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Learning and/or re-learning skills...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by RevJammer, Apr 23, 2015.

  1. RevJammer

    RevJammer Monkey++

    I don't post a whole lot here, but I do try to keep up with others posts; so here goes for me...

    Ok... this is "kind've" prepping related, but not directly - so I chose to put it in general discussion. Yeah, it's gonna be a little long and rambling... sorry...

    I grew up in a house where we fixed our own stuff. Cars, lawnmowers, bikes, tractors, home repair... you name it we fixed it. However, as the youngest of 4 boys most of my "helping" was as the gopher. Chasing wrenches, sockets, hammers, etc, etc, etc. Fortunately some of the knowledge my dad and brothers had, rubbed off on me. In relation to that, I have worked in almost every trade or field there is. I have worked in HVAC, electrical, plumbing, truck driving (not the big rigs though), sales, management, warehouse, manufacturing, and on and on.

    Over the last few years, my "job" has been more management, desk, people oriented, than hands on. I would oversee maintenance projects but only occasionally would I actually get my hands dirty. Part of my "prepping" has been to re-ignite some of my hands on activities. Last month, I spent about 2 weeks (on and off) getting my riding mower in shape for the summer. I am TERRIBLE about maintenance/detail oriented stuff.

    I replaced the starter, cleaned the carb twice (rebuilt it once), changed the oil three times (carb issues let gas run into the crankcase), installed a gas line shutoff valve, replaced the blades, changed spark plug, and replaced the fuel and air filters. Then I was over at my brothers recently and his neighbor across the street had a push mower in his yard with a sign that said "Free".

    I walked over and checked it out... wouldn't start but did seem to have decent compression. Today I finally had time to check it out. Pulled the gas tank and carb, cleaned them, adjusted the linkage, changed the oil, and cleaned the spark plug. With the first pull it fired right up and seems to run great! I now have a relatively new 4 h.p. 22" cut Murray lawnmower with no money invested.

    In years past I would have looked for someone to do this work for me. Yes, I suppose this is somewhat of a brag... but it feels good to accomplish hands on tasks like this! I have a couple of other projects I plan on getting to in the coming days/weeks. Not only is this good for me financially, but it helps me get up off my over-sized backside and "do" something... that's always a good thing too!

    I guess it's a good reminder for me that prepping is more than stocking up and/or making plans, it's also about learning or re-learning hands on skills!

    Mike, tulianr, Yard Dart and 4 others like this.
  2. kckndrgn

    kckndrgn Moderator Moderator Founding Member

    Nice work.
    I'm currently finishing up my 4th engine in the past 2 months.
    1st - replaced piston rings and rebuilt the carb on a pull behind tiller. Running fine now, no longer burning oil.
    2nd - picked up a non-running ATV with many things "wrong" with it (no front breaks, bad bearings, etc.). Running fine now
    3rd - Chipper/shredder hadn't been used in about 3 years, carb was totally jacked, got it cleaned up and it's running fine
    4th - just bought a 'non-running' pressure washer. previous owner said "my mechanic said it needs a new carb". Nope, freed the
    stuck float valve and it's working ok, still waiting on the carb rebuild kit to get here to really give it a good going over.
    5th - no engine related but I learned to weld by getting a broken mower deck fixed.

    on all 4 engines I have added an inline fuel filter and on the engines w/o a shut off valve I've added one.
  3. kellory

    kellory An unemployed Jester, is nobody's fool. Banned

    I've collected a few "dead" mowers that way, myself. Last one is running fine, and sports a Honda engine. I'm thinking of turning that one into a trash pump.
    Mike and RevJammer like this.
  4. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    You can't beat a Honda engine. I have a LG electric dryer that needs to be work on, it will be my project for the week. Have not worked on many dryers so it will be a learning experience. Always looking for a new project to work on.
    Mike and RevJammer like this.
  5. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    I have purchased online a modest number of appliance parts (dryer element, stove control knob, stove oven element, etc.) from a placed called pcappliancerepair.com. Prices were generally better than others and I got my parts in 1-2 days. Have fun.
    Mike and RevJammer like this.
  6. Airtime

    Airtime Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Don't know the symptoms of your dryer, but a common one is it all seems to run but just doesn't get hot and dry. Sometimes that is because heating element "burned out." I had that. I ordered a new element but wife had laundry to do so thought I'd try to fix the break in the wire coils that get hot. Tried a couple things that didn't work then tried to have it self-weld. The replacement heating element has been sitting on the shelf for 8 years now.

    The way I did that was remove the heating element coils from the protective shroud. Locate the break. Clean with emery paper each end about a half inch back. With needle nose pliers gently form a J hook about 3/16" in each end. Hook the two ends together and crimp shut firmly connecting them together. Coat the joint with some welding flux and reassemble and install. Upon initial operation, this higher resistive spot heated up, welding the wires together. I didn't think it would last long but still going after 8 years. YMMV. Have fun.

    Last edited: Apr 24, 2015
    Mike, RevJammer, Yard Dart and 2 others like this.
  7. vonslob

    vonslob Monkey++

    RevJammer likes this.
  8. RouteClearance

    RouteClearance Monkey+++ Site Supporter

    Had to replace the coil on a B&S 5hp on an old Sears tiller.
    Mike and RevJammer like this.
  9. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    I had a similar problem, the dryer ran, but only cold air. Turned out to be a t'stat had failed. Worth the checking before going after a new element.
    Mike and RevJammer like this.
  10. Mike

    Mike Ol' Army Sergeant Monkey

    I always prefer to tinker and learn rather than have a tech do it. I learn a lot more about how stuff works and why it fails that way. I like learning. Learned auto work from Dad who said he was surprised. He said I never lasted long in the help department. In my child's mind, it seemed like I was out there for long times, cleaning rocker arms, cleaning off push rods, honing cylinders, putting the rods and the pistons back in. Learned a ton, even if I wasn't too reliable, lol
  11. Dont

    Dont Just another old gray Jarhead Monkey Site Supporter

    Turned a new drive shaft for a thirty year old sear's snow blower on a lath this last visit with Dad... Cold rolled round stock will not turn well.. Ended up turning it out of 303 stainless, only thing we had on hand...
    RevJammer and kellory like this.
  12. tr7heaven

    tr7heaven Monkey

    @ RevJammer had same problem with my Husqvarna
    rider this year, it started then died do to gas filling the engine, also gas was pouring out of the carb, it had a stuck float, was the first winter I didn't put Stabil in the gas for winter. I will use Stabil again this winter. :)
    RevJammer likes this.
  13. tr7heaven

    tr7heaven Monkey

    Dryer not so bad, washer grrrrrrrrrrrr![emoji27]
    RevJammer likes this.
  14. BTPost

    BTPost Old Fart Snow Monkey Moderator

    Having issues with your "Wig-Wag"......[gone]
    RevJammer and tr7heaven like this.
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