Sunday, May 30, 2021

Echo Trimmer Cleans Up After Mowby

  A look at a battery powered trimmer with a weird vibration.

Check it out:


Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Plugged Up Carb

  It doesn't happen often but I had a repair come back with the complaint the unit still didn't run right. In the past I've been pretty rough on myself if this happens but this being an intermittent type of problem I decided to give myself a break and just learn from it. 

 Husqvarna offers a commercial handheld blower thats been out for a few years now. The ones we've sold have mostly been to homeowners and the units have held up well. What I'm saying is that I haven't had to work on them much. When this blower came in the complaint was that it had a big bog when trying to throttle up. Sure enough I found that the carb was loose, ordered new gaskets, and put it back together. The unit ran fine and the bog was gone.

 A week later it came back. It had run fine for a while but then the problem started again. The first thing I checked was if the carb was still tight and it was. Now is where the second guessing starts. Was the loose carb even part of the problem? What about the rest of the fuel system? How about the ignition? I performed some tests but in the back of my mind I knew this thing had an air leak and I wanted to pressure test it.

 To pressure test a 2 cycle engine you need to seal off the intake and exhaust. Then air gets pumped in maybe through the spark plug hole with an adapter like in the first pic. Sealing the intake would require a special block off tool that I didn't have. I was prepared to order the factory tool till I discovered there wasn't one and in fact the tech manual was all wrong on performing the procedure. I called Husky tech to discuss this and he directed me to page 64 that showed the (wrong) procedure. I told him not to believe everything he reads on the internet and that the offered procedure was wrong. He connected me with a level 3 tech. I wonder how many levels they have? 


 Our level 3 guy was pretty sharp and when I explained the situation he quickly agreed that the provided testing solution was impossible. He also discovered there wasn't a special block off plate to perform the test. He then admitted that they often don't even use the factory tools and just take an old carb and fill it with silicon then bolt it on to block the intake. "Do you have an old carb the same style"? I laughed  and told him there was a 5 gallon bucket full of carbs right behind me and he laughed and said he knew there would be. I guess a lot of dealers hoard old carbs and now my single 5 gallon bucket full seems, well, inadequate. 

 As you can see in the top picture I found a matching carb and filled it with silicon. In the bottom pic I've bolted it to the engine and am performing the pressure test. I squirted some Mr. Bubbles around all the seals, gaskets and mating surfaces and found a large air leak. This leak is along an air passage between the engine and carb and provides a pulse that runs the fuel pump in the carb. With a leak this size its easy to see why the unit didn't run right. This leak is also right where I replaced a gasket the first time which explains the limited good run time. See what happened was that the loose carb must have vibrated enough against that plastic intake manifold to deform it. This is something I couldn't see the first time but is quite clear now that I've torn the thing down farther. 

 A lesson learned. You can't become an experienced mechanic without these types of experiences. Lets just try to keep them to a minimum during the busy season.


Sunday, May 23, 2021

Mac Toolbox Makeover

  Today we look at an old toolbox that got in the way of a can of orange paint.

 Check it out:


Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Vacation Is Still Three Months Away

   Like many of you, I didn't take a vacation last year. Oh sure I had some time off but it wasn't the same and you know what I mean. That "time off" consisted of a lot of home improvement chores and not much time on the bike. Lately I've been thinking a lot about vacation. Not necessarily where or what, just that I want it to happen...soon.

 Unfortunately "soon" isn't until mid to late August for me. That means I need to chill out thinking about vacation or I'll drive myself mad by Independence Day. You know how when some jerk sings just part of a stupid song, like a nursery song, and you get it stuck in your head? You can't get that tune out of your head unless you sing some other song to try to bury it. Well at least thats what I do. I need to maybe take a few long day rides or an overnighter to try to bury the thought of a bike vacation until I get much closer to the actual departure date.

 Any excuse for a ride I guess. Still, none of this gets me any closer to hanging out with my buddies that I've been vacationing with for twenty years.


Sunday, May 16, 2021

The Rat Turd-This Time We Go For A Ride!

  This is a continuation of last weeks video but this time we go for a ride. Its an odd bike but runs and rides pretty decent for a 37 year old bike.

Check it out:


Wednesday, May 12, 2021


 Strimmers. A name given to string trimmers to quickly denote them from other forms of trimmers I guess. Kids nowadays can't leave well enough alone and think they need to invent a new word for everything. It doesn't save time saying strimmer if you have to explain what it means. If string trimmer was spoken the first time there wouldn't even be a break in the conversation, and yes I think I'm getting to be an old codger.

 Its trimmer repair season at my bench and we're gonna look at two I worked on this week. The first is a Ryobi that needs some work on the cutting head but look at the way the customer has this thing assembled.

 I spun the front handle around before taking the pic. Either they are running the engine upside down and using their thumb for the throttle or they are trimming the underside of something. Yes the obvious reason is for sidewalk edging but this story wouldn't be nearly as interesting if it made sense and trust me, a lot of what I see makes no sense.

 The next unit is just cool. Ape hangers on a trimmer. Check it out.

 I played around with the feel of this setup and just like motorcycle ape hangers I think its uncomfortable. Having said that, this setup is very close to fitting me and I may modify my own trimmer. The idea of the front handle being higher does allow a person to stand up straight while trimming but in this case its a bit much, at least for me. I wouldn't be surprised if the owner starred in basketball as a youth. 

 Trimmers are an interesting piece of equipment and seem to be the most neglected item I see. If it runs crappy but still turns the head just a little you can still kinda cut grass. You can't do that with a chainsaw. For the most part people just want me to get it running again for as cheap as possible because they hate the task of trimming but there are a few exceptions. I called one customer to give her the bad news that it wasn't cost effective to repair her broke ass trimmer. She talked about it like it was a family member so I brought it back to life (at considerable cost). When she picked it up she was thrilled.

 You just never know and thats why I have to treat each repair item as if it were gold...right up until the point where I get permission to throw it in the recycle dumpster.


Sunday, May 9, 2021

Rat Turd Escapes Living Room

  Just like the title says. 

This is a longer one so I'll shut up.


Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Memory Lane

  I was gonna start this post reminding you of a visit I made to an antique mall but then I remembered that I never told you about that visit. That makes it really hard for you to remember anything because that visit is on a video memory card and you never saw it. So, let me start out like this: Hey, the other day the sun was shining so hard that I felt a need to go for a bike ride. Its like my civic duty to perform this task on this type of day. Anyhow, I decided to ride to an antique mall a few towns to the west. Sounds boring but this mall was actually the same location where my wife had picked up an old ratchet for me and I wanted to see if they had any other tools. I was also lookin for an owl fairy lamp but thats a whole nudder story.

 I did find some tools but thats not what this post is about. Its about things like this:

 Its an old wooden toy model stagecoach. Its not a particularly good example but it caught my eye because I made one as a kid. I think my grandparents gave it to me but that really doesn't matter. Just seeing it made me think of them and it brought back fond memories. Antique malls do that for me. I like wandering around and seeing all the old stuff from my youth. Technology has changed things and kids really have it easy these days. I'm not saying thats a good thing, in fact quite the opposite but that may be a post for another day.

 These "glass" grapes also brought back memories. This time of my mom. She was very much into crafting and I remember her making these things. She had some special resin and used it to mold a lot of different stuff. I suppose I drifted deep down memory lane because I never noticed the store employee walk up until she spoke, "Is everything alright"?

Yes ma'am, everything is just fine.


Sunday, May 2, 2021

A Look At Endoscopes

 You may be familiar with endoscope cameras and some of you have probably done some weird sctuff with them but for me they are another tool that helps me do my job better.

Check it out: