Mower Storage and Start up in Spring

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Supper Grassy, Sep 1, 2007.

  1. Supper Grassy

    Supper Grassy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,582

    I have a 36" Snapper and i want to make sure that i keep this mower in working condition.
    When i put the mower away in the einter what do i have to do

    Also come spring whats has to be done?
  2. Grass Happens

    Grass Happens LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    add seafom to the fuel, or like briggs/tecumseh fuel stabilizer and run it out of fuel. you want the treated fuel to coat the carb, and not varnish the passage ways. Dont change the oil, yet, wait to spring. No sense in changing the oil and then letting it sit for 3 months. Not that it probably matters, but.... Grease everything, coat exposed surface with something, try fluid film, scrape the bottom of the deck, and paint it if you want it to last a good long time. Avoid Sta-bil! Around here at least, it makes carbs a funky sea-weedy gooey green mess.
  3. joshco84

    joshco84 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 411

    grass said exactly what i would, sea foam the fuel and let it run for a bit, 10 or 15 minutes would suffice for me. clean it realllly good and spray wd 40 (or paint/primer) on the places where paint is wore off, and then grease everything really well. maybe even go out and start it once a month or so. as long as the fuel in it has sea foam, it wouldnt bother me to leave it with fuel in it (just turn the fuel shutoff off and let it run out to kill itself.)

    Hope I helped even though i just repeated the previous post.

  4. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,338

    I wish I did a better job of "winterizing" my aerator last winter (read as: I unloaded it off the trailer and put it in the corner of the storage unit). Soooo many problems when I pulled it out of my storage unit (broke handle lock up lever and wore out tines are not winterizing, or lack thereof issues though). The problem that I am concerned about-it didnt start. And then the cord broke on the 10th pull, so I will have to wait till like Tuesday to fix that when my dealer is open, then I can address the not-running problem.

    Anyway, this year I am definitely using stabilizer and running it out of fuel before I put it up.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Run your fuel supplies low about that time, what I do is syphon the mowers out and use the fuel for blowers or what have you, then I let it sit. Some stuff I start and let it run itself out of the little that's left, but most of the fuel I try and use up some kind of productive way. DO spray them down lightly with an oil, wd-40 is good, I like used motor oil myself, and grease the zerks.

    I don't use additives, I pump premium and I'm done, they always start in spring.
    My cars run on it, so long it's not mix fuel, and mix fuel already has preservative.

    Don't change the oil BUT do know which machines are out of maintenance.
    You can and will get a call requiring the use of just such a machine, sooner or later.
    This is one reason I run synthetic oils, also I charge extra if I have to run a machine off-season.
    Manually MOVE the machine a few inches about once a month, to avoid flat spotting the tires.

    In spring, change plug, oil and filter, air and fuel filter, put fresh blades on it, replace caster / velke / under deck bushings.
    Grease her up, fill'er up with premium, check air pressure in tires, voila.
    Oh yeah don't forget to stock rubber grommets, inner tubes, a tire (or 3), valve stems, recoil rope and handles, zerks and clips and springs and certain pins.

    btw I run double platinum plugs, RJ-12YC = app5224
  6. TinMan421

    TinMan421 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Just curious why would anyone want to leave dirty oil in the crank case over the winter? There are all kinds of contaminants in used motor oil. Maybe your winters are short. Where I am it can be 6 months or more.

    I would suggest changing oil in the fall after you run it out of fuel.

    Remove each spark plug and put a squirt of oil into the cylinders and crank the engine for a second to coat the cylinders. They do make a fogging oil for this purpose but I have had good luck just squirting a small amount into the cylinders.
  7. Grass Happens

    Grass Happens LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    The reason we leave oil in it, is the same reason we dont change it in the fall. Over the winter the new oil will have acids leached into it. Ideally you change it both times. I don't like the idea of using my mower with 3 month old oil.
  8. Eric D

    Eric D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    Asking how someone should winterize mowing equipment is like asking what brand of oil is best. You will get a different answer for each person. I would suggest reading your owners manual as to what they say should be done and do that.

    I don't drain fuel, never had a problem with the newer unlead fuels, and I do change to oil before putting it away. My equipment is stored in my shop and is covered with a loose fitting tarp. The deck is cleaned and washed before it is stored.

    Eric D
  9. Dano50

    Dano50 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,781

    Fluid Film it! There is no better corrosion preventive and protectant on the market. That's why John Deere coats all their combines and tractors with it before they ship them overseas and Corona Clipper dips all their metals in a vat of the stuff before packaging.

    If you haven't tried Fluid Film and live within the Continental United States, just send me a PM and I'll get a sample can out to you at no charge to try for yourself.
  10. Eric D

    Eric D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 295

    Hi Dan,

    I recieved my free sample and have tried it on my deck. So far so good. In fact I'm planning on buying more. Fuid Film will be a part of my winter storage prep this year.

    Thanks for the free sample!

    Eric D:rolleyes:

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