Small Engine Repair ???

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by BeautifulBlooms, Nov 6, 2007.

  1. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Anyone ever take an online course in small engine repair? Is it feasible to learn without receiving the actual engines to repair?

    Anyone know of a book that can teach me the fundamentals of small engines and their repairs?

    Someone help me, I am too busy in the fall to take a full fledged class at the technical college, but I have all winter to do the work and learning.
  2. Restrorob

    Restrorob LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,029

    The best teacher is hands on, You could start by getting service manuals for the equipment you own. Go over the manual in front of your unit(s) learning the parts etc.... There are trouble shooting guides in most manuals that would direct you to a (fake) problem area just to learn testing/repair procedures.

    You could also go to one of your local repair shops and ask them if they have any engines in their junk pile, That could be something to tear into seeing how they are built and trouble shooting the reason for failure.

    My boss hired a guy right out of a community collage small engine shop, It's a shame he didn't learn but enough to mess up everything he touched. He lasted 3 days and cost the boss a new engine on a customers unit.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is book learning is better than nothing but hands on to go with it is much better.

    I walked in the door where I've been now 16 1/2 years right out of the auto biz and had NEVER worked on lawn & garden equipment before. I learned hands on with service manuals.

    Come to think about it, You could learn a lot just browsing around on here. Dig around in the archives, People post equipment problems then get probable causes and test/repair procedures.

    Good Luck
  3. Breezmeister

    Breezmeister LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from South Jersey
    Messages: 1,797

    I have to agree with Restro, there is nothing better then getting your hands dirty. You can teach theory, but until you see it working, it would be like talking to a brick wall, in my case anyway :confused:
    Back in the day, a long time ago, the first guy I ever worked for took a home school course. He wanted to repair is own equipment as well.

    I have no idea if the course is any good

    Check out your local high school or vo-tect for a night course. I get a mailer from one of the local high schools around me that offers everything from ballroom dancing to Ti Che and home owner lawn mower repair was one of the classes, it would be a start....
    ericg likes this.
  4. dutch1

    dutch1 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Jayhawk
    Messages: 2,249

    Restro and BM offer excellent advice. There is nothing like getting your hands dirty and exposing yourself to the small engine world. In addition I might suggest that you may want to seek part time work in an area small engine shop, providing you have the time to do so in the off season. Many lawn and garden shops (in our area anyway) have winter service and storage programs to keep their people busy during the winter. Should someone put you on, you would likely be assigned more menial tasks to begin with, but you still can pick up some valuable information by keeping your eyes and ears open along with asking questions. My two cents worth.

  5. khouse

    khouse LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,465

    It used to be an engine, belt, blade and a seat. Now with all the safety switches, hydro pumps, relays and electric this and that it muddies up the water. Tearing down and engine and reassembling it is the easy part. Diagnosing the problem is the hardest part. Except for maybe trying to fit a normal size hand into all the tight spots to loosen a bolt! I would also suggest that you tell your family members and friends that you will work on their mowers this winter for cheap. You should get a few to tinker on. You might get some free mowers and stuff from them also.
    PS. You could read all the books you want in a study course and will forget most of it. But if you work on an engine THEN read the manual you WILL remember most of it.
  6. SLR

    SLR LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,210

    Restrorob wrote:"go to one of your local repair shops and ask them if they have any engines in their junk pile, That could be something to tear into seeing how they are built and trouble shooting the reason for failure."
    This is where to begin!
    I live out in a rural area where i go to a land fill to get rid of my garbage,i made friends with the lady who supervises the junk yard,and there's ALWAys a gold mine of 'almost running' weedeaters/lawnM,blowers,motorcycles you name it : the Land-fill is where people are regularily throwing out great parts and..well.. gold!
  7. J&R Landscaping

    J&R Landscaping LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,095

    I graduated from an OPE course in High school (tech school). I was and always have been someone who has to get their hands dirty to fully understand. I can read it to a point but for me, (and I would think with this type of work) hands on would be better!

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