Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Black and Decker Electric Mower Model U-274 = 22" deluxe dual-blade mower, 10 amps, 5200 rpm Repair/Restoration

Let me start off by thanking the following dude for listing the Black and Decker models, including the First lawn mower ever made by Black and Decker.


I wanted to pick up a cheap mower to let someone else have/use.  I found this ad in craigslist for a 20.00 mower that just needed a belt replaced.  I thought that would be really easy, so I went on a rainy night to check out the mower.  It started up fine and the motor sounded good, so I picked it up.

When I got the mower home, first I noticed that the deck was made of cast aluminum.  I am normally a big fan of cast aluminum decks, but the person I had in mind to give the mower would probably have scrapped the metal out on the mower for cash, instead of using it.

Next I noticed that the handle had been rigged where it broke on the bottom.  They sistered two pipes together side by side with two bolts.  It was crude but it worked, although the handle was angled out of shape when you pushed it.   So I went to work on the handle.  The pipes looked like one could fit in the other. Sure enough after cutting them off with a pipe cutter and some large hammer persuasion they fit together nicely.  At the bottom of one side of the handle was a mechanism used to stop the handle from flipping over to switch directions.  It is controlled by a bicycle brake cable that runs to the top of the handle from the bottom, where the handle broke.  Since the one side of the handle after being repaired was not to factory specifications, I flipped the mechanism over to the other side of the bottom of the handle.  Then I realized the deck had a unique stop feature that mated to the mechanism.  So I took the handle and flipped it around 180 degrees.  After a small amount of adjustment the mechanism was both releasing and locking the flipping action of the handle.

After that I looked at the blades.  For some reason the previous owner had flipped the blades upside down.  So the angled dull side was the lowest spot on the blade.  The straight cutting edge was the highest point.  Also, the blades were a bit rusted and dull.  I took them off using the manual's directions and sharpened them and wire brushed the surface rust.  Next I gave them a coat of black Walmart spray paint and remounted them.  BTW, I used a torque wrench to take off the rusty blade nuts.

Finally, I took the orange plastic cover off the mower to expose the belts.  The cover was taped on and all of the base mounting screws were missing.  It came off after wiggling it a bit around the motor housing.  The remaining belt had the marking ( Uniroyal 64175 )  I thought that should be easy to find on ebay.  I did a search and came up with only one hit.  It was for a bunch of parts for old black and decker mowers, including a belt set for my mower.  This was 19.99+10.00 shipping.   I looked on google and the next closest thing was for a single belt for around 16.00+shipping.  Since, I have a few mowers, I went for the ebay deal.  Now I am into this mower for 50.00.  Probably not the best investment.  Finally after about 2 weeks the replacement belt kit arrived.

In the mean time, I took the blade spindles off and noticed that the thrust washers were simply fiber shims.  I read somewhere that they needed to be soaked in light oil.  Also, the main bearings were needle bearings pressed into the housing.  Those I am guessing just need some bearing grease.  The bell belt pulleys for the belts were a bit rusty, so some more wire brushing and a coat of Walmart paint.   I put those all back together making sure the slop in the spindle axial direction was not too large.

The manual has a long description on replacing the belts, and I mostly followed it, although my motor mounting bolts would not fully come out, so I ended up sliding the belts under the end of the drive shaft and then putting them on like you would a bike chain.  I used the tensioner provided in the kit, but I am not sure that a small amount of pressure from my hand directly on the motor housing would have not done the same thing.

After getting it all put back together, I took it out for a test cut and it worked wonderfully. It cuts wider than my MM200 mower by 4 inches, which does not seem like a lot but adds up on a larger yard.  The dual blades seem to work like a champ.  They are offset slightly so they do not have to be synchronized.  I put the mower up on it's highest setting because summer is approaching, and we have not had rain in a while.  Looks like I might keep this one and ditch the other one.  BTW, the manual said to tighten the tension on the belts after running for 20 minutes.  My plan is to sell the extra parts from the ebay purchase and also, to post all of the documentation included in the parts kits.

Black & Decker has a nice diagram of the parts but does not have the corresponding parts listed.  Most of them have been discontinued, but it would have been nice to see the descriptions, so I am including that in this blog for you as well.  Please feel free to ask questions or add usefull information.

Normally on BnD's website they have great schematics of parts and this is true for this mower 

except they forgot to include the parts list.  They sent it to me after calling them.  I have included it for your reference.
Also for reference are the instructions for changing belts for my mower and one other set.  BTW, I have a couple of extra kits and some extra parts.  Just comment and let me know what you need.