Frequently Asked Questions

While a lot of people use the Internet for shopping, probably many more are looking for help with products they already have. Traditionally, the outdoor power equipment industry has been slow to embrace new technology. Such major players as Honda and Echo were late getting onto the world wide web. Even today, most official material is focused on new equipment rather than providing service after the sale. Only a few dedicated industry professional have bothered providing any information other than what they thought might generate sales of new equipment, but a few manufacturers are starting to see the light. By providing reference material on parts, specifications, and maintenance for older equipment in a digital format, manufacturers can increase customer service and reduce consumer support costs.

On this page, we provide links to other sites, as well as other pages on this site that provide materials on safety, operation, maintenance, and parts for current and past models of equipment and engines we sell. Some of the information is available for free download, some must be purchased in hard copy format. All off-site links will open in a new browser window.


Finding Models & Serial Numbers

On this site, we have some information on finding model and/or serial numbers for Briggs & Stratton, Echo, and Honda power equipment.

Safety Information

Echo offers Material Safety Data Sheets and Safety Manuals online or you can contact them directly for information.

Stihl has Material Safety Data Sheets as well as training programs online.

Owner's Manuals

Briggs & Stratton has owner's manuals available online.

Kohler has owner's manuals for many engine models available for download in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format.

Echo provides owner's manuals for online download.

Honda owner's manuals for many models.

Stihl has a library of owners manuals on their website.

Toro has a knowledgebase full of manuals and parts catalogs on their website.

For brands we do not carry, Yetmans has a list of manufacturers, some of whom have owner's manuals, service manuals, and/or parts catalogs available online or for download.

Service Manuals

For the do-it yourselfer, we have Honda, Kohler, Briggs & Stratton, Tecumseh, and Wisconsin service manuals available for order in our Online Store.

How to Guides

Chainsaw Replacement Blades - Knowing which blade is right for your chainsaw can be really tough. Check out our handy guide to make replacing it a breeze.

Honda Engine Specifications

Kohler & Magnum Engine Specs & Tolerances

Visit the Kohler Technical Reference Pages, courtesy of Yetman's.

Repair & Service

Briggs & Stratton repair manuals are available for ordering in our Online Store.

Honda repair manuals for many models are available for ordering in our Online Store.

Tecumseh service manuals are available for ordering in our Online Store.

Toro has a form to allow you to request and purchase hard copies of service manuals online.

Wisconsin cast-iron engine service manuals are available for ordering in our Online Store.

For brands we do not carry, Yetmans has a list of manufacturers, some of whom have owner's manuals, service manuals, and/or parts catalogs available online or for download.

On Site Parts Lookup

The information provided below can also be found in more detail on our Parts Reference Page.

?Briggs & Stratton
Red Max
Lawn Boy

For brands we do not carry, Yetmans has a list of manufacturers, some of whom have owner's manuals, service manuals, and/or parts catalogs available online or for download.

Parts Lookup by Brand


Ordering Parts

Do you have a parts catalog?

Not for mailing. Our parts catalogs that we use at the store are scattered among several dozen CD-ROMs, hundreds of microfiche cards, and tens of thousands of paper pages. A complete copy would weigh several hundred pounds so it's not something we're likely to reproduce and mail out. We are working hard to put the most commonly requested parts on our web site, and we are continually adding items, but we'll never have everything up.

How long does it take to have a part shipped to me?

That depends on several factors. For parts we have in stock, we normally ship the next business day. We don't ship on holidays or weekends. If you order on Monday, we usually ship on Tuesday. If you order on Friday, we usually ship on Monday. There may be an additional day or two delay before shipment during our super busy Spring season (March-May).

For parts we don't have in stock at the time, we simply can't ship until we receive them from the manufacturer. The delay may be as little as 2-4 days for things like Honda, Echo, Stihl, and Toro parts, or as long as 6-12 weeks for Honda manuals or Wisconsin parts.

