Monday, June 6, 2011

our free 1978 lawn mower - up & running!

Last fall a friend of my husband's gave us an old beat up ride-on lawn mower that he and friends had been using around the valley for the last 30 years or so. When we got it, it was running, but the pto that ran the mower blades wasn't working. Not being very mechanically inclined, neither my husband or I knew what to do next, so the mower sat in the garage until this past week.

My parents visited last week and over the weekend, and of the many things that my Dad helped us out with, the lawn mower was likely the most exciting! He is very handy, and was able, with the help of an electrical circuit tester, to figure out that the problem wasn't that serious, the on/off switch on the dash for the pto wasn't working - simple fix once we bought another switch from the Napa store in town.

Under my dad's guidance, my husband and I helped to change the oil, put a new air filter in, pump up the tires, use a wire brush to clean the spark plugs off, use a grease gun to put more grease in the front axle and tires, and put on a new battery clamp.
We didn't buy a new battery, instead using one my husband had lying around from his boat motor. We strapped it on tight, and filled the gas tank, and off my husband went, mowing the ridiculously long grass/weeds in all of our fields.
Of course, a few hours later, while my dad and I were down in the lower field putting the new grease gun to use on the old hand-me-down disc system we got from a neighbor for discing our lower field, he came driving back up to the garage. The mower had all of a sudden stopped cutting grass! After letting the machine cool down while we worked on other things inside, my dad and my husband went back out to the garage and checked all the circuits again. Nothing to explain why the pto wasn't turning on.
They had been worried it was the pto switch, or the on/off switch again. But after some trial and error, they realized it was the boat battery - it wasn't putting out enough power to run the pto. So by using the Jeep battery in the mower, it worked again! My husband went back to mowing, happy as a clam :)

Last evening, he was at it again after work, trying to get all the grass mowed before it starts raining again. The Jeep battery is going strong. Of course, the Jeep is now sitting at the edge of the field, unable to be moved back into the garage without it's battery!

It's pretty exciting to have the mower running; for the past 2 summers we have been using a push mower to try to battle the weeds, so having a 42 inch deck on a ride-on mower is really a time- and back-saver!

I'm joining up to the homestead barn hop today. Head on over to see what is going on on homestead's all over the place!


  1. WTG on getting it running. Around here we don't care how old something is as long as it works!

  2. Congrats on finding use for someone else's throwaway. I love restoration projects!

  3. AWESOME! My hubby is handy too, and he'd have loved to take on this project. Great job!!!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...