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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

JP Simplees B 16" advice


I have just inherited a JP Simplees that was my Father-in-Laws pride and joy from new. I have decided to sympathetically restore it so that it works as intended and will survive for the next generation. Some questions that you may be able to assist with:

1) I dont know the exact age but assume it was early 60's? However it has a B&S, engine model 60102 (not Villiers) which I think implies a later product. But the colour seems to be BS381 C223 which on the website is suggested to be an earlier colour than the lighter C222? I plan to repaint where appropriate using C223 as it should match. Should I use 2 pack paints for reasons of durability? Is there a preferred make?

2) Should I grit or bead blast badly corroded parts such as cylinder blades and grass deflector or use chemical rust remover? I don't want to end up making them too weak as I realise replacement is difficult.

3) I have tried to photograph transfers where they exist in part, can replacements be obtained.

4) Cylinder bearing removal seems a challenge, the drive end came away easily after I had figured out the left hand threaded flange! but the other end is tight. Is the answer just careful persistence?

5) is there a source for obtaining 2 phenolic balls?

6) I assume the mower is entirely BSF and the engine will be UNC or UNF? Which is a pain as I have transitioned to metric over the last 40 years!

7) Are there any really difficult issues ahead that I am not aware of. I have only started on the cylinder cassette as it seemed the most corroded.

Any assistance will be gratefully received.


Antbr123 Mon, 06/01/2020

Hi Neil and welcome to the forum!

In answer to your questions.  I have spoken to Henry Ellis who will be responding to your questions as well and he can guide you on obtaining the serial number of your machine and not just the engine number. But my responses are as follows:-

1) No.  Henry and I use Halfords paint, matched as close as we can get to the colour.  2K paint refers to a hardener added to the paint mix - but you can use 1K paint and then overspray with a lacquer afterwards.  Its personal choice. The fact that the mower has a B&S engine suggests it is late 1960's model.

2) I soak the parts in white vinegar to remove the rust. You would struggle to weaken the parts sufficiently (especially the blades) so I do not think you need to worry.  Most people methodically scrape, use paint remover and then emery paper the blades to get them clean.  Then, on JP's they should be painted the same colour as the mower and NOT red - if you want an authentic look.  Again - its personal choice.

3) No - transfers may be available from the OLC shop. I make my own using transfer paper and digitally mastering any photographs I can get of a clear image of the transfer.

4) Yes - Typically I heat up the side frame with a blow torch and using a socket set the same size as the bearing, knock out the bearings.

5) is there a source for obtaining 2 phenolic balls? - I assume you are referring to the bakelite knobs for adjusting the blade contact to the bottom shear blade.  No replacements are available as all engineering knobs are now metric threaded. For the mower of this age - the knobs should be red/brown colour.  The only way to get them is to buy a donor JP mower and rob it of the knobs.  The stem to the knobs is 1/4" BSF at one end and 5/15" BSF at the other.  

6) Correct - learning curve for some of us "young-uns"!

7) Henry Ellis will advise. I am led to believe it should be fairly straight forward. 

I pick up a Simplees-14" myself later this week to start restoration!



Henry Ellis Mon, 06/01/2020

Hi Neil,

As it is fitted with the B&S engine it will be late 1960s, specifically from April 1969 - tell me the serial number from the brass plate on the right side frame and I can be more precise.

I think I did my Simplees with BS 381C 222 but that was some time ago. There is no documented info on JP colours - look under the rubber handgrips and match as best you can (nobody is going to tell you what you do is wrong). Like Tony B I use Halfords spray cans otherwise it gets expensive.

You won't weaken the deflector or cutter by shot blasting - so use either method.

The oval transfer on the side is available from the OLC the one on the deflector is not; however if yours is the Simplees B model I can email you an image and dimensions.

Pull the tight bearing off with a 2 or 3 legged puller.

Presumably you mean the maroon bakelite knobs? no longer available except by robbing another (scrap) mower.

The mower is mainly BSF except for some 1 and 2BA, the engine uses Unified threads.

As for further difficult issues it depends how far you want to go. I had mine down completely and there's nothing very difficult.


Henry Ellis


hillsider Mon, 06/01/2020

Further to dating the mower by its serial number it is also likely that the age of the engine can be determined from the Model, Type And Code numbers stamped into the flywheel housing of the engine. If you can post them here I will do my best to translate them for you.

NeilButler Tue, 07/01/2020

Many thanks for the assistance, replies to the various questions:

1) Machine age and ID: On the brass plate the number is 16 D 16 TH 130X, the first 16 is size, the rest is machine number. I will be surprised if its late 60's as my wife used to be given a cigar when using it to keep off the flies, it should be mid sixties to age her at 13, as the family stories go!

The B&S engine number is 60102 (type 0346-01) which should imply its 2nd October 1960. Although I am sure the engine could be years older than the mower as it was a bit before kanban.

2) Bearing removal: I will try with a bearing puller although I may struggle to get the legs on the bearing with the side plate in the way (loose but contained between the bearing housing and cutting cylinder.)

3) Rust removal, I will probably use mechanical means although since writing I have been looking into electrolysis, which looks fun. I dont have a battery charger but I have a jump starter which might work, I need to look into amperage to see if it maybe too aggressive.

ANOTHER QUESTION: Has anyone heard of a Horticultural Machinery supplier called Knight Sim---- (could be Simmonds or Simpson) Co. Ltd, probably either in Staffordshire or Bucks. I googled it but could find no trace. I would like to recreate the label in the picture attached.

Hopefully you will later see pictures of a refurbished mower, or a for sale ad! 

Best wishes


Pictures attached.

hortimech Tue, 07/01/2020

Sorry, but 60102 doesn't mean 2nd of October 1960, it is the basic model, 6 cubic inch etc, it is the 'code' that tells you when it was made.

NeilButler Tue, 07/01/2020

Ah that's interesting, the Code number I think is 73 08 24 01. which I assume implies August 1973? Perhaps my father-in-law fitted a new engine?

Henry Ellis Tue, 07/01/2020


According to JP documentation I have your mower was made sometime in May 1970.

Henry Ellis


NeilButler Tue, 07/01/2020

Thank you very much Henry. Excellent that's the history sorted.

By the way I have 2 sets of wooden rollers, one set is about 2.5" diameter, the other set is 3.5" diameter. What diameter should they be (it may be neither are original).

Henry Ellis Tue, 07/01/2020

The correct diam is 2 1/2" and the length 4 1/4" running on a 9/16" axle.with spacing tubes and washers in between.


hillsider Tue, 07/01/2020

Yes if you have read the code correctly 73-08-24-01 translates to 1973 - August - 24th the last two digits relate to the Engine plant assembly line.