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buying a lawn mower - advice please

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  1. #1
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Default buying a lawn mower - advice please

    I know this question bears no relationship at all to wood working but I haven't been able to find advice elsewhere...

    For the first time I am living somewhere that I have a lawn to mow and its starting to get quite long so I need to mow it before the landloard notices. I've decided not to pay someone to mow my lawn because I'm short on cash. For the same reason I've decided to buy second hand. At this stage it looks like it will be a standard 2-stroke (walk behind) motor mower.

    I'm really not sure on a couple of things though:

    1) As I'm looking through the trading post and weekend shopper at prices how should I pick which ones to call about? Mainly it comes to prices I guess - how do I know which are reasonable? If I want to spend not too much more than $100 should I still be able to pick up something decent?

    2) When I go to look at a mower what things should I be checking for?

    (I did used to mow the lawn for my grandparents in high school so I know how to start and push a mower... but really nothing else. My grandfather used to look after the maintenance of the mower and there would always be fuel in it when I arrived.)

    I would really appreciate any advice anyone can offer. Also, if you know any good websites for this kind of thing please let me know.

    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Burnsy's Avatar
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    Default

    The better it looks then generally the less work it has done. Check the blades, if they are in good order then this is also an indicator, starts easy, that always helps. Buy a name brand - Victor etc. Look at the person who is selling it's lawn and general house, if it is neat and tidy then chances are they have looked after the mower. Generally speaking though, blades can easilly be replaced and if it starts, stops, runs well and has all the bits it should you shold be happy. Check ebay for you area, you will be surprised what you can find, not many people look there for mowers. I bought a brand new never started MTD slasher last week for $200 off ebay.

  3. #3
    Mr Sexy Beast dazzler's Avatar
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    Hey

    If you are buying second hand then I would stick with just one brand..

    Victa

    and make it a

    Two stroke

    When you look at it pay attention to rust or lifting enamel or powdercoat on the body and underneath.

    Get them to start it up and then turn the fuel tap off so that it runs for a couple of minutes and then stops. Turn the fuel back on, set the throttle to start and it should start with on or two pulls on the starter cord.

    If it doesnt start then factor in a new plug, new float and needle for the carby and a new air filter. Prob $20 max and get this off the price. Easy to talk through online how to fit the needle and float.

    Good luck.
    I just love sheepies!

  4. #4
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    Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
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    Default

    A half decent mower should start within three pulls of the cord, I have a 1974 victa mustang 2-stroke still starts within three pulls, all I have ever done to it is replace the plug (about 3 times) and blades, So with the great run I had with her I recently thought I might buy a new mustand 4-stroke, big mistake, dam thing keeps choking up and fouling the plug, the housings channel is too narrow so if the grass is slightly moist will chock itself up, less power than the old one, many other problems, It now sits at the back of the shed collecting dust, while the old one is still in constant use.
    Anyhow after all that rambling I believe that honda is the way to go if you can pick one up cheap enough, most of the mowing business's use them.
    Hen

  5. #5
    Apprentice (new member)
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    Thanks for the advice

    I went out and got a mower on Sunday - so far I'm happy but haven't actually mowed the yard yet.

    I read up about 2 & 4 stroke and decided on 2 as there's a steep slope between the footpath and the fence that I'll need to mow & there was plenty of warnings on websites about 4 stroke mowers having oil tip out of the well on slopes.

    I then checked out the prices in the weekend shopper and saw that there were plenty for around $100 - anything significantly less said something like "needs attention" or "needs minor repairs". So, then I made a list of 2 strokes in my area to call about (most advertised were victas).

    So, first place I called was this retired fella who explained that he reconditions mowers to keep himself busy - went to have a look. The mower looked quite old but started 1st go. He showed me how to look after it, pointed out that there's no rust on the body, told me the oil/fuel ratio I needed and warned me that the only thing that might go wrong is the spark plug might need replacing at some time.

    I also asked if he does repairs & services & he said yes. So I asked if I could hang onto his number & he said I was welcome. So, I felt pretty good about the sale 'cause if something does go wrong early in the piece he'll remember me and might sort it out free or cheap.

  6. #6
    Mr Sexy Beast dazzler's Avatar
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    I just love sheepies!

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