Mower Madness

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Rex R

Apr 21, 2010
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had a problem with the gas tank cap on the push mower, it kept vibrating loose and popping off. did some web searching...the motor maker quit making that type of cap, so to replace the cap would run $55 for a new tank + $7 for the new cap + time to install. I went down to the local auto parts store and bought a replacement o-ring cost 85 cents.
Nice save. I had my keyway on my old craftsman riding mower get stripped when I hit a hidden rock. The local mower repair shop said they could replace the camshaft for $175 plus labor which brought the price up to around $300, well over 3/4 the price I paid for it. I went home and used JB weld and the mower last another 17 years.
When we bought our first house I got a mower for free from a neighbor of my Dad. Guy said something like "it just won't run, I have no idea what to do with it, if you can fix it you can have it."

Fuel filter, took about 5 minutes to fix...ran 10 more years. Needed some little thing fixed every year or so. Probably put a whole $8-10 in that thing over the years before it got to the really jacked-up not worth my time any more stage

On one hand, people who can't fix stuff (especially those who won't try) frustrate me, and on the hand I get useful free stuff. :)

Well done on your mower, that is money you can use for rockets.
I did have a 'plan b', duct tape to keep the cap from turning, looks like I won't need that for a while (touch wood).
I did have a 'plan b', duct tape to keep the cap from turning, looks like I won't need that for a while (touch wood).

Duct tape doesn't play well with petroleum. Maybe a removable rivet, sheet metal screw or wood screw would be better
thought of those, tank/cap design doesn't allow that w/o drilling through the side of the tank. tape would only have to stay in place between fills while I mowed.
My neighbor was very skilled with a welding setup... including knowing how to tig weld. He told me a story about a friend of his that managed to crack the body of his mower (likely by a rock or something bouncing around under there because he hadn't FOD walked carefully enough before beginning to mow). They Assumed that it was aluminum, the neighbor offered to weld it. Small problem... it wasn't aluminum. The moment that he started welding it, it caught fire with a blinding bright light.

Apparently the mower was made from magnesium. I was told that it burned a deep hole in the concrete.
I've used string on a couple old push mower tanks when I mowed yards for rocket money when I was a kid (hey...when did I grow up???).
The cap never came loose while running the engine. But them 6 to 8 block hikes between yards it would vibrate off and I'd have to run back and find it.
I guess our streets were rougher than what the engine ran.