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on July 30, 2008
I have this mower and it came with an insert beneath the side discharge vent. This plastic plate keeps the grass clippings or leaves from being discharged and chops them into tiny particles. I removed my plate or 'plug' as the grass kept causing the mower to shut off as it was very thick grass.

As to the complaint about the mower not starting after the first time please check to insure there is adequate fuel/oil in their respective tanks (and not oil in the gas tank and vise versa). Next, check to be sure the foam air filter isn't blocked with dirt and grass. If it is, remove and wash it. Next, if all else fails, remove the spark plug and check for fouling. If the contacts are not clean and sharp, replace the plug. Plugs are inexpensive and not covered by warrenty. This should do the trick. The plug the manufacturer installed lasted me eight hours. Eight. The manual says to replace spark plugs after 100 hours. Don't believe it. And the spark gap for this machine is .03

If you have done all of this and the mower still won't start, go to [...] for a dealer near you and call ahead to make certain they do warrenty repairs and, if so, under what circumstances in case there is a hidden cost to you. There is a two year warrenty, you know. I enjoy using my mower to cut nearly an acre of grass and, while the mower and I got off to a bad beginning, we're doing great now.
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on October 27, 2012
i'm 34, and i've had briggs & stratton engines on mowers ever since i could push one. these engines are bulletproof...

the last one i had (that prompted this purchase) was 8 years old, and i'll be honest, i've treated it like crap, left it in the rain, hardly ever changed the oil, and it still kept singing. it finally started burning oil about a month ago, repeatedly fouling the plug. it now has less compression than my dog when he farts.

change your oil, fellas. :D haha...

since a new mower always costs less than a honing and ring overhaul, thanks to labor or time, i bought an almost exact replacement. this one runs like a champ, it's light weight, strong running...

my ONLY beef is the deck.

my last one was the exact same chassis stamping and this engine's a 500 compared to my old 550 (that's torque rating), a difference which is, pff, hardly missed. my old one, however, had two extra arc pieces, fore and aft, welded under the deck, which this one's missing.

it doesn't sound like a lot, but those extra pieces provide and maintain a wall for a whirlwind created by the blade that helps with discharge, as well as strengthen the deck, eliminating chassis twist over mild hills.

since those two pieces are gone on this one, the grass gets sucked up by the blades and blown up and out to the corners of the deck, where the wheels are bolted, then settles to the ground, leaving a booger of a trail at the left rear wheel.

then when you pull backwards, the trail is exact opposite, at the right front. ahh, physics.

if you're a nazi about mowing, like every 4 days, i don't see it being that big of a deal, but with a hectic schedule like mine, and as much erratic rains as we've had lately, it's worth having a mower with a bit extra beef and common-sense design to handle the unexpected or ill-planned jobs. the only thing i can figure is they wanted to cut weight or save on production time...? bzzt, they failed.

all i really wanted was a new motor for my old one, so essentially, i got one. my old deck spits way better with the deck arcs installed, and it's still in great shape. the motor's just bunk. i essentially bought a brand new, again bulletproof, donor motor until i teach myself how to weld. :D

the instructional and parts manuals only show and itemize a drawing of the deck from the top view. there's no way to tell if those goofy extra curved parts were ever supposed to have been included.

thanks for your time, and i hope you guys found this helpful.
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on September 30, 2012
I had a Murray mower for 15 years with exactly the same Briggs and Stratton Engine except that one had a 4 H.P. Engine. This mower is almost identical except a slightly different body. They have simplified it and made it lighter. The most important part of the mower is the engine. You can't go wrong with a Briggs & Stratton Engine and this one is no exception. My front yard tends to get very thick and I was very happy to find that with the extra power this mower just zipped right through the thick grass without missing a beat. I noticed that there are several reviews where people claim that they used it one time and couldn't get it work again. Well I'm telling you that those people either are not telling the truth or didn't do something correct when following the simple instructions. You get the mower fully assembled. They ship it with a 18 oz bottle of oil which is exactly the correct amount of oil which you pour in the same place that you check the oil. Then you fill it up with gasoline that contains LESS THAN 10% ETHANOL if possible. To start it you have to push the primer three times after it is actually pumping fuel. If you haven't used the mower for awhile it will take a couple of pumps before it has any fuel to prime. You can hear and feel when it's pumping gas. At this point prime it 3 times. Then it almost always starts on the first or second pull. If you happen to flood the carburetor (should be rare) let it sit for a few minutes and try to start it again. You also can't expect this mower to hold up if you go out and try to chopping down shrubs or hit a bunch a rocks. If you need to do that you can go spend 2 or 3 times the price to get a mower that will handle that kind of abuse. This mower is a medium duty mower and it will last if you take care of it. I know because my last one lasted 15 years like I said. I am no slouch when I mow either. I have a very steep front yard and when I mow I go straight up the hill because it is better exercise that way. I recommend this mower. You will not be disappointed. For the price it is worth it and works very well.
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on May 23, 2012
This is a good, very basic mower. It's lightweight -- easy to maneuver. It starts on first or second try. The con on this mower is that each wheel has to be adjusted individually.
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on April 24, 2013
This mower is replacing my quarter-century old "Yardman" mower. Yes, it is not as heavily build as the "Yardman" was but then what is now-a-days. Within five minutes of it's delivery, I was mowing. I added the oil, (that came with it, to my amazement) added some fuel, primed the fuel line with three pushes as per the decal on the mower, and pulled the starter rope. It fired right up. Of course, it died shortly after but "hey, it was totally fuel-less" so I expected this. I gave the primer one more push and pulled the rope and it started again and only quit when I wanted it to.

