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I recently purchased a lawnmower that is in need of a new hood. The replacement cost for the hood is $400 so I am looking at a way to repair the old. As you can see its severely cracked. I am more concerned with structural stability than aesthetics at this point. Does anyone have any thoughts on fusing the cracked plastic and fixing the gaping hold on the top of the hood?

Or alternatively I am looking if anyone knows of a model that would be compatible as a replacement. Its a Craftsman DLT2000 (Model 917.272264).

enter image description here

  • Duct tape (assuming it does not touch any moving parts)? – Yehuda_NYC Jun 27 '16 at 15:38
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    That's not "cracked". The plastic you show in the pictures is broken. – JS. Jun 27 '16 at 21:07
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    You sure this brute doesn't have RamAir? – AndyW Jun 27 '16 at 21:32
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Sheet aluminum and pop rivets. Extra points for using old beer cans as the aluminum source, label side out, but flashing is a bit thicker than today's beer cans.

Hairy (loaded with fiber reinforcement) Bondo. "Bondo Hair" is the actual label on the can. Some screws or pop-rivets might still be needed to help the bond to the plastic at the edges. Looks awful, but quite sturdy.

Run with no hood at all. It doesn't really serve a functional purpose. And then you can start taking parts to a chrome shop and have a real hot-rod lawn tractor eventually.

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    And 12 years later you end up as the "Cub CaDebt" (note the debt pun). A "Lawnmower" with a pair of Big Block Chevys with superchargers. On a serious note - Might even be worth checking to buy a whole-new secondhand hood (even from another lawnmower). Their basic purpose is just to keep major grass, debris, fingers etc away from some of the moving parts. – BrownRedHawk Jun 27 '16 at 14:51
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    @stevesalowitz If you have the remaining puzzle pieces, glue it back together (plastic weld epoxy would probably be best), and while it's drying, drink enough beer to get some sheet metal to patch it (multi-tasking saves time). *note, if you need a lot of sheet metal, you might want to enlist some buddies. *Tip Use spray glue to help hold/plaster the "sheet metal" to the hood before you rivet it. – Ben Welborn Jun 27 '16 at 17:33
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    Bondo is awful, but acrylic resin (also used for automotive body repair) should work well if used correctly. If such a huge section is completely missing, you might need some sort of structure to build on. Aluminum or non-metal screen works ok or there might be fiber products you can use analogous to whatever is in "Bondo hair". – R.. Jun 28 '16 at 1:45
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Buy a replacement hood ASAP if you have this thing sitting outside. An old hood will cost you $50. Everything under it will wear/rust much faster with no hood.

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    Picture seems to be in a garage. – Ecnerwal Jun 27 '16 at 17:01
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    And the the replacement is $400 not $50 – Steve Salowitz Jun 27 '16 at 19:27
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    @SteveSalowitz - haha yea if you go get an OEM hood. Go on craigslist and find a guy selling old parts. These are not $400 for sure. Buy and sell lots of riding mowers in my time. I usually sell non working ones for 150-200 for things like hoods, seats, tires. – DMoore Jun 27 '16 at 20:26
  • I have looked and the problem is that I dont know what models are compatible with this model mower and this one isn't that common anymore. – Steve Salowitz Jun 28 '16 at 16:30
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    I am 90% sure my hood would fit yours. Call someone. Look on craigslist for someone who works on them. Do you really think that aluminum and rivets are going to hold on a flimsy plastic cover? Other than sounding like an answer have you seen anyone pop rivets in a plastic hood and mold metal to fill in the cracked issue? Research this yourself. I bet if you put the model # on your question that someone would tell you the replacement part #s and other models that would fit in the comments. – DMoore Jun 28 '16 at 16:48
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I can't tell from the image if you just have a chunk missing or if there is a crack as well. You can get anplatic welder for $20 from harbor freight.

Just used it to reattach a chunk of my platic bumper cover that broke off when someone hit me. Also used itnfor the cracks.

A few key things if you want to try this: 1. Take the cover off and do the repair on the I side. You may be able to use some high temp epoxy on the visible side tonreinforce. 2. Use metal screening with you plastic welding. The harbor freight kit has some screening but you probably need more. The screening is basically melted into the surface of the plastic. The weld will quickly break if you don't use the screening. 3. Watch a couple you tube videos on plastic weling withstand the screening. The best one I saw, the guy used a torch to heat up a flat metal tool he formed. You can skip that part if you get the platic welding. But the principles in the rest of the video apply.

If you don't have the piece to fill the big hole you can try sheet metal flashing or corregated plastic it doesn't get too hot.

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