Dump find restored, a 1998 Rally 20” gas lawn mower

wdn

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Aug 6, 2018
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Went to the town transfer station and saw this old lawnmower in the scrap heap that was not there a few days ago. I loaded it into the Tundra, why not? I worked on it this morning. It is a 1998 Rally 20” mower made in USA by Frigidaire.
IMG_5208.jpg

It was filthy. The pull rope would not budge an inch. Engine was completely seized. I took out the sparkplug to try Blaster Small Engine Tuneup in the sparkplug hole. The sparkplug I found was brand new.
IMG_5209.jpg

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I cleaned it up. After a few mighty heaves I could spin the blade with great effort. I removed the recoil assembly which was in beautiful condition and worked fine. It was the engine seized. The magneto assembly was tight and had surface rust I cleaned it with WD-40. Drained the old gas, drained the oil which was filthy and put in Mobil 1 10W-30 and 20% Marvel Mystery Oil. Let it sit for 15 minutes for the Blaster to do its thing. Eventually I could turn the flywheel by hand. It seemed to get easier so I put the pull starter back on.
Gas tank did not look too bad just a few spots of surface rust.
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After slowly pulling the rope it seemed normal. I sprayed starting fluid in the carb. It started and ran for a few seconds. I removed the air cleaner and cleaned the carb jets with Gumout. Three pushes of the priming bulb and a small spray of starting fluid for luck and I pulled the rope again. It started and ran. There was a cloud of smoke the size of my truck from the Blaster burning the junk out of the engine. After a couple minutes the smoke cleared and engine was running good. So let’s mow some grass with it. It’s brush in my orchard not my lawn.

Here it is after it’s all cleaned up. 1998 Rally 20” push mower with 3.5 HP Briggs and Stratton engine.
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wdn

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Aug 6, 2018
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Thanks. I used the two bucket method to wash it with Chemical Guys extreme body wash with carnauba, then Jescar Powerlock+ paint sealant, and finally Mother’s liquid carnauba wax. Brought it home from the dump yesterday and fixed it up today. I was shocked when I removed the sparkplug to see it was brand new like that. Maybe the owner tried to fixing it before chucking it. The oil was at Full but was black as tar. I have started it several more times now if you prime it 3X when cold like it says, it starts on the first pull. When hot of course it also starts on first pull. It has a primer bulb but no choke.
 
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Back before they started with the crazy bogus hp/tq ratings. 3 1/2 meant 3 1/2 & We Liked It!
Washable reusable filter element & all.
 
Joined
Dec 10, 2014
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342
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Georgialina
Went to the town transfer station and saw this old lawnmower in the scrap heap that was not there a few days ago. I loaded it into the Tundra, why not? I worked on it this morning. It is a 1998 Rally 20” mower made in USA by Frigidaire.
View attachment 61001
It was filthy. The pull rope would not budge an inch. Engine was completely seized. I took out the sparkplug to try Blaster Small Engine Tuneup in the sparkplug hole. The sparkplug I found was brand new.
View attachment 61004
View attachment 61005
I cleaned it up. After a few mighty heaves I could spin the blade with great effort. I removed the recoil assembly which was in beautiful condition and worked fine. It was the engine seized. The magneto assembly was tight and had surface rust I cleaned it with WD-40. Drained the old gas, drained the oil which was filthy and put in Mobil 1 10W-30 and 20% Marvel Mystery Oil. Let it sit for 15 minutes for the Blaster to do its thing. Eventually I could turn the flywheel by hand. It seemed to get easier so I put the pull starter back on.
Gas tank did not look too bad just a few spots of surface rust.
View attachment 61006
After slowly pulling the rope it seemed normal. I sprayed starting fluid in the carb. It started and ran for a few seconds. I removed the air cleaner and cleaned the carb jets with Gumout. Three pushes of the priming bulb and a small spray of starting fluid for luck and I pulled the rope again. It started and ran. There was a cloud of smoke the size of my truck from the Blaster burning the junk out of the engine. After a couple minutes the smoke cleared and engine was running good. So let’s mow some grass with it. It’s brush in my orchard not my lawn.

Here it is after it’s all cleaned up. 1998 Rally 20” push mower with 3.5 HP Briggs and Stratton engine.
View attachment 61008

Great find, and a nice cleanup/repair job. I had almost forgotten the Rally brand name.
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2017
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Under the Hood
Nice job cleaning it up.
Now you can go out and cut your neighbors lawns for $5.00

The tires have some good tread on them.
Must not have been used much.

Tires on my mower lasted 10 years.
Then I regrovved them using a Dremal Grinder / saved myself $90.00
 
Last edited:
Joined
Sep 10, 2005
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5,095
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Massachusetts
Given the last few threads here in the small engine forum, you could either never change the oil or run $8/qt 0WXX synthetic....

Nice job on the resto. I love when you guys post these projects.
 

wdn

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Aug 6, 2018
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NH
@oldhp I don't think the oil had anything to do with it, except it needed fresh oil. The oil level was full. Owner had clearly changed the oil at some point but it was filthy. Engine was not burning oil. The motor was gummed up with varnish. It runs like a top now. I often use it instead of my self-powered Troy-Bilt (that is 32 years old since I bought it new) because the Rally is extremely light and easy to maneuver.

Here again for your viewing pleasure, doing some mowing in the yard. It runs like a top now. It runs extremely strong for a "3.5 HP" mower. Maybe that is "net" horsepower. It starts on one pull, prime the bulb 3X and give it a light pull and it is off and running.

 
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