1947 Jacobsen Lawn King - Lawn Mower Forums : Lawnmower Reviews, Repair, Pricing and Discussion Forum
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-19-2010, 09:15 PM Thread Starter
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1947 Jacobsen Lawn King

Thought I'd share my recent addition.

This is a 1947 Jacobsen Lawn King side wheel mower and I had been looking for one of these specifically to go along with my Lawn Queen. One day I am going to completely restore it like I did with my LK, but for now I am enjoying it in it's original state.

I found it listed on CS who infact was the original owner of mower. It hadn't been used in 30 years and was sitting in a basement. The reason he quit using it was because it got to be too much mower for him to handle. I can believe it!

When I first got it, it had the engine was slightly seized from sitting, but it didn't take much at all to unseize it. The carburetor and gas tank were clean, so nothing needed to be done there. It had spark, but a weak spark (and did start briefly) so I installed a Nova II electronic igntion conversion kit. It ran great for about ten minutes this way, but then it died and lost spark completely. I bought an NOS coil last year for these engines, so I put that in it and now she's back up and running excellent now that it has a nice hot spark.

I degreased and took a lot of the mower as it was pretty darn greasy and dusty. I also replaced the rear caster assembly with a different style one that allows for further cutting height and raises the handle bar up to a more comfortable position. I also like the fact that it has a pnuematic tire so it goes well with the other two.

Speaking of tires, I replaced both of the drive ones as well because one was not taking air and was beyond repair due to dry rought.

Anyway, I'm more than thrilled to finally have own one of these and thought I'd share a little about it. Here is a video of it in action. You will also want to switch the video to 480P for the best quality if it isn't already at that setting.






These first few photos were taken the day I brought her home.































The mower that got me started into Jacobsens
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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-20-2010, 01:53 AM
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Thanks for sharing the photos and the video with the members here Austen!

I bet there were not too many overweight guys running those mowers for a living given the clip that they move along in drive.

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-22-2010, 07:23 PM
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Saw this on display at a local show a few weeks ago:




I have some more pictures to get posted to my website from that show and an old car show in June. Another tractor show coming up his weekend.

Mark - 2002 John Deere LT150H

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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-22-2010, 09:19 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark / Ohio View Post
Saw this on display at a local show a few weeks ago:




I have some more pictures to get posted to my website from that show and an old car show in June. Another tractor show coming up his weekend.
That's neat, looks like somebody fixed it up!

Looking forward to seeing your pictures, sounds like fun.

Last edited by Austen; 09-22-2010 at 09:21 PM.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-22-2010, 10:41 PM
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Yea, the only spots on it were some sprinkles of rain. Looked just like new. Makes me wonder though what happened to the rest of it. I assume it was probably on a real mower.

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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old 09-23-2010, 12:57 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
I assume it was probably on a real mower.
Yeah, it was definitely off an old reel mower. You can tell by the silver mounting plate it's sitting on.

It always kind of makes me sad in a way when people pull the engine off and scrap the mower.
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-14-2011, 04:53 PM Thread Starter
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Well it seems I can't leave well enough alone, or atleaste I thought I was done working on the Lawn King for a while.

I have a habit of sometimes pondering up ideas on how to improve my machines to a even better state than they already are even if there is nothing wrong with them, whether that be tastefully modifying or simply just detailing them. While trying to fall a sleep one night few a weeks ago, I was picturing myself mowing with the LK and thinking about how it mows a little on the fast side, just common nature for vintage reel mowers though. I remembered when I installed a smaller crankshaft pulley on my Lawn Queen a couple summers ago and how that slowed it down a little bit, but the Lawn King has sprockets, not pulleys. So after I got home from work the next day, I pulled the covers off her to count the teeth on the crankshaft sprocket so that I could do some research to see what my options were of what's out there that may or may not work for this application.

