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I need some suggestions about the thumb release caps for the lift and variator handle. My original ones are pretty marred up and rusted. I see John deere sells the part but I was curious if the new part is steel like the original or different. I've seen that before with the steering wheel center cap. What has everyone else done?
 

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It's will be the same one and steel. If john Deere still sales the part. It means it's left overs from ones that didn't sale from back when these were built. For example. In the computer it should say along the lines there are 50 left and out of production since 1974 or something along those numbers and years. John Deere usually never reproduce those old parts at all. Just old production that never sold and still on the shelfs or in the warehouse. Hope this helps. Do you know how much they are? Should come with spring or sold separate but would buy that too.
 

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Jason, heed the good advice from Kalin and get new springs and washers from Deere when replacing the thumb release (pin) knobs. I too would have to think the part from Deere would be mild steel just like the original.

Jim's Lawn & Garden and HAPCO have offered stainless steel versions of the thumb release. Click on websites above to check them out.

I'll offer a low budget repair if the knobs have just "Vice Grip" marks and rust pits in them. First, screw them onto a 2-3" bolt for handling and remove as much rust as possible. Use a hammer to lightly peen the marks to a smoother contour. Then use a flat file to blend the high spots to the O.D.
Dip them in primer and let dry. Sand and repeat until marks are filled. Dip or spray green.

If there was a lot of metal gouged away, deep grooves, etc., you will probably be better off with new ones. Expect some of the paint to wear away with use.

tommyhawk
 
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