Lawermower Identification

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MIKE1518
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Lawermower Identification

Hi folks,

i'm new to the group. My father recently give me an old lawnmower which he used as a garden feature for the past 10 years. My intentions are to do it up again and get it going for my own garden. From the look of it, it is likely to cost more to do it up than to replace it, but i'm happy to bring it back to live for the fun of it.

Absolutely everything is seized in it - no movement in anything. very badly corroded everywhere - to the point that i've broke  few bolts after spraying with WD40 and leaving for a few days. It has no ignition system at all (empty behind flywheel).

Despite all of this, i have taken the head of the engine block and the cylinder and pistion look fine, so i figure that they are the core of the unit. In addtion to this, i have rebuilt the Carb, which is now in working condition.  I haven't been able to turn the engine as it's seized in gear. Seemingly my dad remembers it running a long time ago...

what i was going to ask for help with was the following:-

1. Does anyone know what the make and model of this mower? I have looked all over the mower, but there is no 'L' shaped ID plate as seen on many. Also, the engine is a villiers (maybe a F.15?) but often when i see these online, they all look a little different.

2. Does anyone have an exploded diagram for this mower or engine?

3. if the bearings are seized, is WD40 the best product to get them moving?

in addition to the above, i would be grateful of any advice on were to get started with geting her going.

Kind Regards,

Micheál

  

 

Clive1997
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Hello, Welcome to the forum,

Hello, Welcome to the forum, you have certainly taken on a bit of work, the mower looks to be at Atco assume 24in cutting width, perhaps you could measure & let us know. As to date I assume late 50's - 1960's.

Whilst not my main area of interest there are plenty of people on the forum who can help with mowers from this era.

Personally if you are keen there are perhaps some more interesting & manageable restorations out there, depending on where you are located I may even be able to supply you with one for free, but please see what other comments & help come forward.

Image below of an Atco 24

Regards

 

Clive

wristpin
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Definitely an Atco, either 20

Definitely an Atco, either 20 or 24" with a Villiers Lightweight engine, possibly 150cc.  Quite why someone would have stripped out the magneto stator and then reassembled the castings etc is a bit of a mystery. Perhaps your Dad had two machines and used one as a parts donor?

As Clive says , they are not particularly rare and there will be far better examples to be had  but, of course , without the provenance. 

Edit

This is the engine - Villiers Lightweight

https://www.dropbox.com/s/v2kmc8pbqbotpeb/Villiers%20Lightweight%20horiz...

looks like your engine has an F15 type recoil starter grafted on to it!

and this is a similar chassis. Two piece rear roller for the 20" and three piece for the 24".

https://www.dropbox.com/s/01yi86gpyhlp3ss/Atco%20F16%20and%20A8%2020%20a...

WD40 is not a good dismantling fluid . Plus Gas is my favorite but diesel oil is very good

Seb
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bear in mind that WD just

bear in mind that WD just stands for Water Displacement, not suited to dismantly, as wristpin says, Plus Gas is very good, and has got a lot of things apart for me, if plus Gas cant shift things I usually reckon its time for a gas torch to heat and expand.

if it was mine I would probably look for a donor engine, either to transposition the entire engine or just the electrics.

Good Luck, and may it bring you many enjoyable hours

gtc
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The WD40 company has allowed

The WD40 company has allowed a litany of alleged uses for its product to spread far and wide for decades. About the only thing it doesn't do is cure cancer (... not yet, anyway).

In my neck of the woods, according to its MSDS, WD40 is more than 60% Naptha, aka White Spirit, aka Turpentine.

I avoid WD40 myself. There is usually a purpose-specific alternative to it, however mechanics these days seem to have been so brainwashed by the WD40 myth littany that they don't know any better.

A friend of mine repairs automotive electrical and electronic parts, including dash gauges, for prestige and vintage vehicles. He tells me that if a part comes into his workshop smelling of WD40, he tells the customer (usually a mechanic) that it's probably going to end up in the rubbish bin.

 

MIKE1518
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Folks,

Folks,

thanks for all your replies!!! a fountain of knowledge to say the least!!! 

I know that this one is very far gone, but a part of the planned restoration is enjoying the process. as i figure it, the machine is about 50-60, so if i can rebuild it i will know it inside out, and who knows maybe i'll get another 50yrs out of it!!!

Wristpin, the engine ID is spot on- and you've even figured out the recoil has been added at a later point!! i didn't know this, but when i took it off i noticed that there was a lot of 'spacer' nuts on it, and i thought to myself that someone has done a bit of a cowboy job on it!! That also explains why i couldn't figure out the exact engine type.

With regards the WD40, it seems that I too was being suckered there- i'm just going to start using that for cleaning. i've started using diesel now...

