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Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Summer of the Lawnmower

I mowed some of the lawn today. Hopefully, I can get one more section done before it gets dark. This lawnmower is probably on its last legs. You may recall it's 26 years old. I've put quite a bit of money into it this summer, and I have to say that it's running better than it has in several years.

lawn tractor

With one glitch.

But lets go back to the beginning. You may recall my entire week in May that I spent getting the mower running after a year of sitting... a very large paperweight.

Then the transmission gave problems. That was fixable, because it's so old it just uses belts. So that was a week in the shop.

After that came the really funny story I haven't told you. I took it out one afternoon and while trying to mow in my normal 3rd gear it was going really slow, as if it were in 2nd. So I thought maybe 4th would be like 3rd and shifted. Whoa! 4th was reverse! Glad I was well away from anything when I had that surprise.

So I decided that slow was better than nothing, so I just put it back in 3rd which was 2nd and kept going. Then I found that putting on the brake or clutch did nothing at all. No stopping! So I figured I'd mow until I ran out of gas or was done and would just turn off the key.

Then I hit a hole and just out of habit put in the clutch. Now it worked. In fact, it let me back out of the hole, and then the only speed I could get was 4th, which is really too fast for mowing, but hey... I knew another shop trip was in its immediate future, and I figured I'd better mow all I could while it was running. Suddenly, the lever that engages the blade just flopped out of place and had no tension. End of that mowing. (Of course, I never did get the entire lawn mowed.)

John (my mower guy) picked it up. Well. The problem was pretty weird, and must have been either partially or completely broken for a long time. The frame where the back axles connect was broken on both sides. That's why the belts couldn't get themselves in the right places for the gears. It's a wonder the whole thing didn't fall apart. So he welded that and brought it back. Started it up to drive off the trailer and parked it.

Then it rained for several days and the mower just sat where he had left it. When I tried to start it... nothing. I charged it up. Nothing. Note of explanation... you have to have the mower blade disengaged or it won't start. So that lever has to be down, and usually even held down with a little bit of force. But now the lever was floppy again.

John came again. The spring that controls the tension on the lever was just lying under the mower, broken. It must have decided it was too tired to play after being parked. So the mower sat there for several more days till he located a spring that was the same.

Now we are pretty much up to the present. You can see I got a lot of lawn mowed today. But not all- note patches with longer grass.

lawn mowed

Here's the goofy, glitchy part. As I said, it's now running really well. In fact it's relatively so quiet compared to the last couple of years it's quite nice. But it only runs for about a half hour till it gets heated up. Then it coughs and quits and won't start till it cools down. So I can mow in spurts.

Please, God, just let me get the entire lawn cut one more time this year!

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The Furry Gnome said...

Sorry you've had such problems - more than most lawnmowers!

Ann said...

We have a very old cub cadet mower that Wade has put a lot of work in to. Right now it's sitting in the shed waiting for a new belt. He had put new tires on it this past spring and after he had those on the belt went.
Since walking and steps are in my current plan I'm push mowing the lawn. Lucky for me I have way less mowing to do than you do

Secondary Roads said...

You lawn mower has supplied you with a lot of adventure. Pity it's not the kind of adventure that you like.

Lin said...

Ugh! sounds like a never-ending story with that thing. Maybe you should just get some goats.

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