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Old Yesterday, 07:41 AM
 
6,365 posts, read 7,346,979 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Purlin View Post
I always believed the best strategy is to purchase new super-cheapo mowers brand new ($150-$180). Use them for 2 seasons, maybe 3, then trash them (send to the landfill).

No oil changes, filter changes, blade sharpening, etc. No burden of ownership. Cheap and hassle free.

USE IT. TRASH IT. REPEAT.

And don't bother with the environment police crap, global warming nonsense. I don't worry about fake catastrophes.
I paid $500 or so for my Honda. Had it for a decade or so now and it works fine.

During that time you have had four or more mowers and spent over $600 for pieces of crap which now litter our landfills.

Might be time to evaluate your strategy, Frank. For less money you can have a high quality mower AND put less waste into the environment which many of us care about.
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Old Yesterday, 10:14 AM
 
1,121 posts, read 217,981 times
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Anybody else had battles with plastic carburetors? That truly shocked me. Just shouts throw away. Thats my problem with current low end mowers. They are intentionally made to be non-reparable with relatively short life. Fine if its $50 to $100 new but they want more like $200+. Not good value.



Must been really early 90s, I had no experience with Honda GX engine, I had seen them, but it just seemed crazy over priced. But one spring my rototiller wasnt working when I needed to get garden in. I rented a genuine Honda front tine rototiller with GX engine. Not expecting much, I truly abused that thing. It didnt quit, even when i broke a tine on a rock (I just welded it back before returning it). Kept close eye on oil level, but otherwise... That thing truly impressed me. But when I priced a new one.... SCARED ME. I know there is value there but still even back then it was big chunk money for relatively infrequently used tool. All genuine Honda equipment tends to be on pricey side.



I still wasnt giving crazy price for mower but I did use buy couple 13hp Honda engine for other things. I will always have lot respect for GX engine. Whats sad to run across one that people didnt bother to change oil or do other maintenance. These can last heck of long time, but you cant treat them same as the consumer cheapo throw away engines with plastic cams and other such nonsense.


I do have remains of a 24inch Yazoo similar age as my 19 inch Yazoo. Probably 1950s into 1960s. It is unique in that its set up for horizontal shaft engine. Think it came with a locked up Lauson engine, but dont remember, might been a Carter. I do remember it was an all cast iron engine and HEAVY. Yea it was a different time technology wise. It wasnt anything most people have any memory of anymore. I have intended to fix it up for long time just cause I can cover lot more territory quicker. But complete basket case and little on heavy side for push mower without self propel. I will use a GX clone engine on it. Want to see how that does compared to the vertical shaft engines used on all modern mowers. I have GX clone on my rototiller and that thing starts amazingly easy. Doesnt overheat, just works. Easily restarts hot. Without lot of problems the GXV clone engines have. $100 new, its a loss leader for harbor freight, they dont make much on them but gets people into the stores. The GXV clone is $20 higher and only 5.5hp. Kids love GX clone for cheap gokart engine and cheap folk like me use them for other things like log splitter with good results. They hold up well with maintenance. Much better to give $100 for NEW 6.5hp engine than $200 for cheap mower with plastic encrusted engine that wont last long. I again point out some Briggs engines now tell you NOT to change oil, just top it off. Meaning they know it wont last long enough for oil changes to matter.
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Old Yesterday, 11:12 AM
 
Location: Eastern Washington
15,028 posts, read 47,149,330 times
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I have an old Tecumseh OHV powered Troy Bilt (real one from Troy, NY, not the rebranded MTD you see new now). Bought it in 1991, still works great, while Tecumseh is out of business, largely due to that one-piece plastic carburetor, and ensuing fiasco, parts are not a problem. Self-propelled, mulcher.

You can get a better mower by buying used. Sometimes repair shops have freshly overhauled units that people never came back to claim, these can be a good deal.
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Old Yesterday, 11:25 AM
 
16,905 posts, read 9,368,963 times
Reputation: 30535
Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Purlin View Post
I always believed the best strategy is to purchase new super-cheapo mowers brand new ($150-$180). Use them for 2 seasons, maybe 3, then trash them (send to the landfill).

No oil changes, filter changes, blade sharpening, etc. No burden of ownership. Cheap and hassle free.

USE IT. TRASH IT. REPEAT.

