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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Well guys, I got the Lawn King!! It's a 1947, 26".

Here is my previous thread that I posted earlier in the week when I first saw it listed on Craigslist, (http://www.mytractorforum.com/showthread.php?t=141873)

This thread will also serve for updates as I post the progress of getting her going.

She’s in pretty darn good shape for her age. It does have a fairly good sized dent on the front of the gas tank which I already kind of knew about from viewing the photos, so I will need to fill that in. One of the tires has a bad leak, so I will need to get a new tube in it to roll it around easier. Other than that, it is 100% complete and in nice shape. Nothing broken or missing. As I mentioned in the earlier thread, I bought it from the original owner. He mentioned that when he used it, he rode on a sulky behind it but no longer has that. He quit using it twenty years ago as it just got be too much mower for him to handle he says. I can believe it as the thing is a real tank. He me that he wants me to send him some photos of it once I get her fixed up and told him I would with a video of it running. The recoil just pulls right now and doesn’t catch. My guess is that the retaining balls are stuck inside the starter ball cup and need to be lubricated with some graphite so that it will catch. I already pulled the spark plug and tried rocking the motor back forth a little bit and did does just a little bit, so getting it in un-seized shouln’t be too much of an issue I hope.

A little info on Lawn King’s for starters. They are rated at 1 3/4hp and have a Jacobsen built 521 “commercial grade ball bearing, hi torque two stroke engine”. These mowers were made for mowing large areas of lawn like parks and cemeteries as described in the ads and brochures. It is rated at mowing 2 ½’-5 acres a day and can also be driven with the drive engaged without the reel turning which makes it nice for transporting around and loading up.
Anyway, I’m really excited about this mower and is neat to finally own one of these! Infact I couldn’t hardly sleep than night before thinking about it, lol. As I stated in the other thread, I’ve been looking a couple of years for one and had come across a couple, but both were across the country from me and shipping companies were quoting me prices much of what it would be to ship a car! When I did find each of those, I was little nervous turning them down in a way because I was worried it could be hard finding others that were complete and still in decent condition, as they were described to me, but knew that there had to be others out there that I would eventually come across too. This really couldn’t have worked out better as not only was he less than a half an hour away from me, but it is also the early style that I have always wanted to find as well that has the front grill cover.

My plan is to actually not do a complete ‘ground up’ restoration on it right now. I will do a complete restoration on it one day, there is no doubt at all about that, but for now my plan is to just get her running & operating again and cleaned up along with doing some little changes & upgrades. See below. Restoring this one from ‘the ground up’ is going to be more labor intensive than the LQ was due to the fact that it’s bigger and simply has more to it.

The plans for now:
• Get the engine un-seized!
• Replace a tube in one of the tires
• Thoroughly clean her all up and polish up the two trim pieces
• Go through/check/rebuild carburetor
• Check ignition- If no life left, convert it to electronic ignition
• Fill in dent in gas tank
• Install Por15 tank coating liner
• Install new rear ‘swivel pneumatic adjustment caster’ (more on that mod described below)


Restoration Plans:
• Rebuild engine; new seals throughout, rings, bearings hone cylinder etc
• New tires and tubes
• Convert it to electronic ignition if I hadn’t already so
• Sandblast, prime, paint, clearcoat all the painted parts. May have everything powder coated instead.
• New decals
• New ‘coke bottle’ original style hand grips
• Re-chrome the two trim pieces
• Other things that I’m not thinking of I’m sure!

So, that’s really the breakdown of what my plan is to do with her now. Un-seizing the engine is really the top most priority of business to take care of. If there is still life left in the ignition system, than I will probably just leave it for now and convert it to electronic ignition later at the time of the restoration.

I’m going to remove the muffler first so that I can see if the piston is covering the exhaust ports. This will tell me if I need to remove the head or not to inspect the cylinder and clean it up should there be any, well let’s hope not, rust build up or gulp, pitting.

