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  #16 (permalink)  
Old 05-22-2004, 11:12 PM
4 Jaw Chuck's Avatar
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Quote:
Originally posted by trees
I have owned about every type lawnmower over the years along with tillers and snow blowers, chain saws etc. A Honda powered Honda mower beat them all hands down because my wife could start it on her own, usually the first weak pull and of course, there is no abuse she has not exposed it to. Up until then, I had to usually start them for her and had to haul the remains to the land fill about every 3 or 4 years. The Honda has been going since 92. Had a couple of Tecumseh powered motors, but nothing stands out about them. Today, it seems most small engines have an oil pump to circulate oil vice the slingers of old. You may want to make sure the mower you select has that feature.

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Your going to have to let us in on your secret to getting the wife to mow the lawn.

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  #17 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 01:31 AM
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I am a small engine technician for a very large company, and have my own lawn equipment repair business, and I have torn down many ruined engines. The reason they brake? people don't change the oil, or even keep the oil level full.

Briggs has the worst carbs hands down.
Briggs has even tried to copy Tecumseh's carbs, but they still suck in comparison.

Briggs engines 8 HP and up are of much better quality than the smaller lawnmower engines.
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Old 05-23-2004, 01:50 AM
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i had a offroad gokart with a Tecumseh 5hp engine a few years back and it had probaly 75+ of hours driving around. constatly full throttle bagging around in feilds, train tracks service road and snow in the winter. had no problems with that engine other then the pull start broke.

actually the engine is the only thing that lived, gokart frame fell apart, seat fell out once, blew tires off the rims, lost brakes, clutch went, chain broke... lots of stuff.. it was a brand new kart too, only had it for a year

got a john deere lawn mower that is atleast 16 years old and hasnt ever been serviced other then oil every couple years and a spark plug 2 years ago. still going strong, cant beat that.
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  #19 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 08:37 AM
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I guess even with lawn mowers, everyone has their own opinions. I was thinking about this post, and decided to see what was wrong with my generator motor. It is a 5.5 HP OHV Tecumseh that would not start. I checked the compression, and it was almost non-existant. I pulled the head off of it and found that neither of the valves are seating. They don't appear to be burned, just not seating. The valve springs on this thing are surprisingly weak. No need for any kind of compressor, or tools of any kind, to take them out. Just grab the retainers with your fingers, and they come right out. I guess that is how they get away with the little push rods, about the size of the refill in a ball point pen. The valves are considerably smaller than the ones in the 5 HP Briggs we used to have that we raced.

Now I need to get a manual for this thing so I can get the torque and valve specs. Also need to find something to use to lap in the valves. The tool that I used on the Briggs valves is way too big.

Like was said, the main problem with small engines is lack of maintenance, and abuse. We raced go-karts for several years, with 5 HP Briggs. I have taken worn out motors, changed the cam, removed the governor, replaced the valves, drilled out two small holes in the carb, changed the jet, and run them at 7000 RPM on methanol. With a Tillotson carb on there, we turned them almost 9000 RPM. That was with all stock Briggs parts, except the cams. We changed the oil everytime they came off the track.

I guess we are kind of partial to Briggs. They have never let me down like the Tecumseh have.
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  #20 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 09:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by adtkart
I guess even with lawn mowers, everyone has their own opinions.
Seems that way, but I do see certain patterns.

Engines:
Everyone seems to agree that Briggs engines for the most part are good running small engines. Tecumseh, on the other hand, we have mixed opinions. I certainly respect Chuck, as he speaks from experience as his reputation speaks for itself, who has had good luck with Tecumseh and mentions certain aspects of their set-up that he prefers over Briggs. Chuck and Fastchevy both seem to agree on the carb issue. Adtkart on the other hand, who also speaks from experience and is just as reputable on this board, has shared some bad experiences with his Tecumseh engine. A hard starting mower is one thing but a generator engine with a defective head is something completely different, not a good thing. I will say honestly I wish a few more people with positive responses for Tecumseh had chimed in 'cause I have had great luck so far with my snowblower and even on the coldest Maine morning she always fired right up. Thanks to those who chimed in late (montea, FASTCHEVY), every opinion counts. Maybe the best thing to do if I do go with the Tecumseh would be to buy the extended service contract through Sears as they have never given me trouble in the past with phones/appliances that I have returned for replacement.

