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When dumb people try to "fix" an engine


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  #21  
Old 03-15-2006, 07:04:45 AM
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Andrew, that story is as close to a classic as I've ever heard. Someone has to make a made-for-television version of it.
Is his new saw still running?
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Old 03-15-2006, 08:39:30 AM
Mark B Mark B is offline
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

This reminds me of one of the best lessons I've learned about business.
The customer is NOT always right, Home Depot can afford idiots like this but small business can not!
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  #23  
Old 03-28-2006, 08:58:15 AM
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Red face Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

AAAhhhhh...As a husqvarna certified mechanic we see thing's like this sometimes.Just makes ya wonder why these people dont kill themselves out of stupidity!
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  #24  
Old 03-29-2006, 04:32:02 PM
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Anthony J. Wiegand Anthony J. Wiegand is offline
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithW
It's always good to hear about other folks "learning experiences" and you should have a sense of humor about them because we've all been there. Now, a "learning experience" is sticking a screw driver in to a 2 stroke exhaust port. A "powerful learning experience" is sticking your finger into it.

keithw
Iv had an experience similar to that. I was working on a honda 110 atc when my dad told me to move it into the light. I had my finger in the hole in the timing gear and ALSO in the hole in the engine block for the cam.When he lifted it it pinched my finger in in the hole of the timing gear and the hole in the engine block. The cylinder head wasnt bolted down at the time and it hurt like Now I feel
Regards, Anthony
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  #25  
Old 03-30-2006, 02:59:34 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Smile Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Just so you know,
'Buddy's' saw is still running - with a little help. Last week, he was doing some clean up in his yard, and I heard the new saw idling in the garage. It was smoking so bad, I could barely make it out sitting on the floor. I asked buddy if he mixed the oil and gas properly, and he said "Yeah, I done just like the directions said. I poured in the whole can of oil, an then the gas. I don't unnerstands though - the gas tank only holds about a quart! Ill put the rest of the gas in when the tank runs low". I told him, that you were supposed to mix the oil and gas in the fuel can first, and then put it in the saw. He looked at me sorta funny, and said "I don't think the oil will spread that thin, it's a 5 gallon can I just went back home.
Andrew
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  #26  
Old 04-01-2006, 12:03:02 AM
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

this is classic......
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  #27  
Old 04-01-2006, 02:30:26 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Unhappy Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

It gets better every day, with this guy. He came over this morning at 7 AM, ringing the bell off the wall. "Hey Mac - you got any 2 cycle oil I can borrow? I had some gear oil in the garage, but the saw keeps fouling the plug" !!! My wife at this time came to the door and says "You stupid a$$ - you use 2 cycle oil, and we don't have any, good bye!" and slam goes the door. 'Buddy' saw the impact, before I felt it, and he went sorta white, and said "I'll just go and buy my own Mac, hope that hand don't hurt too much", and he ran back to his yard. I didn't realize what he meant about the hand, until I went to turn around. Unfortunately, my hand was in the door jamb, and now 2 fingers are Z shaped, and dark purple. I couldn't reach the door handle, so I rang the bell so my wife would open thedoor. "GO HOME" she yells out the window, and slams the window as well. I yelled, kicked the door, And finally kept ringing the bell, until she finally came and opened the door. "What the h**l do you want now, she yells as the door is opening, and then in a small voice "Oh my, did I do that - it looks terrible, I think I will just go back upstairs" and off she ran, leaving me in agony in the middle of the doorway. It is now 7 hours later, No broken bones, thank GOD, but 5 dislocated joints needed to be reset (the pinky tip got it too), and there is severe bruising to all the fingerson my left hand. Well, now I am mildly sedated, pumped full of pain killers, and am typing this with one finger on my right hand. Its not easy to type, when you can't see straight, can't feel a thing, and keep dozing off (twice now), trying to spell is a bi**h , its taken my 6 trys to get this far, And I think this is my last post today. Later guys.
Andrew
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  #28  
Old 04-02-2006, 02:50:21 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Red face Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Postscript to today's fiasco It's 2 AM, Sunday morning (4/2/06)hand hurts like h--l, and I can't get to sleep I'm going . Read some new postings on the stak, and am going to try to sleep now, After I posted this afternoon, I heard the wingnut next door running his saw. After about an hour and a 1/2, I heard the exhaust tone change, the saw slowed and then stopped. I DO NOT WANT TO KNOW
Good nite,
Andrew
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  #29  
Old 04-02-2006, 04:54:37 AM
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Sorry to hear about your hand Andrew. Hope it will mend soon and fully.
If it werenít for the accident it would be a fun story. But I guess some are just beyond any help.

