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Discussion Starter #1
Hey all,

I aquired an old Jacobsen greens mower a few years ago and it has sat in my shed since. I did some looking around and found it has a 321 engine 2 stroke?

Anyway, I don't have a putting green but am still thinking about getting it out and tinkering with it and seeing how well it runs. I have never started it but was told it wasn't running when I got it.

I can take some pics if you guys would like, maybe this engine would fit on a regular Jake reel mower I could use in the yard. if I could find one that needed an engine, but I will be satisfied for now just to get it running.

Any pre start tips before I dive in?

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Discussion Starter #3
Yeah I have a preference for orange equipment.

This thing is supposed to have a grass catcher on it.

Just wondering if it's worth my time to mess with it or should I try to find another frame that I can use in my yard.

Putting greens are expensive and too much hassle for me, I gave it some thought around the time I picked this up, but have since come to my senses.

I paid $17 for it. It belonged to the park district.
 

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Is there anything wrong with the frame? If not I would get it running and use it!

Dan B. :smilie_fl
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I would love to use it but dont have the right kind of grass or a smooth enough surface to use it on. I think the longest this will cut is like 5/8"

I'd be scalping up the yard and that would be a bigtime Fail.

I would be happy to let one of you guys with a FEL and scraper blade come over and help me build a putting green, but I don't have the right equipment to pull it off, plus upkeep on a putting green is supposedly nightmarish.

I like the looks of the lawn king and queen, and that type is suited for my yard better.
 

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I'm pretty sure the Lawn Queen used the 321 engine. My Lawn Queen is a 1952, and it's supposed to use a 16:1 ratio of 30 weight motor oil, not 2 stroke.

How much height adjustment does that mower have? from the pictures, looks like quite a bit, and with a roller on the front, and what appears to be big roller wheels behind the reel, I don't think scalping would be an issue. Also looks like you've got more than 5 blades on the reel. the more the better for cutting. I'd get it running and see what it does.
 

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I'm pretty sure the Lawn Queen used the 321 engine. My Lawn Queen is a 1952, and it's supposed to use a 16:1 ratio of 30 weight motor oil, not 2 stroke.
It's not that it's "supposed" to use 30 weight oil. It's that there was no 2 cycle oil back then. Good 2 cycle oil is much better to use in any 2 cycle engine than 30 weight.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks for the fuel ratio info.

This is a greens type mower, the wheels on there are for transport only. They are removed before engaging the reel, and the mower rides on the big steel drum as it travels. VERY low to the ground. It needs a smooth surface to cut evenly.

From what i have found out so far, it will adjust from 1/4" to 5/8" which is way too low to even try on my regular lawn.

I usually leave my grass at around 2" to deal with the hot dry summers we have in my region.
 

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oh thats a big difference, hmm maybe you could try to mow with the wheels on or will it not let you do that? otherwise I would say get it running and go from there...

Dan B. :smilie_fl
 

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It's not that it's "supposed" to use 30 weight oil. It's that there was no 2 cycle oil back then. Good 2 cycle oil is much better to use in any 2 cycle engine than 30 weight.
Thanks for the history lesson about 2 stroke oil. I didn't recall that bit from my earlier research on my Lawn Queen, but that's what the manual with mines says, and that's good enough for me. Thing is older than I am, and still running, so I'll stick with the 30 weight.

Another fellow with lots of experience with the 321 engine of that era had this to say over on Smokstak:
"Fuel-oil ratio was 16:1 (1/2 pint SAE 30 - non-detergent oil to a gallon of regular gas) 2 cycle engine oil was not being made in the 1950's like it is today. I would rather see the SAE 30, than the modern 2 cycle oil, as the Lawn Queen engine is a low speed engine."

Guess you can find anything that supports your notions on the internet if you look long enough.

Kungdrew's greens mower might require different oil, so maybe getting an age on it and a manual, if he doesn't have one, would be helpful. If it was made before 1975, he might be able to find more on it here.
http://hmfind.com/JAC/JacobsenSerialNumberFinder.aspx
 

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Thanks for the history lesson about 2 stroke oil. I didn't recall that bit from my earlier research on my Lawn Queen, but that's what the manual with mines says, and that's good enough for me. Thing is older than I am, and still running, so I'll stick with the 30 weight.

