Craftsman 4.5 HP Mower Loses Power Under Load - Page 2 - Lawn Mower Forums : Lawnmower Reviews, Repair, Pricing and Discussion Forum
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post #11 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 10:23 AM
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Nice work getting the Predator to fit. Could you cut the crankshaft to the correct length to make the motor sit flush to the deck? If no, maybe buy some thick black rubber weather stripping ( not sure how long it would last) and let the engine compress it to the mower. The space will have an effect on suction and clipping ejection.

Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.
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post #12 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-04-2019, 11:26 PM Thread Starter
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Hmmm...cutting the crankshaft might be an idea. I'll have to look at how deep the hole goes for the blade bolt. Any tips/tricks for cutting the crankshaft squarely (so the angle of the blade is minimally affected? Or does the blade adapter allow for some wiggle room that way (if that makes sense)?

The gap between the deck and the motor is odd to me. Wasn't expecting that. I can use weatherstripping, or I might see if I can find something else I have lying around.

Adam
Flathead Valley, MT


1982 Lawn Chief 11/36 rider
1993 Coast to Coast (MTD) 14/38 rider
2003 Snapper Hi-Vac S-P (216517B) w/Thatcherizer
2004 Craftsman pusher (917.388630) w/ 5.5 hp Predator

Other Machines in My Yard:
1974 Wizard (Gilson) tiller (project)
1977 Ariens Rocket V tiller (project)
1980 Ariens ST824 snowblower
1990s Toro CCR1000 snowblower

Previously Owned:
1990 & 1992 Snapper Hi-Vac S-P's
2006 White Outdoor (MTD) 18/42 rider
1996 Ranch King (MTD) 12/38 rider
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post #13 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 10:15 PM Thread Starter
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I went ahead and did some test mowing on Sunday. I can say that this Predator sure is quiet compared to the old Tecumseh, and it has more power (5.5 hp vs 4.5 hp, for whatever those numbers really are worth). It's also a lot easier to start, and I like having the ability to adjust the throttle speed on the new motor.

It cut cleanly and evenly in what grass was there, and didn't even slow down the motor at all. I'm trying to not overtax the motor with a heavy load during the break-in stage. I think I've run the new motor at least an hour by now, over the course of several days.

The cutting height is lower than I am used to (about 1/2 inch or so). I didn't hit any of the tree roots that I am used to avoiding, so that is something. I think I still have enough wiggle room on the wheel height that I may be able to get by without cutting the crankshaft. It's not something that I have done before, so I am less confident in my ability to do so and still have a decently level blade. I'll look more into cutting through a crankshaft and see what I feel like by spring. It's getting late enough in our mowing season here that I may not worry too much about it until next year.

Adam
Flathead Valley, MT


1982 Lawn Chief 11/36 rider
1993 Coast to Coast (MTD) 14/38 rider
2003 Snapper Hi-Vac S-P (216517B) w/Thatcherizer
2004 Craftsman pusher (917.388630) w/ 5.5 hp Predator

Other Machines in My Yard:
1974 Wizard (Gilson) tiller (project)
1977 Ariens Rocket V tiller (project)
1980 Ariens ST824 snowblower
1990s Toro CCR1000 snowblower

Previously Owned:
1990 & 1992 Snapper Hi-Vac S-P's
2006 White Outdoor (MTD) 18/42 rider
1996 Ranch King (MTD) 12/38 rider
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post #14 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-07-2019, 11:30 PM
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Sounds like a successful repower! Keep us posted...
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post #15 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 10:21 PM
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Have to say, that looks seriously boss!!

When I need to fill a gap like that, I cut up old inner tubes -- they work well as seals, and are extremely durable. If you need a thicker piece, just fold it over a time or two. (My first car had a couple layers of inner tube sealing the fuel pump bowl -- the 'correct' seal always began leaking after just a few months, but my homemade inner tube seal fixed it permanently.)

Could also use a piece of corkboard, cut to fit and glued down.

Instead of cutting the crankshaft -- how about putting bigger wheels on it, to hoist the whole affair up by an inch or so? I did that with a mower that came with punywheels and not enough clearance -- filched bigger ones from a dead mower, worked great.
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post #16 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-08-2019, 10:56 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reziac View Post
Have to say, that looks seriously boss!!

