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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello !

I'm a older guy from Sweden who has a garden somewhere around 20.000 sq.feet.

Having a large family and pretty much to do at work I have started thinking about getting myself a riding mower. Only problem is; as usual - I'm on a pretty tight budget right now. This beeing said; I have the option of buying a used Snapper mower nearby where I live. According to the seller; the thing runs without problem but there two things to fix:

  • the belt that drives the blade is broken
  • a couple of "spacers/washers", described as plastic or rubber, are missing from the axel where the cutting blade is fastened.

The guy wants 400 dollars for this mower, see picture below.

I consider myself relatively handy - but it would be very helpful if one of You experts could say if this sounds like something easy to fix - or like a bad idea ?

I would also like to ask, since I have a very sloping and bumpy garden, will this machine be a wise choice for me ? Does this type of mower mulch the grass, or do I need to rake the clippings up afterwards ?

Huge thanks if someone can help me.

Sincerely Jörgen
 

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Freedom is not Free. Thank those in uniform for yo
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Welcome to the GTtalk Jörgen. The belt is not hard to replace, There are manuals, in the manual section, that will tell you how to change the belt and also adjust it so it will give you the longest life. I assume when you say axle you are talking about the spindle that spins the blade. You will probably want to pull the blade and sharpen it when you get it so you should be able to replace the spacers at that time. Some one that knows Snappers better then I do should be along before long and can give you better advice.
 

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Elf guardian
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Hi Jorgen.

Welcome to GTT. :wave:

I'm not familiar with those Snappers, other than I've heard that they

are very good machines. Just like anything, they need owner attention.

One thing I notice from your picture, is that the grass looks much greener over there.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thanks a lot for Your answers and friendly attitude :)

I am leaning more and more towards buying this tractor. I understand it is normally a longlasting equipment, given proper amount of care of course.

Please pardon my rusty English. Of course I mean grass lawn, not flower garden :)

Many greetings from Sweden/ Jörgen
 

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Used to mow a cemetery with one of these. Tough and maneuverable mower. Didn't work on it much but that was many years ago. I don't know values too well on them. Welcome!
 

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They are good mowers, last for years. I have one that I used for 15 years, I think it was built in the 70s so they last a long time. You can get baggers for them too. Makes sure the brake works and it drives well, no slipping in all the gears. If everything works good, then $400 US is good price for it.
 

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Hallo Jörgen, welcome to GTT
 
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  • the belt that drives the blade is broken
  • a couple of "spacers/washers", described as plastic or rubber, are missing from the axel where the cutting blade is fastened.

The guy wants 400 dollars for this mower, see picture below.

I would also like to ask, since I have a very sloping and bumpy garden, will this machine be a wise choice for me ? Does this type of mower mulch the grass, or do I need to rake the clippings up afterwards ?
There should be a data sticker with the model# and date on the tractor, sometimes under the seat on the left side. You can use the model# to find online fiche for part numbers. One source is snapperpartstore.com Here is a link http://www.snapperpartstore.com/pages/OemParts?aribrand=SNP#/s/SNP/28085s//1 Or you can find parts on ebay. Not sure about getting them to Europe tho.

Your machine looks different from what i have seen, maybe it is a European machine? If so maybe you can find a local source for info, dealer, etc.

If you have the belt you can look for a part# or measure it, any belt the same size should work.

As for plastic washers there are some in the rear axle, pretty common issue. If you can move the rear of the machine side-to-side more than 5mm or so you can take up the slack with washers. They are plastic you can cut a notch in them, no need to remove axles. Washers go under the left side axle boot. You will need to stand the machine up on end to replace. There is also a grease fitting on that axle and the mower blade spindle. I don't know about a plastic washer on the mower blade.

Also before buying stand it up and look underneath, if the rubber boots are torn they will need to be replaced. Axles will need to be taken apart a dirty job. Also the chain case and gear box take 00 grease might as well do that while it is up in the air.

Check to see if it goes uphill ok while mowing, the clutch wears but is easy to replace costs under $20

Make sure the motor doesn't smoke or make bad noises

How well it mulches depends on the blade. There are different blades available for snapper mowers, hi-lift, mulching, ninja, etc.

They are good machines, well-built, easy to work on. It always comes down to individual condition and location for sales price. Snappers usually have smaller motors good on gas, only 1 blade so not the best choice for really big yards, takes a long time with a 30" cut. Also they are just riding mowers, not meant for towing or digging in a garden, good luck
 

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Welcome, I owned one back in the day and it was a good little machine, and mowed well. It was well taken care of I never had any problem's with it.
 

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I have 3 snappers. Two old ones like the one you have pictured, and one newer one with the oblong steering wheel. My older ones have bicycle handle bars. I tried to put a regular steering wheel on an old one, and it would jerk side to side. Very hard to hold straight. Put the old bars back on. Be sure you check that one out, because it looks like it has a newer steering wheel on it. Around here they go for 175 to 350. Very fun to ride. Hope every thing goes well for you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hello and sorry for the long period without updates.

I want to thank you guys for giving me info about the Snapper-type of mowers.

Well - long story short; I went ahead a bought the Snapper that I've mentioned earlier.

Although the machine had quite a few more errors than the seller first said and I couldn't get any price reduction I went ahead and bought it. The fact that these old Snappers really aren't that common on the swedish second hand market makes it a little tougher for the buyer if you´re looking for this particular type of machine.

The purchase might have been a bad choice, but I somehow got a feeling that the machine possibly after all could be a reasonable "fix-object" and I absolutely like the roughness of this mower.

