While you probably did not purchase your lawn mower specifically for the joys
of repairing it, there is always a chance that despite all your precautions,
the blade will strike a rock that just happened to grow out of the ground when
you weren't looking. Therefore, it makes sense to be prepared.
|NotTaR of small Gasoline Engines and Rotary Lawn Mowers : Tools and supplies
1994-2007, Samuel M. Goldwasser. All Rights Reserved. Reproduction of this document in whole or in part is permitted if both of the following conditions are satisfied: 1. This notice is included in its entirety at the beginning. 2. There is no charge except to cover the costs of copying.
I may be contacted via the Sci.Electronics.Repair FAQ (www.repairfaq.org) Email Links Page.
<< SAFETY |
| Gas, electric, or manual? >>
Basic servicing of small engines doesn't require a $500 tool caddy. However,
some basic hand tools and other items will be needed.
- A good quality set of socket wrenches is essential. For small engine
work, a 3/8" ratchet and a set of sockets from 1/4" to 1" as well as a
special spark plug socket. Usually a deep 13/16" type - check for your
particular engine(s) will suffice.
A basic set from Sears (Craftsman) should be fine and will come with a
lifetime replacement warranty as well! If you have never invested in
a socket set, now is the time. Forget about those $4 specials, however,
as they are generally worse than useless. A word to the wise: you really
must have a socket set to do any kind of work on small engines. Slip-joint
pliers or worse yet - ViseGrips(tm) - just will not do!
While open-end or box-end (closed) wrenches may be used for certain bolts,
some simply are not accessible without a properly sized socket (like cylinder
- An impact wrench may come in handy for removing those really stuck bolts
and screws. These accept standard screwdriver bits and sockets (via an
adapter) and convert a hammer blow to rotary motion. First try penetrating
oil like Liquid Wrench(tm) and normal tools though.
- A variety of good quality screwdrivers - both straight and philips.
- Needlenose and utility pliers.
- Wire cutters and strippers.
- Ball-peen hammer or other metal hammer.
- Rubber mallet.
- Funnel, drain pan, plastic milk jug for used oil. These can be discards
from the kitchen.
- Old rags, cotton swabs, paper towels, etc. for cleaning. An old but
soft paint brush for getting dust and dirt our of various places.
- Wood blocks for propping things up or securing the blade or flywheel when
loosening or tightening. Other drift (scraps) of wood and soft metal.
- Torque wrench. An adequate model that will work with your 3/8" sockets
can be purchased for around $10. Setting the torque - tightness - on
certain engine bolts is critical to proper operation and long life.
- Feeler gauge - a set of precise thickness strips or wires for setting
spark plug and point gaps. The .020" and .030" sizes should suffice for
- Flywheel puller - build or buy. See the sections starting with:
Flywheel removal. If purchased, it must be one
designed for your model engine, not just something you picked up in the
hardware store marked 'flywheel puller'! Briggs and Stratton, Tecumseh,
and others sell tools specifically for their engines. This is the easiest
way to remove the flywheel.
- Carburetor cleaner - this comes in a spray can. It is also probably
as flammable as gasoline, toxic, and will eat plastics and painted
surfaces. Therefore, use only in a well ventilated area or outdoors
and take appropriate precautions.
- A tube of thread-lock comes in handy as well as some anti-seize compound
like graphite grease for the muffler/exhaust bolts and spark plug.
| Gas, electric, or manual?>>