Follow the instructions in the owner's manual and you won't be wrong. The only thing I might deviate from might be changing the oil sooner but this can cause problems if the factory uses a break-in oil like Deere does in some of their larger engines.
Some engines require no break in per se. My Cummins engine says so in the owner's manual. But if no break in instructions or procedures are covered, as a rule of thumb it is best to vary rpm and loads being careful not to apply more than 75% power/rpm. This may not be practical with use of the mower as it requires full throttle to obtain the optimum blade speed to cut with. What is of the most importance in my opinion is to allow an adequate warm up cool down period after use. I always slowly warm up my equipment at a reduced rpm just a little above idle for warm up and allow it to run at about 1/3 throttle for a few minutes to ensure a good cool down. On an aircooled engine, this allows a minimum and evenly distributed engine temp. to be obtained prior to shut down. If there is a tech support line for the engine in the owner's manual; you might try calling it and asking what if any break in procedures are recommended.
Originally posted by Chief I always slowly warm up my equipment at a reduced rpm just a little above idle for warm up and allow it to run at about 1/3 throttle for a few minutes to ensure a good cool down. On an aircooled engine, this allows a minimum and evenly distributed engine temp. to be obtained prior to shut down.
Chief..I've never been one to sit and let it cool down after I'm done mowing, except for the reduced RPM trip back to the shed...what's the long term ramifications of not allowing proper cool down?
It is just a good practice to follow to allow an aircooled engine to run at an rpm that provides a good volume of cooling air flow at no load so as to reach the minimum temp. possible prior to shutdown. An aircooled engine can get pretty hot while working under load and to shut it off before it can cool down does it no favors. Some things that can be aggrivated by not doing this could be potential coking of oil on extremely hot areas or a warped valve/valve seat. Not that it is guaranteed to happen if you don't do this. I guys part of it is ingrained in habit on my part after 20 years of flying helicopters powered by turboshaft engines that require to run for a minimum of 2 minutes below 90% Ng (gas producer/compressor speed rpm) prior to shut down. An aircooled engine is a big mass of metal to cool off the hard way if it is shut down after a hard run with no cool down period. Heat which is normally dissipated by the air circulation/cooling fan now sits stagnant.
That makes a lot of sense. I guess I've probably shortened the life of a few engines in my day by not letting them cool down. I as a rule blow them off with compressed air when I'm through with them to get the dust off, this probably helps in the cool down process.
All of these suggestions are great BUT these engines, wether it be the B&S or Kohler are great motors. You will have your bad one by both brands. I am very easy on my equipment, warm up / cool down periods, etc.
I have a Snapper pucs mower with a 5 hp B&S bought in 78 (my Father), a Sears rider with a Tecumseh 10 hp bought in 69 (my Great Grand Mother) and a Troy-built tiller with a 7hp Kohler bought in 79 (my Father). I received all of these over the past year. NONE of them had decent oil in them when I got em.
Growing up I remember the Snapper getting oil changes once a decade MAYBE. The Troy-Built got regular oil changes, once maybe every 5 years. My Father said he never knew of the Sears rider ever getting an oil change and he cut his Grandmothers 2 to 3 acres every summer.
All of these motors have never been touched, though I did rebuild the Sears Rider's carb. They run GREAT. Now I know the motors of yeaster year are much better than the motors being put out today. Out of the 3 motors the B&S is the only one not cast iron.
If you change the oil regularly and not abuse these things they should run longer than the equipment attached to them. All of the cool downs while riding to the barn or while blowing it off and the warm ups while picking up the toys out of the yard will help but just use common sense. Don't shut em down from wideopen, dont't start and start em every 5 minutes, let it idle while picking up the sticks, and it should last for you to get your moneys worth and then some.
I am sure my Great Grand Mother, nor my father, thought about being able to leave the Sears 10XL to a 5th generation but my 12 year old son is able to cut grass with his Great Great Grand Mother's Sears 10 XL 35 years later.
Can you tell I am proud of the equipment I have inherited?
Now if I could just put my hands on my Grand Father's 1963 Massey 35 Deluxe my Great Grand Father bought new. It to has had probably 5 oil changes since new.
The grass that is greener on the other side was fertilized with alot of bs.