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Adjusting push mower RPM #4499048
08/26/17 11:27 PM
08/26/17 11:27 PM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,428
FL
CharlieJ Offline OP
CharlieJ  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,428
FL
Has anyone increased their push/self propelled mower's engine RPM? From reading online, it seems like 21 inch blade mowers are limited to around 3000 RPM for "safety" reasons. Some say that raising the RPM to 3600 is a more ideal running speed for mowers to properly mulch grass clippings.

Has anyone adjusted the RPM of their small engine mowers? I am considering trying it myself.


'07 Mazda3 2.3 Mobil 1 HM 5w-30
'84 Mazda Rx-7 Valvoline Maxlife 10w-30
Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4499052
08/26/17 11:42 PM
08/26/17 11:42 PM
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
Seventh Offline
Seventh  Offline
Joined: Nov 2012
Posts: 234
NorCal
I've done it on mine. It's a briggs 158cc I believe. It has the plastic primer bulb type carb with no adjustments whatsoever.

The throttle butterfly is attached to a little lever/arm thing on top of the carb. The lever has a spring that goes to the tank mounting bracket.

I pulled the end of the spring through the bracket, one additional "loop" around. Essentially making it pull more on the butterfly.

Picked the revs up nicely, although I have no idea what the actual rpm is... runs way smoother

Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4499055
08/26/17 11:50 PM
08/26/17 11:50 PM
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 14
Grande Prairie, Alberta,Canada
gpguy Offline
gpguy  Offline
Joined: Sep 2014
Posts: 14
Grande Prairie, Alberta,Canada
Ive done it too on my Husqvarna with a Honda GC160 motor.
I thought the mower seemed to lack umphh. Handheld tach showed only 2800 rpm. Max for motor is 3600 but I only adjusted it up to 3200. It made a huge difference in mulching and ability to cut taller grass.


1999 F250LD 4X4 XLT SCab 5.4L (Mobil Delvac Elite 222 0w30)

2011 F150 4X2 XL RC 3.7L (Castrol Syntec 5w20 ).
Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4499058
08/26/17 11:51 PM
08/26/17 11:51 PM
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
Merkava_4 Offline
Merkava_4  Offline
Joined: Jan 2007
Posts: 17,501
Clovis, CA
I do it all the time. I don't have a tachometer, so I adjust the RPM to what I think sounds good.

Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4499115
08/27/17 02:42 AM
08/27/17 02:42 AM
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,156
USA
Reddy45 Offline
Reddy45  Offline
Joined: Aug 2008
Posts: 3,156
USA
I have the RPMs on my Toro Recycler w/ Tecumseh engine maxed out. Since the wheels are belt driven, this also speeds up how quickly the mower moves.

But now I am left wondering if there is an ideal speed that maximizes mulching capability along with propel speed.

Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4499200
08/27/17 07:49 AM
08/27/17 07:49 AM
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 905
dayton oh
kc8adu Offline
kc8adu  Offline
Joined: Aug 2005
Posts: 905
dayton oh
most ope engines are optimized for 3600 rpm.
but a blade rpm limit is something i would not exceed.
a failure would not be pretty.

Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4499233
08/27/17 08:40 AM
08/27/17 08:40 AM
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 117
northwest pa
justintendo Offline
justintendo  Offline
Joined: Mar 2017
Posts: 117
northwest pa
my husky has a honda gcv 190..cant remember for sure what the stock rpm was but it was well under 3k. it lives at 3250 now and handles the grass much better. there is a small uptick in fuel consumption..


2013 escape 2.0 awd
2008 fusion 2.3 mtx
1996 f150 4.9 2wd mtx
1999 kaw zrx 1100
many husqvarnas
Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4499258
08/27/17 09:11 AM
08/27/17 09:11 AM
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,427
Jupiter, Florida
Cujet Online content
Cujet  Online Content
Joined: Feb 2003
Posts: 7,427
Jupiter, Florida
I like adjusting for 3600RPM. I don't always use that much RPM, but at times it's helpful.

However, my current Honda 190 will not adjust up that high. It's limited to around 3000 at max adjustment.


People who count on their fingers should maintain a discreet silence.
Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4499319
08/27/17 10:12 AM
08/27/17 10:12 AM
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,368
Flaherty, KY
92saturnsl2 Offline
92saturnsl2  Offline
Joined: Mar 2004
Posts: 1,368
Flaherty, KY
I have a 2010-ish Troy-Bilt non-self propelled push mower w/ a Honda GCV160 engine. My governor works off a spring attached to a metal arm- if you raise the spring pressure it raises RPM and vice versa. I took a dremel and made indents in the metal arm, so I could connect the spring to different points on it, ultimately changing the spring pressure that whatever it's connected to sees. Works great, I have about 5 positions all the way from near idle, to full-out screaming (probably dangerous) for when I'm cutting through knee high grass / brush. I've run it at the highest setting a few times when I'm in a real hurry, and it's a beast. Engine doesn't seem to mind what settings it's at. I had some governor surging when I lived in Colorado (high elevation), but that cleared up once I brought it back down to sea level, which is where I bought it. Not sure if that had to do with me monkeying with it, but it's fine now.


