Getting the most bang for your buck

While I’ve been ensconced in this roto-tiller nightmare, I’ve learned a good deal about small engines, and older machines as well.  Though I’ve sort of discovered that which I already knew to a certain extent.  The older your machine, generally the more expensive the items are to replace on it.  Unless you can find ones that are similar, and more often used, therefore less expensive.  Which is what I’m in the process of searching for now.

Its been like a detective story, to a certain extent.  I have this engine, that’s been working like a champ for 40 plus years, and then suddenly, it starts to misbehave.  For a while I baby it, and finally, it quits.  So, I think to myself that it’s going to be a relatively easy fix.  Take off the offending part, find its replacement, unbolt one, bolt the other on, pull the starter cord and all’s right with the world.  Except it didn’t happen that way.  After taking the carburetor apart, I’ve discovered for the past 20 years, when I moved the choke lever, in actuality it wouldn’t have made a difference if I left it in any position, because a flange is missing from it.  So it’s ‘wide open’ all the time.  Curious how the people that ‘fixed’ it all those years ago never mentioned this was the case.   Too, finding the correct model of the tiller was nearly impossible because the identifying ‘plate’ was made out of paper and has completely eroded/erased over the intervening 40 some odd years.  Somewhat fortunately, when the tiller was put together, identifying numbers were stamped into the metal of both the engine shroud as well as the carburetor, but rust and corrosion as all but obscured them as well.

I’m increasingly thinking that it would be better just to get a new carburetor and bolt it on, hoping for the best.  Getting an original is going to cost upwards of $70-80 USD and that’s too much for something like that.  A repair for the entire unit including oil change etc. would be less than that, even if I were to include mileage to and from whatever repair place I could find.  To that end, I took the best amount of information that I have and placed an order on eBay for a compatible carburetor and it should be delivered here on/around June 3.

Even though I’m sort of giving up on the whole ‘repair the old’ strategy, I’m going to hold onto the old unit for reference if the new one happens to go sideways.  Even though there are parts missing from it, I could still use it for repairs down the road, as much of the unit is still functional.  Too, I took time to clean it and put it back together, so I know better how it all works.  At least for now.  So I’m ok with having it clutter up one portion of the garage.  Considering the rest of the clutter in the garage, that’s in dire need of attention, it will be good to move onto another one of my projects.

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