Shipping time is primarily determined by your location and shipping method. The transit time for UPS Ground ranges from between 1 business days for addresses across town to 6 - 7 business days for addresses in rural areas in the Northwest.

If you're in a hurry, you can choose to have your parts shipped Second Day or Next Day air. Keep in mind though, the weekends and holidays do not count for figuring Second Day or Next Day Air transit times. We also need a little time to fill the order. A Next Day Air order placed on the Thursday afternoon before Labor Day may not be filled until Friday or delivered until Tuesday.

How do I order parts that aren't listed online?

While we are constantly adding new parts, we will never have a complete catalog online.

We also accept credit card orders by phone (972-423-5220), fax (972-423-5825), or e-mail.

We accept check or money orders by snail mail, but don't forget shipping costs and please include name, email address, street address, zip code, and phone number.

The phone number and email address you give us will not only allow us to contact you if there is a problem, but it is also the information that will be used to keep a record of the transaction. Your information will not be used for marketing purposes or sold or given away to other companies.

I live overseas (or in Alaska, or Hawaii). Are there any options less expensive than UPS?

The only methods we have the shopping cart software configured for are for UPS in the United States. However, we can also ship to Hawaii, Alaska, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, etc. via USPS.

It does take us longer to ship, though. A trip to the post office leaves one less person to answer the phone or wait on customers at the counter.

We normally wait until we have enough orders together to make standing in line for an hour or so worthwhile. Also, the shipping charges for orders delivered outside of the US are often 2-4x what they would be to US addresses due to the required customs paperwork, not including any VAT required.

Which is why our online cart isn't set up for it as most people aren't willing to pay the shipping costs. If you do want parts shipped overseas, please call us first (972-423-5220) for a smooth ordering process.

Purchasing Equipment

Do you have an equipment catalog?

Not really. The closest thing to an equipment catalog we have is our web site. Much of the information on specific products is directly from brochures. We will send a brochure to folks who live in the area if asked nicely, but if you live 1,000 miles away, you should probably look for a local dealer.

They may not be on the internet, but they can probably serve you better than we can. We get hundreds of requests every month for catalogs and brochures. If we sent them out to everyone in the world who wanted one, we wouldn't have any left for the customers who actually walk into our store.

Why don't you have prices on all of your pages?

There are several reasons. The primary reason is that the industry is constantly changing. It is difficult enough just keeping current information on models and specifications. Keeping current prices would just cause more problems. Another reason is that we see many people that use the internet to shop solely on price. They spend hours looking for the "cheapest price" without considering that what they purchase may cost hundreds of dollars to have shipped and they still have to assemble the equipment when it gets there. We don't want to get into a price war with your local dealer. We believe it is usually worth paying an extra 10 - 15% to buy from your local servicing dealer around the corner. That way, you know the people, and you know they'll be there to help you out with parts and service should the need arise.

What kind of mower should I buy?

That depends on the type of grass you are mowing, the size and layout of your lawn, and what you expect from your lawnmower. There are two basic types of mowers used for residential lawn care; the rotary mower and the reel mower. Rotary mowers cut the grass with a horizontally spinning blade. Their chief advantage is their relatively lower cost. They are also better than reel mowers at cutting tall grass. Reel mowers are generally better for dense lawns that are relatively smooth. They provide a much finer cut than rotary types because they cut the grass with a scissors-like action rather than tearing it off. This also reduces stress on the grass during hot weather. 

Reel Mowers 

You can buy either powered or push-type reel mowers. The push-types are light weight, inexpensive, and nearly maintenance-free with no oil changes, carburetor overhauls, or air filter cleanings to worry about. They are very quiet and don't pollute. If your lawn is less than about 1,500 square feet, you might look into purchasing a push reel. They also provide a great, low impact workout. 

Powered reel mowers provide the same great cut as the push-type but they have a motor to turn the blades for you and are usually self-propelled. They are great for larger lawns when you still want the clean, manicured look. 

