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Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 248
Widget Offline OP
Apprentice level 3
Hi all,

I was moving, hit something hard which caused mower to stop dead. Tried to start again, nothing. A few more pulls and I'd get a 'pop' sound like a backfire. Thinking somehow it was flooded, I removed the spark plug & pulled the cord a few times, no fuel spit, spins freely, no problem. I put the spark plug back in, similar deal. Kept pulling, occasionally it would try for a few seconds, then nothing. A few more pops. I inspected the underside, the cutter blade and shaft seem ok. I gave up and went inside.
One thing I did notice, sometimes when I pull, it felt hard at a certain point (but not always), almost like it was too much compression? But it only did that a couple of times.

I've had the mower stop suddenly many times when mower grass that was too thick, but always started back up again.

It's a chonda engine on a rockwell (yes, not a great mower, but, it's always started 1-2 pulls and has always been fine. I can't afford a mower, so will have to get this one fixed.)

Ideas ?

Membership information
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,670
Likes: 163
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hi Widget can't give you a definite answer but is it a bar blade? If so, I don't like the sound of it.
When you say you hit something hard, was it a clump of weeds/grass, was it a tree root our was it something hard like a fixed concrete structure like a step or other hard thing with no give?

Not restarting after stalling it instantly hitting something hard sounds like damage has occurred to some part of the engine structure itself.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi Widget and Mf

Sound like you have broken the flywheel key so now the timing is out causing the starter to kick back.

The motors usually have a flywheel shear key so if you get a sudden stop of the crank the key shears
thus preventing crankshaft damage.

I would also check the blade plate boss key on the crankshaft underneath the mower as that may have sheared
causing kick back on the starter.

There are lots of youtube videos showing how to repair these problems or ask here if you get stuck.



Cheers
Max.

Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 248
Widget Offline OP
Apprentice level 3
Originally Posted by Mowerfreak
Hi Widget can't give you a definite answer but is it a bar blade? If so, I don't like the sound of it.

Hi Mowerfreak. It is a blade bar, just like the one in the 2nd video max posted.

Originally Posted by Mowerfreak
When you say you hit something hard, was it a clump of weeds/grass, was it a tree root our was it something hard like a fixed concrete structure like a step or other hard thing with no give?

No grass, was a heavy metal object. I was mowing and didn't see the leg of it in the grass. Mower went over it and *whack* smirk

Originally Posted by Mowerfreak
Not restarting after stalling it instantly hitting something hard sounds like damage has occurred to some part of the engine structure itself.

Hopefully that's not the case lol. I did take the spark plug out and pull-started it a few times (thinking flooded). Seemed to spin around ok. Hopefully that means nothing's bent.


Originally Posted by maxwestern
Hi Widget and Mf

Sound like you have broken the flywheel key so now the timing is out causing the starter to kick back.

The motors usually have a flywheel shear key so if you get a sudden stop of the crank the key shears
thus preventing crankshaft damage.

I would also check the blade plate boss key on the crankshaft underneath the mower as that may have sheared
causing kick back on the starter.

Cheers
Max.

Thanks Max smile. Great videos, thank you. Hopefully it is as simple as a little key. I'll check them both out tomorrow.

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
One other important thing to note (not sure if its in the videos) is that the flywheel key must be an aluminium key. If you put a regular steel woodruff key, the shear strength will be higher than the bits its supposed to protect - meaning next time it will go bang.

Easy to clout things under thick grass - I hit a large chunk of concrete left protruding 10cm from the ground by a council road crew when they put in a footpath a few months ago with my slasher mower. Luckily no damage.

Took 2 more steps and fell down a 30cm deep hole.

Council didn't give 2 figs about the problem for a month until I used the word 'trip hazard'.

Or maybe it was my offer to jackhammer the offending chunk out of the footpath for them.

Either way, I need to brush cut it next time as I worked out they so kindly smashed the concrete chunk up and randomly littered it through for me to hit.

