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Discussion Starter #1
Looking at CL everyday can be a good thing, if you're into collecting old lawn mowers. I saw this one listed the other day, and after taking a look at it, brought it home. My wife wonders about me sometimes, well maybe all the time, but hey, they don't make em' like this anymore.

It's a Jacobsen Lawn King, 26" reel mower, serial 1226-4916, which makes it a 1949. It looks to be 99.9% complete. There are some issues here and there, but I'll have issues when I turn 61 too.

Now to get the heater in the garage stoked up and do some de-greasing.
 

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Neat looking shroud on that machine. Looks like the grills of tractors of that era, doesn't it?
They are neat. They were designed to resemble an old farm tractor.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks to great direction from Austen, I ordered a Nova II electronic ignition and it arrived today. I already had the flywheel off, so I was part of the way towards installing the Nova II. The old Wico points and condenser came off easily, and I just used the existing holes for them to install the Nova II under the flywheel. The whole process took about 20 minutes. After installing the new kit, I reassembled the flywheel and recoil, gave it a spin and was rewarded with a nice bright spark! I'd shot plenty of lube into the cylinder earlier to make sure things would move easily as I worked on the mower, so, I gave one short burst of starter fluid into the carb adaptor, gave it another tug, and the old guy burbled nicely until the fluid was gone.

Now to clean out some more goo from the gas tank, and I'll see how the old Jake runs.

Sometimes the simple things are the best.:)
 

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.... I gave one short burst of starter fluid into the carb adaptor, gave it another tug, and the old guy burbled nicely until the fluid was gone....
Cool!! :cool: Wonder how many years it has been since it last burbled? :D

I should probably switch my little Jake over to a module while they are available. I had some points trouble years ago and the replacement part went on back order never to arrive. Somehow I manged to get it back running and still does OK most of the time. Don't really recall how I fixed it now but I know sooner or later.... :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter #9
That little Nova II was certainly worth it.

So far as how long it's been, no body knows, but it sure is fun when they show that first sign of life, isn't it? I swear, it's as if these old mowers want to run again.

I wonder if anybody has ever done a study to determine how long it takes for a gas and oil mix to turn into a paste like goo on the bottom of a gas tank. Sort of a lawn mower carbon dating system.
 

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O.K., I went out and swirled the cleaner around in the gas tank a few more times and dumped out what was loose. I put everything back on the old boy, part because it needed to go back on, part so I won't loose things before spring when I can get back to serious clean up.

I poured some gas into it and gave it a go. It sputtered on the first pull, and started on the second pull!

Just had to make a video to share. This is literally the third pull on the recoil after putting gas into it. Who knows when it ran last, but golly, isn't it neat?
 

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Congratulations! :cool:

Now if there were only a few blades of grass not covered by snow you'd be all set. :D

Jake really had a great little engine during that era. Mine gets run once in the Spring and sometimes Fall each year and I always mix in a touch of fresh fuel with some stabilizer. So some of the gas in it could be several years old. As long as it flows through the carb they don't seem too picky what they burn compared to modern day engines. Dad and I too am guilty of it, run it for years at home and as a trimmer on my grandparents farm by pouring some motor oil in the tank after filling it with straight gas then giving it a good shake. We was too cheap to buy a dedicated can for mixed fuel. :rolleyes: Only real negative result was the need to clean out the muffler ports and spark plug more often. The last 20 years it's been served official 2-cycle oil. The purchase of a chainsaw and string trimmer also made the purchase of a dedicated mixed fuel tank worthwhile. :D As I recall I've only had the carb apart once about 20 years ago. Dad bought the mower used in 1965.
 

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Yeah, I bet you're itching to try it out next spring to see how she cuts!:)

they don't seem too picky what they burn compared to modern day engines.
Nah, they're only picky when the stock ignition components aren't working, or producing sufficient spark.:rolleyes:
 

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Thanks for sharing your great restoration! That's a work of art. I'll keep the electronic ignition in mind for my next project.
Hope everyone had a wonderful holiday, and a Happy New Year!
 
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Just do you not love it when you plan something and it goes together and works on the first try. Great to see that old timer running again.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
Sure do! A friend stopped by yesterday, so I took him out to the garage to show him the Jake. Probably about 20°, or so, and it started and ran on the second pull. I'm telling you, life is good, and I'm sold on that Nova II ignition!
 
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