Though people seem to rate Honda high on easy starting or reliability, they're so heavy compared to these old Victa that only self-propelled Honda mowers will compete on ease of pushing!
Quality of owner mixed Two Stroke petrol and oil mix fuel is the weak point of buying Power-Torque mowers. Sure, the Victa motor is top quality but oil and lubrication are a key component of engine service life. The owner mixes petrol and 2-stroke oil himself in a measuring cup if he cares and fuel/ oil mix may be compromised making eBay Two-Stroke Power-Torque machines risky. There are two mixes for Two-Stroke 'petroil' that could cause confusion, 50:1 is for brands of thicker oil that say 50:1 on the bottle and 25:1 is for thinner oil brands that say 25:1 on the bottle - the problem is some Two Stroke Oil bottles don't say the mix! If you get a measuring cup and take a 50:1 measure with a 25:1 oil by mistake, you get piston scoring and wear out your motor!
eBay sellers claim Victa motors all take a 25:1 measure, but there's Victa's own brand 50:1 Valvoline V Two-Stroke oil! With 50:1 at 25:1 chances are your motor won't start at all! Husqvarna takes German know how to 50:1 Two-Stroke 'petroil', it's 'low smoke' even with petrol kept overwinter, still runs real smooth and powerful! 25:1 'petroil' is too smokey with fuel over four weeks old, it's going to make loads of white smoke and need full throttle to keep running, best use fresh fuel with a 25:1 mix. Often a late season gallon fuel mix has to overwinter, it's a 50:1 Husqvarna high octane mix! Victa recommend regular fuel to avoid blowing the head gasket but in a few months it'll need thrown away so overwintered Shell V Power does the job early season when its power is down to more like regular! Except for Husqvarna 50:1 oil, such penny pinching ventures are best avoided!
Briggs and Stratton conversions of Victa Two-Stroke mower decks offered on eBay with thirsty 3.5 hp Briggs Four-Stroke motors are not recommended due to oil changes and their much greater weight!
Left Victa Vortex will start quickly, start of season but it's a real knack even with a good serviced model. 'Petroil' has to be a great, Husqvarna mix. Turn the engine with throttle lever on the Start position with the minimal specified choke, if you put too much 'petroil' in the choke and it's not starting on the first or second pull, move it down to RUN and as soon as it fires move the control back up to start so it turns over best.
Mowing as the grass shows here is nice but blades need to be sharp as with all machines, wedge shaped front makes for great under bush lawn edge trimming. Red color Victa logo here suggests the plastic cover has been repainted.
Effort needed for mowing is quite simply the best of all time, no mower will ever mow quicker or leave you feeling better than this Victa Vortex model. The older green Victa Mustang has a better pushing sensation but lacks the Victa pointless starting system so essential to starting the mowing season without the old Start of Season mower services. These Victa machines are designed for Australia where the owner has to service machines, they're real easy to work on but the electronic ignition means it starts better after winter.
Noise is real good if the muffler is good and if it's not, is real easy to replace when you know how, just amazing Aussie engineering, held in with a couple of rusty spring clips, makes for easy piston wear checks.
Design is great, one of the best ever mower styles, especially in red, they come in white, yellow and grey too.
Pricey Victa Power Torque need pix of exhaust removed, inspecting lower piston skirt in a torch beam, looking for shiny horizontal scores in the grey metal, although only one or two may be seen through the exhaust port, these scores are all around the piston indicating the beginning of the end for a Two-Stroke machine, it starts and runs readily but loss of compression doesn't make cut grass into powder as designed to. May die out during cutting and while the most effortless push mowers ever made, may give so much trouble buyers regret buying. Exhaust outlet has five-cent size triangle wedge after a time filling with coke or carbon making piston black grooves. Wedge needs cleaned out, barrel chamber checked for particle damage. New piston and chamber re-bore may cost over $90AUS Oz. - $600AUS in the UK!
