oil?

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  #1  
Old 08-28-02, 05:57 PM
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oil?

Which type oil do you use in a push mower? I've seen oils that are specifically designed for mowers, but have also been told that I can use 30 weight oil in it. I saw HD30, and just 30. I don't know which to put into my lawnmower. Both of the HD30 and 30 were sold on the same shelves as the 10w-30 etc. for vehicles. I do not have the manual for this mower anymore. Its a cheap $100 Murray, no bag. I would like it to continue working tho .

Thanks,

Kay
 
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  #2  
Old 08-28-02, 07:15 PM
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Hi: Kay

You could use any brand of 30W {weight} motor oil. I do not recommend multi-grade oils for this application nor is it necessary.

Oils blended specifically for use in lawn mowers may be benefical and recommend by manufacturers and or suggested by many to whom you speak to or post here. However, if the machine isn't new and or worth much value wise, 30W will do fine.

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  #3  
Old 08-31-02, 03:20 PM
Bill Locke
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Oil

Kay, Tom is absolutely right. The high temperatures in air cooled engines have a habit of separating out the additives that make oils "multi-grade" (10w30 etc) These additives like to remain as deposits of carbon material that just gum things up over time. If you ask for straight 30 weight and the salesman says use the 10w, you will know exactly what to say.
 
  #4  
Old 08-31-02, 04:12 PM
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I had purchased both the 30W and the one that was labelled for lawn mowers. I used the one for the lawn mower the other day, and it was more expensive, plus I got less. I will use the plain 30W from now on.

Thanks for letting me know the differences. Does the HD stand for detergent? A neighbor mentioned not using a detergent oil in the lawn mower. I don't use anything labelled as a detergent oil in my truck since I might actually clean off something in my engine that could cause a leak. Not sure that's true either, but did own a VW that if you washed away vital dirt and mud something would fall off .

Thanks again guys. I would much rather buy something neat for my computer or my truck than another lawn mower. Bad priorities, but mine none-the-less.

Kay
 
  #5  
Old 08-31-02, 08:13 PM
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Hello: kaybyrd

That line about the VW was a laugh...LOL! Been there and done that myself. Had a Vanagon some years back. Great van. But had to even avoid washing it to prevent some part some where at some time or another from falling off...haha

Avoid any detergent oil. Detergent oils are not needed for the intended purpose. Any brand of straight 30W works fine. If memory serves me, HD refers to heavy duty and not high detergent.

HD is an all to commonly used lettering that only leads to more confusion in many products, in my opinion. HD could mean High Density as in floppie disks, High Detergent as in soap and or Heavy Duty as in Trucks...

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Tom_B
 
  #6  
Old 09-05-02, 02:44 AM
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. If memory serves me, HD refers to heavy duty and not high detergent.

Thats a new one to me. I always thought it meant high detergent. Glad I happened to read that post. \
Don't some riders reccommend 10w40?
 
  #7  
Old 09-06-02, 12:16 AM
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I think it does mean High Detergent, but it may be that some brands of HD oil mean heavy duty, and other brands mean High detergent. I don't recall any small engines reccomending 10-40 oil. the 10 weight is way too thin. It will use more oil than it should. It used to be that the HD oil was too harsh on the aluminum parts of the engine, it was said to eat at and pit the engine's components. Nowadays, the HD oil is supposed to be safe to use in small engines, but not necessarily beneficial...or harmful for that matter.
 
  #8  
Old 09-06-02, 07:10 AM
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This is all so interesting about oils and their properties. I studied oil in gen. auto mechanics but honestly can't remember anything more than the fact that the additives in it keep the viscocity within the weight ranges in varying temperatures. 10w-30 would be 10 weight in the cold (before crank) but no more than 30 when at normal operating temperature. That water/moisture, dirt and heat begin to break down these properties in the oil hence the need for oil changes. I also know that a vehicle that isn't driven still needs oil changes since the oil will begin to break down and start eroding the engine over time. Do I need to change the oil in the lawn mower? And how on earth do you do that!? I pull bad gas out of the lawn mower with a siphon and also a turkey baster (I don't cook much so don't worry about using it to cook with later - its one of my shop tools).

Tom Locke pointed out that the additives in regular oils would end up as carbon deposits. I don't know what my son used in the lawn mower while he lived here. He took care of these things for me. If he used multi-grade oil and there are the carbon deposits in the lawn mower, how do I remove those?
I believe that if I would sit down and learn about a lawnmower engine that I would have a better understanding of the who's, what's and why's that apply to it.

