Atco Commodore B14 MR restoration/engine queries?

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Andy Fergy
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Atco Commodore B14 MR restoration/engine queries?

Hi all, 

My names Andy, I'm looking at fixing up the above mower. Bit of a back story unfortunately my Grandad passed away a couple of months ago, we did a clear out of the house and I found it in the shed gathering dust. He got given the mower many years (about 20-25+) used a couple of times but didn't like it as the self propel was too quick for him. I've brought it home and put some fresh petrol in it and after 5 mins of pulling the cord managed to fire it up, I'm going to put a new spark plug in it/change the oil etc. 

I've got some limited knowledge on the subject as i use to do landscape gardening for a few years, so I was planning on taking it to a garden machinery place that i used to use. I've dropped them email, they did mention if it has a Tecumseh engine in it, it might be difficult to repair has it's hard to source parts as they've discontinued. I've had a look on the engine and bar serial numbers I can't see any indication to engine make, would anyone here know about what engine a mower of this make/model/age would likely have?

I've sourced a guy on Ebay that does cylinder/bottom blade resprays and sharpening so plan to use him, get it looked over, repaint it and get a collection box.

I was going to add some links to show the places I was going to use, but not sure if I'm allowed to post links.

Sorry thats a bit much for a first post! Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated :) 

Andy 

PS I will try and add some photos at some point. 

 

wristpin
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Welcome.

Welcome.

If your machine has a gold painted engine it is a Tecumseh derived engine but parts should not be too difficult to source. Possibly the best source of obsolete parts is Jon Cruse at the Hailsham Mower Centre. There are probably others but Jon is the proverbial walking encyclopaedia for older stuff - and he’s a club member .

Andy Fergy
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Hi Wristpin

Hi Wristpin

I've had a look at the engine and there's no gold plating so I assume it's not a Tecumseh model, I've been tinkering about with it today. Changed the spark plug and changed the oil and gave it a bit of a clean. I use a company (and my old landscaping company) called Ashley Garden Services in Worplesdon, Surrey they're fantastic at doing garden machinery I use them for all my garden equipment. 

Also thank you very much for the reply :) 

Clive1962
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I'm thinking this may be the

I'm thinking this may be the Mitsubishi engined Commodore.?...it came after my time in the mower world. 

 Does it have an exhaust box fully to the left of the engine, when standing behind handlebars, with its exhaust outlet at the top covered by a curved plate.?

 

C.  

wristpin
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I'm thinking this may be the

I'm thinking this may be the Mitsubishi engined Commodore.?...it came after my time in the mower world.

Hop not,  for his sake, as they nearly all has “ unsolvable” carb issues , even when current !

Edit. Just got my brain into gear. MR - Mitsubishi Recoil (starter). Doesn't alter the fact that the carbs were a pain though!!

Andy Fergy
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Hi Clive 

Hi Clive 

Thank you for the reply I'll add some photos of the mower see if you recognise it.

Many thanks 

Andy 

Andy Fergy
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More photos

More photos

wristpin
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Yes, it’s a Mitsubishi. Sweet

 Yes, it’s a Mitsubishi. Sweet running little engine when they ran but prone to carburettor issues giving rise to service bulletins etc which I’ve posted on this site in the past. The first application of the Mitsubishi was , I think, the electric start version as there was no electric start version of the then current Atco/Suffolk one and the marketing men perceived a need to offer it for their less able customers. 

My advice is to take care to avoid fuel issues - fresh fuel and possibly using a fuel stabilising additive. When laying the machine up for the winter there’s a choice , run the machine dry to clear the carb or leave it with “ heavily dosed “ fuel in the system - opinions differ!

 

 

 

Andy Fergy
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Hi Wristpin

Hi Wristpin

That's good to know! I was advised if it had a Tecumseh engine not to bother. I've got the cylinder and lower blade off today (which was a bugger of a job!) I'm sending them off to be refurbished and resharpened. So whilst they're being done I'm going to give it a good wipe and clean before it gets serviced. 

wristpin
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Personally I feel that

Personally I feel that Tecumseh have an undeserved poor reputation. They had their faults but so had all the others, maybe it’s because they perhaps didn’t put up with poor maintenance, neglect and abuse as well as BS ( who are on the verge of bankruptcy ) .

