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48 inch Side Discharge Deck Restoration

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Snoopy11
3 minutes ago, Jeff-C175 said:

3M Collision Repair has an extensive series of videos on YT

Did... I say that I could have used that... a long time ago...? :lol:

 

Don

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Jeff-C175

So, here's the 7/16" rod bent and fitted, almost ready to welderup.

 

image.png.be6ea85fec967b766e396e9bd7a446ad.png

 

Sorry for the focus issue, but here's the rod welded on.  Haven't done any clean up yet.  I only welded the bottom so far, not sure if I'm going to run a few beads on top or not yet.

I think the welds that are on there now will be plenty strong enough.  The gray stuff on the shell just above the rod is the 'weld thru' coating.

 

image.png.7d99a0b2336c29de4b14e2bc77a92f91.png

 

I'm thinking of filling the top gap between the shell and the rod with OSI QUAD sealant.  It's incredibly tough stuff, remains flexible, is paintable, and I have a few tubes left over from another project

 

image.png.2af6880259e46b735d288e68c0b3e47a.png

 

Have I mentioned that I still 5uck at welding?  

 

image.png.d26081c0cc863e771fd93da7b32b95fa.png

 

image.png.d47c4da8ff083de1fcba4e3cd01e4803.png

 

The addition of this rod has stiffened that rear apron IMMENSELY!  It may not even be necessary to use those knee braces but of course I will since I spent all that time making them.

 

I doubt that this will crack again.

 

Do y'all think that the beads I've already run are enough?  Or, should I do 100% on the bottom?  I'm thinking that leaving the gaps would at least give some chance of it drying out between uses.

 

I should also mention that I repaired the cracks at these two locations AGAIN, hopefully for the last time!  I drilled small holes at the ends of the cracks, used the thin Dremel wheel to cut a VEE into the cracks and make sure I got good penetration of the weld.  The flexing will now be minimized so I don't expect these will crack again.

 

image.png.d8d9bbfab6706fa2b14f7675237c922d.png

 

 

Edited by Jeff-C175
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kpinnc

Jeff that is some beautiful work! :bow-blue:

 

Gonna be bulletproof!

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Jeff-C175
3 minutes ago, kpinnc said:

beautiful work! 

 

Thanks again!  But you can be honest about my 'less than beautiful' welds!  :laughing-rolling:

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kpinnc
5 hours ago, Jeff-C175 said:

Thanks again!  But you can be honest about my 'less than beautiful' welds!  :laughing-rolling:

 

I've seen "stack of dimes" welding before, and on rare occasion made a few myself. That being said, 95% of mine look like slung albatross dookey. We're not doing structural welding, and what I mean is making two pieces of steel stay together for our applications is far more important than making them pretty. 

 

Now- if you ever weld up the cooling tank at a nuclear plant, I'll critique your welds. But bulking up a mower deck? Stick it, and grind off the ugly. Unlikely you will exceed 60,000 psi on that edge bar. :thumbs:

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Jeff-C175
On 1/12/2022 at 7:03 AM, kpinnc said:

Stick it, and grind off the ugly

 

I like that!  It's going into my lexicon, thanks!

 

Almost there... ground off the ugly and gave it a coat of paint.  The areas not painted are where I'm going to weld the bottom of the gauge wheel rod brackets to the new rod.  I found and repaired some cracks around those bolt holes also so decided to do what WH did with the later decks and weld those plates to the rod.  That should move the stress from the wheels to the rod and away from the deck shell.

 

image.png.53e1353d70c28a014a7597a7201a6ad4.png

 

 

One of @Horse Newbie 's photos.  I'm only going to weld the plates to the new rod and not at the top to the deck.  The bolts are plenty enough I think.

 

image.png.3891a44f3434757f8305bf5a4d0bc26c.png

 

 

 

I don't think I'm going to add the rod around the front of the deck, at least not yet as shown on @Horse Newbie 's deck:

Mine does not have as much room between the wheel brackets and the bottom lip.  If I do decide to add that later, it will have to be smaller diameter.  I know the 7/16" won't fit, 3/8" probably not either.  If I do put one there it's going to have to be only 1/4" and not sure if it's worth the trouble or not.  There's nothing obvious to me that adding it would improve really.  No cracks up there!

 

image.png.0192c923410829a804b5099d6f3dc4c4.png

 

 

Edited by Jeff-C175
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kpinnc
1 hour ago, Jeff-C175 said:

One of @Horse Newbie 's photos.  I'm only going to weld the plates to the new rod and not at the top to the deck.  The bolts are plenty enough I think.

 

I like your thinking there. My two cents: if you don't weld the plates, I'd use oversize washers under those bolts inside the shell or a plate of some kind just to spread the load out.

 

1 hour ago, Jeff-C175 said:

 

 

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Jeff-C175
58 minutes ago, kpinnc said:

I'd use oversize washers under those bolts inside the shell or a plate of some kind just to spread the load out.

 

I would like to, but there's a problem with that.  This shell was beat to h377 by P.O., bent and twisted (like me!), and I've straightened it as much as I was able.

