Wednesday, October 14, 2009

.28 Cent Lawn Mower

Not really automotive related but it could easily be a car for free.

When they fall from the sky and are free, you take them and run. This bad boy is a '96 I believe John Deere STX38 Riding Lawn Mower. I scored it for nothing from a friend who had trouble with it and decided to hell with it and bought a much larger and faster Zero Turn Mower.

We talked before I picked it up and he mentioned it was running horrible, throttle was racing, and then it made a horrific rattling noise and went wide open throttle then died. He told me if I hauled it away I could have it. Fine, no problem. The Deck and Chassis are in excellent shape so if it needed a Engine I would spring for it. It sounded as though the Governor took a crap from his description so if that was bad, a engine tear down would ensue anyways.

Well, once in the warm shop I went to diagnosing the problem. On start up it did go wide open throttle, any throttle movement didn't change anything, the cables were fine and the Governor had proper tension and movement. Then we saw the issue.

Taking the carb off the Throttle plate fell completely off.

The Screws, they most likely were the rattling noise. Since they are brass I wasn't to concerned about the health of the engine. Sure, the Cylinder wall most likely are scored some but it has good compression, minimum leak down on the valves and now with two new screws and a LOF it runs like a champ. If it starts to have some engine issues from the screws traveling through it then I'll have to do a rebuild, no big deal.

Lesson of the day? Never ass-u-me what the problem is without diagnosing it first. As for the previous owner? It doesn't bother him a bit it took little more than a Quarter to fix it. He has his new Rider and is happy I have a new Rider.


At 11:54 AM, Blogger JeepyJayhawk said...

free is always awesome. Aside from a tear down is there any way to remove those screws? Could they be stuck in some cranny in the intake manifold? (having no idea if the carb just dumps directly into the cylinder)

At 4:20 PM, Blogger B.j.Ruland said...

I assume they went through the motor and into the exhaust. The spark plug had no damage to it which you would see if the screws bounced around in there for awhile.

Like I said, ass-u-me. Since they are brass, they might have just pounded into the head and are stuck there.

If the motor lays down, then I'll find them :)


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