Others have had trouble pushing out the main pulley shaft- we heated it up and fortunately it came out clean with some persuasion. The mower deck looked strong until we took off the main spindle- the deck was rusted badly under the main pulley. Not sure what we can do about it, the steel plate welded to the underside of the deck as a support and stiffener is still robust and without rot so we will clean it up as best we can and use the rust converter on it to minimize further rusting. The main spindle was seized so we ordered a new one and new bearings for the blade spindles.
Surface rust was everywhere on the deck. So we have been experimenting with newer tools to remove the rust as much as possible before using the gel chemical remover we found. All the parts removed for recon have been soaking in vinegar with some success. We found a simple solution to the remaining rust in a chemical converter which leaves the rust converted to a black metal that will resist rusting further.
New parts are expensive so any parts that can be reconditioned are being re-used as much as possible. Two new to us tools are proving helpful, one is a 6" Porter-Cable oscillating sander and the other is a Mikita 5" grinder fitted with a robust sanding disk. Both are quicker than my other attempts at sanding/grinding rust and make short work of the job. More and finer sanding to follow for painting.
Edited by My3kidsfather, September 15, 2017 - 11:21 PM.