When is it time to replace a mower deck shell? - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information
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post #1 of 22 Old 05-05-2019, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

I have the original 48" mower deck that came with my tractor that has seen nearly 40 years of grass mowing. I intend to keep this tractor running for another 40 years, so I'm considering what kind of attention I should give this deck as I get ready for another season.

As I was prepping the deck tonight, I noticed:
  • the rust underneath is getting quite bad in a couple spots
  • I have 2 holes rusted through - 1 between the middle and left spindle as you are looking at the photo, the other is on the left side of the deck
  • the baffle (not sure on the technical name - the curved piece that follows the arc of the blades) is about 70% rusted away
  • I mistakenly hit a stump that was hidden in some long grass. It bent the front edge of the deck in, to the extent that the blade hit that front edge. I bent it back out to get it functional, but it isn't pretty

The top side of the deck still looks decent, but I know that mower deck "shells" are still available from Mission Manuf. I will have to contact them for a quote, but I'm trying to weigh what I would need to do to get this deck back to 100% versus buying a new one while I still can.

I have considering grabbing a used one somewhere, but most of the time they are not much better than what I have.

I'd be curious to hear everyone's thoughts! Thanks!
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1979 Power King 1618
Dual trans., turf tires, hydraulics, Cat 0 3 pt., 48" mower, snowblower, rototiller, dethatcher rake...more attachments to come
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post #2 of 22 Old 05-05-2019, 01:55 AM
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You don't say what it is off of and that information would play into my answer.

Assuming you do have a piece of equipment that will last another 40 years I say bite the bullet and buy a new deck.
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post #3 of 22 Old 05-05-2019, 02:13 AM
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

I would just start welding patches over the holes and using my ring-roller to make new curved pieces that go near the rear edges of the 3 blades (it's a 1" ring roller, but I've done 4" wide 1/8" thick sheetmetal with it).
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post #4 of 22 Old 05-05-2019, 02:20 AM
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I'm with Country, once a deck starts to go its gone. Had a Craftsman 46" deck that started cracking. I mad maxed it together for a while but other cracks were starting.
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post #5 of 22 Old 05-05-2019, 11:10 PM
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

I would also agree with replacing the deck. Fix what you can for now to get you by, but start pricing out a new or good used one for next year. Once you start welding on this you will eventually pass the cost of a replacement deck. This deck has seen 40 years of use and abuse and metal fatigue has set in. Rust is making the hole deck thinner as the years go by and she has had a great run. If it were me, i'd patch for now but start looking for a replacement.

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post #6 of 22 Old 05-05-2019, 11:55 PM
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

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Originally Posted by Hammerhead007 View Post
I would also agree with replacing the deck. Fix what you can for now to get you by, but start pricing out a new or good used one for next year. Once you start welding on this you will eventually pass the cost of a replacement deck. This deck has seen 40 years of use and abuse and metal fatigue has set in. Rust is making the hole deck thinner as the years go by and she has had a great run. If it were me, i'd patch for now but start looking for a replacement.
I don't think he'll find a replacement for a 40 year mower.. JD gives u 20 years of parts.. after that ur on ur own.. patching it would b the way to go..


the round fenderd JD's
4-JD 60's.. 2-JD 70's.. 6-JD 100's.. 2-JD 110's.. 2-JD 112's..

3 JD LT 155's.. JD R-72.. JD Scotts 2048.. JD 111.. JD Sabre 1742..
WH RJ-58.. WH Lawn Ranger.. WH 654.. WH 854.. 2- MF 14's..
Craftsman GT 6000.. CC 70.. CC 100.. CC 129..
total tractors is 30..
home built log spliter 4x24 ram.. 20hp.. 11 seconds per cycle..

give a monkey a wrench & he can ruin the world.. whirly 7/27/2018
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post #7 of 22 Old 05-06-2019, 02:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

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Originally Posted by Whirly View Post
I don't think he'll find a replacement for a 40 year mower.. JD gives u 20 years of parts.. after that ur on ur own.. patching it would b the way to go..
Actually, not true. Mission Manuf. has them available:

https://powerkingtractor.com/Info/LE...GE48-60482.htm

Just got the quote back - $595 for the bare shell. That did not seem to include freight.

1979 Power King 1618
Dual trans., turf tires, hydraulics, Cat 0 3 pt., 48" mower, snowblower, rototiller, dethatcher rake...more attachments to come
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post #8 of 22 Old 05-06-2019, 02:23 PM Thread Starter
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

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Originally Posted by Country1966? View Post
You don't say what it is off of and that information would play into my answer.

Assuming you do have a piece of equipment that will last another 40 years I say bite the bullet and buy a new deck.
See my signature...

