Refurbishing Used Power Gardening Equipment

Refurbishing used power gardening equipment, includes information on engine repair, minor repair fix-ups, greasing the garden machine, replacing tines and replacing an engine.



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Unlike rotary mowers, few serious gardening machines have been criminally neglected or worked to death. Few single-function gardening machines get more than a few hours of use per season.
PHOTO: MOTHER EARTH NEWS STAFF
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We rescued our thirty-year-old Gravely from an immoderate late-winter snowfall, and fired it to life with just a new spark plug and a shot of starter fluid.
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First step in revitalizing a used engine is squirting carburetor, inside and out, with carb cleaner. Remove mixture-adjust screws and squirt them, too (see the following photo to identify screws).
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Close-fit tools may be needed. Here, a hex-socket with a large Phillips-head bit forms an offset wrench for flushing bolts holding a muffler. Lock jaw pliers are needed for other bolts.
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First check of used-engine condition: Remove and inspect air filter. Moderate discoloration is OK, more means careless use.
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Measure the attachment circle on the back of an engine from center to center of opposing bolt holes and across center of circle. Order a replacement engine of same size and configuration (here, a new 7 hp horizontal shaft Tecumseh "tiller" engine with a 3 5/8 inch 4-bolt circle).
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For ease in repair and storage, install an aftermarket cut-off in fuel-line between gas tank and carb. Fasten to hose with stainless screw-type clamps. Improve engine longevity by installing a fuel filter in the other (tank) end of fuel line as well.
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Here, carburetor is off. Linkage wire are unhooked and twist ties are used to flag holes for correct reassembly. Screwdriver points to upper-mixture adjust screws. Lower adjust screw is at bottom.
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Spark plug is removed with a rubber-core sparkplug socket (not pliers or common sockets, or you can snap the ceramic insulator). A gapping tool is needed to set the gap: .025 on J-8s and 0.35 on J-10s, the most common outdoor-tool plugs.
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