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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

Qualcast sixteen

Hello everyone ,

                             I have obtained the following mower which will be my next project. I have included some pictures so you can see the condition. It seems to have good compression and turns over nicely. However before i begin to strip down i notice that the clutch lever was broken , so straight away i am on the look out for a replacement. I have noticed a small leak under the carburetor and under the fuel tank below the tap. I removed the fuel tank so i could get it in the car lol.

At first glance i think i need a new clutch handle, two wooden handles, a new clutch cable, new front rollers, a clutch lever. Qualcast paint green and red to start with . i would really appreciate  any thoughts or tips before i begin the strip down and add to the parts list.


Any advice is greatly received and which order would you suggest for the strip down please.

Thank you to everyone this is a great club..

Kind regards Dave


Chris G Wed, 15/08/2018

Well done Dave, what an old beauty! :-)

Have you had it running yet?

I think for wooden rollers, and more than likely wooden handles there is a post on here about a guy on ebay that you can get them made by.

For control cables and levers and a lot more Jon Cruse is a good contact, have used him on both my projects and he gets back quickly -

For paint there is a section somewhere for this, but its a bit up to you, B&Q for example do a pretty smart colour match if you can find a nice bit to take in.

I don't have much specific to offer on this model, last 2 strokes I had were Yam RD's and fizzies :-)

See if / how it runs first then carb strip and "does it roll around" issues - the the full strip!

Good luck

wristpin Wed, 15/08/2018

X 2  recommending Jon Cruse  for bespoke cables etc.  That clutch lever may be an original Qualcast item but looks similar to  a readily available aftermarket item that was was used by several manufacturers in the 50s and 60s.

Davel831 Thu, 16/08/2018

Hi All

           Thank you for the great advice i have sent John an email. As the clutch arm is broken i am trying to locate one? any ideas??

Regards Dave 

wristpin Thu, 16/08/2018

“Clutch arm. “

Just to clarify; are we talking about the clutch operating lever on the handle bar or some lever down at the clutch end?

Davel831 Thu, 16/08/2018

Hi Wristpin

                  Sorry for the lack of my clarification. i mean the lever that levers in the clutch end? Mine was bent and snapped off , i think due to metal fatigue .  in the following pictures you can see it bent then the other it has detached itself.


it has now fell off

Regards Dave 


wristpin Thu, 16/08/2018

Looks to be in a vulnerable position. What material is it made of ? Should be possible to weld or braze it. even if alloy (tig) and perhaps add a reinforcing strip along the outside to help resist the pull from the cable.  If originality is important a repair would at least get you going while you seek out a replacement.

Davel831 Fri, 17/08/2018

Hello all,

               Just thought i would give you a quick update. Today i tested the ignition system , i removed the spark plug and rested it on the block, cranked the engine and we have a spark! Then connecting the fuel again cranked and this engine started!!!!

This is on a mower that potentially could be sixty five years old, albeit it ran like a LADA from the 80's , but it works..

I started to strip things down and with regards to the clutch , this is what was broken so i am looking for a replacement. I did notice that the rollers and blades would not turn, so i am assuming the clutch is on? 

Here is the broken clutch lever....

Hopefully continuing the strip down

Regards Dave 


wristpin Sat, 18/08/2018

Difficult to see from your image but it looks as though it may be a U shaped pressing. If so a piece of round bar laid in the U and brazed could effect a good repair.

wristpin Sat, 18/08/2018

Hello Dave

Ventured into the depths of my storage & found a Qualcast 16 that I would be happy to break, have taken a few photo's but surrounded by other mowers, let me know what you want & we can take a closer look.

Looks as though you are in luck, the lever on Clive's breaker looks to be intact.

Davel831 Sat, 18/08/2018


          That is very kind please let me know of cost and i will be happy.  I have start to strip and please see the following including the clutch.


This is what was broken on me


Clutch and parts. i also managed to locate a manual and parts booklet, i am happy to copy this share with anyone who needs this


regards Dave 

Davel831 Mon, 20/08/2018

Hi All

          Just a quick update, i have managed to strip nearly everything down. I did notice that the bearings were incased with grease and not like modern ones today. I assume that was the standard practice of the day? I am a little stuck now, i need to remove the drive from the rollers so i can get everything soda blasted before painting. I would appreciate any suggestions to how i do this?  Please see the following pictures.

Thanks again  Dave

wristpin Mon, 20/08/2018

Not sure exactly what you are asking but undoing that hex nut in the centre of the clutch sprocket  would be a start. Try it anti clockwise but if it resists reasonable force, try clockwise - or ask you know who!  I seem to remember that he has some queries on the cylinder bearings and was considering "updating" them  but I think in the end he left them original. I ought to remember as I ground the cylinder for him!. 

Davel831 Tue, 21/08/2018

Hi Wristpin,

                   Thank you, i am just guessing here but i think this may be a left hand thread?  I will have a look i do not have a socket that size so i will have a look and ponder.

regards Dave 


wristpin Tue, 21/08/2018

If you are going down the old mower route you will need a few basic tools. The issue with old stuff is that the nut/thread  sizes will usually be British Standard Whitworth or British Standard Fine. Buying new, if you can find it, tends to be expensive so the best source is either an auction site or at a boot fair. You may find that some metric sizes are "a good enough" fit for casual use.

Davel831 Tue, 21/08/2018


              Thank you i managed to obtain a 7/16 W socket and i had an exchange with my new friend! 

Regards Dave

Antbr123 Tue, 21/08/2018

Hi Wristpin,

Clive very helpfully helped me date a JP Maxees, possibly to 1932.  Henry Ellis is validating this.  But what would be the nut thread sizes used back then, BSW or BSF...or even something else.  Any ideas?

wristpin Tue, 21/08/2018

I’ll duck that one and leave it to a JP expert. That said there were some unusual threads used back in those days. I recently came across Cycle thread on a JAP engine and I believe that Webb mowers used Cycle thread on some machines. JP has form in the area of threads as the coupling for the ex JP cutter unit that now exists on the Dennis FT uses a left hand Whitform thread.  This was a new one to me that I discovered while researching making a bespoke coupling for my cutting cylinder grinder. It was easier to buy a Dennis one and modify it, just to get that thread. Even Tracy Tools who are the first and last port of call for weird taps and dies , were unable to help.

Davel831 Thu, 04/10/2018

Hi All

          i have done something really stupid ! i took lots of pictures as i stripped this qualcast mower but the media i stored them on is faulty1 i was wondering does any member have any pictures of a qualcast 16 i can look at for assembly of  the chain drives by removing the covers on either side of the mower please.


regards Dave