shrinking a 52" to a 36"

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by stevesmowing, Feb 25, 2008.

  1. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    I have some properties that have gates and I need a 36" wide mower to get into. Currently The smallest I have is a 48". I have 1 extra 48" deck and 2 extra 52" decks. Has anyone ever tried to cut off 1/3 of a deck and weld it back together? It's either that or sell the 48" and buy a 36". I've done a good deal of welding before but Its hard to say how long this would take.
  2. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    Man I don't know, unless you have quite a shop and superb fab skills. Even then it might not leave a good cut like an original 36.

    I have an old Toro 44 and could slap several different size decks on the traction unit if I wanted to.

    If you could find a basket case of the same mower but with a 36 deck that would just bolt on that might be the easiest way to do it, by transferring the deck to your traction unit. Or find an old 36 cheap with a blown engine and just slap your engine on it. Or maybe trade out even with someone who needs a 48.

    If you decide to re-fab it, the Great Dane Gateway wb might give you some good ideas if you can take a look at one.
  3. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    the idea of the great dane is interesting. Most of these gated areas are smaller so even if I had a 52" wide mower I feel like it would be too hard to use around all the beds.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No, don't do it, ain't gonna be right no matter how hard you try, I don't think.

    One idea might be to check with your favorite dealer, see if they've got a graveyard there might be a crapped out 36" they have around... You might be able to pick it up for a reasonable amount of money then you'd have to fix it up, but most dealers are not too keen about parting with that stuff, just depends.

    As far as I know the rear end of them is all the same so you can just swap decks all day long, the biggest problem is the bolts and on some older machines they've been welded as well, but for a grand or so you can probably get a whole 36" working, used.

    I just never fooled with it, by the time it's all said and done it takes longer to work with the smaller decks, it's one of those things it does leave some money on the table but there are Lco's who specialize in that market so...
  5. LCPullman

    LCPullman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 589

    I wouldn't try changing a deck, while it might be functional, I doubt it would work nearly as well as one designed to be a 36".
  6. JRS Landscaping

    JRS Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 817

    just buy 36" dont try and weld it. it will be all screwed up its worth the $1000-1200 youll pay for a used one
  7. Jay Ray

    Jay Ray LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,510

    I didn't mean to keep the flip up wing, just might give you some good ideas on how to cut the outer 1/3 off and brace it, etc. But I think you're better off finding a non-fab solution.
  8. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,369

    Wow ... my recommendation would be simply sell one of the 48" machines and buy a good used 36" machine !!
  9. smokediver

    smokediver LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I've got a 36" exmark walk behind I'll trade you for a 48", or a 52", but Ms. is a long way from Ny.
  10. stevesmowing

    stevesmowing LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 847

    I'll see what my dealer has laying around. Thanks for the opinions.

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