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Posted: Tue Mar 29, 2011 6:20 pm
Nature is constantly disordering order. In my battle to maintain functional order around me it seems life can be hand to hand combat against entropy.
One recent success was repairing an old soldier, my hoover vacuum cleaner. I thought it was a goner when the rotary brush's bearing/bushing that was made from plastic riding on plastic, melted and distorted so much the rotary brush was binding up, and eating belts as fast as I could replace them, SInce it was getting difficult to even find the right belt from the Hoover(?) website, I had low expectations of finding replacement parts for the major melted plastic parts, but wonder of wonders, I found a website that had everything. It wasn't cheap, but for about $75 and a couple hours figuring out how to reassemble it without instructions, I now have a serviceable vacuum that once again beats and sucks...(make your own joke),,, dirt.
But feeling ignored, my riding lawnmower, tried to kill me last week, by the carburetor float valve sticking wide open, and dumping raw gas out the air filter inlet onto the hot exhaust manifold...Since the last thing I did last season before parking it was have my local mower shop fix a slow gas leak, I decided to have them handle this one too since it may be related, or one hell of a coincidence.
I'm sure as soon as I get that back something else will break.... entropy.
Posted: Wed Mar 30, 2011 5:48 am
The entropy party keeps on coming. I sense an unparalleled skill there, for lack of a better descriptive. That's always a lucky break, avoiding a lawnmower fire.
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 9:37 am
Well the lawnmower refuses to behave. I finally got it back last week, and managed to knock down my yard that had gone to weed... but now it has another slow gas leak. Not enough to empty the tank, but enough to stink up the car port and be a fire hazard... Coincidentally the same shop repaired a slow gas leak in it late last year... I wonder if the ethanol in gas is trashing stuff, or i just have a flaky repair guy. I'm looking forward to reading the bill this time for a gas leak that occurred one week after they repaired a gas leak in the carb.
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 4:53 pm
JR. wrote:Not enough to empty the tank, but enough to stink up the car port and be a fire hazard...
Err..h. More like a big Hollywood bang than just a fire hazard. I remember a demo by the demolition experts when I was in the army involving just a gallon of gas and an old shed. They let it evaporate in the closed shed for the duration of the lesson and set it off at the end. By far the biggest bang of the day.
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 5:43 pm
Oh I appreciate the energy content of gasoline (I drove a pinto for a while).... but my car port is wide open and this was leaking slow enough to not reach an explosive concentration. A couple weeks ago when the float valve was stuck and raw gas was pouring out of the air filter, and onto the hot exhaust pipe, now that was another story, but again more of a fire hazard than explosion.
When I was in the army I don''t recall any gasoline demos. The motor pool ran the jeeps on some stuff they called mogas, that was probably almost like gas.
I recall some dumbasses in the army trying to steal gas from the motor pool and putting diesel in their car. Stupidity is it's own punishment.
We made explosive demos the old fashioned way (claymores and LAWs and even some old school hand grenades).
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:22 pm
I wonder if the ethanol in gas is trashing stuff
Yes, it eats up rubber in chainsaws. My mowers don't get enough of a rest for it to happen but I've had stored gas in a chainsaw eat up rubber in less than a year. They say stabilizers help and I do use them now but on the chainsaws I just drain them.
Oh and I'd buy a Toro. Not a Home Depot or Ace Hardware pretend Toro but the real thing from a Toro dealer. Best mower I ever owned.
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 7:56 pm
I am pleased with the old school snapper... and over the decades Briggs and Stratton motors have proved themselves to be pretty solid.. I think I have a problem with my mechanic, when they fix a stuck float valve, and less than a week later I get a slow leak...
I'm too cheap to get a new big dog zero turn mower that costs more than my first six or seven cars combined. I just finished my taxes and lawnmowers aren't deductible, at least not for me.
edit- speaking of pukethanol, the government wants to lend money to gas stations so they can afford to put in new ($150k) gas pumps that can handle more than 10% ethanol blends... If the old gas pumps can't handle that piss, why do I want to put it in my car???? The price of corn in the store has literally doubled because of this BS... and we have tons of oil and NG here... arghhh /edit
Posted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 8:11 pm
My Toro has a Briggs and Stratton. It's just a push mower with the self-paced self-propelled feature. We have about 1/3rd of an acre where we live now and it's not a difficult mow. At the new place, which is about 1-1/4 acres, most of it is wooded. The mowable yard is about the same. I don't think I could justify a zero turn unless I mowed yards for a living which is actually quite appealing sometimes. I get my best thinking done behind a mower or bicycle handlebars. My other fantasy is to own a car-wash...
Posted: Fri Apr 15, 2011 4:58 pm
I recall as a young puke, when I was too young to mess with cars, I messed with lawnmower engines stuck on bicycle frames... This was before you buy mini bikes and the like, so I had to roll my own DIY.
I don't know if it was a toro, but one of my basket case mowers that i got to salvage the motor off was a powered, reel type mower. I liked it because the motor had it's crankshaft sticking out the front, instead of the bottom like most typical lawn mowers.
For the rest of the story on my killer mower, I talked to the mechanic and he reports that the needle float valve seat is worn and leaking. Even though he replaced the needle valve, the seat is part of the carb and not replaceable. So it was either replacing the carb ($100) or adding a shut off valve to the gas tank, for when it's parked... For what i paid him to clean and replace the needle valve I would have been better off just buying a new carb. He claimed that ethanol was somehow complicit, but I am not so sure. Sounds like B&S went cheap on the needle valve seat. IIRC the needle valve is made out of brass, and soft so it should give first, but if the valve seat is aluminum or pot metal, brass may be too hard.
[edit- OK for more of the story, I talked to my older brother (the smart one in my family), and he advised me that ethanol is hygroscopic (attracts water) which I already knew, but what I didn't know is this water forms a weak acid, and electrolysis occurs between the dissimilar metal of the needle valve (brass or SS) and valve seat (aluminum?) which erodes the valve seat.. So the ethanol is far more insidious than just low energy content and rusting gas tanks. /edit]
Another one of those life lessons, while there are several in there... draw your own conclusions.
Posted: Sat Apr 23, 2011 6:43 pm
As my lawnmowers are pretty well sorted out, my chain saw wouldn't start today... arghhhhhh
And the beat goes on....
EDIT/ OK after sitting overnight, it started on the second pull... won't idle and runs rough even after warmed up, so I still suspect bad gas and maybe clogged jests in carb,,, but at least I was able to cut up my downed limb... I cranked it 200 times yesterday. Good upper body exercise. I probably need a new spark plug, and re-tweak the carb adjustments. Maybe some dry gas... damn that ethanol... /edit