But it may be a good time to go buy that nice engine you always wanted but your wife didnít want you to buy

NorK
(who repaired the darn gate for the 4íTh time for wind/storm damage (I ainít no carpenter))
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  #30  
Old 04-02-2006, 11:25:05 AM
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Well..... The problem will only get Worse.... We are Raising a Bunch of Idiots.... Most of the schools have taken out all the Industrial arts classes because some Kid might break their fingernail.... We have given the kids computers and calculators so they don't have to think... We (Or the Chinese) Have made all the products Non User Serviceable...

The US engineers we do have left are designing products that Don't Work. One example is the glow plugs in a well known Diesel engine that are 4.7 Volt on a 12 volt system.... So if the GPCM keeps them on for 1 second too long they explode and have destroyed a few almost New Engines. (there is very little room in a deisel for foriegn material) While a competing company don't even use glow plugs in theirs and theirs works...

No Wonder GM is going Broke... Even the Factory trained Techs have their hands tied if they can't simply read a code and change the part that is specified.... SO they just keep guessing and maybe? sooner or later will accidently come upon the defective part costing You or the Manufacturer BIG Bucks in the process...

When I was a Little Guy I would take apart Mechanincal and Electrical things and I learned a Lot from the process....

Now you take something apart and all you see is a Homogeneus Glob and What Can You Learn From That...????

Whatever Happened to Common Sense..... Where Did We Lose It....?????
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  #31  
Old 04-02-2006, 11:59:34 AM
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Hey you should work where I do and get to fix all these things after a wanna be mechanic already took his best shot. A couple of the highlights: guy gets his neighbor to put front brakes and rotors on his suburban. Neighbor is most likely a nice guy, but should stick to his profession of fixing motorcycles seeing this evidence. Suburban was brought in because pedal was low, ABS light is on, and it is making a grinding noise. Seems that the mechanic did not install any inner wheel bearings or seals just outers when he put the new rotors on. So we need new rotors, calipers, bearings, pads and ABS sensors, luckily it didn't get driven enough to damage the spindles.

Then there is the guy that painted his rear calipers to make them look pretty and couldn't get them to bleed out when he put them back on the car. You know that if you put them on the wrong side the bleeder screws are upside down????

And then there is one of our former mechanics who apparently can;t read. Car came in because it was making a rubbing noise when turning. Another tech found the problem. He shows me "see we put new outer tie rod ends on this car? See where they are marked with the little L and the little R?"
Need I say more?
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  #32  
Old 04-02-2006, 02:05:57 PM
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

A friend of mine, who is not into antique tractors, steamers, or stationary engines, but is a former GM dealership mechanic who does some "shade tree" work at home was over the other day. I showed him this thread, listening to him laugh all the way through it.
He told me of how, once, a fellow he knew somewhat called him for a quote on overhauling a 700R4 GM automatic transmission if it was removed from the pickup beforehand, and the overhaul kit was already purchased. My friend quoted him $XXX.XX.
Well the transmission came............empty case, all the guts in another box. The owner figured if he took everything apart, he'd get the overhaul done for 1/2 of $XXX.XX. My friend still charged him the full quote, plus some. The pickup's owner was upset. My friend told him that he had to charge extra because it took so long to sort out all the stuff that was just tossed into the box. Half-Keck's Suburban story sure sounds like a close tie to my friends.
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  #33  
Old 04-03-2006, 01:20:51 AM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Hi guys, hand looks horrible, but is functional. Earlier posts are correct on schooling - I had a friend who was an instructor in a local County Vo Tech. Most of the kids do not know what a combination wrench was when they first entered his class. He gave a test when he first started class a couple of years ago - here are some answers he got for it: 1) What is a combination wrench? A tool used to open safes. A wrench the teacher down the hall uses to open my locker. Can you show me one, and I will tell you what it is. 2) What is the purpose of a muffler in an automobile? It muffles. It keeps the exhaust warm until it gets to the end of the car. 3) What is a battery? What my brother did to the guy next door 4) What is a phillips screw driver? Mr phillips made it. 5)how do you know when you have bad gas? When mom opens the windows in the car, and tells us not to breathe. When the kitchen smells like the bathroom. When the room smells like s**t, and grand ma tells us not to light a match. 6) What is a torque wrench? My dad says that 'tor que' is not a real question. 7) What do you do if there is a squeak inside the car? You put the cat in until he catches it. You shoot the SOB, or he will eat all the upholstery, and your seat covers, and then he will c**p all over the place, and the car will smell real bad!