And don't bother with the environment police crap, global warming nonsense. I don't worry about fake catastrophes.
Why would a basic Briggs & Stratton steel MTD deck mower die after 3 years?

I have one that is now 11 years old. It’s branded Brute and I got it at a Sears Outlet for $120.00. Roughly half the MSRP price. I’ve changed the oil three times. Last summer, I splurged at the 3rd oil change and bought a new blade on Amazon for $10.00, a spark plug, and an air filter. $20 in parts and 5 minutes to install them. I had a piece rattle off 7 or 8 years ago and replaced it at Ace Hardware for a few bucks. I have a 10,000 sf lot. I don’t need an expensive self-propelled or riding mower. I see no reason why I won’t get 20+ years out of this mower.

Last edited by GeoffD; Yesterday at 12:29 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 12:02 PM
 
1,121 posts, read 217,981 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by M3 Mitch View Post
I have an old Tecumseh OHV powered Troy Bilt (real one from Troy, NY, not the rebranded MTD you see new now). Bought it in 1991, still works great, while Tecumseh is out of business, largely due to that one-piece plastic carburetor, and ensuing fiasco, parts are not a problem. Self-propelled, mulcher.

You can get a better mower by buying used. Sometimes repair shops have freshly overhauled units that people never came back to claim, these can be a good deal.

The real problem is the commercial duty engines tended to only come on models with all bells and whistles. You just didnt see a plain jane high wheel push mower with high end engine. All the fancy clutch and transmission stuff can also become a problem. Whereas a plain jane push mower basically a deck with wheels and an engine. At worst you go buy another $5 wheel if one breaks.


I was looking on ebay. You can buy a brand new 6hp vertical shaft Kawasaki engine for just over $200 shipped. Assuming its commercial duty and similar to GXV Honda engine, that might make more sense to just get engine and put it on old high wheel push mower than to buy a new mower with el cheapo engine. Course again if you arent going to maintain the engine it wont last all that much longer than the el cheapo kind. I also am not at all familiar with Kawasaki engines. One I saw maybe a consumer grade engine. It did have an oil filter so its a pressurized lubrication system. And an OIL DRAIN PLUG. Those only seem to come on high end vertical shaft engines anymore. Genuine new Honda GXV engine for mower would be over $300 I am sure. Yes the Honda GXV does have oil drain plug. The Honda GCV consumer engine doesnt. The clone GXV doesnt have one.



I do remember those really early OHV Tecumseh. Called them Enduro or something like that? Think they came out in 70s? Not common on mowers but popular on mini bikes and such. They were built to higher standard than typical mower engine. Werent they all horizontal shaft? I dont remember those early Tecumseh OHV coming in vertical shaft model. Sure once Briggs started coming out with cheap OHV mower engines, Tecumseh had cheap OHV vertical shaft mower engines too. Well if they were still in business. Too long ago. Dont remember seeing one though.



I think Tecumseh only stayed in business long as it did because of the popularity of their engines on snowblowers. Nearly every snowblower had a Tecumseh. I suspect to get contracts they had to undercut Briggs on wholesale price, meaning it was hard to make lot profit. Back in 70s and 80s Briggs was the Chevy of small engine world and guess Tecumseh the Ford. Kohler and Onan made the higher end stuff. Japanese engines led by Honda pretty well upset the apple cart for the American small engine manufacturers.
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Old Yesterday, 01:18 PM
 
Location: Massachusetts
11,197 posts, read 12,147,587 times
Reputation: 15467
I have a 2009 model Troy-built 21" with a Honda GCV engine on it. I found it curbside about a decade ago with a gummed up carb. Was an easy clean-up, and then it fired up first pull.

That machine has run flawless for a decade now. Only "maintenance" I do is change the blade out when it gets worn, clean the body so no wet grass stays clumped on it (which rusts it out) and I think I changed the oil once. When winter comes around I make sure to fully drain and clean the carb so there are no issues when spring comes around.

So 11 years and counting on this machine. That engine starts up first pull every time even after sitting all winter. What are people doing where they only get 2 seasons out of a mower? Are the bodies rusting out?

