Petrol Lawnmowers - new vs old

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Seascaper

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I would agree regarding the Hayter. The early ones like mine collect really well, and the handle folds flat on top for storage. Heavy duty aluminium deck. From memory the only plastic bits on it are the front wheels. The modern ones are a very nasty mixture of thin pressed steel and plastic, cost a fortune, and don't collect well at all unless you are only taking off about a quarter of an inch. My old thing does a real Hoover job, and will pick up anything, leaves, twigs the lot. Has got the very agricultural B&S 3.5hp engine which is a bit noisy but still always starts well. Self propulsion works well on mine and has two speeds to choose from. I tend not to use it as the lawn is very flat, and pushing it up and down for an hour or so is probably the most exercise I get nowadays !
This is my John Deere JA62
3E48EE3E-F7FF-4F8C-B86F-AB67EBF8B4EC.jpeg
 

Jameshow

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I used to have an old Mountfield with a B&S motor - always a pain to start.

I looked around for an electric start - then realised that most s/h electric start machines were for sale because the battery/starter failed.

I was advised to get a Honda (Izy). There is a decompression gizmo which I think is temperature operated - in summary starting is a gentle 1st or 2nd pull of the cord. No problems in 6 years so far.

Petrol - during mowing season, fuel is replenished sufficiently often there is no problem. Winter it is best to leave it empty - with the Mountfield starting was helped by a squirt of electric contact cleaner into the carb, after which starting was instantaneous and once warm, no problem.
Mines really easy to start even after the winter with old fuel!!
 

Ttrees

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I only bought new gaskets for my B&S quantum engine.
Was about 3 or 4 quid for a pack.
This is why these are hard to start.
Try pressing on the air filter somewhere around the bottom portion whilst priming.
If priming loads still won't work, or it's cutting out then an inspection is nessecairy
Remove pleated filter and kneel/lie down and look into the carb,
when you press the primer bulb, you should see a little squirt out of the jet.
Try again whilst applying pressure to filter housing...

If not the gasket is gone, I tried making some from various materials,which didn't work because I was a bit ham fisted with filter housing removal.
Be really careful removing filter housing as the gasket stuck onto carb/filter housing is made of cardboard like material,
Make another one like it out of cardboard and try stacking onto the old one, and go buy some gaskets from the bay.
Buy some seats for the carb while your at it, and your mower will start with the slightest pull.
The rubber seats are for if the machine cuts out at a later date.

You still might need apply pressure whilst priming the machine the first time,
due to the plastic housing taking a warp or whatever, but that's just a quantum engine for ya.
Probably sortable but not an issue really.

All the best
Tom
 

dickm

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A relative has a very large lawn, they have an electric robot mower. Takes itself off to recharge and they leave it to do its stuff, does not pick the grass up but works tirelessly day and night and only stops to recharge its batteries which it does automatically. No personal experience of them. Your lawn may be too rough for it but perhaps a load of grit to level it up would do. If I had a large lawn and did not want to pick the grass up I would look in to one.
Another vote for a robot. Mine is a Worx Landroid, bought secondhand three seasons back for about £250 and, touch wood, still working fine. I let it loose (very difficult not to think of it as an animal, and occasionally talk to it when it does something silly!) twice most days on a 300-400m2 lawn and otherwise forget about it except if there's been a lot of rain in May-June, when growth gets a bit out of hand. For those occasions, a 21 inch, 20 year old Hayter does the trick. Solid alloy deck, rear roller and B&S engine which could have battery start, but so far not bothered renewing the battery.
The only thing it doesn't cope with is the meadow and orchard (about another 1/3 acre) where the grass is only cut once or twice a year. Usually borrow wheeled strimmer for this, but then there is the raking up. There's a nearly-50-year old Atco lawn tractor as an alternative, which picks up the cuttings but is a bit unmanoeuverable
 

dickm

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A robot mower (good though they are) wouldn't do much for the foot long grass mentioned by the OP?
Definitely not! But if you have a mixture of styles of grass as I do, then they are an excellent solution for the short bits, meaning you can concentrate the petrol power on them, rather than trying to find some machine that will mow to a bowling green finish with stripes, AND tackle the metre tall stuff!
 

Cozzer

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A robot mower (good though they are) wouldn't do much for the foot long grass mentioned by the OP?

Just had a gander at the youtube ad for my Webb....


Interestingly, it claims to be able to cut "knee-high" grass courtesy of the side discharge chute.
Not tried it, mind, but that's the claim!
I suppose it depends on how long your legs are!
 

pe2dave

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Just had a gander at the youtube ad for my Webb....


Interestingly, it claims to be able to cut "knee-high" grass courtesy of the side discharge chute.
Not tried it, mind, but that's the claim!
I suppose it depends on how long your legs are!
I.e. it is not a robot mower?
 

Ttrees

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Interesting, but wonder if it clogs at the chute when using the bag.
You 'd think they would make these more storage friendly, lots of improvements one could do to them,
seems to me the r&d guys from all the brands are in an office.
 

flying haggis

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anybody seen the g-tech mower ad on the telly?

where does all the cut grass disappear to ? if a tiny 12in mower can cut grass that high and leave not a single blade of grass to be seen i want one but.......
 

Krome10

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Just returning to say thanks for all the replies and food for thought. I'm still mulling it over and will use the strimmer in the meantime. Perhaps if any good secondhand options crop up I'll come back to see what you guys think.

Cheers
 

dickm

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Usually borrow wheeled strimmer for this, but then there is the raking up.
Spoke too soon. Rang SiL yesterday about the wheeled strimmer "yes, it's here, working fine". So went and picked it up, thought the primer bulb didn't feel right, but persevered. And persevered. Tried all the tricks I know, and did get it to run for about 5 seconds. Then examined the primer bulb more closely and it was completely split. Moral, don't buy the cheapest one off Ebay - it was new Spring 2021. More expensive one ordered, and decided the big Stihl FS220 strimmer had to take over. Probably did a better job, certainly more selective round the flowers in the meadow, but when I bought it 5 or 6 years ago, I was younger and stronger! Still, total effort using that heavy beast was probably not that much more than the effort getting that **** Tecumseh to start.
Rang round local dealers about the primer bulb, and they all had a puther in their stores, but noone could find one. No wonder Tecumseh disappeared!
 

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