Dead man's handle is the BIG problem of newer Victa, making mowing harder in the interests of safety, having to re-start the motor every time you loosen your grip. A Single Lever Height Adjuster eased raising and lowering of the deck with the motor running, a spring took weight off the control lever. Some cheaper Victa don't have single lever height since the Dead Man's handle, they have cheaper front/ back or individual wheel height adjusters. Vortex deck height mechanism goes above the deck while 1960s alloy decks are underneath, '65 decks came right down onto the bare ground, Tecumseh motor high pressure oil pumps cut moss or the longest grass with no stress, motor governor revved-up. Push bar throttle control a new feature in 1965, prestige Corvette 4 folded a lot smaller than the Vortex from two white pull bar release grips called the Double Fold Push Bar. Impulse starters lasted only half the life of a machine so key start Commando for elderly operators had a zip cord making a better secondhand seller.
Remarkable canoe-like steel catcher - seen only once on eBay Australia!
The Corvette 4 type Impulse Winder and chrome air-cooling coul gave a 'low profile' look fashionable at the time, above the sturdy CONSUL 4 model with oil change indicator and petrol filler behind the winder as on the Corvette 4. The side-catcher appealed to Aussies like a motorbike and side car or Canoe. Owner's Manual says the Consul 4 has a shrouded die-cast densified alloy base plate. On the Corvette 4 the feature like a 'side eject' was a fence, wall or garden edge trimmer with a real dangerous side plate clipping off and on with the motor running, it had a back collect grass catcher.
Left, the U.S. John Deere 21 inch was a real prestige mower back in the day, poor individual wheel height adjusters and its alloy deck had customers travel far to get a possible replacement for a worn out Victa. But its fearsome weight is explained by its being a 2-speed self-propelled Four-Stroke. Despite its truly high prestige status, this John Deere is no match for a Two-Stroke alloy deck push mower like the red Victa Vortex.
Four Stroke cold starts needed warmed up before cutting any grass or the valves loosened in their seats, the head then had to be taken off, valves tightened up again! Once a Four-Stroke was started the control was brought back to SLOW for warm up. A catcher is fitted with the mower motor off! On the Consul can just be seen the 'wet' oil filter, an ancient 'oil bath' type, down on the side of the motor under the petrol tank, all dust would stick to the sponge oil, with the sponge under the mesh washed out at the oil change in petrol, after 5 hours running. Flushing Oil got the used black oil out of the engine, today Flushing Oil so harmful to the environment needs special disposal treatment. Burning the oil with the petrol in a Two-Stroke gets around Four-Stroke used oil dumping problems but it isn't so kind to the planet! Some folks reckon used Four-Stroke oil applied under the mowing deck with a brush prevents grass sticking and associated rust.
Right above an example of a U.S. Toro self-propelled owner's lawn, a bit rough looking and while Toro have the name with Golf Course green keepers, just have a look at the standard of lawn care in eBay adverts. Long grass like that in the John Deere above, suggests the machine is either real hard to start or unpleasant to use. The kind of lawn owner who bought the Toro has a lawn full of weeds that may suggest the blades were not real sharp and you want to be having a look at them. Bar cutter mowers are less easy to sharpen than fitting new swing blades and it all tells in the look of lawns.
"In Australia where grass growth is prolific more Victa lawn mowers are sold than all other makes combined and in many countries throughout the World Victa is keeping grass tidy under varying conditions..."
WHERE VICTA IS SOLD:
Australia - United Kingdom - Republic of South Africa - Central African Republic - West Africa - Japan - Philippines - Brunei - Sarawak - Sabah - Malaya - Mauritius - Jamaica - New Caledonia - New Guinea - British Solomon Islands - Norfolk Island - Lord Howe Island - New Hebrides - Fiji.