Last edited by BostonMike7; Yesterday at 01:32 PM..
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Old Yesterday, 03:16 PM
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
32,355 posts, read 58,970,925 times
Reputation: 35388
Quote:
Originally Posted by exphysics teacher View Post
just to give you an idea. my craftsman tractor quit on me last year so I have been using my old push mower. I bought it new from rickel over 25 years ago. Still running well and usually starts on the first pull. Change the oil on it every several years. Now I have to try to figure out why the tractor will not run. It was about $130 back in the day
My Sears push mower starts right up, and it's 15 years old. I don't use it much since I bought a 1998 Sears mulcher riding mower used for $50 in 2016, when the seller couldn't get it running. I fixed it in about an hour and it's been great since. Made in USA, according to the lettering on it.
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Old Yesterday, 03:18 PM
 
1,121 posts, read 217,981 times
Reputation: 1843
Quote:
Originally Posted by BostonMike7 View Post
I have a 2009 model Troy-built 21" with a Honda GCV engine on it. I found it curbside about a decade ago with a gummed up carb. Was an easy clean-up, and then it fired up first pull.

That machine has run flawless for a decade now. Only "maintenance" I do is change the blade out when it gets worn, clean the body so no wet grass stays clumped on it (which rusts it out) and I think I changed the oil once. When winter comes around I make sure to fully drain and clean the carb so there are no issues when spring comes around.

So 11 years and counting on this machine. That engine starts up first pull every time even after sitting all winter. What are people doing where they only get 2 seasons out of a mower? Are the bodies rusting out?

Unless you constantly mow wet grass and put them away wet, that deck would NOT rust out in two year. To rust out in two year think you would nearly have to live right next to ocean or something with salt air. I think the el cheapo mowers with the plastic carb and plastic camshaft are maybe not so durable? Plus if you dont drain gas for winter or put in Stabil then you will have carb problems. You can get a new Chinese clone carb on ebay for $10 range (cheaper than a kit) but most people not familiar with engines are going to bother. In general those with a throw away mindset dont do any maintenance, not even draining gas for winter. Modern carbs are not adjustable and they are set at factory to run pretty lean. The get any clogs, even slight ones and it can be painful experience. Of course you dont take an el cheapo mower to a shop, they charge $100 just to say hello.



That is interesting about the Honda GCV engine. Thats their consumer engine. I thought it was odd they used it on friends $800 Honda. But if one you picked out of trash has lasted eleven years, and they use them on high end mower, then maybe better engine than I thought. They are an odd OHC engine with a timing BELT internal. When belt goes, engine goes. Its not really a rebuildable engine. And being internal, guessing nobody replaces the belt as part of maintenance. Dont even know if you can buy just belt as a spare??? But hey I have never tried one so couldnt say if it can be coaxed to go 20 years. I do know the genuine Honda GXV can go twenty years, maybe longer. Its an OHV engine.
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Old Yesterday, 03:44 PM
 
Location: Moku Nui, Hawaii
10,515 posts, read 20,077,799 times
Reputation: 9834
Don't run ethanol gas in small engines and they will last a lot longer.


We get our mowers from the dump when other folks throw them away. Usually they can be fixed and running without much work or parts expense. Although the oldest mower around here is an old push reel from around 1910. Plus three or four scythes with blades from a long thin grass blade to the shorter more chunky brush blade. Those get used quite a bit.


HOWEVER! We have a New Plan - Sheep! Why spend $$$ for mowers and sweat to work them when there's critters out there who want to eat the grass. We have the quarter acre back yard about half fenced at the moment and as soon as we finish the fencing, there's two sheep lined up for our next lawn mowing crew.
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Old Yesterday, 03:57 PM
 
1,121 posts, read 217,981 times
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Ok, got to looking. The Honda GXV replacement engine brand new unless you find an orphan cheap is around $450 new. Ouch. Weird cause the horizontal shaft Honda GX same size can be had $300 new if you shop around.



NOw here is where I was confused, seems there is a "commercial" version of the GCV labeled GSV, has steel cylinder liner and ball bearings, etc. Runs around $350 new. Guessing that $800 Honda mower friend has uses this GSV engine. I know its 200cc, so bigger than typical GCV.



I still have to wonder if the internal timing belt might still limit the life of one of these. Unless you could regularly replace the belt as part of maintenance. Cause pretty sure one of these if belts breaks, the engine is toast. Keeps them from lasting too long. Those genuine GXV as I say can last very long time with good maintenance. That timing belt however would be a poison pill so couldnt just keep running it forever.
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