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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I’ve been searching for a replacement mower deck for my old 345. I’ve had it a few years, bought at an auction for a decent price. The deck wasn’t great, past the point of patching, and has continued to get worse. It was used as a second mower and did a fine job. I’ve found a few decks on the online places that I’ve either had no response from seller, missed out on by a few hours or they were a little higher than what I wanted to spend. I looked at one not too far away from me on Thursday night in a running LX188. Deck was good, tractor was below average, price was a little high. Decided to sleep on it as my Grandpa always said before making a decision. Friday morning on my way to work I see a green tractor along the road with a sign. I turned around to see if that was what I’m looking for. It’s a LX188 for FREE. sign said it may need carb work. There’s a 48” deck next to it that is very solid. I’m by myself in the Toyota Sienna. After a few minutes of wrangling and lifting I have it in the back. I slid the deck in next to it. Who knew a lawn tractor would fit in the back of the van? 😂
Tire Automotive tire Car Wheel Hood

When I got home I put the jump pack on it and cranked it over. Gas running all over the out of the carb. New carb from Amazon for $20 should be here Monday.
Of course the hood and grill are missing like is so common with these. I’ll let you know if it runs next week!
 

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MTB, Years ago, I used to have a pontiac transport that had 1 rear bench seat instead of the 5 bucket seats that most of them had. Once my girls were in their own cars I kept the bench seat out most of the time and like you, I could fit stuff in that thing that folks would never believe.
 

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Great find and story... Had a HP laser printer that broke a gear in the paper transport mechanism... Went by a store and what should I see on the ground next to the trash bin... The very same HP printer... The 30 year old HP printer still works although its a parallel port. 😛
 

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Many years ago I was doing a rehab on my basement rec room. At 5pm one day I cut up and placed the old carpeting out by the curb for the trash man coming early the next day. AT 8pm I took out some other trash and notice the carpet was gone and thought oh well, let the guy who took it throw it away. No problem. At 6am the next day I took out the final trash bag from the kitchen only to find the carpet was back. It was likely one of the neighbors but they brought it back so I wouldn't know which one took it. LMAO!
 

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You really fell into a good deal this time, MBT98! Just in case you don't already know, add a long hose to the carb overflow tube and route it down and away from the muffler and other hot spots. The fuel pump will need the same thing. Unfortunately, if it has the original fuel pump, it may not have a tube to attach a hose. In that case, a new pump is good fire prevention. Same things might apply to the 345's.
When you run the LX188 a while, you might just be looking for another deck!

tommyhawk
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You really fell into a good deal this time, MBT98! Just in case you don't already know, add a long hose to the carb overflow tube and route it down and away from the muffler and other hot spots. The fuel pump will need the same thing. Unfortunately, if it has the original fuel pump, it may not have a tube to attach a hose. In that case, a new pump is good fire prevention. Same things might apply to the 345's.
When you run the LX188 a while, you might just be looking for another deck!

tommyhawk
My 345 has been updated before I got it. I’m keeping my eyes open for another deck already lol. I want to make sure it runs ok first.
 