I paid 420 USD for it. The seller, a man in his late seventies, told me that he put the price based on the market value for a running 12 HP B&S motor plus the fact that he had paid 130 bucks for the new starter. The starter looks new - but regarding the price tag, well I don´t know if that is true.

I thought I share some pictures of this purchase with You - and I am extremely thankful if You while watching these can tell me if You see any other missing parts or damages to it than the ones I have detected so far.

The 12 HP B&S engine starts and runs without any trouble. The mower has the "Snapper" sticker on the front and is marked "Extra tough" and "Hi-vac" on the steering pillar.

The big issues so far appears to be the following:

The drive belt for the knife is broken.

The drive discs (spacers ?) are missing and the drive wheel looks like it needs replacement. The rubber is really worn here. The machine runs in reverse, but not forward.

The ignition keylock is broken and there is no starter relay or battery on it. However there is a new starter on it. The old guy who sold the mower started it by connecting a car battery to the starter. So far it starts without protests both via starter and hand crank.

The tires got some really nasty age-cracks in them, but so far they have not deflated. Purchasing new wheels seems like a good idea.

There is a sliding frame for the gearshaft (see green marking on the picture below ) which has some dents and uneven spots in it. According to the seller this can cause the gears to be a little hard to get in place sometimes. He suggested that it would be possible to weld out the uneven places and make the frame straight and smooth again. I'm not sure about that advice- but I will first look at it when the drive wheel and spacers are replaced so I can observe how the mower behaves when gears are shifted. If any of You have some good ideas and hints here I would appreciate the information. I remember the warning from member Oldford to be careful if the gearshift appears impaired, but……well I thought this might be fixable and bought the darned thing - maybe this was stupid of me.

The knife looks like it has seen better days, so I'm thinking about resharpen it or buying a new mulching blade here. The seller told me that it probably would be a good idea to change the bearing for the blade spindle.

It appears that there are some more minor flaws, but nothing major as the above.

My next step right now is to deeply study the manual for the machine and start searching for best price/quality for the different spares. I expect that the mechanical service and part replacing that I am about to do will take some time, so I don´t plan to actually use the mower until next summer season. Right now it is parked nicely in my back garden at home, covered with plastic storage sheets. I will place it inside a shed during the winter. I have a nearby car junk yard here and I am about to start looking if I might find a used motorbike battery there to put on the Snapper.

But already now I would very much appreciate if any of You more experienced guys could give me some guidance in the following:

  • I have now watched some Youtube-clips of people changing the drivewheel on this and similar mowers, is it as easy as it looks - or should I beware of something particular ?

  • What is the best way to fix the ignition-/starter-function: buying a new solenoid and hook it to a new battery and the existing starter ?

  • The steering wheel does not seem to be the original. Especially the ugly weld midways on the steering rod would have me thinking otherwise. At this point I am thankful for the warning from Doxey regarding this issue, but as far as I can tell the steering behaves pretty normal. But this will of course first be evident when I get to ride the mower in forward direction at different speeds.

  • As You can see on the picture with blue marking; the ugly welds on the front plate which hold places for bolt seems to have been done afterwards- or is that really done by the factory ? What possible use could these bolts serve ? In the long run I might be tempted to attach some sort of small front plate to the mower with additional headlights by using those bolt holes. Have any of you guys done something like that ?

  • Are there any other specific beginners mistakes that I should be aware of while servicing or operating this machine ?

  • Might sound like a cheapish question; but are there any tire replacements possible on this machine other than the off-the-rack Snapper ones ? At the moment I'm most concerned about cutting costs within reasonable frames.

  • Where the heck do I find the identification plate for the machine which tell me the model number and year ? I've been looking under the seat and around the frame- but I haven't managed to get any wiser so far. Can You help me identify the model ?

  • The choke-lever on the B&S engine seems to have been tampered with. While it still works, the choke is changed from full till none by pulling a small hooked metal pin and placing it in one of two possible positions. I can´t imagine this being original, so I'm just starting to investigate how the original one should look like and find a replacement.

As for me - I'm am far from a mechanic, but I consider myself relatively handy and I know my way around a toolbox. I have done some easy stick welding so far and was planning to learn how to mig-weld later this year. I if can get this oldie running and working again I will definitely clean her up cosmetically. I'm already goin' through different cool-but-not-crazy colour combinations for the frame and knife deck :)

Well- worst case scenario is that I made a bad/costly purchase which turns out to be hard to fix. But I am optimistic and the machine itself seems very uncomplicated and easy accessible for mechanic work. This factors aside; I must say that I absolutely love the tough old school look on this one and the heavy construction - which differs a lot from f.i. the differens modern riding mowers from Stiga and Partner, which are sold here in Sweden.

To all of You guys who put energy into helping me this far - BIG THANKS !

Sorry for the long post - here comes the pictures:

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1H4JnYg1mD4zmmxkOVsHwWAUbLjbNc1.jpg
 

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I help with what I know. First of all, yes the tires are weather checked but if they don't leak I'd ride them out till they do. The wheels look like they just need a good amount of using a wire brush on them then use primer and paint on them. The blue circled studs might be to install a dethatch attachment some of them had. Could be someone found the attachment and this one didn't come from the factory with the attachment and someone wanted to make them work. I agree that the steering wheel does not look like it came on the mower but I'd leave that for after I got it operating well.

Reg
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Hi Reg - many thanks for Your thoughts and input. Yes - eventually I defintively want to brush and paint those horrible rusty looking rims.

I have now studied another part of one of the Snapper RER mowers manual and it appears that the boltholding threaded rods mounted in the front ( which I circled in blue above ) are there in case someone wants to buy extra front weight plates as an accessory kit to the mower and hang these on there.

Wouldnt have guessed that in a million years. :D

Take care

Jörgen
 
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