Craftsman Mowing Deck Disintegrating! - Tractors & Mowers - DIY Chatroom Home Improvement Forum
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:08 PM   #1
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Craftsman mowing deck disintegrating!


I bought a craftsman 46" riding mower off craigslist early last year. Worked great for the whole season, but I did notice the front of the deck had some serious rust going on (large gaping hole near one of the arms) which had gotten bigger since I bought it.

I was just outside with it and it seems half way through my backyard, the part that was rusting broke off, taking one of the arms with it! The deck is being held up right now by only one side, which can't be good (I can't really raise or lower it much, only one side moves), and it looks like it may have hit one of my tires when it fell off (tire is hanging off the rim).

This is my first riding mower I've ever owned, so I'm not sure how much repairs should cost. Is replacing the deck expensive? Can you even buy just the deck somewhere?
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:34 PM   #2
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Just one of the many draw backs of buying an older used mower.
Not likly worth replacing with a new deck.
No one can see it without a picture so hard to even guess at how to fix it.
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Old 06-18-2015, 12:56 PM   #3
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If the mower is in otherwise good condition, you should be able to find a used deck. Most mower repair shops have them. Easiest way to find is on craigslist. Should cost around 100-200 dollars
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Old 06-18-2015, 01:12 PM   #4
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Craftsman were made by MTD---start looking on Craigs list for someone selling a junk tractor with your matching deck----I saw a small mountain of dead tractors at the metal scrap yard yesterday---

Another option might be to have a bit of steel welded onto the old deck---
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Old 06-19-2015, 01:03 AM   #5
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If the deck is that far gone,repair would be useless .
Not all Craftsman lawn tractors were made by MTD,...some were made by Murray/AYP.
If you need a replacement,you'll need the model and serial numbers from the tractor(usually found on a label,under the seat).
Go to: [url]WWW.searspartsdirect ,and enter the model number,and select the deck size.
Deck shells are still available,for some models,but,if not,you can check Craigslist,or ebay. NOTE:even getting a new shell,the bolts that hold the mandrel assemblies to the deck are noted for breaking off ! If that happens,you'll have to buy new mandrel housings,or assemblies.
A GOOD used deck will cost from $50,to $150,depending on your area.

Last edited by JD367; 06-19-2015 at 01:06 AM.
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Old 06-19-2015, 04:51 PM   #6
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Here are some pictures to help illustrate what happened:


I clearly need to clean off the clippings that gathered around the belts, too. I guess that's what happens when there is a hole for them all to escape from while mowing!

Here's a shot of the part that fell off, which I recovered from the lawn:


And this happened at the same time- I am unsure if they are related or not, as it didnt fall underneath that tire or anything like that.


For the record, I mowed the rest of the back yard just fine before realizing what happened. I did notice a bit of a line in the ground where I turned, but it wasn't until I made it back to the garage that I noticed the tire. The grass clippings are a mess around the deck, and I can't raise the deck much. And avove all else, the tire being off the rim is going to keep me from doing it again until this is fixed.

Last edited by dishe; 06-19-2015 at 04:54 PM.
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Old 06-20-2015, 05:31 AM   #7
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Old machine----You need a new tire or an innertube---and a new deck---
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Old 06-20-2015, 11:07 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by oh'mike View Post
Old machine----You need a new tire or an innertube---and a new deck---
Replacing the entire mower would probably be a better option.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:49 AM   #9
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Well that's a darned disappointing attitude to have, you guys. No offense, but I expected more from a website for DIYers.

For starters, I don't have a lot of money. Buying a new one was never something I was remotely interested in doing. I bought this one used last year (I believe its a 2004 model), because I was tired of pushing around a mower and it was almost the same price as a mowing service for the year. Aside from the rust on the deck, the thing is in beautiful running condition, especially for the age and the price I paid. Obviously, I bought it expecting things to come up that need to be repaired/replaced. I have a couple of neighbors on the block who are using older ones in worse condition, and I figured instead of bothering them I could ask the collective power of the DIY chatroom for tips on keeping this thing running.

I never dreamed that the response would be to give up on it and buy a new one! Dissapointing, indeed.
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Old 06-23-2015, 11:58 AM   #10
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Meanwhile, as far as the tire goes, it doesn't appear to be punctured at all. It happened when I was on a heavy slant to one side, so it probably put too much pressure and popped the rim out. I'd guess that tire needed some air to begin with, and the combination of low pressure and weight leaning towards the left on a hill caused it. Now that I've looked over the damage, my theory is that's what caused the deck to suddenly hit the ground (since without the tire's pressure the whole thing dropped on one side) and break off that part of the deck's shell. The rest of the deck does still work fine, it continued mowing until I came around and put it away. I just can't raise it on that side anymore.

So, a little bit of youtube research has shown me that this sort of thing happens to the rimless tires pretty often, and they have some pretty interesting ways to remount it on their own (some of which involve using lighter fluid and a match- which doesn't really sound safe to me!). One of my neighbors says he uses a high pressure air compressor and has managed to hold the tire in place and quickly fill it to pop on. Either way, I don't necessarily need a new one OR a new mower!

A new deck is on my radar, though.
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Old 06-23-2015, 01:07 PM   #11
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The deck hitting the ground may be what prevented the tractor from rolling on the heavy slant and resulting in severe injuries.

For a quick fix tie the limping deck side up with a tarp strap and take the wheel off and transport to a tire shop to be inflated or if you have compressed air, a schrader valve removal tool and know how to strap squeeze the tire you may be able to inflate the tire yourself.

Last edited by SeniorSitizen; 06-23-2015 at 01:12 PM.
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:22 AM   #12
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I have used a belt already to wrap around the middle of the tire to help put pressure all around the tire to help it bead when filling
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Old 08-04-2015, 07:57 AM   #13
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The OP seems to be pissed and gone, but do you see something strange about pics #1,#2 and then #3. #3 doesn't fit too well in the scheme of things being #3 looks as if the tractor was well maintained. In my opinion the purchaser, admitting he knows very little about lawn tractors, was craig's list scammed. That deck isn't original to that tractor.
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Old 09-17-2015, 07:37 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SeniorSitizen View Post
The OP seems to be pissed and gone, but do you see something strange about pics #1,#2 and then #3. #3 doesn't fit too well in the scheme of things being #3 looks as if the tractor was well maintained. In my opinion the purchaser, admitting he knows very little about lawn tractors, was craig's list scammed. That deck isn't original to that tractor.
Hey, no, I'm still around, just been busy.

I did successfully get the tire off and used my neighbor's industrial-sized air compressor to bead the tire (while using a ratchet strap to help hold it so it will seat). Then I put it back without the axle key and had a bugger of a time trying to figure out why it wouldn't move- I started another thread about that problem, and you even commented in it:
http://www.diychatroom.com/f106/craf...-brake-290217/

Anyway, its all working just fine now. Yes, the deck does appear to be rusting more than it should be compared to the rest of the machine, but it is still working. In fact, I went to take it out today but I misplaced the keys. If I recall correctly, these keys are all standard and not unique to the mower, so I'll probably go back to that neighbor and borrow his spare.
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Old 09-18-2015, 08:12 AM   #15
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Dishe , we're trying to help . Lot of knowledgeable men on this site .

The thing I would point out is there ARE lawn & garden tractor junkyards . I have actually bought parts from a John Deere junk yard in your state . If you can't find anything on C/L or even E-Bay locally look to see if there is a generic tractor j-yard close .
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