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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Removing cylinder from Suffolk 43DL

Hi would anyone have some advice on how to remove the cylinder on the above mower.

Thanks in advance.


wristpin Mon, 24/03/2014

From memory , at least 5 years since I've done one !

Remove chain case on LH side of mower.

Stick a bit of wood between the blades to stop the cylinder rotating .

Undo the nut retaining the sprocket (on newer machines the  toothed pulley)

Slacken  the chain or belt tensioner.

Pull of the sprocket or pulley

Remove the bottom blade - hex head  bolt at each end.

Remove the belt cover on the RH side of the machine.. 

Undo  the nut holding the front pulley to the cylinder

Release the belt tensioner

​Pull  the two haves of the pulley off the cylinder shaft - note number of spacing washers between pulley halves.

Undo nuts holding  front roller height adjuster  pivot/ chassis tie bar .

Undo nut  on the rear roller spindle / tie bar adjacent to  rear pulley .

Undo three socket screws holding the engine platform  to the RH side plate and "wiggle" the side plate off the cylinder shaft and rear roller tie bar. May be easier if you undo the lower handle bar from the side plate but not absolutely necessary.

If the bearings are seized to the cylinder the machine may not come apart as above; in which case slacken off the two cylinder adjusting screws so that the bearing carriers can come out with the cylinder.

As I said, it's been a long time so E&OE. !



hortimech Mon, 24/03/2014

I would agree with all that Wristpin posted, only thing that I would add is to remove the engine first, three small pozi-drive screws to remove clutch cover, disconnect throttle cable at lever, disconnect fuel pipe and then remove the four bolts holding the engine on,

hillsider Mon, 24/03/2014



Intriguing - why do you suggest removing the engine?  That just introduces the task of realigning it on reassembly.



Please translate I have led a sheltered life what is E&OE


​As wristpin says it has been quite a long time since I pulled one of these down but it all looks good advice to me.

wristpin Tue, 25/03/2014

E&OE - Errors and Omissions Excepted. Legalese for don't blame me if I've forgotten something !!!!!

Removing the engine  makes the machine easier to handle and less likely to " fight" you . No bad thing  in a DIY environment but in a commercial world an extra operation -optional!

hillsider Tue, 25/03/2014

I take the point about removing the engine making the mower easier to handle for the sake of a bit of extra time but I would advise taking note of the number and location of any horse shoe shaped shims that may be fitted under the engine base as this would make realigning the engine easier. I have found that they are not always present so if you do not find them it is not the end of the world.

Thanks for the translation of E&OE I like it.

hortimech Tue, 25/03/2014

As Wristpin says, removing the engine makes the chassis easier to work with, as for aligning the clutch, well if it is out of line, you only need to slacken the four retaining bolts and move the engine until it does line up.

If you do work on one of these machines for a living and are overhauling the machine, I would always advise removing the engine.

When I started my apprenticeship back in the early 70's, there were hundreds of this type of machine and I must hold the record for servicing one of the old cast-iron Suffolk engines. From picking it up from floor after it had been washed, removing the flywheel, cleaning and setting the points, removing cylinder head and valves, regrinding the valves and decoking the engine, clean the carb and rebuild the engine, change the oil (1/2pt SAE 30), to putting it down on the floor again -- 16 minutes, and it was very, very unusual if the engine didn't start easily after all that ;-)



Motivator Tue, 25/03/2014

Top advice guys. Thanks . Shame I have to take it apart , I thought I might have to.


hillsider Tue, 25/03/2014

I am sure that if you approach the job with a bit care and some thought you will be ok.

One thing that has not been mentioned is to take care when removing the cylinder  bearings and note how the bearing cages sit in regards to the ends of the cylinder.

wristpin Fri, 28/03/2014

That's good advice - providing of course that the last guy got it right!.

When those machines and the smaller versions were in their prime we would see a few that had been incorrectly assembled. They would still work after a fashion. 

Think "balls out" ie the more exposed side of the balls facing out wards and into the cups in the bearing holders.