Snapper 21 BBC Rehab complete! see pics

quickrick(East coast USA)March 10, 2007


Finally after much effort I finished the Snapper mower redo. It is a 1990 21404P /self propelled blade brake clutch model that I redid this winter. What made it tough was the availability of the clutch on the blade side (dead man control allows engine idle). Pete's Small Engine/ made the whole thing possible in so many ways! These are helpful project guys who know their engines and mowers.

I replaced most all moving/wearing parts and even repainted it. I bought an OHV 6hp Tecumseh off of Ebay and cut and retapped the shaft. There were quite a few differences between the 4 hp Max Briggs motor and this Tecumseh even in mounting it. The key ways were different and that created some difficulty that required some engineering changes. I'd thought engines were mostly universal but this really wasn't the case with this project.

I'm pleased with the results..check out the pics and tell me what you think of my 17 year old Snapper. You wouldn't let me junk I rebuilt it! See pics 1, 4, 7 and 1 especially. QuickRick p.s. want an old running 4 hp Briggs for free?

Here is a link that might be useful: Snapper project completed

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nevada_walrus(Boulder City)

Nicely done.
You may take some flak from some but I like your choice of steel drive wheels and plastic up front. To me that is the better combination. Don't forget to grease the axle shaft for the drivers so they don't get stuck.

If mine I would switch to the "Z" fold bag and the blade with the bolt on extension wings.

    Bookmark   March 10, 2007 at 9:15PM
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Wow. If it mows as good as it looks, it ought to be one of the most satisfying projects ever. Very santitary engine transplant

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 8:06AM
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Wow! Great job. I love the old 'vortex' decks - I had a Homelite/Jacobsen with a similar deck - they really vacuum the clippings/leaves.

Here is a link that might be useful: Homelite/Jacobsen 20

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 9:20AM
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lawnmowerdan(ne fla)

still waiting to get my new 6hp ohv tech engine. i hope its as powerfull as the old one . it was very powerfull but was seriously abused by its former owner . i hope the new one holds up better. the timming gear failed in mine. i wouldnt have bothered to reinstall the bbc unit as its something else to go wrong but my hat is off to you for going the extra mile.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 12:01PM
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quickrick(East coast USA)

Thanks for the kind words! I always liked this mower except for the weak HP rating (4hp now 6hp)and the parts pricing. Nevada, I used the plastic front wheels because they were light and cheap. I'm using bushing bearings in the wheels coated with anti-seeze compound. The fronts have very little work to do and the metal bearing wheels weigh a ton! This mower already weighs a lot and I didn't want to make it worse. I need to know more of the bag and blade upgrades that are available for this mower to improve it's already great vacuuming performance.
I really wanted the blade brake feature and my plan was to buy a new Toro 20056 aluminum deck mower with it if I couldn't locate the blade clutch. Pete's fixed me up and I wonder if I should buy a spare from the only source that I've ever found for those?
The final compliment came from my neighbor who came with two beers to chat and remarked that I had a new mower!lol!
The Tecumseh is getting quieter all the time and starts almost as well as did the old Briggs motor. This motor has quite a strong kickback, so you have to pull it with "authority" in order to prevent that. Tecumsehs are different animals and I'm hoping that it lasts a long time. I have already changed the oil once and we are off to a good start hopefully. QuickRick

    Bookmark   March 11, 2007 at 2:02PM
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quickrick(East coast USA)

Any of you guys that are Snapper experts please tell me all you know of the best blades availaible and what they do better(Ninja?). Also, fill me in on any advances in catch bags and are those genuine Snapper made?
Soon I'll get to try this thing out and I expect that it will do a great job, heck it did before with a worn mediocre motor! QuickRick

    Bookmark   March 16, 2007 at 1:12PM
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quickrick(East coast USA)

I placed more older "During pictures on the picture link----will be interesting!

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 8:33PM
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The "Z" fold bag is easier to use. The bolt on blade "wings" increase the suction but at a considerable horsepower cost. Not worth it in my opinion. They are one of the best baggers in stock form anyway. I took my blade wing extensions off after two tries on different Snappers.

    Bookmark   March 19, 2007 at 10:54PM
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My wife had this model mower at her old house; I have now "sort of inherited" it. Since you have taken yours completely apart, maybe you can give me some guidance.
When I start mine, it runs for a few secs. and then dies. After taking it apart and draining the gas tank, it appears that there is a screen of some sort in side the tank, at the outlet. I believe that this is partially clogged and is starving the engine of fuel. However, I can find zero information on the fuel system or any fuel filters / screens (in either theUser Manual OR the Service Manual), much less how to replace whatever there is. Can you help?

