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Mower maintenance, and working on stuff after someone that should have never picked up tools.... Login/Join 
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I've been fixing power equipment, small engines and the like as a hobby since I was a kid.

I've seen locked up engines, two strokes damaged from running straight gas, rods out the side of the block, sloppy maintenance, no maintenance, loose and missing parts, etc.

I have not and never will see it all, but I did see something new.

My dad snagged me a 21' Troy-Bilt mulcher with a Honda engine for me to put back into service off of the curb in his neighborhood.

The previous owner "cleaned the carb" but the machine still "ran bad" and "leaked gas".

So far, I found that the previous owner reassembled the float needle inverted so the Viton tip touched the float, not the needle seat so the float could not stop the flow of fuel and let the bowl overflow out the vent. He also had the blade on upside down and instead of cutting the grass with the blades cutting edge, he beat it to death with the back side of the blade. He must have run the blade loose for a while too as the blade mounting arbor is smoked.

For good measure, this fella drilled about a 1/8" hole in the body of the carb above the jet since he didn't know how to remove the jet or emulsion tube properly. Now there is no way the fuel will or can ever be properly metered, so while it runs, it needs a new carb.....I wish I'd seen that before I ordered a couple of parts I can't return and just rolled it back to the curb.

Thankfully you can get an OEM Honda carb for about $20 delivered, but I'll be lucky to break even on this deal.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: M1Garandy,
 
Posts: 733 | Location: Midwest | Registered: April 13, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Leemur
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Good lord....

Buddy got a couple of old Craftsman riding mowers recently to fix and flip. He’s a great mechanic but those things have him tearing his hair out. Put a new carburetor on one and it was a wreck. Had to take it off, disassemble and put back together right. The person who put it together at the factory was obviously stoned.
 
Posts: 13170 | Location: Shenandoah Valley, VA | Registered: October 16, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Fighting the good fight
Picture of RogueJSK
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Could be just a crappy "shade tree mechanic". Or this could be an example of the double-edged sword that is the Youtube world.

I love Youtube, as it allows me to tackle projects that I normally wouldn't have the skills or knowledge to do otherwise.

However, it does still require basic handiness, basic knowledge of tool use, and the ability to think critically and analyze problems. A Youtube tutorial can't substitute for any of those.

In addition, you really need to know your limits. Youtube allows you to push your limits, but not necessarily greatly exceed them. I can still appreciate when something is well beyond my skill range, even with the help of Youtube, and it's time to hand it off to someone more knowledgeable.

Plus, there's always a chance that the Youtube video you pick simply gives bad/inaccurate/outdated advice...
 
Posts: 28994 | Location: Northwest Arkansas | Registered: January 06, 2008Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Three Generations
of Service
Picture of PHPaul
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The cheapo Chinese carbs you get for $15-$20 are hit and miss. I've had several that worked perfectly, and a few that didn't work at all.

At the moment, I have a Lawnboy 2 stroke I'm working on. Runs if I squirt gas in the carb throat, so something still wonky in the carb.

Flip-flopping on whether to spend any money on it. Deck is trash, just sort of intrigued by the 2-smoke engine. No idea what I'd use it for.




Be careful when following the masses. Sometimes the M is silent.
 
Posts: 14211 | Location: Downeast Maine | Registered: March 10, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Shall Not Be Infringed
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^^^My grandfather had a two-stroke Lawn Boy back in the early '70s. VERY Cool Deck design, sounded cool too...It was a Mower like no other! Cool


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Posts: 5822 | Location: New Hampshire | Registered: October 29, 2011Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Picture of Pyker
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Last fall I took my lawn tractor to the dealer for a transmission oil and filter change and a new fuel filter. Neither are hard to do, but messy if you can't put it up on a lift. While it was there, I told them to change the engine oil and filter, along with greasing up the zerks to get it ready for winter snow blowing.

A couple of days ago I dismounted the blower and decided to change the oil to summer weight and put a new oil filter on. Drain plug almost needed a breaker bar on it to get it to turn. Eventually, I prevailed and got it out.

THEY HAD PUT THE OIL DRAIN PLUG BACK IN WITH RED THREAD LOCKER.

I am wondering what else they did while they had it.
 
Posts: 2107 | Location: Lake Country, Minnesota | Registered: September 06, 2019Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Run Silent
Run Deep

Picture of Patriot
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I just replaced the carb on my Honda push mower.

$27 bucks for Honda OEM

Makes rebuilding and troubleshooting them just not worth it.


