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Deceased, April 2015
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know they're kind of a scourge among many of you all here. My 8155 I got yesterday is my first exposure to the BBC. From what I can guess, the BBC was something of a stopgap to meet CPSC compliance between models with no safety features and the zone start system with the bail on the handlebar that controls the kill switch and the pull rope in the same location.

It seems to me that engineering the zone start setup would have been much easier than fitting a clutch beneath the deck that required a totally new muffler and engine mounting plate. I also know that although the 8155 is a 1986 model, not all 86's were BBC equipped. My very first LB - a 7351 made in 86 doesn't have one.

It's a little weird to have a key switch and primer bulb at handlebar level and the starter handle on the engine. Turn on the fuel valve (bend down), turn key switch and prime (stand up), pull the rope (bend down) then mow.

Just some thoughts. Have a good .5 weekend gents.

Charlie
 

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The clutch is so you could bag and not have to constantly stop and start the engine...its also nice to transport without stirring up rocks/debris form one location to another.
 

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OMC & Ariens lover!
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yeah when you do bag it sure is a nice feature.and when they idle they sound awsome with the blade disengaged
 

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2 stroke enthusiast
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Another great feature is that you can reach under the deck and remove clogs and debris without coming out "short handed" like some of the other non-BBC owners have experienced! :Stop:



of course no one at anytime should reach in or under a mower deck with the engine running! I see it as an added feature for those who prefer bagging mostly, and transporting like Indy mentioned is another positive feature.
 

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Honda invented the first BBC as a basic safety device. It was on the first lawn mower they sold in the U.S. in 1978, the HR21. Honda's BBC is one of the reasons the CPSC regulations were established. Mower manufacturers tried to tell the government that blade brakes were too difficult or too expensive to build but Honda already had one on every mower they sold. Manufacturers insisted on zone safety as an alternative to BBC since they're much cheaper to design and build.

So far I haven't used my Honda much but to me the main BBC convenience is being able to stop and move debris out of the path without having to restart the engine (or disable the zone safety). Limbs fall almost daily on my lawn and rocks come to the surface after every rain and people toss beer cans almost every night. Most I get by walking before mowing but I still have to stop and pick up some. I never bag but I can see BBC would certainly be convenient for that. It's also nice to zip down a gravel drive knowing the blade won't hit anything.

With my Duraforce I turn on the fuel valve (bend down), set the choke (stand up), prime (bend down), pull the rope (stand up) then mow. While I can now always start it with one pull it took me weeks to learn how. It's very finicky -- the steps have to be done in this exact order with exactly two pushes of the primer or it won't start at all.
 

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You are absolutely correct, the BBC was one of Honda's big selling points on a mower that was very expensive at the time. IIRC, they (the clutch) were relatively trouble free.
 

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Yup, just like Gravelpit said, in my opinion. I use it to remove debris out of the way, not to mention my old sb14 floods if don't let all the gas burn off, so it is a pain if I have to shut it off (like if someone decides that it is a good time to come chit chat while I'm mowing), but with the BBC on it, I just let it run, do what I need to do and go on about my way. We have limbs from three huge trees every day. My grandpa never bought a nice mower, just tons of 2nd hand Murrays people traded to him and he had lots of junk in his yard, so he just wired down the handle and tied a 5 gallon buck to the back for trash pickup. A BBC would have been much safer. :)
 

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With my Duraforce I turn on the fuel valve (bend down), set the choke (stand up), prime (bend down), pull the rope (stand up) then mow. While I can now always start it with one pull it took me weeks to learn how. It's very finicky -- the steps have to be done in this exact order with exactly two pushes of the primer or it won't start at all.
I dont see why you can set the choke then turn on the fuel , prime and then start ? I take it you tried that and for some reason it causes a no start condition ?

