Worth the risk?

Eef

Joined
Apr 27, 2015
Messages
1
Location
Canada
Bought my first house - now I'm looking at my first lawn mower. Well, I found a 96-97 2 stroke Lawn boy for sale locally. It has the F engine, and a steel deck in good shape. But it apparently surges.... which is apparently also a common issue with them. I'm happy to learn how to fix it (I've watched a few videos on youtube already) and I'd be OK with fiddling with it for hours on end, but I frankly know jack about small engines. Then again, tinkering is part of the appeal. So what I want to know: is it worth buying a mower that is known to have issues when I have zero experience trying to solve it? One more thing. I understand that surging is mostly caused by a dirty carb, and occasionally by a dirty air filter or faulty spark plug. Is there anything else I should be aware of when looking at the mower to know if its worth my time? Thanks.
 
Joined
Aug 2, 2014
Messages
1,468
Location
Gulf Coast, MS
It depends if your getting it for a reasonable price then yes. However it depends on the size of your lawn more then anything. For years it seemed like I was replacing riding mower after riding mower so I finally caved and bout a Husky commercial zero turn mower. Besides the price being pretty high I haven't regretted it a bit. For the last year or so I was mowing our three acres with a push mower which wasnt necessarily hard just time consuming. Find a mower that fits your needs and price.
 
Joined
Sep 25, 2009
Messages
17,298
Location
OH
If the LB is cheap enough, then why not? I loved my old LB. It went through the thickest, tallest grass without any problems at all and cut cleanly all the way.
 
Joined
Nov 16, 2009
Messages
749
Location
Wisconsin
If priced right, yes. Most people don't take care of their equipment, give it some TLC, a carb cleaning, and non-ethanol gas.
 
Joined
Oct 17, 2014
Messages
1,906
Location
SW Ontario Canada
If it bothers you, a poorly running 2 stroke will emit lots of pollution compared to a newer 4 cycle. If this aspect doesn't influence your thinking, go ahead and get it! FWIW, 2 strokes are the very best for lawns with steep inclines, as they don't need to have a sump of oil to protect the moving parts. If you are dealing with a lawn with cliff like faces...it is best to go 2 stroke.
 
Joined
May 30, 2010
Messages
13,839
Location
North Carolina
I have a LB duraforce its listed at 6.5 hp but it runs like its an 8hp!! These things really have the torque. Tall grass is no problem. Mulches much better than the 4 strokes as it has more power. Mine is not self propelled but i may get one that is just to back up my rider in case its ever down. I just trim mow with this one and its great. Is different mowing with what sounds like a chainsaw.
 
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Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
2,536
Location
SD
I have one of those mowers. I bought it used about 10-11 years ago. It has started to surge at the low throttle setting, but not the high, so I haven't gotten too worried about it yet. I suppose one of these days I should clean out the carb. Otherwise, it has run well for me with only air filter cleanings and spark plug replacement. I would not hesitate to buy another if I needed a mower.
 
Joined
Feb 25, 2015
Messages
1,547
Location
Sask, Canada
I borrowed a Lawn Boy 2 stroke at one time. It started and ran fine, just underpowered. It stank and it made cutting the lawn quite unpleasant. I only run 4 stroke mowers. Just my opinion.
 
Joined
Nov 30, 2004
Messages
2,536
Location
SD
Originally Posted By: BrianF
It stank and it made cutting the lawn quite unpleasant.
Using a quality synthetic oil makes smoke nearly disappear, but yes, there still is an odor. I will say that when using my LB 2-stroke, the mosquitoes leave me alone! That alone is worth it in my book!
 
Joined
Jan 30, 2007
Messages
17,501
Location
Clovis, CA
Originally Posted By: Eef
but I frankly know jack about small engines.
You're one of those tax paying normal people.
Originally Posted By: Johnny2Bad
If it surges but doesn't stall, I say "run her".
That's what all my neighbors do. I hate my neighbors.
 
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Messages
5,909
Location
Ohio
Originally Posted By: Donald
I personally would not get a 2 cycle lawn mower.
Good advice. Leave the 2 cycles for weed trimmers.
 
Joined
Dec 7, 2003
Messages
11,571
Location
Florida, Cape Coral
You will probably have enough to do with your "first" house without fussing with old mower engines. Why not purchase a new or possibly a good 4 cycle from a Craig's list or Estate sale and be done with it for years to come. JMO. Ed
 
Joined
Sep 30, 2013
Messages
13,486
Location
Indiana
Get it and it'll outlive you! So much hate for Lawn Boys here.. I don't get it. The worse thing you can do is get something new. Ick. If you're skeptical, hold off and keep an eye on CL for a "good" working one at a reasonable price. For example, I can get a self propelled dura force with a bagger for $90. If I didn't have my others, I'd be on this one too.
 
Joined
Sep 23, 2008
Messages
9,958
Location
Ontario, Canada
My LB was surging when the bottom seal went out on it and it started to run lean. Have a good look under the motor above the deck to see if that's the case. I did run it for a couple years that way just turning what I assume was an air screw on the outside of the carb down until it ran OK. I did get it fixed eventually and the mower lives on.
 
Joined
Feb 17, 2014
Messages
176
Location
Philadelphia area, PA
I too prefer the power of the E series over the rock solid F engines. Not much is necessary to get even more power while eliminating the surge of the DuraForce; Simply tapping out the jet or install a snow thrower main jet is it. If the price is minimal, you stand to have a mower that will easily last another 20 years with basic maintenance. Personally, if the price is under $30usd, consider buying it. If not, patiently wait until you find an aluminum or other alloy deck to show up for under $50.
 
Joined
Jun 14, 2011
Messages
2,493
Location
Texas
Engine surging is a symptom of a plugged/restricted low speed circuit in the carburetor. No, you can't add anything to the fuel to fix this. The carb needs to be cleaned out.
 
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