 

The blade tips are too close to the rear apron to allow those bolt heads to protrude any further than they already do.

 

I'll get some pics up tomorrow showing what I mean.

 

Edited by Jeff-C175
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kpinnc
Just now, Jeff-C175 said:

I'll get some pics up tomorrow showing what I mean.

 

I know exactly what you're talking about. Sorry I didn't think about how close that lower bolt is on a 48. 

 

If you weld the quadrant on the reinforcing bar, the applied pressure will be pushing down on the factory plate anyway, and my tiny mind was thinking about the cracks that form around the hitch bolts.

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Horse Newbie

@Jeff-C175  That is some awesome work… you are making me look lazy !

:lol:

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Jeff-C175
2 hours ago, Horse Newbie said:

@Jeff-C175  That is some awesome work… you are making me look lazy !

:lol:

 

Thanks!  I'm just keeping the lights on till you get back to it which I know you will!

 

And thank you again for the photos which gave me my inspiration!

 

 

 

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Jeff-C175

Seems that there are some differences in the way the newer shells are bent and the brackets for the gauge wheels didn't reach the reinforcing rod, and since my shell is caddy wompus, each side is a bit different.

 

image.png.64614c0098274e643461ffdad29bc4fd.png

 

So I welded a coupon to the end of the bracket to take up the space.  (shown above on top)

 

image.png.6c65f02576c73e09c060b0dbffc1e808.png

 

Installed this way, I can now weld it to the rod:

 

image.png.750049c843943c41fbf4b7f9f342aaef.png

 

The gap was bigger on the other side and I didn't have any steel that thick so I used a scrap of the cutoff C channel that I made the other knee braces out of:

 

image.png.d2f72f64a8d6521c1613afe5aa4c868a.png

 

I'm going to slip a small scrap in between in the middle and weld that also just for a little more strength

 

image.png.17a8384d6b0a5dc2bb1e2a425bf0473f.png

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kpinnc

Looks good to me Jeff! Gonna be a solid deck for sure! :thumbs:

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Jeff-C175

Finished it all up today... I need to get me some more of those toe warmer packets!  I suppose if my toeses was roses they wouldn't be so damn cold!  It's warming up OUTside, but it was down to 15° last night and that concrete is COLD!

 

image.png.e85d5740d1f477cb693eb4762834d06f.png

 

image.png.7ff53c5cea62e7abf7a13f0c26eeab28.png

 

If those cracks redevelop I'm just gonna let it be... it will be what it will be.

But, I think this oughta do it.  Between the knee braces and the 7/16" rod it's strong as Popeye, and hopefully as bullet proof as Superman.

 

 

Edited by Jeff-C175
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kpinnc
On 1/11/2022 at 11:32 PM, Jeff-C175 said:

Or, should I do 100% on the bottom?

 

Leave the gaps. Otherwise you'll be creating a place for standing water to mix with clippings. Never a good idea. :thumbs:

 

A short 1 inch weld bead every 2-3 inches will hold forever.

 

Those reinforcements sure look good. That deck should easily last another 50 years! Are you going to undercoat it with something?

Edited by kpinnc
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Jeff-C175
2 minutes ago, kpinnc said:

 

Leave the gaps. Otherwise you'll be creating a place for standing water to mix with clippings. Never a good idea. :thumbs:

 

A short 1 inch weld bead every 2-3 inches will hold forever.

 

Just what I ended up doing!  I did add a few here and there to the top as well, but left the gaps.

 

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kpinnc
5 minutes ago, Jeff-C175 said:

Just what I ended up doing!  I did add a few here and there to the top as well, but left the gaps.

 

I got another 48 here if you feel the need to fix another one... :lol:

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Jeff-C175
1 minute ago, kpinnc said:

 

I got another 48 here if you feel the need to fix another one... :lol:

 

Sure!  bring it by... I might get to it by... let's see... 2025 sound OK ?  :D

 

Not sure when, but I've also got a 42" RD that needs some attention too.  Wonder when I'll get to that? :eusa-think:

Edited by Jeff-C175
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Jeff-C175
18 minutes ago, kpinnc said:

Are you going to undercoat it with something?

 

The black stuff is POR-15 that I applied last Spring.  Took it all down to bare metal, acid etched, and top coated.  Still good for at least one more mowing season.

 

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kpinnc
20 minutes ago, Jeff-C175 said:

The black stuff is POR-15 that I applied last Spring.  Took it all down to bare metal, acid etched, and top coated.  Still good for at least one more mowing season.

 

I thought that was what it was. Pretty good stuff when applied right- which you definitely have.

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Jeff-C175
1 minute ago, kpinnc said:

when applied right

 

I used the $25 'kit' that they sell which includes the cleaner/degreaser, acid etch, pint of POR, and a cheap brush and gloves.

 

I wasn't sure that little pint of POR would be enough for 2 coats as they recommend, but it was... exactly the right amount in fact!

 

I've used it in the past and most of the top coat ended up flaking off due to improper prep.  It's VERY important to PREP, PREP, PREP !

 

 

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