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Mark Christianson

Looking for small engine repair near Big Lake

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I got a John Deere lawn tractor from a friend that has been sitting for several years.

I took it to a JD dealer, and they gave me a laundry list of things that need replacing and with a price tag of up to $600.

Well, at $80 per hour shop rate, I am certain I can do much better than that. Good grief.

I am looking for a recommended shop near Big Lake that I could maybe use for getting this thing up and running for a reasonable price. I am not sinking $600 into it. If it takes that, I'll sell the unit for scrap........

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if you're heading North , you could check with the Alex Tech college, they do a lot of engine work in their small engine classes.

If there is a lot more than just engine work, find someone who does it for a hobby. What all is wrong with it?

Typically with the jd line, its minor parts that wear, bearings out in the deck, pulleys that wear out... Nothing that someone mechanically inclined can't do. I've rebuilt a couple decks and had my engine redone on my 214. I had Evansville sports do the engine, parts and labor on that were 305.00 ( total rebuild, boring, piston rings, valves, bearings) It's now my backup mower. (don't get used much, mostly hunting trails)

I've got a friend, (brother in law's brother) in St michael. He's done a few. has machine background. I could check if he's interested. (list of what it needs would be helpful).

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Carb rebuild, fuel pump not working, choke cable froze. And thats just what they found with a quick check.

They said that until the motor is up and working they couldnt determine if the vario bearings were good or bad or if the mower deck bearings were working good.

In looking at it, none of it looks to be to hard to fix, but in the same breath if I can get someone to do the once over to fix er up for a couple hundred bucks, thats not even worth my time muckin around. Who knows, maybe an indepenent will look at it and say its simpler to fix than what I have been told.

The place I brought it to said $500 to $600 just to get the unit running, and if the variodrive bearings were bad they are an additional $125 just for the parts. Geepers.

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Doesn't sound too bad. From the little info you supplied, I would think that 600 bucks is about 400 or more too much. What is the model and year of the unit? If you want to unload it, I might be interested as well.

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Isn't there also a Toro dealer / small engine repair place right on 10 in Big Lake(near Casey's gas station maybe??) I bought a used pushmower there a few years back (it was one that was brought in by someone for service but but never picked up)...he seemed like a very straight up guy..sold me the mower for $15. Might be worth a call sice it's nearby.

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Big Lake pushed him out of town....... Literally.

Where his building was located, is now an open lot. He was forced out for some reasons that I dont recall.

He moved to Buffalo, and has since sold out that.

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Bummer thats who I was going to recommend. I thinks it was Toms small engine. When I lived there he worked on my stuff, class act and straight shooter.

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I would think what you listed is all easy fix items. The fuel pump is two bolts/screws mounting it with minimal work to replace. As far as carb rebuild, they are brass and most likely will need a good cleaning over any rebuild. The deck can be checked by simply taking it off, removing the pulley cover, taking the deck belt off and independently spinning the blade pulleys. If the bearings are bad, it will be rough feeling. visual inspection and feel of the tension pulleys will tell if they need replacing. As far as the variable speed bearings, I've never heard of them going bad, but only have experience with mine and a few others I know of. I spent my high school years in a small engine shop, and some winters since, so I have a fair background in the mechanics of mowers. From what I gather going to JD means paying big bucks. When I replaced my bearings in my deck, JD wanted twice as much as West central bearing.(same bearings)

That's my experience, and a good friend of mine is the parts man for JD. Any shop will be high for engine parts, as they come from JD, but 80.00 hr for labor seems steep.

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There is also Bergstroms small engine repair in becker township. He is off CR 16 I believe. He has his shop right at his house. My dad has taken his mower to him before and I think he is fairly reasonable. Not too far from Big Lake.

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If you want to head to st cloud, I highly recommend Bartz mower service, very honest and resonable. Just had my 4 wheeler repaired by him, granted nothing to serious, just a carb job, but 43.00 later I have it back running great. I for one can not do a carb job for 43.00.

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If you are still looking for someone who works on small engines.....there is someone just outside Monticello that I could recommend. The three times I have used him (my evinrude outboard, JD Snowblower, and my brother's snowblower) he has done great work, quick turnaround time, at a fraction of the cost of what the dealers/repair shop would charge, and he always seems to have a steady supply of small engines to work on...(so he must be doing something right)

shoot me an email if you'd like his information.

dragonsm (@) yahoo (dot) com

(no spaces)

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