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The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

Posted by blacknumber1 WMich (My Page) on
Mon, Apr 16, 07 at 16:16

I have finished repairing and reassembling my "free" 1984 Snapper Hi-Vac. Total cost to me, $6 for misc parts, $4 for misc nuts and bolts and $7 for a little bottle of transaxle grease. I repaired the broken drive axle with the spare parts provided with the mower, was a dirty job but only took about 30 minutes and was pretty straightforward. Reassembly of the rear axle unit was easy, aided by propping the handle up on a post. The new height adjuster handles and axle bearing brackets went together easy and after checking everything for clearance and proper fir it was time to fire it up. The Wisconsin-Robin engine came to life after only 4 pulls, not bad for an old engine running on stale gas and without a primer bulb. It just sat there running nice as could be, much smoother and quieter than my old Lawnboy. I ran it through all the speeds, the dreivetrain seems to be working properly, the slowest speed is plenty fast enough for regular mowing, the fastest speed could pull me down the sidewalk on rollorblades almost faster than I can run. The drive is solid and responsive, should handle wet spots, hills and other tough conditions without much trouble. The blade clutch starts smoothly but makes a bit of a noise when I release it, I am a bit concerned as this could be a costly repair. Oh well, I will try to minimize it's use as much as I can. Overall it's a very solid mower and I can't wait to put it into action for the first time this season.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

congrats on the messy repair! i have a whole pile of snapper tranaxels waiting to be fixed. i keep replacing them rather than taking the time/trouble to fix them. lucky you to have a robin engine -best ever made and longestlasting for shure. dont like the idea of a blade clutch on any mower. $$$$ to fix


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

The blade clutch is a nice feature, it does make the mower safe and eliminates that pesky engine stop handle. I wont worry aout it as long as it works properly, but I may keep my eye out for a junker for parts, this mower was in far too good of shape to not fix, the previous owners had it serviced every spring. I will probably need a new set of drive belts this yeat though, I'll see how long the old ones last. I am still amazed at how smooth and quiet the W/R engine runs, alot nicer than any $99 B&S.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

"i keep replacing them rather than taking the time/trouble to fix them."

You know that axle sets and hex tubes are no longer available aftermarket. Can still get them from Snapper but the price will be much higher.

Walt Conner


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Parts...

This one had a broken rear axle that I replaced as well as some other broken parts in the rear end. Everything seems to be working okay, I am wondering how much of that gear lube should be in the little transaxle.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

I stand the mower on the back standards, taking necessary precautions if it has a battery and closing gas tank vent, depending on how old the mower is, what gas tank it has.

Pop the plug out of the center chain case and put 3 oz. in there.

Pop both plugs out of the right side gear case, fill thru the top one until it runs out the bottom one (when standing up). There is a gear just inside the bottom plug so you can't really fill thru there. Turn the wheels occasionally to distribute the lube to get a true reading.

Walt Conner


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

I only have one little plastic plug on my case. The lube that the dealer gave me seems way too think compared as to what was in there when I repaired the axle, maybe it will break down with use. I'm wondering if plain old 90w gear lube will work better. At least I know there is some lubricant in there, I'll keep an eye on it and check on it again after a few mowings. I also want to find a mulch plate for it, I don't want to bag until the end of the season.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

Walt I believe this is a walk behind, not the rider.
Gear lube level is bottom of main axle. Tip the mower back to eyelevel that aligns lower side of fill hole approx in line with bottom of axle. Let it remain a few seconds to give time for the thick lube to come around. If it starts to come out of hole then it has enough.

What i do is just roll the mower and watch to see if lube is brought to the top of the gears. As long as it does its getting lube.

90 weight will not protect the gears in the differential(proper name) and will tend to leak far more then the Snapper 00 grease.

As before, this is a differential, the transmission is the vertical rubber disc going in and out on the horizontal steel disc. Snapper is one of very few mowers that uses a true differential. Most use some kind of ratchet system outboard at the drive wheels to obtain a differentiating action.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

"Walt I believe this is a walk behind, not the rider"

Sorry, in that case, I don't know a thing about them.

Walt Conner


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

you can use 90w in an emergengy -but it does leak out more.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

The lube I put in seems to be working, it just seems much thicker than the lube that came out when I repaired the axle shaft. Should I add/change this lube every year as part of normal maintenance?

I am still amazed how easily the W/R engine started after sitting over 2 years, having stale gas and no primer bulb! I still need to change the oil, shaopen the blade and clean the underside of the deck. I am hoping to get many years of reliable performance out of this mower.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

this is the very best lawn mower engine ever made. it will out live you most likely. i have one with 19 commercial seasons and another w/15 yrs on it. the elder one is using some oil now but the other still runs like new. if you cant find air filters -i know where you can get them on the internet. dont change the diff grease -just add to it now and then and dont over fill it as it will come out the output shaft and get on the belt and cause slippage


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

Snapper lube, reminds me of liquid beeswax. I don't remember a schedule for changing it. I change it whenever the case comes apart. I have a 79' model aluminum deck self propelled, no wisconsin though. Hold that one close to you.

