Small engines seem to be part of most homesteaders’ reality. Chainsaws, mowers, generators, weedwhackers - whatever.
As part of a frugal self-reliant lifestyle I’ve never quit learning more about how to maintain and rebuild the small engines I have. There are many online sources for info, but I thought I’d mention two that I like quite a bit.
One is a Youtube channel, donyboy73 - this offers a tremendous wealth of detailed and well-presented information by a professional small-engine specialist. The videos are clearly shot, well-paced and easy to learn from.
By the way, I’m all for the development and availability of battery-based electric power equipment. Just a personal opinion, but when you get beyond drills and circular saws (etc), I consider a lot of what’s currently available is early-stage - time and the experience of users will give the manufacturers the feedback they need to evolve the equipment they put on the market. It seems like it could be a fair while until our gas-powered equipment is phased out with electric equipment available at modest prices. So, good to know how to keep things running nicely.
My online educational sites:
Location: Western Canadian mtn valley, zone 6b, 750mm (30") precip
Thought I might as well tell this story here. I recently put a new carb on my brushcutter engine, and saved myself some money. I’ve had my Shindaiwa 282C brushcutter/trimmer for about six years. I’d occasionally used carb spray or Seafoam, which worked to good effect during the first five years. But for the last year, I could only start the engine by putting a clamp on the throttle trigger and starting the machine at "full-open" throttle. Even had to use quick-start (ether) spray too. Didn’t want to take it to my local shop because the charge just for a new spark plug and carb cleaning & kit would be up around $100 (!) and the shop guy keeps your machine for at least a week, usually. And I needed to be able to keep using the whacker.
One aft, took the Walbro carb off, and tried to open it to clean out the fuel screen and have a look at the diaphragm. The tiny phillips screws were frozen in place, and in trying to back them out I was either going to mangle the screws or my screwdriver. So I called the shop that sells & services Shindaiwa - replacement carb $250cdn (before tax), nearly half the price of a new machine!! No thanks. I found an ebay replacement carb for my engine - $15u.s./$19cdn. With shipping that would be just $48cdn. I ordered. In the meantime, was able to continue to use my machine (albeit, the engine was ‘on crutches’).
The replacement took about 10 days to arrive. The new no-name carb looked and felt quite decent quality. Replaced the old with the new one, started the engine on a couple pulls. Runs like a new machine!
To be honest, I have no idea what the actual problem of my little Walbro carb was - 'cause I couldn't get it open. The fuel lines were both in good shape. My new carb is Chinese-made, but I assume a Walbro (the $250 one) is too. How long will the new carb serve me? I dunno, but at this point I’m happy.
My online educational sites:
The Greenhouse of the Future ebook by Francis Gendron