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Buying A Used Snapper (Sweden)

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#16 jorgen OFFLINE  

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Posted August 05, 2014 - 08:30 AM

Hello and sorry for the long period without updates.

I want to thank you guys for giving me info about the Snapper-type of mowers.


Well – long story short; I went ahead a bought the Snapper that I’ve mentioned earlier.

Although the machine had quite a few more errors than the seller first said and I couldn’t get any price reduction I went ahead and bought it. The fact that these old Snappers really aren’t that common on the swedish second hand market makes it a little tougher for the buyer if you´re looking for this particular type of machine.


The purchase might have been a bad choice, but I somehow got a feeling that the machine possibly after all could be a reasonable “fix-object” and I absolutely like the roughness of this mower.


I paid 420 USD for it. The seller, a man in his late seventies, told me that he put the price based on the market value for a running 12 HP B&S motor plus the fact that he had paid 130 bucks for the new starter. The starter looks new – but regarding the price tag, well I don´t know if that is true.


I thought I share some pictures of this purchase with You – and I am extremely thankful if You while watching these can tell me if You see any other missing parts or damages to it than the ones I have detected so far.

The 12 HP B&S engine starts and runs without any trouble. The mower has the “Snapper” sticker on the front and is marked “Extra tough” and “Hi-vac” on the steering pillar.


The big issues so far appears to be the following:


The drive belt for the knife is broken.


The drive discs (spacers ?) are missing and the drive wheel looks like it needs replacement. The rubber is really worn here. The machine runs in reverse, but not forward.


The ignition keylock is broken and there is no starter relay or battery on it. However there is a new starter on it. The old guy who sold the mower started it by connecting a car battery to the starter. So far it starts without protests both via starter and hand crank.


The tires got some really nasty age-cracks in them, but so far they have not deflated. Purchasing new wheels seems like a good idea.


There is a sliding frame for the gearshaft (see green marking on the picture below ) which has some dents and uneven spots in it. According to the seller this can cause the gears to be a little hard to get in place sometimes. He suggested that it would be possible to weld out the uneven places and make the frame straight and smooth again. I’m not sure about that advice- but I will first look at it when the drive wheel and spacers are replaced so I can observe how the mower behaves when gears are shifted. If any of You have some good ideas and hints here I would appreciate the information. I remember the warning from member Oldford to be careful if the gearshift appears impaired, but……well I thought this might be fixable and bought the darned thing – maybe this was stupid of me.



The knife looks like it has seen better days, so I’m thinking about resharpen it or buying a new mulching blade here. The seller told me that it probably would be a good idea to change the bearing for the blade spindle.

It appears that there are some more minor flaws, but nothing major as the above.



My next step right now is to deeply study the manual for the machine and start searching for best price/quality for the different spares. I expect that the mechanical service and part replacing that I am about to do will take some time, so I don´t  plan to actually use the mower until next summer season. Right now it is parked nicely in my back garden at home, covered with plastic storage sheets. I will place it inside a shed during the winter. I have a nearby car junk yard here and I am about to start looking if I might find a used motorbike battery there to put on the Snapper.



But already now I would very much appreciate if any of You more experienced guys could give me some guidance in the following:

  • I have now watched some Youtube-clips of people changing the drivewheel on this and similar mowers, is it as easy as it looks – or should I beware of something particular ?


  • What is the best way to fix the ignition-/starter-function: buying a new solenoid and hook it to a new battery and the existing starter ?



  • The steering wheel does not seem to be the original. Especially the ugly weld midways on the steering rod would have me thinking otherwise. At this point I am thankful for the warning from Doxey regarding this issue, but as far as I can tell the steering behaves pretty normal. But this will of course first be evident when I get to ride the mower in forward direction at different speeds.


  • As You can see on the picture with blue marking; the ugly welds on the front plate which hold places for bolt seems to have been done afterwards- or is that really done by the factory ? What possible use could these bolts serve ? In the long run I might be tempted to attach some sort of small front plate to the mower with additional headlights by using those bolt holes. Have any of you guys done something like that ?



  • Are there any other specific beginners mistakes that I should be aware of while servicing or operating this machine ?


  • Might sound like a cheapish question; but are there any tire replacements possible on this machine other than the off-the-rack Snapper ones ? At the moment I’m most concerned about cutting costs within reasonable frames.



  • Where the heck do I find the identification plate for the machine which tell me the model number and year ? I’ve been looking under the seat and around the frame- but I haven’t managed to get any wiser so far. Can You help me identify the model ?


  • The choke-lever on the B&S engine seems to have been tampered with. While it still works, the choke is changed from full till none by pulling a small hooked metal pin and placing it in one of two possible positions. I can´t imagine this being original, so I’m just starting to investigate how the original one should look like and find a replacement.

As for me – I’m am far from a mechanic, but I consider myself relatively handy and I know my way around a toolbox. I have done some easy stick welding so far  and was planning to learn how to mig-weld later this year. I if can get this oldie running and working again I will definitely clean her up cosmetically. I’m already goin’ through different cool-but-not-crazy colour combinations for the frame and knife deck :-)



Well- worst case scenario is that I made a bad/costly purchase which turns out to be hard to fix. But I am optimistic and the machine itself seems very uncomplicated and easy accessible for mechanic work. This factors aside; I must say that I absolutely love the tough old school look on this one and the heavy construction – which differs a lot from f.i. the differens modern riding mowers from Stiga and Partner, which are sold here in Sweden.


To all of You guys who put energy into helping me this far – BIG THANKS !


Sorry for the long post – here comes the pictures:
















#17 gtcsreg OFFLINE  

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Posted August 05, 2014 - 10:06 AM

I help with what I know.  First of all, yes the tires are weather checked but if they don't leak I'd ride them out till they do.  The wheels look like they just need a good amount of using a wire brush on them then use primer and paint on them.  The blue circled studs might be to install a dethatch attachment some of them had.  Could be someone found the attachment and this one didn't come from the factory with the attachment and someone wanted to make them work. I agree that the steering wheel does not look like it came on the mower but I'd leave that for after I got it operating well.



Edited by gtcsreg, August 05, 2014 - 10:06 AM.

  • jorgen said thank you

#18 jorgen OFFLINE  

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Posted August 05, 2014 - 05:13 PM

Hi Reg - many thanks for Your thoughts and input. Yes - eventually I defintively want to brush and paint those horrible rusty looking rims.


I have now studied another part of one of the Snapper RER mowers manual and it appears that the boltholding threaded rods mounted in the front ( which I circled in blue above ) are there in case someone wants to buy extra front weight plates as an accessory kit to the mower and hang these on there.

Wouldnt have guessed that in a million years. :D


Take care


  • gtcsreg said thank you