1985 F-250HD 7.5L 4x4 135k- Maxlife 15w-40 HDEO
04 Odyssey EX 182k PUP 0w-40
96 Maxima GLE 250k QS Defy 5w-30
07 Chrysler Pacifica Limited 129k PUP 5w-40
Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4499357
08/27/17 10:53 AM
08/27/17 10:53 AM
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 14
North Carolina
SirWired Offline
SirWired  Offline
Joined: Nov 2013
Posts: 14
North Carolina
As far as safety goes, at the factory-set RPM, the mower is tested to see if the blade will break through or ricochet out of the deck if it were to fracture, in case anybody was wondering. While the engine has a specific top speed available, it's not for no reason that the manufacturer set the governor at a particular speed in the factory.

Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4500224
08/28/17 10:13 AM
08/28/17 10:13 AM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,525
Marshfield , MA
andyd Online content
andyd  Online Content
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 7,525
Marshfield , MA
By regulation the max safe RPM is 3200. IIRC


'16 Camry LE STP synth 0w20 and STP filter. the Fridge

1994 Ranger ,the Rat, 5w30 dino, STP filter

'16 Camry SE, Valvoline HM 0w20 and OEM filter
Thick oil is better grin2
Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4500436
08/28/17 02:05 PM
08/28/17 02:05 PM
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,398
Storrs, Connecticut
jeepman3071 Offline
jeepman3071  Offline
Joined: Apr 2010
Posts: 4,398
Storrs, Connecticut
I usually set them at 3000-3200 RPM. That seems to be the best range for power while still maintaining fuel efficiency. I've seen some Briggs set at 2000-2100 RPM from the factory, basically idling.


2000 Jeep Cherokee 4.0L (180k) - Pennzoil 10w30, Napa Gold 1516, Magnefine trans filter
2009 BMW 328i (33k) - Castrol Edge Euro 0w40, MANN HU816X
Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: SirWired] #4502114
08/30/17 09:07 AM
08/30/17 09:07 AM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,181
West Chester, PA
artbuc Offline
artbuc  Offline
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,181
West Chester, PA
Originally Posted By: SirWired
As far as safety goes, at the factory-set RPM, the mower is tested to see if the blade will break through or ricochet out of the deck if it were to fracture, in case anybody was wondering. While the engine has a specific top speed available, it's not for no reason that the manufacturer set the governor at a particular speed in the factory.


On my Honda HRS 216 with GVC 160 engine, manual warns that "blade could fracture and come apart" if operated at higher than maximum governed speed of 3000 + 0 / - 150. Mine came from factory dead on 3000. There is a second hole in governor arm which operates at 3350. I wonder how much safety factor Honda builds in? I am guessing the chances of my blade self-destructing at 3350 are pretty minimal.

Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4502991
08/31/17 06:06 AM
08/31/17 06:06 AM
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,428
FL
CharlieJ Offline OP
CharlieJ  Offline OP
Joined: Jun 2007
Posts: 1,428
FL
I bought one of those small engine tachometers off of ebay for about $10. I have a B&S 550E engine which I bent the metal governing tab to increase the RPM of the mower to 3600 RPM. I have not had a chance to cut grass with it yet, I hope it does a better job.

Anyone know how high these engines will rev? I don't want to take the chance of over revving the engine, but I know it will go 4200 RPM.


'07 Mazda3 2.3 Mobil 1 HM 5w-30
'84 Mazda Rx-7 Valvoline Maxlife 10w-30
Re: Adjusting push mower RPM [Re: CharlieJ] #4503265
08/31/17 11:38 AM
08/31/17 11:38 AM
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,012
Central Wisconsin
dwendt44 Offline
dwendt44  Offline
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 4,012
Central Wisconsin
Small engines like B&S aren't designed for high rpm, so I'd be surprised
if they will rev past 5000. If they do, it won't be for long.
Some of these small engines have plastic camshafts and/or gears, and they can't
take the higher revs.
Stick with the 3600 rpm, which is what they are rated at and designed to
hopefully last.
As it is, since most are limited to even less than the 3600, it explains why
they last nearly forever.

My 2


There's no such thing as:
Too big of a battery,
Too large of a gas tank,
or too loud of a horn,
or too bright headlights.
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