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Collection, Preservation and Display of Old Lawn Mowers

South African member

Good day all, my name is Edward Lewis all the way from Cape Town, South Africa.


I recently bought a Suffolk 17" Super Punch from Marketplace. When I saw the ad, I fell in love with it, in its red and green beauty. Not knowing anything about the mower, I just asked if it turned over or not. And that was that, she was mine. The great thing is all the parts where present, and not in too bad a shape.


wristpin Sun, 20/09/2020


A nice solid machine with plenty of original paint. The front rollers are not original but look well made and up to the job. 

Did you get a grass box with it?

LouisbabyCT Sun, 20/09/2020

Hi, thanks for the welcome. Yes I got two Grass catchers with it, one is from a 14", and the other is the 17". It will require a bit of panel beating, but I'm up for the task. 

Clive1962 Sun, 20/09/2020

Now this has set me thinking.   I remember seeing the name Admiral 17" listed in some old Qualcast/Suffolk service literature. It was with ref cylinder mowers rather than later re use of the name.

It also listed Super 14  which I assume was the Super Punch, when sold overseas.? 

What then was the Admiral 17" ? and where was it sold.?


LouisbabyCT Mon, 21/09/2020

I have a few questions about this machine, I haven't been able to find anywhere else. 


Firstly, when I first started the mower, it shot all sorts of rust and bits out of the exhaust. Now with my Victa mower (2 stroke) they instruct you to repack the exhaust with steel wool for the noise reduction. Must I do the same with this machines exhaust? Or do I simply leave it as is?


Second question, in trying to keep it as original as possible, the handle bar grips seem to be incorrect, and I was wondering if there are better pictures of the grips somewhere? (I'm probably being ridiculous) 


And last question, in the interest of trying to keep the overall cost down on this restoration, I'm looking for the logo so I can print them locally. Shipping anything to South Africa is incredibly high, in fact, the grass catcher and side sticker plus shipping will be half the cost of the mower. 


As always, any help will be appreciated. 


Thanks all. 


OH and here are some more pictures. 

wristpin Mon, 21/09/2020

Exhaust. Leave as is.

Bar grips. May have had few over the years. Strictly original ones are probably no longer available, particularly if importing is problematical.

The club supplied various decals and there’s at least on UK supplier. Also an Australian eBay supplier. May be worth asking whether anyone will sell you a digital file for local printing.



Geoff Beechey Tue, 22/09/2020

If you go to and search for silensmessor he has these decals for $12.50 AU, I cannot imagine the postage to you would be prohibitive but worth asking him the question, he is very helpful.

Good luck with your refurbishment they are quite a solid mower/motor I have one on a Qualcast.

Regards Geoff.

LouisbabyCT Thu, 24/09/2020

So here's a question, I'm taking apart my mower for a full restoration. Now I've blown apart most of the mower according to the manual I found on this site. However, I cannot seem to budge the small pinion gear that turns the cylinder blade. 



Anybody got the method? 

villiers98 Fri, 25/09/2020

I believe the sprocket and nut are one piece and screwed on the the clutch shaft, but will have tightened in use . Should be normal RH thread . Use a good six sided socket ( not bi hex ) and good Mole type grips on the shaft.  As this tends to mark the shaft other people may suggest a better way and I stand to be corrected on this.Heating the nut part with a good blow lamp and cooling a couple of times may help.

Guess it dates from early 70s as later ones had the flat box type silencer, and then the black alloy engine. As I learnt, do not try to unscrew the cylinder to bottom blade adjuster studs from the bottom blade assembly. Also the cutting cylinder bearing holders are delicate when changing cylinder bearings. Cylinder bearings are imperial sized if I recall correctly and expensive in the UK

LouisbabyCT Mon, 28/09/2020

As somebody already pointed out, my front rollers are not stock, so can somebody give me the actual diameter of the front rollers please. I have a guy who can turn them out of wood or plastic. 



wristpin Tue, 29/09/2020

A rather belated answer to your query re the top sprocket.  No nut, as per a previous respondent, just screwed on with a right hand thread. needed a visit to the depths of the shed to reassure myself! With no hexagon as standard you will need a chain wrench or sprocket holder. Perhaps a previous dismantler had neither and welded a nut on to get out of trouble.

Rollers . 4.5" x 2.5"

Do you know any of the history of your machine?

I presume that the S African market for cylinder mowers would not support local manufacture , so would your machine have been imported fully or partially assembled or would a local assembler have imported fully " knocked down" kits of parts to build up machines from scratch? 

The previous respondent has touched on the disassembly process for the cutter unit . As he says, with the cutter unit dropped out of the chassis, its better not to attempt to remove the two threaded rods that adjust the "nip" between the cylinder blades and the bottom blade. He mentions the apparent fragility of the bearing carriers  - I find that strange as they are fairly substantial castings and I've never broken one yet . But the danger area is where they are pivoted onto the cast iron combined bottom blade carrier and throw plate; Pivoted on two fairly substantial shoulder bolts which are often seized solid .  Treat the removal of these bolts with great caution and circumspection - no heavy hammer work or you will end up looking for a good cast iron welder.   

The bearings themselves are a standard imperial size, RL5 in one bearing manufacturers reference system and NLJ5/8 in another and not unduly expensive  - at around £6.50 + tax for an adequate for purpose quality. 

If you have not already stripped the machine down, check the rear roller for end float. Any degree of end float makes the adjustment of the dog clutch difficult. Check it before dismantling and if excessive make a note of the thickness of washer needed to eliminate it. The washer is best installed at the clutch end on reassembly rather than bunged in so solve a problem at the non drive end of the roller.  

LouisbabyCT Fri, 02/10/2020

Thanks Wristpin


Not sure about the local stockist, probably just a few places that sold the imported mowers. I see there was another Suffolk Punch for sale on our local ads, but the 14 inch version. 


With regards to the sprocket, I persuaded it off with some heat and an oil filter wrench. The surface between the sprocket and bearing had almost fused together. 


Got anew bearing, on the casing it said RL4,  so that's what I got. 


In the process now of paint stripping and etch priming everything.