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Posts: 6520 | Location: South East, Pa | Registered: July 04, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Buy that Classic SIG in All Stainless,
No rail wear will be painless.
Picture of cee_Kamp
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^^^^^^^
This right here is the reason even at my advancing age, I still procure service manuals and do it myself. I can take as long as needed, and it ensures the work is completed correctly.
I recently replaced some front tires on my garden tractor. I bought the new tires online. I jacked up the tractor and removed the front wheels.
Then loaded everything in my vehicle and went to the local (close) Mahindra Dealer.
They said it would take up to several days. I asked them twice to replace both valve stems as they were 11 years old, while they were swapping the tires for me.
I asked, and they showed me a bin in the Parts Department behind the counter filled with new valve stems, the correct size.
The time to change the valve stems is when the tires are off the rims.
The old valve stems get brittle with age, bump a shrub accidentally and they can break, resulting in a unneeded flat tire.
The next day I got the phone call and the tire work was done. I went to pick them up and the valve stems looked old/original/OEM.
The guy said he didn't replace them, they were still good. I was pissed!
I spoke to the Mahindra Dealer owner yesterday. He was willing to break down the tires and replace the valve stems as originally asked.
I declined, as they used bead sealer when they mounted my new tires.
The moral of the story here is, if you are technically qualified, and have the correct tools for the job, do it yourself. The results will ALWAYS be better.
If I had a tire machine, I would have done it myself.



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NRA Instructor
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Posts: 1220 | Registered: December 14, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by PHPaul:
The cheapo Chinese carbs you get for $15-$20 are hit and miss.


Agreed, though I could have gotten a Chinese Honda clone carb for $7.50 delivered, I took the less likely to be frustrating OEM Honda solution for $20 delivered.

I cut lawns as a kid for old Mrs. Jacobsen with her Lawn Boy. Hated that mower, float was misadjusted and it would die going up the slight hill in her side yard every other pass. Memories....

This message has been edited. Last edited by: M1Garandy,
 
Posts: 733 | Location: Midwest | Registered: April 13, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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quote:
Originally posted by Patriot:
I just replaced the carb on my Honda push mower.

$27 bucks for Honda OEM

Makes rebuilding and troubleshooting them just not worth it.


Sure is, I think a factory Honda carb kit was more than the whole carb.
 
Posts: 733 | Location: Midwest | Registered: April 13, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Testimony on youtube tutorial: installing a ratchet locker, the last item is to slip in the C clip on a 8.8 to keep all the parts where they belong.

Instructions didn't mention the critical feature needed to do it, online forums missed it, and only 1 of half a dozen videos mentioned it - a 5 second talking point out of 15 minutes.

You orient the inner gear to where the machined slot will allow the C Clip just enough room to slide into place.

A few hours of research - much less the manufacturers instructions completely ignoring that obvious feature - and I get 5 seconds of information which finished the whole job.

Some folks online had ground on the parts to force it in. Others returned it half greasy back to the seller. I caught on to it because of the narration and a finger pointing to it. No way a maker will spend the time to machine something that isn't needed, so, how about a bit on ON SCREEN SUBTITLES, YOUTUBE HEROES? PS that installer spent 10x more time on replacing the axle bearings than a step by step install of each part.

Locker works fine, even alarms the wife when it clunks - she thinks we hit something every time. When the maker can't even tell you how to do it right, you might find a youtube that will - if you listen carefully for those 5 seconds.
 
Posts: 605 | Registered: December 14, 2021Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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New carb installed, started first pull and ran like a champ as I knew it would.

I got smart and checked the compression BEFORE opening the package for the carb to make sure running super rich didn't wipe out the rings.

Now to change the oil, swap on the new blade, snap a picture or two and off to CL and Marketplace to cut my losses.

Had the previous owner left the carb alone, I could have gotten away with only changing the oil, the blade, blade arbor and adding the missing air filter and square nut for the handle bolt.

Add a $20 carb and a couple more bucks for the intake gaskets to that and I've got about $60 in a mower I'll probably get $60 for.

Oh well, at least I enjoy doing it.

ETA: Oil changed, blade swapped and because I could not get the engine to idle down, I undid the governor "enhancement" the previous guy did to try and get some more RPM out of the engine, presumably after he ruined the original carb.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: M1Garandy,
 
Posts: 733 | Location: Midwest | Registered: April 13, 2013Reply With QuoteReport This Post
That rug really tied
the room together.
Picture of bubbatime
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Yup. Been there. Done that. Sometimes you get a gem and can actually sell it for a profit. Sometimes you break even. Sometimes you might even lose a few bucks.

Love it when clowns go in and start modifying, drilling, cutting essential items that should never be drilled or cut or modified.


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Posts: 6380 | Location: Floriduh | Registered: October 16, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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