(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.