1980s Victa Vortex Starting Problems may result from throttle lever position and Carby. Try pressing the rubber primer button one time only for cold start. Move the throttle lever down from STOP about 20MM, it's how the mag and sparking plug are switched on. If it doesn't start good with the Electronic Ignition at this START / choke position, check the fuel tap is on, surprising how easy it is to turn the fuel tap off without thinking! Is there Two-Stroke fuel in the gas tank mixed to the right proportions? Remember these are Air-Cooled mowers, so don't block up any open spaces in a bid to keep grass out. Good Carby and fuel mix start easily but warm up slow. On Tinker fixed machines, throttle lever may never be advanced as far as RUN so as not to rev too high!
Victa Vortex with a common mistake, improvised better spark plug contact
1980s Victa Vortex air filter was first of the 'dry foam' type and moved up onto the offset push bar lever control, the foam is often replaced in services with a paper cartridge! Rubber sparking plug cap of the new black kind says the original red one has perished. Motor head is not facing the back of the machine as on the Corvette 4 so to prevent the arcing out of high ignition voltage on wet grass, shocking the operator, the spark plug has a rubber cap. Two-Stroke has no sump oil problems like dragging the cylinder or starving the pump, depending on whether you mow across or up and down slopes. Elderly 160cc Power-Torque motors are weaker than elderly 125cc Tecumseh. 1980s Vortex Power-Torque has a unique 'A' poppet valve setting, suggesting 1980s Vortex engine is a bit different from all other Power-Torque with 'C' facing the venturi. Fuel richness 'ramps' on the poppet underside correspond to these letters. Taking the carby off is real easy to ensure the poppet valve face is set right for your mower model.
Usual misleading 'over sold' claims about Two-Stroke Victa Power Torque engines:-
"ALL ALUMINUM cutting deck so no rust issues", alloy decks and aluminum itself suffer from a kind of rust, weakening in strength in time, a few alloy decks developing cracks, needing to get welded! Many under deck parts of alloy deck mowers are steel and rust including the blade pan and blades, axles, structural steel parts, bolts, screws, back door and springs - got a rust problem? How are the chrome push bars? There was a time when owners lovingly polished bright work with light machine oil, most rusty push bars get painted over with gloss black enamel! A good chrome push bar may be affected by steel wool cleaning and Chrome Polish so in listings is no guarantee of a careful owner! Alloy deck's main advantages are longer mower life, lighter weight and lower noise.
"Alloy decks for seaside and coastal locations", structural parts of alloy decks are steel and rust! Steel decks were about a third the price of the alloy and much heavier to push even with Two-Stroke motors!
Victa Panther looks half like Victa Pace above and late Victa Vortex below
A number of names like Corvette, Mustang and Vortex are much more modern Two-Stroke mower styles!
"Superb rough cutters designed for tough long grass", Victa had a cylinder/ reel type mower for moss removal, it was called a scarifier. The Victa Twin was a 2-cylinder mower made special for tough long grass, its blade pan had a wall above it to stop tough long grass winding up on the blade pan shaft, damaging the bottom motor seal and making starting impossible. Power Torque but not Tecumseh Victa struggle with moss as old machines, 2-stroke die out due to loss of compression and 'blow back' issues, a laboring tone on straying off usual length lawn grass. 125cc Four Stroke Tecumseh easily removes all moss to a bare surface!
"Very rugged and very powerful", old Power Torque are not rugged as alloy deck height adjuster teeth are made of plastic! The real pretty wheels are plastic, even the bit looking like a rubber tire is just a plastic shell with a little strip of rubber in the center - even though as a tire it feels real like rubber, it's easier to push! Since the 1960s, Victa wheels have had a plastic inner, even though the 1965 Corvette above had rubber tires, the inner wheel is brittle plastic - it breaks - so these are useful eBay seller parts! The Tecumseh Four-Stroke engine above, is far more rugged and powerful, although only 125cc to the Two Stroke Power Torque 160cc motor! The 1965 Tecumseh has a governor and the oldest machines today will cut right down to bare earth level, the power in the Tecumseh motor is incredible, mowing is never troubled by a full grass box! But an elderly Two-Stroke Victa Power Torque will soon die out with a full grass box!
