Sunday 9 October 2022

Instruction Manual

 Congratulations on taking ownership of your new worn-out and modified Atco cylinder lawn mower. A few decades spent familiarising yourself with the operation and maintenance of the machine will pay dividends in the coming months.

The machine is fitted with a seriously worn Villiers F6 two stroke engine which should have been thrown away in the 1970s. It will provide rattly and unreliable power to both the cutting blades and the roller.

  1. Charge the battery.
    The magneto failed in the early 2000s and was replaced by a lead-acid battery and a dc coil. There is no charging system fitted to the mower. Connect the battery to the charger and turn the charger on at the mains. After several hours the charger will show the green "full" light. The charger is also a battery conditioner so should be left plugged in and turned on indefinitely.
  2. Mix the fuel. Tip petrol and two stroke oil into the mixing bottle to achieve a 25:1 mixture and agitate it to distribute the oil evenly throughout the fuel.
  3. Fill the fuel tank
  4. Food the carburettor
    Open the fuel tap. Depress the tickler (float valve override) twice for one to two seconds.
  5. Start the engine
    The engine runs rich and is liable to flood if it doesn't start quickly. Do not prime the engine and do not turn the ignition off during the process. Turn the ignition switch to ON. Despite what I say in the video, set the throttle to 100% (left). Close the chock fully (up). Briskly pull the starting handle two or three times. When the engine fires it will be trying to flood itself or shake itself to bits, you must act quickly. Open the choke a little and the engine revs should climb dangerously high - counteract this by closing the throttle part way. Continue this process until the engine is running with the choke fully open. Continue closing the throttle little by little until the engine is warm and will tick over with the throttle closed. You have now started the engine. Congratulations.
  6. Cut the grass
    The clutch lining is absolutely irreplaceable so operate the clutch as little as possible. In particular you may not open the clutch to turn corners or to turn around at the end of a run. Open the throttle a little to increase engine revs and close the clutch. Cut the grass. Close the fuel tap. Turn off the ignition.
  7. Clean
    Use the toothbrush and broken china teacup of oil (supplied with the mower) to lubricate the cutting blades.
The machine is mainly assembled with whitworth fasteners, except for the ones which wore out in the 1970s and 1980s which were replaced with A/F fasteners. Fasteners replaced in the last 30 years are mainly metric. There are various lubrication points in the sideplates and hidden under the chain cover. The front roller is missing and broken and has been replaced with pram wheels.

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