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RIP Free Mower

Wednesday, August 19th, 2009

Back in 2006 I acquired a lawnmower from my neighbor who was throwing it out. It ran great for years, but it finally died.

A few weeks ago I started mowing and at the end of my first pass in the side yard I heard a really loud clack and a few other loud noises like I hit a big rock or something. I didn't think anything of it until I moved the mower and didn't see a rock or anything that would cause that noise. At the same time the mower seemed to be slowing down; not like it ran out of gas, which is quick, but very slowly. When it finally stopped I looked at the blade but didn't see any damage, so I pulled the cord and the engine just spun freely (blade and all).

I think the loud noise was the connecting rod snapping and the other noises were pieces of it bouncing around the inside of the motor wreaking havoc. According to Wikipedia, broken connecting rods are one of the most common causes of catastrophic engine failure.

I ended up getting a replacement mower on Craigslist a few days later from a guy in town with an almost identical engine. Same horsepower and cutting size but newer. The new one also weighs significantly less and is much easier to maneuver!

And the best part is the new mower gets way better gas mileage than the old one. I used to fill the old one before starting the back yard and then again before starting the front yard. This one can do the back and front twice before needing a refill! The tank is also the same size.

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