"Great for professional use or just a very large garden", Victa professional had long range fuel tanks located up on the push bars, built to run professionally with much stronger alloy decks. Domestic Victa mowers don't have big fuel tanks, just enough for a 'cutting day' in the average Oz suburban yard!
Victa Carby Mouse problem, Mice eat rubber fuel primer button so protect it in over winter storage!
Left, 18 inch/ 46cm Victa Corvette 2, alloy deck. Two-Stroke, 160cc. Blades are 3 seasons old. A load of moss in this lawn, probably not fed and forked by the look of it, possibly cut at too low a height all season. Likely cut every weekend come what may, not taking real care. Note the push bar is not of the best Victa 'Offset Handle' grip so the operator may be of short stature. - Stunning looking Victa from this angle.
Dealers and deliver-to-your-home eBay sellers may appear to get tired machines to start by lubricating the cylinder walls, but real soon you'll have more than starting problems! If the machine gives a puff of white smoke upon starting ask the seller to try starting it again after a few minutes running. Next time you try to start it remember there's no lubricant in there. A puff of white smoke is often overlooked.
Rust bucket ready for the junkyard, Vortex seem to cut real well in piston scored condition, build quality real encouraging but it's not worth buying junk. Electronic Ignition module Victa Power-Torque, like Commando and Vortex beat often preferred classic Mustang's old aged mechanical 'points' ignition soon needing annual services; 1980s Power Torque motors are disliked by repair shops as expensive rebuilds, secondhand piston scored Power Torque - claimed as 'Beyond economic repair' are sold on to unknowing customers, the dealer in effect steals them to sell as used, so old Victa Two-Stroke are best kept as do-it-yourself mowers, if it doesn't start, maybe just a crankcase rubber O ring needs replaced, top one's easy, main one difficult if blade pan and swing-blades are rusted in place! Tinker repaired machines seen cutting good are probably worth buying.
Victa Valiant Power Torque motor shows silver and black exhaust mufflers!
Plastic carby needle valve is one of the smallest parts on the Power Torque machine, later issues (1999 year) are yellow to make the part more easy to recognize, since the original (1984) black one could so easily be mistaken for a piece of trash. The needle valve could be overlooked unless it was known to be on the fuel bowl primer cap, the float grabs attention, the needle valve waits for the best moment to make its escape! Like easily misplaced wheel circlips, losing small parts in a rebuild seriously ruins your life, ordering them from anywhere always hassle. Try putting all removed parts in a cardboard box kept for the purpose.
Plastic G4 Carby poppet valve differs on the Vortex with a shorter stem and two gaps opposite each other in the closed ring around on the underside of the Commando poppet, both are white nylon. A, B, C letters on top of the valve refer to air flow over the venturi, C has most air passing and A least - most fuel rich. Mustang poppet is black with no ring or adjuster ramps on underside. Full throttle moves poppet back into its seat.
G4 Diaphragm is thicker in the Commando G4 carby, different tension in Commando and Vortex springs, care in mixing spare parts, Vortex shorter stem alone attributed to over-revving mounted in Commando Carby body, spring tension must also contribute, Vortex diaphragm lightweight compared to heavier Commando diaphragm, both black. Mustang G4 diaphragm, grey. Diaphragm operated by governor vacuum is affected by hose clogging, wash hose out in petrol.
SELLERS SHOULD LIST THE MOWER MODEL ORIGIN OF PLASTIC CARBY SPARES!
Plastic G4 carby finish is shiny and smooth on the Vortex, feels strong, Commando G4 carby feels brittle, the body walls thinner and the exterior finish matte. Fuel bowl primer caps vary in shade, white to cream. Vortex carby has a brass washer under the throttle plate which slightly affects position, its diaphragm lifter is black in color not gray and the tolerance of these different color components cannot be assumed. Vortex carby body differs from the Commando inside at the fuel bowl baffle, lacks the grey venturi cap, while working parts are interchangeable, similar overall throttle control cannot be assumed, the gray venturi cap narrows the port! Tinker repaired machines may work best at odd throttle positions as a result.
