Fun little re-engine job

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Last year I'd bought a new large rider for our farm property, but for small areas and under tree limbs the foreman had been using an ancient (late 80s) large-wheel Southland push mower with a 3.5-horse Pulsa-Jet B&S that had belonged to my Dad. That was bout the low point of Briggs engines in many ways, although the fact that it still ran... sorta... after a shot of starting fluid and with the governor wired open is a testament to the basic mechanical structure I suppose. But the fuel system was a crime against nature, and it never really ran *well* and never really had the power to swing a 22" blade in tall grass. I got to thinking about a replacement, but that old Southland deck has always been very light and easy to use with those big rear wheels. So I decided a re-engine would make a fun project. And while we're at it (cue Tim Allen...) MORE POWER! A few minutes on Equipatron.com and a couple of days shipping produced this at my doorstep: Bolted on, waiting for new front wheels and a blade: New steel front wheels with ball-bearings, new Arnold Xtreme blade, and we have IGNITION! Yeah, in the end it cost about 75% of what a whole new mower would, and I still need to scare up a replacement handle that will fit. But there's something extra-satisfying about getting some extra life out of a machine that's a little unusual by modern standards. Still debating whether or not to install handle controls or just leave the engine fully self-contained.
 
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Originally Posted By: Brian123
I think you have the engine on backwards.
Yup. The recoil rope is gonna pull in the wrong direction.
 

440Magnum

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Are you SERIOUS? Have you ever actually un-bolted an engine from a deck? You kids these days... read on and learn before you say anything more and look even sillier.... :-p Older mowers (pre blade-brake) DID have the engine on "backwards" to the way modern decks have the engine. That allows you to put your foot on the deck to pull the rope, since the rope doesn't go up to the handle like modern mowers do. And by the way, there's only one way you can bolt an engine on mower deck unless the deck is dual-pattern (this one is not). There are 3 bolt holes in a non-symmetric pattern so you CANNOT possibly install an engine "backwards" on the deck. You can intstall it EXACTLY one way. Period. Take notes, there will be an exam before recess tomorrow.
 
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But won't the blade spin the wrong way?? (I'm COMPLETELY kidding) BTW, I vote you skip the hand controls and leave it self contained. Why complicate things!
 

440Magnum

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Originally Posted By: EdwardC
But won't the blade spin the wrong way?? (I'm COMPLETELY kidding) BTW, I vote you skip the hand controls and leave it self contained. Why complicate things!
My thinking too. The new engine supports installing a blade-brake handle (B&S provided the linkage to lock-out the blade brake for non-brake applications, which I have installed here), and the original mower did have a throttle on the handle (you can see the cable connected to nothing in the bolt-up photo). But there's something nice, utilitarian, and 1950s commercial mower nostalgic about engine-mounted controls only.
 
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Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
You kids these days... read on and learn before you say anything more and look even sillier.... :-p
Oh, do you mean like this new fangled mower? Plug up front, recoil rope in the back.
 

440Magnum

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Originally Posted By: mrsilv04
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
You kids these days... read on and learn before you say anything more and look even sillier.... :-p
Oh, do you mean like this new fangled mower? Plug up front, recoil rope in the back.
You've got the rope going out the wrong hole on the recoil housing. :-p But this arrangement WAS more common before blade brakes (exCUUUSE me for not saying that it wasn't universal, though): I'd still love to know how you guys think its even possible to install an engine backwards to the way the mower deck manufacturer wanted it done. My grandfather ran a small-engine repair shop as his retirement hobby, and I spent a lot of time there in my pre-teen years in the late 1960s. Saw literally hundreds of mowers go thru there... learned how to turn wrenches there... I kinda know which way an engine goes on a deck.
 
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The way the engine is now it will be blowing exhaust fumes towards the person pushing the mower, I would not want hot exhaust gas blowing right towards me, I would want the exhaust blowing away from me.
 

440Magnum

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Originally Posted By: Brian123
The way the engine is now it will be blowing exhaust fumes towards the person pushing the mower, I would not want hot exhaust gas blowing right towards me, I would want the exhaust blowing away from me.
Uh... NO. The exhaust blows away to the operator's right along with the grass clippings and wind from the deck discharge chute, just like the original engine did. You know, I really thought this forum was a little smarter than this thread is demonstrating....
 
