Swapping Out a Motor on My Rototiller

| 5/8/2012 8:21:52 AM

I’ve always wanted to be one of those “guys” that just “swaps” out an engine when it’s giving him trouble. Kind of like the NASCAR pit crews after a big wreck of a crash, who are able to rebuild the car in minutes and get it back on the track after only missing 2 laps. But alas, I am an electronic publisher with no real skills in this area. How does one become one of “those guys” with real skills?

Well I had no such skills, but moving off the grid and meeting a great coach like my neighbor Ken has given me a newfound confidence to try things I’d never have tried before. Building walls, putting in a new bathroom upstairs, putting up a wind turbine…

Last year I bought a new rototiller because my old one was giving up the ghost. I kept the old one for back up and it kept coughing and sputtering along. It’s handy for me to have a second rototiller because the berry gardens are a long way from the main garden, so it’s nice to leave a tiller over there and not have to drag the machine that far. One thing technology has taught me as well, is that a backup is always a good idea.

The old tiller was a Troybuilt, made in Troy, New York. My mom bought it secondhand 15 years ago and had it tuned up. She even managed to get the manual with it. Judging by the black and white photos of guys with long sideburns and narrow ties in the manual, it was made in the late sixties or early seventies. So it didn’t owe me anything. I got my money’s worth from it. Everything worked fairly well except for the motor.

Canada has a chain of discount hardware stores called “Princess Auto.” They sell stuff, cheaply. Amazingly cheaply. One of the reasons that so many Canadians have such well-stocked garages is because of Princess Auto. Michelle won’t even go into a Princess Auto store because the smell of new rubber tires and other caustic odors grosses her out, but I kind of  like it. It’s the smell of things being accomplished in shops.

Recently they had a 6.5 Hp horizontal shaft motor on sale for $120. It was a savings of $120 off the regular retail price, which is about 1/3 of what you’d pay for a new Honda engine. And yes, it’s not a Honda engine, but if it works… even for a while, is it worth the gamble? I really like having a back up plan, and a back up rototiller has taken on new importance with us running a CSA and growing produce for 12 families this summer.

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