Friday, July 28, 2006


"Old Smokey" rides again!

My lawn mower is an old two stroke LawnBoy. When I say old, it's at least 20 years old and for the first 5 years, it mowed 7 yards a week. I don't know how old that makes it in lawn mower years. Since it's a two stroke, I have to mix oil in the gas. The recommended mixture is 32:1, so I mix 4 ozs in a gallon of gas. I really mix 4 ozs to .95 gallons of gas to make it run a little rich. It is cheaper to buy spark plugs than lawn mowers, but that makes it smoke a little more than normal. Because of it's age, it really smokes a lot more than it did in it's younger years. Due to the exhaust fumes, Petie and Chris call my lawn mower "Old Smokey".

I really dread when "Old Smokey" goes to that big repair shop in the sky. It's a perfect mower for me and my yard. "Old Smokey" is very light, very maneuverable and not self propelled, it is a push mower. LawnBoy no longer makes the two strokers so I cannot replace "old Smokey". I have been manually stopping it because the kill switch lever was stuck. The carburetor is also leaking a little so you have to shut off the gas supply after mowing or all the gas will leak out. In case someone needs to use "Old Smokey" to mow the yard when I am sidelined for about a month after hip replacement, I decided I needed to at least fix the mower shut off mechanism. So I took off the gas tank to get to the part that shorts out to the block to kill the engine. I cleaned it off good with improvement. Sharon saw what I was doing and told me the problem was in the cable at the pushing handle. Of course she was right. When I put it back together it didn't run right but the kill switch did work. It was barely running at idle speed. I was really worried about "old Smokey". Was this the end? I was starting to tear up. Today, I went to several repair shops to ask about getting "old Smokey's" carburetor overhauled. I know the gas leak it due to an aging gasket in the carburetor. I went to Watson's repair first and they told me $50.00 plus parts and they could get to it in 4 to 6 weeks. So I went to another shop on Hwy 6. They must have had a 100 mowers in the shop to be repaired or had been repaired. The guy told me I had probably just put the governor in a bind when I put it back together. So I took off the parts and reinstalled. "Old Smokey" appears to be running at pre kill switch problem speed. I will find out next Tuesday. I will probably get the carburetor overhauled after the mowing season to try and get another decade out of her. I know she uses three times as much gas as she used to, and that probably accounts for the excess exhaust fumes. The end for mowers is when you no longer have good compresson when you pull the starting cord, otherwise, they can always be fixed.

There is a special bond between me and "old Smokey". We are both way past our prime and don't function too well anymore. I have replaced all four of her well worn out wheels. But "Old Smokey" wants to get out there one more time to give it a go, knowing all too well the scrap heap is just around the next problem.

Aw, glad to hear that old Smokey is possibly ok and to hear that Chris or I may get to have a spin with her again. Be sure to save us a clean mask to wear!
I remember mowing a few yards with Old Smokey until my grass allergies gave me a reprieve.
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