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  1. #1
    hanyoukimura's Avatar
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    My Lawn Mower Repair Thread (56k warning)

    Not sure if its the right section, mods can feel free to move it.

    Since I rebuilt the Brute I got off CL its sort of rekindled my childhood hobby of tinkering with lawn mowers, except now I'm armed with much more knowledge and tools. It's a fun hobby that also turns a profit for some extra cash. This will be an ongoing thread, especially if people are interested. I like photographing and documenting my projects and their progress. :)

    First up my pride and joy, my $35 Brute 7800583 22" 3-in-1 Self-Propelled mower:





    The free donor and MTD with a Briggs Quantum on it.:













    I'm a bit OCD with keeping tools clean and nice things looking nice. Considering it's by far the nicest mower I've ever had, I clean it after every use. I love this thing. It starts first pull every time, is fairly light for a self propelled so I can push it if I want (I usually do and use the self-propelled feature for going around corners or under low bushes where I can't get directly behind it), mulches great, bags great, and just looks cool with its long, sleek, black deck.

    Over the winter I may undercoat the deck with Bed Armor to ensure under the deck stays rust free. In fact come winter this is coming inside and going the the warm basement, winterized and on a pallet to keep it off the floor. :P

    I've hung onto the green MTD deck, it serves as a good test bed and cleaning station for engines while they are off the deck I'm working on.

    Next up were these two mowers I got for $10. Both had good, running Tecumseh Vantage engines. One had a bad deck (11A-031A000) , so I took the good parts and scrapped it. The other I fully restored, for fun and practice.









    Green deck serving its purpose (better life than being scrapped).



    Restoration of the salvageable 20" MTD 114-031F000.





















    Really happy with how it turned out. That one I sold to a friend who will hopefully take care of it, and I'll be able to see how the bed liner holds up.

    This Yard Man 11A-106C401 was given to me. Managed to get it it to run with a good carb cleaning. For whatever reason it would always start on the fourth pull but no sooner when cold. Sold it anyway though.



    The other Tecumseh from the rotted out MTD deck found a home on this MTD 11A-508C022, which was a partial trade on the Yard Man. I made a quick sale off of. Looked good I think.





    That one had an older Briggs Quantum which I still have to work on.

    This MTD is the same as that green deck with a Briggs Quattro. It have me a hard time but I finally got it to run by borrowing the carb/gastank/filter unit off another. Runs great but smoked a lot when I first ran it. Ten minutes of running the smoke got less noticeable but still there. Worn rings? Not sure. I need to get some parts for its own carb and a better gas tank. If I can get it to stop smoking I'll give the top of the deck a repaint and clean up the engine and sell it. Any thoughts on that one are welcome.



    This Craftsman with a Tecumseh Eager1 engine was also given to me. Would only start with starter fluid and wouldn't stay running, but a good carb cleaning and tun up fixed that. Sold it.



    Last edited by hanyoukimura; 09-09-2011 at 04:12 AM.

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  3. #2
    hanyoukimura's Avatar
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    Re: My Lawn Mower Repair Thread (56k warning)

    I scored a pair of free lawn mowers off CL.

    This Yard Man 11A-54MB055 1602923 with a giant OHV engine.





    Apparently the spark plug blew out and took the magneto with it. Sheared one of the bolts that held it down right off. Biggest problem is the lack of parts. They tried taking it apart and lost pieces. Considering the recoil alone is $45 it's not going anywhere anytime soon. In the short term I'll probably throw another engine on it since the deck is very dirty but in good shape. Massive engine.

    From the same guy I got this MTD 11A-414F35. They said it had carb issues, lost parts on it too, had a loose front wheel and both were bent. Missing pieces and very dirty as well.





    Some spare parts, a good cleaning, tune up, a bath, and some of my $0.95 Meguiar's Rubbing Compound brought it back to life though.















