The front-wheel drive on the mower went out when I mowed on Thursday. I have mowed the lawns, when extant, of every place I have lived since I was 11, and hated every minute spent on it: it’s just not my bag. I would never in a lifetime pay someone to do it. Pondering. I am tempted to take the mower apart in order to repair it or lay it to rest, especially because I know nothing about internal combustion engines.

I decided against an electric mower when we bought this one a decade ago for a couple of reasons:

one, a cord attached to cutting device and in my control inevitably means I will cut the cord (no, really, I have done it with both a chainsaw and a hedge trimmer)

two, rechargeable batteries and power equipment had a bad track record at the time and may still – for example, I borrowed my neighbor’s rechargeable circular saw last summer and it was basically unusable due to battery fatigue.

Jeannette, in order to be true to my cheapskate nature I will be deblading the mower this afternoon and taking the housing off the drive. It’s a belt drive to what must be a worm gear. The wheels still turn when it’s engaged, just much more slowly than they should, giving the effect of a brake and dramatically increasing the drag of the mower – it feels somewhat as if someone is sitting on the mower deck.

the engagement lever seems to work properly, but I noticed that when I pull the cam on the housing, the entire lower housing rotates slightly. So I think the housing dropped a bolt and the engagement mechanism is not rotating into the fully engaged position. I did not notice the wheels stutter-stepping, though, which is what I would expect from gears not quite meshing. I also noticed what seems to be a broken axle housing.


The drive belt had indeed hopped the hub.

Well, I am mostly pleased. No local hardware or mower repair places had the specific belt in stock but I just went to a nearby auto parts place and got the equivalent part, a 33 inch by 3/8 inch fan belt, for about $30, which is an outrageous price – the actual part itself was on Amazon with free shipping and Sunday delivery for $8, which is outrageous in another dimension.

It took a few hours of searching and about 30 minutes of mower disassembly/reassembly.

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