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What happened to guality

Discussion in 'Mechanic and Repair' started by repair_guy, Jun 3, 2004.

  1. repair_guy

    repair_guy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    It makes me hopping mad that craftsmanship has all taken a back seat to money these days.When I first started to school(learning small engine repair)in 1973 lawnmowers had a locking piece of matel on the muffler bolts and the connecting rod cap.Now only the muffler does.If the muffler comes of you "mite"have to replace a valve/muffler/bolts,but if the rod cap comes lose or completely off we all know what that means.And another thing,the engine manufatures used to say that you could straighten a bent crankshalt,now they say that you can't.And if it's bent so bad that you can't get the sump plate(oil pan) off that you have to buy a short block.What hapened to repairing something??I had to straighten the crankshaft in my pushmower 4 yrs.ago when I hit a stump.I'm still useing the mower,never had a moment's trouble out of it since,and you know that the most careful person is sometimes gona hit something,rocks,small lembs,pine cones ETC>>>>ETC.
    Most mechanics these days are just gloryfied part changers.If you change enough parts your bound to fix the true problem.When most of the time(if you look & listen) the engine will tell you what's wrong with it.

  2. SER

    SER LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    Repair guy;
    Are you just a little pissed??? I have to say I agree with you. When you go to Sears for a "tune-up" on a crapsman mower, what do they do??? They change the plug, oil and air filter and call this a tune up. They dont even sharpen the blade. They tell you you have to replace it!!! What ever happened to sharpening and balancing the blade??
    Oh well, I guess we will soon have disposable machines next. The state of California already has the California Air Resource Board, or CARB. They are desiding that 2 & 4 cycle machines should not be run on certain days. The city of Los Angeles prohibits the use of 2 cycle leaf blowers within their city limits.
    So much for that state!!!
    When do they start hiring for the small engine police????
  3. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,098

    When you find out let me know. About the locking clip on the connection rod. I asked a Briggs rep at the update school about it and he tries to give me this mess that it was decided that there were not enough cases of bolts backing out of connecting rods to justify the cost. What cost? I bet it did not cost a penny a dozen to make those things. As for crankshaft straighting you can thank the lawyers for that one. When you go into a fast food joint to get a cup of coffee and it has printed on the cup"Contents maybe HOT" and you say well I hope my coffee is HOT. I know what you mean about craftsmanship. I see it die a little more each day. I work in a small engine shop and every day I see it. Metal replaced by plastic and cheap plastic at that. Wires so small that they can just barely handle the load. A lot of "flash" of useless metal and plastic just to make it look nice. Things now days are designed to be non-repairable and to fall apart ASAP. Just try to get a VCR repaired now days. Even if you can find some one to do it the parts will NLA. Do a road test next time you are on the interstate, take note of the cars broke down on the road side. You will see a 2004 model broke down and a 1970's model just fly by it. Maybe we sent our craftsmanship over seas with everything else.
  4. ducky1

    ducky1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Fixer I agree with what you said. I also think that the consummer is much to blame as much as the companies that make the junk. There is still quality out there but is comes at a price. A price that people dont want to pay for. Companies what to make the most that they can so that means make and sell what the public wants most, pretty and cheap.
  5. fixer67

    fixer67 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,098

    ducky1> Well I am not sure how it got started in the first place but with all the job lay offs and jobs going overseas which means some people here at home are forced to buy the cheaper products and that en-turn means less money for the company which means more lay offs and more jobs going overseas which means more people forced to but the cheaper products. You can see real fast where that is going. It is a snow ball effect and I do not see any way to stop it now. All I know is if it is not stopped or at least slowed we are going to go from the richest country to the poorest country.
  6. beransfixitinc

    beransfixitinc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    At least some people understand quality, such as bringing in a pre- 90s Snapper pushmower and wanting to put a new engine on it. When decks were made, they were made.. just isn't the case anymore... decks come away from one little rock looking like somebody pumped a 12 gauge into them. As far as replacing a blade instead of sharpening it.... have you really looked at the blade that comes with the mower? Some of them (don't miss the word "some") aren't really made to sharpen and still be economical. With the price of some blades being so cheap, it is more cost effective to just replace it. $7 for a new blade versus the time paying to sharpen a used one... and you take life off of that used blade anyway. It's like the $99 non height adjustable pushmowers with 3.5hp engines on them from a certain large discount store... it's hard, as a shop, to get people to understand when they bring one in for repair that if you've gotten 2 or 3 trouble free years out of it (with proper fuel maintenance) then you've effectively used the mower for it's useful life and to fix it wouldn't suit it. You may be able to fix the engine very close to new, but the light deck and wheels aren't worth fixing.

    Same goes for $59 grass trimmers.. One and a half seasons, and it's used up it's EPA durability period. Don't bring it to us.. it's not gonna be cost effective. By the time we fix your engine, your "body" on it's not gonna outlast the engine again.

    If you want something to last, you have to pay for it. $249 for a commercial trimmer that'll last you 10 years with proper upkeep, or $79.99 each time for a trimmer that last maybe 2 years each just don't make sense.

    And as for the "glorified partchanger" comment up there.. well.. I'll argue that language later... lazy persons yard boy.:alien:
  7. gasmanUSA

    gasmanUSA LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    To some extent there is still quality, but these days even when you buy quality - when you spend the extra money - you can still end up with junk. My latest peeve - the cheap CHEAP CHEEEEAAAAP head gaskets being used on even some of the top-of-the-line engines these days. Small wonder that message boards are rife with stories of low-hour machines with expensive engines blowing the head gaskets on low hours.

    But there is NO excuse. Want to compete in the cheap market...make a cheap line. There is no excuse for cost cutting, for the "plastic migration" and for all of the other nonsense on quality, top of the line engines. Makes you want to mail it back to the mfg postage due.

    This is the reason I prefer to repair an old engine rather then buy a new one. And even then, to get the parts off of another old engine with different problems rather then use new "replacement" parts, as they seem to cheap out on these too.
  8. beransfixitinc

    beransfixitinc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 592

    Or, you find an older shop with a small remaining supply of the old steel gaskets and purchase from them. Yes, most things are cheap nowdays.. the bad thing is it's your average Joe consumer that thinks everything should practically be given to him for free and then complains a blue streak when his "make em cheap to sell em cheap" unit peters out before he thinks it should.

    Perhaps you can find a metal tool shop to make you a die of commonly used graphite head gaskets and then you can stamp your own steel ones and sell them :D

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