Rotary Mowers 

Rotary mowers are the most popular. This is mainly due to their lower price, but they do have some advantages over reel mowers. They don't follow the contours of your yard as well as a reel mower, so uneven lawns look less uneven. Bagging rotary mowers can be used to vacuum leaves and other yard debris, not just grass. A quality mulching mower cuts the clippings finer than a reel would. Rotary mowers do require sharpening more frequently, but sharpening a rotary mower blade is a simpler process. 

There are both push and self-propelled models on the market. In determining whether you want self-propelled or not, you must consider the size and slope of your yard, the weight of the machine, and how easy the machine is for you to push. On a level yard, a 120 pound mower with large ball-bearing wheels may be easier to push than a 70 pound mower with small wheels and no ball bearings. If you use either mower on a steep slope, however, you may find yourself wishing you had spent the extra hundred bucks for the self-propelled.

What size generator do I need?

That depends on the type of equipment you want to run. You can look at our handy wattage requirement guide to see what many common appliances need. Simply add up what you want to run from the generator. Remember that motors and compressors require more power when starting than when running.

Where should I purchase my equipment?

The best way to find a good power equipment dealer is to ask your friends and neighbors or a local landscape contractor. Find out which shops in your area they have had good experiences with. When choosing a dealer, make sure they are a servicing dealer. That means they service what they sell. Even the best quality products eventually break down, and with the right dealer, you will have someone to turn to for advice, repairs, and parts for years to come. They can also provide you plenty of information up front so you can make a better decision about which machine is right for you.

We do not recommend shopping for power equipment from the mass-merchandisers such as Wal-Mart, Home Depot, Lowe's, and others when buying power equipment. You might find cheaper prices there, but cheaper doesn't mean better. They don't service what they sell and are usually far less knowledgeable than your local servicing dealer. Most of the power equipment found there is either a low-quality brand or a low-cost version of brand-name equipment built without the quality features in order to compete solely on price.

Remember, the cheap ones aren't good and the good ones aren't cheap.

How much does it cost to have my order shipped to me?

That depends on the weight of the equipment, the size of the equipment, and most of all, your location. About half of the people who ask this question by e-mail neglect to tell us where they want it shipped. We mostly ship parts and accessories and usually the cost is under $10.

For equipment, small items like low-wattage generators, hedge trimmers, chain saws, most short blocks, and engines can be sent UPS. This is usually only about $10-$50 even when sent halfway across the country. Problems arise when shipping larger equipment. Dealer set-up obligations do not allow us to ship many types of equipment. We are required to assemble, service, and test run the equipment before purchase. In addition, UPS will not take large or heavy items. They must be sent motor freight. This can easily cost $100-150 for something a small as a lawnmower, more if you are far away from the major freight hubs. Something like a 12KW generator or a garden tractor may cost $500-$700 to ship. Something to think about before you look all over the country to save 50 bucks on a piece of equipment.

If you want to estimate shipping costs for yourself, you can visit the UPS Rate Calculator. Set the from zip code to 75074, and the pickup type to daily pickup service. You will have to estimate package size and weight and enter your zip code, but you can get a pretty good idea of what to expect.

Remember to add ten to twenty percent to the weight of equipment to cover packing materials.

Can you tell me where the closest dealer to me is?

You have the right idea in looking for a local dealer, but we don't usually have information on all the dealers that sell the same brands we do and it's hard to keep track of who's in business and who's shut down shop. Many manufacturers have web sites now, but many don't. Usually the best method is to ask around or use your Yellow Pages and your smartphone.

Repair, Maintenance, and Troubleshooting

I want to be able to do my own repairs. What tools do I need?

You need several items. The more complex the repair, the more likely you will need a tool that you don't have. This list includes pretty much everything you need to repair your small power equipment short of a complete overhaul.

Socket and wrench set. Both metric (8mm to 17mm) and standard (1/4" to /4") tools are usually necessary if you have a variety of equipment. I need metric for my Honda lawnmower and Stihl saw, and standard for my Whipper-Clipper edger. Better quality tools mean less frustration and fewer busted knuckles.

