Self-Propelled Mower?

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On Sat, 16 May 2009 12:01:18 -0400, snipped-for-privacy@aol.com wrote:

Why would I do a stupid thing like that? If my mower broke, I would either fix it or get a new one. Meanwhile, if someone needed to push my mower around, they would find that it is pretty much indistinguishable from a non-propelled mower. There just aint that much difference in weight. Since my mower has an aluminum deck, it is probably lighter than many non-propelled mowers.
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On Thu, 14 May 2009 18:17:07 -0500, Wilfred Xavier Pickles

Front wheel drive sucks on a hill. The weight is on the back wheels and the front wheels slip. I think the whole "front wheel" thing was just a scam to get past the "squeeze the handle to start the mower" law as cheap as possible.. They usually don't have a clutch for the drive, you tilt it back to pull the mower back and when you let go of the handle it stops. At least that is the way the cheap K mart (American Lawn Products) FWD mower I had worked. The other problem is they simply pushed the RWD tranny over to the front wheels but that had the belt pulling the gears to the "un-meshed" position and the bushing wore out right away. Once was fixed on warranty, once by me, then I set the whole thing on the curb.
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

I recommend a self propelled rear wheel drive unit. The larger the rear wheels the better.
BTW when I lived in a house with a steeply sloping yard, I always mowed perpendicular to the slope. This way I didn't have to fight the hill.
YMMV, EJ in NJ
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Did you mean parallel to the slope? Perp would put you uphill at all times or at least 50% of the time if you made it to the top?
YMMV indeed.
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Rich wrote:

I mean exactly what I said. If the slope is downhill from north to south then the mower should run perpendicular (east to west).
I doubt that the slope is anything like 40 degrees. If it actually is then there might be a problem with oil distribution in the crankcase.
EJ in NJ
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On Thu, 14 May 2009 21:24:58 -0400, Ernie Willson

If you run a mower a lot at steep angles, make sure the particular engine's oil sump is designed for that. Some of them will be oil starved when tilted sharply in certain directions. The higher end push mowers used by commercial maintenance companies have an oil pump like a car to overcome this problem.
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

Forget the front wheel drive for going up hill. A small riding mower would be better. Plenty of used ones for 300.
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I would be very careful about putting a riding mower on a 40 degree slope !!
James
-----------------
Forget the front wheel drive for going up hill. A small riding mower would be better. Plenty of used ones for 300.
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Depends on the lawn. Self propelled is good when you have relatively flat and long straight stretches to cut. Going around trees, shrubs, bird baths, is more difficult to maneuver and the mower is heavier. Mine also broke a few times making it even worse to push than a regular push mower. Next mower was a plain push John Deere. Nothing runs like a Deere with a Kawasaki engine.
OTOH, I've not fueled my mower for about four years now. Neighbor has a big zero turn rider and does mine along with his and I pay him a few bucks.
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wrote:

My mower's drive automatically and completely disengages if I pull on the handle. I find almost zero difference in close work than with previous non-propelled mowers. I have all sorts of slopes, plantings and other obstacles.
Those Kawasaki engines are very nice.
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I'm 71 and I have had a Toro Personal Pace mower for 7 years. It works great.
Last year the self propelled cable broke and I had to finish cutting my lawn by pushing the mower. Didn't think I would live through it. Had it repaired the very next day.
They go for more than $300, but if you can find your way clear to buy one, I think you would be very happy you did.
Freckles
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wrote:

It smokes probably because the inclines starved the motor of oil, a 2 stroke Lawn Boy is what alot of citys use on road incline areas, my town was blowing out 4 strokes every year, You will have to get a used one, I dont think 2 strokers are made anymore. Or be sure you research what motor design wont starve of oil at your angles, go to a pro lawnmower dealer, he will have all the answers.
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Probably what I -really- need is a good, super-lite 2-stroke, maybe 20" rear-bag.

Damned if I know why there seems to be no 2-stroke mowers on the market.
Finding a worth-while used one could be d-d-difficult.
Thx, Will
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Wilfred Xavier Pickles wrote:

Likely its due to some EPA regulation and pollution.
EJ in NJ
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That has nothing to do with any of the myriad 2-stroke line trimmers on the market?
I suppose it's possible, and I know they are smaller displacement, but ...
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On Fri, 15 May 2009 17:16:28 -0500, Wilfred Xavier Pickles

Most, if not all EPA regulations that apply to internal combustion engines have a threshold for displacement. Anything smaller than specified is exempt from the regulation. Try and find a new 2-stroke outboard of even 2 hp today. They are no longer made for sale in the U.S.
String trimmer engines are tiny - As are model airplane motors.
BTW - Last year I bought a Cadet 4-stroke string trimmer/brush cutter. Starts every time with one easy pull, and is quieter, has more power at lower speeds, and is overall far more pleasant to use. It does have a weight disadvantage, but I find the positives overwhelm that one negative, especially since I use it mostly for brush cutting rather than trimming grass. It replaced a 2 stroke that had about 3 hours of use, and about 10 hours of pulling the starter cord and swearing. It was "idiot proof" and you could not simply adjust the choke or do anything else if it didn't start. I considered taking all the "better starting" crap off and making a manual choke for it. I decided it would still be a hard starting, noisy, smelly, piece of crap.
It sits on a shelf in the garage.
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snipped-for-privacy@dog.com wrote:

Thanks Salty for that great explanation. BTW I had a RIYOBI trimmer, it never started. Replaced it with a John Deere which always starts by the third pull.
EJ in NJ

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If the mower smokes, try using two stroke gas mixer oil in the crankcase. Less smoke than detergent oils.
--
Christopher A. Young
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but
sink-
sidewalk.
around
I have a Sears front-wheel drive mower, 6.6 HP Tecumseh engine, and I use it to mow down weeds. It will go up a 3:1 slope but I have to lift the handle a bit to get traction. In any case it's a LOT easier than using my push mower. If I had to use my push mower I would have to find another way to mow down the weeds.
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On Thu, 14 May 2009 18:17:07 -0500, Wilfred Xavier Pickles

I had a cheap Murray self propelled and the drive mechanism was very poor and provided poor power delivery. I finally got rid of it and replaced it with the cheapest push gas mower I could find which was a "yardman" I think. The new cheap mower does a far better job and it less trouble overall then the self propelled one because it is so much lighter. Bottom line in my experience is IF you want self-propelled plan on spending quite a bit of money for a good one because with the yard you have you'll never get an inexpensive self-pro to work satisfactorily. I doubt I'll ever buy another self-propelled, the lightweight cheapy just works too good.
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