Throttle plate cable wire is tensioned properly with the carby in its position on the manifold and the rubber air hose correctly positioned on the mower deck with the throttle cable on the offset bar. Air hose pinch grip lugs should be opposite the kill wires nozzle or topmost about 4MM back from the hose edge. Air hose is wiped on the inside with petrol jelly. If the throttle plate wire is wrongly tensioned it can pop out with the carby built up! Be real careful at each stage, work with the mower up on a workbench and take no shortcuts.
Red rubber sparking plug cover, inside of these really is ... a factory origin ... nail through the ignition wire! Many klutzes find the red rubber cover has perished and starting is difficult, only after a few pulls the Power-Torque motor starts to feel real hard work when it's not going to start, but the decompression valve is on most machines! This decompression valve makes the engine less effort for a toff to start but klutzes pull off the rubber cover and find a nail is not contacting with the sparking plug terminal, they suspect this is an aftermarket modification but to be sure, the nail is just a typical quirky Australian approach and mostly if you turn the rubber plug it will contact - for a few minutes! When the red rubber is perished it doesn't work or insulate very well so it's not recommended to try moving one when the motor is running, many machines affected like this have the newer black rubber cover which grips the spark plug, the quirky wire nail gone!
Mervyn Victor Richardson's No.1 Oz mower seller but how about the footwear etc?
"Seller refurbished, Victa 2-stroke lawn mower like new" - How new is it? Check the tire tread, if there's a load of wear on there and it's almost bald, it's covered a load of miles. Most folks don't bother buying new wheels when they're getting rid of a worthless mower. Look for details, badges, trims, things twisted out of shape, how hard has it been hashed? A quick spray coat of paint easily hides the evidence, fiber glass matting reconstructed crumbling alloy or rust holed steel deck! How many kangaroo land klutzes operate these old machines with sandals on? Bad idea, use steel toe cap work boots every time!
Exhaust/muffler is a hard to place by Seller's imagination alone, the original branded item shown above is black painted steel and has the silencer mesh wrapped only around the inside edge of the muffler. The silver muffler on the Victa Valiant was seller painted. Mostly these mufflers look a rusty brown color in service, the professional machines with protective cage. On EBAY, the after market, GA Part No. MUF762 mufflers have gauze visible through the exhaust port, unlike the original item, it's a inferior build with the out pipe bent flat . Original items have Victa stamped center on the front of the muffler. The mufflers are strongly located with steel clips at the top and base, ingenious 'old school' Victa engineering, the long bottom clip goes near the lower corner of the muffler, just beside the exhaust outlet which passes to the underside of the deck, the exhaust mixed with cut grass. The Commando machines have space at the front for over-size mufflers used around Hotels, Hospitals etc. These giant Victa Power-Torque mufflers are not usually seen on eBay!
Vortex series Flywheel seen above, have two boxy bits for flywheel magnets and governor.
Carby kill wires, (pronounced 'keel woyehs' in the Ozzie dialect) give some folks a load of hassle, "the lazy way's always the hard way". Usually the same kind of owners finding a nail in the ignition wire a little bit below icon brand expectations, start looking for clever ways around the carby kill wires. They're just a switch you can adjust instead of a problematic manufactured switch part, they're something to tinker with. With mag voltage, conventional switches could easily weld their poles closed on contact! First remove all the hoses and the throttle cable taking care not to break any nozzles, particularly the decompression valve nozzle, the 'kill wires' are then real easy, the throttle plate in the carby rotates the brown mag wire long pole against the black ground wire short pole, the mag pole is actually allowed to rotate via the mag pole's rubber grommet which fits into the body of the carby, a long or short grommet depending on the mower model. With the carby in postion on the mower manifold, remove the carby governor cap, checking the position of the brown wire pole below the diaphragm. The kill wires plastic cover has its flat edge facing the governor cap.
