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The Great Big Lawnmower Thread

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  • Registered Users Posts: 7,375 Dr Galen


    As you can see, this is now the Great Big Lawmower Thread.

    This is one of the most popular recurring questions, so makes sense (in my head anyway) to try and create a bit of a library of all the previous questions and answers on the topic.

    Will help keep the first forum page clear of multiple threads. From now on, any new threads will get added to this superthread. Maybe we'll run this as a trial and if all goes smoothly, then it can stay this way.

    Comments etc as always are welcomed! :)


  • Registered Users Posts: 14,833 ✭✭✭✭ CJhaughey


    As you can see, this is now the Great Big Lawmower Thread.

    This is one of the most popular recurring questions, so makes sense (in my head anyway) to try and create a bit of a library of all the previous questions and answers on the topic.

    Will help keep the first forum page clear of multiple threads. From now on, any new threads will get added to this superthread. Maybe we'll run this as a trial and if all goes smoothly, then it can stay this way.

    Comments etc as always are welcomed! :)

    This is a disaster of a thread, why don't you break it up into sections?
    Rideon, push, powered etc?
    Far too much of a mash up to get any reasonable info out of IMO.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,236 ✭✭✭ stackerman


    Have a look at fuzon zero turn mowers, I bought one a few years back and hand on heart its class. Spins around trees in seconds and does a great job, no probs yet. Got 42" mulcher for €3000 from UK shipped to the door. I actually enjoy cutting the lawn now :o


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,560 ✭✭✭ Prenderb


    I bought a Homelite petrol mower 2 weeks back from a big-chain home and garden store.

    It does a grand cut, but - I tried removing the HT lead from the sparkplug to clean the deck and store it into the shed (the instructions say to do this, before anyone says anything!), but the lead was so well-connected to the sparkplug that when the rubber boot came off, it left the connector behind it on the sparkplug with the bare wire separated (if that makes any sense) from the connector on the other side.

    Said big-chain have a repair policy, (i.e. no credit note, replacement or refund) but I'm fairly confident this will happen again next time I clean the mower or if I ever need a new spark. Beware of this all you who are in the market!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,571 Mailman


    that's a one minute repair which you can do your self.


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,560 ✭✭✭ Prenderb


    Mailman wrote: »
    that's a one minute repair which you can do your self.

    I was just trying to find out how on the google machine! Can you help me? Is it a simple job? I know it's easy in principle - I was going to head to the motor factors tomorrow and see could they do me a new HT boot somehow. Have you an easier fix? Thanks!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,571 Mailman


    The boot is only there to stop it shorting.
    The metal ring that goes over the top of the spark plug has a spike on the other end. That spike goes through the high tension cable to the metal wire core under the insulation plastic. Once metal touches metal you've got a connection to the sparkplug. Ignition on a lawnmower is extremely simple.
    you could even strip back the wire once the boot is removed and loop it round the top of the spark plug and clamp it under the screw top on the spark plug.

    If you want to do it properly generic replacement boot caps and clamps are only a euro or two.
    I've been lifted out of it by the sparkplug on various lawnmowers to know they don't much of a connection for a spark to be created.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,560 ✭✭✭ Prenderb


    I figured it was fairly easy to fix, I just couldn't see how I'd do it with the connector I had and the tools I don't have! I'll check in the motor factors up the road tomorrow for a generic HT boot and connector. At least I won't have to strip back the wire!

    The mower doesn't have a ring to go over the plug, the connector that came off it is more like a cup at the plug side, with another section squeezed to attach it to the HT lead.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,560 ✭✭✭ Prenderb


    Prenderb 1, lawnmower 0.

    I managed to get the boot back onto the lead (thanks to washing up liquid) then reconnect the connector onto it - having widened it first using a tool from work - and slide the boot back down over it. The lead now goes on and off the plug like it should.

    No new parts needed, only a bit of a think and some detergent.


  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Kildrought


    I just bought one of those Homelite mowers as well...this is my 2nd petrol mower so I'm reasonable familar with them (or at least thought I was!). My old machine was a briggs & stratton engine & I'm kind of sorry I didn't go for that again.

    I used the Homelite for the first time this evening, it was struggling w. the grass on the highest setting, even though I left off the collector; engine sounds a bit 'rattley' and then it started smoking (white smoke) after 3 lengths of the garden (and it's not that big a garden).

    I let it cool down, checked oil etc., all was well so started it up again - same story...

    Not sure what to do now? Any advice?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 1,560 ✭✭✭ Prenderb


    Hmm...I would think that maybe the oil level is too high? I hope I'm not being patronising, but double check that the oil level is at or just below the max mark...Another possibility might be water in the petrol? Just some thoughts off the top of my head.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,571 Mailman


    It's not water in the petrol water in the petrol stops your engine.
    white smoke is oil being burnt off after you turned the mower on it's side or else you elected a new Pope.


  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Kildrought


    Nope, didn't tip it on the side - it's brand new out of box.

    Must be a new pope so....


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,859 bmaxi


    Burning oil produces a bluish white smoke.White smoke is usually associated with water either in the fuel or as condensation in the combustion chamber. Where was the smoke coming from, i.e. from the exhaust, the engine body the underbody? Was the grass very long and wet, could it have been clogging the underbody and causing the engine to overheat?
    I see now from your earlier post it is brand new , just pack up the box and bring it back.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,571 Mailman


    On new lawnmowers they used to paint the exhaust the same colour as the rest of the body. the paint on the exhaust would burn away producing smoke. I haven't seen a painted exhaust in decades.


