Eclipse Duo-Master rustomod

Jul 9, 2019
Hey guys, thought I'd share this monstrosity with the wider world. It's been handed down through the family since new, which was in... early '50s some time? Not sure of the actual date. The sticker is long gone from the deck but I still have the original - I think - engine, a 6B-HS in sad shape with a clunky conrod, but mostly complete (6B-HS 900160 1513060, from what little I've read you can't get real dates from that format - true?). It's old and dirty and rusty but the deck is solid as a brick you-know-what. The original grips are still intact, not even busted up on the ends. Anyway, the timeline goes that probably 30 years ago it was getting smoky and clunky, and was abandoned. Left outside in the dead pile for 10 years or so. Around then I had an awful MTD somethingorother with a dying drive system and generally falling apart all over, but a good engine. I stripped off all the usable parts and proceeded to retrofit everything onto the old dead Eclipse. Threw away all the flywheel brake BS. The Eclipse blade mounts with the big belleville washers and a single bolt so no funky adapters were required. I reused one of the MTD cables, adapted to the Eclipse throttle. The original wheels were too far gone from rust, they were peeling off layers like an onion, so I used the icky plastic no-bearing MTD wheels. [Linked Image] The Quantum "5.5hp" is 5.5 no more (or maybe it's now a true 5.5hp). Ported, eyebrows rolled over into the bore down to just above where the top ring stops, shaved head, carb worked over a little with thinned throttle shaft, low profile stainless screw, smoothed venturi, main jet converted to use homemade #6-32 replaceable jets, plugged the bypass hole in the blade with lead shot and added an idle stop screw. All of which is totally pointless I know, since the governor never sees the need to give it more than about 1/4 throttle even when you toss the mower into a head-high mountain of kudzu. It's unkillable short of hitting a hidden tree stump. [Linked Image] He has teeth! Logically, sometime through the years he acquired the name Chompers. [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] The stop "switch" is sorta functional but in process of being replaced with the correct snap-in stop switch that fits the bracket. Also working on a canister style muffler being adapted to a 2 bolt flange to replace the ugly pancake muffler thing. And a different (wrong part number for this engine, but same format) carb with a real idle circuit (as if that's even necessary - but I want it, so there!). I'm kinda-sorta leaning towards buying real metal ball bearing wheels for it, and making new axles/spacers to get the front wheel offsets moved in closer to the deck where they should be. The scabbed-on MTD parts aren't a great fit there, I can do better (I have a lathe and enough raw stock to make something nice). Anyway, I'll add more when parts arrive and progress is made. Hope some of you enjoy this kind of thing. LOL
I know, but... I'm trying to avoid painting anything. Once you start where does it stop? All I've done appearance-wise so far is scrubbing with WD40 and steel wool, that didn't do much at all to brighten up the remaining paint. Didn't do hardly anything at all, really. It is clean now, though. The lighting is bad in that pic but there's still paint on the teeth, they're the same green as the other trim parts. I would REALLY love to find a gas tank that's more period-correct and get rid of the black plastic junk, but not finding anything that really works. Rust on the outside I'm OK with, on the inside parts, not so much. It's nice when it just runs when you need it to.
This green and white thing is the motor I removed when the Quantum went on. [Linked Image] But looking at the head, that's not a 6B. The upper-right head bolt is in the wrong spot, it's inline with the one below it. That's something newer... Now THIS is a 6B. Found in the pile o' stuff. [Linked Image] Wanna see something really freakin cool? [Linked Image] That is not a sticker, it's actual real paint. I have not the faintest idea how that was put on there in the early 1950s. Not hand painted, surely. Crazy. The 'Eclipse' is even filled in with gold metalflake. [Linked Image] I also got a tag for it, lol. 1951 was the closest I could find. [Linked Image]
They obviously don't care what I think about their leaf blowers howling for 3-4 hours at a stretch, so... LOL
Originally Posted by spiderfactory
They obviously don't care what I think about their leaf blowers howling for 3-4 hours at a stretch, so... LOL
so maybe you could get it to miss a little bit... thumbsup
New adjustable carb and kill switch are on. However, the throttle control arm hit the stop in the bracket before it touched the tab on the kill switch. This is the correct p/n bracket assy and kill switch per the catalog, no idea what's up with that. Also the governor spring attach point was not giving me what I needed. If it was bent to allow a good idle speed, it would go over-center past the pivot point at WOT and chop the WOT speed way down. Bending it to get the WOT speed right made the idle way too fast. [Linked Image] So, some fiddling later it's all re-jiggered and works like it should. The stop notch in the control arm was cut to allow it to travel far enough to hit the kill switch. The gov spring bendy-adjustment part was slit and reprofiled so that the spring point never goes beyond center. The new brass pivot bushing thing sticks up far enough to support the spring when it's at WOT - this thing is so rev-happy what with the engine internal mods and the tiny 17" blade it only has a veeeery small amount of tension on the gov spring to get it to sit at ~4200rpm and I was getting a lot of spring oscillation and hence hunting. The brass button stopped all that. And, now at idle position there's lots of slack in the spring to let the idle stop screw work as intended. [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image]
ho noes, wheels all falled off [Linked Image] So what kind of moron buys new ball-bearing wheels and then proceeds to knock all the bearings out 10 minutes after the UPS guy drops them off? Sheesh. [Linked Image] I'm just talking to myself here, that's OK. Here's a pic of a spider. I don't know what they find so appealing about my basement/shop/garage but they are everywhere. At certain times of the year it literally rains thousands and thousands of baby spiders from the rafters. [Linked Image]
Originally Posted by spiderfactory
So what kind of moron buys new ball-bearing wheels and then proceeds to knock all the bearings out 10 minutes after the UPS guy drops them off? Sheesh,
The kind of moron who wants real actual sealed proper-ground bearings, that's what. The ones the wheels shipped with were pseudo-bearings with stamped races and no seals anywhere to be found. And no way to pump in grease to displace the crud that would make its way inside. [Linked Image] Cut down the shank on the bolts, they were undersize and a sloppy fit in the new bearings anyhow (~0.495" OD, 0.5005" bearing ID). I measured the distance between the outer faces of the inner races when installed in the wheels (all 4 were slightly different, the wheels themselves are not exactly precision devices) and made up spacer sleeves the right length to give about 0.002" axial preload to get rid of any bearing slop. Everything is a tight slip fit for later disassembly. The spacers allow the wheels to be bolted down tight as you like to the deck without crushing the bearings, the normal lock nuts inboard of the wheels to control the running clearance are no longer needed, the spacer sleeves handle that job. [Linked Image] Next I made separate spacer washers to set the wheel spacing to the deck. One needed to be 0.300", other 3 are 1/4". I added a radius to keep debris from being funneled in towards the bearing seals. [Linked Image] [Linked Image] [Linked Image] And here it is complete, with the correct 8" rear tire (the old MTDs were 7"). [Linked Image]