There’s one modification that I’d like to do to the mower and that is to replace the rear cutting height adjustment shaft assembly that has the small solid rubber rear wheel on the bottom to a pneumatic tire with tread that also has a longer adjustment shaft for a couple of different reasons. First, I figure since the front tires are pneumatic, the rear swivel wheel should be a true tire with tread as well and I have found a company that makes such a thing with the right diameter shaft dimensions that should work and bolt right up with probably a little modification here and there I’m sure. It is made for a gate and comes with a bracket mounted on top as you will see in the picture, but they told me the bracket is totally removable so it will just be the straight shaft and swivel wheel, so this will be perfect. Here it is, http://cgi.ebay.com/8-Gate-Caster-S...md=ViewItem&pt=BI_Casters&hash=item1c14607b1c. Not only will the bigger rear tire look better, but it will raise the mower up and allow for a further cutting height and because this has a slightly longer shaft than the stock one does, you will be able to even raise the cutting height up even more. At this point you’re probably saying by now, “why on Earth do you want the mower to be so much taller”? Well, this is actually very good because if you don’t know antique reel mowers, the adjustment intervals on a lot of them are very very low, so this will be serving a practical purpose and function to its usage. Just to give you an idea of how low the stock adjustments heights on this are, the specs on it is: 5/8”- 2 5/8”. With our yard here in Washington State, you cannot cut it below 2.5” as it will make the lawn start to look yellow, even when the grass is in its prime and perfectly green during the spring. Doing this modification will easily get it to cut 3” and over in cutting height, and unless I cut the adjustment shaft down, I bet you could almost raise it up to the point where you could cut brush, haha.

As I mentioned in the beginning, I will update this thread with updates and pictures of the progression as I go through the mower and get her going again. I won’t actually be able to do too much to it for a little while yet because of an exam I have to take next week that I’m focusing my attention on now, and then I’m leaving for a two and half week vacation starting the second week in August, so I have to get ready for that. My goal is to have the engine unseized before I leave for the trip and I’m sure I’ll get to a few other small things on it before I leave as well. Having this in mind to work on though will be a sure fire way of helping me have something to look forward to coming home to at the end of my vacation.

Thought I’d post some photos that are out of my brochures of the Lawn King for fun as well,









Keep in mind I haven’t touched the mower yet, and it is extremely dusty and greasy from sitting twenty years in basement.



How I brought her home. Sure got the looks from some people.








Opperators view.



The way the throttle works is kind of cool and interesting. You twist this wheel. The owner led me to believe that it was broken from what he stated in an email, but it is not and works fine.












Next to the '49 Lawn Queen for size comparison.

Sorry as I know this got to be long if you read it all. I always end up getting carried away on these things as I guess part of the fun for me is writing and talking about them.
 

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That is so cool. But 189 lbs? You're right, that thing is a tank! I don't think I could lift it into the back of a pickup by myself. I see why you trailered it home.
 

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all that grease preserved it nicely.

i remember as a lil` kid in late 70's they used them around the schoolyard
 

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Very, very cool lawn mower! It is complete and that is incredible.

I read in the literature that there was a special model with taller tires. I didn't see any photos of that model in the literature. The guy must have been in his eighties or nineties. What happened to the sulky that he used? It would be cool to have the catcher too.

Man, the price was out of sight. $285 was nearly two months salary for an office executive in the forties! That's a good portion of the price of a new car!

Congratulations: you seem very excited about your very cool purchase. I want a forties to fifties reel mower now!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Yeah, the mower is really heavy. Took both of us to get it onto the trailer.

What happened to the sulky that he used? It would be cool to have the catcher too.
He no longer has the sulkey. And about the grass catcher, I'm not exactly sure how one would mount up on the back because of the rear swivel wheel. It is in the way of where one would mount up and the mower cannot be used without it. I'm going to stop by the lawnmower shop that had the grass catcher for my LQ, so if they have one that's big enough for this, then I'll get one.


Man, the price was out of sight. $285 was nearly two months salary for an office executive in the forties! That's a good portion of the price of a new car!
Haha, yeah I thought the samething!

Do you use these to actually cut your grass with?
I use the Lawn Queen from time to time to mow the long. I will do the same once I get this one going.

Anyway, I spent a little time on it today. I got the engine 'un-seized' today which was good. It was hardly seized at all and was able to un-seize it by using just my hands to spin the flywheel once I got the starter recoil and engine covers off. Luckely, the piston was covering the exhaust outlet so there was no rust or any build up in the cylinder. The motor turns freely and feels good.