Most of his students are inner city kids, and unfortunately, they don't have a clue when they first start. You just can't make this stuff up
Andrew
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  #34  
Old 04-03-2006, 01:05:34 PM
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Some people were never brought up mechanically but with money being short, have the desire to save a buck themselves and try to do what they think is right or what will work.

A neighbor, have using a 2 cycle mower for years, decided to buy a new self propelled fancy mower. Always having to mix the gas & oil since he was old enough to do so, he was told by the dealer that he didn't have to put oil in his new 4 cycle mower gas. Just put gas in the tank. And so all he did was put gas in it and never filled the carnk oil. Well he didn't make it across the yard once when it locked up.
The dealer said it was not his problem that he should have read the manual first. (A good Dealer would have instructed him)

Anyway he went out and bought another mower. Another 2 cycle. Called me up and asked if I wanted the new 4 cycle for parts. He brought it over and a few days later I checked it out. It had plenty oil in it and found the flywheel brake had locked up do to a cable fell off the bands. Returned it to him and he was very happy. I instructed him on how to maintain it and he uses it all the time.

The Moral is, some people can crunch numbers but are not mechanically inclined. He knew only what he was taught for years and that was to mix his oil. Now he is told not to and so he didn't. But give him a plane to fly and he will show you many things you have never seen before.
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  #35  
Old 12-05-2009, 06:19:38 PM
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Found this thread and just had to bring this one back to the top !

Hope your hand is healed up by now Andrew. Your follow up stories were just as good as this one, so after reading this one again, I hope people go back and read the rest.

And I thought I had mechanically inept friends. I used to get phone calls at 2:00 AM to go put a friends car back together when he tore something apart and couldn't remember how the pieces went. Brake shoes, calipers, starters, wiring harness, etc., he wasn't afraid to tackle anything taking it apart, he just couldn't comprehend the idea of laying parts out in the order they came off, or taking a picture before tearing apart, or just waiting and having me do it from the start instead of calling me after he'd done his deed.

He wasn't as bad as my brother in law's younger brother though. Anyone else know of anybody that gets so mad when they change a flat tire that they throw all of the lug nuts out in the field, and then take a 4lb hammer and bend over the studs to hold the wheel on. Asked him what he was going to do the next time he had to change it, and he said he was going to trade it off before then.

Still like your stories better though. They're Classics !

Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Mackey View Post
My neighbor came over today, and told me he had a 'problem' with his chain saw. I asked him what was the problem, and he said he didn't know. I told him I'll be over in a few minutes, and he said "OK, I'll get it ready for you", and he left. I was going to ask what he meant by 'get it ready' meant, but he left in a hurry. I should have known! I went over to his house, walked into the garage, and asked him where the saw was. He says "here tis- in this here box". It looked like it had been taken apart with a pair of Channel Lock pliers! I asked him if he had any tools, and he said "yeah", and showed me a large pair of Vise Grips, a large bent screw driver, and a well used large ball pean hammer. I said "OH BOY!" and took a look at the poor saw. It was a Home Despot Poulan. Most of the bolts were rounded, a few studs snapped off, the flywheel was missing about 30% of its fins (hey, if i break off the ones on the other side - will it work OK?) The spark plug mounting boss had partially melted where the plug used to be mounted, the formerly chromed cylender was blued, and there was molten aluminum in the exhaust port. The entire dome of the piston looked like pebble beach, and the side facing the exhaust port was melted past the ring lands. I didnt see the rings at first, because they were burried under the molten aluminum! Lastly, the crank and con rod bearings had gotten so hot that the seals had melted out of their seats, and the needles in the bearings were all blue and gold!!! The green plastic shrouds were melted and burned by the nearby heat blackened mufflerI asked him "what happened" and got this answer:

"Well, day before yesterday I loaned it to the guy across the street. He run it outa gas, an then I had to use it. I had no gas, so I mixed a little oil into some dry gas I had - it is gas isnt it?, and I then mixed it up with some carb cleaner, to give it a little kick. Well, it didnt start so hot, so I put a little alcohol I had into the tank, and started it again. It was still hard to start, but once it ran, it run real good for about 5 minutes. Didn't idle to well though, it was making a funny noise. Well I made one more cut, and it was going slower and slower, so I managed to get thru that there 12" branch, and it nearly died. I had to keep my finger on the throttle, to keep er going. Well I wanted to get one more cut, before it got too dark, so I opened er up. Well the the engine started screaming, going real fast an all, but she didn't have any power, so I opened er wide open and let er race up. Well, the screaming noise got real loud, the muffler got bright orange, and the engine started to smoke a funny white color, not the usual blue from the oil, you know. Well right then, the muffler got a bright yellow, the plastic around it caught afire, and all these white sparks came out the muffler, along with the white smoke and all these silver drops (about 30 drops of co-agulated molten aluminum, in a cup) went all over the yard, nearly set your grass on fire, and then the saw just kinda died, dont ya know, just slowed and quit. I pulled the starter a few times, but she didn't have much compression, and it went kinda screech when she turned over. I took er apart for ya, but i don't see much wrong 'cept the fins I broke off on my vise down stairs" I told my neighbor I couldn't fix it, too bad , it looked like it was a nice saw though.

Later this evening, I heard a saw running in his yard. I went over, just out of curiosity, and saw him cutting the 12" branch with another Home Despot special. I asked him how much it set him back, and he replied " Nothin! The guys at the Depot says that they dont think warrenty would fix the other one, I put it together you know, and they says the want to satisfy their customers. Well I told them I wasn't satisfied with that there saw, it wouldn't work, an I only had it 4 weeks! I showed them the reciept, and don't you know, they gives me this here one for free!"

I walked away, shaking my head, I did not want to see what the fool was using for fuel in this one!

Andrew
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  #36  
Old 12-06-2009, 04:16:40 PM
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Exclamation Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

The hand is all healed, and all the fingers work fine. The neighbor has sold his home, and moved out. The replacement he bought a new mower, and when it wouldn't start, walked it over to my home. I checked it out, NO gas in the tank, and NO oil in the case! I filled both, told him to check his grass carefully, because the previous owner's kids loved to throw ROCKS at each other. "Just look at the 4 windows they put out, and all the dents from the 6" diameter stones in my garage!". Well I don't even get in the house, I hear the mower start, and by golly, if it runs 15 seconds at full throttle, i hear a tremendous WHACK, and then "darn it", followed by the sound of wheels turning. I ran in the house, and told my wife, "I'm not home!", and went to the basement to hide.