I know it seems silly to worry about this 2 yr old $100 mower, but if I can't take care of it, then there is never going to be a point in buying a nice one if I'm going to tear it up.

Kay
 
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Old 09-06-02, 07:34 PM
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Hi Kaybyrd!

Yes...you should change the oil. There should be a drain plug under the mower engine that you remove to drain the oil. Doing this whenever the oil gets dirty looking will keep carbon buildup from occurring, and will eventually flush out most of what is already there. As far as draining the gas...if you aren't going to run it for quite some time, like a couple of months, then it would be a good idea to drain it out. The best way is to siphon or dump as much as you can, then crank it up and let it run until empty. Some fuel systems can tolerate extremely stale fuel...the briggs and stratton 3.5hp and 4.0 hp comes to mind. Others cant tolerate even mildly stale fuel....all techumsehs come to mind.

Just keep in mind...the dustier it is, hotter it is, and more mowing you do,: the more you'll have to change the oil. Also keep your air filter clean, and blade sharp. A dull blade makes your engine work harder, just like your arm will be ready to fall off after carving a thanksgiving turkey with a butterknife, lol. There's not much maintainence to do on a push-mower engine, but what little there is is important.
 
  #10  
Old 09-07-02, 11:18 AM
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I did look under the mower wondering if it was still running rough due to it not being clean underneath. My husband thinks I'm too picky about some things, but my father always told me to let the mower cool down after using it, then clean out from underneath with a water hose. To also keep the top of the mower brushed off, as well as keeping the air filter clean. I was raised to take care of things I have instead of looking at it as though you could just go get another one. anyway, the blade looks pretty bad.

Am I correct in assuming that even though we have just cranked it (not actually trying to mow anything), and it running rough could be caused by the blade itself being so off balance from the nicks that it would cause the strain on the engine? I checked the spark plug and made sure it was clean, but will replace it too.

Kay
 
  #11  
Old 09-08-02, 09:52 AM
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If the blade was really nicked, the entire mower would vibrate and bounce all over the place.

Interesting note:

All of the reccomendations have always been to use straight 30 weight oil in lawn mowers. Was in my local Lowes yesterday and looked at the B&S oil. It was marked 5W30. Thought that was real interesting.
 
  #12  
Old 09-08-02, 12:42 PM
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gary,

I just now located my book to my lawnmower, and it also shows that I can use multigrade oil in mower as well. It did note that the oil consumption would be greater.

I'm going to have to get a book on small engines since the manual that came with my mower is the equivelant of a quick start guide. I just changed the plug, and we emptied out the gas and let the tank dry. Added fresh gas and it is still running very rough.

It isn't shaking, rocking and rolling as you described about the blade, but just doesn't want to run anymore. It will mow, but it is struggling.

I've had it for 2 seasons now, and I've done only adding oil, fuel and cleaning the air filter. Apparently there is a lot more that I need to do for it. I found a site online that gives a rundown of maintenance for a push mower so I'll start there. I may be posting back later to get help on identifying these parts and how to do it.

After my original post it ran fine until I added that last bit of gas in the can to the mower. Since then its been downhill.

Kay
 
  #13  
Old 09-08-02, 05:42 PM
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Uh-oh...the last bit of gas in a can is where the water and trash will be. That likely got into your carb. No problem though....what is the make and model of your engine? We'll help you get it fixed. Most manufacturers add multigrade oil to the list of reccomended oils, but they lean to 30wt as the best to use. I have found in 13 years of small engine repair, that straight 30 is the best. 5w30 and 10w30 causes more oil consumption and seems to be a contributor to shorter engine life.
 
  #14  
Old 09-08-02, 08:03 PM
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Murray 20" (WalMart cheapie )
3.5 hp classic
throttle free design (=no frills, no speed control)
Briggs & straton

That's all the info I could find on the mower itself.

Thanks for the help. I guess I'm fixing to learn about lawn mower engines, huh!?

Kay
 
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Old 09-08-02, 10:34 PM
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LOL...not much to learn on that simple engine. It is a simple but proven design, and when cared for properly it will last 10 or more years. If your spark plug is new, and the air filter is clean, then clean the carb and replace the diaphragm. Tekae the tank and carb off as an assembly by removing the 3/8 head bolt about midway over the tank, and the 3/8 head bolt at the right end of the tank when looking at it from the side. There is a small link that connects to the top of the carb...tilt the tank/carb to get it out. Then remove the screws that hold the carb on the tank. Pull the carb off, clean it out with carburetor cleaner, and clean out the tank. then replace the diaphragm and gasket and screw it back on. Shouldn't cost more than $7.00 and take more than 30 minutes. Its easy, and there aren't many parts to keep track of. Let us know how it goes!
 