I also pulled the muffler appart and cleaned out the inside of it. I checked for spark while I was at it and notta. I'm going to order up and electronic conversion kit and covert it over.

About the recoil assembly not catching. I lubricated the starter balls and throughly cleaned out the starter ball retainer, not that it was that dirty, and when I put it back together it still refused to catch. For the longest time I could simply not figure it out as it 'should' work, so I took appart the recoil assembly itself only to find that the woodruff key inside of it is missing. Aaha! Beyond me why that would be missing, it's anybody's guess. Without it, the recoil part that grabs onto the starter balls which in turn turns the motor over simply spins as it will not 'catch' if that makes any sense at all. I will take some pictures later of what I mean. Anyway, I do have a few extra recoil assemblies but none of them have that woodruff key that I need! I'm not really up to taking the one off my Lawn Queen. I'm going to go down to my favorite lawnmower shop and see if they have one that will work as I talked to them today and they told me that they carried a selection of them instock. If I simply cannot find one that will work for this application, then I have a few different options. I can convert to a starter cup style, you know where you manually wrap the wrope around the cup and pull it or I also have a newer cira 1960's-1970's Jacobsen recoil assembly that is more modern that could work too, but wouldn't look nearly as cool as the original is.

Will keep you guys updated. Here's a few pics from some of today's work...






Muffler
 

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Wow, extremely cool and the perfect complement to your Lawn Queen. Thanks for all the pic's, and keep us posted on your progress!
 

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Totally cool.
 

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Discussion Starter #10 (Edited)
Managed to get some life out of her yet today.

I got a new woodruff key at a lawnmower shop and got that resolved. I also took the tire that had the bad tube in it to a tire shop to get a new tube for it, but they told me that it was "beyond repair". They had one new tire in stock, so I had them put a new one on. I ordered a second one for the mower so that it can have a pair of matching brand new tires.

I went through the carb and found it to be clean as well as the fuel line and tank valve. He must have ran the fuel out of the system before he stored it away. The inside of the tank is shiny clean with no rust and looks great, so I don't think I'm even going to bother with the tank coating kit for a while.

Anyway, I also managed to get some spark out of her as well, although it's not a strong spark. I thought what the heck I'll see if it's enough to fire her off so I mixed up some 16:1 fuel and after three pulls, 'huff huff huff'.:) A couple more pulls and she fired off for five seconds or so and died. I did this repeatedly several times, but it's just not a strong enough spark to keep her running. Conversion kit, here I come. By golly though, it is the quietest mower I've ever heard, almost like it's electric it's that quite. Quiter than my newer Honda walk behind.

I also got around to getting her pressure washed and semi cleaned up. Lot's of degreaser as was the samething with my LQ. I just want this all cleaned up as well as it can be, yet all properly lubricated of course. The next thing I'm going to do is pull the motor off so that I can get more of the grime off around the hard to reach areas like the transmission/drive assembly. I also just want to get the engine onto my bench to work on as it gets tiring having to bend over all the time to work on it.

Here's a few pics from today,



New tire



New woodruff key. This is what was missing and preventing it to catch.







After the power wash.

I have the engine cover off because it's easier to work with it off and I also don't want to risk denting it up or damaging it when I'm working on it.
 

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What a beautiful monster! Wow!
 

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Sure is alot of iron to move for only 1.75hp! Very kool looking mower though! Looks like a prime canidate for a restoration. Great find and looking forward to your finished results! Good luck and have fun with it!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Another little update.

I didn’t have time to work on her during the week days last week, but Saturday I pulled the motor off and also finished cleaning and degreasing everything. I’m sure glad to finally have that part over with. I got the other tire replaced, so the mower now has a matching pair of brand new tires. I guess the last thing is that I also ordered the pneumatic wheel albion that I’ll be installing and removed the back portion of the mower in prep for that as well.

Anyway, I’m leaving for a vacation Wednesday so there won’t be any updates for a couple of weeks. Once I get back though, I’ll get the kit installed, get her all put back together and we’ll be mowing. It’ll all go back together fast and I’m sure the next time you see it there will be a video of her in action. It's all down hill from here.

Here’s some pictures and descriptions.



