Need to Rebuild Craftsman LT-1000 Mower Deck

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by NEwhere1, Sep 10, 2013.

  1. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    Okay, so it's been like 20 years since i rebuilt a mower deck...i grew up working on a farm, and rebuilt all kinds of stuff under the supervision of my dad. Over the past month a slowly increasing whirring noise/whining noise has started coming from my mower deck. So it's time to play shade tree mechanic again....

    First off this is a hand me down lawnmower, i service it once a year, and have had it to the shop once or twice, they fixed a leaky front part on the engine (forget what they said it was). The engine runs fine, and it does what i need it to do, for now.

    So here is where i'm at. I pressure washed the crap out of it, top of the deck is pretty darn rusted, tonight my goal is to drop the deck and see it's true condition. I've sprayed all the nuts and bolts on the deck the past two nights with PB blaster.

    I'm assuming the noise is bearings going in the mandrel?

    It looks like there are 2 other pulleys that could be making the noise.

    Here are some pictures, not the best, i was taking them to remind myself of how it is mounted and the belt is run....not for showing ya'll rust damage, i'll take and post more when i get her apart.

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  2. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    You can see in the 3rd photo how the "Striper" part is rusted, it's like that on both sides.

    Another thing i don't understand is why i have so much grass build up on top of the deck, it seems like there would be a part that seals off the space around the "Deck Mandrel Housing".

    Link to my mower's parts drawings, names and prices http://www.searspartsdirect.com/par...47/1509200?pathTaken=&prst=0&shdMod=917272751
     
  3. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    So i took it off the mower last night, here is what it looks like in detail...I guess you need to click on each picture to see the full size image, it appears cropped when posted on my computer.

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    Here is a short video of me spinning the pulley's

    http://s1232.photobucket.com/user/NEwhere1/media/IMG_6990_zpsb493d70c.mp4.html

    I twisted off the first bolt on the one madrel, after that i decided to let is soak overnight in PB blaster

    [​IMG]
     
  4. pythons37

    pythons37 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    Lots of rust. I would get it all apart before I got any new stuff. Probably all the bolts will break, anyway. Try Tulsa Engine Warehouse for the parts, instead of Sears. They will probably be cheaper. How's the steering on your machine? Any problems turning to the right? If there are, you want to address them while the deck is off.
    Make sure there is enough steel left on the deck to make a rebuild worth doing. Check all the welds, especially. I didn't and wasted a lot of time and cash fixing something that was too far gone to repair. Good luck.
     
  5. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    I haven't noticed any turning issues, is that a common problem with these? I can check the parts that would affect steering if that is the case.

    Only other issue is my brake pads, for rear wheels are gone, so i have no brakes.

    If i brake all the bolts, then i guess i'll need new mandrels, there are some on amazon for cheap, but they get mixed reviews.

    Any advice on getting the rust off, and a coating back on the deck (if it looks solid after parts removal?

    The pressure washer with that super spiny tip took off all the loose rust.
     
  6. pythons37

    pythons37 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    Chemically, the rust can be addressed with Apple Cider Vinegar, but you will need a tub big enough to put the deck in it and then cover the deck with the vinegar. Let it sit for a couple of days and, Bingo! no more rust! Some guys use electrolysis, which uses low current and a couple of bars of carbon, also in a bath. But, the bath is just water. A day or so and no more rust. Both methods have extensive support on Youtube. Mechanically, hammer, chisel, wire brush. Lot of work. Then, wash it all off. Make sure you use soap with NO lemon oil or anything like that. Then rub it down with WHITE Vinegar. This will etch the steel. Spray can of primer and a can of deck paint. It's a pain no matter what method you use. But, with all the rust off, you can decide if you want to go any further with the repairs. If it runs well and the deck isn't too far gone, it's worth doing. As far as the steering, if you don't feel any symptoms, it's probably fine. Again, plenty of posts on Youtube to give you an idea what's wearing up there. The bushings that wear are cheap enough, but I have no talent for this kind of work, so I just got a new steering column. With shipping, it was pretty close to 100 dollars.

    Probably just constant lubrication will help, although there are no grease fittings at the business end of the shaft, where the problems pop up. If the deck is okay, this is certainly worth fixing. If the deck is too far gone, you will have to decide what next? Plenty of these around with blown motors/transmissions and good decks.

    Spend some time on Youtube looking at this stuff. There are a lot of smart people who have posted good videos.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2013
  7. ztman

    ztman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,007

    Any reason why not to go to a mower bone yard and get a new used deck
     
  8. pythons37

    pythons37 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    Nope. That's why I mentioned all the cripples with bad motors or trannies. It's all theory, anyway. This deck is probably okay. All depends on how far one might want to go. This is certainly a better machine than the ones that have replaced it and worth putting money into. It just depends on how much interest someone might have in it. Some people don't want to spend on something old. Some, like me, don't worry about it too much. The one I scrapped had a shaky oil burning motor. For 100 bucks, it was worth fixing. More than that made me dispose of it, with the new column already installed.
     
  9. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    So it's either cider or physical removal of the rust, not both correct? If so i choose cider and i can make a container out of a tarp and some 2x4's.

    I don't know where one is, but i'll start looking and see if i can find one.

    Just curious as to what's wrong with "the machines that replaced this", are talking about a change that occurred beginning at a specific model year?

    I got it all apart last night and broke every bolt on the mandrels.

    So if i use this deck i'll need 2 complete mandrel assemblies, and two new idler pulley's to fix up the deck. The rear end needs brake pads two. Does anyone know how much work it is to replace the brake pads? Do i have to remove the axle and open it completely up, or is there just a small area on the rear right side i can open up to get at the brakes?

    There is 1 2" crack in the deck where the grass shoots out. 3 or 4 pin holes near one of the mandrel bolt holes.

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    I still think it would hold up fro awhile, i guess maybe it could be welded, but it's pretty thin metal.
     
  10. NEwhere1

    NEwhere1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    Okay so if i make a tub that is 44" long, by say 35" wide (forget the other dimension of the deck) and fill it 6" deep i would need 43 gallons of vinegar, at ~3.75 per gallon that's more expensive than just buying a new deck....so unless i can source 40 gallons of vinegar for say $20 bucks it's not gonna happen.

    How about a can of Loctite Extend?
     

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