My Tractor Forum banner

Waxxing Philosophically Over An Old Craftsman (The Million Hour Update)

1097 Views 5 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  The_Humbler
:thThumbsU I think I came here back in May after I had purchased my 1986 Craftsman 11 HP LT (the one pictured in the avatar) It was the first Craftsman Riding Mower I ever had. This forum gave me invaluable info about it and other riders I've come across. Paid 200.00 for it. It had a badly gummed up carb on it when I got it and it would only run with the choke on. You guys directed me to a manual, showed me how to date code the thing, etc. I'm a pretty good mechanic so with a little help, I got the carburetor cleaned, rebuilt and tuned the way I want it (slighty rich-I'm a gear head and I like the smell) It's been grass cutting utopia every since. Here's my update:

Only money I've invested aside from the original purchase was the price of the drive belt and the deck belt (I got both from a friends shop in NC for $30.00) I replaced the 2 front wheel bearings/bushings whatever you want to call em. I cut my 3/4 acre yard with it sometimes maybe twice a week. it's been hot in NC this year but I could not kill this thing! It had a slight rattle in that Briggs 11hp when I got it and after posting about it here, I was never really sure about whether the motor was gonna' let go via the balancer or was it a rod. I discovered that a lot of guys here on this forum called that motor "the Grenade". Almost got discouraged because I couldn't figure out what it was. I've had the motor out since then, pulled the sump and that was the cleanest 24 year old Briggs engine I've ever seen internally. The balancer system did exhibit slight play but didn't seem like enough to come apart. New gasket on the sump, bolt the engine back to the chasis and I almost never ever hear the rattle anymore. I use my special oil mixture in this older engine (that I've also heard a lot of dissention about in this forum 30 wt standard oil vs. synthetic) I run an 80% 10w-30 Castrol Synthetic/20% Lucas Oil Treatment in the crankcase-I've changed it twice this season and this engine hasn't missed a beat. Doesn't burn any noticeable oil or leak any now (since I disassembled the block and replaced the sump gasket) Cranks up almost instantly without the choke in any temparature. I've a 300 lbs. man and I've pushed it fairly hard and it hasn't groaned once! I am a believer that those old Craftsman mowers are amongst some of the best ever made (and I've been wondering why so many owners in this area are still using their 86-96 Craftsman and not buying new mowers) I think maintenance must be the key and sharing the occasional "treat" with it will keep it going for years and years. I don't envy any of the other new mowers that are out now. These are great mowers and in spite of what's been said about that Briggs 11HP here, how many other motors of that same era of other brands are still running without a hitch? The only other thing i want to find now is A Sears Surburban to restore just because. Want to find that elusive Onan engine that everyone seems to hold in such high esteem. Old Sears and Craftsman mowers absolutely ROCK!!!:fing32:
See less See more
1 - 6 of 6 Posts
That tractor looks almost identical to one that I was given earlier this year. I don't know the age, but it has the 11 hp B&S as you describe. Mine starts right up and cuts 2.5 acres about every other week. How did you determine the age of yours?
Synthetic oil is always better than conventional. Anyone who says different just doesn't know what they're talking about.
There is a website I've got bookmarked on my other computer (bought a new laptop today) I found it here. Use the Sears/Craftsman Model Number (on a tag on the rear fender area right behind the seat if it hasn't been removed) As a matter of fact, most of the other MTF'ers here probably know how to decipher the code if you post it. :)
Synthetic oil is always better than conventional. Anyone who says different just doesn't know what they're talking about.
Guess what N.A.S.A. uses. Synthetic? Nope, whale oil, that's right, whale oil.

"one thing that we still use whale oil for and that's space exploration. NASA found out that sperm whale oil does not freeze even in very cold temperatures (like in outer space), thus making it an ideal lubricant for space probes."
Quote from the link below.

I guess N.A.S.A. doesn't know what they're talking about.

But I digress.
Next time I see NASA use a four stroke combustion engine that burns gasoline in a space craft I'll aknowledge you have a valid point...

Untill then, keep digressing.

1 - 6 of 6 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.