I mow a 1/3 acre lawn. It's not a small yard but it's not a huge one either. I was able to complete the job with one tank of fuel. A good sign to me, as it was not a gas-hog. The mower has a fixed RPM setting so you have no control, but I never felt a need to change the engine speed during my mowing.

Also, it puffs out a little blue smoke when you first start it, but that is normal for any engine that is either new or rebuilt. Until the rings totally seat, you should expect this. A little smoke is not a sign of a bad engine.

The lighter construction over my old "Yardman" also made mowing a little less of a chore for this old man.

As for all the bad reviews of late, I suspect those reviewers probably have no business using a mower, as most of the complaints I read were "self inflicted"; something that most would not come across.

One more important thing. While the Briggs and Stratton engine was a smaller (HP rating) than my old "Yardman", it actually seems to have more power. Definitely more torque! Having a Briggs and Stratton engine was one of the major selling points for me on this mower.

I would recommend this mower to anyone wanting a reliable/affordable mower for light to medium use.
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on August 2, 2013
Let me start off by saying that I didn't have huge expectations for this lawn mower when i bought it. That is what makes this review all the worse. It is hard to be disappointed when your expectations are low. My good lawn mower died on me at the end of July. I didn't have a ton of money to spend this late in the season on a replacement so I was looking for something relatively inexpensive that could get me through the rest of this year. If it didn't work next year not the end of the world. I looked on amazon at several different models and for the price and the reviews this one seemed like it would work. It had some negative reviews but more good than bad so I figured those few who wrote bad reviews just were unlucky or expected too much for the price. I was wrong. This thing is the biggest waste of money every. If you pay 20 bucks for it you over spent because all it is good for is scrap. I took the lawn mower out of the box CAREFULLY followed all of the directions for set up pulled the rip cord and... nothing. Not only nothing but the cord didn't go back in. I rewound the rip cord and tried again... still nothing. Amazon of course DOES NOT DO RETURNS on lawn mowers. I've called the company to see if I could get any help but apparently they close at 5pm est... Even if they fix it for free... which i doubt they will this has been such a headache that I still feel like I should at least get some money back... but it doesn't look like that is going to happen. How can you sell someone a broken piece of crap that doesn't work straight out of the package and do nothing for the customer? What a load of crap. DO NOT BUY THIS PRODUCT!!! If you are given it as a GIFT GIVE IT BACK THAT IS HOW MUCH THIS SUCKS!
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on April 12, 2012
this mower does the job at a price that I think is right. Started after some gas and oil with one pull, the only thing you have to assemble out of the box is two screws for the handle
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on September 10, 2013
I live on a not-too-steep grade, nice and grassy. I have tried several self-propelled mowers because my wife made me (I'm 80). I returned them all. But when she left for seasonal employment I went and bought this mower. Its light and powerful. (What mower isn't powerful with a new blade!) It is better than any self-propelled because its light and maneuverable. One rear wheel came a bit cockeyed which is disarming but it just wasn't spec'ed out by the factory; i.e., they missed it during factory inspection. I won't mess with it, its OK. Its very secure. What's nice is the wheels are all adjustable with enough settings to make a lot of difference. Its easy starting - not a one start - but easy starting. Be sure to use ethanol-free gasoline even though the instructions say ethanol containing gasoline is OK. Don't believe that hogwash!!!!! Your feed lines will dissolve in the not too distant future.
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on January 30, 2012
Mower comes fully assembled, add gas & oil, pump primer, pull rope x3, start pushing. There is no gas lever which concerned me until I used it, plenty of reserve power, the automatic governor keeps the engine at a proper rpm the entire time. Easy to use, washes up easily after use (let it cool first).
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on August 29, 2013
There are no frills with this mower. What you see is what you get. No mulcher plug included and the engine has been difficult to start since purchasing it about a month and a half ago. For the price, I have no complaints so far, hopefully it will keep on working.
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