Hit a rock with the mower...

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....now it's buggered up.
Today, I pulled my mower out for the first time this year. I changed the oil and air filter, cleaned the plug, topped it up with new gas, swapped the old blade off for my dethatching attaachment. She started first pull and ran BEAUTIFULLY!!!
Great I though... Day was going well. Things were getting done. Got about two-thirds of my yard dethatched and I hit a 2"-3" rock. OUCH! Mower shaking around making a knocking noise. NOT GOOD!
I stopped the machine, pulled the plug wire and started checking it out. Blade & springs seems tight and straight. Shaft seems straight. No loose bits that I can see. So I start it up again and it's knocking and shaking. Off it goes quickly.
So I pull off the detatcher and put on the old blade, just to see if I bent the detatcher. Now she doesn't fire at all. CRAP! Could just be flooded or maybe the key finally gave way, or the timing it out enough to keep it from firing.
At this point I'm hoping that all I've done is shear off the "key" and it will be an easy fix... except I don't know where it's located and I don't even know if that's the problem. To make matters worse, I don't know the make of engine. ARGH!
Mower is a 5.5 horsepower Sears "Eager-1" with 20" blade. Takes a Champion RJ19LM sparkplug.
So... any advise anyone? Where should I start?
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Wow.
If it wont start now, then I'd try replacing the key where it times the flywheel to the crank.
If the crank output shaft is bent, and the whole works is vibrating, then hit it with a *big hammer*...IOW re-straighten the shaft....
Suggest use wood or some soft metal between the hammer and shaft so ya dont cause any more damage if your whacking on the crankshaft though.
--
SVL






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Hopefully it was the thatch blade and is now flooded from tipping it over to remove blade. remove air filter if it is wet and start it later. I dought it is the key or it would not have started after you hit the rock. It is the blade or crankshaft, hopefully just the blade.
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This is Turtle.
It is the blade or the shaft that is bent. You will have to figure it out.
TURTLE
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Always tip the mowers with the carb side up, same for snowthrowers, etc.
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Noozer, This may be a stupid question, but what kind of lawn/grass are you cutting to have your mower that close to the ground to hit a rock that small?
I live in Fl and have St Augestine. My mower is always set to the highest position, which is 4" for the deck.
And to answer your question, I would say that the blade is bent. As Ramsey stated, it probably isn't starting because you had it upside down.
Let it set for a while, crank it a few times with the spark plug out, and then try starting it again.
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.

Dohh!!!.........and.....(wink)......
Anymore the blades are so damned hard that the stress and deformation goes directly to the crank output shaft....
To the point where nowadays you can generally straighten the shaft by "dialing in" the blade and still get satisfactory results.
Been there and done it almost *too many times*...
( I dont mow grass anymore, but still I've got a wife that is *terribly hard* on equipment )
--
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The key is located between the "flywheel" and crankshaft. Remove the top cover of the engine (the part with the pull rope) and you will see the flywheel below it. Usually has cooling fins around the edges and the ignition coil at the back. Remove the mechanism attached to the crank and you should be able to see the keyway and key. It will be pretty obvious to you if it is stipped.
You need a puller to remove the flywheel without breaking it. I have always just used a bar to pop it off but did break one once eons ago so get the puller or be prepared to buy a new flywheel.
Chances are you bent the crankshaft when you hit the rock. If this is the case its probably time for a new mower as the repair will exceed the value of the machine.
Steve B.
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Ron wrote:

I'm inclined to agree with your assessment except I think 3" is a *big* rock. :) If the blade is bent, the balance is gone.
Frank
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I'd take the blade off, just leaving the crank shaft exposed and try to start it. you may have flooded it when you had it turned over so air it out and change the plug. With the blade off, if you can start it, I think you can tell if the crank is bent

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m Ransley wrote:

Maybe it's flooded now. Can try after removing the blade. If it still shakes, twisted rod or shaft. Tony
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While SVL's method will work, if your shaft is bent, a good small engine shop should have a special device to straighten the crankshaft while still in the engine. The engine is removed and mounted in the device to do this. Anytime you hit a solid object with a push mower, the key in the flywheel is suspect. Use only the factory type replacement key, or you risk major damage next time. Also be aware that direct blade-to-shaft-mount push mowers don't usually crank well at all without the blade on, as they usually have aluminum flywheels and need the blade swinging for extra momentum while cranking through.
RJ

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wrote:

Most likely that's what it is. The key attaches the flywheel to the crankshaft, at the top of the engine. Remove the cover that contains the pullcord, and you should see it. You'll want a steering wheel puller or similar tool to remove the flywheel. If you just try to pry it off, you may break it.
Once you get the flywheel off, collect all of the different pieces of the key and take them to a mower repair shop. They'll need the make and model of your mower, or of the engine, too. While you're there, get a few extra keys so you'll have one on hand the next time this happens. The keys won't cost much more than a dollar apiece, if that, so it makes sense to have spares.
-- Regards, Doug Miller (alphageek at milmac dot com)
Nobody ever left footprints in the sands of time by sitting on his butt. And who wants to leave buttprints in the sands of time?
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PrecisionMachinisT wrote:

LOL, I've never hit anything big enough to cause problems but I've had the blade off plenty of times to sharpen it. I was told to buy a new one because the blade needed to be balanced but an old machinist with a pedestal grinder in his garage is a tough sell. <g> I just put a small dowel pin in the grinder and place the blade on it. Once I get it sharp I just grind a little here and there until it's stays motionless.
Saves time and money.
Frank
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F.H. wrote:

LOL, in the *vice* not the grinder. So much for ISO-9000
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On Sat, 23 Apr 2005 13:53:39 +0000, F.H. wrote:

Strike two. A "vise", perhaps?
--
If you're not on the edge, you're taking up too much space.
Linux Registered User #327951
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Compare :
http://tinyurl.com/cdbm6
To :
http://tinyurl.com/bofgu
--
SVL




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I was detatching... Bar with a couple heavy springs that break up all the loose stuff in the grass. It has to be low to get into the dead stuff.

I do cut my grass fairly long... But here in Calgary AB the grass doesn't grow too fast!

I only flipped it up about 80 degrees, carb side up... That's why I'm not sure about the flooding. I will be poking at it again today. I've got the regular blad on it now, so hopefully it doesn't shake anymore. I hope it's the key if it isn't the blade. Don't want to have to replace this thing yet.
I didn't think there'd be so much damage from a small rock. It was only 2" or so... maybe not even now that I look at it.
THANKS FOR ALL THE FEEDBACK EVERYONE!
Wish me luck!
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I hit a rock with my Toro last year and bent the blade. When I replaced the blade it wouldn't start. Cause was flooding from tipping it on it's side. I waited a few minutes & it started.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Retired Shop Rat: 14,647 days in a GM plant. Now I can do what I enjoy: Large Format Photography - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
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"PrecisionMachinisT" wrote:

Me... *too* ....(smirk) WTF are "we" talking *about*.... anyway?
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