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View Full Version : A little Lawn Tractor love


jasonw
03-30-2010, 12:20 PM
Yeh yeh yeh I know but I like it. I had a problem with my tractor because its more of a workhorse than a mower and most of the time its just putting along at an idle. Well at an idle the motor wont charge the battery properly so I decided to hook a switch to the headlights so I can shut them off. That fixed the problem. Now when it gets dark I just flip a switch and the lights come on. I went up and above that and decided to add a few lights to the back. No real reason other than I wanted to.

picframer
03-30-2010, 03:54 PM
Just a quick note, I am going to assume this is an air cool unit, running it at idle doing any type of work will cause it to run a lot hotter than it should be reducing the life of the engine.

jasonw
03-31-2010, 02:46 AM
Just a quick note, I am going to assume this is an air cool unit, running it at idle doing any type of work will cause it to run a lot hotter than it should be reducing the life of the engine.

Really? I did not know that. I have putted it around for about 8 months now and had no over heating problems. Shoot the header is not even discolored yet lol.

Steve
03-31-2010, 04:24 AM
That is awesome! You should take some night pictures too! I love the lights!

picframer
03-31-2010, 04:42 AM
Really? I did not know that. I have putted it around for about 8 months now and had no over heating problems. Shoot the header is not even discolored yet lol.

Air cooled engines have a fan that usually runs off the top of the crank, this fan is what keeps the engine running cool, the slower the rpm, the slower the fan turns resulting in less cooling.

jasonw
03-31-2010, 12:28 PM
Air cooled engines have a fan that usually runs off the top of the crank, this fan is what keeps the engine running cool, the slower the rpm, the slower the fan turns resulting in less cooling.

Steve thanks, I like them to. I will get some shots of them this coming weekend. I dont normally get home from the office until almost midnight and dont think my neighbors would appreciate me firing up the beast at that time lol.

picframer. I understand how that works, maybe its possible it was engineered good and doesn't have a cooling problem at idle. Thats not to say other machines wont have problems I just have not run into any but I will keep my eye on my temps, thanks.

jasonw
03-31-2010, 03:12 PM
That is awesome! You should take some night pictures too! I love the lights!

Steve. I closed the4 shop doors and shut the lights off. Something is up with my camera but you get the idea, here they are.

SuperiorPower
03-31-2010, 03:40 PM
Andy is correct about the cooling. On top of that, there are other problems with not running your engine at full throttle. Here is an article I posted on my forum several months ago. Hope it helps.

F.A.Q. Why should I run my engine at full throttle when it is working? (http://lawnmowerforum.superiorpowerequip.com/index.php/topic,186.0.html)

Steve
03-31-2010, 11:52 PM
Those lights look great! Fantastic job!

jasonw
04-01-2010, 02:41 AM
Andy is correct about the cooling. On top of that, there are other problems with not running your engine at full throttle. Here is an article I posted on my forum several months ago. Hope it helps.

F.A.Q. Why should I run my engine at full throttle when it is working? (http://lawnmowerforum.superiorpowerequip.com/index.php/topic,186.0.html)

So whats the difference from a chain saw engine and any other. I am not talking 2 and 4 stroke, your article says not to run chain saws at FT for more than 5-10 seconds.

SuperiorPower
04-01-2010, 03:01 AM
So whats the difference from a chain saw engine and any other. I am not talking 2 and 4 stroke, your article says not to run chain saws at FT for more than 5-10 seconds.

The reason is that chain saws (or any small high RPM 2 cycles) tend to over heat and burn up if they are operated at no load speeds. It starts with too much heat being generated with not enough cooling capacity. At the same time your lubrication burns up quicker, creating more friction, which creates more heat, which burns the lubrication up even quicker, creating more friction..... Well you get the point.

I can't really explain all the fine detail but let it suffice to say that that if the engine runs at full RPMs for any amount of time then the engine will almost alway burn up. I have seen it happen too many times. Trimmers and blowers are not really affected by this as long as they have the normal "load" on them from being operated. Example: a blower is automatically under load because of the blower tubes and a trimmer has to turn the shaft and trimmer head.

