John Deere self-propelled push mower blowed up :(

Oct 9, 2002
26,654
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#1
Was going through an overgrown area behind the place I recently moved into.

Ran over a plastic 2-liter bottle and the mower stopped. It took a few minutes to dislodge.

The mower started again and ran for a few more minutes, then sputtered out. I couldn't tell if it still had gas. For some reason, you have to add a good bit of gas before you can even see any at the bottom. I filled it completely.

The mower wouldn't start. Then I noticed a lot of stuff that looks like oil splattered around.

IMGUR album



Not sure if it came out while I was trying to start, or maybe I didn't notice it before since there was a lot of nastiness from the bottle I dislodged.

Roommate says it's probably the seal and probably fixable. Coming here to see if you guys agree.
 
Last edited:
Jun 19, 2004
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#2
Small motors are pretty straight forward. Definitely worth trying to fix.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
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#3
When you try to start it is anything wrong? Does it crank good? Have you checked the oil level? If you had an oil leak and it ran dry you may have excessive damage but otherwise it's the same old things to check.

- Take the blade drive belt off the deck (or shaft off the motor end of the tranny if you've got something really fancy running off a PTO shaft instead of a belt), you might have a damaged deck blade spindle and it's putting too much drag on the engine, which would result in the engine running fine again once the deck is disconnected.

- Pull each spark plug wire off in turn, take plug out and put in wire boot, see if you get spark holding it against the engine metal while someone cranks it.

- Try spraying starter fluid in the carb while someone is cranking it.

Besides the possibility of a damaged deck blade spindle, it kind of seems coincidental, I mean normally a 2 liter plastic bottle wouldn't stop my mower from making sushi out of it and anything enough to stop the blade, would kill the engine running but would slip or break a belt or pulley before enough of a jolt was sent to the engine to damage it.

At any rate you can check the motor shaft, see if it's bent, pulley wobbles, or an oil leak there. Might be easier to see wobble by having someone watch it while cranking.

I'm not aware of any "seal" that would keep the engine from running unless seal means main bearing. Well I take that back, the seal from the carb to the engine could make it the wrong fuel mixture but again it would seem like a coincidence if that is now bad right after hitting something, unless the thing hit was a land mine. :eek:
 

Luna1968

Senior member
Mar 9, 2019
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#4
Small motors are pretty straight forward. Definitely worth trying to fix.
my JD gave up the ghost and i was not going to put time and money in it anymore, PLUS i dont think JD make walk behind mowers anymore. I cant find them.. So i bought a Pimpin Honda with blade stop. man i love that feature.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
4,503
71
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#5
?? Blade stop feature ? Makes no difference at all unless you have some habit of shoving your feet under the deck for fun.

Otherwise, the aggressive braking of the flywheel just wears it out faster.


The very last thing I want is a mower that tries to protect me from myself. Old timers will remember when a mower kept running if you didn't have to hold on to the infernal bar lever, so you could keep mowing instead of having to pull start the freakin' thing again.

All you effin' idiots, screwed up the world for the rest of us, then made excuses about some once in a moonshot scenario where darwin's law applies. If you can't GET the mere simple task of mowing a lawn, just get good at something else instead so you can pay someone else to do that.

It isn't rocket surgery.

Honda makes great engines, but it's stupidity to pay more for an engine that outlasts the rest of the mower. Go ahead and tell me you recycled the honda engine onto a new deck, wheels, etc. I could use a good laugh about that nonsense.
 
Last edited:
Feb 26, 2006
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#6
my JD gave up the ghost and i was not going to put time and money in it anymore, PLUS i dont think JD make walk behind mowers anymore. I cant find them.. So i bought a Pimpin Honda with blade stop. man i love that feature.
I also have a Honda mower with the blade clutch feature. VERY nice.

?? Blade stop feature ? Makes no difference at all unless you have some habit of shoving your feet under the deck for fun.

Otherwise, the aggressive braking of the flywheel just wears it out faster.


The very last thing I want is a mower that tries to protect me from myself. Old timers will remember when a mower kept running if you didn't have to hold on to the infernal bar lever, so you could keep mowing instead of having to pull start the freakin' thing again.

All you effin' idiots, screwed up the world for the rest of us, then made excuses about some once in a moonshot scenario where darwin's law applies. If you can't GET the mere simple task of mowing a lawn, just get good at something else instead so you can pay someone else to do that.

It isn't rocket surgery.

Honda makes great engines, but it's stupidity to pay more for an engine that outlasts the rest of the mower. Go ahead and tell me you recycled the honda engine onto a new deck, wheels, etc. I could use a good laugh about that nonsense.
It's a blade clutch... It's a pretty nice feature. Lets you run the engine and drive wheels without turning the blade. Handy for moving the mower around without cutting anything...or for going over obstacles without fucking up the blade and gearbox.
 

Luna1968

Senior member
Mar 9, 2019
261
345
61
#7
?? Blade stop feature ? Makes no difference at all unless you have some habit of shoving your feet under the deck for fun.

Otherwise, the aggressive braking of the flywheel just wears it out faster.


The very last thing I want is a mower that tries to protect me from myself. Old timers will remember when a mower kept running if you didn't have to hold on to the infernal bar lever, so you could keep mowing instead of having to pull start the freakin' thing again.

All you effin' idiots, screwed up the world for the rest of us, then made excuses about some once in a moonshot scenario where darwin's law applies. If you can't GET the mere simple task of mowing a lawn, just get good at something else instead so you can pay someone else to do that.

It isn't rocket surgery.

