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My lawn mower died AGAIN !

Post in 'DIY and General non-hearth advice' started by Pallet Pete, May 3, 2013.

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  1. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Briggs just seem to be junk motors these days this is the third one in 4 years. I am tired of throwing money down the drain so I threw more potentially down the drain today. [​IMG] We went to look at mowers and discovered that most push mowers where basically the same motor that keeps giving up and committing suicide on us. Anything better and you go from 299 to the 499 range. Well me being a cheapskate with a smallish yard I decided to buy the harbor freight preditor motor. http://www.harborfreight.com/engine...as-engine-certified-for-california-69731.html We got it for 89.99 after a 20% discount.

    How many of you guys run one and how good are they for you ? How do you change the oil ? It has no drain plug but then non of the newer mowers we looked at did either. It looks like a exact Honda clone !

    Thanks
    Pete

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Never had a HF vertical shaft Chonda motor but I have the horizontal shaft 6.5hp one on my log splitter and two generators with 6.5hp Chondas on them and have run the heck out of them for years with no problems so far. One out of the box had a defective low oil switch. I just bypassed it. It is a common problem with genuine Hondas too.
  3. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Thanks BB I just finished installing it. My first observation is it needs a throttle control lever the old mower never had on. I think I will just hook a spring on it instead and use the throttle screw to set it and forget it. The motor sounds really good as well ( Nice N Quiet ) I primed it till I heard gas then pulled twice and off she went. I hate to say it but it already appears
    to be better than the last 3 Briggs motors.

    Pete
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I have had nothing but trouble with Briggs motors for years. When the twin on the tractor, with the stuck float, finally swallows its guts it will be the last one I ever have.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  5. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    The funny thing is the Briggs on my snowblower runs fantastic one pull ever time. Every mower has lasted about 1.5 years each then poof dead. I don't understand.

    Pete
  6. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Briggs builds everything from $99 junkers to $499+ Cadillacs. I like the Honda GC's until we start talking about $8-900 push mowers, then it's the baby Kawasaki all the way. >>

    Lots of Briggs machines out there mowing for 20+ years (including a few in my fleet), do some research and you'll be able to discern the differences (from cheapo vs. old reliable) quite easily. Much less expensive than labeling an entire brand junk based on experience with the entry-level market. ;)
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I label'em junk after owning the damn things for 50 years. Using them for 60 years. ;lol And that $499 one is the one in the garden tractor. And parts prices are brutal. Years ago when a log rolled downhill and broke the carb on the 5 horse Briggs on the splitter the cheapest one I could find new was $94. Even the guy at the shop gulped when he saw the price. Just your basic 1988 5 horse one lunger. Carb on one of the Chondas gummed up when I let it sit too long. Looked around and a carb kit was $14 but a new carb was $18. Shipping included. Didn't take long to figure that one out. >>

    Each to their own I say.
  8. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    My Cub Cadet has a Chinese engine and has been fine the past couple years.. I just change the oil once a year and sharpen the blades..

    Ray
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  9. btuser

    btuser Minister of Fire

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    I like the Briggs Vanguard motors. Can't stand the others.
  10. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I did the research the first time and purchased so called high end model it died so then I purchased the cheaper one it died then the same as the second it died. My opinion Briggs is junk. The snowblower is an older Briggs and you can tell it runs great.

    Pete
  11. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

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    I've had an 800 series and a vertical shaft blow oil seals and all the crankshaft oil at once and seize.
    Just out of warrantee on both of 'em too.
  12. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Finished all the breaking in and mowed today that motor is a little beastie ! It runs quiet and very very smooth. Best $89 bucks I have spent in a long time.

    Pete
    MasterMech and OldLumberKid like this.
  13. wishlist

    wishlist Minister of Fire

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    Hey Pete, I thought you were just gonna get a reel mower and let the wife take over ? Lol...... :D
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  14. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I thought about it lol :D

    Pete
  15. OldLumberKid

    OldLumberKid Feeling the Heat

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    Sandyland
    So you can retrofit these things to an older mower, or does it have to be only a specific model?

    That worked here, until the darn push mower seized up
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  16. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    Have a few of those running some golf equipment. Many of them have 5000+ hours on them and still go out and cut/rake every day.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  17. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    They have multiple bolt holes and direct fit most push mowers. You can either run a bolt and nut through the holes or tap the holes and screw the bolts in. I didn't bother tapping just ran the bolts through with lock washers.

    Pete
    OldLumberKid likes this.
  18. Jack Straw

    Jack Straw Minister of Fire

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    I got a used Honda walk behind for $40 that needed the carb cleaned and the clutch adjusted on CL.I see quite a few good deals like that quite often. People don't or can't fix them and you can get them cheap.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  19. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    Briggs motors are fine but the recent models don't take kindly to poor quality gas. Were you letting un-stabilized gas sit in the motors for long periods?
  20. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    No oil change 3 times a year small yard and premium gas. The gas never has a chance to get old and I put enough in for the lawn each time anyways.

    Pete
  21. nate379

    nate379 Guest

    Same. JianDong or something like that. The thing SIPS fuel and is quiet compared to the Breaks and Scatters (B&S) motor on my other splitter.

  22. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I have a Subaru on my splitter it runs great so far. I have only had the splitter a few months though.

    Pete
  23. ironpony

    ironpony Minister of Fire

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    both my push mowers have Briggs on them, I pulled both of them out of the trash. I have NEVER purchased a push mower, ride around on trash day pick one up, clean the carb and run it for years. check the oil once in a while, never changed. If I am remembering correctly in 30 years of mowing with a push mower, I am only on the fourth FREE one. Now I do not treat any of my other equipment this way but push mowers are a dime a dozen on trash day.
  24. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I should come to your town ! Around here they get scrapped as soon as they hit the curb and finding one is a like finding a needle in a haystack lol.

    Pete
  25. TMonter

    TMonter Minister of Fire

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    How were you storing the mowers at the end of the year? Premium gas doesn't mean much if it has ethanol in it and in most areas of the country it does now. That's one of the reasons I switched to AV gas a couple years back. I got sick of cleaning carburetors every spring even with stabilized gas.
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