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Sten
Re: Ailing lawn mower
A. Spruce wrote:

You and me both. I have a very hard time tossing something that needs $30 worth of TLC for another machine that can easily reach $200 - $300 if not more to replace.

My mower gets an oil change at start of season and the fuel tank topped up. I don't use fuel extenders, I don't drain the tank. It starts on the first or second pull every time! Now, it needs to be said that I don't live in an area prone to freezing, which affects fuel AND the amount of condensation that will occur in the tank over the course of the usable season as well as it's dormant season. That being said, it's actually better to store your equipment with a full tank than an empty tank because of the condensation issue. You can always drain it and replace it if you want, but IME it's not been necessary.

I agree with spruce, full tank (but I use stabilize over the winter) with routine maint. and it starts 1st or 2nd time.

dj1
Re: Ailing lawn mower

Guys,
You keep forgetting that folks who ask questions here may not always be as handy as you, may not have the free time as you, may not have the knowledge, experience and patience as you...or just prefer to have a new mower every few years !!!
:)
You may know how to fly a plane (in theory) because you watched pilots do it (before they started locking the cockpit door) - but does it mean you can do it? (don't ask me to join you on your first flight, if you decide to fly...)
You may know how to fill an aching tooth (in theory), because you watched the dentist do it - but does it mean you can do it? (don't ask me to be your first patient, if you decide to fill teeth...)
The same goes for small engines.

A. Spruce
Re: Ailing lawn mower
dj1 wrote:

Guys,
You keep forgetting that folks who ask questions here may not always be as handy as you, may not have the free time as you, may not have the knowledge, experience and patience as you...or just prefer to have a new mower every few years !!!

And you're assuming that our readers are hapless twits who can't do anything for themselves. The truth is that most land somewhere in the middle of these two extremes, and in reality, all they need is a little information and a little encouragement to tackle what you and I may take for granted.

There is nothing about construction that is "hard" from the aspect of needing brain power to do, physically demanding sometimes, yes, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist to get through. The same goes for small engine repair. Anyone with even a slight aptitude for handy-work will be able to figure out how to do minor maintenance on a mower to get it to run like a champ.

With minimal tools you can rebuild a carburetor on a mower. "Rebuild" sounds daunting, in reality most carbs have a diaphragm behind a plate with 4 or 5 screws in it. pull the plate and old diaphragm, install new, DONE! It's just that simple. Yes, there's some peripheral cleaning involved, but it doesn't get any more basic than removing a few screws.

We as a group tend to answer the questions as asked and let the asker decide for themselves whether it's a task they care to take on or not. This is just such a task.:cool:

Re: Ailing lawn mower

Well I took the carb apart, cleaned it all out, sea-foamed everything, cleaned the gas tank, put it all back together, put in new gas and.... no dice. I could barely start it and it would only run at a throbbing low idle. As I have too much to do this spring and little time, the mower went to someone who likes to fix small engines. Not me. I need to finish building my sons swingset, insulate a porch, and get to building Norm's plans for a sandbox. Now I'm looking for a replacement mower. Since I never used the bag in 7 years, I think I simple side-discharge with a mulching option will do (I use the mower mainly to do edges and around trees where my rider can't get to. Any advice on brands?
Thanks for all the suggestions guys.

dj1
Re: Ailing lawn mower

Now that you have time and money invested in the old mower wasted, get yourself a decent machine, maintain it properly, store it indoor, drain the gas if you are not using it for an extended period of time...

Like I said before...rebuilding machines is not for everyone.

As far as brand, most USA made mowers use the same motors. It really depends on you budget. Tight budget? go for a mower on sale at the big stores. Like I mentioned before, Walmart clears mowers at huge discounts at the end of the summer. Can't wait? there is a wide selection for mowers/mulchers for under $200. Eazy budget? go for a Honda or Hasqvarna.

Isn't shopping fun?

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