Trash picked a craftsman mower today!!!

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Oct 11, 2004
Guy was walking it to the curb. I asked if he was trashing it and he said "yeah, I think it has a bad head gasket, it won't run well." I said I'd take it as a winter project. He said, "have fun." It is a model 917.388521 6.5hp Briggs big wheel walk behind with bagger. I checked the oil. Correct level, just very dark. drained it. Pulled the plug, sooty and dry, replaced it with a spare I had. Checked the air filter...plugged solid with dirt and mouse fur, bedding, etc. I will take a pic for ya. Put in fresh plug, oil, and gas. Two pulls and she's a runner again. Gonna go to Menard's tomorrow and get a new air filter for it. Nice.
I trash picked a mower that I devoted to "steep hill duty" as I didn't care if I starved it for oil. It ran better than my main-line one though so I promoted it to full time service. LOL Cool that it has a paper filter and not one of those stupid sponges you have to soak in oil and wring out.
Congrats! All you need to do is to perform a few carb fuel bowl drain to rid of water and crud, install a 120micron mesh inline fuel filter, a brand new air filter and off you go! Q.
Good one! That's just like the donor Craftsman I took in, except mine had a Tecumseh on it. Filter was the same, along with rodent chew marks. The engine shrouding was also packed with rodent nesting. Too bad the handle-bar, wheels and associated hardware were so shot. I kept the engine and scrapped the rest. Joel
Hey, when I gave you the mower you said if it was something simple you'd give it back to me and I would pay you for your time and parts....can I have my mower back ?
Amazing that someone would trash a mower due to a $5.00 filter. Well, it USED to be a filter anyway....
I often see an item (snowthrower, mower) on Craigslist, where the lister says the unit worked last season, but doesn't work this season. I wonder if these may be good buys, since gummed up carburators seem to be prevalent for the average person. I don't think carburator cleaning is all that difficult. Sometimes the lister even mentions that it's probably just a dirty carburator. I don't know if they're that lazy (or mechanically inept), or if they're lying to downplay the real problem. Also, I've heard stories from others where they trash-picked an OPE, cleaned the fuel system and brought it back to life.
I dump picked an 8hp briggs, looks like it came off a wood splitter. Brought it home, cleaned the carb (it was full of rust water), and changed the oil, put in a new spark plug and she purred like a kitten.
My neighbor gave me a several yr old commercial HONDA mower with a similar issue. I did the same thing(s) as the OP(dwcopple) and the mower ran great. Sold the Honda cheap($125.00). I didn't tell him yet! Maybe he'll move so I won't have to tell'em. wink JK! He didn't care what I did with it.
The guy was smart enough to know the term head gasket but such a idiot probablly never changed or cleaned that air filter. Got to love idiots.
Same seller has the filters for my Tecumseh engine for $2.50 so I grabbed 4 of them. The filter you posted is the same filter that my parent's mower engine uses so I grabbed a couple for them. Thanks for the link.
You can easily run a cheap prefilter on this style filter. Heck I have a round style filter that I prefilter on for years.
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