However, a chain saw still needs to be run at full throttle while it is cutting. Another words, don't cut with the throttle at "half throttle". That will over work the engine and burn up the clutch.

picframer
04-01-2010, 04:42 AM
Steve thanks, I like them to. I will get some shots of them this coming weekend. I dont normally get home from the office until almost midnight and dont think my neighbors would appreciate me firing up the beast at that time lol.

picframer. I understand how that works, maybe its possible it was engineered good and doesn't have a cooling problem at idle. Thats not to say other machines wont have problems I just have not run into any but I will keep my eye on my temps, thanks.

Our tractors are liquid cooled but I still run them at least half throttle, one thing to consider as it's cheap to do is add a temp gauge, I know years ago there was a really cheap solution or at least super east, it had what looked like a super thin washer the size of your spark plug that was placed on the spark plug with a wire running back to the gauge. I ran them on snowmobiles when we were racing as we were running aviation fuel.

jasonw
04-01-2010, 09:38 AM
Our tractors are liquid cooled but I still run them at least half throttle, one thing to consider as it's cheap to do is add a temp gauge, I know years ago there was a really cheap solution or at least super east, it had what looked like a super thin washer the size of your spark plug that was placed on the spark plug with a wire running back to the gauge. I ran them on snowmobiles when we were racing as we were running aviation fuel.

That might not be a bad investment to look into.

SuperiorPower
04-01-2010, 12:56 PM
That problem should be solved as long a you run the engine at least half throttle unless of course you are working it like mowing, etc. If you are mowing you need to run the engine at full RPMs so you aren't lugging it. Doing that you should never have an overheated engine. If you operate at the suggested RPMs a temp gauge would be of no need.

If you decide to install a temp gauge, I don't know for sure how you will know what temp the engine is suppose to run at. I don't even have access to these so the only place I know to look for them is online. The ones I saw were $50-$60. I contend they are unnecessary if you keep your RPMs up while the engine is working. If it is sitting doing nothing, idle is fine. But if it is working, give it some RPMs.

jasonw
04-01-2010, 01:24 PM
That problem should be solved as long a you run the engine at least half throttle unless of course you are working it like mowing, etc. If you are mowing you need to run the engine at full RPMs so you aren't lugging it. Doing that you should never have an overheated engine. If you operate at the suggested RPMs a temp gauge would be of no need.

If you decide to install a temp gauge, I don't know for sure how you will know what temp the engine is suppose to run at. I don't even have access to these so the only place I know to look for them is online. The ones I saw were $50-$60. I contend they are unnecessary if you keep your RPMs up while the engine is working. If it is sitting doing nothing, idle is fine. But if it is working, give it some RPMs.

Now that's a whole nother story. When working I do run the RPM's up. if I engage the blades at low RPM it will vibrate my head off. I have a good one though. My throttle falls into a notch at about 75% There is no mention of this in the manual. Is this notch where I should run it while cutting? Also this may go without saying but is there anything wrong with starting it and letting it sit and idle for a few minutes to warm it up before putting the peddle down and going? I mean its a lot better for the motor to warm up first right?

jasonw
04-01-2010, 01:26 PM
Now that's a whole nother story. When working I do run the RPM's up. if I engage the blades at low RPM it will vibrate my head off. I have a good one though. My throttle falls into a notch at about 75% There is no mention of this in the manual. Is this notch where I should run it while cutting? Also this may go without saying but is there anything wrong with starting it and letting it sit and idle for a few minutes to warm it up before putting the peddle down and going? I mean its a lot better for the motor to warm up first right?

Almost forgot. Should I treat my 4 stroke weed eater the same way? Its a torqy little thing and works great just above idle. Should I keep the RPM's on that up even if I dont need the power while working to avoid the same thing? As far as the blowers go, I think people that run them full out have no clue what they are doing. My little Lowes 2 stroke 150MPH blower will blow the river rock out of my driveway at FT. I have yet to have a reason to raise it above 50% or so.

