Small Engine Adventures!

seagiant

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Hi,
Thought I would relate something that happened lately.

I finally got my wife to fire (sort of) the yard man.

Sold a rifle and bought a new HONDA lawn mower.

Now I needed a edger and weedeater.

Almost fainted when I saw what the new ones cost!

While at the ECHO dealer, talked to the Owner to see if he had anything used, knowing this is the wrong time of the year to look for a bargain, especially in Florida.

He said no, he just had some old stuff not working that was not worth his Mechanics time or the customer's to fix?

I said I would be interested as I knew how to work on small engines.

He took me to the back and came up with 2 edgers and 2 weedewaters all ECHO's except one of the weedeaters which was a big Shindaiwa T282.

I asked how much and he said $25 for all of them!

I agreed to that of course.

I've spent the past week cleaning and going through them and the end result was I was able to save a ECHO PE-225 and the big Shindaiwa.

The other 2 went in the dumpster after I pulled anything off of them I might be able to use later?

The ECHO Edger only needed a clean up, new fuel lines and filter and a new spark plug.

I didn't even put a carb kit in it, can't figure why it wasn't repaired to begin with, but used it today with a new blade and it's a beast!
 

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MowLife

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Glad you were able to refurbish something out of the deal. As a mechanics sales point many machines are not profitable for them to fix. In my area shop rates start at $75 an hour and with lower end models they are just not worth fixing. Push mowers under $300 are normally just disposables when they wear out.
 

seagiant

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Hi,
Thanks, that's what the owner said.

He also said he will not let the Mechanics rebuild a carb???

If the carb is deemed the problem, he puts in a new OEM!

I guess if the customer does not want to put that in it, he can buy a new machine?

I thought carb rebuilds was the "meat and potatos" of small engine work?

I'll be going back to see him after the summer...

See if I can make another haul!:thumbsup:
 

bertsmobile1

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A lot of sales centres use their workshop as a selling tool .
So a "yes we can fix your 5 year old trimer but we need a 2 hour ( $ 100- $ 200 ) deposit first" will usually have most people who do not have any idea asking "What is the best price on a new one ? "

All of those brands are top shelf units and worth while to repair.
Wholesalers do not help this as they usually give big volume discounts based solely upon your annual cash spend so if I can shift 20 extra trimmers a season I can get another 5% my total spend.
You will never get to the same
dollar value ordering parts because those trimers just don't break down & run forever.
Good luck for you.

However if you fixed all of them then you could probably have swapped one of the fixed items for another rifle :laughing:
 

seagiant

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Hi,
Well...Luckily, I'm not running a business.

I went out originally to see if I could find a running used edger and weedeater at a good price.

Admittedly the middle of Summer is not the best time, but...

What I ran into was maybe a good thing for me, now being a hobby mechanic.

I now have a nice weedeater and edger, that mostly cost me only labor in the scheme of things.

I'm now looking for a 2-stroke hedge trimmer and a backpack blower.

Maybe this Fall, before that happens!
 

ILENGINE

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Hi,
Thanks, that's what the owner said.

He also said he will not let the Mechanics rebuild a carb???

If the carb is deemed the problem, he puts in a new OEM!

I guess if the customer does not want to put that in it, he can buy a new machine?

I thought carb rebuilds was the "meat and potatos" of small engine work?

I'll be going back to see him after the summer...

See if I can make another haul!:thumbsup:
The problem is we are now in an era with $25 carb repair kits on $20 complete carbs or $50 kits on $65 carbs. And add in the issue with today's primer bulb carbs that have a high check valve failure rate when they are opened up for repair. Also there are a lot of engines now that don't even offer repair kits, it is complete replacement carbs only.
 

