Source of Electric Motors for Making Solar Powered Lawn Mowers


Some time back Lee provided this very good description on how to convert a gas mower to a solar powered electric mower ...


Judging from the number of visitors that article gets, a lot of people have done this.  One problem is that the electric motor that Lee used in the original conversion is no longer available, and motors of the right kind tend to be hard to find and a bit pricey.  Lee has worked out a source for an alternative motor that is easier to find and cheap -- all described in the email below from Lee:



Lee's Original Conversion
Hi Gary,
It's been a long time since I've written, but I did want to call your attention (and that of visitors to your site) to a good source for 24vdc motors.  As you may recall, one big problem encountered by people who wanted to replicate my experience building a battery-powered lawnmower ( was obtaining the same or similar 24vdc motor.  The Tecumseh motor I used is apparently not to be had anywhere anymore, at any price.  Other kinds of new 24vdc motors, suitable for mower use, are both difficult to find and expensive.
One good source that I've been exploiting in my local area is used 24vdc motors that are commonly found in B&D cordless lawnmowers.  I've had an ad running in my local Craigslist for a couple of months now ("Non-working cordless lawnmowers wanted") and I've been successful in obtaining 8 of them so far, at prices ranging from $0 to $20.  The secret that no one seems to know or want to admit is that there are only three things that can go bad with a cordless mower:
(1) the electronic circuit board (75% of the time),
(2) the batteries (24.9% of the time), and
(3) the motor (0.1% of the time). 
I've never figured out why B&D felt they needed an electronic circuit board (except to jack up the price and insure some repair business), so I always throw it away - thus, 75% of the time I get a perfectly good motor and two usable 17Ah AGM batteries for $20 or less.  When the batteries are bad, it's usually because they haven't been charged or maintained properly, and I can usually rejuvenate them with my smart battery charger (with desulphinator).  And lastly, I've yet to buy a non-working cordless mower where the motor was bad - I'm batting 8 for 8 as far as good motors in non-working mowers.
In the case of the B&D 24v cordless mower, the motor is brushed rather than PM, and it's rated at approx 1.5 hp.  Since it's mounted on the B&D plastic deck with three bolts, it comes off easily and is just as easy to mount on a mower deck of your own choosing or design.  And lastly, the shaft is tapped for mounting a blade, so that's another plus.
Anyway, I've had a lot of luck with these motors in building more lawnmowers, and in other projects as well - hopefully some of your visitors will have similar success.

The Black and Decker electric lawn mower motors.