24" Jacobsen Estate lives to mow another day - Lawn Mower Forums : Lawnmower Reviews, Repair, Pricing and Discussion Forum
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 04:26 PM Thread Starter
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24" Jacobsen Estate lives to mow another day

Sorry, this ended up being long...

In a previous thread Austen picked up this 1957 24" Jacobsen Estate reel mower with a sulkey that he wanted. Austen was kind enough to give the mower to me to try to get it running again.

As Austen said this mower was "stiff". It was also missing a front gaurd that had broken off. About a week later the original owner found the guard and I went to pick it up. I little bit of tig welding later it was back where it belonged and the mower had all of its parts together again.

First I needed to see if I could get the motor running. The pull start cord is actually a steel cable. The old one had been broken and brazed back together and was very short. I sanded off some of the broken cable ends so they would not stick out. I tried pulling the engine over a few times but had no spark. I dug down and cleaned the points and got spark again.

I pulled the fuel tank and carburetor. Both of the butterflies were gummed up solid and took a while to get moving again. I reassembled the carb and gave the motor a few pulls until the pull start cable broke near the brazed joint. I replaced the entire pull start cable with a stainless steel cable that I had at my work which had the proper ball end on one side. I fabricated a stop for the other end.

A couple more carburetor cleaning and trials to see if it would run resulted in it stumbling for a while but would not continue running reliably.

I threatened the carburetor with replacing it and actually started to modify a Honda gcv160 carb which has a very similar bolt pattern, but is slightly wider.

I also pulled off the reed plate and made a new gasket for both sides of it. The original glass type fuel filter would not stop leaking so it was replaced. I eventually replaced the hard fuelline with a rubber fuel line.

After modifying the Honda carb, I tried one last time to start the engine with the original carb. This time the engine decided to run.

I could get the engine to run and idle fairly decently but the clutch likes to squeal.

When I engage the clutch with the reel disengaged the mower would self propel forward nicely at any engine rpm.

When I engaged the reel, the engine had to be at full rpm to not stall the engine. Something was tight in the reel (as Austen said "this mower is stiff").

I loosened up the bed knife with the same result of the engine dying when the clutch engages at anything but full rpm. I pulled the reel and bed knife from the mower frame. Both of the bearings were packed with old, stiff grease. One bearing was basically frozen. I cleaned both of the bearings as best as I could with lacquer thinner. One of the bearings was still really stiff to rotate. Until I knew the mower would function, cut and I like it, I was hesitant to spend $25 for each bearing. I ended up using lacquer thinner, rust remover and small stainless welding filler metal to loosen and scrape everything out of the bearing to get it moving in a reasonable manner. (I should replace these bearings in the future.)

I sharpened the reel and bed knife. Put everything back together. Back lapped and adjusted the reel.

Here are a couple of pictures of it after my first mowing. It has some dust on it and is missing the covers from the chains and from the clutch.

Everything seemed to work reasonably well.
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 06:17 PM
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You can't beat the feeling you get when you get one of these old beauties running again, can you. Kind of neat how she seemed to sense that you were about to put a modern carb on her. Put up a video of it running sometime if you would. We all appreciate the sound and sight of a 2 stroke Jake.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 08:27 PM
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I love it when old iron gets a new lease on life.



Don Evans

I thought I had G.A.S. under control. I was Gravely mistaken.
1963 L8 - Under reconstruction M 96599, M# G-5451
1972 816
1973 C - Parts tractor S/N 88418
1973 C8 - Current workhorse
1983 5200 - Current workhorse
30" Quick hitch mower
30" 106 mower
MA-210
48" plow blade
Restored Estate Sulky
Restored Standard Sulky
Restored Lawn Roller
Pull behind dump cart
Chain guard for the 30" mower
Rotary plow
Wish list 3/4's of a mile long
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 09:27 PM
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Thanks for the update! Wow, you've really gone all through it!!
Nice work all the way.

It sure looks good. The stripes look awesome!

Glad to hear you were able to resurrect her and like Bruce said, a video would be really fun!

Keep us posted!

"We donít look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." - 2 Corinthians 4:18 1958 Eclipse 32" Speedway l Restored Eclipse Sulky l 1947 Jacobsen 26" Lawn King Jacobsen 36-A Sulky Restored 1949 Jacobsen 20" Lawn Queen l Honda HRB215 l 1977 Economy Tractor l 1971 Bolens 1886-01
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 11:15 PM Thread Starter
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What is the way to take a video on my phone and post it?
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-24-2015, 11:35 PM
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I usually just upload videos directly from my phone to my YouTube channel.

If you don't have a YouTube account, a lot of photo hosting sites like Photobucket support videos too. You just have to make sure the video is set to public.

"We donít look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever." - 2 Corinthians 4:18 1958 Eclipse 32" Speedway l Restored Eclipse Sulky l 1947 Jacobsen 26" Lawn King Jacobsen 36-A Sulky Restored 1949 Jacobsen 20" Lawn Queen l Honda HRB215 l 1977 Economy Tractor l 1971 Bolens 1886-01
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 06-25-2015, 06:41 AM
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Those huge roller tires look super trick.

The Youtube app works pretty well on my phone, but I've never had any luck with the Photobucket one for anything.
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