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Old 04-28-2011, 07:06 AM   #1
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So I bought my house in November, and now realize it's time to mow the lawn here in northern Virginia. I have three rusty and visibly busted hunks of push lawnmowers my prior owners abandoned in my back yard. I'm sure I could throw new fuel and plugs in one of them in hopes of getting it started, but is it really worth it? I just don't want to put money in a hole, if I come to find out that once one runs again it does a bad job. How can I assess my ill-repaired mowers for potential vs abandonment?

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Old 04-28-2011, 12:19 PM   #2
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So then why not throw new fuel and plug in one of them and see what happens? I consider myself a pretty good tinkerer, but unless you suspect that they are stolen, in which case I would report them, or the previous owners had a lawn care business, it doesn't seem real likely that they all died within the past year or two, so my guess would be that at least two of them have been setting there long enough that they wouldn't be worth the effort. If you wish to try, I would take a good look at them, and discard any that had a cracked or broken deck, broken wheel assemblies, etc., as some of those things are simply too costly to deal with. After that, check the engine oil; if empty, add oil, if level, okay, and if overfull, drain it and put in new, because it probably has water in the crankcase. Drain the fuel tanks, and remove the air cleaners, then inspect the tanks and carburetors for droplets clinging to the sides. Those droplets would be water, in which case I would spray the affected tanks and/or carburetors with WD40, to displace the water. Replace the spark plugs, add some fresh gas, and see what happens. So far, you'd be out $20 - $30, which probably isn't much if you think there is a chance one of them will start. And make sure that they have blades on them, because the engines will not run without one. Then, if one of them works out for you, that is the time to change the oil, replace the air filter, and sharpen the blade. As for whether or not they will do a good or bad job, you should be able to make some manner of decision by looking at the condition of the decks, wheels, and blades.


Last edited by DexterII; 04-28-2011 at 12:24 PM.
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Old 04-28-2011, 01:13 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BoxAlarm View Post
So I bought my house in November, and now realize it's time to mow the lawn here in northern Virginia. I have three rusty and visibly busted hunks of push lawnmowers my prior owners abandoned in my back yard. I'm sure I could throw new fuel and plugs in one of them in hopes of getting it started, but is it really worth it? I just don't want to put money in a hole, if I come to find out that once one runs again it does a bad job. How can I assess my ill-repaired mowers for potential vs abandonment?
There's a reason the previous owner left the mowers, and it wasn't for your benefit.

I used to do a side-line lawn care business. Push mowers are fairly simple to work on, provided you know what you're doing. But they can also infuriate you to the point of violence.

Save yourself the hassle, and the waste of money on mowers that probably won't work anyway, and go get a cheap push mower. You can pick up a pretty nice one for less than $150. It's new, has a warranty, and you know what you've got.
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Old 04-28-2011, 11:01 PM   #4
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Thanks Fellas,
I'm looking at the Honda HRR216VKA from Home Depot. It's got good reviews, and it seems like it'd last me a while. I've got about 1ft of dandelions and thick grass-something in my yard.

...It's going to be a long summer
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Old 04-29-2011, 12:16 AM   #5
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Tinkering with a half rusted piece of garbage, getting it going with a new plug maybe, buying a new blade, etc.

On the other hand, I lived in hood restoring a house once where every mower I bought grew wings and feet and walked. I bought the ugliest old things I could find from the mower repair/knife sharpener/tax preparer up the street for $20 bucks and let them walk if someone wanted them bad enough. Lawn always looked great.

Get a new one you like. And at least ask your local lawn and snowblower dealer about things and how close they can come to matching box store crap prices? They will stand by you if something goes wrong and probably give you a loaner if it should ever come to that. HD? Don't make me laugh. The minimum wage kid who sell you yours will certainly not be employed anymore.

Last edited by user1007; 04-29-2011 at 12:20 AM.
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