  #16  
Old 09-09-02, 09:41 AM
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The API rating determines the quality of the oil. Most oils you see on shelves today just say "Certified for Gasoline Engines".

Most small engines use SAE30 and optionally 10W30, although the manuals usually say, "Check the engine oil frequently when using multiviscosity oil as oil consumption will be higher". You're probably fine either way. I change the oil in my machines at MINIMUM once a season. Oil from any parts store will work fine too.

This includes the 1988 Craftsman mower that my neighbor threw out, I took, adjusted, cleaned, tuned, and restored (within a half hour). I have been using this machine 4 years in a row on my grandfather's property each week and it starts without fail and will run all day .

I prefer Tecumseh engines as I feel they run longer, stronger and have more power. Not only that, but B&S engines lack a primer bulb in many cases and don't start as easily as Tecumsehs. Just my personal preference.

(Whattya want I have this thing with Indians...that's why I drive Pontiacs and cut my lawn with Tecumsehs......they are both Indians ).

Murray should be able to get you a manual. Also, Briggs and Stratton will send you a manual for the engine if you give them the #s off the engine (type, engine #, date, etc).

www.briggsandstratton.com should do it. They have good product support and are very cordial and helpful.
 
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Old 09-09-02, 09:49 AM
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Thanks Joe.

I will check on the manual. I don't know why I didn't apply my rule of getting a book on it after I got it (like I do my vehicles). Would avoid a lot of confusion, plus give me better reference to part names, etc. when asking for help.

Kay
 
  #18  
Old 09-11-02, 10:21 AM
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Update:

I downloaded the parts list and manual from the Briggs & Stratton site. Very nice, as you said Joe.

The tank and carb are sitting on the kitchen counter at this point and hasn't been cleaned yet. I am being "stubborn" since I asked my husband to take care of this for me. I also printed out the instructions that Cheese gave me {thank you} and that is what he used to get those parts off.

I'll post the results, whenever they occur. Hopefully I can be patient and not do it myself. Maybe this weekend when he goes to get the lawn mower out he will realize that he never finished putting it back together and finish the job he started!

Kay
 
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Old 09-12-02, 09:15 AM
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Lol .

I have some projects like that here at work, and I keep finding more.

I have the carburetor from the spare lawn mower I salvaged to rebuild, I also have the alternator for my 79 Trans Am (the right date coded unit to rebuild and a 1980 Sears Engine Analyzer that I found (what a find!!) which I want to adjust on the equipment at work.

One project at a time and I'll get 'em all done .
 
  #20  
Old 09-12-02, 10:56 AM
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Joe, you are so different though. You probably have a spare lawnmower to use in the meantime. We don't. His project last night: to figure out how to play a game on the PC. His project the night before: same thing.

It took him a whole 10 minutes to disassemble the parts, and then quit the job. I will probably go ahead and fix it. At least he does mow the lawn so I can work on other things.

Kay
 
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Old 09-12-02, 02:38 PM
Bill Locke
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mower re assembly

If you get hung up on something, post it. you'll get an answer to your question! (or maybe a few more questions!)
 
  #22  
Old 09-12-02, 06:31 PM
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I'll probably end up fixing it tomorrow. I just found out he's going camping with his brother and they're leaving tomorrow morning and won't be back until Sunday. The lawn can't wait that long. I will post any questions I may have since I didn't take it apart. I do have my pics that I downloaded, and an idea of how it came apart so hopefully there won't be any problems.

I'll probalby 'crash' his computer while he's gone so maybe he'll get some of his other projects started.

Thanks guys.

Kay
 
  #23  
Old 09-16-02, 09:09 AM
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Kay:

Actually I have two spares . When I busted the drain plug on my 1992 Craftsman, and it was Sunday and the stores were all closed, I simply went to my grandfather's and got the lawn mower I fixed (1988 Craftsman) and took it home. Fired it up, ran like a champ, did my lawn (waving to the neighbor that threw it out...lol) and then brought it back. Lol.

The engine analyzer is a spare too. I happened to be driving to my friend's house and found it discarded. I knew exactly what it was and grabbed it. Much to my surprise, all of the attachments and cables and even the OWNER'S MANUAL were all there! Lol. It even works, although it needs to be adjusted (waiting for my friend that's a whiz with electronics to help on that one)

I even contacted Actron who made it for Sears back then and they were very helpful and sent me whatever schematics and technical data they still had on it. The blueprint says 1980 on it! Lol.

