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Small fish in a big pond

1422 Views 7 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Mark / Ohio
Hi all! I have recently inherited my grandfathers Whirlwind power mower (Model No. 4W4-941) and I am stoked to get it running. I can't begin to tell you the feelings I have thinking of my Pop running "big red" around his yard, it seamed much bigger as a kid. It has sat for over 20 years in my grandparents barn. My Pop ran the tank dry the last time it ran(some 20+ years ago) so I believe it is in good condition minus the cracked belts. It seams to have good compression. If anyone knows anything I should look for prior to fire'n it up please let me know since I am a novice with vintage mowers. I think it was made around 1950. Can anyone point me in the right direction to find replacement belts? Its great to be surrounded by pro's. Talk to you soon
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Here is a picture of her

It is a 24"


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First off Welcome to MLF! Nice to have you. We would love to see some pictures of the Whirlwind.

Some things you want to do before you fire up ol' girl is check and change the oil, it probably has moisture in it from sitting.
Make sure the gas tank is clean. Even though your grandfather ran it out gas the tank would still have some in it. I'm sure its all dried up now but it could leave a gum or varnish behind leaving passages clogged.
Make sure the fuel lines are not dry rotted or cracked or you will have a dangerous mess on your hands.
You could pull and check the spark plug.
Visually inspect the wires for mice/rat damage, they like to chew the spark plug wires.:dunno:
Be prepared for leaks everywhere due to gaskets/O-rings and anything rubber dry rotting from age and lack of lubrication.

When she does fire up you want to put a little seafoam in the gas tank to help clean the carb out

Be careful with the pull cord as it might break on you....ask me how I know....:bag: (If it has one)

Most of all, have fun and don't let it overwhelm you! Take your time and address the issues one at a time as they present themselves. You have a nice piece of family history there so enjoy it!

I feel like Oprah.....:sorry:
Very Important! Also confirm this is a 4 stroke (Separate gas and oil) or a two stroke engine (Do you need to mix the gas and oil before you put it in the mower?) Otherwise you could burn up your engine.
Let us know how it goes!
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That's a cool mower! Take your time with her!
Thanks for all the pointers, I will post my progress once I get started on her:cool
:welcome: to the site, Little Dipper!

That is one very cool and unique machine that you've inherited! I love stories like this, it makes the machine and experience all that more meaningful. Keep it in your family and don't ever get rid of it. :cool:

Bruce provided some great tips on what to do and check for to get it running again. Regarding belts, I would take them into a lawnmower shop and see how far you get with them in terms of having them ordered or maybe just maybe, they might have one or two in stock of the right size. I would also try and locate any part #'s that might still be on the original belts if they are legible.

It is really neat that it has the sulky to go along with it as well. Definitely keep us posted and if it at all possible, a video would be awesome! :cool
Thanks Austen.

I will continue to post as I work to get her back on the lawn:D
Welcome to the forum and thanks for sharing the photo! One tough looking mower. :cool
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