Monday, 22 April 2019

Those little jobs

Fountains doesn't do a 'veg pledge' for us which means reluctantly I've been drawn into the fortnightly lawnmower and strimmer routine.  We purchased a new 4 stroke lawnmower and strimmer shortly after our return from the UK and since then I've been thinking we need desire a lawn edge trimmer.  However at a price of approximately $300-500 the decision keeps beling delayed.

Last week I noticed an old edge trimmer in my brother’s garage and commented on it.  He said “You can have it if you want it.  I don’t need it!”  So of course I accepted his offer.  Then he mentioned “It has a petrol leak somewhere and might need a new carburettor!”  Obviously we are related.  The engine is a Briggs & Stratton 4 stroke with a horizontal shaft.  It shouldn't be too hard to do some fault finding.

The edger looks as if it's been hiding in the corner of the garage collecting dust and cobwebs.  Based on the comment about the fuel leak I removed the fuel tank, air filter and carburettor.

Everything looks faded and rusty.

The carburettor was stripped down and cleaned with a carburettor spray before being reassembled

Now you might be thinking I took the above photos for this post.  WRONG!  I took them to ensure I knew how to reassemble the engine :-)  Whilst reassembling everything I removed all rust and gave it a clean before repainting parts where necessary.   Oh, the cutting blade was also sharpened.

Then I did what I should have done right at the start.  Added some petrol to the fuel tank.  It promptly started pouring out the front of the air filter.   Some exploring on my part revealed the fuel was coming from the carburettor.  It appears to be missing a needle valve.  Now I could search for a replacement part but the entire carburettor can be purchased from eBay for approximately $16 (£7) so I'll probably take that option.

The second job has been to rip the shelving off the garage wall.  It's going to be in the way when the hole is cut through the wall for the master bedroom air conditioning unit.  I'm going to replace the old shelving with material salvaged from the original bedroom wardrobe doors.

It's also seven months since the oil catch can on the 4x4 engine was drained.  I fitted the catch can because I don't like the oil fumes being recycled back through the engine.  This process is part of the vehicles environmental emissions control system.  Twenty years ago the fumes would have been vented to the atmosphere but today we need to save the planet.  So the fumes go back through the engine intake to be re burned.  That wouldn't be a problem but they are combined with some of the hot exhaust gases before being returned to the engine.  The hot gases are an emission control process.  The problem is the hot gases contain carbon.  The carbon and the oil fumes combine leaving a porridge like sludge to build up in the engine which can eventually choke the engine.  Of course by then the vehicle is out of warranty meaning the owners wears the cost of an engine clean and potential rebuild.  The oil catch can is supposed to catch most of the oil from the fumes before it is fed into the engine.  My method of removing the oil is to use a thin hose attached to a large syringe.  I poke the hose down the hole where the catch can dipstick goes and suck out the oil.

Photo is slightly out of focus in the background.

The syringe was advertised for hydroponic use but it's ideal for my purpose.  The engine has only done 3500km since I last drained the can.

About 25mls of oil that won't go back through the engine.

No comments :