Monday, July 3, 2017

misery is a small engine

The title is meant to be a lampoon of my other posts Happiness is another Small Engine. There is nothing more than I hate than the sound of lawnmowers in the neighborhood. Fortunately in my small neighborhood there are very few grass lawns. I only have a tiny stripe of circa 5 feet by 20 feet which I am undecided as what to replace it with. I bought this pre-owned Honda mower circa 30 years ago out of necessity. It has served me well and I only used it when the grass got so high that the neighbors can complain to the city and cite me. To me grass lawns has always been the most counter-productive elements of home.

this mower has been dead for circa 4 years due to disuse - I use it no more than 3 times a year, and less than 5 minutes each session

the grass in my yard is now so high so this morning I gave it the last chance trying to repair it

I suspected that the intake or exhaust valve is broken, or there is a broken piston ring

I performed a few basic troubleshooting steps and before long I eliminated the ignition being the cause. I did a quick assessment of the piston and valves and deemed them being unlikely the cause. This narrowed down to the fuel supply. All the fuel lines are so deteriorated due to age and alcohol fuel that they are not designed for.

The main reason this mower has become unrepairable is there are many parts on it simply have worn out, and many cast parts has broken. Like a tenacious farmer I did my best over the years to repair it by hook or by crook.

Amongst the things that I checked:
spark ignition - good
cheap and dirty way to confirm compression - good
cheap and dirty way to confirm fuel line/filter delivery to the carburetor - good
check fuel bowl float and shut-off valve - good
is the fuel too staled? - no, unlikely
removed and cleaned main fuel jet - it is plugged

All the fuel lines and breather lines are original, and after decades they are rock hard. Since I don't have replacement lines I left them alone. Obviously these lines were designed and made long before ethanol blended fuel. The fact they lasted this long is nothing short of amazing about Japanese product quality from that era.

In less than two hours I have it all apart and back together and fixed! As the mower was all apart and I could not crank the engine with the pull cord starter. I use my air ratchet wrench to turn it but I could not get the engine to start. I had to reassemble the entire mower back together before I can conduct test to see if I repaired it. It took many pulls and eventually the engine started. It soon stalled out 3 times, before I could get it to run any length of time.

it ain't spring chicken of a Honda lawn mower but it is serviceable once again - hopefully will last until I get rid of my last tiny tripe of grass in my backyard

installed a OE air filter

between the repaired mower and the weed trimmer the job is done in a flash

No comments:

Post a Comment