I picked up 2 Lawn-Boy mowers today. Both with steel decks from the Toro era I think.
One is a 1997 push model #10227 serial #7933253 (free). The other is a 1998 self-propelled model #10323 serial #8929831 ($25). The 10227 turns over with compression but hasn't been started in a year. The 10323 is in unknown condition. It was left outside, overgrown with weeds and "discovered" by the new home owners of an abandoned house I believe. Even when holding the blade handlebar lever it pulls over hard, feels like little compression and when I pulled the plug it was whiskered, probably was seized.
I understand the 10227 has the "V" engine and is more Lawn-Boy and more desirable than the 10323 which has the DuraForce EPA1 engine which is more Toro. Do you agree?
I'll clean up and do some preliminary maintenance to the fuel system and just generally go over the 10227 first as I'm thinking it's much closer to running than the 10323.
Any insight you guys can offer would be appreciated. One question I have right off is what sparkplugs do you like. The 10227 has an NGK BPMR4A in it. The 10323 has a Champion CJ14.
Nice finds for sure. I have owned many of both of those mowers, and everybody on here knows I favor the V engines, but I ran a couple 10323s for a few years and they were far more reliable than any of my Vs and slightly more powerful. By no stretch of the imagination is the V engine more desirable than the DF, from my experiences here on the forum and selling on Craigslist I would say just the opposite. I always run champion CJ8s in my duraforces, I like the Bosch plugs in my Vs, the recommended CJ12s are a little longer and get in my way when switching from bagging and mulching etc. That said, the 10314 I ran for the last year had an old rusty RJ19LM in it when I got it, and it runs perfectly and is burning the perfect color. I wouldn’t worry too much about plugs.
Getting the 10227 ready to go, like somebody above mentioned, make sure the carburetor isn’t warped with a straightedge. Make sure the governor is still intact where the throttle cable pushes and pulls on top of the carb, I've had to super glue the metal guide to keep it from popping out. Make sure the engine and baseplate are tight, use loctite as necessary. Same with the bolts for the recoil shroud and it’s mounting plate. Pull the muffler, check the ports, make sure the baffle is good and tighten it good. I’ve had many muffler bolts vibrate out into the blade (not a good time). If you have that trouble, a good idea is to take a couple little strips of metal, drill holes for the muffler bolts, and fold the ends over the flats on the bolt heads as lock tabs. If you have the blade off, make sure you time it to rise and fall opposite the piston (set the piston at TDC and put the blade perpendicular to the cylinder). It makes a big difference with vibration. If you notice excessive side play in the crank, the crank bearings often go bad in those motors as well, not a huge deal but something to note. There’s nothing you can do about end play, every V has the “thunk” when you squeeze the bail, but for that reason I always let mine out slowly. Hopefully some of this information is useful, I have a shed full of Vs so I have a lot so say about them...lol...good luck getting yours going