a tiny victory


A♥ hoards guitars ♥A Soldier 25, DFZ
Jun 26, 2012
deep in the raspberry...
I have a Stihl string trimmer. 10+ years of service and never a complaint. Then over the weekend when I got it out to hack at the jungle I call a yard at the farmhouse, I just couldn't get it to stay lit. I replaced the spark plug, the air filter and gas filter - and it got WORSE! It wouldn't even pop then.

I know the small engine guy would charge me at least $50 just to look at it. And if it needs the carb cleaned, I bet the bill would exceed the value of the trimmer.

Now string trimmers aren't cheap, nor are they really expensive. They are right in that uncomfortable zone when you are thinking about replacing one. The one I'd replace this one with would be about $375. Just enough to hurt when I HAD a perfectly working one the last time I put it away.

I thought about offering the dead one to the small engine guy as a trade in towards a new one, but he'd be looking at shop time to get it running and then still would not be able to get much for it.

Normally, this would not be a problem, but the wedding is sucking money out of our accounts at an alarming rate. We just shouldn't be buying a trimmer this year.

So, I decided I'd take it apart and clean everything I could get to come apart with a torx or screwdrivers. I'm competent with little parts, I've taken apart a Ruger Mark I and put it back together successfully (astoundingly way more complex than 1911s which I work on all the time).

I cleared off the bench and had at it. Understandably, the carburetor (about the size of a large walnut) was filthy inside. I cleaned everything I could get to and liberally sprayed every opening with cleaner.

Reassembly went without a hitch.

Off to the garage and fuel!

It runs like new!!

Sometimes, when it seems like it is all piling up around you, even a little victory can make the week much better.
That's awesome. A guy I work with takes old mowers and weed trimmers and puts them on bicycles for fun. He's taught me a little small engine reapir and you're right, it is gratifying to save a machine, and a little $$$ in the process. :biggrin:
Excellent! I used to take everything apart when I was little. Took apart my mom's electrolux (and put it back together) when I was 4...

Today? Not so much...

There's something to be said for those old Stihls. I have one that I inherited that is at least18 years old. I got it about 12 years ago, but I didn't mess with it until my trimmer went kaput a couple of years ago. It sat for literally five years or more. Went to try to start it to see what I was working with, and it took on the third pull....old, dirty gas and all! I promptly cleaned it, put in fresh gas, and the thing has worked ever since.
For small engines - trimmers, chainsaws, blowers, whatever-I never even look at anything but Stihl.

I have an 028 Wood Boss chainsaw from 1970 and it just won't quit.
Always feels good to fox something. Congrats on the victory. I installed a chandelier the other day. I felt pretty awesome.
Love it! A little elbow grease saved $375! Heck that's almost enough for an new One SE!

I started a little project myself over the weekend!
For the same reason as you Ruger! The contractor wanted 3K! I've got 400 in wood and hardware plus a couple of days labor! Saved enough to buy a guitar! ;)
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Congrats. I am a confirmed 'tinkerer' and always have a look myself if something mysteriously stops working. So far I've saved money on the washer, the dryer, the dishwasher, a laser printer and most of our mowers and cutters. They are pretty logical if you pay attention to the little bits.

A handy tip I picked up years ago was to put Silkolene Pro FST additive into the fuel. It's an octane booster and cleaner we had to use on a couple of import bikes we got from Japan. We discovered that it also keeps fuel fresh over winter and stops the carbies getting clogged.
It's back to the farm this weekend for some serious weed whacking. Thanks for the support, guys and it is great to read your victory stories too!