Replacing/repairing a mower deck

I have a Toro MTD mower with the 21 inch cut. One lever to adjust the
height of all four wheels. Really good when you don't have a flat
(let alone level) yard. Price was right - friend found it on a job
site. Replace the cables and it works. Starts easily if I use the
alcohol free gasoline.
But - deck rot. As in, there is a hole rusted through the deck where
clippings shoot out. Kind of 'neat' when the grass is dry, but no big
either way.
But, underneath, well, let us just say that I can dig a lot of
grass out from where it should not be, as something has rotted out,
and rather than direct the grass to the rear exhaust port, it is
packing into this "space"
I've been on the MTD website and part 16997 - "21 deck ass'y" is
no longer available. "Waddaya mean, it's a 1991! Why aren't they
stocking the deck assembly?" [Because it is a 1991 model, and they
want you to replace the whole mower.]
Which leaves us with the repair option. The problem is, I am not
a welder. Which means, I dunno - mill one out of a block of
something? Bang and shape some sheet metal to fit, then rivet, fasten
with screws/rivets/JB Weld/Gorilla Glue?
Or bit the bullet and start hitting the garage sales?
pyotr filipivich.
Discussing the decline in the US's tech edge, James Niccol once wrote
"It used to be that the USA was pretty good at producing stuff teenaged
boys could lose a finger or two playing with."
Reply to
pyotr filipivich
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I would try hitting the lawn mover shops. They throw out movers that are still useable.
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I'd open up the hole out to metal solid enough to attach to, file the edges enough that they won't cut you, then trace the opening onto thin cardboard such as a file folder or cereal box.
Draw an overlap of an inch or so around the tracing, cut it out and copy it in sheet metal. The metal patch will be easier to align while bending and drilling if you mark the hole outline by center-punching through the cardboard and connecting the dimples with a thick marker.
You could attach it with small screws and nuts, then hammer the protruding threads so they can't vibrate loose.
The same process minus the overlap can give you a snug-fitting patch that could be MIG welded flush. Magnets will hold a flush-fitted steel patch in place while tack-welding around them, then you can bend the rest of the patch flush with the original surface.
Sheet metal that's too thick to snip and too thin to saw can be cut with a cold chisel, either by scoring the line against a solid backing or by shearing it along the top of vise jaws.
Reply to
Jim Wilkins
I second Dan's suggestion . I recently rebuilt/repaired a 46" three spindle deck for my JD yard tractor . Works really well , I'm not using the weedeater nearly as much these daze . Jim Wilkins' suggestions have merit too if you can't find a replacement - as long as the metal around the spindle(s) isn't compromised . A mower blade flying out of there could be pretty exciting ...
Reply to
Terry Coombs
Lots of "terminally neglected" engines on good decks - doesn't have to be the same brand as long as the shaft lrnth is the same.
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