What's new
  • Guest
    As per our long standing policy of not permitting medical advice on the forum - all threads concerning the Coronavirus will be locked.
    For more info on the coronavirus please see the link below:
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

Lawn mower woes

I think my problem is I couldn’t do the weekly mowing That is required coupled with the fact that I like the grass short. So tall grass, mowing it short with no discharge....clog city.
Just like trying to take off 4-days of growth in one pass. Multiple passes work best.

Sent from my SM-A705U using Tapatalk
 
I'm having mower troubles of my own.

I run an overnight summer camp that had to cancel our season due to COVID and have been trying to save money on gas (as well as wasted time) by not mowing weekly.

Well, I've broken two belts because the grass is too thick and puts additional pressure on the blades/belt.

So its back to mowing weekly until it stops growing
Have you tried raising it up and making multiple passes?. That would cut down on your parts breakage. Resharpening the blade might help too.

Sent from my SM-A705U using Tapatalk
 
Here’s a little tip to prevent end of season woes, or eliminate headaches on seldom used equipment (snowblowers, generators, etc).

If you can’t drain/run empty the fuel at end of season, or the tank is too large, slap a cutoff valve on the fuel line. Turn the valve off and then run the engine to stall out. It will empty out the carb bowl and jet line. Add some preservative to what’s left in the tank, and top off any tank that is steel, especially if there’s any ethanol in the fuel.

The number one cause of small engine problems are from carb issues, particularly gum and deposit formation from letting stale fuel sit in it for months. You’ll avoid those spring carb rebuilds if you stow a dry carb.

Treating your 4-cycle small engine fuel cans during the season with a very mild dose of fuel system cleaner (Techron) is also not a bad idea.

The other tip for particularly push mowers and equipment running close to ground is to put an inline fuel filter on it. You would be surprised at the crap that finds its way into the carb just from routine gas fills. Grass, dust, bugs ... they all wind up getting into the carb bowl. A new filter every so often is cheaper than a carb teardown.
 
I'm having mower troubles of my own.

I run an overnight summer camp that had to cancel our season due to COVID and have been trying to save money on gas (as well as wasted time) by not mowing weekly.

Well, I've broken two belts because the grass is too thick and puts additional pressure on the blades/belt.

So its back to mowing weekly until it stops growing
Try half passes. If you ride a 42”, only take a 20” pass at a time. That, and lifting your deck to max height to start will relieve the deck load.
 
When I moved to florida I brought my mower with me, woooaaaa way different here, steep grade, spongy near the culvert area and generally hard, especially in the 90 degree or more heat, after struggling a few times, my wife said why dont you have someone mow it(like everyone else around here it seems) , so I did and never looked back, and cheap
 

MyOldKentuckyHome

Contributor
Have you tried raising it up and making multiple passes?. That would cut down on your parts breakage. Resharpening the blade might help too.
Try half passes. If you ride a 42”, only take a 20” pass at a time. That, and lifting your deck to max height to start will relieve the deck load.
Yeah - the plan when the new belt comes in is to raise the deck and make multiple passes (because I only got about halfway done and now it's a beast). Blades are relatively new - 2 were put on at beginning of season, the other was put on last week.

Thanks for the suggestion of the half passes - I'll try that as well.
 
Here’s a little tip to prevent end of season woes, or eliminate headaches on seldom used equipment (snowblowers, generators, etc).

If you can’t drain/run empty the fuel at end of season, or the tank is too large, slap a cutoff valve on the fuel line. Turn the valve off and then run the engine to stall out. It will empty out the carb bowl and jet line. Add some preservative to what’s left in the tank, and top off any tank that is steel, especially if there’s any ethanol in the fuel.

The number one cause of small engine problems are from carb issues, particularly gum and deposit formation from letting stale fuel sit in it for months. You’ll avoid those spring carb rebuilds if you stow a dry carb.

