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Buying a mower that has sat unused for several years?


hannah123's Avatar
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09-23-15, 05:38 PM   #1  
Buying a mower that has sat unused for several years?

A friend wants to sell me her Husqvarna LTH1438, Product # 960430058 from 2009. Briggs and Stratton 13.5 hp engine OHV IC Model # 21B807. It has barely been used and has probably been sitting unstarted for several, maybe 3? years. It is stored in an unheated shed outside. I plan to take a battery over tomorrow and try to start it. What kinds of things should I look for and be aware of? It's a good price I think ($500) but I don't want to take on something that may be all gummed up or corroded inside the engine. Will running the engine give me any clues? I plan to check the spark plug, check the oil, smell the gas, siphon it and replace if necessary, anything else? Any hints and advice appreciated.

 
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09-23-15, 06:01 PM   #2  
You'll get a lot of suggestions. I'll start you off with taking out the plug and shooting some penetrating oil onto the piston before cranking it over. Also check the tires for cracking/dry rot.

 
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09-23-15, 09:17 PM   #3  
You'll probably have to clean the carb too.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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09-24-15, 02:41 AM   #4  
IMO $500 is too much to pay for that mower. You can buy one (not John Deere) that has not been sitting for $350-500 dollars.

 
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09-24-15, 04:50 AM   #5  
Thanks to all for these tips. I am beginning to think $500 is too much also. It's real tricky though dealing with a friend as opposed to someone just selling a mower.

 
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09-24-15, 05:00 AM   #6  
This is the Husky you were telling me about in the other thread. Husky makes a good frame.

Drain the tank real good then flush with fresh gas. Take the bowl off the carb and empty it. Let the fresh gas run thru the lines and out the carb. Lift the float up and see if the gas flow stops. Put the bowl back on.

Take spark plug out, turn the engine over a few times. Put plug back in and try to start it.

 
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09-24-15, 05:18 AM   #7  
Gotcha, thanks. Am making my list of tools, oil, gas, siphon, etc. to bring with me over there. Wish there were electricity and lights in that shed. Owner is afraid if I roll mower out of shed and then it won't start, it will be sitting outside and she doesn't like that. The ramp is too steep for us to roll it back inside.

 
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09-28-15, 07:12 PM   #8  
I'm curious did it start ??

 
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10-01-15, 06:24 PM   #9  
I have sold equipment for years. It just wasn't worth it to lose a friend over $500. Get her to let you take it home and try to get it going. If it runs and drives to your satisfaction, pay her. If not make another deal or take it back.

 
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10-02-15, 11:05 AM   #10  
It started! I got it home two days ago and have only driven around about 5 minutes (it's been raining), but sounds strong and clutch feels good. I did all the things you all suggested--drained gas tank and carb, sprayed starter fluid in carb, sprayed oil in spark plug hole (muffler pipe totally in the way of spark plug!), put in my old mower battery, turned engine by hand for a while to distribute oil. I was still quite amazed when it started and ran, drove it up into the trailer for trip home. At home drained and replaced oil, lubed the front tire axle and steering gear teeth as manual says to do. The one BIG bad surprise (not noticed in the dark shed) is that one rear lift bracket on deck has partly separated at the weld. Am still able to lift the mower to each position and it seems level. I have not tried engaging the mower yet--wanting first to clean it up and oil and lube and get to know parts. I will be posting other threads with the deck welding problem and what seems to be a missing part--shown on diagram but not on the mower--first I need to try the mower attachment and see how that goes with the broken weld. I ended up paying $450 and plan not to mention the broken weld--she wouldn't understand about it anyway--and as you said, my friendship with this person is important. I will post back here about how the mower works, and thanks again to all, even with the broken weld am very happy with the mower--it's like a new mower---
Oh to make a long story longer, one reason it took a while to get back to this thread, I went to see a Craftsman II 12 hp older model 917.something (I thought I memorized the number but when I looked it up there was no such model) I saw in local ad, expecting it to be exactly like my old one with broken connecting rod and almost ready to buy it sight unseen for $150 (1980s vintage). The guy said he used it weekly to mow his yard. Well, turns out it was a hybrid of pieces he cobbled togther--not even sure it was a 12hp but the shroud said so, but the mower was smaller than mine, and it had the shift in the rear fender (couldn't find any pics online of this vintage craftsman with that build), and the hood was not the original hood, the headlite area was blanked out with fiberglass, the deck was not at all the same as my Craftsman deck, so I suspected it was not quite right, who knows what it was. All of which made the Husqvarna seem the right choice.

 
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10-02-15, 08:25 PM   #11  
Good for you !!! i thought it would be a good mower for you.

You had mentioned in a different post about that mower. Husky does makes a good frame. Now just send a picture with you sitting on the mower smiling !!!

 
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10-04-15, 05:22 AM   #12  
Well, not quite smiling yet...I started the mower blades and the good news is that it all works, nothing hits something even with the broken weld and another broken piece (the part that forms the bottom of the hole where the grass exits broke off at one end--will post another thread about ways to fix this, or just saw it off since it is not providing any stability anyway). The bad news is that with the blades engaged the whole machine vibrates way more than my old Craftsman. Wonder if due to some deck instability? will check for balance etc. Anyway, it mows real well--does a great job of leaf raking even with wet leaves

 
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10-04-15, 03:31 PM   #13  
Several possible reasons for the vibration when the blade(s) is/are engaged. The foremost reason, and easiest to check, is blade balance. Remove the blade and then try running to see if the vibration is gone or greatly reduced. Then check the blade balance with a simple balance tester...or take the blade to a professional for sharpening and balancing.

It could also be a clump of dried grass on the belt or a pulley throwing it off balance. Worst case is if the deck is warped or bent and that broken weld may be more of the cause than you might think.

 
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10-04-15, 10:00 PM   #14  
Usually on a rider, a vibration when the deck is engaged is caused by a burned thin spot on the belt.


"Who is John Galt?" - Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged)

God bless!

 
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10-05-15, 04:20 AM   #15  
Thanks, will take deck off today and check things out. Am concerned about that weld break being the cause, if so will have to have it fixed.

 
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