How good are councils

Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 248
Widget Offline OP
Apprentice level 3
update: Had a look today, and yep, Max was right, broken flywheel key. I removed the blade boss too, key is ok, but looks like the bar-blade and blade-boss have a dent in them. Took out a hammer to straighten a bit, but might have to look for a spare just in case.

(see attached pictures)

Had a quick look for the key, seem a bit pricey compared to B&S flywheels. I'll have to work out what model Honda this is a clone of and maybe search for that.

While I'm here, a spring came off the base of the mower (see pic). Anyone know what it's suppose to clip to ?

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Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
G'day Widget ,Mf and Tyler,

You could try ODK if you check the dimensions https://www.outdoorking.com/lawn-mo...oodruff-key-no.6-a02051-714-0365-7140365

A new Woodruff Key shouldn't be more than $5 . or try a local bearing shop .

Looks to be a steel key ,on a few occasions if i can't find the exact size key I just file down a slightly larger key until it fits .

The spring goes in the hole in the base but sometimes if the spring has no tension there is another hole in the height adjuster
bar , you just move the spring up to the next hole if the height linkage bar is multi drilled.

Cheers
Max

Attached Images
20211101_155941aa.jpg (69.13 KB, 147 downloads)
Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 248
Widget Offline OP
Apprentice level 3
Sorry for the late reply.

Thanks Max for the info, and spring location smile.

I had a look at the key, measurements are;

15.3mm tall
3.6mm thick
6.5mm wide

Based on those measurements (+/- for errors), I'd be looking at something like 4 x 6.5 x 16 mm (https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/183813241781?hash=item2acc1f7bb5:g:1xQAAOSw68Rc28Lf) ... though it does say hardened steel.

I did a quick search for a parts manual for the mower but could only see the user manual. Does anyone have an idea what clone this engine is from?

The key from ODK is certainly priced well, but I can't see the measurements, and the postage is a killer.

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi Widget and all,

Yes postage can sometimes make a cheap item expensive , I would try Repco ,Autobarn or Super Cheap Auto ,if they
won't sell one separately ask them if they know who will locally , try and get one slightly bigger and file
the key down if they don't have the right size or try a mower shop.

The half moon woodruff key is easily made from a bolt or thick washer or flat steel ,if you have
the tools (grinder and files) .

3.6mm thick is about the size of two 10 cent pieces ,too bad defacing coins is a $5000. fine,
otherwise they would file down nicely.

A lot of my mower keys are about 4.6 mm thick ,that's the thickness of two 20 cent coins.

Cheers
Max.

Attached Images
Key.jpg (97.1 KB, 117 downloads)
defacing coins is illegal.png (100.83 KB, 117 downloads)
Joined: Jul 2017
Posts: 151
Likes: 4
Apprentice level 2
Hi Widget,

Base on your given measurement, I can precisely calculate the exact diameter of the complete circle. The key is nearly close to half of the circle with diameter of exactly 15.5mm. You can use the Aldi trolley key for $2. Aldi key is 20mm diameter with only 3.1mm thickness. You can add 0.5mm brass or metal shim. See photo.

CM

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Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 248
Widget Offline OP
Apprentice level 3
Ended up getting one of these https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/323427094343?var=512489639032

$11.99 with an ebay coupon, hopefully one of those will do the trick, if not, I'm sure they will come in handy one day.

Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 248
Widget Offline OP
Apprentice level 3
So I got a new key, mower starts but ran poorly (and smoked). I ended up cleaning the carb and checking the spark gap. Now mower starts first pull, but 'fast' throttle sounds like it's 'idle' throttle. I was going to adjust the governor-arm, but noticed a small spring not connected. Anyone know where this goes (and possibly, if you have a diagram that shows what all those springs / levers do) ?

