I have a very old (20ish years) Craftsman rider with a 12.5hp Briggs engine that's hammering like crazy, presumably a rod knock. The engine is the original, never rebuilt.
Doing some basic google searches it looks like I can rebuild it for $100? And by rebuild, I mean very basic stock piston/crank/rod/gaskets and only hone the bore. Am I in the ballpark here? It's otherwise 'good running', meaning, it has run fine for years, needs no carb work, etc etc.
Anything decent on Craigslist, as far as I can tell for a replacement mower, used starts at about $400. I have less than an acre lot and I'm not a lawn care fanatic, I just want the grass shorter and I don't care what the mower looks like.
So I have 2 questions:
1) Can I rebuild it for $100, assuming I can do it myself? (Old car guy here, just rebuilt another Chevy 350 so internal combustion engines are old hat, just never done a lawn mower engine.
2) How many hours am I looking at to pull it apart, rebuild it, and put it back together? The longer I pay for lawn care, the more the 'true cost' of rebuilding it climbs. How long would it take YOU to rebuild it?