An 8 tooth sprocket it was, so after doing some research I found what I needed, a 41B7 sprocket. Now I didn't want to lower the gearing so much that it would be really slow and only be practical for like small yards and such, no, I still wanted to keep the integrity of the mower the same because after all it is a Lawn King and was designed to cut several acres a day and I didn't want to diminsion the nature of that. The idea was for it to be a little slower so that making turns while mowing and whatnot were more manageable and also so that you would not need to walk quite so fast behind it. Going one tooth smaller on a counter or crankshaft sprocket is approximately equal to going up 2.5 teeth on the big sprocket, bigger than two but not quite three. After reading the specifications for the 41B7 sprocket, I knew that it would need to be bored out because it comes with just a 3/8" min plain bore, plus it would need to be tapered slightly and a keeway made as well so that made things a little more complicated. BTW, the smallest size sprocket out there that I could find for a #41 chain that could possibly work for this application was a 41B6 (6 tooth) sprocket made by the same manufacture, but the face of the sprocket would've been simply too small for it to be bored to the needed size. After I recieved it in the mail, it was obvious that it was not wide enough to be bored out to the same size as the stock sprocket. I contemplated on a few different possible ways that it could be modified to fit such cutting the bore off of it and having a new bore made and welded on and also machining off the sprocket on the stock bore and welding on the smaller tooth sprocket, but I quickly decided against modifying the original for obvious reasons.

So long story short I ended up having to contact just about as many companies out there that I could find that specialize in making sprockets because they actually ended up just referring me to other companies instead because the job was 'simply too small' or 'they don't work anything this small'. Apparently the economy is flourishing yet. After I contacted the referred companies, I was basically told the samething that I was told before. But as they say, if there is determination, there is a way. I eventually found a local machine shop that would actually look at it to see if they could modify the 7 tooth some how, but they said that to bore out the face of the sprocket to the amount needed, it would not work so well with the hardening of the teeth and is really hard to bore once you get close. Most of the time teeth on sprockets are flame hardened for longer life and because of that, it's really hard to bore when you get close to them and you also do not want to weld near the teeth either which could weaken them. Interesting things that I learned and didn't already know. I also looked into having a new sprocket simply made to replicate the original, only with less teeth but the quotes that I got to do this were outrageous because most shops had large a minimum order amount, for example like $1300! So a short while went by and I recieved an email from one of the companies that I contacted (Kiesler Machine out of Indiana) in regards to making a whole new sprocket and they said that they could duplicate the original per my request of # of teeth for around $50! That is duable and worth it to me. I chatted with the gentleman this morning who sent me the email about it and went over everything to confirm that they can do it via the pictures and measurements I sent, so I mailed the stock sprocket out today to have them duplicate a new one. I decided to have them just make a 6 tooth sprocket instead because I'm not really sure how a 7 tooth would effect the speed of the mower that much. I mean I'm sure it would be a little bit noticable, but I do know that the 6 tooth which would equate to going up 5.5 teeth on the big sprocket will make a noticable difference in speed and for $50, I'd rather just do that.

You may be wondering by now after all of this why I didn't just get a bigger sprocket for the other end and that is because of clearence, a bigger sprocket simply wouldn't have been able to clear with the chain attached between the front and rear sides of the mower body among other things, so that was out of the question. See how close it is already?




Both sprockets together.


Measuring the bore from the front of the original 8 tooth sprocket. Keep in mind this is the small end of the tapered bore.


As you can see it would hardly be enough clearence there for it to be bored out with the keyway made as well and not too mention since it would need to be tapered at the end, it was out of the question.


While I was at it and it somewhat apart, I thought I would make a new crankcase cap bearing gasket (yeah, gotta make the gaskets 'cause you're not gonna' find new ones for one of these) as it had been leaking pretty bad. The perfect time for it as the sprocket had to come off anyway to take the cover off to access the seal. There was a small remain of what seemed to be second circular gasket inside the cover itself that appeared to seal the outside of the bearing to the innerside of the cap, however it does not show one being there in my parts diagram for some reason, but I made a new one for the location anyway.

So anyway, I'll update you guys once I get the new sprocket back and make a little video of it in action and you can compare the difference in speed versus my other videos of it. I will also need to shorten the chain I'm figuring atleaste a couple of links or more for the new sprocket as well.

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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old 02-16-2011, 09:02 PM
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Cool! Keep us posted Austen.

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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-28-2011, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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I call this update "A Sprocket Success!". Although there is a little bad news too (not sprocket related) when you get to the bottom.

After a long two and half weeks back in early February of waiting and wondering while the sprocket was sitting at the shop I mailed it to explained earier, they were not able to do it because they said it was not possible. The diameter of a 6 tooth sprocket is simply not big enough to be bored out to the needed size, so I was back to square one again for a little while because they didn't want to attempt modifying the 7 tooth so I needed to find somebody else to do the work. As I mentioned earlier, "if there is a will, there is a way."
If you're up for a little read about sprockets and how it was able to work, then continue onto the next paragraph.