SuperiorPower
04-01-2010, 02:14 PM
Now that's a whole nother story. When working I do run the RPM's up. if I engage the blades at low RPM it will vibrate my head off. I have a good one though. My throttle falls into a notch at about 75% There is no mention of this in the manual. Is this notch where I should run it while cutting? Also this may go without saying but is there anything wrong with starting it and letting it sit and idle for a few minutes to warm it up before putting the peddle down and going? I mean its a lot better for the motor to warm up first right?

I would run it all the way up to full throttle. Personally, I am not a fan of running it at anything less than full throttle if it is working. As far as starting it and letting it idle for a few minutes to warm up, there is nothing wrong with it and actually it is my personal opinion that is a good idea. That allows lubrication to get throughout the engine before it is working. That also goes for your vehicles. "cold starts" are unhealthy for any engine. This is where and engine starts up and is working right away with no lubrication. This decreases life considerably on the critical parts of the engine.

Almost forgot. Should I treat my 4 stroke weed eater the same way? Its a torqy little thing and works great just above idle. Should I keep the RPM's on that up even if I dont need the power while working to avoid the same thing? As far as the blowers go, I think people that run them full out have no clue what they are doing. My little Lowes 2 stroke 150MPH blower will blow the river rock out of my driveway at FT. I have yet to have a reason to raise it above 50% or so.

The thing to be concerned with on string trimmers (I try to avoid the name "weedeater" since that is actually a brand) is that most trimmers have a centrifugal clutch and if you are trimming with it at less than full throttle you are causing clutch slippage. Their clutches are centrifugal clutches, which I am guessing everyone knows, means that the clutch engages when the engine is accelerated. The slower the engine runs, the greater the chance of clutch slippage.

As far as the blower statement, that will depend slightly on what you are blowing, etc. I am not aware of any danger point of operating it at less than FT. They have no clutch to worry about. The only thing that comes to mind is still the cooling issue. At lower RPMs the engine will not have the ability to cool as well, however, it is still working just like it would at FT. Sure, its doesn't have as much output at the end of the tube, it is still working. It is under constant load throughout the entire RPM range, from idle to FT.

Hope this helps,
Eli

jasonw
04-01-2010, 02:53 PM
Thats interesting. I never thought about clutch wear. I do have one that has no clutch so I imagine that would not apply but the one I use most often dose have a clutch.

jasonw
04-17-2010, 11:42 AM
Ok so I installed a B&S hour meter and head temp gauge yesterday. In Neutral no matter if its idle or full throttle she is wanting to sit around 176F or 80C How dose that sound. At idle it crawls slightly higher but only about 5f. The only place on the head I could mount the sending unit without removing the exhaust or intake was about 1-1.5" above where the header bolts to the head. That should be fine right? Anyway the big question. Running at 176F ok or to hot?

jasonw
04-18-2010, 07:52 PM
Ok so I installed a B&S hour meter and head temp gauge yesterday. In Neutral no matter if its idle or full throttle she is wanting to sit around 176F or 80C How dose that sound. At idle it crawls slightly higher but only about 5f. The only place on the head I could mount the sending unit without removing the exhaust or intake was about 1-1.5" above where the header bolts to the head. That should be fine right? Anyway the big question. Running at 176F ok or to hot?

Ok so there was another bolt directly above the intake manifold. The reading I get there is a consistent 140f

jasonw
04-27-2010, 12:58 PM
Ok so there was another bolt directly above the intake manifold. The reading I get there is a consistent 140f

Anyone have an idea on the temps I should watch out for?

SuperiorPower
04-27-2010, 01:16 PM
Jason,

I really don't know. In over 15 years I don't recall ever hearing that question come up. If I find the answer I will let you know.

You should be good as long as you just let the engine run a little bit faster.

Good luck,
Eli

jasonw
05-02-2010, 01:21 AM
Jason,

I really don't know. In over 15 years I don't recall ever hearing that question come up. If I find the answer I will let you know.

You should be good as long as you just let the engine run a little bit faster.

Good luck,
Eli

Today it did its first job sence adding the gauge. I ran about 130 the entire time. Most of the job was full throttle with lots of grass but about 30 minutes was high grass just above idle. I had to do it this way because there are a lot of ornamental rocks hiding in the tall grass and 1st gear at RPM was way to fast. I ended up hitting one rock so I slowed it down but it had no effect on the temps.