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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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Discussion Starter #1
My Zero Turn, EZTrak Z445 is nearing 9 years of service. I've done yearly cleaning on the 54" deck, which consisted of the underside as well. Because of the high humidity and almost year-round wet ground conditions, the grass is seldom dry. That is, unless we experience drought conditions, which is also very seldom. To keep the grass at bay, I mow it as often as I can, sometimes once, or twice a week. I mow with a mulching lit year-round(I hate raking leaves and grass clippings). This year the deck needed extra attention, so after mowing very wet grass this week, I washed the Z and removed the deck. As you can see in the photo below, the left edge of the deck is well worn from mowing along the driveway and sidewalks.
IMG_2120.JPG

On my previously owned Z-737, the 7-IRON deck had a rolled steel edging. With this in mind, I decided to repair the residential deck with something similar. After dressing the worn edge with my side-grinder, I welded a piece of 1/2" rolled steel to fill-in the edge.

BEFORE

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AFTER

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Then came time to apply the Rust Converter. I started on the top side.
The original paint, at the locations of where the under-deck baffles and deck pulley mounts were welding into place, flaked away and rust began to form.
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A closer look of one of the pulley mounts. Rust converter was applied to these areas.
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After application.
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After two hours, I turned the deck over and applied it to the under-side.
In this photo, the area that is covered by the mulching-kit baffles are in very good condition.
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In this photo, I temporarily placed the mulching baffles in it's location to show what it looks like when installed.
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A closer look of the area between the blade spindles(converter applied).
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After 9 years of use, the mulching baffles have seen there share of abuse. Red arrows show where it has worn through. These baffles are hollow and were filled with dirt and fine grass clipping. I drilled two 1' holes on the top side of the baffles to be able to wash them out. Once the inside is completely cleaned and dried out, I'll fill them with expandable foam to prevent debris intrusion.(photos of that later). Hopefully after that, the baffles will last a few more years.
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This is as far as I got for today.

To be continued.
 

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Everything looks great! Really like the expandable foam part! :thumbup1gif:
 

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flyweight- ur right about how that wet grass ruins a underside of a deck. now i don't think mine is so bad. thanks.:thumbup1gif:

now i'm gonna fix my top spots like u did--so tomorrow i will see who carries this stuff. as we are going over the mountain to attend a graduation.

yes-keep the repair pics a coming-very interesting!!:bigthumb: flyweight i found some at ace-hdwe--is this the stuff u used
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=12664180
 

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Old Pa-pa
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Thanks for the expandable foam idea Flyweight, good job, by the way, on your deck. :good2:

The one gripe I have about the 7 Iron deck on my Z is the "strength" panel underneath is just tack welded in place and
grass and dirt gets trapped between the deck and it.

They should have made that panel bolt on or welded it totally, removable bolt on would have been the best for cleaning and
painting once or twice a year.

There are small cleaning slots, but it takes a pressure washer and/or air pressure to get it clean in between and
there ain't no way to get paint in between them. :banghead:

Been racking my brain how to solve that problem including cutting the tacks with a cutoff wheel and making it a bolt on panel.

Your expandable foam idea is something I need to think on, could be an easy solution to that problem after cleaning for
keeping dirt and grass out. :good2:
 

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Senior GTT Super Slacker
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Big job there flyweight. Good thing you're retired, or was this on your retirement To-Do list?
 

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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Thanks for the expandable foam idea Flyweight, good job, by the way, on your deck. :good2:

The one gripe I have about the 7 Iron deck on my Z is the "strength" panel underneath is just tack welded in place and
grass and dirt gets trapped between the deck and it.


They should have made that panel bolt on or welded it totally, removable bolt on would have been the best for cleaning and
painting once or twice a year.

There are small cleaning slots, but it takes a pressure washer and/or air pressure to get it clean in between and
there ain't no way to get paint in between them. :banghead:

Been racking my brain how to solve that problem including cutting the tacks with a cutoff wheel and making it a bolt on panel.

Your expandable foam idea is something I need to think on, could be an easy solution to that problem after cleaning for
keeping dirt and grass out. :good2:

Neil, the residential deck is assembled in almost the same manor. My BIL is a body-man, and he suggested I use 3M Fast-N-Firm Seam-Sealer to fill in these areas. This stuff holds up well and can be applied with a regular calk gun. The drying time is short, compared to most, and is printable. Now would be a perfect time to utilize this on my deck. I'll visit my buddy's NAPA store to see if he sells this sealant. If so, I'll post and update on it
 

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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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Discussion Starter #7
I'm back from my little shopping spree and the dealer had everything I was needing, in stock. :good2:
IMG_2171.JPG

My buddy with the NAPA store also had the 3M Fast'n Firm body sealant. :good2: It's Beige in color, but that doesn't mater, as it will be painted.
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These are an example of areas to be sealed(RED & GREEN arrows).
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Just as I was going to start back on this project, we got a down-pour. With the chance of rain at 70% today, I'll have to wait until the humidity is much lower to do a proper job. I'm sure I can find something else to do around hear.

