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Discussion Starter #1
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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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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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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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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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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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..
 

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Discussion Starter #7

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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.
See my signature...
 

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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.
 

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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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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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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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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.


Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk
 

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

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I'm wondering if u can get a brand new tractor from them..
Noooo, just like you can't buy a brand new Packard car. Parts are available though.
Brand new doesn't always equate to better.
If I could buy a new Power King, same design as then I would buy one.

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Noooo, just like you can't buy a brand new Packard car. Parts are available though.
Brand new doesn't always equate to better.
If I could buy a new Power King, same design as then I would buy one.

Sent from my SM-S320VL using Tapatalk
I had to get my thoughts on that.. I would buy one too.. LOL..
 

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I would be all over the new deck shell, put your spindles, pulleys, wheels, etc. on for now and replace as needed going forward.

I coat the underside of my 60" deck for my JD455 with used motor oil, my reasoning, old cars with leaky engines always had good frames under them!

I've also wondered why someone doesn't make fabricated decks for some of the more popular models, I understand patent laws but how can you buy a snowblower, snow blade, tiller, post hole auger, etc.

CCMoe
 

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Probably because there are so many different decks, with different mounting points, spindle locations, anti-scalp wheel locations, pulley setups, etc, and likely there are VERY few people who buy new decks. With care they last a long time, and without care, they don't, but then the rest of the tractor will likely be treated the same and die early as well. And then you have to compete both with the OEM who may have decks available for a long time, used decks, and people just welding up their existing deck.

I think it would be a very difficult business to be in for a small company, and be considered not worthwhile for a large company...
 

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Probably because there are so many different decks, with different mounting points, spindle locations, anti-scalp wheel locations, pulley setups, etc, and likely there are VERY few people who buy new decks. With care they last a long time, and without care, they don't, but then the rest of the tractor will likely be treated the same and die early as well. And then you have to compete both with the OEM who may have decks available for a long time, used decks, and people just welding up their existing deck.

I think it would be a very difficult business to be in for a small company, and be considered not worthwhile for a large company...
Here's a small list of attachment manufacturers that could do this.

Agri-Fab
Brinly-Hardy
Berco
Ohio Steel
Precision
Bosski
Land Pride

Look at the popular John Deere 3xx series, 4x5 series just to name a few along with Cub Cadets, Bolens, Simplicity, etc.

A fabricated deck is not rocket science, they are pretty much flat plate steel.

John Deere was selling the 60" deck for the 4X5 series for over three grand, no longer available.

Back to the OP, I would buy that deck shell in a minute.

CCMoe
 
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