 

I will keep you all up to date on my progress!!!!

 

MIKE1518
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Hi guys, 

Hi guys, 

its been a bit, so I thought I'd drop you all a line on my progress on this lawnmower. 

Engine- turning almost all the way round, but seems the valves are stuck, preventing further movement. Still waiting for points and magneto to come up for sale on eBay too, before I've any chance of getting it started. 

Carb- dismantaled and reassembled- looking good. 

Drive chains- need replaced. Sprockets look fine, bearings all wreaked. 

One bit of help I could be doing with is how to remove the clutch drive shaft from the engine flywheel. I thought that the two claws with the rubber block between just came apart, allowing me to get the engine. But this has become a nightmare. Is there a trick to removing the clutch assembaly from the engine??? Demented here!

 

will post progress pics soon

hortimech
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There is a bearing inside the

There is a bearing inside the clutch rubber, you need to remove the bolts that hold the engine down, then pull the engine away from the clutch. You may have to 'jerk' it violently, but they should separate.

MIKE1518
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Gents, 

Gents, 

i wonder if anyone could help me with a problem I’m having- I’m trying to remove the crank shaft casing of a villiers lightweight engine. I’ve removed all the bolts, but it doesn’t seem to want to pry off. I know there is a bearing in the middle of the casing which the crankshaft runs through. But with it being aluminium I don’t want to break it. 

 

There me are four bolt holes around the bearing, is a puller needed to remove this?

 

i need is as the rods which push the valves up are seized in position...

 

mike

wristpin
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A bit of heat may assist with

A bit of heat may assist with both issues - just remember the lower melting point of the aluminium alloy. may be a hot air gun is a safer bet than a blow torch.

The maintenance manual shows a purpose made puller being used to remove the drive side crankcase cover but seems to suggest that the magneto side one can be withdrawn without the aid of any special tooling . I will scan and post the relevant pages later. 

Later!

https://www.dropbox.com/s/6w8hkrr7k14y8od/Villiers%20Lightweight%20overh...

MIKE1518
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Hi guys, 

Hi guys, 

i have some good news- the engine fired!!! Didn’t start but fired! But the fly wheel was attached correctly and came off!! Could someone tell me how to set the flywheel timing (no key-tapered shaft). The spark is good. Seemingly I put the piston at TDC, the wind it back 4mm and then stick flywheel on with the flywheel line lined up to the arrow on engine block? Then tighten up?

 

kind Regards, Micheál 

wristpin
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This may help
MIKE1518
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Guys,
MIKE1518
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Guys, 
MIKE1518
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Guys, 

Guys, 

after working on this mower since August, I’ve learned very quick that this is mad project to take on, as I could have easily bought a cheap one on eBay. 

But anyway, after all this time I have great news- the engine started tonight!!! The engine is bolted to my desk in the shed and she’s a wee beast!! The petrol fumes are like the smell of victory!

before starting I didn’t know much about engines so it was a learning curve. I had to dismantle and the engine and carb, free up and clean the valves, push rods, piston and other bits.

But tonight she’s going!!

anyway, I need to get the mower going before the summer, and there are a few things I need- is there anyone out there that could help me (I’m happy to pay) .

i need the following stuff- bearings, perhaps a decent 24inch cutting cylinder and bottom blade, chains, handles and also a crank case  cover and bearing for a villiers lighweight engine  ( I cracked mine opening it to free the valve push rods). 

Best regards,

mike

MIKE1518
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Guys, 

Guys, 

after working on this mower since August, I’ve learned very quick that this is mad project to take on, as I could have easily bought a cheap one on eBay. 

But anyway, after all this time I have great news- the engine started tonight!!! The engine is bolted to my desk in the shed and she’s a wee beast!! The petrol fumes are like the smell of victory!

before starting I didn’t know much about engines so it was a learning curve. I had to dismantle and the engine and carb, free up and clean the valves, push rods, piston and other bits.

But tonight she’s going!!

anyway, I need to get the mower going before the summer, and there are a few things I need- is there anyone out there that could help me (I’m happy to pay) .

i need the following stuff- bearings, perhaps a decent 24inch cutting cylinder and bottom blade, chains, handles and also a crank case  cover and bearing for a villiers lighweight engine  ( I cracked mine opening it to free the valve push rods). 

Best regards,

mike

Clive1997
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Hello Mike

Hello Mike

Just picked up a few mowers including an Atco 24in same as yours, will try & get some images on here tomorrow, hope I may be able to help you.

Clive

 

Clive1997
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Hi Mike images below, bottom

Hi Mike images below, bottom blade is better than it looks in image, should clean up well. not sure if the engine has been replaced on this one, certainly hes different fuel tank, old brackets still visible!!

