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Not sure what course to take here. I like "clean" when it comes to taking care of my tools and my lawn and garden equipment is no different, but I do have reservations about taking a hose to my tractor. Any recommendations and if so, what should I avoid getting wet? DC
 

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In most operator's manuals it states to avoid pressure washing or washing with a garden hose. The electrical system, the deck spindles, the hydro trans - these would be the things to avoid getting wet.

I'm like you in this respect - I love to keep my work area, my tools, and my equipment clean. What I do to my tractor is this: after every use, I take a leaf blower to the deck to clear off the debris there. That's were most of it builds up. Then I go over the rest of the tractor from back to front, and then I blow air into the flywheel screen and watch until I can no longer see any debris coming out of the engine's cooling shrouds.

Once a year, I'll take off the fenders and the tunnel to give the frame and hydro a good hand cleaning. No water used here, either. Using a wire brush on the cooling fins of the hydro, and a plain old shop rag for everything else, following it all up with some forced air to clean out what's left behind. Lubricate linkages and such, reassemble.

An every few weeks, I wipe the exterior surfaces down and wax them. Yup, I wax my tractor. Keeps the paint looking great, makes for easy cleanup. I even clean and wax the backsides of the rims, both the front and rear rims. It's an annoyance of mine - I hate to have a clean outside of a rim with a gross inner side. :)

That's just what I personally do...
 

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Well send You tractor in for service and I bet 10 to 1 They will Pressure wash it Before they work on it You just need to let the electrical Dry completely But I hand wash Mine & dry In between seasons. about every other year I will Power wash them. Deere dealer where My Brother runs the service and Parts Dept The Pressure was each customers Machine Before they even work on it, But I Still tend to Be careful if I do that and don’t spray the dash or directly behind the dash:thThumbsU
 

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I agree, Sarg - I think if you're real careful with a pressure washer, you can get away without doing damage to the unit.
I find that most of the customer's tractors that I work on are just soiled. I will occasionally pressure wash an engine that's needed de-greased for ages, but I stay away from the deck spindles and the trans. I've gotten water into two hydros before with a pressure washer. Not a lot, but some, for sure.

I think the main thing is to keep up on the cleaning. If you don't let it get out of hand, then you won't have a need to pressure wash the entire tractor.
 

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Jsoluna, thanks for the quick reply. Yep...the leaf blower seems to be the way to go. I've read of others using the same, but I'm liking the way you do things the best. I wax too BTW. DCC
 

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BTW...I should have mentioned that after just one washing (only used a hose and was real careful), my tractor would not start. I could hear a click is all. After it dried out, all was good again. So I'm real hesitant to go that route. DCC
 

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My tractor gets disassembled and washed twice a year (once in the fall when I convert it to a snow machine and once mid-summer). You just have to be smart about it. Don't soak the electrical system.

I have used a pressure washer on the tractor and would suggest that you not use a pressure washer. My tractor no longer has any OEM stickers as a result of getting too close with the wand.
 

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When it comes to cleaning the tractor, there are folks who wash them diligently and folks who don't. Personally I've never washed my machine since I've had it, for the fears described above concerning the electrical, deck spindles, and hydro unit. It's not worth it to me to take the chance of having a shiny clean machine and hoping that after washing it off, all will be ok and that there are no problems to contend with because of some water getting where it should not have.

I do use a leaf blower on it after every use to clear off the dust and debris around the deck, engine compartment and transaxle. This works very well. Every once in awhile I'll use some windex or simplegreen to clean it up some if need be for those stubborn spots the leaf blower does'nt get.
 

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...can't argue with that!

I've been really pleased with how the leaf blower works. I use my 2186 for commercial mowing and yard work, and the leaf blower is always around and handy. I had to remove my cooling shrouds once when I first got the tractor to remove the 'nests' of debris underneath them - but now that I use the leaf blower after each lawn, I haven't seen any debris building up so far. Leaf season is upon me, though, and that's a tougher battle to fight as far as debris go. The 2000 Series loves to churn up clippings in front of the deck to feed into the engine's flywheel screen....
 

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I do both.

Leaf blower after every use, and a good pressure wash 2 or 3 times during the summer only. Adjust the wand for a wide fan and you will have more pressure and less water. Stay away from the stickers and electrical and you'll be fine. Wipe it down and set it out in the sun with the seat and hood opened up.

Don't wash in the cooler months, this is when the water will sit on your machine for longer. If you do wash when it's cooler, just use the leaf blower and some compressed air to speed things along.
 

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I have had over 20 machines and the wife has never let me have a new one yet!!:crybaby:

Just kidding about the wife, I prefer the old ones, so, that is what I get.

My method is to:
1) PICK A LOW HUMIDITY DAY!! This is critical so the moisture will dry quickly.
2) Depending on the dirt/grease level apply an appropriate cleaner to the machine dry.
Cleaners range from car wash liquids for machines with paint that is nice up to "Purple Power" type cleaners that will etch the paint on equipment that I am going to paint anyway (did I say I buy OLD stuff??)
My "go to" cleaner for greasy stuff is Greased Lightning. I buy it by the gallon. It is reasonably kind to paint, super cleans tires, and in general does a good job.
3) Pressure wash the daylights out of it!! My philosophy is a clean machine will work longer and better than a dirty one, I replace very few parts.
4) Let it sun bake for 2-3 hours to dry (see 1) above).

Clean, Clean, Clean. I also change the oil at 10 hours (no filter) or 25 hours (filter) and have never had to rebuild an engine.
 

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I like your thinking!
 

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Not sure what course to take here. I like "clean" when it comes to taking care of my tools and my lawn and garden equipment is no different, but I do have reservations about taking a hose to my tractor. Any recommendations and if so, what should I avoid getting wet? DC
particularly as long as machine is in warranty, stick with owner's manual reccomendations. After warranty, yer on yer own. Just remember, yer engine/tranny/elect system are not sealed against moisture and will corrode over time.
 

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Always run it after washing so it dries itself. Make sure to run the deck too.
 

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In the past I've hosed down every tractor we owned with a garden hose. But now it's just compressed air...

...hummm I kind of like the idea of a leaf blower. I wonder if they'll blow wet muddy grass debris off the top of the deck?

ps that reminds me at one time I was thinking about putting mud flaps behind the front tires to cut down on that spoil...seems I forgot all about until this minute.
 

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The answer is yes, yes the leaf blower will take care of that nasty stuff. I use it to blow off mud, grass, leaves, all of which have been drenched in rain the last few times I've used the 2186.
 

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I use the leaf blower or my air compressor normally and about 2 or 3 times a year I use the garden hose to hose it down thoroughly (not the electrical though) and leave the seat up, hood open and let it sit in the sun for several hours to dry after towel drying it. I use the wash out ports on the deck about every other time I mow.

I also wax it 1 or 2 times a year. Yeah......I'm like several others above....I'm anal about keeping my tools and equipment looking like new.
 

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Or just put a shield on the deck.

What you need to get for the mud is a nice, used jet engine.
 
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