Troy Bilt mower deck

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  #1  
Old 07-09-19, 05:33 AM
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Troy Bilt mower deck

ZTR50. Maybe 10 years old.

The deck keeps losing essential parts because the metal is rusting where components are welded on. First, a deck wheel. Then the entire plate where the height adjusting links connect. Welded that last summer. And the plate broke loose again last week - rust holes again.

The chassis and engine are fine. I'm thinking about replacing the deck, as opposed to getting a new mower. But, if the problems are due to crappy steel, will replacement decks have the same problem?

Speaking of deck design - and crappy - who's idea was it to put "vent areas" by the three blade mounting points so that cut grass accumulates on top of the deck where the belt pulleys are?

Anyhoo, do you think a new deck will eventually start giving me the same problems?
 
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Old 07-09-19, 05:47 AM
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I would not think another deck from the same supplier would be any better. I have several friends with lower cost mowers that every year bring their deck or tractors by to have something patched or welded.

I don't know if it's really a quality of steel problem though it certainly could be. I think a lot of the problem is they make them as light and cheaply as possible which means thin steel. The thin steel flexes and the paint cracks and eventually flakes off and then the rust sets in. And with thin steel it doesn't take long to rust through or for things to break loose.

---
Not to rub salt in a wound but I have a couple commercial level Deere lawn tractors and have had zero problems with the decks so I have to think quality plays a big part. These mowing decks easily weigh double or triple the inexpensive ones. Even the paint holds up much better which I think is because the metal isn't flexing during use.
 
  #3  
Old 07-09-19, 05:55 AM
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PD,

I hear what you're saying. "You get what you pay for..."

However, at this point, I think I'd rather spend $500/$600 rather than $4000. Maybe a couple of cans of rubberized undercoating on the business side of the mower deck and add a few years of life.
 
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Old 07-09-19, 08:16 AM
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Or spend a little money at a metal/welding shop. Some patches and reinforcing might be worthwhile.
 
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Old 07-09-19, 11:23 AM
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A new deck will be the same thing. You just have to keep grass from building up on it and rusting it and keep good blades and belts on it to keep it balanced (shaking causes problems on these decks too). Troy Bilt is bottom of the barrel and not made to last long.
 
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Old 07-10-19, 06:06 AM
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"Bottom of the barrel", eh? 'Wait 'til I see my salesman at Lowes!
 
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Old 07-10-19, 09:41 AM
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I hate to say it but the Deere's they sell at Lowes are pretty low on the scale as well and nothing like their higher end machines... except for the paint colors.
 
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Old 07-10-19, 11:32 AM
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I agree, but better than the MTD products offered still. The main thing on the homeowner Deeres is to make sure you don't buy one with the plastic transmission. I'm seeing them fail before 100 hours and it's $600 bucks to buy another (not counting labor). Huquvarna and Craftsman have them in some of their mowers too unfortunately.
 
  #9  
Old 07-11-19, 05:58 AM
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Does your deck have that connection to clean under the deck with a garden hose? If it does I hope you don't use it. My Huskvarna has one which I used once - never again. I just can't see getting the underside wet all the time.

On my mowers after I scrape the grass out I spray it with WD-40, never had a rust problem.
 
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Old 07-11-19, 11:45 AM
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It's funny - when I brought the mower home, I saw that gadget, and said "what the hell is this?" and tossed it on a shelf. Eventually, I looked on YouTube to see how it works. You're kidding - I'm going to hook up a hose and spray water and grass all over my driveway every time I want to clean the deck? Did somebody get paid to invent that?
 
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Old 07-11-19, 11:55 AM
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And unless you get all the grass cleaned off you've just soaked what's stuck in there so it's nice and wet to cause more corrosion.
 
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Old 07-12-19, 04:59 AM
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^^^^^^^ Exactly. I suppose it's a selling point where some people think they'd never have to clean the deck again, just put the hose to it.
 
  #13  
Old 07-12-19, 05:55 AM
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If I may refer back to my original post for a moment - where I whine about the "vents" in the deck by the three spindles - do y'all think I should close those up on my new deck? It would only take three little sheet metal panels that could be bolted up while I'm transferring spindles.

Or should I leave this ingenious design as is?

It's just frustrating to have to clean all the dead grass off the top of the deck that should have blown out the chute.
 
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Old 07-12-19, 06:18 AM
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I am not familiar with your particular deck, but can tell you that my own deck does not have such "vents", and, nevertheless, I could darn near fill a grocery bag with the clippings that accumulate in and around the pulleys and spindles and on top of the surface almost each and every time I mow. I blow mine off almost every time before pulling it inside, but a lot of people don't because I have worked on any number of friends and neighbors mowers over the years, and would guess that more often than not they are packed right full, on and around the deck, up under the drive unit, etc., so doubt that those "vents" are worth your time to worry about. As long as the grass is dry, a leaf blower or compressed air does wonders, otherwise, if it's damp, you may need a garden hose.
 
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Old 07-12-19, 08:15 AM
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Are these the 'vents' you are talking about?


https://youtu.be/7IKVwHc6Rfg?t=138


If so, I don't know if you could block them or not.

I'm gonna go take a peek at mine and see what I have.
 
  #16  
Old 07-12-19, 09:43 AM
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Not really. At about the 2:30 mark, he's talking about the belt guards collecting grass, but what he doesn't mention is how the grass gets in there.

Where each spindle goes through the mower deck, picture four mounting flanges coming out from a six-inch hole. (Where a 2-inch hole for the spindle to drop through would work.) Because of the air gaps between the flanges, cut grass shoots up through the voids and now lays on top on the mower deck - accumulating under the belt guards.
 
  #17  
Old 07-12-19, 10:39 AM
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Or should I leave this ingenious design as is?

LOL - no idea what to tell you.



Name:  Deck Holes.JPG
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  #18  
Old 07-12-19, 11:20 AM
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The grass collects up there anyway on mowers without the vents. They supposedly keep the spindles cooler but I won't say I concur. The best thing to do is have a compressor or a cheap electric leaf blower or something and blow it off after use. Do it right after cutting so the grass is still light and fluffy and not compacted or rotting. It blows right off. Usually if there is severe debris accumulation, it's because there is a hole blasted through the deck in the center right where the two blades meet. Common problem on these decks.
 
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