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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Atco 20" 1950 parts etc


I have just signed up for the forum.  I have a 1952 Atco 20" which has been continuously in daily seasonal use by my father and now me for the past 60 years.  What a great product, with a longevity inconceivable in modern equipment. Recently it has been running poorly and I suspect the Lodge C3 plug is breaking down, the insulation has cracked.   I have ordered a Champion D16 as a replacement, though I see D14 is the official replacement.

Where can I go to get the Villiers cylinder overhauled?  For example oversize pistons and new rings?

All advice gratefully received.

Peter Gorman (Dublin)




Aled Fri, 18/05/2012

This site might have what you're looking for, this engine was used on a motorcycle at this sort of time so I doubt it's a particularly rare engine for spares (sods law says it is, though):

As far as working on them they're simple 2 stroke engines with 4 bolts on to drop the crankcase and piston from the cylinder. Never worked on a Villiers engine myself (yet) but I doubt they're too complex, not many small engines are.

Hope that helps, am I right in saying this is a kick start ATCO you have yeah?

Peter Gorman Sat, 19/05/2012

Yes this is a kick-start type.

When running the engine produces clouds of smoke, so much more atmospheric than a modern machine!  But it must be getting worn at this stage.  Maybe I will take the engine apart next winter.




redfernmowers Sun, 20/05/2012

it's worth doing an engine strip down. the piston will need new rings for a start and the engine de-coking. I've restored a few of these before and know the engine fairly well. it can be fiddly.

word of warning about strip down. the bearings for the crank shaft may have pay in them. if so, they need replacing and it;s a nightmare to do as the bores need re-reaming and seating. I shouldn't think though that it would need doing but if it does, there's some useful info on youtube I've been listening to of late. 

These engines produce a ton of heat and as such aren't cooled efficiently, hence their difficulty in starting in most cases as well as their running time. I missed out on the chance of taking another one of these on last week. it will still be waiting for me though.. At the mo, I'm working hard on a ransomes auto certes which today started it's life after some years sitting in a shed in southport. 

anyway, if ever you need any help on parts, if you don't get any luck from that company, get in touch with the British lawnmower museum. the web address is the phone number's there so give them a ring and ask for a chap called brian. tell him lew the blind mower restorer referred you to him.