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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thought my friend and I were the only strange ones that are into old lawn mowers until I found this site. :) I have two Toro walk behind mowers, one my Grandpa bought in 1983 that I used to mow lawns with at the age of 11 and a 1984 two stroke that I bought after Grandpa got tired of me using his mower all summer. I still use the 1983 2-3 times a week all year long mowing grass or shredding leaves in the fall/winter. She still runs great and looks pretty good but winter plans call for new rings, a valve job and a carb rebuild. The power is down a little and it burns a small amount of oil. I can't complain after nearly 30 years of constant use. Here is a bad pic:
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The next is my 1984 Toro two stroke that I bought at the age of 12 for $500. This is the one that I plan to resore this winter but I'm having problems finding a few parts. The muffler cover is dented and I want to replace it. Also the air filter housing needs to be replaced. I've searched e-bay from time-to-time but some of the prices seem way out of line. Any tips on those items? Next, I need the stickers for the control panel or a good used control panel with good stickers. A few years ago I bought the Toro sticker but it is black and not red and the large sticker is no longer available. Again, any ideas? I plan to strip the mower down, have the deck powder coated, the handle rechromed, the carb rebuilt, bleach the wheels and paint/coat everything else in an all out effort to get it looking like it did when I bought it when I was a kid.
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As I said, I'm looking for new or good used parts so please let me know if you can help. Thanks:)
 

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:welcome: to MLF!

Cool machines, thanks for sharing your stories with them and also the plans that you have for them as well! :) What a testimony for Toro quality! You and your family should be proud keeping them going for that long.

I would try posting a want ad for the parts that you're looking for on CL and continually keep your eye out on Ebay for decent deals in the meantime. Eventually you'll come across what you need one way or the other, just let people know what you're looking for an often times they'll be able to refer you onto someone else that does or have another idea.

Regarding decals, I might contact Toro directly and see if they can provide you with a kit, or, part #'s to the decals individually if you can purchase them that way instead.

Anyway, thanks for the introduction and photos! Definitely keep us posted on your projects.
 

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Welcome to MTF! We look forward to seeing the progress you make on these TOROs. Yes there are a bunch of us mower enthusiasts that have quit a passion for old iron! Check out the forums and you'll see what I mean. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Any tips on getting the black plastic to look new again? Years of sun and gas have taken their toll on it. And I need reproduction stickers as the NOS ones are long gone. And speaking of stickers, what are they made of? I was thinking the other day how well they have held up to years of use, washing and even gas spilled on them, yet they have stuck like they were painted on! Pretty amazing really.
 

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Besides the usual Black Magic and other plastic protectors (Armor***) I heard of people using used motor oil. I've tried it and it actually holds up pretty good. You may have to clean the dead plastic off if its really dried out from the sun though. Other methods are sanding in stages from rough to fine and polishing the parts if its hard rigid plastic that is molded in a solid color. If its a flimsy shroud or cover, that may not work. I'm sure there are plenty of ideas out there as well as products to use. A lot has to do with trial and error. Hopefully not so much error :)
 

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"I thought my friend and I were the only strange ones that are into old lawn mowers until I found this site."


Yes, you're among friends here.:cool You have a couple of excellent Toros there. I'm looking forward to seeing your progress.
 

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Any tips on getting the black plastic to look new again? Years of sun and gas have taken their toll on it. And I need reproduction stickers as the NOS ones are long gone. And speaking of stickers, what are they made of? I was thinking the other day how well they have held up to years of use, washing and even gas spilled on them, yet they have stuck like they were painted on! Pretty amazing really.
This is from the forum next door ....