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Indiana
Originally Posted By: Brian123
The way the engine is now it will be blowing exhaust fumes towards the person pushing the mower, I would not want hot exhaust gas blowing right towards me, I would want the exhaust blowing away from me.
You're kidding right? Some of you guys on here are clueless. Besides, even if the exhaust did blow towards the operator....you either live with it (something that most fabricators put up with...it's a trade off of some "unique characteristics" vs. the satisfaction of building your own. Or, you simply fab up a different exhaust if you can't handle the fumes.
 
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Maryland
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Originally Posted By: Brian123
The way the engine is now it will be blowing exhaust fumes towards the person pushing the mower, I would not want hot exhaust gas blowing right towards me, I would want the exhaust blowing away from me.
Uh... NO. The exhaust blows away to the operator's right along with the grass clippings and wind from the deck discharge chute, just like the original engine did. You know, I really thought this forum was a little smarter than this thread is demonstrating....
My mistake, looked at the pic again and you are correct. I was thinking about my Briggs that blows straight, your engine blows sideways.
 
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Originally Posted By: Brian123
The way the engine is now it will be blowing exhaust fumes towards the person pushing the mower, I would not want hot exhaust gas blowing right towards me, I would want the exhaust blowing away from me.
fail, obviously this guy knows what he is doing and like 10 people try to tell him he is wrong and then they get corrected
 

440Magnum

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Originally Posted By: Brian123
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Originally Posted By: Brian123
The way the engine is now it will be blowing exhaust fumes towards the person pushing the mower, I would not want hot exhaust gas blowing right towards me, I would want the exhaust blowing away from me.
Uh... NO. The exhaust blows away to the operator's right along with the grass clippings and wind from the deck discharge chute, just like the original engine did. You know, I really thought this forum was a little smarter than this thread is demonstrating....
My mistake, looked at the pic again and you are correct. I was thinking about my Briggs that blows straight, your engine blows sideways.
I apologize for the snark in my previous reply. I can see how you'd make that mistake, most of those mufflers do have an optional cover that directs the exhaust 90 degrees to the muffler face for when it is mounted the other way around. I didn't install the cover in this case so that the exhaust flow would be in the same place as the original.
 
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IL/GA ,USA
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Originally Posted By: Brian123
Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
Originally Posted By: Brian123
The way the engine is now it will be blowing exhaust fumes towards the person pushing the mower, I would not want hot exhaust gas blowing right towards me, I would want the exhaust blowing away from me.
Uh... NO. The exhaust blows away to the operator's right along with the grass clippings and wind from the deck discharge chute, just like the original engine did. You know, I really thought this forum was a little smarter than this thread is demonstrating....
My mistake, looked at the pic again and you are correct. I was thinking about my Briggs that blows straight, your engine blows sideways.
I apologize for the snark in my previous reply. I can see how you'd make that mistake, most of those mufflers do have an optional cover that directs the exhaust 90 degrees to the muffler face for when it is mounted the other way around. I didn't install the cover in this case so that the exhaust flow would be in the same place as the original.
OP, thanks for this nice little bugger. OK,now for the laughs: managed to cut the grass for 2 weeks with the other part of the blade in my electric mower. I was really puzzled why the grass didn't get cut.... only beaten... for the ones that didn't get it: my blade was upside down.
 
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Nice job 440. Nice old school deck with modern emissions compliant and assumed quieter & torquier engine. One could imagine they were back in that era, mowing a lawn with an engine from the future laugh
 

440Magnum

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I feel the need to apologize for being snarky... I never meant to imply that I know it all or that I couldn't make a bonehead mistake. Trust me, I've done far worse than put an engine on a mower deck backwards. But in this case, the deck itself prevented the mistake.a And in order to take the discussion back to vintage technology, I think it is interesting how even lawnmower design has narrowed down to pretty much a single dominant layout over the years. Back in the early days, mowers came in all sorts of configurations. There've been pictures of both cylinder head forward and cylinder head rearward in the thread already. But there was also head to the side: And note the discharge chute at the front of the deck, which was fairly common once but has just about disappeared now. I think high lift decks that generated a lot of airflow also worked better with a side discharge (also pretty scarce these days) or rear discharge. Plus with that configuration makes it hard to mow close to any obstacle with the discharge side of the mower. Then there's this pile of weird, including the wind-and-slap starter. Granddad had one of those when I was a kid- it was the hardest to start of any mower we ever had. Good idea on paper, but sucked rope in the real world because a) winding it wasn't really any easier than pulling a cord, and b) it was longer in between spins so you lost a lot of heat in the cylinder between one go and the next, or it flooded, or lost its prime.
 
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