Jump to content
  • Announcements

    • Brad Eden

      TO THOSE REGISTERING FOR MEMBERSHIP ON UJ   01/06/2018

      To the Guests who have decided to register for Membership. PLEASE read Terms of Service, not just checking it off. This is covered there: Add more info than just "hunting" or "Upland hunting" or "birds" or "outdoors" or similar nebulous terms in the required INTERESTS field. Despite this Boards strong spam filtering function, some Spam registrations do sneak through. I need an inkling that you are a human being not a Spam Bot tagging onto key words. Also please do not use a business name as your User Name. Thank you.
Samuel Hoggson

Mandatory self-report. Declassification to Nerd level B.

Recommended Posts

Samuel Hoggson

I remember leaded gas.  Know what a timing light is and how to use one.  And how to gap points.  Back then you didn't change the oil on a  VW or a Snapper push mower without looking at the spark plugs, cleaning, gapping. 

 

By the mid-80s we had lead-free gas, electronic ignitions (even if running through distributors, still capable of advancing/retarding timing).  Then came recommendations not to bother changing plugs for....are you kidding?....up to 100k miles.  

 

Compulsive nerd.  So I'd pull truck/car/small engine plugs, look at them, reset gaps.  But they didn't seem to look bad, anymore.  Or run poorly. 

 

So they fell off the radar.

 

Completely.  

 

Evidently, 15 years is too long. 

 

It was probably insidious.  But, for whatever reason, it all coalesced this spring.  Dad's Husqvarna 2 cyl tractor - hard to start.  Thought failing battery.  Wasn't.  Installed new plugs - started right up.  Think it was next day:  wife told me the 345 lawn tractor was back-firing.......uhh.......for over a year.  ?????   (Actually, she didn't tell me.  I heard it, and asked her how long).  Replaced plugs - runs like a train now, no backfiring.  Honda 6.5 kw generator was hard to start this past winter.  Figured bad gas.  E10 is crap.  Hmmm....replaced plug, fires up first pull. 

 

On to 2-strokes.  Dad's .024 saw, his Stihl FS65 trimmer, and my Husqvarna 345 brush saw all hard to start and running crappy.  I wonder..........new plugs - all like new. 

 

Finally.  Our first mower - now-ancient Lawn-Boy self-prop.  Was about to take it to the transfer station.  Wouldn't start at all.  Hmmmm....I wonder...new plug plus some WD-40 to the cylinder walls.  First pull, starts and runs like new. 

 

Probably deserve to lose my man-card, too.         

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Remo

Just went through the same thing with the Honda power washer. It still had the original plug from 10 years ago and wouldn't start.....New plug, started right off. I wouldn't even tell how long it was since the Tacoma had new plugs.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brad Eden

Dropped a few VW Bug engines in my parents driveway to rehaul. But generally when running worse than a bag of nickels, new plugs, points and condenser and back on the road until the next break down. When storing I typically pull the plugs in my mowers, snowblowers and generators, clean, and pour a tad of oil in cylinder, pull cord to distribute etc. Plugs are a neglected item these days. You can put your man card back in your purse...I mean wallet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
atticus

I wonder if that will work on my small rototiller?  It wouldn't start today or yesterday--I left the gas untreated this winter. I'll give it a go. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EllieGSP

Nothing like the smell of 2-cycle oil and smoke.  Just got down cutting the lawn with a early 80's vintage Lawnboy.  Rebuild it every once in while and your good to go:-)  -b

 

 

LawnBoy - 20180528.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BlacknTan

Ahhhhhh, back in the day when men were men and Lawn Boys were Lawn Boys....

 

BTW, I still have my timing light and tach and dwell in the basement... I wonder why I keep them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Samuel Hoggson

'80s stuff.  Timing light, now useless.  Lawn Boy my Dad tried to kill by mowing my lawn with straight gas.  Was the day before my wedding.  Stopped him before it was too late.  Close. 

 

Few months after he left us ('17) was doing yard cleanup for his memorial service.  Brought my 1988 Husky 50 over and promptly stuck it in a birch I was felling.  He hadn't run the 1985 .024 for at least 10 years.  But first pull started.  Couldn't believe it.  Unstuck the 50 and finished up. 

 

Friend heard that story and said "so Dad bailed you out one last time".  Yup.

