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Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Saw this on the side of the road on the way to an appointment, so couldn't stop to investigate.
It was still there on the way back. I'm still assessing it's condition. I've cleaned the snorkel which was filthy, tapped out the air filter and given the carby throat a clean with a rag.

This looks to be a higher tier machine with the comfort handles and snorkel. Front tires are bald and the axle flops up and down quite a bit. Base is good though.

Help! I keep finding magnetron Briggs!!

Too good to leave behind.

Attached Images
IMG_20220406_202707_copy_960x542.jpg (54.35 KB, 95 downloads)

Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,477
Likes: 147
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
MF, I look at that and immediately figure $7 in ally scrap. Sorry looks good and those vertical pull motors are not too bad usually

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
NormK thanks for the guide. I'll know what to accept from the scrap merchant should I go that route.
These old school Briggs are the last of a breed and are a fun machine to use.

Many people like them.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,090
Likes: 81
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Good find MF

It would be about a 1985 Rover Wayfarer - I know because I have an identical one.

I paid $20 for it in a bundle of a couple 2 strokes, was going to toss it but rewound the starter and put fuel in and it ran so well I couldn't bear tossing it.

Had to put in a new lower main, and all the usual suspects but its a good mower. Mine hasn't got the snorkel on at the moment as I put the down corrugated tube somewhere and I couldn't find it when I did all the work on it - so I threw on a foam filter... of course I found it soon after.

In case you haven't guessed, these had chrome hubcaps - the red ones look lairish haha

One thing to note when you go to start it - mine point blank refuses to start with throttle on run (as per vacujet instructions). pull all day, it wont go. Pull once at full throttle, put back to idle and give it a pull and it goes nearly every time.

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Hopefully mine will just require fuel to go.
I like the red wheel covers with the pine green.

I knew it'd still be there! If it was a Victa anything, I probably wouldn't have seen it the first time!
If only the passers by knew how good these are.

A hidden gem.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I managed to start it up but throttle control is pretty non existent. Revs hard or off. Sounds clapped out making a tapping noise. Four blades are cactus. All round a tired machine.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,090
Likes: 81
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Probably a stuck governor vane and has been run that way for too long.

I would at least pull the cowl off and check the governor moves very freely - I have had to remove the flag and file a bit off the bottom of the bolt hole to stop it bottoming out on the coil (plastic expands with age). Check the throttle butterfly moves freely - could just be a buggered spring

Was the tapping from the loose axles? Or rod knock tap

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Tyler, I'll have a look. Definitely an engine noise. Nothing too serious sounding, just not the typical noise, like it's worn somewhere from high hours.

I might mow my lawn with it if I can get the revs under control. The blades will still cut, they just won't send the clippings into the catcher well.

Throttle feels very stiff and creaky. Don't know whether it's the cable or the butterfly end . Probably both.
Another job for my 3 in 1 oil.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,090
Likes: 81
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
There is probably something under the cowling responsible for it

As the rover cables have no plastic sheath on the throttle cable, they do pack full of gunk. If you take it off and soak it in petrol for a while, then relube it will help. but try 3 in 1 first

Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 7,477
Likes: 147
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
All my cables I oil, hang the cable up and wait for it to drip out the other end

Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,090
Likes: 81
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Here a photo of my one MF, used it tonight, started first kick in the idle position.

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IMG_20220409_181629_HDR.jpg (133.52 KB, 57 downloads)
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Chrome wheels do look nice with that. I notice yours has the green label on the engine. Mine may have had a transplant at some stage. I can see the foam element cleaner and knobs instead of quick release handles as mine has.

Pulled off the engine cover and found the flag moved fairly freely but could feel binding a bit. I sprayed lubricant (see below) on the pivot points of the linkages as well as the throttle cable and where the flag pivots. Moved much better after.
I found by just wetting the outside of the throttle cable, the lube seeped through and resulted in much smoother throttle operation.

Have to wait until the morning to test. Don't want to make enemies around here lol.

Attached Images
IMG_20220409_231604_copy_564x1000.jpg (56.51 KB, 51 downloads)

Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,090
Likes: 81
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Your handle is original - mine didn't come with any handle locks they are just what I put on, likewise it had a snorkel

How far is the idle screw screwed in?

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
There's an idle screw??

Will have to check in the morning (or afternoon if I sleep in like today).

I examined the front axle points on the base and the left hand one is badly worn with hairline fractures.
Good to know that isn't confined to Victa 2 strokes.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Throttle control is now fine and it idles ok, maybe a bit fast but I've heard worse. It starts real easy. Better than my Super Swift and other Rover I recently found.

Engine is making a clear tapping sound so one of the valves needs looking at. Is it possible to refit the existing head gasket or do I need to buy another?

It is useable presuming I'm not slowly damaging the engine, as the noise doesn't bother me.

I used it to mulch up leaves on the lawn. It did a good job of dispatching umbrella tree leaves. I hope their sap doesn't poison the grass.

This would make a good paddock basher mower for running over vegetation.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,090
Likes: 81
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Mine is predominatly a verge mower MF

There is an idle screw -on the throttle butterfly - has a spring under the head.

Depending on cond, reuse head gasket


Hows the oil, if thin that could be the tapping but I would dare say big end

Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I would love to remove the sound but not prepared to tear down this motor. Even if I did, what am I going to do with it? It mulches leaves fine and the body is rickety around the axle.

Could always do a Wayfarer incident...yeah nah!!


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Feb 2006
Posts: 4,675
Likes: 164
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
I was planning on using it to chop up leaves on the lawn but you have to lower the base to the point you're nearly scalping the lawn, in order to get them all.
The Briggs Tornado I found recently seems to suck them up off the ground with the height adjuster high, thanks to the fins on the mulching disc which must create a vacuuming effect.

So what to do with the Wayfarer? Crook blades, worn axle cradles, tapping from the motor? I need to reduce mower count. Parting this easy to start and still quite strong motor is it.


Ahh, if only victa had kept producing the thumblatch catcher series, they would be in better shape today!
Joined: Jul 2018
Posts: 2,090
Likes: 81
SENIOR TECHNICIAN
Probably best to part it if you are reducing count MF. A new pair of blades would improve vacuuming of course but unless you want another mower, its probably easier to scrap https://www.supercheapauto.com.au/p....html#q=rover&lang=en_AU&start=2


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