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gas lawn mover

dkerr's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1,165

03-02-01, 11:25 AM   #1  
I'm am usally the one answering the questions not asking them but anyway just thought I would try and get some suggestions.

I have a gas lawn mover, and it was working fine up to a couple years ago, and one winter the spark plug was stepped on and broke off in the middle of winter, it was left that way in the garage until spring, the broken spark plug replaced. Turned it over, it turned easily for a couple of pulls, then it became extremely difficult to turn. It will start if you are a superman and can pull the cord hard enough and quick enough to start it and it will run. I am not one of those people strong enough to pull it hard and quick. It simply won't turn, only 1 or 2 people I know can do it.
I have sense replaced it with an electric lawn mower. I just thought I would ask before I trash the old one, as there is nothing to loose by taking a crack at it before trashing it. My feeling is that the cyclinder had dried out during the winter due to the broken spark plug and because I didn't put a little oil directly into the cyclinder before replacing the spark plug in the spring, that perhaps a ring may have cracked. But it will start if you are strong enough to do it, but I can't do it. Is my suspicions a possibility.

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mikejmerritt's Avatar
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03-02-01, 02:29 PM   #2  
dkerr, Being almost all aluminum, unless it is a cast iron bore commercial, it is doubtful it rusted or gummed up enough to cause the hard starting you describe. If it spent the last couple of years in dry storage I would look first at the blade and make sure it is tight and not spinning on the shaft. This is for safety first but a loose blade will cause what you describe, hard starting and will really scream if it does start. The second thing I would look for is the blade brake. This is the gadget that you have to hold down to start and let go of to kill on the handle. If you hold this lever down and don't notice letup in what it takes to pull the rope I would bet the blade brake is not being disengaged. Follow the cable down to where it connects and work the lever back and forth to see if it pulls/releases the blade brake. You won't be able to see the brake without removing the blower housing but this should get you going. If the engine will start and doesn't smoke it is probably worth saving. Get back if questions...Mike

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03-02-01, 09:27 PM   #3  
I agree. Something dumb is wrong with it.

When I "recycled" my neighbor's 1988 Craftsman mower (lol) a few summers ago, it was thrown out because the starter cord was basically jammed.

I unhooked the spark plug, took some HEAVY gloves and freed the blade as well as cleaned up assorted gunk and wound up string on the shaft. Once I did that and played with the starter cord, it unjammed.

Turned the unit over, checked for gas and oil, fired right up .

Next morning, polished the body, serviced it, gave it a tune up, oil change, and have been using it on my grandparents 80x100 piece of property ever since. Runs like a champ.

Yay .

Try the simple stuff first!

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03-02-01, 09:43 PM   #4  
Some Of The Possible Problems

Hi dkerr

Your suspicions could very well be correct. The lack of oil and the cold weather could have caused ring breakage or ring failure.

Could also be the pistons steel crank shaft journal, a rod bearing or sticking valve. Moisture and a lack of oil, from non useage <the oil drains down back into the crankcase> will effect these items.

May be the blade brake, if it's equipped with one. Could be, but not likely, the magneto head and flywheel have too much rust on them. Same may apply to the starter gear.

Whatever the case may be, since the mower is no longer the primary machine and it's several years old, take some of it apart. It would be an excellent opportunity to explore the inner workings of a single cylinder engine.

Regards and Good Luck.
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dkerr's Avatar

Join Date: Sep 2000
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03-03-01, 10:11 AM   #5  
Thanks for all the replies, it is still winter here and too cold to working on it , but as soon as the weather improves and warm enough to look at it outside , I will look into all your susgestions, as I said I have nothing to lose.

Don Kerr

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03-03-01, 08:17 PM   #6  
lawn mower

I had a Toro self-propelled that was hard to start. I would have a Herculean effort to start it. Almost knocked my back out of whack but great arm and chest workout!It was this machine that I was told was unrepairable. I found that the cluthch plate was sticking and that the pulley rope was off the starter pulley. Rewound the rope whacked, the rope starter plate with a rubber mallet and it now runs purrrrfectly. Of course I had been roped ( no pun) into buying a new machine so now I have two. Can't hurt to put a little squirt of oil into the spark plug hole and let it soak.

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