You know, those FUCK MY LIFE moments?
I haz ’em, frequently.
After going round with The Wifely Unit about this mower I picked up yesterday, I went and picked up a new Drive Belt for the Self Propelled feature.
The old one was obviously pretty worn.
No biggie, I got on Ye Olde Youtube and saw that it was a pretty straight forward thing that I should be able to knock right out.
For the most part, it was.
There was a little fucking around involved but not too bad.
There is a belt guard up underneath you have to take off after you get the blade off to get the belt over the engine shaft.
While I had the blade off I stuck it in the vise and gave it a quick sharpening.
There’s some pretty good sized dings and chips in it but those are cheap and plentiful.
It all went pretty good, the “New and Improved” belt that was an update turned out to be a little on the tight side but I got it on there.
That led to me discovering that there are only 3 bolts holding the engine to the deck when I went to put the belt guard back on and that the engine had pivoted on the one remaining bolt while I was fighting to get the belt on.
I pried it back and finished up.
I set the thing back down, yanked on the cord, it fired right up and when I gave just a little pull on the handle that engages the front drive wheels they took right off like they should.
Then I figured while I had the jack stands and shit out I would pick it up and drain the oil out. Again, not too bad with just the usual amount of fucking around.
Put the drain plug in, set it back on the ground, filled it with some 30 wt. oil, double checked the level and then gave it a yank to start it.
So I gave it another yank with the same results.
I have started that thing at least 7 or 8 times and it always started on the first pull.
This thing has a Briggs and Stratton engine on it with some EZ-Start system on it that I have never heard of but there is no damn choke on the thing. No stupid little Red Primer Bulb either.
After triple checking the oil level, making sure there was fresh gas in it and yanking on the bitch until I’m pretty sure I hurt my shoulder, I gave up in disgust and hit the Internet.
Not much on the Youtube for this exact model with this problem for some reason and come to find out, it’s been around a long damned time.
I fiddle fucked with it, took the covers off, tried Starting Fluid and just about everything I could think of. When I pulled the plug it was wet.
I have, AT LEAST 5, BRAND NEW spark plugs for the old Briggs and Strattons stashed away and not one of those fuckers matched this one.
I sat down to take a break, curse mightily under my breath and have a smoke while I pondered life and these little miseries. Pretty soon here comes The Wifely Unit and it was Game On.
She asked what was up, I explained what was going on and the flood gates opened up.
I asked her in her infinite wisdom to explain to me how draining and refilling the oil would cause it not to start.
She had to go to the store, I got back on the internets and found an article from a guy who had the problem of the thing starting fine cold but not starting after it got hot.
Down in the bowels of this Q&A article I discover they came out with an updated spark plug for these models.
I checked mine and it was the old one. I called up to my parts house, they didn’t have that plug in the Champion brand but they had the NGK brand.
I’ll take 2 I says.
She gets back from the store, I run up and get the plugs, come home and stick one in, say a quick prayer to the Saints of Internal Combustion, give the bastard a yank and it fired right up.
Why it fouled the plug picking it up to change the oil but not to change the belt will forever remain a mystery.
I threw everything back together, fired it back up and went around the whole yard again.
It ain’t all that and a bag of chips but it beat the shit out of having to push the damn thing.
The front wheels like to spin a lot, if a back wheel hits a rut you gotta push it to get it going, same with starting off going up hill.
I managed to do the whole yard without having to stop and take a breather.
That my friends, is Mission Accomplished.
The fact that I just mowed it a few days ago made it easier I’m sure but it’s still miles ahead of having to push one all the way around.
I got done, came in the house and announced my success and then immediately told her it’s better but it still ain’t a Rider and that is coming. Of course that started the whole argument over again with her declaring that we don’t need a Riding Mower because the yard isn’t that big. I countered by pointing out the old guy across the streets yard is smaller than ours and he has one and once again, when you start mowing the fucking lawn, you can get whatever you want to do it with.
In the mean time I am going to start watching Craigslist for any FREE riding lawn mowers that don’t need complete overhauls and bide my time.