I happen to not like Hondas but don’t ask me to explain!

Your Commodore . The chap doing the grinding and refacing may well do a good job but when you instal the unit back into the machine you may find that it is difficult to set up. This issue was the subject of a couple of service bulletins one of which covered the recommended order for tightening the bolts holding the unit into the machine , particularly those for the brace or stiffener plate that connected the unit to the engine platform. ** The other concerned the apparent need to pack out the bottom blade . The latter I have but the bolt tightening one has disappeared. 

I suggest that you set up the cylinder and bottom blade assembly on the bench and check that they cut ok . Then back off the cylinder a fraction and instal it into the chassis, checking the cut  as you go . If it goes off cut at a certain point you will ave an idea of what action has stressed it. Hopefully it won’t.

** there were two versions of the stiffener plate , one that actually connected the bottom blade carrier to the platform  and one that just braced it without actually being bolted to the platform.

Andy Fergy
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Hi Wristpin

Hi Wristpin

To be fair I'm only going on what I've been told, it was mainly due to the fact they said parts are hard to source for them as they're discontinued. I've only ever really used Hayter rotary mowers and Dennis cylinder mowers but we never really did much servicing ourself so my knowledge is a bit basic.

This is guy who's cleaning and sharpening the cylinder blades 

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/303396761356

I did see and old article on that when I googled "how to remove an Atco cylinder blade" it came up with a page on this website. I'll wait until I get the blades back and decide whether to do it myself or let the machinary place I take it to do that. Not sure they'll appreciate a half disassembled mower, blades and a box of bolts though! 

Andy Fergy
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Just a few pics of updates I

Just a few pics of updates I've stripped a few parts, sanded them down, coated in red oxide paint. Got some green paint on the way.

Andy Fergy
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Clutch panel cover just

Clutch panel cover just needed some hot soapy water, sanding down side panel 

Andy Fergy
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Right I ordered some spray

Right I ordered some spray paint off carpentergoodwin.co.uk it said it was classic Atco paint used by restorers but after testing it on the back plate it's definitely not the same colour. It's way too light, I've seen some other pages talking about painting Atco mowers and they're different shades of green depending on when they were built. Is it worth trying to source some paint or take some of the original parts to a paint mixer, any thoughts?

Henno
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Paint colour is sometimes /

Paint colour is sometimes / always a challenge.. Atco was also not very consistent with their paint, I suggest you take the drive cover to a car paint mixer in your area, they can analyse the colour from the back of the cover and mix it for you. I have restored to Commodores, a B14 and a B17 and the B14 was lighter then the B17. We used the paint used for the B17 on the 14 as well,

I did post the restoration of the B17 on the forum as well, I also mentioned the paint. It was close to the green of DAF trucks a Dutch beer brewer Brand Beer, copy paste:

PPG paint. It was found in their computer as: Manufacturer: DAF Trucks DELFLEET (UHS HB PLUS) OEM Code: N9254, N9254, 70509, 3009 Description: BRANDS BIER GROEN*  + 1 gram F318 (on 1 can of spray of 400 grams) Reference:30105817 PRIME Solid

 

Regards, Henno

Andy Fergy
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Hi Henno

Hi Henno

 

I saw your post on the restoration of the B17, it looks brilliant! I have found a paint mixing specialist not to far from me, I've been down and they managed to sort me out a couple of cans.

 

Henno
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Up the irons Andy! Looks

Up the irons Andy! Looks smart.

 

Regards, Henno

Andy Fergy
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Cheers Henno :) 

Cheers Henno :) 

Going to a paint mixing shop was the best way forward, I've got my blades back from the restorers as well. I'll try and load up some photo's but seems to be having some trouble from the IPad. 

Andy Fergy
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Got the blades back from

Got the blades back from restorers 

Andy Fergy
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Started to strip down a few

Started to strip down a few bits, strip the paint off and been respraying them 

Andy Fergy
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Stripped paint off the side

Stripped paint off the side panel, gave and under of red primer and a respray 

Andy Fergy
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More photos

More photos

Andy Fergy
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Respraying the mower. Sorry

Respraying the mower. Sorry to bombard with photo I haven't been able to upload any for a while.

Andy Fergy
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More photos 

More photos 

Andy Fergy
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More updates 

More updates