A torque wrench.

Regular and Phillips screwdrivers, in a variety of sizes.

Pliers. A variety of types is best, but you can probably get by with a pair of needle nose with a wire cutting tool and a good pair of Vise Grips.

Hammers. Both ball peen and rubber mallet.

Set of feeler gauges for setting gaps and clearances.

Flywheel puller. This should be one designed for your engine. If you are maintaining several different pieces of equipment, you may need more than one.

Spark tester. This is not a necessity, but it comes in quite handy in diagnosing problems.

If you are going to sharpen your own blades, you need a blade balancer. These are available for a few dollars at your local repair shop.

For cleaning and fluid changes you need a few items that you may already have around the house such as cotton swabs, brushes, old rags, paper towels, a funnel, and a drain pan.

There are many other tools that may be needed if you are overhauling your engines including valve spring compressors, ring expanders, and ring compressors.

Starting and running problems

My mower won't start and I changed the spark plug. What's wrong with it?

We can't diagnose a mower over the internet, but an engine needs three things, in the right place, at the right time, to run:

  1. Compression
  2. Clean fuel-air mixture
  3. A spark

A new spark plug rarely fixes any of these things. All a spark plug does is give a gap for the spark to jump across. You can test to see if you have a spark with a simple spark tester, available for a few dollars from your local servicing dealer. If you don't have a spark, you will likely need to replace the coil assembly or, on older models, the points and condenser.

Most commonly, starting problems are related to the fuel-air mixture. Usually they are related to fuel problems, such as stale fuel, water in the fuel, or a dirty carburetor. You can reduce water condensation by keeping your gas tank full during the mowing season. Today's gasoline goes stale pretty quickly, and if you buy more fuel than you will use in 30 days, it is best to add some fuel stabilizer to your gas can. You can find fuel stabilizer at most servicing dealers.

You should also make sure your fuel system is dry before you put the machine up for the winter to prevent the fuel from going bad and clogging up or corroding your carburetor parts. This means running the engine dry of fuel, and on float-bowl carburetor models, emptying the float bowl. If you left fuel in all winter, and the machine won't start, sometimes you can get it to run by emptying the gas tank and carburetor and refilling with fresh fuel. You do not need to drain the oil for the winter, and this can be hazardous, because you might not remember to refill the oil before starting the mower in the spring.

Lack of compression is a more serious matter. Sometimes it is caused by carbon buildup on the valves not allowing them to close properly. It can also indicate excessive wear on the rings, piston, and/or cylinder.

My Honda HR214/215 won't start. It worked just fine last year. What's up with that?

The most common problem we find with Hondas in the spring is stale fuel (see above). In addition, sometimes if the throttle cable is stretched out of adjustment, the choke won't close, making for hard starting when the engine is cold.

Why does my mower blow out blue smoke?

It is burning oil. The most common reason is that the oil was overfilled. If the mower deck has been tipped on its side, sometimes oil will get into the muffler. This will burn off in a few minutes. Incidentally, when working on a lawnmower or any similar equipment, make sure if you have to tip the machine on its side, you tip it away from the carburetor side. Oil in the muffler is not a problem, but oil in the carburetor and air cleaner is. Most older machines will burn some oil immediately after starting. This is normal. If your machine continues to burn oil after it has warmed up, it may indicate cylinder wear, meaning the need for some major service soon.

Self-propelled problems

My Honda hydrostatic walk-behind doesn't seem to travel as fast as it used to. What could be wrong?

Over time, control cables on lawnmowers will stretch with use. The hydrostatic transmission on the Honda is a precision instrument. A small amount of cable stretch makes large difference in travel speed. It is a relatively simple procedure to adjust the cables yourself, or if you take your Honda in for annual service, make sure that your dealer adjusts the cables as well.

My Honda self-propelled mower has a hard time turning corners. What is the problem?

