I needed to cut the grass about two weeks ago I guess. I planned to do it last Tuesday, but the fiddlehead ferns conspired to prevent me from doing it then. On Wednesday it rained, and on Thursday I went shopping for groceries for our camping trip. On Friday we camped. I got back pretty tired Sunday evening, but made an attempt to cut the grass then in spite of my exhaustion.
I made almost one lap before I ran into some pretty high grass that killed the engine. And then I couldn’t get it restarted.
On average, I’d say the grass was about eight inches tall, but there were places where it was up over two feet. I’m not that much into yard maintenance.
I figured I’d give it another crack tonight. Of course nothing was different (other than that I had more energy) and the mower wouldn’t start. So I dug into it.
The first thing I found was that the cable that engages the front wheel drive was stuck hard. I was able to move it in its sheath with a pair of pliers, but even with the liberal application of WD-40, I was not able to get it to move freely. Front wheel drive never really seems to make much difference in the amount of effort required to cut the grass anyway, or maybe it’s been that way for a couple of years and I’ve just gotten used to doing all the work myself, I dunno. But I figured that maybe the engine couldn’t get going with the front-wheel-drive system engaged, so I disabled it by loosening a spring. It made no difference. So I opened the engine cover.
It didn’t take long to find a broken spring connected to the governor. I could have held it open while I started the engine, but starting the engine requires two hands, and that was all I had available. But the spring was clearly broken. I dug out a parts list and found the part number, and then I called a place in Tilton to see if they either had the part of could order it for me. They didn’t/could, and it will be there for me to pick up in a couple of days.
Meanwhile, the grass is still two feet tall in places. Or maybe even 30 inches. It’s really bad. So I decided to see if I could jury rig the spring and coax the mower into working for at least a couple of hours.
I pressed a paper clip into service, and voila – I had a running engine. I cut the grass, and now the lawn looks a little more suburban than it did this morning.
Cutting the grass almost always causes me grief though, and not because of a broken spring. I cut down several sprigs of blue-eyed grass (in bloom), and nearly ran over a stand of bluets. I did place a rock in the yard next to the bluets to prevent an accidental cutting though. I ran right over the blue-eyed grass though. I would have spared it too, except that there is another stand of it in an unmowed part of the property. Still, it causes me grief to mow them down like that.