20 April 2011

Electric Lawn Mower

A few years ago I went in with my brother to buy a corded electric push mower. It was awesome to use! In fact, I helped cut a neighbors weed filled yard one time with it. Another guy had his gasser there. He kept bogging down and I kept churning it out.

Anyway, the mower has been largely unused for about a year. I needed it this spring to collect the clippings (I normally mulch, except the first few cuttings to put in the garden spaces). It's the only mower I have that will bag. I got it back from my brother and went out to mow. The blade looked like he used it to attack zombies. Stone zombies. I had to totally re-grind the blade. No biggie, it's now 3 seasons old and can use a good sharpening and balance.
I put it back and powered on the mower. It started howling like a banshee! It was louder than a gas mower and shook all over the place. I finished my small front yard and decided to overhaul the poor thing. After pulling the cover off it was obvious that rain had gotten in. There is a design flaw in the mower in that where the motor mounts is in a well in the deck. So water can collect and pool against the motor! And there is no drain hole either! The bottom half inch of the motor casing had a lot of corrosion.
I coaxed it apart and found both bearings were kinda rusty and in bad shape. it's a permanent magnet brushed motor, so it's very easy to repair. I tried using a gear puller to get the main bearing off, and the outer race crumbled into pieces! I've ordered a couple new bearings as well as spares. I went with the sealed type instead of the shielded to help fight off water.
Easiest mower overhaul ever? Replace two bearings and polish the commutator is all an electric mower needs to make it like new. No loss of power, no carburetor, no transporting gasoline. I still love using electric.

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