For direct (shaft) drive models, this means you have a bad ratchet assembly in the one or both of the rear wheels. The ratchets allow for easy turning even when the self-propelled is engaged, but if one of the ratchets is worn out, both wheels will want to turn at the same speed.

My self propelled system doesn't work any more. How can I fix it?

There are many different types of self propelled systems using cogs, chains, belts, and other devices. Some, like the Honda Masters Series, use direct shaft drive and rarely give problems other than the ones already covered. It is best to check out the parts that commonly wear out first. The problem may simply be a loose belt or chain. Often cogs or the wheels they are driving may wear down enough that there is no longer any contact between them. On Lawn Boys that use friction rollers, the rear wheels may wear down enough to give this problem. On Snappers, the rubber edged drive disk may need to be replaced or the problem may be in one of the two belts.

Trimmers and Brushcutters

My trimmers line isn't feeding out properly, or it breaks off all the time. What could be wrong?

Assuming the line is in good condition and wound properly on the head, the problems are probably related to the length of line being used. If you're waiting until the line gets too short before you try to feed it out, there may not be enough centrifugal force to turn the spool and pull the line out. Cutting with a short line can also cause breakage. Shorter line has to flex more as it bends around trees, fences, and other obstacles. This constant flexing will heat up the line and could even cause it to melt, breaking off at the head.

If you're having trouble feeding the line and you know you don't have it too short, you might try lubricating the line with a graphite or silicone base lubricant. This will help keep the individual strands from sticking together inside the head.

Brittle line can also be due to the age of the line. Nylon trimmer line has a definite shelf life. Over time, it will become dry and brittle. Its main enemies are heat, light and time. Some of our landscaper customers will put their bulk line in the freezer or refrigerator. We don't know how well this works, but they claim it does. Our best advice is to not buy more line than you will use in a few months and store it in a cool, dark place.

My trimmer or brushcutter bogs down as soon as I give it gas.

There are a few possible causes. One or the more common problems is a clogged exhaust system. Two cycle engines are burning oil as well as fuel. Over time, carbon deposits can build up in the muffler or on the spark arrestor screen. Sometimes the solution is as simple as removing the spark arrestor screen, as this is often the first part to clog. The screen is not necessary for the machine to run, but it may be required on federal lands and can be a good idea in some other areas, especially during the hot, dry summers we have here in Texas. given enough time, the carbon buildup will clog the muffler as well. At this point, it's a good idea to just replace the muffler.

General Maintenance

My Honda hydrostatic walk-behind doesn't seem to travel as fast as it used to. What could be wrong?

Over time, control cables on lawnmowers will stretch with use. The hydrostatic transmission on the Honda is a precision instrument. A small amount of cable stretch makes large difference in travel speed. It is a relatively simple procedure to adjust the cables yourself, or if you take your Honda in for annual service, make sure that your dealer adjusts the cables as well.

Maintenance Questions

What kind of routine maintenance does my lawnmower need?

At least once a season, you should give your mower a complete checkup. It's convenient to do your routine maintenance at this time as well. Most people like to do this in the spring, just before the grass starts to grow.

Begin by giving your mower a light cleaning. You can use a water hose to wash off the dirt and grass clippings. Be sure to get the dried-on clippings that build up under the deck. They can reduce cutting efficiency and suction. When working under the deck, always disconnect the spark plug wire from the spark plug. Regular walk-behinds should be tipped away from the carburetor and air filter to prevent oil from clogging them. On riders, the deck should be removed before servicing.

Check the blade(s) for excessive wear and to make sure they are still sharp.

Check that the control cables are operating smoothly. A little spray lubricant may help.

Check the starter to make sure it recoils all the way. If it doesn't, your rope isn't too long. The spring inside has lost some if its shape.

If you have left untreated gasoline in the tank all winter, it is best to drain the gas tank and carburetor before refilling with new gasoline. First, undo the hose clamp from the carburetor and pull our the rubber gas line. Then, drain the tank, using pliers on the line to control the flow. If the line is cracked and brittle, replace it.

