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Snapper Comet 30...is it easy to drive?


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#1 ENafziger OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2015 - 12:05 PM

Not to ask a dumb question, but I've searched around without being able to find an answer.

 

Quick story.  I found a Snapper Comet 30 in good shape, repowered with an 8 hp Honda, retrofitted with rear ags, etc.  It was "beefed up" to be used as a trail mower.  I'm looking for something small and rugged like this to mow around in the woods, near the creek, some trails, and ground I've recently cleared...all places I don't want to mow with the Snapper 1650. 

 

How do you "operate" one of these Comets?  Are they quick and nimble for mowing around trees, shuttling between reverse and forward, etc?

 

Thanks!



#2 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2015 - 01:00 PM

Is there a Manual for it in our Manuals Section? Good Luck, Rick



#3 DanP OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2015 - 02:33 PM

We use to sell them and yes they are very easy to use. They have a sliding drive wheel that rubs on a plate on the bottom of the engine. The farther you move it out with a shift lever the faster it goes. To put it in reverse move the lever back to neutral and then reverse which puts the drive wheel on the other side of the flat drive plate. About the only thing that wears out is the rubber drive wheel and the mower belt which is 6 sided if I remember. pick it up and set it on the back rest and you can get to the drive wheel and take the blade off for sharpening. The transmission has two 3/4 plastic plugs in it that you can put SNAPPER grease in which is OO grease. They are not the Cadillac of mowers but are the best dang mower for general use. When they came out with their round Hi Vac deck John Deere stole the idea for their mowers.

I have one that I bought used in the 70's and it still works today. You can't go wrong with it. 

One other thing, if the steering is loose there are little plastic bushings on the ends of the tie rods and they wear out and break. Change them and you will have a new mower.


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#4 glgrumpy OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2015 - 03:30 PM

Would think Fine for mowing small yard, but don't think those drive wheels would last in rough trails???!!!  Why not just buy old GT like a Sears or Wheelhorse and run deck higher for the rough stuff?  They make bush-hogs for real rough, but not aware of small ones for GT's, and would think would still need to be big one to use one of those too.



#5 KC9KAS OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2015 - 04:07 PM

Yep, a Snapper Comet is real easy to operate!

I got one from a friend and he said it was "shot". I used it for 10-15 years myself, and it wasn't treated easy!!

Even rolled it 3-4 times. I was on it a couple of times...2 time it fell off the trailer....and still started and ran!


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#6 EricFromPa ONLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2015 - 06:04 PM

My OLD Snapper Comet 26 was a Mowing Beast.Originally it had a 6hp? Tecumseh it was blown when I got it.I put a slightly used 12hp briggs on it and used it for a Long time.It would cut up pretty much everything that you could run over.I'm talking 4 foot tall grass here lol.

 

They will last forever if you keep grease in the rear and adjust the friction disk correctly.If the boots on the axles rip Replace them ASAP.You don't want dirt to get into the bushings and bearings.Don't try to Fix them with electrical tape.I don't know how many that I've seen with a roll of electrical tape on them.lol

 

 

1 thing to do is If you own a RER snapper Always keep atleast 1 spare friction disk on hand.They do wear out but are really easy to replace.I paid $12 for my last friction disk so they're about the same price as a Drive belt.


Edited by EricFromPa, April 14, 2015 - 06:07 PM.

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#7 Kurtee OFFLINE  

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Posted April 14, 2015 - 08:34 PM

 the Snapper was most likely the most abused lawn mower ever. I used mine to mow 6 to 8 foot high willow saplings in a ditch. I know a guy in town who used his to level his lot when the house was built. He said he had to stand on the front to keep it down with the drag he was using. I saw one once with a tractor gas tank on the rear stand pipes so you could mow longer. 10 gallons I think it was. I only rolled the last one I had one time. In days gone by people would walk beside the machine to mow ditches. Before all the safety switches that is.

 

KURTEE


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#8 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2015 - 05:32 AM

They have a tighter turning radius than the average old GT.

The little wheels ride hard on rough terrain.  The pivoting frame will shift you around on uneven ground.

They are durable and easy to work on once you heave it up on its hind legs, awkward if you have injuries.

The plastic axle boots are low and exposed, can get cut bush hogging.  They are messy to replace and removing the axles can be hard if they are rusted or worn shut.

8hp can be underpowered with the single 28" blade in tall grass.  Stone-age deck height lever can be a chore to yank up and down constantly.

The 28" deck width takes a lot of passes to cover wide areas.

Most parts & fiche are still available here and other places http://www.snapperpa...087798/10190027

IMO the best feature is the "hi-vac" which sucks up everything but doesn't give a precise cut.   Big single bag gets pretty heavy and has to be dumped a lot.

A nice small machine for light grass & leaves imo, any more than that the operator/mechanic/machine gets worked pretty quick.

good luck


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#9 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2015 - 06:44 AM

 

How do you "operate" one of these Comets?  Are they quick and nimble for mowing around trees, shuttling between reverse and forward, etc?

 

Thanks!

 

Some people aren't aware that the clutch is only used for shifting from neutral to forward or reverse, or anytime you want to stop. 