I agree that being able to power the mower around the yard with out the blades turning is much better than other wise tilting the mower and driving it on two wheels , the difference between my JD 14sbs and my Snapper
 

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The Sea of Green Machines
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BBC is wildly expensive to repair. More than many mowers cost new. It is a cool idea but too expensive to have for a long time. Some mowers like the M series you cant even buy a replacement for. Imagine paying a grand for a mower and then, oops sorry we dont supply parts for those any more. Its like buy a Lincoln Town car and you cant get the parts 6 or 7 years later to keep it running.

Zone start is really all you need. Takes a whopping 3 seconds to pull the starter and go again without losing a hand. IMHO
 

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Deceased, April 2015
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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Zone start or common sense is what's required. You're right FT.

Two commons that aren't that common nowdays: Sense and Courtesy.
 

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I dont see why you can set the choke then turn on the fuel , prime and then start ? I take it you tried that and for some reason it causes a no start condition ?
The whole process is time sensitive. If I set the choke and turn on the fuel then I have to wait at least one minute but not more than three minutes to prime or it won't start. If I start it in that fixed order the time element takes care of itself since I mosey along and take my time. There were a lot of days I was ready to junk this mower until I figured out the secret ritual to start it.

Actually the choke part isn't important. I have the type of throttle/choke that makes a loud snap going into the full choke position so I start it set on fast. That snap bothers me since it always sounds like a piece of plastic broke.

The real reason I go back to move the choke lever is to slide up the tie on the safety bail but that could be done anytime too. I don't like having that tied down until I'm ready to mow. Of course with the bail tied down I can pick up debris without restarting the engine. I have no problem with disabling any safety device as long as I'm the only one using the machine. I disabled all the safety starting stuff on my pickup including the ignition lock and key. The steering wheel doesn't lock in place and I don't need a key to start it. I also disabled the warning sounds -- door ajar, lights on, no seat belt -- but left the warning lights connected.
 

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Boy, I must be a big chicken cause there is no way I'm sticking any of my extremities into/under the deck of any mower with a running engine bbc or not. :)
 

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Boy, I must be a big chicken cause there is no way I'm sticking any of my extremities into/under the deck of any mower with a running engine bbc or not. :)
im with ya there-i dont care how many saftey features they got,they all fail at one time or another!
 

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I think some BBC's were better executed than others. Toro's and Honda's have been around so long, plus just about all of their mowers at one time or another had the feature. So parts for them are easier to find. Lawn Boy's BBC, on the other hand, can be quite troublesome I've heard. Couple that with the fact that BOTH blades and mufflers on models that had the BBC were unique, and that not many Lawn Boy's were sold with it (other than the "M"), makes me want to avoid a BBC Lawn Boy like the plague!
 

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The Sea of Green Machines
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But you can still buy the BBC for the other Lawn Boys, (not M) but around 300 bucks unless you get lucky and find one on Ebay or a user here.
 

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Not sure if this was mentioned, but the BBC can also act as a buffer from large objects while mowing as well. Meaning if you hit say a large tree stump or rock, then the majority of the impact is absorbed through the BBC, and not the engine. Supposedly this will let the engine last longer, not sure if that is true or not or even practical. I could see it helping in that regard, however I am more prone to the simpler the better, that is why I like my lawnboys so much. They are easy to work on, easy to keep going forever!
 

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The BBC on my Honda has been extremely trouble-free. The entire mower has, really, but I've really been impressed with the BBC. I do bag often with it and like not having to stop the enigne. Sure, it's not "necessary". But it's nice to have.

I haven't used the BBC enough on my 8157 to know its reliability. I have heard that it's not good. The fuel tank has developed another crack in it, so it's "off the road" so to speak at the moment anyway.
 

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i bought an ariens with bbc for 50$ from craigs list. its got a tired techemuche 4 stroke and the bbc really saps what power it has left. i am looking into stripping off the bbc but its way too hot for such projects. i have several decent donor engine canidates for it. it looks like it may be possiable to remove the bbc and continue using the techumche -time will tell
 

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The BBC does not consume any power, but it will momentarily load the engine when engaged. After engagement, it's nothing but a flywheel. Perhaps your engine is further along than you realize.
 
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