Don't forget to change the oil and clean or replace the air filter.

On tractors with liquid-cooled engines, you should also clean the radiator and radiator screen. Grass clippings and other debris can build up and impede air flow. We have seen engines overheat when the radiator becomes clogged.

When you are ready, fill up the tank with fresh gasoline and make sure your lawnmower runs well. If it doesn't, take it to your local repair shop as soon as possible to avoid the spring rush. Alternatively, if you have the tools and the know-how, you can try the repair yourself.

How can I extend the life of my mower?

It's easy. Check engine oil level before each use, and change the oil often. Keep the air filter clean. Use a fuel stabilizer, and remove all gasoline from the mower before putting it up for long periods of time.

How often should I change the oil on my mower?

With new engines, you should change the oil after the first five hours of use. We recommend changing the oil about every 20-25 hours of use after that. If you are an average homeowner, that means about once per season. For commercial landscapers, that may mean once a week or more. Some tractors and commercial mowers use engines with oil filters. An oil change every 40-50 hours is acceptable for these. Of course, if you are mowing under harsh or dusty conditions, you should change the oil more frequently. Always check the oil level before mowing.

How much oil should I put in?

This depends on the machine. Read your owner's manual. In addition, most engines have a fill line marked on the dipstick. Do not overfill and (very important) do not under fill.

What kind of oil should I use?

That, too depends on the machine. Use a high-quality oil such as Pennzoil. Most Briggs and Stratton or Tecumseh engines require 10W-30, while the Honda engines can use either 10W-30 or 10W-40. Check your owner's manual to be sure.

How often should I change or clean the air filter?

As with oil changes, this depends on mowing conditions. The best way is to check it frequently, and change/clean it when it's dirty. This usually means about every 8-15 hours of use. For commercial machines, you may have to clean or replace the filter once or twice per day. It is a good idea to carry spares.

How do I clean the air filter?

Paper and flocked filters can't be cleaned and have to be replaced.

Sponge and screen filters may be cleaned using a mild dish soap, then blotted dry. Do not clean with gasoline, as it will damage the element. If you have a sponge element, before re-installing, take a small amount of engine oil and work it through the sponge. This will help in catching fine dust that can shorten the life of an engine.

Do not put oil on paper or flocked filters. It will prevent air from coming through the intake.

On better quality mowers, such as the Honda HR214, the air filters have both an internal paper and an external sponge element. Be careful not to stretch the external filter, but if the sponge is properly and regularly cleaned, the paper element can last many years.

How often should I sharpen the blade on my rotary mower?

The best answer is, you should sharpen them when they are dull. For the average homeowner, this means about 2-3 times per season. If you are cutting in dusty areas, or are mowing more than just grass, they may require more sharpening. They don't have to be as sharp as knives since even extremely dull blades will still cut, but the cut will be very ragged and can damage the grass.

With a dull blade, you are beating the grass down rather than cutting it. Dull blades also require more power to do the same job.

When you sharpen your blades, it is important that they are balanced as well. If a blade is out of balance, it will cause vibrations that will eventually damage your engine block.

How often should I sharpen the blades on my reel mower?

With a reel-type mower, the average homeowner can probably do with sharpening once a season, or even less. If the yard is kept free of rocks, twigs, and other foreign objects and the bedknife is properly adjusted, a good reel sharpening can last up to three seasons.

Owners of reel-type mowers know that the cut is far superior to that of a rotary, too. Instead of chopping off the grass, you are cutting it with scissors. At Plano Power Equipment, we have a reel-sharpening machine, and sharpen reel mowers every Friday night. The machine we use does a much better sharpening job than other methods. First, the bedknife is ground straight and true, then each individual reel is sharpened to match the bedknife.

How often should I sharpen the blade on my edger?

