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Discussion Starter #42
Fired up the 'ol girl today to run her a bit as it's been a few months. She's always been a easy starter at one or two pulls.

I decided to clean up the shot glass as it was starting to yellow a bit on the bottom. The hanger didn't turn out too bad either.

I love this old mower. :)







 

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When I was a kid in the 60s my father had a Hahn-Eclipse - I think it was a Rocket. I remember the chassis was a Cat yellow with a white Briggs engine. I remember being impressed that it had wooden rollers, as I had never thought of wood as a material you could make rollers from. I had forgotten about my mom's rolling pin.

But I think this was the first mower I used - a beast that did a nice job. I didn't appreciate the quality of the construction at that time, though. I figured all mowers were like this. But.. needle bearings?? Holy cow.

Beautiful machines.
 
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Discussion Starter #45 (Edited)
When I was a kid in the 60s my father had a Hahn-Eclipse - I think it was a Rocket. I remember the chassis was a Cat yellow with a white Briggs engine. I remember being impressed that it had wooden rollers, as I had never thought of wood as a material you could make rollers from. I had forgotten about my mom's rolling pin.

But I think this was the first mower I used - a beast that did a nice job. I didn't appreciate the quality of the construction at that time, though. I figured all mowers were like this. But.. needle bearings?? Holy cow.

Beautiful machines.
Thanks for the reply!

That's a neat story, it sounds like you remember your father's Hahn-Eclipse vividly. You're right, the wooden rollers on the back of many of the old reel mowers are just like the type Mom uses for cooking in the kitchen!

Back then, you're right, there wasn't much to compare the quality to because most of this type of thing was built with such a high regard to long lasting durability. Today, you can you really compare the workmanship and quality of a machine that was built back in the day to a new machine of today which carries a much different design.
 

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:ditto: It's too bad that so many mowers today are built with subpar materials and workmanship. I guess that makes it more of a challenge for lawnmower fans to find something to be excited about.:2cents:
 

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Discussion Starter #47
I guess that makes it more of a challenge for lawnmower fans to find something to be excited about.:2cents:
Totally agree.
 

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Discussion Starter #48 (Edited)
2-Year Anniversary



Two years ago today the Speedway arrived from it's trek cross-country from Colorado. What an exciting day it was to see it in person for the first time and put those perspectives into reality.

Took her out for a little ride today and capture a few shots. What a beast.

Probably over next winter once I'm done with the tractor project for a while, I'm going to go through it replace the ignition coil. It's a common symptom on these 14r6's to lose spark in the upper rpm's and act as if it's carb issue. While the symptom is in its early stages it, it's something that I want to get done to keep it running as well as it can.

Cheap Fix
 

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Discussion Starter #50 (Edited)



If the original pics in this thread aren't showing up, download the "Photobucket Fix" extension add-on to your browser.

---

I haven't done much with the Speedway the past couple of years due to an issue that arose the last time I used it.


At the tail end of summer, 2015, I was doing an end of the season mow with it and noticed the reel did not disengage when I was finished. I thought maybe the clutch had come out of adjustment but no adjustment or tweak made any difference to make it stop spinning. After further inspection, I had noticed something disheartening. I found a crack in the frame structure (see above) and the two pieces you see were flexing back forth basically causing the clutch to be engaged & disengaged constantly. At this point I knew the mower would have to come apart to be fixed and I didn't want to run it any further this way so I have not really ran it much since then.

I had kept putting this project off and began having the guilts of putting it off long enough so in early August I took it to a few welding shops for some estimates; in fact, I re-installed the license plate it came with when I got it and I drove it to the shops since it goes almost as fast as car- okay, not really. :rolleyes: I'm not a welder or know much about it but I learned that welding cast iron is a tedious process due a particular heating & cooling process that's required and something that is usually done by a cast iron welding specialist. Further, most places don't want to mess with this kind of thing either, usually. Anyway, one of the shops noticed the top rotating shaft that connects the two clutches together was not 100% true and a little out of round when it spun. To be honest, it was something I had noticed but didn't notice at the same time. I have no experience with any other Speedway and since the mower had always worked fine prior to the breakage, I didn't really think much of it other it was due to some wear. They said that they could weld the crack but it would only be a matter of time before it cracked again due the bent shaft that was putting stress in that area basically trying to rip the two pieces apart. So, that meant the mower didn't just have to come apart, it really had to come apart because the shaft had to be sent out to a machine shop to be straightened.