1979 Power King 1618
Dual trans., turf tires, hydraulics, Cat 0 3 pt., 48" mower, snowblower, rototiller, dethatcher rake...more attachments to come
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post #9 of 22 Old 05-06-2019, 09:37 PM
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuren View Post
Actually, not true. Mission Manuf. has them available:

https://powerkingtractor.com/Info/LE...GE48-60482.htm

Just got the quote back - $595 for the bare shell. That did not seem to include freight.
this is the first time u mentioned it was a Power King.. they r a collectors item.. retire that tractor..


the round fenderd JD's
4-JD 60's.. 2-JD 70's.. 6-JD 100's.. 2-JD 110's.. 2-JD 112's..

3 JD LT 155's.. JD R-72.. JD Scotts 2048.. JD 111.. JD Sabre 1742..
WH RJ-58.. WH Lawn Ranger.. WH 654.. WH 854.. 2- MF 14's..
Craftsman GT 6000.. CC 70.. CC 100.. CC 129..
total tractors is 30..
home built log spliter 4x24 ram.. 20hp.. 11 seconds per cycle..

give a monkey a wrench & he can ruin the world.. whirly 7/27/2018
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post #10 of 22 Old 05-06-2019, 11:04 PM Thread Starter
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

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Originally Posted by Whirly View Post
this is the first time u mentioned it was a Power King.. they r a collectors item.. retire that tractor..
I don't want to sound flippant, but I am posting in the Power King forum...and posted pictures of a Power King deck in front of a Power King tractor...with a Power King listed in my signature.

And I'm not sure if you are joking, but I was unaware that PKs are to be retired. There are plenty of folks here still working these machines.

1979 Power King 1618
Dual trans., turf tires, hydraulics, Cat 0 3 pt., 48" mower, snowblower, rototiller, dethatcher rake...more attachments to come
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post #11 of 22 Old 05-13-2019, 12:40 PM
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

That's great you're keeping the tractor alive and using it as intended. They are great mowing machines and offer a nice cut. I really enjoy mowing with mine too.

That said, if you can justify the cost of a new shell, that would be the way to go. I'd coat the underside with POR 15 before using it to help preserve it. Otherwise if you want to keep your existing one alive, you could get some quotes to have the metal repaired if you're not a fabricator however the cost would likely be near same or exceed what the new shell would be. If you can't find any good used replacements, I'd suggest buying a new shell (though expensive) but will last another 40+ years like you said, especially with a good coating on it from the start. My $02c.

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post #12 of 22 Old 05-13-2019, 02:31 PM
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Not trying to start a fight but it wasn't until post 7 that I realized it was a Power King. Still... Patching it will be time intensive and only temporary. Been there done that with a Craftsman. The only reason yours lasted so long is because the quality was better to start with. In my honest opinion.
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post #13 of 22 Old 05-13-2019, 02:52 PM
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

I think that you are missing a few rollers also...I think Whirly was suggesting retirement because it is collectible and as such you would want to preserve it...on the other hand it is a collectible because it was so good when it was made, that it should be able to work forever.....I would patch as I can for now....those holes are not really a big deal....the arc baffles would take a little bit of work, but could be done even if only temporarily until you decide to buy a new deck or find a used one....good luck with it...if I owned it...I would want to keep it working and as well maintained as I could
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post #14 of 22 Old 05-13-2019, 07:54 PM
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

I have my Grandfather's Economy, he lived next door on the farm, bought it new with a bunch of attachments. My deck is under roof on asphalt (just noticed full of leaves). Dad brush painted it many years ago (latex...so maybe I can get it off).
Your deck doesn't look that bad. If it were mine I would clean rust hole areas to bare metal on inside...patch same gauge steel pieces larger like 3"x3"...whatever works. Braze them in (inside deck). Outside fill (if you get it clean enough I'd be tempted to lead solder hole area). Sand, prime, paint both sides. Replace roller.
You have nothing to lose. Fixed up it will last another 40+ years.
Grandad (rip), Dad (rip), and I (I'm 67) have put this one to hard use and it works great.
They were/are great and handy little tractors and I'm still amazed what it will do.

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post #15 of 22 Old 05-14-2019, 12:16 AM
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Re: When is it time to replace a mower deck shell?

I'm wondering if u can get a brand new tractor from them..


the round fenderd JD's
4-JD 60's.. 2-JD 70's.. 6-JD 100's.. 2-JD 110's.. 2-JD 112's..

3 JD LT 155's.. JD R-72.. JD Scotts 2048.. JD 111.. JD Sabre 1742..
WH RJ-58.. WH Lawn Ranger.. WH 654.. WH 854.. 2- MF 14's..
Craftsman GT 6000.. CC 70.. CC 100.. CC 129..
total tractors is 30..
home built log spliter 4x24 ram.. 20hp.. 11 seconds per cycle..

give a monkey a wrench & he can ruin the world.. whirly 7/27/2018
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