Peace


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

After reading you guy's responses I am really glad I put the time into making this mower operational again. I am still amazed the ease with which it starts without having a primer bulb. My air cleaner has a washable pre-filter that should extend the life of the normal filter. It's also a lot better filter than the sea-foam found on a lot of mowers. I wish I had some literature on it, I would like to know what would be the best oil to use to maximize engine life.

Outlive me? Might come close. I'm only 25, but it will probably makr it until the EPA bans small engines or something like that.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

i would run mobil 1 15-50 in it if you want max life. i have 4 of these snappers with this engine in my commercial lawn service. i got the first one back in 89 and it was used. its still running! this is commercial servive we are talking about. only repair has been to replace the throttle shaft in the carb. oil changed only once per season too. its indistructable! no 2 i got used in 91 -runs like new still. no 3 i got last year on ebay-nos still in box! date on box was 1995! this one may out live me as i am 51. no 4 just got last week. 6.5 hp and is the best running one i have ever seen. these were sold on mostly comm. models but some 4 hp models were put on premium home models. if yours has bbc -its one of these models. no bbc on the comm models. theese engines also made in 2 cycle too. every bit as good as the 4 cycle. best lawn mower engine ever made bar none. i have a honda bought new in 91 that has had mobil 1 since new and still runs perfect. recommend this in your wis/robin 15w -50. 10-w 30 is too light for a lawn mower. 10w 40 would be acceptable if not in a hot climate


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

Cool, thanks for the oil recommendations. I might just get some Mobil 1, for the amount I will need the extra cost is insignificant. I can probably use 10w-40 in Michigan, we get a few hot days but I wont be logging long hours in 95+ degree heat unless I have to, and I dont plan on starting it when it's below 40 degrees out. I am still amazed with the quality of that mower, should give me years of dependable service, long after my neighbors box store mowers bite the dust.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

I wouldn't use 10w-40 in anything. Especially a lawnmower. It has way too many viscosity extenders in it. It will break down in short order. The closer the two numbers are, the better the oil will hold up. Also, I would only use synthetic if I were going to use a multi-viscosity oil in a lawnmower.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

"I wouldn't use 10w-40 in anything. Especially a lawnmower. It has way too many viscosity extenders in it. It will break down in short order. The closer the two numbers are, the better the oil will hold up. Also, I would only use synthetic if I were going to use a multi-viscosity oil in a lawnmower."
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He's talking about using Mobil 1 in that viscosity, which is a Group IV synthetic. Your comments about viscosity modifiers would be accurate if we were talking about mineral oils, and I would generally agree. But with a true synthetic the viscosity range does not necessarily indicate that such additives are in the oil. In fact, the Mobil 0w-40 is some of the best oil you can find, and comes factory fill in the Porsche Cayenne Turbo with a change interval of 20k miles.

I could recommend that for cars, but I think I'd stick with the 15w-50 that lawnmowerdan recommended for an air-cooled mower.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

Operation report.

I mowed my yard with it for the first time. The biggest problem I have encountered is a chatter and hesitation of the drive system when I engage it. The noise seems to be coming from the little differential. The problem is much more pronounced in the higher speeds and when I hit a little hill or other obstacle. It seems to go away when I start pushing the mower from a dead stop. I have a hunch the culprit is the gear on the shart connected to the differential drive pulley, when I repaired the axle I noticed this gear was a bit worn and it also turns at a much faster speed than any other gear in the housing. A replacement shouldn't be too expensive. The other issue seems to be with governing, whenever I release the blade clutch the engine revs up really fast, with the clutch engaged it seems to not have a problem adjusting to loads. Not a huge deal but still a it of a concern. Lastly I would really like a mulch plate for this mower, I really dont like bagging unless it's fall.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

when you change that gear inside the diff-be shure to replace the bearing for the output shaft too as these wear out rapidly on these. you can get a mulch plug that goes down the chute so you can mulch. i use a c clamp to hold it in place instead os putting the bag back on to hold it in place as you are suppossed to. dont worry about the gov-bbc issue. all mowers with bbc do this as the gov is set under load (bbc on). parts for snappers are dirt cheap compared to most other mowers.


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RE: The thrill of victory - Snapper Hi-Vac Reborn!

Excellent. I think it's the main drive ear giving me the problems. It would make sense, it's small, it turns faster and carries the entire load of the mower. A new one shouldn't be too expensive. I'll look into replacing that bearing at the same time, if I can come across a junker I can get a lot of good parts for it. I may even make a mulch plug out of wood or something.


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