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This doesn't really apply to most push mowers, but tractors and ZTRs generally have some form of sheet metal covering the engine. In my case, my MTD tractor has side panels and a hinged top and my Ariens ZTR has a tip up cover.

My question for you is, do you leave them on or take them off?

My ZTR has the muffler on the side and it had a little diverter cover over the holes so the exhaust wouldn't blow directly onto the cover. (and burn the paint?) Well, the little diverter fell off. I tried riviting it back on, but it came off again. I noticed it was blowing hot exhaust directly onto the cover (about 2 inches away) and I didn't want it to burn the paint, so I took the cover off. Now there's no doupt that it looks better (at least to me) with the cover on. But I'm thinking that it probably runs cooler if the engine heat isn't being held in by it. Granted, there's a big opening in the back, but heat rises, and the top is solid.

My MTD 999 has 2 side covers with louvers in them and a solid top. Granted air will pass through the louvers and across the engine, but wouldn't it cool easier with the side panels off? (I can't bring myself to takle the top off... It just don't look right!)

I figure in the summer heat, I'll run with the side panels off and for snow blowing in the winter, I'll put them on to hold some heat in.

I just wondered what anyone else thought.

p.s. SHOW TRACTORS don't count.
 

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A lot of times the covers actually let the engine do a better job of cooling itself. The flywheel will draw or force air over the fins of the engine when the shields are in place. When they are off, it is only natural convection that pulls the heat away. You might try some small stove bolts/washers to hold the baffle in place that diverts the exhaust away from the shield.
 

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I agree, many side shields are designed to help coll the engine.

All shields stay in place! ~~ grnspot110
 

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Covers and shields are like...safety switches, you shouldn't wire around them?:D.
 

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If they are there they are serving a purpose not just cosmetic
 

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I sprayed mine black, and put a "fast" on it, but its really is easy, its fine being plastic as its not a part that bends, so you dont need to worry about cracking, normal rattle can will be fine mate
 
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