The pneumatic wheel albion for the rear portion of the mower. Keep in mind the bracket and spring assembly go away of course.



The other new tire.



Just about ready to pull the engine off.



I removed the exhaust down pipe because it sticks down below the engine, so there wouldn’t be any way of setting the engine down flat with it installed.

I have a cup style starter that I'm going to install for test firing it when it’s off the mower as the recoil assembly cannot be used unless the engine is mounted on the mower and the recoil is bolted down.



How the back of the mower looks with the rear portion of it removed. You can pretty much use the mower now as push mower with the reel engaged.



How she looks now.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow...nice pick. The manual in one pic above says 2 to 5 acres a day...thats when American were in shape...or is it self propelled too
It's self propelled.

As it actually states in one the brochures, "fast and easy to handle".:biglaugh:

I'm not sure if it's going to be like my Lawn Queen where you almost have to jog behind it to keep up with it or not, never seen one in action before. It appears to be geared pretty low though, so it may not. Sure lookin' forward to finding out!:)
 

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any updates?
I really like these Jacobsens, I'm in the hunt for one myself.

Dan B. :smilie_fl
 

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Discussion Starter #17
any updates?
I really like these Jacobsens, I'm in the hunt for one myself.

Dan B. :smilie_fl
Yeah, I'm on an extended vacation thing so I haven't been back to work on it.

I sure do miss it though, I have to look at the pictures of it every so often, lol.

I will keep you guys updated when I go back.:fing32:
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
Well guys, I’m back from my vacation.

The Albion caster that I bought off Ebay came, so I got that all mounted up and adjusted. Very pleased with how that turned out as there are so many more benefits over the stock one. A couple of other different things on how this will be even more practical I haven’t already mentioned is that the wheel itself swivels unlike the stock one. The original unit is fixed, so the shaft itself is what turned as a whole. Because of this, the rear adjustment piece where the shaft slides through all has removable sleeves in it including the clamp so when they would eventually wear and get sloppy, you’d remove them and press new sleeves in there. So, by having the wheel itself swivel like it does on this new one, the shaft is now completely fixed via the clamp and no longer rotates. No more wear on those sleeves! Hope that all kind of makes sense and I have some pictures down below of what I’m talking about.

The handle bar on the mower has always been angled down kind of far, even at its highest adjustment point. I think this is mainly why because it needs to be fairly low when riding behind it on a using a sulky. Because the wheel is taller on this one and has a longer shaft, the handle bar on the mower is automatically up higher at a much more comfortable position for walking behind. And of course, the cutting height can be adjusted a lot higher now which terrific.

Another thing that I did was take the wheels back down to the tire shop because they mounted the valve stems on the inside of the rims and because of this, it made it impossible to ever get an air nozzle in there because of the very confined space. Kind of frustrating, but not really anybody’s fault because had I known this, I would have reminded them to mount the valve stems facing out like they were originally. It also actually takes a bit of time getting the wheels mounted straight onto the hubs surprisingly. You really have to tighten all four mounting screws very evenly and turn the wheel as you’re doing it so that you don’t mount it on crooked which is easy to do.

I talked to my friend at the old school lawnmower shop I go to for the older machines and he said he’ll have the conversion kit in by the end of the week. Can’t wait to mow with this thing!



How the Albion caster comes stock. The unit is designed and intended to be attached to a gate, hence the bracket and spring which is totally removable of course. In fact, I’ve been thinking about possibly as another project further down the road one day to cut the spring way down and use it for the back of the mower so that it would have a bit of rear suspension!
The gate mounting bracket and spring removed. Lucky for me, the shaft diameter is exactly the same as the stock one!





Bracket and spring removed.



Nice grease zerk.



The wheel on the original caster is cast iron. I love having a tire now on it to go with the other two. Not to mention whenever you move the mower around on any kind of paved surface now, it doesn’t make the annoying clingy noise the cast iron wheel did.



Where it slides through. As I mentioned, since the shaft on the stock unit is what turned, this would wear the sleeves. The Albion Caster’s wheel swivels, so the shaft does not turn.





 

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Great progress!!
Are you gonna leave the shaft sticking out or are you thinking of cutting it lower?

Dan B. :smilie_fl
 
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