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Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by jeffyr, Dec 21, 2002.
I'll email you.
You can get Chilton's Small engine repair 2-20 hp at Barnes and Noble for about $25. If you want to do your own engine repairs this is the best book to start with. Covers most engine manafacturers.
The only time my equipment sees the service department at my dealer is for warranty work. My inventory includes 12 Toros with the Suz. engine, Toro 44" Z turn, a 32", 36" and 2-48" Scag walkbehinds plus all the support equipment in terms of handhelds. I personally do all the maintenance on all these machines. Having a mechanic fix a problem is the quick, easy and costly way. Performing your own maintenance is well obviously cheaper but in my experience has lead to minimal problems and nearly zero down time in the field during the work year. I keep detailed repair records on all machines. During the winter I comb through each machine and replace worn but operational parts. To me replacing a worn pinion gear or height adjuster that still works at the end of the season is more cost effective than allowing it to fail during the year. Down time is not only a period of not making money but also losing money. The attitude of disposable equipment in my business is non existent. Every 21" deck that I started with 10 years ago is still rolling over grass today. Those decks are now on their third short block, only God knows how many tires and split rims, and the shrouds look absolutely pitiful but it what is between the deck and the shroud is what counts. Short block cost $250.00 plus three hours of my time; New mower cost ~1K 15 minutes. Another quick example are the carbs. Many of my carbs are nearing the ten year mark and they run better than the newer ones that were manufactured under emissions restrictions. Every year, each carb is removed from the machine, cleaned up and bowl is dumped and carb cleaner is shot through all ports. The throttle shaft is checked for play. If it is out of my established tolerances, I ditty bop down to the dealer and purchase a shaft, plate, ring and seal. Total parts cost ~$30.00 plus 1 hour of my time. New carb cost ~$130.00 and 15 minutes. Last time I checked on both these situations the delta cost of doing my repairs versus having a mechanic do the work exceeded the value I place on my time. My dealer "dumped" 4 of his junkers and a box of misc parts on me and I jumped at the chance to pay $200.00 for them. Out of this collection of unuseable junk that was below the dignity of other LCOs to deal with I salvaged the following in working condition:
4 Toro transmissions, 6 recoil starters, 6 mufflers, 8 flywheels, 8 coils, 2 handles, 40 wheel halves, 3 carbs, 1 useable deck, 1 fuel tank and more miscellaneous parts and hardware than my parts bins will hold. I then salvaged three decks and 4 blocks (all aluminum) for ~$40.00. Total cost $160.00 + 40 hours of my time. Total value between $2.5K-$3K of salvaged parts. The grin my dealer had that day is now upside down.
Finally, this year my dealer sold me 5 used Toros he took on trade for a total of $1K. The most expensive repair was rebuilding the carb (see above) the least was 1 hour of my time to reset the coil gap between the flywheel. They were dirty and ugly but 10 minutes under the power washer fixed that. Does it sound like I have a "disposable" attitude in my business. If I didn't know as much or more than the mechanic I would have passed this deal up. In lawn service, the profit margin is not large enough to accomodate you and an outside mechanic which is why I recommend to short block your blower if a failure is not accpetable during the working season. And do it yourself. If it's your first time, be smart and put all the parts from one assembly in it's own tub. Assembly A, location B on old machine goes on location B on new machine with nothing left over. It's not rocket science unless you want it to be and only then will you have problems.
short block, carb kit, gaskets....$300++ still got an old blower....
Newer, Stronger Blower EB7001RH....$400 w/trade.....
Rebuild overheated seized engine....Piston, rings, Bore cylinder (if scarred) bearings, gaskets, rod, wrist pin, carb kit.......$250+ still got an old blower.....
not to step on toes....but i can see spending $1k to fix a $5k machine...but to spend $200 on a $400 machine.......not my idea of saving $$
just my 2cents
The final outcome was what was originally suggested : Soak it in 2 stroke and hit it with a dowel & hammer to free up piston. There was some resistance and I recoated with 2 stroke and let it sit a couple of days. For the heck of it I gave it a pull without the plug in it and the resistance was gone. A friend as over that convinced me to give it a start, and it ran fine once all that oil burned off.
Thanks for all the suggestions.