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Author Topic: mower project  (Read 3795 times)

Offline Hawg

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mower project
« on: February 19, 2023, 09:06:08 AM »
I realize lawnmowers aren't exactly a hot topic of conversation around here but it's what I've been spending my time on lately. A couple of months ago a buddy gave me his old Exmark zero turn.



Yeah I'm a sucker for somebody else's cast off junk. He burned the bearings out of two deck idlers and instead of buying two pulleys he bought a new mower. The old bearings were completely gone.



New pulleys are about 30.00 apiece so me being the cheap SOB I am I rummaged around in my parts box and discovered the top blade spindle bearings for a Craftsman LT 3000 were the same thing. I drilled the spot welds out of one pulley but it wouldn't come apart. I thought it was just the tight fit of the bearing but it turned out I missed four welds. I didn't discover that until after I notched the flange holding the bearing in.





In my attempts to separate the pulley halves I bent it and it wouldn't go back together not even squeezing it in a vise. That's when I found the other four spot welds. Anyway I got it apart and straightened it out. The other one I had gone ahead and notched. I did have to buy a new bushing. One of the old ones got ground up.



I repacked the sealed bearings and got it bolted back together and got them installed on the deck. The deck is ready to go back on.



Both front tires were rotten and split open so I got two new ones. Man talk about a pain both getting the old ones off the rims and the new ones on. I'd rather mount 18 wheeler tires. My Craftsman tires aren't nearly as hard.



I still have to get a new belt for it and take care of a couple of other issues but the thing runs and drives like a champ. One of the issues is the bolts they used for seat hinges is broken and frozen. I soaked it in penetrating oil and couldn't drive either piece out with a punch and hammer. I can't turn either piece with a 1/2 inch ratchet.



My air compressor has a blown head gasket so I can't use my air chisel. I guess I'll have to make a new head gasket before I can fix that. I could use heat but don't want to burn the paint. Not that the paint is that great.

The other issue is a leaking valve cover. Not a biggie. I'll just buy a new one instead of sealing it up with silicone.

Once I get it all back together it should be a grass cutting son of a gun.

Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Marshal Will

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Re: mower project
« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2023, 10:51:06 AM »
Use Break-Free to loosen those rusted bolts and such. It's way better than penetrating oil. I have used it on things like an old 40 Ford to free up bots that had never been removed. Put it on, let it stand overnight then many times they simply unscrew. I also have used it to remove lacquered in turbine blades in jet engines. Same thing. It probably loosens half the things you would otherwise break off. Also, you can use it to lubricate things. You can't go wrong with that.

Offline Hawg

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Re: mower project
« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2023, 11:42:50 AM »
I used some Liquid Wrench on it. Next month I'll see if I can find some Free All. That's the best thing I ever found. It actually eats rust. I used to buy old riding mowers and fix them up to sell and I used a lot of  it. I don't know why I didn't think of it before. I used to keep it on hand but I don't work on any mowers now but my own.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Miguel Loco

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Re: mower project
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2023, 02:40:09 PM »
Great project Hawg!
"a dios rogando y con el mazo dando...y un buen cigarro"
-Mick

Offline Hawg

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Re: mower project
« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2023, 03:45:11 PM »
Thanks. I think so.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline AntiqueSledMan

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Re: mower project
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2023, 03:59:13 AM »
Hello Hawg,

We run into stuff like that all the time with the Antique Sleds.
Patients is the best way to get stuff apart, and Kroil.
My son keeps breaking stuff, making more work out of it.
Riveted flanges are easy but like you discovered, spot welds suck.
If they would have a pattern they could be re-worked.
I had a bunch of Bogie Wheels which the flanges were spot welded,
I built a jig and cut one side off the other, salvaging only 1/2 of the wheel or one flange,
luckily I had enough that I could get away with that.
Then I drilled a pattern in the good ones and bolted them back together.
Lots of fun and keeps one off the streets.

AntiqueSledMan.

Offline Hawg

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Re: mower project
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2023, 06:30:25 AM »
These have little pip marks where the welds are. I just overlooked the ones on the inside. I should have washed them first. I really didn't have to make the holes so big but when it didn't come apart I thought at first I wasn't getting all the weld. Oh well something new learned and nothing was destroyed in the process.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.

Offline Hawg

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Re: mower project
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2023, 01:24:55 PM »
I finally got the deck back on and man what a job. It weighs 100 pounds or better and trying to jack it around with a crowbar to get everything lined up even on concrete is a royal pain. I hope I don't have to do that too many times. I'd much rather tackle a Craftsman deck in the dirt.
Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, for thou art crunchy and tasteth good with ketchup.