'm speaking of blades for the 54" deck)

Edited by WrenchinOnIt, February 13, 2015 - 09:24 PM.

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#7 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:38 PM

Just for some helpful info, the 48" decks won't work on the 1886,the mounting brackets are different ,there to short


Edited by blackjackjakexxix, February 13, 2015 - 09:38 PM.

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#8 WrenchinOnIt OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:40 PM

Pretty sure 48" decks were not offered for the 1886 and beyond in the LF's. Not saying if your a handy fab man you couldn't make a 48" work
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#9 TokyoDrift99 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:41 PM

Thus the fly in the ointment , Bob Hill ( one of the site sponsors has or did have) new ones, I think I may of came across some new aftermarket ones, will know in a week or two , I have approx 30 nice used sets I could probably get by with a few less ( I'm speaking of blades for the 54" deck)

How long does a set of blades last? I can't remember the last time I've replaced blades on the Cub Cadet. Is it maybe possible to find a aftermarket blade of the same length and use it?


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#10 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:42 PM

How long does a set of blades last? I can't remember the last time I've replaced blades on the Cub Cadet. Is it maybe possible to find a aftermarket blade of the same length and use it?

 

If you dont hit stumps or rocks they will last years! :D


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#11 WrenchinOnIt OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:47 PM

Doc is right & I've seen em ground down considerably and still being used, IMO cutting grass wasn't a LF's strong suit, but they'll get the job done( quality of cut). Oregon ( pretty sure it was them) offered a blade that fit, it is NLA. I believe it's Oregon blades that an older dealer has a quantity of. Will take one and compare then go from there.
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#12 blackjackjakexxix ONLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:49 PM

Looks like WrenchinOnIt maybe onto finding some after market ones that will interchange,sure hope so


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#13 Bolens 1000 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 09:51 PM

Doc is right & I've seen em ground down considerably and still being used, IMO cutting grass wasn't a LF's strong suit, but they'll get the job done( quality of cut). Oregon ( pretty sure it was them) offered a blade that fit, it is NLA. I believe it's Oregon blades that an older dealer has a quantity of. Will take one and compare then go from there.

 

They are a bit of a bulldog and do scalp a bit over uneven terrain. My uncle has a 1250 and always complained of scalping on his hilly terrain.

 

Oregon did make the blade sets as well as other manufactures , there may be some oldstock out there but all main warehouses are empty.

The manufacture still has the tooling for these blades but needs a 5,000 piece minimum order to make them again when I called them.


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#14 TokyoDrift99 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 10:15 PM

Hmmm I have a fairly hilly yard, so maybe I should just scrap the idea if they aren't that good of a mower. I don't really care about having a Better Homes & Gardens style lawn as long as it gets the job done, but  I'm not interested in having scalp marks everywhere either.


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#15 TokyoDrift99 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 13, 2015 - 10:22 PM

Pretty sure 48" decks were not offered for the 1886 and beyond in the LF's. Not saying if your a handy fab man you couldn't make a 48" work

I'm okay with a welder as long as I have a grinding wheel & flap disc to clean it up haha. I'm sure I could make something work just fine. I don't have the time to be messing around trying to get the deck level and such. The whole rear end is getting ripped out come spring. The hydro is in serious need of some love. 


Edited by TokyoDrift99, February 13, 2015 - 10:23 PM.

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