Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Had to Buy a New Carburetor for the Toro -- $110

I am so grateful to God that I know how to install a carburetor on a small engine. The shop costs probably would have added another $75 at least. Will keep the old carburetor and kit it out now that I finally found a source with reliable parts. Doesn't hurt to have a spare carburetor around for a small engine anyway.

Mom knocked her heavy wooden fold up tray on her foot yesterday. With the powerful blood thinners she takes, she swoll up and bruised very easily. Fortunately, she didn't break any bones in her fragile feet. So, no going out to my farm the next few days. I was really looking forward to it, too. Have a pile of brush to haul off and some cleaning up to do around the old place.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Carburetor Blues --- Kit it or Buy it?

Well, I removed the Toro's carburetor today. Disassembled, it looked okay interior wise. Just a drop of varnish in the bottom of the float bowl. Plastic parts looked a bit yellowed from five years of gas passing through it. The inlet needle looked a bit worn, but a carburetor kit will have a new one as well as new springs, gaskets, and instructions.

Contacted a local lawn mower dealer by email concerning the Nikki carburetor but haven't heard anything back, so I'll call them tomorrow afternoon and ask them to check their email. Need the Toro up and running by the middle of February. If it's not, I'll rent a small tractor and mow my farm. It won't need cutting again till late March or early April anyway. After that, it will need mowing every three weeks to stay ahead of the broomstraw and briers.

I've got three major projects going on right now... Mom, the Nano camper, and the Toro get the miss out of there. The chainsaws only needed a good cleaning and their H and L fuel settings tweaked a bit. Got a 1996 Homelite chainsaw (16") I'm thinking of tearing down and rebuilding, too. Got to find the fuel cap with bulb first at a very reasonable price. Homelites are easy to rebuild.

If push comes to shove, I might have to do a top end valve job on the Toro. The intake valve might be gunked up or needs a good polishing. They get sooted up sometimes from years of use of this Ethanol 85 Octane crap gas. I'd need a gasket kit for that, too. If the valves are not seating correctly, I lose compression and extra air is sucked in and leans out the fuel mixture. Might cause a backfire through the intake if the fuel mix is a bit rich or the timing is off.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Busy Days Now and a Busier Month Planned for February

The riding mower still has a miss in the engine even with the tune up, new battery, and new fuel filter, so tomorrow I'm going to open the pilot screw a bit and enrich the fuel mixture. Thank goodness for Penn Foster's small engine course from 1991. Called ICS (International Correspondence School) back then. If that doesn't get the miss smoothed out, I'll have to take the carburetor off and re-kit it. The gaskets are five years old and this ethanol gas (E85)is tough on gaskets. Makes them dry out or swell and this interferes with gas proportions with the air intake. Even with the fuel treatments, it's still a good idea to know how to kit a carburetor.

Get the miss out of the engine and all it will need is the blades sharpened and the axles greased.

All the chainsaw needs is the fuel High and Low speed needles adjusted. Still lagging a bit when the engine is cold. Need to adjust the idle speed, too. I don't really like having the chain spinning it's deadly teeth around the blade when I'm holding it while pulling a vine or branch out of the way. Have had enough close calls with these unforgiving machines called chainsaws.

Have I forgotten the Nano camper? Nope. Was outside a little while ago praying to God for guidance in getting it built. Have the roof material picked out, the flooring material, and siding. Already have the wiring, gas line, and other safety items ready to go. Will start back in March to have it ready by late April for camping. I need the Nano camper, so it's going to get built.

Found a flow chart for diagnosing sick carburetors. Flow Chart for Sick Carburetors

Souped Up Garden Tiller Racing.

This looks like fun!!!!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Steady Working and Steady Progress

Spring got here early in 2012. Had to mow the yard a couple of weeks ago and trim the hedge. Taking my old chainsaw tomorrow and tearing it down, cleaning the carburetor, and tuning it up. Need to examine the pull cord and all the goes with chainsaw maintenance. My riding mower gets tuned up on Monday, if all works out well. There is a new miss in the engine, so I'm going through the fuel system first in the list of troubleshooting options. It's probably the fuel filter getting clogged up and it's time for new spark plugs anyway.

Mom and I are going down to my farm more often since the temperatures are warmer. Cleared out the overgrowth around the main gate and plan to put up a new gate in February with new posts. Run some more barbwire. There is so much work to do out there with fences to repair or replace and everything else that comes with owning property.

2012 is going to be one busy year for me.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

How to Make a Shortwave Radio Antenna for Less Than $1.00

I own a couple of small short wave radios. When the weather is cloudy, can't even hear the stations out of Tennessee. Will be making this antenna tonight to improve signal strength.

My Poor Old 2005 Dell Bit the Dust Last Night

Well, the hard drive's ability to find C:\ is totally gone. The FAT's (file allocation table) is lost somewhere in the deep dark sectors. It's not registering at boot up, in other words. Tried several emergency boot up disks, but none helped. So ... time for a new hard drive.

This old hard drive in the Dell is at least seven years old and from my Penn Foster PC repair and maintenance classes, hard drives have a way of crashing and burning once they hit six years old. Glad I know how to replace them. Will set me back a couple of hundred to three hundred dollars because I'm upgrading to Windows 7 while I'm at it. Will take a little cash out of each paycheck for a few months and set it aside for a summer project.

Keeping both crashed hard drives and will experiment with data retrieval software someday. If you work on computers, it's good to know how to retrieve data from a blown hard drive. Might look good on a resume one day when I get done with caring for Mom and get back out into the real working world again. Actually, for a while, thinking of working two jobs to build up my savings again. I can spend money, but I can save it, too.

While I have the Dell in tear down, I can replace the broken CD ROM with a DVD burner that the Camo computer couldn't use because of it's mobo's age.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Got the New Glasses---back on line.

Crunched my old pair a couple of weeks ago. Literally. Needed an eye exam anyway, so took care of two situations at once.

This is going to be one busy week if the rain holds off. With the mild winter, planning on doing some work down on my farm to get ready for the heavy work that will start in February. The grass and weeds that usually don't start growing till late February are growing now. Had to mow the yards and trim the hedges last week, but that's life in the Deep South. One winter, it's freezing temperatures shutting down entire cities and the next winter, it's so warm, you are mowing your yard in the dead of it.

Good to be back.