    Bookmark   July 5, 2013 at 2:36PM
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quickrick(East coast USA)


If your carb has a bowl on the bottom, you may be able to get it off and, once inside, remove the main jet inside. Carb cleaner spray and a pin may clear it for you. If not see the following which is 100%.

The best thing to do is to see if you can determine the model and serial number to the Briggs motor. I'd go buy a new carb for it OR..........take it off and disassemble it. You see, it has sat for so long that the tiny jets and orifices are all clogged. (it is a Briggs isn't it?)

If the thing ran well and cut well before, it is worth the effort/expense.

Go to Briggs and Stratton website if you need help locating the model and serial number.

Pain in the neck, yes, it is why everyone preaches about storing equipment dry after season's end.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 3:35PM
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quickrick(East coast USA)


To those of you that don't know me, I am constantly upgrading.

The Tecumseh motor was a real disappointment. A low tech commercial Briggs would have been a better choice in hindsight.

Last year I replaced the motor with a Briggs OHV commercial type. There wasn't much right with the old motor. It leaked, burned lots of oil, things fractured and cracked and the carb literally wore out. Other Tecumsehs that I had were just fine but this motor was total junk.


    Bookmark   July 6, 2013 at 9:29PM
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quickrick -
Hope you're still out there and can give me a tip. I too have the same mower you have, but I bought it in 1990/1991 from a lawnmower shop that catered to professional landscaping and mowing crews. So the model I bought came with a 5 (or 6?) HP Wisconsin Robin engine. I never even heard of that engine company before but the salesperson told me it was a "commercial grade" engine and I would be happy with it.

Fast-forward 25 years now and I have still have the mower, virtually original condition (although much dirtier than your beautiful re-build). Here's my question: I disassembled the horizontal circular drive plate (since it had been ground down and gouged by the vertical metal drive wheel when the rubber donut ring wore down one time and I didn't notice it).

Since I have the circular drive plate out, I figured I might as well replace the drive belt from the engine shaft. I have personally never replaced that belt, but I'm guessing that a tech must have when the mower was in at least twice for "beginning-of-season" maintenance over the last 25 years.

Here's where I'm stuck - I've gotten the blade off and removed the 3 nuts on the blade clutch cover but I can't seem to get the cover off because of the blade clutch lever that sticks through the side of the cover. Does the blade clutch lever just pull out so that the cover can be pulled off?

What's the disassembly trick?


    Bookmark   January 30, 2015 at 3:25PM
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FYI your engine is made by Fuji/Subaru and is known as a Subaru-Robin model EC13V. It is rated 4hp. Formerly, it was known as a Wisconsin-Robin WTI-125V.

Was always made by Fuji. Sometime in the late 1990's Subaru dissolved their relationship with Teledyne-Wisconsin and started to market and service the the Robin line directly under the Subaru nameplate.

You shouldn't need to remove the BBC cover. You should be able to disconnect the bowden cable, which will allow you remove and replace the drive belt. I have the Robin 2 cycle on a Snapper, but it is direct drive with zone-start, so I'm not sure which BBC you have (Comet?)

    Bookmark   January 30, 2015 at 6:49PM
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quickrick(East coast USA)

New user,

Here's how you do it: The 3 bolts is the second step.
The first is to pull the BBC control handle back and tie it off at the handlebars. Then you will see a small hole in the cover that you can install a screw or awl into. Next remove the cable and spring off of that level coming out of the body. You may now drop that cover. You will remove the screw/awl or whatever you placed in the cover's hole when you reinstall the cover onto the assembly.
If you need help email me :


    Bookmark   January 30, 2015 at 8:37PM
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Quick Rick and New User:

Curious which BBC you guys had. I've owned a couple of Snappers with BBC. Both were Tecumseh powered (probably late 1980's) and had Comet BBC's. Don't know if anyone else's BBC was used by Snapper.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2015 at 1:37PM
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quickrick(East coast USA)


A Comet BBC on a 4 hp Briggs Quantum.


    Bookmark   January 31, 2015 at 7:54PM
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snapperfreak(West Coast USA)

I too have a Tecumseh BBC. 1986 model. Comet clutch. That's the only clutch I'm aware of snapper using on their BBC models.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2015 at 11:09AM
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