When I need to fill a gap like that, I cut up old inner tubes -- they work well as seals, and are extremely durable. If you need a thicker piece, just fold it over a time or two. (My first car had a couple layers of inner tube sealing the fuel pump bowl -- the 'correct' seal always began leaking after just a few months, but my homemade inner tube seal fixed it permanently.)

Could also use a piece of corkboard, cut to fit and glued down.

Instead of cutting the crankshaft -- how about putting bigger wheels on it, to hoist the whole affair up by an inch or so? I did that with a mower that came with punywheels and not enough clearance -- filched bigger ones from a dead mower, worked great.
These wheels aren't the original ones (which were a bit smaller), as one of the originals finally broke a couple years ago. Larger wheels shouldn't be difficult to find at the mower repair shop (if he hasn't purged his salvage yard yet for the fall). Or else, there's Amazon... I might still have some old motorcycle tire inner tubes lying around, too.

I forgot to mention in the last post that I noticed just how much heavier the Predator is than the old Tecumseh. It kind of throws off the balance I have been used to all these years, but I'll adjust to it.

I really like your ideas. Thanks for the input!

Adam
Flathead Valley, MT


1982 Lawn Chief 11/36 rider
1993 Coast to Coast (MTD) 14/38 rider
2003 Snapper Hi-Vac S-P (216517B) w/Thatcherizer
2004 Craftsman pusher (917.388630) w/ 5.5 hp Predator

Other Machines in My Yard:
1974 Wizard (Gilson) tiller (project)
1977 Ariens Rocket V tiller (project)
1980 Ariens ST824 snowblower
1990s Toro CCR1000 snowblower

Previously Owned:
1990 & 1992 Snapper Hi-Vac S-P's
2006 White Outdoor (MTD) 18/42 rider
1996 Ranch King (MTD) 12/38 rider
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post #17 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-09-2019, 04:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Geologist View Post
These wheels aren't the original ones (which were a bit smaller), as one of the originals finally broke a couple years ago. Larger wheels shouldn't be difficult to find at the mower repair shop (if he hasn't purged his salvage yard yet for the fall). Or else, there's Amazon... I might still have some old motorcycle tire inner tubes lying around, too.
Wait, a whole mower salvage yard? Now I'm jealous!

Ace Hardware carries wheels in a bunch of sizes, and I'd guess other home improvement stores do too. But I just got a pair of 12" Craftsman replacement wheels from a vendor on Walmart's site, for the stunning sum of $30 (about a third less than the next best I found, even for used on eBay). Better than new cuz they have ball-bearing hubs (really makes a difference in how easy the mower is to push) and are sturdier than the originals, too.

When you get done, the only original part left will be the deck.
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post #18 of 18 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 12:18 AM Thread Starter
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I went ahead and measured the wheels I put on a couple of years ago, only to find they were 6.5" wheels. The originals were 7"! I was looking at some 8" wheels at Harbor Freight, but when each wheel weighs 3 pounds, that adds a significant amount of weight to the mower that I didn't need.

To make a long story short, I reinstalled the original wheels (the cracked wheel isn't as bad as I remembered, so I went with it). This raised the blade enough to make it a good mowing height for what grass I still had growing the past week.

I went ahead and mowed and was happy with what I saw this past weekend. It has a good hour and a half of run time on the engine now, and I'll keep running it here and there over the next couple months for break-in. When the one cracked wheel finally gives out, I might just use one from Harbor Freight.

So, I think this project is done! I thank everyone for their help!
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Adam
Flathead Valley, MT


1982 Lawn Chief 11/36 rider
1993 Coast to Coast (MTD) 14/38 rider
2003 Snapper Hi-Vac S-P (216517B) w/Thatcherizer
2004 Craftsman pusher (917.388630) w/ 5.5 hp Predator

Other Machines in My Yard:
1974 Wizard (Gilson) tiller (project)
1977 Ariens Rocket V tiller (project)
1980 Ariens ST824 snowblower
1990s Toro CCR1000 snowblower

Previously Owned:
1990 & 1992 Snapper Hi-Vac S-P's
2006 White Outdoor (MTD) 18/42 rider
1996 Ranch King (MTD) 12/38 rider
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