The drag link (key#10) should be able to be removed and replaced without removing the deck. You may need to turn the steering wheel one way or the other for easier access to the ends of the drag link. Each end of the drag link is held in position with a nut (key#40). Remove the nut from each end of the drag link and pull the drag link out of the opening. I also added the instructions on how to remove the mower deck if needed in the image below.