Sunday, August 10, 2008

I want to garden, Fate wants me to be a mechanic

I knew going into today's session of lawn mowing that I would have to fix the drive-belt first, since I broke it last time I mowed.

So I took off the blade and heaved the belt back into its groove.

Then I put fuel in and started her up. She was running rough and slow, so I adjusted the throttle but this helped hardly at all.

How about the air filter? It is usually pretty dusty, so I opened it up and cleaned a lot of dust and debris out. Wow! It ran great: Tons of power. Then after one minute of mowing, it died and wouldn't restart.

Last resort: Take out the spark plug and have a look. It was all covered in greasy black soot. I sanded off the conductor with fine sandpaper--just for good measure I narrowed the gap a little since the electrode looked like it had eroded away somewhat. A final extra measure was to pour a cap full of oil into the spark plug hole to lubricate the top of the cylinder.

She ran great: Plenty of power, little smoke (except right when I started it and it burned off the oil I put in) and it seemed to sip fuel.

I think I spent a little more time tuning and repairing the machine than I did mowing with it. Here is hoping that all I have to do next time is put some gasoline into the tank.

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