The first half of the semester was designed to expose us to various types of engines, techniques and configurations, while the second half of the semester is practical application of engine problems, i.e. the real world. I guess you can say, the rubber is meeting the road now and it’s cool. I was going to bring a buddy’s chainsaw to class last night for my first “free lab” project, however, we were not able to meet prior to class so I showed up empty handed. This wasn’t an issue though, there was plenty of stuff there to get my hands dirty and greasy in.
Tiffany, a young lady in our class, is starting up an extreme sports rental business and took the small engine repair course so she could learn how to work on the stuff she will be renting out; talk about smart. She had brought a Bombardier Sea-Doo up to the shop for us to look at; it was running terrible, smoking and wouldn’t idle. Long story short, after adjustments and running it for a bit; it ran like it was ready for the lake. Tiffany still needs to clean out the gas tank and put in new gas lines, which will cost around $20.00. The cool part of this is, she bought the Sea-Doo for $400.00, so for $420.00 she has something that will pay for itself in a matter of hours when it is rented out. Pretty amazing if you ask me!
We had a Snaper riding lawn mower, I spoke of it last week, that required a new throttle control mount and new battery; which the owner brought to the shop right before class. Ed and I were charged with changing out the control mount, adjust the throttle, choke and governor settings and put in the new battery. Everything was going smoothly and then we figured out that one of the screw holes wasn’t threaded, so I was able to tap out a screw hole for the first time. Ed and I put the throttle control mount on the engine, made the necessary adjustments, put in the battery and it worked like any other Forrest Gump Snaper mower I have ever seen. FYI: never hurts to take a picture of something you are working on so you can put it back together the same way; I am getting old, lol…..
Something else I had never been exposed to but got to learn last night; sharpening chainsaw chains. You might be thinking, “WOW BikerMonkey you really live on the wild side or don’t get out much.” Acutally, have you ever tried to cut a tree with a dull chainsaw? Not a bad skill to know really. Granted, I won’t have a special chainsaw chain sharpener laying around the garage anytime soon and you certainly couldn’t make any money at it for other folks. It takes about 30 minutes to sharpen a chainsaw chain or $16.00 to go by two at the local harware store; figure out what your time is worth….. I could see sharpening chainsaw chains simply as a value added service if one was working on the chainsaw itself for a customer. Honestly though, if you have a couple of blades laying around, you can get some extra use out of them, it’s not a bad deal.
You know, I may be out driving around either Thursday night or Friday morning before trash pick just looking for those lawn mowers or weedeaters that folks just throw to the curb because they simply don’t know how to fix them or have just got so use to the fact that the brand new mower is right around the corner at the store. Crazy enough, you can sell used running lawn mowers all day long for $50 to $75, perhaps it costs $5.00 to fix them but my math says that’s not a bad return and it’s fun for this BikerMonkey.