Mower deck broke.

krnuttleJuly 25, 2010

I have a John Deere LT 155 with a 38 inch mower deck. This afternoon while mowing the yard and I look down and I was passing the guide wheel and the bracket.

It had broken out of the mower deck, and there was a rectangular hole where the guide wheel bracket use to be.

Could I get some ideas of how to repair this.

Most obvious and probably the most expensive would be to replace the tractor, next the mower deck, I am retired and with the stock market 30% down I do not have the funds to do either of the above.

Thank you for any suggestions.

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Look in the owner's manual and see if you find an illustration of the affected wheel and bracket, then either post that datum here or send it to me e-mail.
On page 10 of the manual you sent me, I see a deck wheel and bracket, is this the "free and astray" wheel assembly?
And you could post a pic or send a pic to me, either way.
My first option to consider would be to have the wheel bracket welded back in place with a reinforcing plate or "gusset plate", or both make a dependable repair. With you not choosing this as a first line action, I will guess you did not buy any stock in welding products :^)
Show me the picture and I will advise.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 7:56PM
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If you look back a couple of feet you'll find a 5/16"x1 1/2 carriage bolt with a locknut on it, probably sheered. If not, that's what you'll need to re-attach that guage wheel assembly. You can usually find plated hardware in bulk bins (Ace) so you won't need to sell any of your Apple stock.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 8:06PM
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mownie I did not realize it was you to whom I sent the manual

The wheel is in the picture at the top of the page 10 in the LT-155 manual. It can also be seen on page 24, page 32 and a couple of other pages.

When I put the tractor away I did a quick check of the thickness of the deck, it seemed thin, but the fitting was welded to the deck originally and it has held up for ten years. The break is at the base of the fitting at the edge of the original weld.

After I finished up and came in and posted my request.

I will take pictures tomorrow.

I am more equipped for wood working than metal so would have to find someone to weld it.

I have also contacted the Reynolds Farm Equipment, the local JD dealer. They sell and service everything from toy JD's to the large farm tractors that turn by pivoting in the center. While primarily servicing Farm equipment, they very competitive on the small tractors as it is fill-in work and provides work in the winter when farm service is slow.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2010 at 10:49PM
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Images below describe how "I" would implement a repair using a reinforcement base plate of 1/8" thick steel welded to the deck. The base plate would be sized as dictated by the curved shape of the deck shell. Some shaping of the base plate would be done to assure a close fit.
I would drill 3/8" or 1/2" holes in the base plate as shown in first image to permit plug welding, which adds to the distribution of the loading better than simply welding along the perimeter of the base plate. Also in the first image notice that 1/8" needs to be trimmed frnd of the wheel bracket (where the OEM welds were) to retain the OEM dimensions of wheel placement.
Second image shows how I would add a "corner gusset" to stop the side flexing of the wheel bracket (which is what broke the OEM welds).
Print the images and carry them to a welding shop and they should have no problem in putting it to use.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 12:41PM
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Okay so you knocked the entire casting off, no big deal. I just fixed one of these on a GT5000 deck for a fellow, 48".
After quizzing him, I learned that he was mowing the same pattern each time, and kept whacking the same stump.
I cleaned everything up, and mig welded it in place with a good degree of penetration, something Deere has never been able to do, painting the area with Rust Oleum, $35.00. You won't need to sell any USAGX either, the bulk of my SEP IRA.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2010 at 4:29PM
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