Author Topic: Lawnmower repair kicking my ass  (Read 923 times)

The Fake Cheap

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Lawnmower repair kicking my ass
« on: August 15, 2017, 05:46:35 PM »

My lawnmower stopped working last year, I came to discover it was the flywheel key thanks to Google and YouTube.  The repair looked easy enough, and it wasn't too bad, and after a road bump or two, I made the repair.  I started the mower up, and it started nicely (after I changed out the old gas for fresh gas), but then after about 30 seconds, I noticed a rattle, which sounded like the starter cup, which sits on the flywheel and a large nut holds down this starter cup and the flywheel.  So I assumed I just didn't tighten the nut enough, so I took off the gas tank and housing (a 5 min job) and put more force onto the nut.  I reassembled and tried again, same result.  So again I disassembled, and this time I got my wife to help hold  the blade and the mower so I could put pretty much everything I had into tightening this nut.  Once that was done, I reassembled, and same result, loose again after about 1 minute,it starts fine and sounds great for about 30 seconds-1 min then the cup comes loose.  This mower is a mastercraft mower, with a briggs-stratton  engine and is about 20 years old, much like the model in the YouTube video I've linked to below  (but older and dirtier).  I've tried googling for this issue, but no luck,so I'm open to any suggestions.

https://youtu.be/n4aFXHwxuhs

MRL

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Re: Lawnmower repair kicking my ass
« Reply #1 on: August 15, 2017, 10:52:02 PM »
I've had a similar problem - it turned out that oil had gotten onto the starter nut. Degreaser fixed it right up.

hoosier

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Re: Lawnmower repair kicking my ass
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2017, 10:38:28 AM »
Shoot some non-chlorinated brake parts cleaner into the bolt holes, blow it out with compressed air, and apply some blue loctite.  If you don't have compressed air, just let it air dry for 5 minutes or so before reassembly. 

* Do NOT use red loctite. 

* Don't put too much mojo on the bolt because it will strip the threads on your engine block.

The Fake Cheap

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Re: Lawnmower repair kicking my ass
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2017, 03:20:10 PM »
Ok, it is possible some oil may have found its way onto the nut or the threads, I'll have a look, and if so, I'll see what I have that may be able to remedy that.  Thanks.

The Fake Cheap

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Re: Lawnmower repair kicking my ass
« Reply #4 on: August 17, 2017, 05:02:18 PM »
So I cleaned the nut and the crankshaft threads just with a dry cloth, they looked and felt fine, no oil etc.  I got the blue locktite, put it on the nut and crankshaft as directed.  I put the nut back on with same amount of gusto as before, reassembled, the mower started up nicely as always....then the rattle of death was back after about 1 minute, same issue.  I'm going to bring the mower to the small engine shop down the road and see if they can get that nut to stick, if not I'll be mower shopping 😭

The Fake Cheap

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Re: Lawnmower repair kicking my ass
« Reply #5 on: August 21, 2017, 06:15:14 PM »
UPDATE:

The previous time I was using the mower, I used the mower while it was rattling quite bad, since my lawn was looking pretty bad.  Then the mower just stopped running.  I assumed the gas had ran out because I just put enough in to run it for a few minutes, and so I wouldn't have to mess around with draining the tank for my next repair, if needed.  However what happened was the flywheel key sheared again.  So back to taking it apart.  I noticed something when I was taking off the starter cup this time.  The starter cup had what looked like a washer outline between it and the nut.  So I bought a washer, put it on then put the nut back on (I added the blue locktite as well) and tried it out.  Started nicely as usual, ran for a few minutes, then started the death rattle, once again I kept going anyway due to the state of my lawn...then the blade came off.  The good news is that the washer seemed to fix the loose nut issue, it was still tight.  I later realized the blade came off because I didn't tighten the blade nut after bracing the blade to tighten the nut on the starter cup.  So everytimeI was tightening the nut on the starter cup, I was loosening the nut for the blade....you didn't tell me about that YouTube!  Anyway, I'm getting a new mower...my wife will divorce me if I spend any more money and more importantly any more time on the old mower.

acroy

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Re: Lawnmower repair kicking my ass
« Reply #6 on: September 01, 2017, 11:45:53 AM »
...then the blade came off. 

WHOA!
that's not so good.
glad you are retiring the old beast, good luck finding something nice (and nicely depreciated) on CL.
My boys' $200 Honda (originally $700!) is working great!!
SWAMI (Satisfied Working Advanced Mustachian Individual) 1 stash, 1 DW, 7 Mini MM's...
God, Family, Country. Everything else is details.

The Fake Cheap

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Re: Lawnmower repair kicking my ass
« Reply #7 on: September 03, 2017, 05:20:29 PM »
You know I looked at kijiji (Canada's Craigslist) for about a month to see what was out there for used mowers, and It turned out not much (I'm in a smaller market area).  I did go to see one guy who had a few mowers for sale, but all seemed overpriced.  I would have paid 100-$150 for a mower a few years old, but these, and Most listed online seemed to be 10 years old and the asking prices were over $100.  I passed and got a new one for $350.  The way I see it should do me the next 20 years, so it's probably the last mower I'll ever buy. 

BTDretire

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Re: Lawnmower repair kicking my ass
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2017, 01:43:21 PM »
I've been nursing my 23 yr old Craftsman rider, for a few years.
Over the last 12 years, I've done the following, that I can recall.
Plastic welded the gas tank twice, before I bought a replacement.
Replaced the starter solenoid. I had to weld a tear in the mower deck.
Had to do a repair to the grass catch suport, Replaced a rear tire.
Realigned the front wheels, by straightening bent parts.
  Tuesday I made one pass around the yard and it stopped any
forward motion.  I'm used to the drive belt coming of and can usually
get it back on in less than 10 minutes. Not this time, it came of the other pulley
making it more of a repair. I decided as long as I was going to that trouble,
I would install a new belt. Good thing I did, the belt was worn out.
  While doing the disassembly to replace the belt I noted a metal bracket
for the grass catcher was broken in half in two places. So welded that back together,
and installed the new belt. I also cleaned up, reversed ends and retaped the  grass catcher tube.
 I mowed the whole lawn without a single problem. But 5 hours, instead of one!
 That's exciting, because I usually needed to reinstall one of the belts, retreive one of the two grass
containers that fell off, or some other thing before I finish. Been thinking about a new mower, but maybe I can get another year out of it. :-)

Lazy_Spartan

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