An option that I had mentioned before which was also suggested by another member here was to machine the teeth off the original bore, cut off the bore of the new 7T sprocket, bore out it enough to fit and weld it on. I've kind of gone back and forth with that idea. If it was possible to do this (it would've been extremely close because the 7 tooth sprocket had just bairly enough center material on it to be bored that close), the chain would not have sat all the way on the sprocket since the teeth would be so close to the hub due to the large bore diameter which of course would cause the chain to skip. A notch on either side couldn't be made for the chain links to 'sit in' because there was very little material between the top of the bore and the keyway. After comparing measurements back and forth while trying to contemplate different ideas to get something to work, it finally occured to me that it might work if I installed the new 7 tooth sprocket backwards after it was bored out and cut to length. After taking some more measurements, it appeared that there would be just enough room for the sprocket to be bored out with a keyway made to fit over the tapered part of the crankshaft some of the way. My reasoning for having the sprocket on backwards was for two reasons; one this would allow the nut to hold it snug without it comming into contact with the chain as it would if it were on the front side and two, it would place the sprocket positioning in same location as stock for the chain to line up correctly. Pretty important!
I contacted Ellis (tiretrx) who is a master machinist that was up for doing the modifications to the sprocket. Finally somebody willing to do the work! Anyway, man did he ever do a teriffic job and everything literally turned out perfect sucess as can be! 10/10 for sure!! He sure know's what he is doing to say the least and I would highly recommend him for doing any machine work. It couldn't have been better, just take a look that pictures below how to see how precise everything is and how it had to be made. Thanks again for doing the work and keeping an old girl like this alive.

As I normally do with my updates, below are some pictures with more descriptions of the work done.


Here it is modified. He even went as far as polishing it up!


1.4CM bore.


I did have to dremel a bit on the inside of the sprocket as well as a tiny bit on the taper of the bore, but I totally 100% expected to do this. Just did a little tiny bit at a time until it slide right on right where I needed it to be and fitsI like factory. I was originally assuming that I would need to make a goove on the taper on the crank via a dremel wheel for the chain links to go into on the frontside, but to my surprise the chain fits all the way on the sprocket and does not rub at all! Nice!


As you can see, there is clearence between the nut and chain as I kind of explained about earlier. I changed the postion originally a couple of times of where the sprocket needed to be cut after further contimplation and measurements, so bless his heart for putting up with that, lol. Since the picture was taken, I put a lockwasher in there.


Here's a picture of the new decal I was talking about. It looks alright I think. I put a couple layers of clear over it for added protection which also helps it adhere better. I will take some more pics of it later on once I get the covers and everything back on so you can really see it.


Now I'm going to have to actually start lubricating the chain. Before when it had the leaky gasket, it pretty much acted like an automatic chain oiler, lol.

So far the bad news, you ask. Well it hasn't been ran since Christmas since I took it a part it soon after. I knew that this shouldn't be a problem, but then again something in the back of mind has just been floating around with a wondering if it wouldn't. Well after I got it all back together and you can only imagine the anticipation to fire it up and see what it was like to mow, it wouldn't fire, even a little. It was getting plenty of fuel flow, so I checked for spark and seemed to have a decent jump. I cleaned the spark plug which was a no go. I even put a brand new plug in it and nope, wouldn't even fire a little so I *you didn't just read this* sprayed a little starter fluid into the carb and it sputtered to life a little finally, but something was definitely wrong. It was/is doing the exact samething as my '49 Lawn Queen did several years ago before I replaced the igntion system in it which is rev really high then low simultaneously, have absolutely no throttle control/response whatsoever and be very hard to keep running. Not too mention, rub pig rich. I did however engage the drive a little bit at the times I did have it running and it moved A LOT slower than it ever did before, so I can definitely tell a difference with the smaller sprocket, although part of it is definitely due to the fact that it's not running right.

As you already know if you've been following the updates, I replaced all the stock igntion components with a Nova II kit and an NOS Wico coil and had great success with this combo until now. I guess it was a mistake to use the NOS Wico coil I had. I think I'm just going to start from scractch and buy a new Tecumseh igntion coil like the my other Jac has in it which has been more reliable than ever and maybe even a whole new Nova kit to like what I said before, start from scratch. I'll order up the parts this week as I want to use it soon for spring mowing comming up soon. I swear, this thing just seems to lovvve having me work on it.
Keep you guys updated...
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old 03-29-2011, 03:27 PM Thread Starter
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