Re: JD 425 54" mower deck problem.
Update on my deck:
Last month one of the brackets that hold the front bail mount snapped off. (970 hours)I found the 2 rollers, but no luck on the bracket and shaft. So I found a decent used deck on Craigslist and jumped on it not knowing how well the repair on the busted mower shell would go, plus I needed something for a pattern. So $600 for the deck, $200 for welding repairs it needed, 3 new blades, belt, and rebuild the tensioner shaft. Drain and fill the gearbox. This time I bought a Stens belt, $50 on Ebay. We'll see how it holds up.
So a few comments for 54 deck owners:
Watch for cracks in the bogey wheel mounts, and the front mount brackets. The tensioner bushing is plastic, and will induce wobble when it wears. If you have belt tracking issues check this first.
While welding the cracks I had the guy make a bracket that spans the bottom of the chute out of 3/16 plate steel. Both my used decks came without it, and the local Deere dealer said the original was pretty thin and bent/broke readily. Should solve the bending issue of the right front of the deck.
I also had him weld reinforcing gussets on both front brackets. One had started to crack on this deck as well. Hopefully it's bulletproof.
Now to see if the welder can repair the first deck!