I hear the doorbell ring, and a voice ask "Is Andy home ?", and the wife says "Sure, I'l1 get him for you. I sit in the basement, cringing, waiting for the call, and it never came! I then went upstairs, take a peek out the window, and hear the goofball explaining to my son, who is also an Andrew, that the mower just stopped. "Your dad just got it running for me!" Well, I just couldn't let my kid suffer this one alone, so I went outside to take a look. My son says "I got it dad", and I replied "No, you don't!" He resched for the oil check plug, and I told him "Full". he looked at it anyway, and it was. He then went to look at the gas, and I again said "Full", and again it was. I then said " check the blade. We then flipped the mower over, and sure enough, the blade is bent at a 90 degree angle to the crank, and the crank itself was at a 45 to the engine base. WOW we both said! "What's wrong?" dopey asked, and we gave him a stereo reply, both of us saying in unison "Bent crank". Can you fix it? yeah, for about 200 bucks, but you probably can buy a new mower for the cost. "I just bought this one" he replied, and asked that we fix it. I didn't want the job, as to me it wasn't worth the time to fix, but my son, in his wisdom said he would order the parts,and fix it. It took a month and a half for parts to come in (the thing was so new, B&S didn't have any repair inventory at the shop yet!). Andrew had to borrow my Sawsall to cut off the bent crank, in order to get the sump plate off. In looking at the plate we now found that besides twisting and bending the crank, it also had cracked the sump plate and broke the seal mount as well.
I told him "better look at the flywheel now too, usually when they hit this hard, the flywheel busts too". "Nah, dad, the key shears, is all." Kids, even older ones think they know everything, you know! Oh Well. The new sump plate comes in 2 weeks later, and my son begins to swop over the re-usable parts. A few minutes later I hear Da%$#t, and my son comes up to me, with a sheepish look, "Hey dad, think you have a flywheel like this?", showing me the flywheel off the poor engine, with a 1/16" wide crack clean thru the hub. "Key did a good Job huh?" I asked. As it turned out I did have another flywheel. by the time he was done, he spent over $190 in parts (I gave him a break for the used flywheel), and my son only took $75 for the rebuild and replacement of everything he busted. As he was wheeling the machine down the drive, I said "Check the grass for rocks, otherwise you will do the same thing all over again." Yeah, Yeah, I know, you told me the last time, I know" was the reply. By now, the grass was about 8" high in his yard. We heard the mower start, run up to full speed, and then practically stop as he moved into the tall grass at a good clip. After several tries, the engine slowed and then shut off. my son and I looked at each other , and started for the house! The mower started again, and picked up speed. We looked at each other, as we were walking, and said, in unison "too fast". We found out later that he had wired the carb throttle plate wide open. Anyway, we walked faster, both reaching for the door at the same time. We weren't fast enough. The now shrieking mower slowed a tiny bit as it hit the high grass, and about the same point where he hit what ever it was the last time, it again gave off a huge CRACK, then a loud tinny bang, and the engine let off a few very loud afterfires as it slowed to a stop. it was then very quiet. "Beat ya, ny kid says, as we both tried to get into the house, before we were spotted, but it was again too late. "Hey guys, a little help here?" a plaintive voice says. "In for a penny, in for a pound I guess", I said, "Bring it over. A few minutes later it was pushed down the drive. This time it was tryly finished. The throttle on the carb was wired wide open with a bread tie. The replacement flywheel had busted, busting the mag off its mount, and splitting the starter housing nearly in half, as well as ripping it out of all its mounting bolts. 2 of 3 sump plate bolts were sheared, the 3rd stripped 1/2 way out of it's bore. The poor engine was sitting at a crazy angle on the twisted deck, held by the now ripped out bolt. The deck was truly twisted! The 1" thick crankshaft had snapped about 1/4 of an inch from the sump plate, in about a 1/2" spiral fracture, and the blade, again bent at a 90 degree angle, had impaled itself right thru the side of the steel mower deck, like it had been used like a knife! The iron blade adapter was busted clean in half, one piece remaining on the busted stub of the crank, the other still bolted to the bent up blade. The machine was totally destroyed, within about 45 seconds after start up. The owner has cuts and abrasions on his legs, and a nasty gash on the side of his face, where a piece of the exploding engine hit him. he didn't even realize he was hurt, until I spotted the piece of aluminum sticking out of the cut. We went over to his yard, and found an 4x8x3 inch chunk of basalt imbedded in the yard, as well as 4 other stones about 4 inches in diameter, within a 5 four square area. The chunk of basalt had taken 2 definite hits from a mower blade. When we were done looking, he asked "Can you fix it?" "NO" was the reply.

