Harbor Freight Predator mower engine..

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Harbor Freight Predator mower engine..

Post by Admin on Sun Feb 28, 2016 4:19 pm

Turned really dry and needed to mow fire break. Did lot mowing with the Yazoo with older HF "Greyhound" vertical shaft mower engine. But magneto getting weak. Ordered a new $6 magneto off the bay, taking its time on slow boat from China, but in meantime put on newer 5.5hp "Predator" version of this engine, my backup engine.

I dont tend to like the plastic pimple carburetors (no real choke) on modern engines, just have the plastic bubble to prime them. But this one started pretty easy. More and more started kicking back when pulling rope to start it. Like to want to jerk my hand off my wrist... Flywheel key fine. So I replaced the generic chinese "Torch" plug with an Autolite 63 plug and fine again. But got me thinking about putting a cast iron flywheel on this engine. My old Yazoo mower is belt drive. So blade still works as counterweight for the aluminum flywheel, but still bit twitchy at times if belt slips.

Saw somebody on ebay selling a complete cast iron flywheel/fan/cup/nut/key assembly off horizontal shaft Predator for little over $20 shipped. Sure not much of a market for original application, since it would most likely never wear out in life of the engine. At worst maybe plastic fan get brittle or magnet in the flywheel go bad. Bought it. Brand new looking, guess seller buys new Predator engines and resells individual parts for a profit? Or maybe he put some custom gokart "racing" flywheel on his Predator??

Was relatively straight forward. Removed the aluminum flywheel. Had to remove the entire bracket for blade brake as bolts interfered with cast iron flywheel which sits bit lower. then once it along with plastic fan and the cup in place, found I had to use six small flat washers to raise the starter rope recoil assembly tiny bit so it didnt drag on flywheel. Thats it, oh had to also put on a custom toggle kill switch since the kill switch originally in the blade brake assembly that I removed.

Started easily and ran happy even at slower engine speeds. Belt on or off. Unlike the "Greyhound" mower engines, the "Predator" mower engine comes with carburetor with a low speed circuit, so if you want you can use a throttle cable to adjust speed. Or you can just set it to run speed you want and lock it down forever. The Greyhound version had carb that didnt have low speed circuit. I had to adapt a carb off a horizontal shaft engine to get engine speed to be adjustable. I know EPA mandates push mowers to run at full governed speed for emissions reasons, but lot times, especially with a somewhat oversized engine, running at lower engine speed is lot more pleasant. Quieter and less vibration. Uses less gas too. I never did understand burning MORE gas to lower some emissions. Makes no sense. An engine burning LESS gas would have lower TOTAL emissions. But burocracies rarely have much common sense. You get a job in place like that, you learn quick to just blindly follow rules, dont try to think for yourself or look for logic.

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