Water under foot covers

   / Water under foot covers #2  
Ouch! That looks more like neglect, notice it's rusted all the way around the drive shaft tube too.

I haven't peered under my pads lately, but I don't think I have any rust after several years with my 2544. I'm not sure if the foot rests are exactly the same as the newer models though. I've only washed mine or used the deck wash a couple times myself. I normally blow it off with air before pulling it in the shop.

I think the worse thing you can do for the deck is cutting wet grass. On the 44" deck at least, it will clump up in there bad. I had to pull the deck and dig the grass and fireant bed out from inside it one time....ants and all.
   / Water under foot covers #3  
I am starting to get some rust under the mats. I only wash my Cub once or twice a year and dry it off so I don't know if that is the cause. I blow it off most of the time.
You hit the nail on the head about mowing wet grass with the 44 inch deck. All u get is a plugged up mess and cut quality suffers.
I clean mine out almost every time I use it just because the grass collects around the center blade area of the deck. Especially in the spring when the grass grows like mad. I usually jack mine up and clean the most of the build up every week then take the deck off in 2 week intervals.
I am still "out to lunch" on the deck wash. I just don't think having a green wet mess to clean up would be worth it.
   / Water under foot covers #4  
I had that problem with my 44 inch deck on my 1450. I had to clean it frequently and the deck still rusted out. The second deck shell, which I paid $400 for, was just starting to rust through when I traded it in after 26 years. The 54 inch I have now is a world of difference. I remove it and clean it good once every year or two. It weighs 260 pounds so I don't do it often. My yard is wet about 50% of the time and I have no problem clogging. I have to remove the bagger when it gets too wet or too long.

Bob B.
   / Water under foot covers #5  
I bought some Rustoleum 2 part epoxy (9100 series I think) at Grainger. This is tough stuff. Rated for salt water immersion. It was expensive, about $120.00 for two gallons (1 gal. epoxy and 1 gal hardener). If mine was new I'd coat it good before I used it. A quart would probably do it, but I'm not sure you can buy it that way.