Straight From the Horse's Mouth - The final chapter

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Eglijim

Deere deck on 520xi

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Hi ,  As I have been unable to find a replacement for my rotting 52" attach-a-matic deck in the UK I would welcome any advice on modifying a brand new JD 54c deck I have obtained.  Looks like a good prospect by grafting on the lift arms from the old deck and double stacking the front pulley on the JD deck which should put the drive in the correct position. Will have a better opinion when I gett both decks together in the workshop ?.IMG_20170509_103951915.jpg.7938d19b19f011b9565808ba9ef6bccf.jpg

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Looks like a doable interesting project.   Keep us updated with more pictures.

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If it were the older model Deere deck I'd do the swap - but consider how crappy the newer Edge series Deere decks cut the grass first , the have a pretty bad reputation over here and love to clog up . Plus , they do not disperse the clippings very well , actually do a worse job than the older WH decks . I've got a lawn tractor with a 48" Edge series - it's crap compared to the old WH 48" deck which will still cut pretty well when almost completely plugged with wet grass . Results vary , but I'd invest the time and effort to repair the WH deck myself . Maybe the larger Edge deck is designed different than their 48" version...?

 

Sarge

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2 hours ago, Sarge said:

If it were the older model Deere deck I'd do the swap - but consider how crappy the newer Edge series Deere decks cut the grass first , the have a pretty bad reputation over here and love to clog up . Plus , they do not disperse the clippings very well , actually do a worse job than the older WH decks . I've got a lawn tractor with a 48" Edge series - it's crap compared to the old WH 48" deck which will still cut pretty well when almost completely plugged with wet grass . Results vary , but I'd invest the time and effort to repair the WH deck myself . Maybe the larger Edge deck is designed different than their 48" version...?

 

Sarge

Welllll,   I have the new complete Deere deck, it seems like a decent heavily built 3mm thick deck pressing . The old WH deck is almost totally shot although the components are all serviceable.  Had considered having my fabricator make a new flat top plate  and skirt  (still  may) and make  into rear discharge but the cost of the brand new Deere deck was half of the cost  of a bare "copy" deck from a local guy and in the UK makes future parts supply much easier.

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You probably already know this but I will throw it out there anyway just in case you didn't know. The New Holland gt22 and gt20 decks are the same as xi decks just blue. Good luck.

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I would go for it! looks like a cool project. Slider under the tractor and check the fit.

I had a JD 48 edge and it cut fine.

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On 10/19/2017 at 11:29 PM, slammer302 said:

You probably already know this but I will throw it out there anyway just in case you didn't know. The New Holland gt22 and gt20 decks are the same as xi decks just blue. Good luck.

Thanks for that, unfortunately have been unable to locate any for sale in the UK for some time and the existing deck shell  is now past sensible repair.

 

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On 10/19/2017 at 4:11 PM, Sarge said:

If it were the older model Deere deck I'd do the swap - but consider how crappy the newer Edge series Deere decks cut the grass first , the have a pretty bad reputation over here and love to clog up . Plus , they do not disperse the clippings very well , actually do a worse job than the older WH decks . I've got a lawn tractor with a 48" Edge series - it's crap compared to the old WH 48" deck which will still cut pretty well when almost completely plugged with wet grass . Results vary , but I'd invest the time and effort to repair the WH deck myself . Maybe the larger Edge deck is designed different than their 48" version...?

 

Sarge

Thanks for the heads up but have bought the complete new  Deere deck for half the cost of a local shop  to fabricate a replacement copy  bare deck shell ;. The 54"Deere deck shell seems more substantial (3mm Thick and 70Kg.) than the old WH deck and heavier built than the "domestic" Deere products.  Will know by the Spring.

Jim.

On 10/21/2017 at 2:53 PM, OILUJ52 said:

I would go for it! looks like a cool project. Slider under the tractor and check the fit.

I had a JD 48 edge and it cut fine.

Still trying to decide if we can fabricate some new brackets to hang under the tractor or we cut off the attach-a-matic frame from the old deck and fix to the JD to maintain the floating  and ease of removal/attachment it gives ?.

Jim.

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That would not surprise me - many of Deere's products have different specifications due to where they are marketed , seems many times we get the short end of the stick so to speak here where the products are actually built . I know many parts are far heavier for the Euro market than what is offered here - probably due to competition with other brands in the target market . I'd bet those deck shells are a slightly different shape as well - perhaps an improvement on air flow over what is sold here - they have a pretty bad reputation in our market .

 

I'm interested to see how it turns out - in the future I'm sure we'll need more options to use what is available to retrofit to these old tractors - they have a habit of living far beyond the expected life span of such equipment in comparison to the newer stuff . Who knew back in the late 60's (and even far earlier) that new tractor you bought could easily be in good running condition far past the end of the last century - and well beyond that too...my '67 1277 just refuses to die .

 

Sarge

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On 11/1/2017 at 1:25 PM, Sarge said:

That would not surprise me - many of Deere's products have different specifications due to where they are marketed , seems many times we get the short end of the stick so to speak here where the products are actually built . I know many parts are far heavier for the Euro market than what is offered here - probably due to competition with other brands in the target market . I'd bet those deck shells are a slightly different shape as well - perhaps an improvement on air flow over what is sold here - they have a pretty bad reputation in our market .

 

I'm interested to see how it turns out - in the future I'm sure we'll need more options to use what is available to retrofit to these old tractors - they have a habit of living far beyond the expected life span of such equipment in comparison to the newer stuff . Who knew back in the late 60's (and even far earlier) that new tractor you bought could easily be in good running condition far past the end of the last century - and well beyond that too...my '67 1277 just refuses to die .

 

Sarge

Agreed, if the tractor itself was in poor condition I would not bother but as it has only  done 427 hours  and runs very nicely,

I think modifying a current available deck  is a viable option.

I hate the throw away approach that is now becoming normal, I still consider my 1965 triumph trials bike as one of the most modern bikes I run.

Having put the decks side by side it looks like actually hanging the deck on the tractor is the easy job.

It will trickier to alter the pulleys to accept the drive to the front centre spindle. The Deere drive pulley is only around 5.5 " as opposed to the 7" diameter of the WH deck so it looks like we will have to separate the existing drive pulley and mount to the front spindle on the Deere. That way there will be no issues with different belt sections. We will also likely alter the deck belt tensioner arrangement on the Deere deck which is poor.  Just need to get the final cut of this year out to the old deck before it converts itself back to iron oxide ! .

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Just fyi - need to figure out the original diameter of the clutch pulley on the Deere tractor and compare it to the WH mule drive clutch pulley . If they are about the same diameter (likely) then the Deere overdrives it's blades for higher tip speed - which is known to be much higher than our tractors . I'd bet at a lower blade tip speed the deck won't perform very well - it's how Deere got the vacuum to work on the Edge series decks . I know on my LA series lawn tractor the ratio is 1:1 between the clutch and the deck , but I've heard it's higher on the bigger units to help with blade rpm's - not sure if that's the case but you might want to dig into it more before having to adapt a spindle or something .

 

Sarge

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