    I got a very similar Weed Eater 96136000100 given to me by a coworker. Absolutely filthy and didn't run, but this one actually cleaned up very well, looks almost new, especially after hitting it with my rubbing compound.





















    Needless to say I had no problem selling it.

  4. #3
    hanyoukimura's Avatar
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    Re: My Lawn Mower Repair Thread (56k warning)

    Then I got this guy as a partial trade for the red MTD. Same deck as those $10 MTDs. It actually ran just not very well. Cleaning out the fuel tank, carburetor, and installing a new diaphragm solved that problem. Put a new wheel axle in to solve the wobbly rear wheel.









    That little guy sold quickly too.

    My latest acquisitions is a Craftsman 917-383740 3-in-1, although I can't figure out how it would discharge. This thing was a partial trade on the Weed Eater. Had super loose front wheel adjusters that wouldn't hold the mower up, and carburetor issues.



    Funny thing is the inside of the carburetor itself wasn't all that dirty, far less so than some of the others I've worked on, yet it gave me quite a hard time. First it wouldn't get fuel, then it wouldn't stop leaking from the bowl. I also discovered that the oil was really thin and smelled like gas, so the first thing I did was drain it out and put fresh oil in it. Figured out that I hadn't installed the new seat all the way so the flow wouldn't let fuel in, and I hadn't cleaned the gasket surface n the carburetor good enough. It finally seems fixed, no more gas leak and it does get fuel. Will test it tomorrow and see if it can cold start without help from carb spray.

    I've fixed the wheels already, and given it new oil, filter, and spark plug, so all it needs now it, assuming it starts good tomorrow, is a good cleaning and a blade sharpening and its ready to go to a new home.

    As an aside, I cannot stand the backwards mounted engine. Drives me nuts!

    The other new acquisition is this Wheeler Grand Prix WM-20 mulching mower. Not sure exactly how old it is, but what little information I could find puts its build date between 1978 and 1980. Hard to find any more info than that on this thing.



    Right now its quite dirty, has too much oil in it, and no spark. I figure the points might need to be cleaned and adjusted, although I'm wondering about upgrading it to a Magnetron, although I'm not sure how one goes about doing that or which kit to get. Does anyone have experience with this?

    Once I get it running I think I'll do a full restoration on it and keep it for myself. I've been wanting an older mower to have as part of my permanent fleet, they just seem neat.





    What I'm wondering is how do I save the decals and/or get new ones made, especially for the manufacturer labels?

    As far as future stuff goes, who knows, but I know for my permanent fleet I want one of those newer Toro Recycler mowers, they just look sleek and cool, and RWD, which means it can powerslide!

    I'd also like to acquire a 2-Stroke Lawn Boy. They seem quirky and different, kind of a like a Saab.

    I'd also like an even older mower than the Wheeler at some point.

  5. #4

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    Re: My Lawn Mower Repair Thread (56k warning)

    I'd also like to acquire a 2-Stroke Lawn Boy. They seem quirky and different, kind of a like a Saab.
    That's what I was thinking as I scrolled through your posts. You do beautiful work but all that effort seems to me wasted on low-end mowers.

    The Lawn-Boys (and if I were investing a lot of time I'd go pre-1980) are not only "quirky and different" but designed better and made from better materials. The AL/MG alloy decks will last until broken and you don't have to worry about leaving them wet. The Lawn-Boy two-stroke engines are a delight to anyone who admires fine machinery. And they don't make them any more.

    I might add that a really well restored Lawn-Boy can score big bucks on eBay. You might want to check that out. All that effort making a mower look beautiful ( which none of mine do ) can pay off when you start with something more collectible.
    Rocket Raccoon: You speak Groot?

    Thor: They taught it on Asgard. It was an elective.

    from Avengers: Infinity War

  6. #5
    hanyoukimura's Avatar
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    Re: My Lawn Mower Repair Thread (56k warning)

    It seems they have a bit of a cult following in certain circles. Although not everyone seems to like them. There's one at the small engine shop with a blown motor. One mechanic wants to fix it the other hates it.