  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Kildrought


    Thanks for the replies.

    There's no paint on the exhaust that I can see - just the metal

    Smoke was coming from around the exhaust area, but not out of the exhaust (if you see what I mean).

    Grass was/is longish alright, yesterday was very sunny so don't imagine it was wet, but my old mower wouldn't have had a problem on the highest setting.

    I might try again on the already cut section of grass - just to see if that was causing the problem.

    Cardboard box was put out with the recycling collection yesterday!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,329 ✭✭✭ gaz wac


    Just because you dont have the box, dosent mean you cant bring it back !!
    actually, places like PowerCity, you can dump the box before you can take it home, they still have to accept it.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,859 bmaxi


    Kildrought wrote: »
    Thanks for the replies.

    There's no paint on the exhaust that I can see - just the metal

    Smoke was coming from around the exhaust area, but not out of the exhaust (if you see what I mean).

    Grass was/is longish alright, yesterday was very sunny so don't imagine it was wet, but my old mower wouldn't have had a problem on the highest setting.

    I might try again on the already cut section of grass - just to see if that was causing the problem.

    Cardboard box was put out with the recycling collection yesterday!

    If smoke was not coming from the exhaust then it can't have been burning oil or fuel contaminated with water. More likely a damp or condensation problem or overheating. One dry day, after the deluge of rain over the past while, is not going to make much difference to the grass.
    If I had to guess I'd say it is overheating because it is having to cope with wet grass clogging the underbody. The steam is caused by water thrown up on to the engine. New engines can usually do with a light workout before being used for heavy work.


  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Kildrought


    I think I'm going to bring the dratted thing back. Had a run at the grass again today and the stupid mower cut out after 15 mins (no white smoke this time).

    I can't restart it now at all - the pull cord thing is just jammed - waited for it to cool down etc., and still no joy - it's back in the shed & is going back to shop tomorrow...


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,560 ✭✭✭ Prenderb


    sounds like it might (might!) have run out of oil....


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  • Registered Users Posts: 381 ✭✭ Kildrought


    Prenderb wrote: »
    sounds like it might (might!) have run out of oil....
    it's brand new out of box and was filled with 1/2 litre of oil before I used it; can't imagine it'd use burn up oil like that. In any event according to the oil dip stick it's just below the max mark.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 3,859 bmaxi


    Kildrought wrote: »
    I think I'm going to bring the dratted thing back. Had a run at the grass again today and the stupid mower cut out after 15 mins (no white smoke this time).

    I can't restart it now at all - the pull cord thing is just jammed - waited for it to cool down etc., and still no joy - it's back in the shed & is going back to shop tomorrow...


    Yes taking it back is the easiest option and some of these stores have a limited timeframe to get your money back.
    I'll assume you are holding the flywheel brake off and that the brake cable is operating properly.
    It is unlikely the engine has seized but one way to check is to take out the spark plug, (make sure you take it out, don't just remove the cap), and try to rotate the blade. If it moves then the engine is not seized.
    Sometimes the actual pullcord mechanism can get jammed, it is relatively simple to repair this but the return to store option is definitely best.


  • Registered Users Posts: 257 ✭✭ Fairdues


    A friend of mine got somebody in to cut his very large garden and paid the same for 5 years as he would have paid for the ride on. Factor in that he had no hassle, no repairs etc, it's worth thinking about.


  • Registered Users Posts: 257 ✭✭ Fairdues


    His garden is over an acre.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,538 niceirishfella


    Fair comment, but I like mowing my lawns. Infact, I look forward to it.


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,329 ✭✭✭ gaz wac


    Hi lads,

    Have decided to buy either the Bosch Rotak 40 (inch) or the 36 ( inch). Here is a link to the two models side by side..

    http://www.gardenerslife.ie/Product_1222_Bosch-Rotary-Mower-Rotak-36.html

    The only difference is the motor watt, Rotak 36 = 1400 watt where as the 40 = 1700 how importaint is this ? Also what difference will it make between a 36" or 40" blade ? :o ( i have a medium sized garden)

    Thanks


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 5,538 niceirishfella


    4 inches!


  • Registered Users Posts: 1,329 ✭✭✭ gaz wac


    4 inches!

    :) ha ha i knew someone would come back with that one...phft 4 inches is nothing to me :D


  • Registered Users Posts: 443 ✭✭ Ernest


    It strikes me that most of the prices for petrol lawnmowers being mentioned on this thread are way too expensive. It seems many contributors think its worth being ripped off in return for buying particular brands, like the guy who swears by Bosch even though his Bosch drill actually blew up!!
    It should be possible to get a perfectly good petrol mower for about €150 in places like Atlantic,Woodies, Homebase or B&Q. I bought one last year for about €140 with pull-string start, lever choke and its excellent. Self-propelled might cost more but at the moment Lidl are offering a fairly high-spec one with a Briggs & Strattonfor 4-stroke engine for €240.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 1,571 Mailman


    There is no comparison between a 500 euro mower and a 150 euro mower although it is possible to pay 500 euro for mower than is not much better than a 150 euro mower if you don't know what you are looking for.

    Petrol lawnmowers are not like electrical DIY equipment which are essentially just electrical motors in plastic covers( a bit unfair to quality electrical tools).
    a 500 euro mower should last 15 to 20 years if looked after. €150 mowers will be rickety within 5 years and you'll never have the same comfort with the cheaper device.


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