Electric mower

I want to convert my old gas mower to an electric mower. 12v batteries are easy enough, and there is plenty of info re solar charging systems. I'm stuck on sourcing the motor. I was wondering if a car starter motor would be sufficient for running a lawnmower? It's a 12v motor, has enough oomph to turn over up to 12 cylinders of american steel, and there are plenty of 'em out there in junkyards waiting to be recycled. Sounds good on paper. Anyone have any insight into why this is or ain't a good idea? Thx- Rev. Bucky

sort by: active | newest | oldest
Plasmana9 years ago
Don't use a car starter motor! It will drain the 12V battery before you could even start mowing!
Big Bwana9 years ago
With a bit of modification you could use an alternator, they are just simple stepper motors once you remove the voltage reg and diode bridges ... And in aircraft applications they are some times doubled up to act as a starters so there is a far bit of power there and they can run continuously with a small fan colling them
skunkbait9 years ago
I'm adraid it'd burn up quickly. Starters are usually under load for only about 15 seconds at a time.
Hmm how about using a 24v from a truck, running 12V I'd imagine that at a lower load like that they'd be fine, the load on the starter isn't all that light either, ever tried turning the crankshaft of a big diesel truck?
Now that sounds like a step in the right direction. I've got a deisel with a 24v setup, and the starter is definitely heavy duty.
I reckon running it at 12V could be pretty sustainable, plus in a mower it's very easy to have a fan cool it by using blades similar to the likes of a flymo...
What about using a starter from a small engine,like a 20HP, the type with permanent magnets in them, they don't seem to get that warm under a no load situation and they can run a fan blade like no man business (( small RC aircraft prop actually )) But I don't know if it would have enough power to cut grass ...
2nded. It would burn out fast. If you have a yard full of old cars go for it, otherwise find something better
CameronSS9 years ago
If you just want an electric mower, I can think of two off the top of my head--the Neuton CE series and the Remington PowerMower. I don't know of any electric riding mowers currently in production, but WheelHorse and GE both made Elec-Tracs, and John Deere made the E90. Both appear occasionally on eBay.
RevBucky (author) 9 years ago
Bummer. It was too obvious to have been overlooked by so many. Now I know why. Muchas gracias!