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Rock Always Wins in Lawnmower Battle

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bk1
User Rank
Iron
Re: Now lawnmowers have a flywheel shaft key that breaks away
bk1   2/28/2013 11:13:26 AM
Small engines have always had a flywheel key, and an aluminum one to boot to prevent damage to expensive parts.  Key replacement has always been a common repair for blade impacts.  In this case, however, the poster is talking about the blade adapter, not the flywheel.  There are many different designs, some with shear protection and some without.

Lawnmowers use a lightweight flywheel because the blade also acts as a flywheel.  heavier flywheels are used fo engines with low rotating masses on the output end, such as belt pulleys.

Turbineman
User Rank
Gold
Re: Playing Horseshoes
Turbineman   2/28/2013 11:31:39 AM
I straightened the cranshaft on 2 mowers that way.  I put a dial indicator against the end of the shaft and keep bending it little by little until the indicator reads <.002".  It doesn't take that long, and you quickly learn how much force and movement is required with that particular pipe.  Just keep the same pipe around for next time.

Charles Murray
User Rank
Blogger
Re: Before you straighten that crank...
Charles Murray   2/28/2013 11:36:26 AM
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I've been there, Davinci87. I tried stratightening a crankshaft with my own crude methods (not with a pipe). I used that mower in fear for a short time afterwards, then gave up on it. I had this nagging fear that if I kept using it, I would soon end up being about six inches shorter.

Turbineman
User Rank
Gold
Re: MORE on Small engine repair
Turbineman   2/28/2013 11:53:20 AM
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I don't know about Wisconsin ( a very good brand, along with Clinton, RIP.), but Kohler is alive and well.  Check out the engines in the online catalogue of Northern Tool and Equipment.

In my younger years I went to the Clinton Engine factory technician school.  We students were "drug over the coals".  On final exam day, we spent the first 3 hours on a written exam.  After lunch we were handed two pieces of Clinton powered equipment.  I was issued a chainsaw and outboard motor.  They both ran fine, but something was wrong with them only the examiner was aware of.  We had to tear them down, find out what was wrong, write down the part numbers needed, go to the factory parts crib to get the parts, re-assemble the equipment and take them outside and test them. 

I never went to another mfr's factory school, but other students said that, compared to Clinton's school, all they had to do was skate through Briggs & Stratton and Techumsa schools.

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: Playing Horseshoes
Amclaussen   2/28/2013 12:03:15 PM
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FINE!  You deserve the title of a "TRUE ENGINEER" because you used the proper tool to achieve that "magical touch" on the pipe straightener that probably took the old repairman an entire lifetime to develop.  I have an inexpensive (cheap) chinese dial indicator I bought at Harbor Freight tools. It has paid itself many times because by using it for many tasks (like properly finding the best disc brake rotor orientation).  It has saved me a lot of money. I even carry it with me when I go to a tool store, where it helps me find the one article with the straight shaft in ten or so (the other nine were not truly straight!).

Amclaussen
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The fixit mentality
Amclaussen   2/28/2013 12:13:51 PM
Exactly Ann! Unless we keep that excellent "Fixit" mentality and transmit it to comming generations, it will be completely lost soon.  Trashing any slightly damaged article is a despicable practice promoted by lazy and dumb people that justify themselves saying "I have enough money to pay for a new one".  Another thing to have in mind, is that many items that were fabricated years ago were better made in respect to robustness and better designed too, and deserve to be fixed.  The recent trend of intentionally designing for a short life and "throw away" mentality is consuming too much resources already, and recycling is not always completely "green" or efficient as prolonging useful life.

OLD_CURMUDGEON
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The fixit mentality
OLD_CURMUDGEON   2/28/2013 12:35:35 PM
The "Fix-it" culture is totally dead in this country.  I've maintained that position for decades.  And, the younger generations have NO interest in repairing anything.  They've been effectively indoctrinated by very cunning advertising that it IS more efficient to buy a newer, "more improved" product than to repair the existing one.

Try to explain the logic of repairing an item INSTEAD of landfilling that for a replacement to someone of this era.  It is a physical impossibility, BUT that same person will sport a "Green" bumper sticker on their vehicle......  Hypocracy to the nth degree!

I forgot about TECUMSEH small engines....... They were the parent company to CLINTON & POWER PRODUCTS brands......  The CLINTON logo was an old stylized Indian arrow head, and the TECUMSEH logo was a likeness of the Indian Chief, Tecumseh.  I remember exchanging several CLINTON engines on equipment back in the 1950s because the original engines just wore out in short time.  POWER PRODUCTS used to make a series of 2 stroke cycle engines.... found their way into the go-karting craze, along with MacCULLOCH & WEST BEND.

We put a WEST BEND 2 stroke cycle engine on a machine.  It was a replacement for another failed engine.  The crankshaft was so hard that it had to be sent to a special machine shop which could cut a keyway slot with special tools.  The local machine shop could not accommodate our needs.

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!  The good ol' days!!!!!

Ann R. Thryft
User Rank
Blogger
Re: The fixit mentality
Ann R. Thryft   2/28/2013 12:54:29 PM
NO RATINGS
I'm with you, OLD_CURMUDGEON. (BTW, my husband sometimes calls me a female curmudgeon, so I especially appreciate your handle).

bob from maine
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The fixit mentality
bob from maine   2/28/2013 1:43:56 PM
NO RATINGS
Fixing a bent crankshaft on a lawn mower which runs at 3600 RPM is a bad practice. I've seen what happens when tractor mounted mower blades make an unanticipated dash for freedom and the damage has been significant. Once a cast shaft has been bent and cold-straightened you have no idea whether a crack has developed or not. Magnaflux and penetrating dye require the motor be disassembled and once you are that far into it, it's easier and cheaper to just replace the motor. A replacement motor still supports the repair-not-replace philosophy, plus you don't need to spend months recovering.

Jack Rupert, PE
User Rank
Platinum
Re: The fixit mentality
Jack Rupert, PE   2/28/2013 1:55:45 PM
NO RATINGS
I was thinking the same thing, Bob.  Since this realtively high-end machine didn't have any protection, one wonders where else costs may have been taken out.  I would be a bit nervous about the shaft giving up the ghost and some other time...and not only the next time the blade meets a rock.

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