Take apart a RoboMower

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Here are a few photos and notes from taking apart a RL-550 RoboMower. This is not an official manufacturer procedure; only the experience of a user who has disassembled his mower several times. Proceed at your own risk!

There are three cables and two fuses that must be disconnected before removing the top cover. First, remove the small black (or dark gray) cable access cover at the right side of the battery compartment by pulling it up, to remove it and reveal the cables.

Cable access cover.

Now remove the cables. The manual controller has a clip like a telephone-jack cable. The other cables should just pull straight out. There are two fuses that must also be removed so they don't catch on the cover. These are automotive fuses: one standard and one mini. Unplug the white wire (operation lamp) at the rear and leave it in place.

Top cables with access cover removed. (Fuses already removed.)

Flip the mower over on a surface that won't scratch the top. (i.e., wood, cardboard, or an old blanket instead of concrete.) There is a series of plastic retainer clips that hold the top cover in place. They can be pried out with a large flat-blade screwdriver.

Note the orientation and location of these clips for correct replacement as there are 2 types.

The four in the front of the mower are curved, and the other 6 are "straight". While they are very similar in appearance, using them in the incorrect location will create difficulty getting the cover open; and they may break.

If you get them mixed up, look closely for a small crescent shape cutout (actually, a small depression on the surface) to identify the curved clips. Better yet, oolor-code the four front ones with nail polish before disassembly.

Cover retaining clip locations.
Removing a cover retaining clip. A previously-removed clip is also shown on the left.

You should now be able to flip the mower back over and remove the cover. Start at the battery compartment and gently work the cover loose. Next work your way around the rest of the cover until it lifts off. Then lift straight up, and be careful not to catch any wires or circuit boards. Do not twist the cover, or it could damage the circuit boards. WARNING: On the RL-1000, there will still be a black/red wire pair connecting the charging points (for connecting to the docking station) to the base of the mower; these wires cannot easily be disconnected and must therefore be treated gently, avoid pulling on them.

Reassembly Tips: There are two rubber mounts for the main board where it meets the cover. They are usually on the cover after removal. Move them to the board before reassembly. Place the rear height adjustment at its highest setting (IOW, move the adjustment bar at the rear of the battery compartment to its bottommost position). This will reduce the chance of misaligning the sliding axle seals when installing the cover. The drain for the cord-storage area must be sealed where it meets the base. Older models use silicone sealant, and newer models have a rubber gasket. In the case of silicone, remove the existing sealant and run a double 1/4" bead of silicone around the male part of the drain where it protrudes from the cover; then install the cover. Install the "D" shaped rubber gasket/seal on the base prior to reassembly; it may be found on the cover after disassembly. After seating the cover, roll the mower over and inspect the rubber seals behind the wheels for misalignment. The clips just forward of the wheels can be a bit hard to insert. Press on the base to compress things a bit, and they should slide right in!