I'm just glad that kudzu doesn't grow around here.
Since posting the above, I went waltzing with Mathilda (what I call the mower) and hit a dust mound, sending clouds of dust all over god's li'l green half-acre. This means that the intake air filter is clogged as all get-out, too, and I'll have to clean it again.
I've already prepped Mathilda with the usual oil change, spark plug maintenance and cleaning of air filter, but the plethora of burrowing animals 'round these parts means a plethora of dirt mounds, too, and there ya have it, friends & neighbors: a lot of air cleaner maintenance. I think I'll take my camera with me and post a mower maintenance mini-tutorial for everybody else who's cussin' and fussin' with it right about this time of year. Stay tuned.
In the meantime, I'm gonna post about me getting lucky tonight...
|Yup, friends & neighbors, that's a regulation 4-leaf clover.|
The one I found today placed next to the one I found a few days ago, pressed. Today's clover is going to get the same treatment.
Hey ladies, I picked up a good one on Facebook today. Enjoy--
|Don't even effin' think about it.|
|Dirt in the cylinder will sandpaper gouges into the cylinder walls and will jam in the piston rings; sandy dirt is particularly problematic in windy Oklahoma.|
Impressed yet, guys? How 'bout that--a woman small-engines mechanic. I've rebuilt bigger engines, though, fellas, and I can handle rebuilding carburetors. I also know guys who have no idea what a venturi is (without teh Google, that is), and it's not a model of automobile. I can deal with pneumatic (old fashioned vacuum advance, for instance) and hydraulics (auto brake and steering systems, for instance). Scale that up a few storeys of power plant machinery and you get valve position controls (pneumatic) and turbine controls (hydraulic)--so THERE.
The gasket area of the intake is carefully cleaned of crud while the paper plug is still in the throat, taking care that no crud gets on that paper, to sneak in when the paper's removed. Crud is then removed from the filter housing, top and bottom, and thoroughly. And then re-assembly takes place--
|Errrrrmmm...........lemme rephrase that......|
Now for the fun part--the oil change.
There's something about Mathilda that you need to know first. Bigger, pricier lawn mowers will have a tap on the underside of the crank case, plugged with a screw that has a head which accommodates a quad wrench (hex wrench = Allen wrench = 6 sided, so do the math and figure out what a quad wrench looks like). But bigger mowers--not even the bigger mulching mowers--will do what this li'l beauty does, and that's keeping the undercarriage relatively clean of clipping residue. It doesn't take much scraping to clean 'er up, and you need to do that to avoid rusting out the undercarriage quickly.
It also happens to be the case that Mathilda doesn't come with a crankcase oil drain tap either. You have to up-end the thing and drain the spent oil out of the spout you add oil in. With a brick for a prop and with the handle neatly folded, that's not as big a problem as it sounds, and let me tell you from experience--unless you have an impact quad wrench, you ain't getting that quad plug loose out of the crank case for love or money. It's a bitch and a half. So, all in all, Mathilda is a piece o cake, maintenance-wise. And I'm never interested in a mower that isn't a mulching mower, because my mower doubles as a bush-hogger. I expect that its mulcher capability is what keeps the undercarriage pretty clean, too.
|Mathilda's underside. No crankcase tap screw either.|
|The oil change takes place right here, believe it or don't. But since I already did the oil change, I don't have pics of that to share. The spent oil gets packed off to a recycling center, and it's done every year.|
|The guy who sold me that tool told me that it was a man tool. Well, if that thing ever had any balls, it certainly doesn't have any now.|