It’s Alive!

15 May

It was a little too rainy to try working on the deck after work today so I got back to work trying to get the lawn tractor going. Our neighbor, Mike, is a landscaper so he has a good amount of experience working on lawnmowers and such. He saw me working on it the other day and he saw us using the mower generously lent to us by Corinne’s parents so he offered to lend me a hand trying to get the tractor going.

I had originally thought the starter was an issue. The starter has a gear that pops up and spins the flywheel to start the engine and then it pops back down to get out of the way.

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I was convinced the starter was at fault, but it turns out that the battery was simply dead and did not have enough power to engage the starter fully. In the process of trying to start the engine repeatedly I had burnt out a diode so I ordered a new one to replace it. We figured out that it wasn’t needed for the engine to run, only to charge the battery when it was running, so it should run without it. I took the air filter assembly off so we could get a good look at the carburetor. We took off the fuel bowl, which has a float that sort of regulates the flow of fuel, Mike sprayed that with some carb cleaner and we reinstalled it. Then we sprayed the whole carburetor down to clean it out as well and then it was time to try starting the engine. He sprayed some carb cleaner as I turned the key to help the engine start, and it worked!! It ran for about 5 seconds and then I turned off the choke and it stalled. He told me to try again, but this time to leave the choke on, it chugged and smoked a good bit but it kept running, after about 20 seconds the exhaust cleared up and we released the choke and it ran on its own! Success!

I still have to reinstall the diode and test the engine with it installed but I have my fingers crossed that it will function properly. After that I can reinstall the flywheel shroud and finally the bodywork, and then we can get back to mowing! (and the garage can go back to being a place for parking cars instead of a lawnmower repair shop)

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