 

The shift lever must be held in reverse, since there isn't a detent.

 

Always start in 1st gear, let out on the clutch, and then shift up or down in any forward speed without using the clutch.  ...This makes it very handy to use 5th speed in open areas, but quickly slow down near trees or other obstacles.

 

The rubber drive disc will last a long time, if used as stated above.  ....This assumes no oil leaks and proper adjustment of the drive.


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#10 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted April 15, 2015 - 07:21 AM

Back in the 60's & 70's when I was with the Conservation commission we used Snappers exclusively mowing the smaller areas around the park.  They got hard use daily and just kept one going.  Keep the blade sharp and they will move anything you can drive over.  When I retired and bought an acreage that was unattended for several years, I bought another Snapper.  Went through a few belts mowing down 3' high weeds but it was up to the task.  Get it into good condition and you can't go wrong.


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#11 ENafziger OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 10:06 AM

Wow, thanks guys...very helpful info!  I did end up purchasing it last night.  I put up pictures later.  I really am impressed with the little thing.  It has been used (and what I would've thought was abused) the past 16 years, and it really shows nothing for the worse. 

 

I did notice the plastic axle boots were cracked, so I'll need to get them replaced.  That's good to know about starting in first, and moving up and down through the gears.  I need to check the grease and generally clean things up as well.

 

Do you have to take any precaution after standing the mower vertically on it's back?  ...like let it sit awhile after it's back down to allow oil to drain back, etc?

 

Thakns again!


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#12 ENafziger OFFLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 11:23 AM

They have a tighter turning radius than the average old GT.

The little wheels ride hard on rough terrain.  The pivoting frame will shift you around on uneven ground.

They are durable and easy to work on once you heave it up on its hind legs, awkward if you have injuries.

The plastic axle boots are low and exposed, can get cut bush hogging.  They are messy to replace and removing the axles can be hard if they are rusted or worn shut.

8hp can be underpowered with the single 28" blade in tall grass.  Stone-age deck height lever can be a chore to yank up and down constantly.

The 28" deck width takes a lot of passes to cover wide areas.

Most parts & fiche are still available here and other places http://www.snapperpa...087798/10190027

IMO the best feature is the "hi-vac" which sucks up everything but doesn't give a precise cut.   Big single bag gets pretty heavy and has to be dumped a lot.

A nice small machine for light grass & leaves imo, any more than that the operator/mechanic/machine gets worked pretty quick.

good luck

 

I was looking at the link you provided.  Regarding Part #25, labeled a "tie rod", it looks like a small diameter rod that joins the two transmission grease housing cases at the bottom.  What is the function of this tie rod?  Just to "tie" to the two cases together?  The one on my mower is bent.



#13 Bruce Dorsi ONLINE  

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Posted April 17, 2015 - 04:30 PM

The tie rod you asked about just ties the two side frames together. .... To  replace the tie rod, one side frame has to be removed.  ...So, unless you're doing that for some other reason, the tie rod can be straightened while it is still in place.  ....Use a hammer and a straight piece of wood or steel behind the rod to get it fairly straight.  ....It is not critical to get it perfect.

 

If this Snapper has a battery (for electric starter), it is best to remove the battery before standing the mower on its rear bumpers. ...This prevents battery acid from leaking out.  ......For those people too lazy (like me) to remove the battery, remove the battery caps and place pieces (approx 2" round) of a heavy plastic bag over the holes in the battery, and re-install the caps.  ....If the battery is not securely held in the mower, it is best to remove it. 

 

There is no need to wait after putting the mower back on 4 wheels.  .....On some models the gas should be shut-off under the tank, and  some models had a shut-off on the top of the cap to prevent leakage when standing the mower up.  ...On some models, it is easier to pop the (plastic) tank out of its bracket to prevent spillage.


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#14 Oldford OFFLINE  

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Posted April 18, 2015 - 09:34 PM

I was looking at the link you provided.  Regarding Part #25, labeled a "tie rod", it looks like a small diameter rod that joins the two transmission grease housing cases at the bottom.  What is the function of this tie rod?  Just to "tie" to the two cases together?  The one on my mower is bent.

Just wanted to point out, the link is for my machine, a 1980's "series 5" model.  On that link, you'll see a button "new model," you'll have to enter your model # to pull up the fiche for your Comet.  I'm pretty sure the "comet" models were from the 60s/70s but i'm no expert.

I was reading on another site a lot of Snapper guys were saying to use the clutch between all the gears to save wear on the disc,  they say to lightly depress the clutch while rolling and hustle it into the next gear before it stops, that works for me but everybody's different. 

The old comets may not have the "smooth clutch" but i think it could be retrofitted if it's popping too many wheelies, not fun on a hill with the rer, good luck


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#15 EricFromPa ONLINE  

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Posted April 20, 2015 - 12:08 AM

Even though people do stand them up I would not.Even though they come factory equipped with Fuel shut off and a sealable gas tank vent on the cap.The float bowl and fuel line are full of gas,If you stand them up without draining them gas will flood into the cylinder and end up in the crank case.


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