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Jacobsen Bantam 18"

4209 Views 8 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Austen
Is anybody familiar with the Jacobsen Bantam 18" reel mower? I'm looking at one and the gas tank is off to one side next to the engine. Did they have the pressurized fuel system that some Jakes had? Also, what was the color scheme on these mowers. This one has a blue handle, and blue on the wheels. I've seen one other one in pictures, and it has a blue handle also, while the rest of the mower is the Jacobsen orange.

Thanks in advance for any information anybody has.
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If the tank is mounted on the mower deck, then yes, it would be a crankcase pressurized fuel system.

I have seen a some photos of different Jacobsen Bantam's over the years, and I remember a couple of them having odd color schemes that you mention. I remember wondering at the time if that was originally how they were painted from factory because obviously most Jac products were painted pure orange back in the day. My guess is that since a few of these models have been seen to have a different color scheme that is how how they were painted, atleaste for a certain time period.

You should also be able to tell if the paint is original or not. Scrape a little off in a inconspicuous spot and see if there is orange underneath.
Here is a picture of an 18" Bantam with what appears to be a yellow handle,

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There's a manual on ebay for the Bantam. At the bottom there is mention of the Johnston Mower Company, a subsidiary of Jacobsen, so maybe they painted theirs differently.

Now I've got the "wish I'd taken it" thing going on.
At the bottom there is mention of the Johnston Mower Company, a subsidiary of Jacobsen, so maybe they painted theirs differently.
I think you're right, I was thinking that too.
Most people have buyer's remorse, but I had un-buyer's remorse, and wished that I had taken the Bantam when I took the Edge-R-Trim. It got the better of me, so I went back today and picked up the little Bantam.

It has some different features. Much of it is made of pressed steel, so it was probably an economy line for Jacobsen. It's definitely the lightest of the reel mowers I have. The drive appears to be activated by lifting the handle, which then allows spring tension to move a wheel against the belt, tightening it up and making things whirl under the engine's power.

I thought that the fuel system might be the pressure feed like some Jacobsen's had, but looking at it more, that doesn't seem to be the case. Though the tank sits below the carb, it still has a vented gas cap, and there is only one line running from the tank to the carb. The carb itself has what appears to be a reed just under the air filter that must act somehow to aid in creating a vacuum to suck the gas up into the carb. There is no bowl or float on this carb. The inside of the tank, and no doubt the fuel line is going to have a good cleaning.

So far as color, it looks like the wheels and handle were originally light blue, while the rest of the mower was the Jacobsen orange. Somebody must have had some green laying around that they sprayed on the handle on this one.

Surprisingly it has spark, but this one is going to have to wait until warmer weather to work on it.

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Congrats on the new mower!! That is a neat one!

I thought for sure that it would have been a crankcase pressurized system since the tank is mounted on the mower deck. Kind of interesting they did it that way without just mouting it on top like usual.

You sure don't see too many of that model, that is really cool. Thanks for posting the pics and keep us updated on it!
Jacobsen Bantam

I have a Bantam and check posts from time to time, as I haven't seen another one until here, today

Picked mine up at a junk shop for $10.00 about 7 years ago. It had been outside forever. Cleaned it up and it runs great. Gas is gravity feed so it tends to run out of gas on hills!


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:welcome: to the site!!

Nice machine!! Wow, that's really a neat find! :cool

I like how most of the paint is still intact, especially the decal which you can make out very clearly is awesome. These old Jacobsens sure have a personality of their own and if you can appreciate it, they are quite a bit of fun to use.

That's great you got it running and everything! :) It looks like it has been well preserved. That particular fuel setup is definitely a bit unusual! I have heard they are a bit of pain to get working properly (if they are not already) so that's great your's isn't giving you any trouble.

You can look up the year of it here if you don't already know via it's serial #: Hit & Miss Model's Jacobsen serial number lookup for products made before 1975

Definitely keep us updated on your new gem! :cool

P.S., if you are not already, consider running SAE 30 weight non-detergent oil vs. the modern 2 stroke oil of today. Fuel mixture is 16:1 unless otherwise stated on the machine. These plain bronze bearing engines were designed to run on that type of oil and more specfically, need the lubrication that it provides over the thinner 2 stroke oil of modern day. Sure, it will smoke a little more, but your engine will thank you for it and you'll have peace of mind knowing that you're not prematuraely wearing the motor. ;)
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