Front vs. Rear wheel drive:
Kevin45 made a good point about maneuverability. Fortunately I have only one tree in my yard and no shrubs, just grass. It is pretty simple to cut except you are constantly going uphill, downhill, uphill, downhill. I think either drive would probably work for me but I kind of like the rear wheel drive for the uphill work.

I also like this particular mower because it has both the rear bag attachment and side discharge chute. They all seem to have the mulch feature. I will probably head back to Sears today and make a decision, the wife says I need to just buy one. This is the one I am looking to buy, $330 marked down to $299.

lawnmower

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  #21 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 09:45 AM
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i like this one better.

i use a cheapo helmart with a b&s. no trouble out of it yet, going on it's 6th year....

my pop bought a kubota lawnmower back in the late 80's, that sob is still kicking grass. he told me he went to the kubota dealer to see about getting a new one, and kubota had quit the lawn mower business..... so i didn't get a new used kubota.

thought on big wheel mowers? my father in law swears by them.... i've never used one. he ( my pop inlaw) offered to let me come over and try his out sometime......
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  #22 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 10:45 AM
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This is probably the best lawnmower made on earth.

Look for the Proline21 5.5 hp 2cycle, I can't get it to link up.

Last edited by FASTCHEVY; 05-23-2004 at 10:52 AM.
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  #23 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 11:30 AM
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NOW SERIOUSLY I KNOW MY LAWNMOWER STUFF THIS HERE IS MY HOME MADE LANMOWER AND IT COULD BE YOURS FOR A MERE $ 995 DONT SAY YES NOW JUST THINK IT OVER
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  #24 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 12:41 PM
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Rear drive? Front drive? When'd all this happen? I've never used a mower with a drive period, except for the blade. I've been doing extra work all these years? Bah, people are just trying to make me work more I guess I've honestly never used a powered mower, it must be alot easier on hills and stuff I guess My dad's girl friend nearly got ran over by hers when she was mowing up a hill. She slipped and fell, all she saw was the spinning blade coming down at her, good thing she rolled to the side and missed it That mower's still own there at the bottom of the hill where it rolled
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  #25 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 12:51 PM
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As a little tip on mulcher attachments. I just recently bought a riding mower because my bad hip argues with me when I walk pushing a mower. The mower I bought said on the deck that it will bag or mulch. Of course it didn't say that you had to buy the mulching kit! That was in the owner's manual. I went today and bought the kit in a sealed box for $50.00. When I got home and raised up the mower to change the blades, I found out that what I really got was another set of blades exactly like the ones on the thing, a cover for the chute and 2 attaching bolts. I could have made that darn cover in about 15 minutes and saved $50.00. Then again, I don't have any of the fancy wing nuts here.

As for the side chute and rear bag, I would think that is a definate plus. The rear baggers that I have had and ones that I used, all had that large opening in the rear. I always had problems with the bag only partially filling. Then you end up dumping it 1/2 out when you take the bag off. It seems that they didn't really re-engineer the deck for rear bagging. They just put the bag and hole there as an escape route for the grass..

