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Repair lawn tractor body


naiku's Avatar
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10-11-15, 11:15 AM   #1  
Repair lawn tractor body

At some point in time the body of my lawn tractor split, almost exactly down the middle. The biggest problem with this is that the hood is now no longer secure. Over the winter I plan to do a few things to the tractor and one of those is repair the body. But I am not sure what the best option will be for the repair.

Would some kind of plastic weld work? The other option I was thinking was to use fiberglass on the inside. I have plenty of mat, would just need resin. I could use metal band/strap to hold the pieces together, then use the fiberglass. But I am concerned at how well that would hold up against the vibrations and how well it would adhere to the 2 halves. I was thinking of extending about 6" of mat both sides of the split.

Any other ideas, suggestions?

Thanks.

 
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10-11-15, 11:51 AM   #2  
Assuming it's a fiberglass hood that split, it would be best repaired with the fiberglass mat/resin - epoxy. It would have to be bridged on the underside, then ground out and filled on the top side. Simply repairing it down the line of break, at the mating surfaces wouldn't hold.

The fill on the tops side would have to have the glass fibers bridging the split on the top side.

 
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10-11-15, 03:53 PM   #3  
Wow weeee the metal frame broke ?

 
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10-11-15, 04:13 PM   #4  
We have no pictures, no make or model #.
If it's the metal frame that broke no way is fiberglass going to work.
Frame needs to be welded first.

 
cheese's Avatar
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10-11-15, 06:09 PM   #5  
I don't get this at all... if the entire body split, how is the hood not fitting securely the biggest issue? Is the hood split? What is this? Is it a plastic body, hood, ??? ?


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10-12-15, 05:40 AM   #6  
I think we need to know a lot more. You said the "body of your tractor split". To me that sounds like you've had welds break or some other major failure of the frame. Or, by "body" do you simply mean the hood has split? If so, what is the hood made of? Steel can be welded or have gusset/patch plates screwed, bolted or riveted in place. If it's fiberglass (don't know of many that are) it can be fiberglassed. If it's plastic you may need to screw, bolt or rivet a gusset plate on the inside to give the crack some structural strength. If you try to fiberglass plastic make sure you test an area first. Polyester resin attacks some types of plastic and there are some plastics that neither polyester or epoxy resin will stick.

 
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10-12-15, 06:43 AM   #7  
I have several mowers and one of them is a 1973 AMF whose engine I changed in 1988 and then hood wouldn't fit any more My Wife threw that hood away after a few years and I've been running the Mower now for 27 years without a hood . . . . I just never leave it outdoors in the rain. Works fine !

 
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10-12-15, 09:30 AM   #8  
Isn't it funny how very different a lawn tractor can look without it's hood. People look like giants riding on little dragsters... and mowing the lawn.

 
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10-12-15, 09:34 AM   #9  
Sorry! Definitely not the metal frame of the tractor that broke. I thought I was clear enough in my OP, but obviously not (although the reply from marbobj appeared to understand what I was talking about). If it was the actual metal frame, I would be shopping for a new mower.

Not sure on the model, it's an older White Outdoor tractor. I am specifically talking about the plastic body I guess you could call it the cowl? Although I always figured that was the piece surrounding the steering wheel area/above the hood towards the seat.

Anyways, here is a picture of another mower to sort of help describe it:



See the John Deere decal on this? Imagine that to be the line where the hood sits, just in front of and down from the "5" would be where the hood is hinged.

Now, pretend the hood is removed and you just have, what looking from above would be sort of a U shaped piece of plastic. This is the piece I am talking about.

This piece has effectively split in half, so instead of having a U shaped piece of plastic, I have 2 J shaped pieces. Because the hood has a pin on each side that slots into a hole on each side of this U shaped piece, with it split the hood no longer stays secure.

