A riding mower deck on your lawn mower can range in width from 38 inches to 54 inches. The broader this deck is, the costlier the machine. However, after being subjected to years of use and abuse, this deck can be damaged heavily. It can also totally wear out. If it is just rusty, you may repair it by sanding the rust off and applying several coatings of paint, but if it has been bent or warped, it will interfere with the proper operation of the mower. It can also crack in half in extreme cases. Hence, you need to replace it. Installing the new deck can be done without the help of a professional and with a few ordinary tools that can ordinarily be found around the house.
Step 1 - Preparing the Mower
Drive your mower into a level surface, which ideally should be made from stone or cement. However, if these areas are not available in your lawn, you may make use of any available flat surface. Since riding mowers are heavy machines, you need to park it on level ground to ensure that the machine and the deck will not fall down on you. Leave the machine in gear and turn off its ignition. Put on your parking brakes and disconnect the spark plug from its cord for safety purposes.
Step 2 - Securing the Mower
Install one of the pieces of wood below the front portion of the riding mower. The other piece of wood should be installed on its rear part. This is to allow you to lower the deck that you will be replacing. It will also be used as a resting place for the new deck so that you can attach it easily.
Step 3 - Removing the Attachments
Remove the attachments that are in your way together with the drive belt for the blade, which should be disconnected from the front pulley. Find the guide or cotter pins and remove them with the help of the needle nose pliers. The number of cotter pins varies according to the brand of mower that you have, but there could be 2 or 4 on the rear of the mower, while 2 or 4 more could be in front. Removing them will disconnect the deck from the mower frame. Raise the deck to its highest position and then remove it.
Step 4 - Positioning the New Deck
Put the new deck below the riding mower and allow it to rest on the two pieces of wood you have previously placed below the machine. If needed, you can remove the idle pulley by using the 15mm wrench. This will allow the drive belt to move with ease.
Step 5 - Attaching the New Deck
Raise the front part of the new deck and align it with the holes that are on the front of the mower frame. Insert the guide or cotter pins you have removed previously together with the carter keys. Attach the rear part of the new deck using the same method.