Last edited by adtkart; 05-23-2004 at 12:57 PM.
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  #26 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 05:25 PM
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Well I'm back. After reading through everyone's posts I tried to look at some of the highlights. I decided to go back to Sears and get the mower I was looking at. A few things mentioned helped with my decision.
Quite a few members felt that on a hilly yard rear drive might be better. Kevin's mentioned a good point about shrubs/trees but I have none. So I opted for rear drive.
Engine aside everyone seemed to like the Tecumseh carb and like I stated my snowblower always kicked right up. I considered that a plus.
Trees mentioned the oil pump. Maybe not a major factor but I did some checking. The Briggs engines all say "splash" under Lubricating System in the tech sheets. The Tecumseh says "pressurized" in the tech sheet. Just as a mention, Honda listed a "dual-splash" oil system.
montea's go-kart literally fell apart while the Tecumseh still ran yet adkarts generator obviously suffered some head trouble. I decided to take a chance and hope that adkart just got a bad engine and that wasn't the norm. FASTCHEVY works on these small engines for a living and didn't outright recommend a Tecumseh he did say he liked their carb design and had no negative remarks about the engine itself. I looked at some of the Toro's in FASTCHEVY's link and even though I liked some of the Toro mowers they are more expensive like the Honda's.
79 camaro 454, your mower rocks!
Adkart, you can never pay too much for a good set of fancy wing nuts.

So any way I got my mower and my wife is out cutting the lawn as I type. It's still running and she isn't throwing anything at the house so she must be happy with it. Funny as heck though to see her jump the first time she pulled on the handle and the mower took off. She's never used a power propelled mower before. Hopefully this mower will work out, she does cut the lawn nice. If not that Sears service agreement will be put to use. Also if it does screw up I will certainly be posting about it just so adkart can say "told you so".


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  #27 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 09:16 PM
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dmorris..... I didn't mean to try to talk you out of buying that particular mower. I simply wanted to let you know about the experience I had with them. I have learned with lots of experience, that all lemons are not yellow or green. I just hope for your sake that mine was the lemon, and not the ones that don't have problems. I know that you are the type to do alot of research on something like that, and wanted to give you the information that I have. Any man that can get his wife to cut the grass, needs to get her the mower that will make her the happiest.
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  #28 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 09:26 PM
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Someone mentioned that the valves on the Tecumseh were skinny and seemed small compared to the Briggs. The reason why they are so small is they are manufactured just like the new generation of motorcycles and most modern engines and are not regrindable, the faces are usually hardened by induction or laser so they last a long time.

If you have ever checked the price of a rebuild kit for a Briggs before you would see that it is not worth it to rebuild them. Here in Winnipeg a rebuild kit for a Briggs 3.5HP that contains only gaskets is $100!
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  #29 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 09:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by adtkart
dmorris..... I didn't mean to try to talk you out of buying that particular mower. I simply wanted to let you know about the experience I had with them.
I never meant to imply any more than just that. You shared personal experience, can't get any more real than that. If I said I was buying a Hyundai and you owned one that broke down constantly I would expect you to tell us just that. The funny thing is you know if this engine takes a cr^p the first thing I'll think of is that darn generator engine . The wife got the lawn finished and liked the mower so all is good so far. I handle all the house repairs, car repairs, pool upkeep, etc., believe it or not my wife actually volunteered to keep the lawn maintained. She put down mulch, planted flowers and stuff, and actually prefers that I not mess with her yard and I'm not arguing.

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  #30 (permalink)  
Old 05-23-2004, 11:44 PM
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Yes the OHV Tecumseh engines have a small oil pump, even way back Tecumseh used a oil pump in the vert shaft engines 7 HP and up. (not sure about horz shaft engines) Not that the splash lube system doesn't work good, it's just that it has to have oil to splash.

I just got a new 5.5 HP OHV Tecumseh go kart engine. The only thing I don't like about is it has a CARB aproved carburator on it, with preset jets (there are no adjustment screws)

I have an old John Deere rider with a 8 HP Tecumseh that burned oil but ran good, all I had to do was keep oil in it. So I loaned it to my neighbor to mow his lawn with, and he ran it low on oil
and it threw the rod.
Now, after he blew that one up, I gave him an old Jacobsen rider with a Briggs engine that smoked even worse, but by now he has learned to check the oil more often, so the Briggs has lasted longer.
The moral of the story is whatever you make of it, I just wish I had given him the beat up Jacobsen first.

I can easily tell the difference in equipment that has been taken care of, and the equipment that has not, regardless of brand.

Have fun with your new mower dmorris.
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