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Project Mustang, A Quick Refurb

Not content with just working on the Rover, MX5 and Zeal I have also done some work on the Mustang recently.

Since getting the mower running back when I got it, I have mown the lawn a few times with it (which it does a good job of, nothing stops it), and not really had to do a whole lot else to it. Its been easy to start, and reliable.

Until the other day, when despite starting easily it soon decided to shut off and not start again. This turned out to be a decompression valve that had come loose, and with that tightened I could start the mower again, but it was hard going, needing too many pulls of the cord to do so.

This prompted me to do some refurbishment and get it running better.

I started by removing the cool green plastic cover, exposing the hardware

And then removed the shroud, and fuel tank

This is the decompression valve. Its been leaking for a while looking at the oil around it

The loud as hell muffler. I think this is for decoration, not for muffling sound

yup, there’s the mesh that is meant to reduce the noise, just rattling around

This is the state of the shroud and bolts. Very rusty.

Off came the decompression valve. I purchased a kit from Aus to rebuild this, as mine is rebuildable (doesn’t have crimped seams like the later ones)

I dumped all the rusty parts into some rust removing solution (including bonus horn), and set about cleaning the crud from the rest of the mower

I started by degreasing and cleaning the plastic cover. This was surprisingly grotty and came up well

Then I set about degreasing and cleaning the body and engine. This had a lot of baked on grime and grass

The rust removing solution was doing a good job, I left these parts in there for a good few days before cleaning them off

With the rust removed from the shroud I gave it a few coats of high temp engine enamel paint, in low gloss black. The rust had badly pitted the metal, so the surface is very rough but looks a lot better. Its almost a wrinkle paint look. The smooth spot is where the original sticker was on the shroud.

Whilst the dried I rebuilt the decompression valve. Mine was a bit sticky and not working quite as good as it should. I cleaned it in degreaser, and then stripped it down. These are the bits From left to right. Top cap, pin, center cap, lower housing, spring, diaphragm, clips.

I don’t have any photos of reassembly because it was a very dirty job and very fiddly, but it was just a matter of putting things back in the correct order, with the new parts in place.

I got a new muffler from Aus too. I could have stuffed steel wool into my old one, but it was badly rusted and just wouldn’t look good. These parts are cheap anyway. Lots of mesh in this one

Painted shroud, and new muffler all fitted. Looking much nicer now. Shame most of it is covered with the plastic

On went the plastics, and the new stickers I got off eBay ages ago. Just the finishing touch for a good looking mower.

Now not only does it look the part, it runs better too. It still started first pull, and with the decompression valve working properly it is even easier to pull start now. The exhaust is still loud, but noticeably quieter than it was. I didn’t have time to actually mow with it, I just ran it up for a bit to bake the paint and make sure it was all good.

Another quick note, you can spot in some photos I now have a black catcher. This was a $5 score from the same shop the mower came from and its in much better condition than the green catcher (which I still have, but in storage).

I have some new old stock blades that I need to fit and then we will be good to mow again.

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