 

5b0c7d604cbd0_80sstuff.thumb.JPG.016e7ec6f844607aa0a551e97024eadf.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
frak

Back in the Stone Age, my youngest brother ran the lawn mower without oil and it seized.  The two older boys (me + another brother) were grounded on the explanation that we should have known better.  Our task was to un-seize the motor.  

 

We disassembled the motor, and smacked the piston with a hammer and cold chisel to dislodge it.  Then we (more or less) reassembled the motor.  Casting about, we hit on the idea of adding ether to the gas for added punch.  We poured a bit into the piston before screwing in the spark plug.

 

That mower started up, all right.  Blue flame from the exhaust knocked my brother across the garage.  

 

We engaged the drive of the lawn mower and it bounced across the lawn, spitting blue flame, and towing us along.  My dad, expressing satisfaction with the job, gathered us into the station wagon to get a new mower at sears.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brad H
59 minutes ago, frak said:

 My dad, expressing satisfaction with the job, gathered us into the station wagon to get a new mower at sears.

 

 

Oh the trip to Sears with Dad. I remember the trips to Sears with my dad. Hop in the faux wood paneled station wagon and head to Sears. That was back when Sears had USA made tools. 

 

The good old days! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
EllieGSP

And, one more for you electronic geeks.   Remember when you could, and it was worth, actually repairing something electrical?

 

And when there was Simson shotguns and Simpson test equipment....

 

 

Simpson - 20180528.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Dakota Dogman

Anybody else dislodged a seized motor with black powder?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
MUSTANGER7

Only use ethanol free gas in any small engine, really helps keep them going. The outboard industry makes mega bucks on folks using ethanol gas, just kills the fuel lines etc, the good stuff costs a little more but pays for itself easily. Used to rebuild anything couldn't do the valve job but did all the rest. Took a Porsche 911 engine apart on my DC apartments balcony and cleaned the parts in my bath tub, reassembled it took it back down the elevator on a cart, put it back in the car with 6 in of snow on the ground, cranked the engine over by hand to get the oil circulated and fire her up. My girl friend thought I was insane?????

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Samuel Hoggson
6 hours ago, MUSTANGER7 said:

Only use ethanol free gas in any small engine, really helps keep them going. 

 

Ditto, if late to the dance.  Nothing but EtOH-free in the 2-strokes.  And run till dry/fog cylinder before they sit. 

 

Will run E10 through larger displacement (JD 345, sometimes Honda generator) engines during frequent/heavy use periods.  Finish season on Mogas.     

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Brad Eden

With talk of ethanol...I should have added...I syphon out gas and run my equipment dry for storage as well as use treated gas all the time. Funny thing is my JD lawn tractor manual recommends  filling the tank with treated gas for shortish term storage like a Maine winter. I always whince when I turn that key for the first time in Spring, but it pops to life. (I remove battery in winter and keep it in basement too) 

 

If I have kept untreated gas in equipment or treated for that matter and it won't start. (Clean or change plug) I syphon/drain the gas and empty carb...there is typically a drain screw or plug in most carburetors. Then put in well treated gas and give it a go. Sometimes the ethanol has gummed floats and such up so bad a carb rebuild or full cleaning is required. Before my Yankee frugality kicked in I had this issue with a cheap push mower I bought at a hardware store. I brought it to a small engine repair shop. He told me it wasn't worth it for me to have him fix it with his hourly rate, since these cheap mower engines aren't built to last more than a few years. I'd be better off buying a new one.

 

BTW, I dump all my extra gas that I keep stored for generator etc into my truck. Never had a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
kgb

Bought a Toro GTS 2 lawn mower in 94, the nomenclature supposedly guaranteed-to-start on 2 pulls.  24 years later, it still does.  Not a fan of mowing but I like the mower.

 

Still have a dial-back-to-zero timing light, but have marked the distributors and a spot where they mount to line them up when swapping from one to another.  Cheap-as-dirt multimeters from Harbor Freight are supposed to be accurate and reliable as well, so far mine has been.

 

I run the mower out of gas before winter storage, fill the car up and park it without additive.  I ran the "storage gas" out this spring and the car started acting up when I filled it up.  Asked the station if they'd had reports of problems.  Nope.  Let the car stall in the driveway and started moving wires around.  Distributor wire semi-fired the coil as it was bounced, turned out it started grounding through the shrink wrap.  10-12 years on the engine block finally did it in.  Easy fix.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×