Decompression valve hose, Ozzie Tinkers reckon the D plastic hose has to be cut off the D valve nipple and it's one way but shortens the hose! Instead boiling water should be carefully poured on the hose part over the nipple, tissue dried, then in a pair of pliers, the hose coaxed off the nipple - it slides off real easy then! Don't pull at the hose, when squeezed in the jaws of the pliers up close to the nipple it backs out itself.
Fuel bowl primer cap O ring, most folks from the 1980s will recall a NASA Space Shuttle meltdown eventually explained as an O-ring issue in the fuel ballast tanks. The O-ring in the Power Torque G4 plastic carby introduced in 1974 is equally serious in replacement dangers ... could burn up the whole mower with a carby 'petroil' fuel leak!
Con rod roller bearings rust if not maintained real well through storage, take care to look in listings as to why the price starts real low as it means there's usually an extra bit of work to be done!
Victa Mustang with 1965 year Corvette 4's shining chrome Offset Handle
Victa Mustang, Silver Streak and VC are mid 1970s Two-Stroke plastic carby Power-Torque with large exhaust mufflers, when working as new about the quietest Power-Torque motor mowers. They're an older Power-Torque motor though with a round cylinder head, not the square Vortex air flow design. Throttle control comes out of the left hand side for left handed operators but it's the way they seem to glide over the surface that has owners so fond of the mid-1970s Mustang above, a screw wheel release folding push-bar, blade pan and deck both alloy, their old mechanical ignition flywheel points can make them real troublesome starters, check in exhaust port for piston scoring. Early 1970s VC model has a different motor.
Offset Handle enables operator to change arm height readily, considerably reducing arm muscle fatigue and giving much greater control of the mower when cutting around contours of gardens. The offset handle was improved on the 2004 year Victa Razor by the optional and unique, ergonomic 'Aerogrip' handlebar design for superior maneuverability (manoeuvrability UK spelling). Vintage Victa 18 or Consul 4 buyers note the older push bar's less relaxing features help you dislike mowing!
Air hose and filter is up from the lawn to avoid dust that may cause engine wear or the control throttle filter to block early. Since sand is used on lawns to improve drainage, it's a good idea.
Color coded catchers, a feature of 1960s Victa mowers, lost after affordable prices were everything!
Zip pull start elastic bands often found falling off old machines were protecting the fragile metal part from the return impact of the cord handle, about 3 thick elastic bands should be refitted as a buffer!
Key start on the real popular Victa Commando model with moped battery
Key start, appeared on the Commando in the early days, today Dealers insist key start only comes with self-propelled mowers, just by turning the key located below the throttle control, elderly operators could start the mower without shoulder strain but key start involves a lot of hidden indoor recharging unsuitable for many. The moped battery recharged overnight, poor starting caused by metal points of older machines reacting with dampness in the air, becoming poor conductors of electricity. Servicing the points was part of the annual service list, poor starting developing in machines not taken to the repair shop for a start of cutting season check over. Victa electronic ignition introduced on the Commando did away with unreliable points, starting with ease if the carby is okay, Victa Mustang is the older plastic G4 carby machine still troubled by points services today but is the easiest Victa to push! Victa Craftsman looks like the Commando.
Electronic ignition, Commando, Vortex etc have Victa's Integrated Circuit ignition system advertised widely in Australia as the world's first and best mower ignition, it gets rid of the old points and capacitor of the Mustang and earlier mowers, an early gold color case module was unreliable and gets replaced by the silver color. The system seems to have a mind of its own, often seeming to work after a pause, giving a real powerful start. When not starting, check the kill wires.
Steel deck Victa often have only the bar cutter, alloy decks with Victa Swing blades!
Two Blade or Four Blade? - affordable Victa Two-Stroke two blade, Dealers claimed just as good, flatly denied only half as good! Is this mower safe to use? Blade/ pan condition? Anybody who studied propellers and original Victa owners know the blade pan must be balanced, the blades must all weigh about the same or it's real dangerous! Rusted swing blades? Blades opposite sides a different shape? Bar cutters must be balanced or they could break your motor, as they will if they hit any tree roots, hence swing blades!