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 I bought a new lawnmower in the Spring

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wildcat445

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Join date : 2014-08-16

PostSubject: I bought a new lawnmower in the Spring   2017-08-12, 5:24 pm

I decided that pushing the lawnmower was getting too hard for me, so we bought a self-propelled one.  I got a Snapper from Walmart, which is a re-badged Murray.  It has a Briggs and Stratton "7.25 Series" EX engine on it.  This is one of the new OHV, "Just check and add" engines that took the place of the ubiquitous Quantum flathead that Briggs had built for nearly 40 years.  I had received excellent service from my two Quantum powered mowers and was hesitant to buy something unfamiliar to me and one you could not change the oil on.  It turns out that both of those fears were unfounded.

I actually considered buying an electric mower.  I rented one to see if I would like it.  On my fairly un-level lawn, with my grass as thick as it is, and considering that I use a bagger on my front lawn, the electric one I rented was just not up to the task.  It was a Black and Decker rechargeable model.  I decided then to just get another Briggs-powered gas model and move on. 

This new mower is identical to the one I have in AZ only it is self-propelled.  Same engine.  I found by reading the extremely small print in the engine manual, that Briggs actually recommends changing the oil every 50 hours using synthetic oil.  Only under "normal" operating conditions do they recommend not changing the oil.  If I mow when it is hot, or it is dusty, or off-road, then the oil should be changed.  10W30 synthetic oil is recommended.  The oil that was supplied with the mower was regular old 30 weight Briggs-branded oil like they have sent out with new engines for eons.  30 weight regular oil is not recommended for use in the engine.  I am told that the sub-standard oil is a "retailer" price point specification, to save money apparently.  The oil can be changed by first running the engine out of fuel, tipping the mower on it side, and draining the oil out the dipstick tube, after removing said dipstick.  Not much worse a procedure than changing the oil from the bottom like in the good old days.  I got oil everywhere, just like before.

I really like how the new OHV engines run.  Smooth, quiet and more power than I ever need.  The absolutely only gripe I have is that this mower does not like wet grass when using the bagger.  My John Deere would not clog if you mowed in a downpour.  This mower does not like crabgrass or wet ryegrass.  The one in AZ is the same.  Starts on the first pull every time, just like the old Quantums. 

I'd recommend the mower I got to whomever would need a self-propelled mower and does not want to spend a fortune.  IIRC, this was $296.00 plus tax.  My opinion is the new OHV EX series is a worthy successor to the Quantum.  The plastic carburetor is designed so you can take it apart, and if you are careful, can reuse the seals.  Kind of a neat feature considering the fuel quality in some parts of the country.  Just take the carb off, take it apart and blow the junk out.  You are good to go.  Instead of a gasket sealing the bowl, it has an o-ring.  I'm not a fan of plastic carburetors, but these seem easy to service if and when it needs to be done.

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19&41

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Join date : 2014-08-19

PostSubject: Re: I bought a new lawnmower in the Spring   2017-08-13, 11:49 am

If you were going to store the mower for any length of time, it is just as well that you didn't get a rechargeable.  Their batteries have to be constantly exercised or they fail.  Hauling around the power source for the mower is a minus as well.  It sounds like the carb might also be nice to allow for winterization, having it empty and clean.  Good luck with it.  I saw this looking on Craigslist this morning.  Interesting, but I'd have to take the lottery first.  [You must be registered and logged in to see this link.]

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wildcat445

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Join date : 2014-08-16

PostSubject: Re: I bought a new lawnmower in the Spring   2017-08-13, 2:23 pm

Briggs uses leaner fuel ratios, better cooling, engine designed so cooling fans do not become clogged with grass and better air filters and the use of synthetic oil which allows them to advertise their "Just check and add" feature.  Time will tell how many premature engine failures this will create.  The biggest failure we see at the store are people not putting oil in when they buy a new mower.  Or buying to to clean off a lot with weeds a foot high then bringing it back claiming that it will not run.

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MEZLAW

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Join date : 2012-10-28

PostSubject: Re: I bought a new lawnmower in the Spring   2017-08-13, 8:03 pm

A couple of things I've noticed with the newer engines;

a) needle valves are gone leaving no adjustment and much easier clogging.  STA-BIL is now necessary for winter storage.

B) Overhead valves require adjusting in order to prevent hard starting due to too much compression.
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wildcat445

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Join date : 2014-08-16

PostSubject: Re: I bought a new lawnmower in the Spring   2017-08-14, 7:02 pm

The only problem I've had is the valve covers leak.  There is no gasket from the factory.  Not even silicone.  I make gaskets and put just a touch of silicone on them and that seems to take care of it.  I have not done my newest one yet, but I did the one in AZ when it was just over a year old.  I run Sta-Bil in every drop of gas I burn in small engines.  That way I don't forget which one is treated.  You are absolutely right about using Sta-Bil for storage.

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