Hopefully that makes sense and helps explain what I am talking about. As to what the hood is made from, I am fairly certain it is plastic. The break/split is a very clean line. I imagine if it were fiberglass it would not be such a clean break and fibers would be visible. The mower is old enough that I am not particularly concerned how it looks, but I do want the hood and this piece to at least be secure.

 
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10-12-15, 10:44 AM   #10  
That is a hood. The body is the large piece from miodway to the rear with the fenders built in.

If yours is a John Deere 185, then the hood is fiberglass and easy to fix. It sounds like yours is somethiong else (we still don't know what you have). If the hood is plastic, john deere used a type of plastic that is not easily repaired and a fiberglass repair will not work. Fiberglass will just peel right off it.


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10-12-15, 11:29 AM   #11  
Not trying to compare apples to oranges but ..... my son got a wheelbarrow with a plastic tub that was left behind by the previous owner of his house. It was cracked pretty bad. I bolted a piece of sheet metal over the cracks. Probably not the prettiest repair but that was 6-7 yrs ago and the wheelbarrow is still usable.


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10-12-15, 01:00 PM   #12  
Posted By: cheese That is a hood. The body is the large piece from miodway to the rear with the fenders built in.

If yours is a John Deere 185, then the hood is fiberglass and easy to fix. It sounds like yours is somethiong else (we still don't know what you have).
I am sorry, but did you actually read my post?? First line in the 2nd paragraph... "Not sure on the model, it's an older White Outdoor tractor"

So not a John Deere 185, in fact not a John Deere at all.

Also, I know which piece is the hood. I even explained in my post with the John Deere picture that this was not mine, but was the closest image I could find to get an idea. That to imagine a cut line running about the decal, hinged at the 185 piece and removeable leaving the remaining piece behind that wraps around the engine. Maybe the entire front section is known as the hood on a lawn tractor, but in this case the hood (or what I would assume to be the hood) is the top hinged piece.

See if this helps... this is not my mower, but very similar:



See the line running just underneath the headlights? it then curves over that red piece and to the top near the controls? That is hinged and what I am saying is the hood.

Now in this picture, the hood is open:



Again, not my tractor but hopefully helps illustrate what I am talking about. See the hood just to the left of the picture (turbo cooling) is open, the remaining piece of the plastic, that the hood rests on, that you can sort of see is what is split on mine. Now, I apologize if that is also known as the hood on a lawn tractor, but to me the hood is the hinged piece that opens.

Regardless, it sounds like if it is plastic which I believe mine is that fiberglass will peel right off. I somewhat suspected this to be the case, I think what is likely going to be the only option (short of finding a replacement) is going to be some kind of sheet metal holding it together.

 
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10-12-15, 01:50 PM   #13  
Ok, I understand now. I see White is capitalized indicating manufacturer, not color.

MTD is one of the few makers that sometimes used the hoods with separate side panels. That isn't typical for the common riding mower, but is common enough on MTD products. The addition of a picture of a hood that is unlike yours in nearly every way confused matters more.

MTD used a more easily worked with plastic than Deere did, so although the fiberglass repair won't work, you can drill the plastic and rivet, bolt, or screw a plate of metal in the broken area to reinforce it and hold it together.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!


Last edited by cheese; 10-12-15 at 02:42 PM.
 
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10-12-15, 02:07 PM   #14  
Ah makes sense now with regards to hood or hood + side panels. Glad I did not start a fiberglass repair at this point and end up cursing it after dealing with the resin stink!!

I think I will go with bolting some metal on the inside of it to hold the thing together. I am not so worried about how it looks as its a 15+ year old mower, but it does a nice job on the yard so I am happy to keep it running as long as possible.

Thanks all who replied.

 
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10-12-15, 02:48 PM   #15  
If you want the repair to be super strong (probably stronger than the surrounding plastic), scuff up the plastic where the metal will touch it with 60 grit sandpaper and then coat the mating side of the metal with JBweld right before you put the screws or rivets in. Let it cure and it will be a permanent repair.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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