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I wanna hear the details of how you got that in the back of your van by yourself. Probably super human strength was a part of it, but that's still a lot to lift in by one's self, even when there is a big "S" on your undershirt when you open your Clark Kent bidness suit............Inquiring and ADMIRING minds want to know..!.?
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I wanna hear the details of how you got that in the back of your van by yourself. Probably super human strength was a part of it, but that's still a lot to lift in by one's self, even when there is a big "S" on your undershirt when you open your Clark Kent bidness suit............Inquiring and ADMIRING minds want to know..!.?
I’m not a big strong guy, just a skinny regular 6’ sized guy. I pushed the mower behind the van with the front of the mower at the back of the van. Grabbing the front bumper I was able to lift the front (kinda like a wheelbarrow) but then I was between the tractor and the van and couldn’t get a front wheel up on the bumper. Tried a few times and just wasn’t strong enough to keep the tractor up and move to the side. Plan B- approach at an angle using same technique. That worked. Once I had one tire up on the bumper I was able to move around to the back of the tractor and push it up to where the other front wheel was at the bumper. I slid the rear of the tractor over a litlle to get I more inline with the van. Lifted from the side to get the second front wheel up on the bumper and returned to the rear of the tractor to push it in as far as possible. Then I lifted the rear and wheelbarrowed it in. Getting it out was more difficult but I had my son help with that.
*Update to story- I picked up a no-hood,
broken dash X340 with a 54C deck last night for a song. It seems to run fine and moves forward/backward ok. The deck is super solid and in really good condition. That’s going on my 345. The 48” deck can go back on the LX188. The carb for it is “running late” as Amazon says and should be here maybe today, maybe tomorrow. And I’ll probably be selling an X340 without a deck or put the clapped out deck on there to sell.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
UPDATE- New carb is installed and a few cranks and its purring like a kitten. A little smoky at first but seems to be clearing up a little. It’s late so I don’t want to open it up and blow the cobwebs out of it. That will be tomorrow’s project I guess. But for now, it’s running smooth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Still smoking this morning and smells like gas while running. A quick check with the remote temperature gun shows the left exhaust pipe running considerably cooler than the right side. The plug from the left side was definitely fouled and damp from gas. I picked up two new plugs from O’Reillys ($2.49 each) and still had same result. I borrowed a coil from my 345 and put it on in place of the left coil. Runs much better now, new coil is on order.
Yesterday when we had it running the idler pulley for the hydro drive apparently was installed upside down and couldn’t turn and the belt ate about half of it away. It’s a plastic pulley. Tonight I dug around in my pile of parts (some may say “junk”) and found an idler from some older Deere that looked really similar. It is metal and a little larger, except for the mounting hole. The mounting bolt was just ever so slightly too large to go through. A quick pass with a drill bit one step up from one that went through the hole opened it up enough to mount it up. The bearings are a little rough so I sprayed some Super Lube in there and worked it around by hand to improve that a little bit. Everything mounted up just fine and we were able to take it for a test drive. All seems to work just fine. The idler bearings are a little noisy so I’ll be ordering the correct idler and a hydro fan since this one has zero blades left on it. It’s been a fun little project working with my son in the evenings. We also changed the oil and filter tonight after we verified everything was working.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 · (Edited)
After the oil change the left side rocker cover is now leaking which is a common issue with the Kawasaki engine as the old gasket gets hardened especially near the exhaust port. My 345 had both covers leaking. I placed an order with GPS (thanks for free shipping @Tractor Tim!) for new rocker gaskets, hydro fan, Cool Guard coolant, a nut that missing from the fender pan, new crankcase vent hose along with some extra filters to keep on hand for my different machines.
The radiator shroud and fan had some damage from a previous fire. The fan had one blade completely burnt off. The fan is still available at JD for about $40 and the shroud is NLA. A visit to eBay found both in good condition for about $50 delivered so they’re in their way too.
I hope to have all these parts in by end of next week and my son and I can work on it over Thanksgiving weekend. It should be a nice little mowing machine for not too much money and a few hours of tinkering in the garage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
I have received a couple of EBay, Amazon and a Green Part Store (thanks @Tractor Tim for free shipping!) boxes this week for the LX188. I’m still waiting on a new drive belt idler pulley from Amazon that has been “out for delivery”
since 5am Monday. I ordered another that should be here tomorrow. This weekend I can start putting on the new hydro fan, radiator shroud, cooling fan, rocker cover gaskets, breather hose and a few other things. Other than a hood, this little machine should be all set to go back to work!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
We’ve made some progress on the LX188. Over the holiday weekend my son turned some wrenches and put on some new parts. The shroud and fan were replaced with some used pieces from eBay. The rocker gaskets, crankcase breather and hose from water pump were all changed out to new parts. Since we had the radiator off we drained all the old coolant and refilled with JD Cool Guard 2. The new idler pulley for the drive belt finally made it I damaged and not lost on the third try so he switched that out too along with the hydro fan. There were a couple nuts and bolts missing or incorrect so we changed those out and topped off the hydro fluid with some 10w30. My son took it out for a test drive and it ran out of fuel even though there was about 1/8 tank of gas left. The grommet on the line going through the tank was swollen and pulling the pickup out of the gas. Stuck it all back together again and it worked fine with some more gas in the tank. A new grommet is ordered.
We put the mower deck on and he mowed some leaves with it. Everything seems to be working fine now. Next big thing is getting a new hood and grill and it’s ready for another decade of service.
 

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Here is the Hood Assembly complete. I have ordered from this company several times and every part I have gotten was a very good value. Used hoods for the Lx188 is hard to find........at least around my area as they are all damaged or butchered together. Most machines run around without a hood......

 
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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Here is the Hood Assembly complete. I have ordered from this company several times and every part I have gotten was a very good value. Used hoods for the Lx188 is hard to find........at least around my area as they are all damaged or butchered together. Most machines run around without a hood......

I have that hood and grill assembly saved in my cart! I don’t really need it until next spring (if I need it at all!). I’ve seen your posts about using the Flip products. It seems like a good deal to me. Even with a new hood I’d be into it for about $600 total, not a bad price for that quality of mower.
 

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I have that hood and grill assembly saved in my cart! I don’t really need it until next spring (if I need it at all!). I’ve seen your posts about using the Flip products. It seems like a good deal to me. Even with a new hood I’d be into it for about $600 total, not a bad price for that quality of mower.
If its available you might want to get it now as they tend to have times when the inventory is low....and I bet spring would have a rush on new hoods as people start using them again.
 
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