When the old mower that had served me faithfully for 15 years started having stuck valves, I bought a new one just like it. Well, not just like it, since the company did not make that model anymore. The engine, a 3-HP Briggs and Stratton, was much the same, and the chassis seemed even better, but there was no longer a throttle. And before I ever got to use it, a problem developed with attaching the automatic stop lever.
The user manual was missing a page -- not torn out, just missing. Contacting the company for information resulted in additional directions that sounded rather like the words to the "Hokey Pokey." I gave up and disconnected that feature entirely, using some linesman's pliers to ground out the spark plug when I wanted to shut it down.
That inadequate manual actually proved to be one of the better features of that mower. It would run for just about long enough to cut half my yard. Then you had to remove the carburetor and clean it, after which it was good for cutting the other half of the yard. I finally gave up and used the parts from both the new mower and the old one to build one that worked. I turned the engine around 180 degrees, so that both the clippings and the exhaust went out the right side, thereby enabling you to cut next to plants you did not want blasted on the left side. This also put the spark plug facing aft, greatly aiding troubleshooting when checking for a spark. I used an old carburetor that had a throttle. It all ran pretty well, and I even seriously considered going into business making old-fashioned mowers that actually worked using new mower parts.
My homebuilt mower did not last as long as the old one, but it was much better than the new one as received.
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