Another fellow with lots of experience with the 321 engine of that era had this to say over on Smokstak:
"Fuel-oil ratio was 16:1 (1/2 pint SAE 30 - non-detergent oil to a gallon of regular gas) 2 cycle engine oil was not being made in the 1950's like it is today. I would rather see the SAE 30, than the modern 2 cycle oil, as the Lawn Queen engine is a low speed engine."

Guess you can find anything that supports your notions on the internet if you look long enough.

Kungdrew's greens mower might require different oil, so maybe getting an age on it and a manual, if he doesn't have one, would be helpful. If it was made before 1975, he might be able to find more on it here.
http://hmfind.com/JAC/JacobsenSerialNumberFinder.aspx
I read somewhere that using SAE30 will require you to decoke the motor at pretty constant intervals. Using the 2-stroke oil will reduce this.

It's very similar to oil buring steam locomotives and diesels. They had to decoke them pretty regularly. It 's messy and time consuming.
 

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I read somewhere that using SAE30 will require you to decoke the motor at pretty constant intervals. Using the 2-stroke oil will reduce this.

It's very similar to oil buring steam locomotives and diesels. They had to decoke them pretty regularly. It 's messy and time consuming.
Yep, I've read that too.
 

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Yep, I've read that too.
The crusty, gooey gunk is similar to the stuff you find in the muffler under the mouting plate of your Lawn Boy.
 

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Yes, depending on how often you use the machine you will have to de-coke the muffler/exhaust manifold, exhaust ports and the head because the 30 weight non-detergent oil does leave carbon build up.

Modern 2 cycle oil of today is far supperior in many many ways to the old school way of mixing non-detergent oil with the fuel.

The fact though is that these vintage Jac engines are plain bronze bearing, slow speed running motors and need the lubrication that the 30 weight oil provides. You can run the modern two stroke oil all you like in these machines, but be ware that by doing this that it will very potentially cause premature wear and that to me alone is simply not worth the risk to loose some smoke and carbon build up.

Here is brief run down that a friend of mine gave me a while back who has a lot of experience with these engines specifically:

" The modern 2 stroke lubricants do provide superior lubrication to modern engines. Engines with hardened bearing surfaces, rollers, balls and chrome molly rings, along with steel cylenders, and High speed - up to 22,000 RPM. The Jacobsen Lawn Queen, and the 321 series, as well as all those before are definately NOT modern They have soft bronze rods and bearings, cast iron rings and cylenders, plain bronze crank bearings, and for the most part, only turn 3,500 RPM Maximun - LOW SPEED! The 2 cycle lubricants do not stay on the bearing surfaces long enough to provide full protection. If you take apart an engine run with the modern lubricants, you will find a dry crankcase - there will be no oil on the bearing surfaces. for roller and ball baerings, this is not an issue, because the lube just has to be there a split second to do its work. On a plain bearing, this dryness is lethal! Plain bearings need oil on both sides to provide non friction issued. direct contact between metals brings on shearing forces that will tear the bearings up. While a roller-ball bearinged engine will tolerate a leaner oil mixture - 32 to 50 to one mixtures, a plain bearing engine will not tolerate it."

Everybody is entitled to their own opinion and that is one of the neat things that makes up a forum. This is simply a run down of my opinion and an explanation of why I run the 30 non-detergent oil in my vintage Jac engines specifically. Therefore, there will be no need for me to debate any further on the subject in this thread.
 

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Yes, depending on how often you use the machine you will have to de-coke the muffler/exhaust manifold, exhaust ports and the head because the 30 weight non-detergent oil does leave carbon build up.

Modern 2 cycle oil of today is far supperior in many many ways to the old school way of mixing non-detergent oil with the fuel.

The fact though is that these vintage Jac engines are plain bronze bearing, slow speed running motors and need the lubrication that the 30 weight oil provides. You can run the modern two stroke oil all you like in these machines, but be ware that by doing this that it will very potentially cause premature wear and that to me alone is simply not worth the risk to loose some smoke and carbon build up.