bertsmobile1

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The problem is we are now in an era with $25 carb repair kits on $20 complete carbs or $50 kits on $65 carbs. And add in the issue with today's primer bulb carbs that have a high check valve failure rate when they are opened up for repair. Also there are a lot of engines now that don't even offer repair kits, it is complete replacement carbs only.
Yep,
I can get cube carbs for as low as $ 15 (Aus) with warranty, Honda carbs for less than the retail price of a rebuild kit, although the margin between wholesale & retail is dropping like a stone .
Ultimately this will be a disaster but for now it is a bonanza for owners and will send a lot like me to the wall.
Then all of a sudden raw materials will start to become scarce and home owners will be forced to accept much higher prices for new materials.
As a person with an engineering background profligate wasting of raw materials , which are in fact finite , distresses me greatly, particularly when I know they are being highly subsidised for political or economic idoligy.
Zinc ore prices are triple what they were 20 years ago & scrap zinc prices are twice what they used to be yet finished zinc products are half what they used to be .
Iron ore prices follow a similar pattern but at least they increase the CO2 content of the air by removing the Oxygen from the oxide ores, but base metals like Zinc and Copper come from sulphite/sulphide ores so generate massive amounts of sulphuric acid which is dumped into the middle of the oceans and consume massive amounts of oxygen that is locked into the slags, forever.
The only metal that is effectively recycled is lead and that is because it is mainly used in automotive batteries where nearly 95% of it is recycled.
Zinc is less than 5% steel runs at around 25% and copper comes in at nearly 30% but that is dropping too as we convert to plastic plumbing.
 

seagiant

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Hi,
Well...It is true from my limited experience...

I can buy a Chinese no brand carb for the same price as a rebuild kit, but...

From what I have seen is that an OEM branded carb is still double the price or more, over an OEM branded kit?

Admittedly in today's world, a lot of OEM carbs and kits, are made in CHINA!

I have heard different opinions on cheap carbs that sell on E-Bay?

What is the opinion here?

I may have to try one?

Of course, just like Japan in the 60's, CHINA'S quality is getting better and better!
 

bertsmobile1

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Most of the parts I use are sourced from a Chinese plant, except belts, blades & chain .
They come via a wholesaler that has insurance and gives me 12 months warranty so I can trust them to be good.
Or they come directly from the manufacturer
Customers regularly come in with faulty parts bought off the web, usually ebay.
Things like venturi tubes with no holes ( very fuel efficient ) main jets that have the wrong size hole or kits of good parts that do not belong together.
Or rebuild kits that fit the knock off carby , not the original carb, mostly found with Tecumseh rebuild kits.
Some time back I posted a photo of a kit showing that the new carb had a shorter bowl & thus a smaller float & shorter float needle than the original carb did.
I find it rather amusing that no one would walk into a shopping centre , then go to a dress shop to buy mower parts , yet they will happily do that on the web.

There is no such thing as scrap from a Chinese factory.
Everything that comes off the line gets sold including the substandard , defective , faulty or out of specification items.
The good ones go to genuine wholesalers like Rotary, Stens, Oregon , Prime Line
Surplus manufacturing ends up in places like The Surplus Centre.
The trash all ends up on the web.
Some will be good, some will be bad , but a vendor selling 16,000 different products will have no idea apart from the fact that they sell for $ X in the USA so if they list them for $ X/2 some one will buy all of them.

One of the faulty products that sticks in my mind was a WT carb with the wrong metering diaphragm gasket.
They come in 3 different thicknesses and the difference is 0.00025".
In this case the carb had one that was too thin so the chainsaw would stall out under heavy load after a few minutes.
I tried a known good carb & it worked one but with the one the customer supplied it would stall out.
Doubting that the diaphragms were good I put the correct kit through the carb & then it worked fine but that took many hours and happened as a last resort.
It was only some time latter when I bought a grab box of gaskets & diaphragms I found out there were 3 thicknesses of otherwise identical gaskets.

Good parts will come branded so you will remember where they came from & buy more
Garbage comes unbranded so hopefully you will forget and if some one is injured there will be no one identifiable to sue.
 
Last edited:

ILENGINE

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Hi,
Well...It is true from my limited experience...

I can buy a Chinese no brand carb for the same price as a rebuild kit, but...

From what I have seen is that an OEM branded carb is still double the price or more, over an OEM branded kit?

Admittedly in today's world, a lot of OEM carbs and kits, are made in CHINA!

I have heard different opinions on cheap carbs that sell on E-Bay?

What is the opinion here?

I may have to try one?

Of course, just like Japan in the 60's, CHINA'S quality is getting better and better!
Installing an $80 OEM kit in a $250 carb on a riding mower is one thing. But how much is your time worth when the most common carb used on Stihl trimmers is $37 out the door, and the repair kit for that carb is $20. For me it is about 13 minutes of labor and I will eat the difference. Or in the case of some Honda carbs when the complete carb is $21 or less for OEM and the repair kit requires a $7 gasket set and the float valve set is $24, and some of the carbs have an idle mixture screw that has to be removed to clean properly, cut is designed to break off if you try to adjust it some it has to be replaced for another $7. so you now have $38 in parts in a carb that cost $21 dollars, and some of the GC type carbs are $13 retail.
 
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