Never. When it wears down, just replace it. You should also replace the edging guide as well when you replace the blade. On edgers that have an adjustable blade guide, such as the Whipper-Clipper, you should always keep the guide adjusted to within 1/4" of the level of the blade. This can save wear and tear on your blade (and your sidewalk).

Finding Parts

What brands do you stock parts for?

We stock a large selection of parts for the following brands: Honda, Stihl®, Echo®, Briggs and Stratton, Tecumseh, Kohler, Wisconsin, Toro/Wheel Horse, Lawn Boy, Little Beaver, Scag, Snapper, RedMax, Manco, Toro Lawnmowers and Turf Equipment, Trimmer, Tru-Cut, Billy Goat, EarthWay, Kawasaki Commercial Engines, Yard Shark, Little Wonder/Mantis, Whipper-Clipper, Wheel Horse, Wisconsin, Wisconsin-Robin, Rotary, Silver Streak, and a few more.

Where do I find parts for brands you don't carry?

That's something we can't really answer. You can try asking the manufacturer. Not all of them are on the internet, but some are. A good list can be found at Marr Bros. is the distributor in our area for MTD, Murray, and AYP which account for a large fraction of the mass merchandiser power equipment sales. In some cases, the manufacturer is no longer in business and you may be out of luck.

Where do I find parts for my McCulloch saw/trimmer?

We see this question quite often. Unfortunately, we do not carry McCulloch parts and we know of very few dealers in our area who do.

Over the last 20 years or so, they moved away from sales through servicing dealers and more into the mass merchandisers, who do not provide service. Even more unfortunate, McCulloch filed for bankruptcy in January 1999. As supplies run out, it is very difficult to find parts at the few servicing dealers that were left.

Original Equipment, Inc. of Greenwood, Arkansas bought the McCulloch parts inventory at auction and they are selling direct to some distributors and dealers, but not the general public. You can call them at (501) 996-6844. They may be able to direct you to someone who still handles McCulloch parts, but when the parts are gone, they're gone.

Where do I find parts for my Sears mower/edger/trimmer/tractor/generator?

We can help you with engine parts for most Sears equipment, but chassis parts are another story. Some people are surprised to learn that Sears does not make the products it sells. Since it can be difficult to get parts through Sears, sometimes your best option is to go to someone who carries parts for the original equipment manufacturer. Many of those manufacturers are no longer in business, but some are still around. The first three numbers (before the decimal) of the model number on equipment sold at Sears gives you information on who made it. There are usually different model numbers for the chassis and the engine. Here's a partial list:

103.xxxxxx Sarlo Power Mower
113 Emerson Electric Shredder and Bagger
114 Pioneer Gen-e-motor
128 EJ Rugg
129 Mono Mfg. Co.
131 Roper (now AYP)
133 AYP
136 Toro
143 Tecumseh/Lawson Power Products
147 Village Blacksmith (McGraw Edison)
149 AMT
160 Wisconsin Magneto
180 Lambert Corp.
202 Gennon Mfg. Corp.
219 MTD
234 Beard Poulan and Lazy Boy
247 MTD
250 J I Case
253. Gibson (now owned by Frigidaire)
257 Allegretti & Co. and Paramount
271 Kioritz Corp.
291 American Lawnmower
328 McLane 315 Ryobi
316 Ryobi
328 McLane
355 Roper Outdoor
358 Poulan
359 Bolens Products
372 Zeus Generator Co.
378 Omark (Oregon)
380 Moto-Mower inc.
390 King-O-Lawn
410 John Bean
426 Parker Sweeper
445 Meimer
473 Quincy Compressor
498 Didier Mfg. Co.
500 Briggs & Stratton
502 Murray
517 Homelite
521 E-Z Rake Co.
536 AMF-Wester International
538 AMF/Murray
549 Midwest Ind.
580 Generac
582 Clinton Engine Co.
610 Ohio Steel
619 ARPS Corp.
636 Echo®
639 King-O-Lawn
654 Mott
663 Air Cap (MTD)
733 Fairbanks Morse
739 Onan
745 O&R Enterprises
757 Brinly Hardy Co.
769 Mercury Clutch Division
778 Comet Industries
785 Gen. Power-Magna-MTD
798 Speed King
809 AMF
842 Haben Mfg.
854 White Farm Equipment (MTD)
900 Black & Decker
917 Roper (AYP)
922 Original Tractor Cab, Inc.
937 Sunbeam (now Air Cap)

How long does it take to get a machine repaired?