Treating your 4-cycle small engine fuel cans during the season with a very mild dose of fuel system cleaner (Techron) is also not a bad idea.

The other tip for particularly push mowers and equipment running close to ground is to put an inline fuel filter on it. You would be surprised at the crap that finds its way into the carb just from routine gas fills. Grass, dust, bugs ... they all wind up getting into the carb bowl. A new filter every so often is cheaper than a carb teardown.
As a seasoned twenty-plus years veteran of the power equipment sales and service world, and have seen all kind of interesting equipment failures, these are all good tips you bring up. In fact, you sound like me talking to customers about equipment maintenance. By far, fuel and carb-related issues were the leading cause for equipment visits to our repair shop. For you guys that have yet to use a fuel additive in your power equipment, by all means start doing so. Look for products like Stabil, Techron or Seafoam, and use them in ALL fuel used in your equipment. These products used properly and consistently, will eliminate issues caused by fuel condition. You can thank Columbo and me in advance.
 
Last edited:

Alacrity59

Wanting for wisdom
Moderator Emeritus
Contributor
I was told to try not to use fuel with methanol in it. Marine fuel or in my area (Ontario Canada) Shell V-Power.

I always add stabilizer when I fill up my gas can and us up any extra fuel at the end of a season by adding it to my car's gas tank. Also siphon the tank at the end of the season and run my machines dry.
 
I was told to try not to use fuel with methanol in it. Marine fuel or in my area (Ontario Canada) Shell V-Power.

I always add stabilizer when I fill up my gas can and us up any extra fuel at the end of a season by adding it to my car's gas tank. Also siphon the tank at the end of the season and run my machines dry.
You are doing things right, sir. I wouldn't be exaggerating too much when I say that if everyone followed your practices on fuel usage, there would be fewer small engine technicians working at mower shops.
 
I would have looked into repowering that Ariens deck with a Predator engine from Harbor Freight. They are only 150 bucks. I know several people who have used them with good results.

If that didnt work out, I would have bought a mower with a Honda engine regardless of the name on the deck.
 
I would have looked into repowering that Ariens deck with a Predator engine from Harbor Freight. They are only 150 bucks. I know several people who have used them with good results.

If that didnt work out, I would have bought a mower with a Honda engine regardless of the name on the deck.
That’s a darn good idea. Many decks and engines share a common bolt pattern.

My, how the coin has flipped. Years ago, it was the other way; the deck would rust out around a good engine with lots of hours left on it. I have a 1980s era tecumseh engine in long-term storage in my shed. Not a thing wrong with it. The deck it was attached to has been in a landfill for 20 years. It was too underpowered to replace a later B&S-powered mower we tossed, or I would have re-commissioned it.

That, and I sometimes get a little lazy at my age, and will write a check instead of spinning a wrench. ;)
 

Toothpick

Needs milk and a bidet!
Moderator
I guess I’m lucky that the station next door sells non-ethanol gas. That’s all I have ever used in my lawn equipment. Even run it in my truck since that’s what I haul the gas cans over with so as I fill up the cans I top off the truck.
 
I mowed with the same push mower from 12 to about 32 years old. The wheels fell off several times due to rust. I'd just drill a hole and move the wheel to another spot. When I finally decided to retire it, I drained all the oil and filled it with gas. I wanted to see how long the motor would run. I left it in the yard running wide open for about an hour. I heard it stop. I figured the motor finally seized...wrong....it was out of gas...lol
 
Three years ago I got an EGO battery powered mower. It's been working like a charm since. No annual trip to the dealer for routine service and it starts with the push of a button. The only thing I've done in three years is sharpen the blade.

It runs for a little over an hour on a charge.
Ditto. 2 years with an EGO mower without a problem. Now also own EGO leaf blower and trimmer. Best part is no more small engine woes.
 
