It’s that time of year again for my lawn mower tune up…wait, what am I talking about? I have never tuned up my lawn mower, or any lawn mower for that matter. Gee, I wonder why they all seem to run like crap after a few years.
My current lawn mower has a Briggs & Stratton engine. It currently doesn’t run that well. It revs and then loses power, then revs and then loses power. Kind of like … bbbbrrrrmmmm …. nothing …. bbbbrrrrmmmm …. nothing, etc…
I stopped by the local small engine repair shop the other day and talked to the guy. I asked him how much it would be for a tune up. He said, “$70 and under.” I thought this was a little much to tune up a lawn mower that I paid $135 for about 3 years ago. I asked what that included and he told me: spark plug, air filter, sharpening of the blade and an oil change. C’mon, even a cave man could do that. I thought there was some secret stuff they do. I guess not. I told him what was happening and he quickly replied, “You need to rebuild the carburetor.” Hmmm…makes sense, but the carburetor only has a few parts in it (I know because I took it apart on numerous occasions). What the heck could you possibly “rebuild” in the carburetor?
I thought to myself, “If this is going to cost any more than $50, I am just going to get a new lawn mower.” I felt guilty though, because the mower still has shiny paint and it would be a sin to throw it away. Actually, I would just leave it in front of the house and a neighbor would take it as a nice addition to their junk pile in the back yard.
With that guilty feeling, I started taking things apart this morning. I pulled off the carburetor and the gas tank. I separated the two and discovered a small wrinkle in the edge of the carburetor diaphragm.
I pulled the diaphragm loose to see what’s underneath…just a spring. I knew this might be the problem with the poor running performance of this lawn mower, so I started looking through various websites. I found the parts manual for this mower at http://www.briggspowershop.com. You have to put your model number (on this mower, found on the front housing) in their Engine Model Number Guide and you can print out a .pdf file.
By the way, you should be thanking me for this…it took a while.
The print out has all the engine parts you might need for this engine. I found the parts I wanted and added the first one to the shopping cart. Not in stock. Ok, on to the next site. I found a nice parts lookup feature at Lawn Cutters Equipment Sales & Service. I entered the part numbers in the lookup feature and they all seem to be in stock. I orded them and hopefully they will be here within the week.
So, for the exciting part…what did I order? Well, I was just going to order the Carburetor Diaphrarm (495770) and the Intake Manifold Seal O Ring (270344S). They were about $6 total. Then I got a bright idea. How much for the whole carburetor? Well, as it turns out, the Carburetor (697415) is only $18, so I skipped the other parts and purchased this. It has all that I need included.
I am also ordering the Foam Air Filter Cleaner (698369). With shipping, the order came up to under $30. Not bad. Now I have to pick up a spark plug (Champion RJ19LM) some engine oil and have the blade sharpened. I will put it all back together and let you know how it goes.
I am quite excited.