How long does it take to get a machine repaired?

It depends on the complexity of the repair, the availability of parts, and, most importantly, the season. Average turn-around time for us is about a week on most repairs. Some may take longer, some may take less time. Be wary of repair shops that tell you they can have it fixed in a day or two, especially in the spring.

The estimated repair time is not the time it takes to actually repair your machine, but the time it takes to finish the machines that are ahead of you in line. You can't judge a business solely on turn-around time, but a repair shop that can fix your mower in a day obviously doesn't have much business, and it's a good idea to ask yourself why.

During late summer and early fall, our repair time usually drops off to three or four days. In winter, it may take less than two, but if you wait until April, it may take us as long as ten days to get to your machine. The lesson here? Avoid the rush. Don't wait until spring when the grass is knee-high to find out your mower won't start, because that's what everybody else will do.

Check the mower to make sure it will start a few weeks before the cutting season or bring the mower to your favorite shop for regular annual service during the fall or winter. Your mechanic can change the oil, sharpen the blade, replace the air filter, drain the fuel, and catch any potential problems before they become major. Regular maintenance can also help lengthen the life of your equipment.

What kind of fuel should I use?

Always use regular 87 octane unleaded gasoline (unless, of course you have a diesel). High-octane fuel can damage small engines. Make sure the fuel is fresh. Gasoline that has been sitting for more than about a month will lose some of its combustibility. If you are keeping gasoline long periods of time, we recommend using a fuel stabilizer.

What ratio gas-oil mixture should I use for my chain saw and trimmer?

That depends more on the type of oil you are using more than the brand or type of equipment. We recommend using a quality name brand of two-cycle oil, such as Stihl®, Echo® or Red Max. Different manufacturers make oil with different concentrations. Years ago, the standard was 20:1, then 32:1. Today, the best quality oil is usually 40:1 or 50:1. It is usually sold in bottles that are pre-measured for one, 2.5, or 5 gallons.

In short, use a high-quality oil, and mix it according to what it says on the bottle. If you buy oil that has several different ratios listed on the label, it probably isn't very high quality. You can mix it 32:1 and you will probably be safe, but you risk shortening the life of the engine or clogging up your exhaust port and muffler with carbon deposits.

Do not use outboard motor oil in air cooled two-cycle engines. Outboard motor oil is designed for water cooled engines and tends to break down at higher temperatures.

Can I replace the tires on my mower, or do I have to replace the whole wheel?

It depends on the machine. The older Hondas (HR21, HR194, HR214) and the new Masters Series have replaceable tires. A few other brands have this feature as well. If you have difficulty in installing the new tire, you can soak it in very warm water beforehand. The heat will make the tire more pliable and easier to work with.

How do I convert an engine to run on LP gas?

It is not an easy job. It can easily run $100-$300 or more. Legal requirements vary from state to state. Here in Texas, it must be done by someone licensed to do that type of work. This probably holds true in most other states. To find out, check with your local propane dealer. If he can't do the work, he should be able to recommend someone who can.

My generator is too loud. Is there a quiet muffler I can buy for it?

Maybe. It will depend on the model and type of engine. There are mufflers that can reduce exhaust noise, but they probably won't make your generator quiet. Most of the noise produced by a generator is not exhaust noise but engine noise. Quiet generators, such as the Honda line do sometimes use large mufflers, but they are quieter mostly due to the design of the engine. A flat head Briggs & Stratton or Tecumseh engine will always be noisy no matter what kind of muffler you use. The best you can hope for is to reduce the volume from deafening to just very very loud.