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Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines Briggs & Stratton, Clinton, Lauson, Maytag, Nelson, Wisconsin and other small air cooled engines. Sub forums for mowers, scooters and powered eqipment.

Small Air Cooled Gasoline Engines

Western Auto Rotary Mower


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  #1  
Old 06-20-2019, 03:57:08 PM
dkirk dkirk is offline
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Default Western Auto Rotary Mower

I recently dug out of my garage attic a vintage rotary mower powered by an AV-36 Power Products two-stroke engine. This was my grandfathers mower which I think he purchased from Western Auto sometime in the 1950's. The model is 18" Special featuring a stamped-steel mower deck. I haven't run this little mower in the past 30 years so I thought I'd see if it would still operate like I remembered.

The spark plug was initially removed and the engine pulled through to confirm spark, which was present. I then fueled it with two-stroke fuel/oil mix and within 2 pulls, it was running.

The engine runs beautifully and has ample power for trimming. The governor responds well and vibration is minimal. Has a very pleasing sound when under load. This particular AV-36 is equipped with a forged-steel rod and needle roller bearings on the crankpin, ball main bearings on the crankshaft. I'm running the engine on premium gasoline with Husqvarna two-stroke 100:1 oil mixed at 32:1. I plan to use it all summer long just to run it and bring back fond memories.

I've dubbed it the OSHA Special due to the exposed cooling fan...obviously something that would never pass safety regulations nowadays. Once warmed up, I can restart it by just hand propping the fan - starter rope not required.
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Old 06-20-2019, 04:09:51 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: Western Auto Rotary Mower

That engine should use SAE 30 NON-detergent or TCW-3 OIL at 16:1. At 32:1, you will burn the engine up eventually. Even with the roller bearings, the rod nor crank was hardenned, so modern lubes are not good, even worse when the mixture is too thin. Just sayen.

They were a nice machine. I had one and used it many years until a collector made an offer I couldn't refuse. I had a model 1000 that would start by hooking my thumb in the starter pulley and giving the crank a twist. Always impressed people at shows on how easily it started. i called it 'my shelf pet'.
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