Honda makes great engines, but it's stupidity to pay more for an engine that outlasts the rest of the mower. Go ahead and tell me you recycled the honda engine onto a new deck, wheels, etc. I could use a good laugh about that nonsense.
umm wow. quite a long ignorant rant bashing a feature you know nothing about. and i have no idea about wtf you are talking about with recycling the deck and engine nonsense babbling. damn dude chill the frack out.
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
4,503
71
126
#8
It's a blade clutch... It's a pretty nice feature. Lets you run the engine and drive wheels without turning the blade. Handy for moving the mower around without cutting anything...or for going over obstacles without fucking up the blade and gearbox.
I've been mowing for a few decades now, even neighbors' yards multiple times per week in my youth for pay, so I have had more than my share of push mower miles. Not once did I ever need this feature.

IMO it's just one more thing to add cost to a mower, one more thing to break down and add even more cost and/or time to repair, and based on the design in the video that's going to be much more of a PITA to clean grass-muck out of in the damp spring months. Do not want.
 
Feb 26, 2006
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#9
I've been mowing for a few decades now, even neighbors' yards multiple times per week in my youth for pay, so I have had more than my share of push mower miles. Not once did I ever need this feature.

IMO it's just one more thing to add cost to a mower, one more thing to break down and add even more cost and/or time to repair, and based on the design in the video that's going to be much more of a PITA to clean grass-muck out of in the damp spring months. Do not want.
Old coots have been saying the same sort of things about new-fangled stuff since time began. I'm sure you feel the same way about air conditioning, refrigerators, clothes washing machines.......hell, even cooking stoves. "That's just some fancy e-lecktricity sucking device that runs up my power bill. My wife keeps her girlish figure by chopping wood and sweating over the cookstove!" :p
 

mindless1

Diamond Member
Aug 11, 2001
4,503
71
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#10
^ You are correct to a very limited extent. It's called wisdom and experience. I'm mechanically inclined and own all those modern conveniences, and repair them all myself except for not messing with refrigerant (don't have a recovery machine, laws 'n such).

A blade clutch does nothing to improve mowing performance. It increases build cost. It increases weight. It increases repair cost and frequency. It increases maintenance.

Suit yourself, I'm not against a free market where consumers can buy anything they want, but at the same time, someone who probably has more experience in both mowing and maintenance/repair, tends to know WTF they're talking about.

Consider the context of this topic. Blade/clutch disengagement is a passive, user engaged feature. It requires the user to see the debris ahead of time, would not have solved Ichinisan's issue with hitting an unseen object. I may feel differently when the day comes that mowers have sharks with laser beams mounted on the front to automatically sense and disengage the blade when an obstacle of high density is encountered. :D
 
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Feb 26, 2006
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#11
^ You are correct to a very limited extent. It's called wisdom and experience. I'm mechanically inclined and own all those modern conveniences, and repair them all myself except for not messing with refrigerant (don't have a recovery machine, laws 'n such).

A blade clutch does nothing to improve mowing performance. It increases build cost. It increases weight. It increases repair cost and frequency. It increases maintenance.

Suit yourself, I'm not against a free market where consumers can buy anything they want, but at the same time, someone who probably has more experience in both mowing and maintenance/repair, tends to know WTF they're talking about.

Consider the context of this topic. Blade/clutch disengagement is a passive, user engaged feature. It requires the user to see the debris ahead of time, would not have solved Ichinisan's issue with hitting an unseen object. I may feel differently when the day comes that mowers have sharks with laser beams mounted on the front to automatically sense and disengage the blade when an obstacle of high density is encountered. :D
:woot: sign me up!

I do agree that ichi's problem was caused by his inattention to the chore at hand...and with a potentially dangerous piece of equipment...

Me, I'm old and busted up...and want a self-propelled mower that makes the chore easier for me. I bought my Honda mower in 2010, used it for 2 years, put it in storage when we moved out of CA, cussed it every time I tripped over it...or had to move it to get to something in my garage for the next 6 years...(no lawn to mow...considered selling it many times) bought this house...with a nice back yard...put gas in the mower...it started on the second pull after not running for more than 6 years. (I drained the carb and fuel tank, fogged the motor, put a squirt of motor oil in the cylinder when I stored it, gave the rope a pull every once in a while, just to keep things from freezing up)

People are welcome to buy Craftsman mowers, MTD junk like the OP's John Deere if they want. i prefer a well made mower that makes mowing less of a chore for me.
 

Meghan54

Diamond Member
Oct 18, 2009
8,565
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#12
:woot: sign me up!

I do agree that ichi's problem was caused by his inattention to the chore at hand...and with a potentially dangerous piece of equipment...

Me, I'm old and busted up...and want a self-propelled mower that makes the chore easier for me. I bought my Honda mower in 2010, used it for 2 years, put it in storage when we moved out of CA, cussed it every time I tripped over it...or had to move it to get to something in my garage for the next 6 years...(no lawn to mow...considered selling it many times) bought this house...with a nice back yard...put gas in the mower...it started on the second pull after not running for more than 6 years. (I drained the carb and fuel tank, fogged the motor, put a squirt of motor oil in the cylinder when I stored it, gave the rope a pull every once in a while, just to keep things from freezing up)

People are welcome to buy Craftsman mowers, MTD junk like the OP's John Deere if they want. i prefer a well made mower that makes mowing less of a chore for me.

Since JD quit selling those rebadged MTD pieces of crap years ago, I don't think you have to worry much about ever buying one yourself.

On the other hand, the walk behind mowers JD manufactures now are all commercial mowers that look a tad better built than MTD:
https://www.deere.com/en/mowers/commercial-mowers/commercial-walk-behind-mowers/
 
Aug 30, 2000
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#13
The MTD machines are fine for homeowners. I just made sure the one I bought had a Honda engine. B&S has gone downhill big time in the last two decades.
 

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