I emailed my Eclipse friend and historian, Louis, explaining the situation to see what he had to say. He replied back with the photo diagram above showing me one his Speedways that had a crack in the very same exact location where mine broke. This was somewhat of a relief I guess you could say because the breakage was not something particular to mine. It would appear that this could be a weak spot on the these machines. Nevertheless, it does not however explain how the shaft got bent on mine. One theory was that a wheel may have come into contact with something at some point in its life (like a wall) instantly locking it up but I don't see how that could bend the shaft due to an open diff. Anyway, the crack is repaired and the shaft it now straightened so both pieces are repaired.



Since it was going to be apart, I decided in my usual way to do some other improvements and enhancements to it at the same time.

Here's the run down:



  • Lengthen yoke on handle
The handle on the Speedway sits very low even at the highest notch because it's meant primarily for riding behind. It's sort of reversed thinking, but when you raise the cutting height the mower and bed knife sort of pivot making the handle lower when use raise it and vice versa. Since I have the cutting height nearly set all the way up it means the handle sits even lower. The problem was that the handle nearly rested right on my knees which was uncomfortable riding on the sulky and further, I like to sometimes walk behind it too but I'd have to reach down really far to control it which was just as uncomfortable. As a temporary solution, I had used a couple little brackets to extend it up but it was really only temporary. The right fix was to weld an extension onto the yoke with like material so that it could be raised up a little more on a lower mounting hole. I had an extension of 1.75" welded onto it.



  • Degrease, Buff and Polish!

There were some areas that were still greasy where I couldn't get to before like behind the wheels.




  • Straighten Waves on Rim Edges

The rims had a few spots where they had come into contact with surfaces creating some waves. The edges of the rims are actually quite exposed because the factory tires themselves are skinny and aren't wide enough to overlap to the edges of the rims so it's something you to have to keep in mind while maneuvering it around obstacles. I took the rims down to a professional wheel repair shop where they straightened the bends and gave the lips a light resurfacing all the way around. Much better.

  • New Inner Tubes in Drive Wheels



  • Caster Wheel Bearing Replacements
When working on something vintage it's not uncommon to find projects snowballing into things you weren't expecting to have to get into. When I took the caster wheel off I found it was stiff and didn't want to roll without effort. With the new bearings, it's a night and day difference in the way it turns.



  • New Grass Clipping Flaps
The replica ones I had made before were out of some of this cruddy plastic-type rubber that were not very good as they had very little give to them and lost their shape immediately after the caster wheel swiveled around them once. These ones are real rubber and stay straight and a don't lose their shape by the swivel of the caster.



  • Recreate the Timken Bearing Decal Using "Click it and Stick it"
I thought it might be fun to have this one recreated. They did an excellent job right down to the dimensions!



  • New Series ID Decal/Tag and Stamp in Series Number "1403"
I had found a stamp set in the garage which was pretty cool so I was able to stamp the original series number on the replacement tag.

  • New "Eclipse" Decal
Admittedly, this decal placement is not original to the mower. When I had purchased one of these to add to the back of the sulky, the seller included a second one for free and after looking at some of the dead space in this area, I thought it might look kind of sharp there so I threw it on for fun. I think it works.

  • Install proper heat range spark plug
The engine had a stumble before when you'd rev it up quickly. I attributed it to the common 14R6 coil issue. It turned the auto parts store gave me a spark plug that was two heat ranges colder when I first got the mower and did the initial tune "up" (which was more of a tune "down" considering the outcome). With the proper heat range plug, it throttles up like a champ now and runs awesome. Until the coil dies, I'll keep the original, otherwise there's no question a new coil would've made the list of improvements here.

  • Replace Sediment Bowl Gasket
The original cork gasket was slowly crumbling away and mixing in with the fuel.

  • Change Fluids

  • Adjust Reel and Clutches While Apart













The next best place to mow when you don't have any more grass to cut is at business parks. :tango_face_glasses:
 

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Glad you were able to find someone to make the main welding repair on it! :ThumbUp: Also agree was a good time to catch the other odds and ends while it was apart. Looks like it all turned out great! :tango_face_glasses:
 

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Nice work Austen! Glad you fixed her right, now go on some burns!
 
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Discussion Starter #53
Thanks guys.
 
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