Lawn Boy Commercial Orange Plastic Fuel Tank Renewal - MyTractorForum.com - The Friendliest Tractor Forum and Best Place for Tractor Information

As far as decals , see if you can find a local print shop that will reproduce them ... there are copyright issues , but we won't tell .... :dunno:
 

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I read that one along time ago and forgot about it. Have you tried this technique yet? If so, were you successful?
I have not tried it only because my only restorations thus far have been bricktops (all metal) , but a few of my friends have done it very successfully . I do have a tank that I may do , just to see how it works .
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Just a little update: A guy I work with tinkers with mowers and I asked if he happened to have any old Toros and told him what I was needing. He said he would check and get back to me. Turns out he had an '84 just like mine with all the parts I need! I paid $100 for the mower but plan to swap my not-so-perfect parts for the good parts and sell the mower, hopefully to break even. The control panel is mint and I plan I can get it to a sticker shop and have a few made before I put it back together for the restoration. It also has a couple other good decals that I hope to take pics of and have made as well. The plastic transmission cover is good and not cracked, the muffler cover is awesome, the breather box is awesome, and the pull cord cover is nice too. The only thing wrong with the mower is that the deck is cracked and a huge amount of paint it gone from the front. Can't wait to get started on the resto now and be ready for spring. My buddy suggested we see which mower has the most compression and build off of that. I'm torn because the engine is the heart of the mower and If I change everything but the deck, is it REALLY my old mower? I know I'm getting a little anal here but I want to restore MY mower back to the condition it was when I bought it new. But if the other engine is better...............
 

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That will be a tough one to decide! You plan on making some repro-stickers for future projects or to sell?
We look forward to seeing the progress on this project and as always....:pics: !
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
If there is interest and I actually get them made I would be more than happy to sell a few. I will post pics tomorrow. I have some on my new phone but have yet to figure out how to post them with it.:sorry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
A coworker told me his sister owns a sign shop and she will reproduce all of my stickers for me for a small fee! I will have to take pics of the ones on the deck and she will have to do a little photoshop work but the control panel is mint so those two stickers should be pretty easy. I checked the compression of my "new" mower and it read 110#'s. My old mower read 121#'s so I will keep the original engine. I plan to follow the plastic restoration advice posted earlier in this thread and get the tank and air box looking new. Then the deck and control panel can be bead plasted and powder coated. I think I'm going to continue to search for a new upper handle as both of these aren't that great and I think having mine rechromed would be $$$. Then save up for new wheels and get her all back together. My friend says to take the bag to the laundromat and it will look new. I have 5 of them to try this with so I will use the best of the bunch.

Please feel free to give me suggestions or criticism regarding this project. I just want my mower to look new again:ThumbUp:
 

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I hope we get lots of pictures! If you want to avoid the chromer and can't find a replacement handle, there are some powder coats that are close to chrome. IMO powder coating the deck could be good but if you use it a lot, touch up could be a booger because it will get scratched and chipped. Rust has a way of migrating under the powder coat and usually isn't found until the blisters start popping up. Paint is easy to touch up in those ares where as powder is thick and hard to blend.

I'm anxious to see how the plastic comes out and I like the laundry mat idea with the bag.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I wanted to powder coat as I thought that would hold up better but you have valid points against it. Also painting it myself would be cheaper, I'm sure. So the question now is, where do I get the correct TORO red paint? And spray cans would be even better.

I will try to get a few pics tomorrow of the donor mower that will be for sale when I'm finished and I will take and post pics as I go. Need to get a few irons out of the fire before I dive into this but it won't be too long. I hope.
 

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Don't get me wrong , powder coating is a great way to go in a lot of applications but paint is always an option. Keep in mind, if you are going to paint be sure to use paint that will withstand gas and oil and high heat where applicable. Nothing worse than spilling a little gas on your new paint and it peels up in a big blister or something gets a little hot and the paint burns right off or turns a different color. As far as matching the color, you can take a panel or piece that has not faded or a piece that you have removed a sticker/decal from and take it to NAPA or a paint and body shop and have it color matched and buy some good paint. As far as using a bomb can it may take a little trial and error on some test pieces to find a color match that you are happy with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 · (Edited)
I thought maybe you guys would know of a vendor that sells the correct TORO paint in spray cans. Price will play a big factor in the finish I choose. Unfortunately I don't have the "toy" funds I used to so I have to do this with side job money so I would rather take my time to get it right.
I talked to my friend at work and he is going to make all of my stickers for me. If anyone needs any let me know and I will try to get him to print some extras.
 
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