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Discussion Forum

Cold Galvanize Mower Deck and/or Attach Zinc Anode

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Beaux Duke

05-15-2002 08:00:33




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I'm in the process of sandblasting the rust off my Sears LT 4000 42 inch mower deck. I'm considering either treating the deck with cold galvanize paint or attaching sacrificial zinc anodes that I got from the local marine shop. Has anyone tried either of these rust preventative techniques? If so, what sort of results did you get?

As an aside, has anyone had their deck sprayed by a Linex dealer? If so, what was the cost? Did it hold up (knicks/chips etc.) in operation?

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LarryG

05-30-2002 04:53:46




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 Re: Cold Galvanize Mower Deck and/or Attach Zinc Anode in reply to Beaux Duke, 05-15-2002 08:00:33  
I just sandblasted the deck on a 38" lawn tractor that my father had left untouched in a shed for the last 3 years. I have painted it with something called POR 15 -it's used as a rust preventative coating for restoring old cars, etc. I don't know how it will stand up under the constant abrasive action of dirt and grass, but I can tell you that it is as hard as nails, and the caution on the container is correct - if you don't get it off your hands when it's wet, you're going to have to wait until it wears off! It's a single component coating so you don't have to mix anything - I think it might be a moisture-cured polyurethane, but I'm not sure.

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Beaux DUke

05-30-2002 12:55:27




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 Re: Re: Cold Galvanize Mower Deck and/or Attach Zinc Anode in reply to LarryG, 05-30-2002 04:53:46  
Thanks for the feedback Larry.

If the deck warrants recoating next season I'll sure take a look at POR 15.

And thanks for the heads up on the stuff being so "sticky"

Beaux



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Dave, Sherburne, NY

05-24-2002 18:33:48




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 Re: Cold Galvanize Mower Deck and/or Attach Zinc Anode in reply to Beaux Duke, 05-15-2002 08:00:33  
How about this one? Just saw it advertised and I plan to try it. Graphite Paint $12.50qt. website www.wilmargraphite.com



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Beaux Duke

05-27-2002 11:59:11




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 Re: Re: Cold Galvanize Mower Deck and/or Attach Zinc Anode in reply to Dave, Sherburne, NY, 05-24-2002 18:33:48  
Tried your link Dave but got a message that it was "Unavailable". I've pretty much finished up the deck project at this point.

I applied the Cold Galvanize paint and went over it with rubber undercoating. I also added a couple of zinc anodes. I don't expect the undercoating to hold up very long but I wanted to try it anyway.

I'll check back every couple of days to see if that web site becomes available.

Thanks,
Beaux

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Bruce

05-16-2002 19:44:15




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 Re: Cold Galvanize Mower Deck and/or Attach Zinc Anode in reply to Beaux Duke, 05-15-2002 08:00:33  

Beaux: I spent 25+ years working in a mower shop, so I feel I am qualified to make the following statements.

If this mower deck is actively used for mowing, I have yet to see a coating that will stand up. (Powdercoating may endure, but I have no experience.)

The "juices" from the grass and fertilizer will rust a steel deck. The dirt and sand from the soil acts to "sand-blast" any coating.

The best defense, IMHO, is to wash the mower deck (top & bottom) after each use, and allow it to dry before putting it away. ....Removing the grass clippings from underneath is easier if washed immediately after use.

Care should be taken when cleaning the top side of the mower deck. Some idler pulleys with unsealed bearings do not like to bathe.

I have seen unpainted steel decks last MANY years, if washing is done conscientiously. Conversely, a lot of fertilizer, or mowing while the grass is wet, will accelerate rust-through if it doesn't get washed frequently.

This accumulation on the underside will cause aluminum/magnesum/alloy decks to corrode as well, if not cared for.

.....Just my two cents!

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Beaux Duke

05-17-2002 05:21:54




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 Re: Re: Cold Galvanize Mower Deck and/or Attach Zinc Anode in reply to Bruce, 05-16-2002 19:44:15  
Thanks for the info Bruce.

The deck I'm currently working on belonged to a buddy that let it sit up for a couple years. I'm trying to get it back into shape and was hoping to come up with a reliable rust inhibiting method.

Normally I try to clean my deck after each use and after hosing it off I use either my leaf blower or shop compressor to air dry it quickly. I was hoping that someone had come up with a method that might eliminate this bit of maintenance.

I guess the manufacturers would have found and offered a "corrosion proof" deck a long time ago if it were a viable, economical option.

You didn't mention the zinc anode method in your reply. Have you any experience with that technique?

Thanks again,
Beaux

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Bruce

05-18-2002 07:22:21




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 Re: Re: Re: Cold Galvanize Mower Deck and/or Attach Zinc Anode in reply to Beaux Duke, 05-17-2002 05:21:54  

Beaux: I have no experience with a zinc anode for this application. I know they are very effective in different applications, but I am skeptical they would be useful on a mower deck. ====Stainless steel would be one way to achieve longer life of the housing, but would not be cost effective to a manufactuer. ====Mowers sitting outdoors in the weather (generally) rot out before a mower stored indoors. Also, climatic conditions due to geographic location have a large influence on life. ====I have tried both stainless steel and cold-galvanize coatings. Both are effective where they remain intact, but neither will stand up to the "sandblast effect."

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Dave

05-15-2002 21:24:54




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 Re: Cold Galvanize Mower Deck and/or Attach Zinc Anode in reply to Beaux Duke, 05-15-2002 08:00:33  
Beaux - I saw a post on a board last year, where someone was going to try the annode route. Don't remember any follow-up posts though. I once tried Herculiner, with little success. It was gone after a few mowings. Linex, I would think, would be more permenant. It costs around $400 to do a pickup bed, so I'm guessing maybe $100 to $150 for a mower deck. No matter what they spray, there is still prep work, cleanup, etc. that they have to charge for. - Dave

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Beaux Duke

05-16-2002 05:02:28




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 Re: Re: Cold Galvanize Mower Deck and/or Attach Zinc Anode in reply to Dave, 05-15-2002 21:24:54  
Thanks for the input Dave.

I'm thinking the anode route would probably work better as the cold galvanize zinc is sprayed on much like paint and it's ability to adhere in such a hostile environment is doubtful in my opinion but if some one has had success then I'd probably do it.

Attaching the anode seems much simpler but I'm not sure exactly how much surface area would be covered through the "galvanic reaction" process. Guess I need more info on how that works. I might possibly need more than one anode.

I've spent quite a bit of time cleaning the deck and removing the rust and I'd hate to have to do it all over again if I choose the wrong technique for rust prevention.

Thanks again,
Beaux

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