If I salvage something, it's gotta be equal to or better than it was originally .
 
  #24  
Old 09-17-02, 09:46 PM
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A little off topic, but what has been your experience with the full synthetic oils? I have a couple of go-karts, one of them with the 5hp briggs engine. I ran this thing hard, no governer, tuned pipe, advanced timing, lots of dust and dirt, etc. Well I, tried a synthetic oil just for fun, and found it appeared to be cleaner looking for much longer than regular oil. Not very scientific I know, but I was impressed enough to keep using it. But this is what sold me. One night me and some buddies took to riding these carts around on a dirt track, after a few minutes I get behind the cart with the 5hp briggs and start getting a thick film on my googles, I'm thinking it's unburnt fuel/ oil from the exhaust. We keep riding for about 30-40 minutes more like this, until someone crashes out, end of party. We pack them up, and the next morning, I find the source of the film on my googles. The Briggs lost it's oil drain plug that night, and had run for 30-40 minutes at full throttle with no oil in the crackcase. Briggs 5hp, aluminum cylinder, sleeve bearings, (cheap briggs). I tore the motor down that day, and couldn't find any damage. Put it back together, new oil plug, new oil, and continued to abuse it. I can't say the reason for this is the oil, I didn't duplicate this accidental test with a non synthetic oil so, maybe it was just plain luck.
 

Last edited by telco tech; 09-17-02 at 10:06 PM.
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Old 09-18-02, 09:49 AM
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I think in your case, the synthetic is warranted.

You "beat" it, you race it and put it through its paces. As for the average Joe user, it's only going to see weekend or seasonal duty. Regular engine oil is fine .

Same thing with a car. In most regular cars, synthetic is not really needed. It does work, it's good, but the benefits the average user will see are not much versus the cost difference.
 
  #26  
Old 09-18-02, 02:56 PM
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help please

Now that we've got the mower back together, it cranks but won't run.

We haven't figured out what the springs from the carb to the mower do. Maybe something is broken. It is a Murray 3.5 hp, push with no choke or other controls (you just hold the handles together to keep it running).

It ran before we replaced the gaskets and cleaned the tank and carb. It has the new spark plug. We haven't checked the muffler yet, it got hot while we were trying to crank it.

Thanks guys,

Kay
 
  #27  
Old 09-18-02, 08:00 PM
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The spring goes from a hole in the stamped metal throttle control to the loop in the governor linkage wire. Sounds like your engine is not getting enough fuel. Check to be sure the "o" ring that seals around the carburetor at the intake tube is still there. They like to fall out. Also, when you installed the new diaphragm, did you have a spring under the carb? If so, there should have been a cap for the spring too. The cap goes on the diaphragm side of the spring. The spring goes on the tank side of the diaphragm. You may need to pull it back off and make sure everything went back on in the correct order.
 
  #28  
Old 09-18-02, 09:23 PM
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Okay, the springs are hooked up like they're suppose to be, however they don't actually do anything when I move the govenor. Since I don't have any type of speed control on it I don't know if its suppose to be all the way to the right (facing mower) or left. Either way, it doesn't seem to have an effect on anything that I can see. Is it doing something internally?

When putting the o-ring on, my husband said that there was also a small plastic circle that snapped in there too. Does it go in first (plastic deal) or does the o-ring?

I re-installed the spring and filter looking thing. I went by the parts guide that I downloaded since I didn't take it apart.

I didn't check the muffler yet. That wouldn't be the problem would it?

It would probably be better if only one of us was doing the project. The only reason LOL that he decided to fix the lawnmower today is because I was going to hire the boy across the street to mow for me .

May have to get him to do it, yet.

Kay
 
  #29  
Old 09-19-02, 10:09 AM
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I would suggest you go to the local library and see if they have a copy of the Briggs and Stratton service manual that was published by B&S and another company in 1998.

I forget the name of it, but it's a full color book with lots of pictures. It's VERY good and easy to use.

Best way.
 
  #30  
Old 09-19-02, 08:45 PM
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The "o" ring goes in first...the plastic ring clips in there afterwards to keep the o ring in place. The throttle control should be in the position that stretches the spring the most. Looking down on it..it swivels clockwise all the way to get it in that position. You probably won't see anything happen when you move it back and forth until the engine is running.

Not that it can't happen...but I really doubt you have a muffler problem. Especially if it was running prior to the carb removal.
 
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