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Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Major Spring Goal (Almost) Accomplished

You may recall that I didn't ever get the lawnmower running last year. Really didn't want a repeat of no mowing. I'm not a lawn freak, but the complete three-foot weed patch look isn't quite what I'm going for either.

OK, so here's the beast. Yes, it's 26 years old. Yes, I'd love a newer one with a tighter turning radius, but that's not happening.


This has been the week-long project from... but I've pulled it upwards to purgatory.

I knew it needed a new battery. Bought that on Monday and installed it. Then the mower would crank, but wasn't firing. So I pulled the spark plugs and cleaned them.

lawnmower battery

While replacing them the handle of the socket set broke. The mechanism for reversing the direction just flew apart. Next trip to the store, buy a ratchet handle.

Got that and put the spark plugs back in. Better, but still no starting. So I decided to prime the carburetor. But, I had put all the gas I had into the tank. Next trip to buy gas. Now we are up to Tuesday.

So I primed the carburetor and it would start and run just long enough to burn up the gas I'd poured in. While I was doing this several times I decided to check the oil. Not even showing on the dipstick. Was not making yet another trip to the store that day.

Wednesday, I bought oil and got that level up to normal. Couldn't get the gas to pull through enough to stay running. Decided to pull the fuel filter off and see if it was plugged.

Not only was the filter plugged, but the gas line crumbled in my hands.

Thursday's trip to the store was for a filter and new gas line, but the day was wet and windy and cold. I have nowhere really protected to work, so didn't do any more that day.

Friday, I changed the gas line and filter. (Yes, now draining all that gas I had put in into a different can.)

lawnmower gas line

And cleaned quite a few dead lady bugs out of the fuel tank. Hmmm. Wonder if it was a stray wing that clogged the filter.

And, by the way, bought a replacement nozzle for the gas can I hate. It cost almost as much as the can, but I won't pinch my hand EVERY SINGLE TIME I try to pour gas any more.

Pumped up the flat tire and mowed some lawn. Smelled burning grass. Yikes! There was smoke coming out from around the engine. Parked it and let it all cool down. My big hope was that when I had cleaned out the packed dead grass while changing the fuel line I had moved some to a place where it could get too hot, and that it wasn't really the engine overheating.

Yesterday, I did nothing. Return of the sore throat while working Friday night. Don't want that nasty cold to go on any longer or repeat. Slept pretty much all day and then all night.

Today, I pumped up the tire, started the mower again, and mowed the lawn around the house. The engine did not overheat, so it must have just been grass burning. Good!


However, the tire did not magically heal itself. And I may be stymied. I can't figure out how to get the wheel off. Nothing on youtube, believe it or not. I think the mower is just too old. And can't find the manual... I think it got moved one too many times. (Just found a pdf of the manual on line. Guess what... nothing about how to remove the wheel- rolls eyes)

So... I really need to get that tire fixed. Am going to talk to my repair guy tomorrow.

I can do basic engine stuff, but I don't like it much. Tough call as to whether I dislike engines or plumbing more.

Before I was done (and I'm still not really done...that tire repair will cost something), I spent about $100. Crazy.

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John Sealander said...

I'm impressed! I don't think I would have had the energy to do all this...

Ann said...

You always impress me with all the things you can do. I wouldn't have the first clue where to begin if the mower needed work. We have one of those older type riders and Wade is always having to fix something on it.

Lin said...

wow. You are something, Joan! I am a fix-it gal too, but you've got me beat a hundred times over. You are definitely an inspiration! I hope you figure out the tire. Just for the sense of accomplishment if nothing else.

Secondary Roads said...

Do you ever have the feeling that you are living in a reality show?