Here is brief run down that a friend of mine gave me a while back who has a lot of experience with these engines specifically:

" The modern 2 stroke lubricants do provide superior lubrication to modern engines. Engines with hardened bearing surfaces, rollers, balls and chrome molly rings, along with steel cylenders, and High speed - up to 22,000 RPM. The Jacobsen Lawn Queen, and the 321 series, as well as all those before are definately NOT modern They have soft bronze rods and bearings, cast iron rings and cylenders, plain bronze crank bearings, and for the most part, only turn 3,500 RPM Maximun - LOW SPEED! The 2 cycle lubricants do not stay on the bearing surfaces long enough to provide full protection. If you take apart an engine run with the modern lubricants, you will find a dry crankcase - there will be no oil on the bearing surfaces. for roller and ball baerings, this is not an issue, because the lube just has to be there a split second to do its work. On a plain bearing, this dryness is lethal! Plain bearings need oil on both sides to provide non friction issued. direct contact between metals brings on shearing forces that will tear the bearings up. While a roller-ball bearinged engine will tolerate a leaner oil mixture - 32 to 50 to one mixtures, a plain bearing engine will not tolerate it."

Everybody is entitled to their own opinion and that is one of the neat things that makes up a forum. This is simply a run down of my opinion and an explanation of why I run the 30 non-detergent oil in my vintage Jac engines specifically. Therefore, there will be no need for me to debate any further on the subject in this thread.

Thanks for the info....
 

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Discussion Starter #16
yeah thanks, i was thinking i would just pour in some 2 stroke that I use on my weedeater, 50:1 2 cycle, just to get her up and running.

I think now I will go ahead and mix it up properly to avoid messing this old thing up. I don't think they will have parts for it a wally world like they do for my Murray. LOL
 

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The 2 cycle lubricants do not stay on the bearing surfaces long enough to provide full protection. If you take apart an engine run with the modern lubricants, you will find a dry crankcase - there will be no oil on the bearing surfaces. for roller and ball baerings, this is not an issue, because the lube just has to be there a split second to do its work. On a plain bearing, this dryness is lethal! Plain bearings need oil on both sides to provide non friction issued. direct contact between metals brings on shearing forces that will tear the bearings up. While a roller-ball bearinged engine will tolerate a leaner oil mixture - 32 to 50 to one mixtures, a plain bearing engine will not tolerate it."[/I]
That's why you still run 16:1 with the modern 2 cycle oil. This gives you enough lubrication for the plain bearings but gives you the burnability of modern oil. Almost all rotary mowers run at low speed (<3500 rpm) and the older Lawnboys had plain bearings. Running 30 weight oil is just for nostalgia now and is NOT good for your engine. I personally don't care what you run but I do like dispelling these old wives tales.

yeah thanks, i was thinking i would just pour in some 2 stroke that I use on my weedeater, 50:1 2 cycle, just to get her up and running.
NO, don't run 50:1. Mix it up 16:1 and you'll be fine.
 

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I guess my question, you get it running, ok great... But what are you going to mow with it? Go to the local golf course and give it a spin on one of the greens close to the road?

I've worked on a golf course and helped with equipment maintenance and repairs. Reels with more knives are designed for lower cutting and finer bladed grasses, like bentgrass putting greens. On units used for Tees and collars, as well as large fairway mowers, there is usually a choice of how many knives per reel depending on the type of turf that you cut. If you have too many knives the grass dosn't get into the reel like it should and you end up with a lot of missed stuff. Backlapping is just routine maintance, but the bedknife also has to be ground periodically as well as the reel itself. Large specialized machines are needed to do that, as well as special guages to set the bedknife correctly. It was amazing the amount of labor that went into keeping reel mowers cutting like they should, and how little it took for them to get out of whack and not cut for crap.

Have fun with it though. Home putting greens are a lot of work, but if you have the time and money they are do-able. Because it wouldn't receive the amount of play traffic that a typical course green would they really don't require near the maintenance that a superintendent puts into them. You wouldn't need to cut as low to keep the speeds fast as most golfers demand. Those super low cut heights make it really hard to keep them alive, let alone perfect.
 
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