 

 

 

wristpin
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Looks like someone has fitted

Looks like someone has fitted a Villiers F15. You already have an F15 recoil unit that had been grafted onto your Lightweight.

Ivanfarrow
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 I have now taken over this

 I have now taken over this machine with the intention of using it daily 

it has obviously been left out in the rain with water in the carb and exhaust. The inlet valve was stuck fully open

I have removed the head decoked and fixed the valves and now have a spark from the magneto.

So all looks good and just need a new head gasket and carb clean before testing

Thanks Clive

PS my 36 inch Dennis will shortly require a new owner

Ivanfarrow
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The engine and throttle cable

The engine and throttle cable are  now fully assembled but I was unable to remove and clean the idle jet from the carb. It seems to be clear if you squirt carb cleaning fluid through it. I ultra-sonically cleaned it a few times as it was very dirty

Compression seems to be poor ( but I am used to a Dennis)  and the F15 engine pulls over easily

It will some timesstart on first pull and runs and cuts strongly

However it is very difficult to start when hot even when turned over fast with my electric drill. It also occasionally slows down and stops

Is this normal for an F15?

wristpin
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I suspect that your engine

I suspect that your engine may benefit from a full valve job - refacing the valves, skimming the seats, lapping and setting the gaps. Good valves are the basis of a sweet running engine; fiddle with the carb and ignition for as long as you like but unless the valves are good it will be time wasted. However, before doing the valves just try squirting some engine oil down the spark plug hole and pulling the engine over a couple of times before replacing the plug and then seeing if the compression has improved. If it has, the issue is more likely piston rings than valves.

Something else to bear in mind is that Atco fitted that additional flywheel to compensate for the lighter flywheel and lack of torque of the Villiers lightweight engine and it’s additional inertia will alter the way the engine feels when pulling the starter rope.

I’n not a fan of using a drill to turn over a reluctant engine. Unless it’s a fairly hefty drill the standard recoil will often give greater cranking rpm and that’s what counts, particularly if the engine has electronic ignition - which was fitted to the final production of F15s.

Ivanfarrow
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Thanks for your advice.  When

Thanks for your advice.  When I had the head off to free the sticking valve I found the valve heads were not at all burned. I did not grind them because I had no easy way of adjusting the clearances and I just wanted to see whether the engine was worth spending time on

I now suspect the rings as a rudimentary cranking pressure test only shows 50 t0 60 psi which seems far too low. However once I get it going it works well for as long as I want but is perhaps low on low speed torque. I need to add oil and repeat the cranking test to confirm poor rings. 

Are there any techniques I need to know to get the piston out? and replace it?

I cannot determine how you remove the con rod bolts in order to remove the piston. Can you reach them after removing the extra flywheel and side plate?

How is the extra flywheel attached? is it on a keyed parallel shaft? My exploded view lacks detail!

I think I need Technical service sheet 71/5

Regards

wristpin
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The valves don’t have to look

The valves don’t have to look burned to not be seeking properly.

There’s  really not much point in doing anything further until you’ve done the “ oil in bore”  trick and confirmed , or otherwise, the condition of the bore and rings. The F15 on my Ransomes Twenty Four is 50+ years old and still on its original rings.

With the F15 not being offered as an original engine on that machine there is an element of doubt as to  whether  the auxiliary flywheel is on a parallel shaft or a tapered one.  My guess is tapered. If so the flywheel will have a centre bolt into the end of the shaft to pull the flywheel onto the taper. To remove, slacken the bolt and break the taper by impact using a drift.  If it is a parallel fit there will be obvious grub screws or similar. 

With the flywheel off  the crankcase side cover may be removed but check the manual that there”s not a circlip lurking behind the oil seal that will need to be removed before the cover can slide over the crankshaft.

I can’t remember whether  I’ve posted the F15 manual  and the IPad won’t let me look so I will check on the PC later.

Ivanfarrow
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As recommended I added a few

As recommended I added a few globs of 1960s Redex and checked the cranking pressure et voila 75 psi  a 50% increase. 

I then started it to clear out the oil and it sounded crispier (and very smokey) After the smoke cleared I found I was able to start it on the pull cord!

Cant believe it was that easy. Full marks to Redex

Thanks

wristpin
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Sounds as though you may have
wristpin
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Sounds as though you may have

Sounds as though you may have had sticky rings or a hanging valve.

Back in the 60s Redex used to promote a "10-minute tune-up". This consisted of warming up the engine and dribbling Redex into the carb over some minutes. I cant vouch for its effectiveness but the smoke screen was spectacular and the neighbours enjoyed it!!