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Neil, may I suggest cleaning the areas you mentioned as best as possible. Stand the deck up and try to get some rust converter between the sections of the metal that is not welded. After the allowed drying time, apply the 3M sealant to prevent dirt and grass clipping from interring.
 

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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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Discussion Starter #8
Big job there flyweight. Good thing you're retired, or was this on your retirement To-Do list?
I put off doing this for some time. As I stated, I clean the deck yearly(underside included), but not to this extent. So I guess you could say it was on my lengthy "To-Do" list.
 

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Old Pa-pa
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Neil, may I suggest cleaning the areas you mentioned as best as possible. Stand the deck up and try to get some rust converter between the sections of the metal that is not welded. After the allowed drying time, apply the 3M sealant to prevent dirt and grass clipping from interring.
Yup, the deck will definitely need to come off and it flipped upside down to do it right.
It's 3 years old now and time to do something about the situation before corrosion gets bad.
Can't really understand why Deere would build a grass, dirt and moisture trap on a great deck, think the "bean counters"
overruled common sense engineering on that part of the design, it's like building a Lincoln Continental and deciding not to paint the
trunk to save money. :banghead:
 

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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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Discussion Starter #10
The deck spent the night in the shop with a small electric heater under it.
The rain stooped earlier this morning, so I moved the deck back under the lean-to, back onto the saw-horses again. I'd be doing this work in the shop, but my daughter has furniture stored in side. :banghead:

After about 2 hours of sunshine, the humidity dropped from 84% to 72%, so I decided to spray primer to the areas where I applied the rust converter; and also on a few bare metal surfaces.

IMG_2172.JPG

It's now sunny off & on. I'm hoping to use the 3M Fast'n Firm body sealant this afternoon. If all goes well, I'll spray the JD yellow tomorrow.
I decided to called the dealer yesterday afternoon to order the DANGER & WARNING decals; and also the EDGE High-Capacity 54" decal. I figured, if I'm gonna repaint it, I may as well add the decals.
 

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Old Pa-pa
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Hope you got'er inside, looks like we're all fixing to get some wrap around rain from that low pressure system to our
northeast. :banghead:
Should be 4 - 5 dry days after tonight. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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11,834 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Hope you got'er inside, looks like we're all fixing to get some wrap around rain from that low pressure system to our
northeast. :banghead:
Should be 4 - 5 dry days after tonight. :thumbup1gif:
Yep.
The clouds came back, so I moved it into the shop
. I did get to apply the 3M Fast'n Firm sealant to the areas needed. I may Scotch-Bright the surface tonight. That'll give me a reason to work in the shop, next to the fridge, the one with the cold beer.
:bigbeer:
 

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Senior GTT Super Slacker
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Yep.
The clouds came back, so I moved it into the shop. I did get to apply the 3M Fast'n Firm sealant to the areas needed. I may Scotch-Bright the surface tonight. That'll give me a reason to work in the shop, next to the fridge, the one with the cold beer.
:bigbeer:
Don't ya just love that? :thumbup1gif::lol:
 

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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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Discussion Starter #14
The sunshine and low humidity came through for me today.

Deck is painted. :good2: I applied 3 coats of TY25645.

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Ready to install.
The decals should be here in a few days.

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Deck installed and ready to be adjusted.

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I ran the deck in place only to check thing out. I may be able to mow by Sunday morning. Hopefully, it'll be dry by then. While the deck was removed, I serviced the engine & hydro.
The sheave/belt covers stay off. They were removed the day I bought it. Makes for easy cleaning.

Now, I can scratch one more item off of my to-do list. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Old Pa-pa
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Looking good dude, great job! :good2:
Deck should be good for a long spell.

I'll probably take a shot of rolling my 1 ton green beast around Sunday too, things dried up pretty good today with the low humidity,
north wind and bright sun, was really surprised at how much, was getting pretty grim just trying to walk thru the yard yesterday.
 

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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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Discussion Starter #17
Looking good dude, great job! :good2:
Deck should be good for a long spell.
Thanks, Neil. I'm hoping to get a few more years out of it.

Damn flyweight, that looks good. :good2:
Thanks Keith. I was worried it wouldn't be complete by the weekend, but the weather turned for the good, which helped things along.
If not, I was gonna install the deck on the 330 to handle grass cutting duties. Glad that didn't happen because I don't know if I could find all the parts.
 

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flyweight -ur deck over paint fixing job looks really good:bigthumb: mine is still laying upside down-but i want to flip it today-and from seeing what that rust converter can and will do-i ordered a small bottle of it-from Amazon the other night-i plan to use some of it on the top side of my deck. so thanks for showing us what it's intended use does.:good2:
 

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Chief Stick-picker-upper
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Discussion Starter #19
flyweight -ur deck over paint fixing job looks really good:bigthumb: mine is still laying upside down-but i want to flip it today-and from seeing what that rust converter can and will do-i ordered a small bottle of it-from Amazon the other night-i plan to use some of it on the top side of my deck. so thanks for showing us what it's intended use does.:good2:
Thanks.

You won't need much of the rust converter to do the job. I think you'll like the end result. :thumbup1gif:
 

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Dumb question,...what is rust converter and what does it do?
 
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