To wash or not?


Old 05-16-06, 06:19 AM
gsr is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: SE Minnesota
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To wash or not?

I got a new Cub Cadet tractor with the deck wash option.

The manufacturer says to use the deck wash after every use while I've heard from others it's not such a good idea because water will get into the bearings and cause early failure and can cause the deck to rust sooner.

So what do others do? Wash their mowers every use, once a season, when dirty, etc.

I know not to wash a hot engine and to keep the cooling fins on the engine and transmission clean.
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Old 05-16-06, 06:27 AM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: USA
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I don't own a riding mower so I don't know how well this applies. I have a push mower that I bought 15 yrs ago. I spray the underside off after every use - no rust and everything works well. My stepson bought a new mower 5 yrs ago and no matter how much I preach to him he rarely ever hoses it off. His mower deck has rust holes and needs replacing even though every time I bring it to the house to change the oil and sharpen the blade I clean it up and repaint the underside.

For my money a clean deck will last longer and will allow the mower to cut more efficently.
Old 05-16-06, 09:35 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: North Carolina
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wash it out and run the deck for apx two minutes to dry it out. never put it away with water on top or wet blades and quills.
Old 05-17-06, 01:04 AM
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I rarely see caked up trash under a deck in my area unless they have been cutting wet grass or mulching. I have seen (regularly) premature bearing failure because of water entering the mandrel housing. If your mandrels have grease fittings, grease them and this will keep the water from entering. Then, wash away and let dry.
Old 05-17-06, 03:29 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: Upstate New York
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My opinion is you should never hose it down but if you do, I recommend you do it after each use. I'd rather see you lift the front end up with a floor jack (also use a safety jack - you don't want the fire department responding to an injured man under a lawn tractor) and scrape the deck with a putty-knife-like scraper. While the bearings, generally, are sealed, they're not sealed that well. If you decide to go the hose route, the reason I say to clean every use is that if you forget to do it once and now a week goes by before the next use (and additional build-up and cleaning), the previous weeks build-up has had time to petrify (dry and harden) and will likely not come off with a hosing off. In this state, it will still act like a sponge and soak up the water but it won't be removed. This water-soaked sponge will rot the deck prematurely.

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