I mowed with the same push mower from 12 to about 32 years old. The wheels fell off several times due to rust. I'd just drill a hole and move the wheel to another spot. When I finally decided to retire it, I drained all the oil and filled it with gas. I wanted to see how long the motor would run. I left it in the yard running wide open for about an hour. I heard it stop. I figured the motor finally seized...wrong....it was out of gas...lol
People used to do that with cars back in the day, too.

I recall a dealer story about a guy who did not like his ‘69 Ford, and wanted it replaced under warranty. So he started it, set a cinderblock on the accelerator, and went back into the house, until its 429 finally threw a rod ... over two hours and nearly a 24 gallon tank of gas later.

The dealer asked him how long he ran it WOT, and he finally sheepishly confessed to the stunt. I have no idea how they handled the warranty claim.

That guy was lucky. Back then, those C6 transmissions had a design flaw, and would sometimes drop into reverse from park if the shift linkage bushings were too worn. Imagine a 365 hp V-8 full size dropping into reverse unattended, at WOT. But I digress.
 
As a seasoned twenty-plus years veteran of the power equipment sales and service world, and have seen all kind of interesting equipment failures, these are all good tips you bring up. In fact, you sound like me talking to customers about equipment maintenance. By far, fuel and carb-related issues were the leading cause for equipment visits to our repair shop. For you guys that have yet to use a fuel additive in your power equipment, by all means start doing so. Look for products like Stabil, Techron or Seafoam, and use them in ALL fuel used in your equipment. These products used properly and consistently, will eliminate issues caused by fuel condition. You can thank Columbo and me in advance.
Great advice right here! Consistent maintenance and quality products will make most machines last a long time.

I use a oil additive called Supco 88. Mostly ultra-pure kerosene and an extreme pressure additive. Designed for the refrigeration industry, but works with anything that uses mineral oil. I remove the spark plug and pour an ounce into the cylinder before the first start-up in the spring. Then - with the spark plug still out - slowly pull the cord about 10 times to distribute the stuff along the cylinder walls and the piston ring grooves. So the first time starting after sitting idle all winter makes sure those combustion chamber parts aren't dry.

 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
Our 10% ethanol gas finally killed the carburetor on my Honda. A new one is about $30, but I was tired of the noise, and storing it. I went electric (EGo brand). It fold up nicely, and is so quiet I can mow at night (DFW gets pretty hot). I does have LED headlights.
69622D9B-0EB4-4342-A8FD-7E09AF4948BD.jpeg 0BD8EB4F-DFA1-468D-880D-B3D7FC41F8CE.jpeg
 

oc_in_fw

Contributor
Three years ago I got an EGO battery powered mower. It's been working like a charm since. No annual trip to the dealer for routine service and it starts with the push of a button. The only thing I've done in three years is sharpen the blade.

It runs for a little over an hour on a charge.
Got mine on Sunday (pics in post above this).
 
Since the failure occurred suddenly, my guess is the coil.
So funny story... and by funny, I mean not at all. I get a call about 20 mins ago from the owner say my mower was repaired and to call him back. Your comment above was the first thing I thought of. I called back, baffled, and reminded him of our conversation about the carb and the valves. Then I asked “So was it the coil?”

He admitted it was.

Granted, he does not complete the repairs himself, he advised that his head mechanic had returned from injury and since they hadn’t actually cancelled the work order, the head mechanic looked into it. There had been a new coil installed which was faulty but also installed incorrectly. A new coil was installed and the lawn mower came to life.

The cost for the repair was less than half of what I paid for the new mower.

I’ve used the new mower exactly once. I’ve been advised I can return the new mower and get my old one back including the difference in cost, which I think I just might do, since it wasn’t the motor, or the valves, etc.

I discussed it with my wife and she‘s in agreement. But I put in a caveat. If this thing craps the bed again, I’m going to likely just go and buy a Honda with American parts and motor or maybe an EGo. I’ve read a lot of good things about their mowers.

Good grief.
 
Top Bottom