    When I was a kid I remember one of my neighbors had two old Lawn Boys sitting in their back yard. At the time I didn't know what they were but remember the odd wheel layout and the green decks. Shame I never asked for them.

    So far I've been able to flip these mowers for $60-$100 with little investment beyond carb cleaner, diaphragms (for the Class Briggs), and bowl, float, and gasket kits for some the Tecumsehs and tune up items. So I put in $10-$20 and make an easy 50+ profit. They may not be high-end but I work with what I get. I've always got my eye out for something more intriguing.

    My best one is my mower, which retails for $307.99 at the store. I could get pretty good money for it I bet but it's not for sale.

  7. #6


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    Re: My Lawn Mower Repair Thread (56k warning)

    Sweet Jesus!

    Those mowers look like brand new now!
    Live every day as if it's your last - because one day - it will be.


  8. #7

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    Re: My Lawn Mower Repair Thread (56k warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by hanyoukimura View Post
    It seems they have a bit of a cult following in certain circles. Although not everyone seems to like them. There's one at the small engine shop with a blown motor. One mechanic wants to fix it the other hates it.

    When I was a kid I remember one of my neighbors had two old Lawn Boys sitting in their back yard. At the time I didn't know what they were but remember the odd wheel layout and the green decks. Shame I never asked for them.

    So far I've been able to flip these mowers for $60-$100 with little investment beyond carb cleaner, diaphragms (for the Class Briggs), and bowl, float, and gasket kits for some the Tecumsehs and tune up items. So I put in $10-$20 and make an easy 50+ profit. They may not be high-end but I work with what I get. I've always got my eye out for something more intriguing.

    My best one is my mower, which retails for $307.99 at the store. I could get pretty good money for it I bet but it's not for sale.
    You're right about the cult following for old Lawn-Boys. There are a few of us here on LMF in the LB section. For me it's: two-stroke engine, alloy deck and non-self-propelled. The LB brand is actually the more common one -- I've been looking for a 1960s two-stroke Jacobsen rotary for a couple of years but without any luck.

    I see your point about working with what you can get. It takes time to find the desirable old mowers.

    Keep up the good work.

    BTW, do you switch to another hobby for the winter?
    Rocket Raccoon: You speak Groot?

    Thor: They taught it on Asgard. It was an elective.

    from Avengers: Infinity War

  9. #8

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    Re: My Lawn Mower Repair Thread (56k warning)

    Nice mowers but the picture above the description "eally happy with how it turned out. That one I sold to a friend who will hopefully take care of it, and I'll be able to see how the bed liner holds up."
    Looks like the blade is on upside down or is it just the picture?

  10. #9
    hanyoukimura's Avatar
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    Re: My Lawn Mower Repair Thread (56k warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by Two-Stroke View Post
    You're right about the cult following for old Lawn-Boys. There are a few of us here on LMF in the LB section. For me it's: two-stroke engine, alloy deck and non-self-propelled. The LB brand is actually the more common one -- I've been looking for a 1960s two-stroke Jacobsen rotary for a couple of years but without any luck.

    I see your point about working with what you can get. It takes time to find the desirable old mowers.

    Keep up the good work.

    BTW, do you switch to another hobby for the winter?
    I'd like to tackle snow blowers, although right now there's not much on CL. Otherwise I'm hoping come late fall I'll find more mowers and just work on them in the winter so they will be ready to sell come spring.

  11. #10
    hanyoukimura's Avatar
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    Re: My Lawn Mower Repair Thread (56k warning)

    Quote Originally Posted by webuyanymower.com View Post
    Nice mowers but the picture above the description "eally happy with how it turned out. That one I sold to a friend who will hopefully take care of it, and I'll be able to see how the bed liner holds up."
    Looks like the blade is on upside down or is it just the picture?
    Nope, you're correct, I realized it after I took the picture and fixed it the next day.

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