A week later, I was working in my garage, on my ALF V-12 engine, when I heard a mower start in goofballs back yard. "OH NO, here we go again" Amdrew, who was with me said "what?" and I said "'Goofy' is at it again". "Beat ya", he says, sprinting for the back door, but he didn't make it. I got in my truck, and went to the firehouse. Several hours i returned home, and there sat a brand new mower in the driveway. Andrew was in the garage. As I entered, "Replacement engine, Northern catalog, $145 plus shipping". Andrew said. Your neck! my reply. I went back to work. Since then Dopey has burned out the engine, (put gas in the crankcase), busted his fathers mower twice on boulders in the yard, and has yet to completely cut his grass this year. Like someone else said on this thread, 'You can't just make this stuff up! This idiot should be arrested just for touching a machine!

Andrew
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  #37  
Old 12-06-2009, 06:12:07 PM
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

I had a guy from work ask me to take a look at his mower. He said he would put gas in it and the tank would empty out real fast, but it didn't leak at all. Plus he told me it would run with no gas in the tank!!! Man, I was really scratching my head at this point, especially since I had just witnessed what he was saying was happening. Mind you, it ran terrible and smoked like crazy. I got down and really gave it a lookin' over and it didn't take too long to see what was wrong. He evidently "worked" on it at some point and had hooked the fuel line up to the crankcase breather!! Well, the crankcase was so full of gas that the engine would actually run on what was getting past the piston and rings even though there was no gas in the tank! Believe it or not, I straightened everything out and it ran kind of decent, but I don't think it lasted long. I ended up giving him a mower that I garbage picked and spruced up.
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Old 12-06-2009, 06:17:29 PM
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

this is a great posting we gotta keep this un going i been lurking reading and great stuff reminds me of some of the stuff i did as a kid i love shopping at my scrap yard thanks this smokstak is the best place to be WINDABLES
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Old 12-07-2009, 11:41:23 PM
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OTTO-Sawyer OTTO-Sawyer is offline
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Default Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

Hey Andrew:

I think you need to sell your neighbor some sheep or Llama's to eat the grass. It'd be a lot safer, quieter , and maybe even cheaper than buying a dozen mowers every week.

And unless you're a Vet, you wouldn't have to fix them !

Need to submit some of those stories to Readers Digest and get paid for them !
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Old 12-09-2009, 09:00:26 PM
Andrew Mackey Andrew Mackey is offline
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Smile Re: When dumb people try to "fix" an engine

I oughta write a book on the stuff I have encountered in the 50+ years I have been working on engines. I could write for a year, posting daily here on the Stak, and still have material left!

One day, a friend and I went 'sidewalk shopping'. We found an old tiller with a 21/2 HP B&S aluminum block engine on it, probably built in the early 1960s. After a tune up, we got it running, but it smoked worse than the mosquito commission truck the town used, knocked like the dickens, and the crank floated about 1/16 of an inch in the bore. We set the mag by pulling up on the crank, points too, and when the flywheel was tightened up, we had about that 1/16th clearance! The engine still made a 1/4" spark though, even if it tried to take off your fingers once in a while, due to kickback. After messing with it for a week, we decided to junk the engine. We emptied the crankcase, poured in a pint of straight gas, wired the throttle wide open and fired it up. It started off slow, and built up RPMs as usual. After a few minutes, it started going faster, and most of the smoking stopped! After about 10 minutes, the engine suddenly went flat out, we couldn't hear the rod knock any more, and the muffler went yellow hot. Another minute of that, and suddenly the engine quit, coasting to a stop. NO big bang, like we expected, just a whimper. About 15 minutes later, after the engine cooled, we went for a look, expecting a total melt down. A pull on the crank, gave excellent compression, and the engine still had spark! We pulled the oil plug, and got about 2 table spoons of crud out of the case, and the gas tank was empty! As a joke, we put some used 30 weight oil and gas in it, and pulled the starter. It fired right up, and didn't smoke a lick! We changed the oil, ran it several more times, and sold the tiller to my friends neighbor for $25. We told him the engine was shot, and we would replace it with another used engine, when it quit. We have yet to make good on the deal, after 30 years ! As of last year, the guy is still using it, although it is now beginning to smoke a bit when first starting. Absolutely amazing!
Andrew
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