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Well the odyssey is over, I think. Long.


tybeegb
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Back in October the riding lawnmower started acting up.  Backfiring/skipping under load.  I thought it might be one of the safety cutoff switches so I swapped those out.  Nope.  Drive belts slipping?  Nope.  Water in the gas.  Nope.  Air filter clogged?  Nope.  

Someone in one of the lawn tractor forums mentioned the hydrostatic transmission as a possible cause.  So I looked at it and it did have a leak in one of the axle seals.  Maybe it was low on oil.  So I pulled it to replace the seals and make sure it had the right amount of oil.   Replaced the seals.  Topped it off with oil.  Reinstalled the transmission and when I went to put the cooling fan blade back on I noticed the bolt had broken off.  Had to pull the transmission back out.  No amount of easy out/extractor effort could get the bolt out.

Pause for a bicycle wreck.  Almost three months later.  I found out I could order a replacement drive shaft kit that would not require completely disassembling the transmission.  Ordered that and not using good judgement decided to go ahead and try to fix it while still on one crutch.   What the instructions said should take 10-15 minutes took me over two hours.  But I got it in, topped off the oil again, put it back in the lawnmower again, and cranked it up.  Back and forth in the driveway, so far so good.  Then it started raining.  

So today, bright and early, I crank it up and start cutting the yard.  Five minutes later, pop, pow, and all the other noises that come with an engine struggling to run.  Crap. It ran fine without the deck engaged.  Crap. 

Well five months ago I had gotten two new sparkplugs to do an end of season tune up.  So I put those in.  Cranked it up.  Finished cutting my yard and the neighbor's yard, no problems.  Crap.

So the transmission held up for that, but only time will tell if it has other issues.  However, something as simple as going ahead with the end of season replacement of the sparkplugs would have saved me a whole lot of stress.  :angry:

 

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I had a similar issue with my lawn tractor late last summer.  WoKzoo was mowing the lawn and it started backfiring.  I got home and the tractor was in the middle of the side yard.  I start it up and it seems fine but when I go to move the tractor it starts backfiring and running crazy.  I keep trying but every time it starts to move the engine goes crazy.  After much analysis I realize that it has to do with the brake pedal.  The break pedal has to be engaged to start the engine with it's requisite safety switch.  It was as the pedal arm was releasing the safety switch that the engine would start backfiring.  I was able to start the engine and pressing the pedal just enough to engage the switch but not the brakes - get it back to the garage.  This being a Friday evening I planned a trip to the dealer on Saturday morning.

The parts guy looked up the switch and told me he would have to order one.  He also didn't buy my story that the released safety switch would cause the engine to backfire.  He called out the mechanic and that dude didn't believe me either.  I went home and pulled the switch - hot melt glued the switch closed and replaced it.  The tractor runs fine and I no longer need the brake pedal engaged to start the thing.

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13 minutes ago, RalphWaldoMooseworth said:

Hmmm, our Odyssey is aboot over too. :(

Trying to decide the optimum timing to replace it.  It still runs great but they say it has coolant in the earl. 

If trading it in, aboot 15 minutes after an oil change. Any you probably want to schedule that oil change very soon.

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30 minutes ago, team scooter said:

Keep your old mower running as long as you can. Having replaced my ten year old garden tractor last fall with a new one, I can confirm they don't make em like they used to. :(

Mine is a Craftsman, It seems they don't even make them anymore, never mind if they are as good as they used to be.

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1 hour ago, Further said:

How rusted is it ? Engines can be replaced.

That is the killer. The body and interior are pristine, like new since it was garage kept all its life. But both the engine and trans are about shot. 

Oh yeah, the suspension also. Just general age is a factor too at 20 years. 

But then there is Cuba! :D

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13 minutes ago, Square Wheels said:

Mine is a Craftsman, It seems they don't even make them anymore, never mind if they are as good as they used to be.

They still make them pick a name you like, they are all made by MTD.

edit: Toro makes Toro and Lawn Boy. MTD makes all of the store brands (i.e., a mower that might have the Home Depot name on it), along with MTD, Dynamark, YardProWeed Eater, Noma, and Sears Craftsman. Murray makes MTD. MTD makes the low end (non-commercial) John Deere tractors.

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41 minutes ago, team scooter said:

Keep your old mower running as long as you can. Having replaced my ten year old garden tractor last fall with a new one, I can confirm they don't make em like they used to. :(

Same with cars!  The technology might be better, but the interior and exterior materials are thinner and cheaper, no where near as durable as they used to be. 

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...buy a Honda mower. Buy it from a real equipment store, not a big box store. Make sure it has a fuel shutoff, somewhere in the line right at the exit from the fuel tank . If it doesn't have one, install one. Run it dry if you're not gonna use it for more than a week or ten days. Or continue to learn valuable mechanical tips and tricks with whatever other mower you got. :)

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