Mower engines go on and on but the deck often rots out, but there is a fix. This video walks you through the process step by step, from preparing your metalwork to coating the underside of your deck.
I can’t help feeling a sense of loss when I see a good engine on a rusted-out mower body. It’s only too common, mowers cut down in their prime. Mower bodies can last as long as the engine, they just need a little help. Cleaning the acidic grass from the underside before winterizing and storing indoors is a great start, but if you really want your mower to go the distance, undercoat the deck.
This video shows you how to love your mower.
Before working on your mower be sure to remove the plug wire to prevent accidental starting, see “Repair Safety Video”.
You’ll find useful resources on this page, tips, links to tools, parts, and supplies required to complete your repair.
Tools & Parts
To nail this procedure you may need the following tools, parts, and supplies.
Wire Brush Kit
Stainless for heavy-duty and brass for and brass wire brush kit for heavy-duty and finer applications like electrical connections and softer metals. Picture links to Amazon.com.
A wire wheel kit and a drill makes preparation easy, almost enjoyable! Picture links to Amazon.com.
3M Underbody Coating
This stuff protects the deck from corrosive acid caused by decomposing grass clippings. The coating also helps prevent grass clogging and reduces cleaning time. I use this stuff on my riding mower deck too. Picture links to Amazon.com.
WD solves a ton of problems. I won’t work without it, because I can’t. Picture links to Amazon.com.
Ratchet Tool Set
Before we can do anything, we’ll need tools. I’ve selected this set as I own some Craftsman tools and while I have worn some out, they did do a lot of work. So I expect this set will last the occasional user quite a long time. This set carries both metric and standard sockets and that’s important because some mowers will have both types of fastener sizes. Set includes spark plug sockets. Picture links to Amazon.com.
Gas & Oil Syphon
You’ll find this tool really useful if you need to drain the gas tank, and you will if the gas is stale. The siphon will remove it without fuss or mess and it can be used for extracting the oil too. Picture links to Amazon.com.
Gas Line Clamp
Some small engines will have a gas tap, which is really handy when removing the carburetor, stops gas flowing all over the shop. However most engines won’t have one, these useful clamps simply squeeze the fuel line and prevent a spill while you perform surgery. Picture links to Amazon.com.
I love DeWalt, they make quality tools. This heavy-duty but lightweight 1/2 inch impact wrench makes short work of stubborn bolts like flywheel nuts and rusty blade fasteners. Up to 700 ft. lbs. of torque on tap, I keep one in the trunk of our family car, which makes a flat almost enjoyable. Picture links to Amazon.com.
I use a DeWalt screw gun (also a drill) in the workshop to speed up the process of removing engine covers, carburetor bolts, Armature bolts, etc. It’s a brushless motor and as tough as nails, I drove over it a few times – still works great! Batteries are interchangeable and so if you have a DeWalt product already you won’t need the battery. Picture links to Amazon.com.
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John Cunningham is an Automotive Technician and writer at Lawnmowerfixed.com.
He’s been a mechanic for over twenty-five years and shares his know-how and hands-on experience in our DIY repair guides.
Johns’s fluff-free How-to guides help homeowners fix lawnmowers, tractor mowers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, power washers, generators, snow blowers, and more.