When I reconnected the throttle cable, I noticed the lever would pull the whole cable through, rather than the metal wire in the hosing. Inspecting the lever I see the silver-nub on the end of the cable keeps popping out of its designated slot. There was some resistance to the cable being there, almost like the cable was twisted and not where it should be. Anyone have an idea or diagram of how the throttle lever assembly should be? Even though it was working before the main issue, I have a feeling it wasn't installed correctly *head-scratch*

Google images I haven't managed to find one yet.

https://imgur.com/JkxT8gh

https://imgur.com/oqZyjRL

Attached Images
pieces.jpg (178.2 KB, 82 downloads)
spring.jpg (145.53 KB, 82 downloads)
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
Hi Widget

With the cable slipping ,you can just get a hose clamp and tighten the clamp around the handle bars and the cable
so the outer cable is now fixed to the handle bars ,I would lubricate the inside of cable first.

The spring fits as in pics below ,I would assume.

Fit the spring and see if that's better.

Cheers
Max

Attached Images
hose clamp - Google Search.png (31.56 KB, 63 downloads)
Mower Cable Lube.png (15.44 KB, 63 downloads)
Mower Spring.jpg (72.54 KB, 63 downloads)
Mower S Cable a.jpg (86.03 KB, 63 downloads)
spring 1a.jpg (145.59 KB, 59 downloads)
Joined: Jan 2015
Posts: 1,233
Likes: 32
Junior Technician
Hello Widget and Max,
When I have resistance in cables, I cut end off, take inner out ,straighten any bends, straighten outer, put together make new end bend.... and lubricate.
People bend cables when they fold down the hanldes to transport.....
The resistance always wrecks the plastic end lever..
cheers speedy


........................Keep your blades sharp......................
Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
G'day Speedy and Widget

Yes it's always a good idea to straighten a cable
If the bends have created resistance for the inner
Cable to move freely.

Nothing wrong with removing the cable to straighten but
I use a quicker way and bend the inner and outer cables straight by hand without removing the inner cable ,it just takes a little practice .

Sometimes I will put a slight bend in a cable if the vibration
Of the motor is making the throttle move by itself.

Cheers
Max.

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,082
Likes: 80
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
With regard to oiling cables, these little cable oilers are great.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/372208615286?

Only suggestion is get one with 2 tightener bolts - better seal.

I put my oil can nozzle on the port and within about 30 pumps its out the other end. Braided cables are quicker. 5 minute job

Joined: Sep 2015
Posts: 2,001
Likes: 137
SENIOR TECHNICIAN & HISTORIAN
That Cable Oiler does look a good idea Tyler, looks easier and quicker than using electrical tape on a funnel to
seal the funnel to the end of the cable.

Joined: Mar 2015
Posts: 248
Widget Offline OP
Apprentice level 3
Sorry for the delay replying. I hope everyone had a good Christmas and new year.

Originally Posted by maxwestern
Hi Widget

With the cable slipping ,you can just get a hose clamp and tighten the clamp around the handle bars and the cable
so the outer cable is now fixed to the handle bars ,I would lubricate the inside of cable first.

The spring fits as in pics below ,I would assume.

Fit the spring and see if that's better.

Cheers
Max

Thanks heaps for the suggestion and pics. Mower running good now. that little spring that was hanging must have been why mower wasn't revving high. Connected it back and runs good now. I'll try your suggestion with the clamp and see how that goes. I re-assembled the throttle lever differently, and seems to work better that way this time.


Originally Posted by speedy
When I have resistance in cables, I cut end off, take inner out ,straighten any bends, straighten outer, put together make new end bend.... and lubricate.
People bend cables when they fold down the hanldes to transport.....
The resistance always wrecks the plastic end lever..
cheers speedy

Thanks Speedy. The cable itself seems ok (mostly) I straightened a couple of bends, but the end kept popping out of the throttle housing. I noticed a small chip, which I think may have allowed the end to slip out, so I patch that with home-made ABS plastic putty. Seems ok, though I might use some tape or a clamp to secure the cable a bit better.



Originally Posted by Tyler
With regard to oiling cables, these little cable oilers are great.

https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/372208615286?

Only suggestion is get one with 2 tightener bolts - better seal.

I put my oil can nozzle on the port and within about 30 pumps its out the other end. Braided cables are quicker. 5 minute job

Hey Tyler, thanks for the suggestion. Never seen this before, I always just gave cables a little spray in the ends. Will certainly have to lube the cable properly next time.


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