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Advice on finding replacement stuff for DIY home owners

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Free! Advice on finding replacement stuff for DIY home owners

Post  fredvon4 on Thu May 11, 2017 5:10 pm

I recently saved over $50 by accident

My Echo string trimmer was not behaving... start easy and idle well but fall flat and quit at any added throttle setting

Usual suspects checked:
clogged clunk...no
Bad fuel...No
Crack in fuel line...no
Bad primer bulb...replaced but no change
Perhaps then one of the carb diaphram/gaskets was deteriorated leaking
Ordered new set of 2 internal gasket/diaphrams...took a week to get here.. cleaned and installed... No change... hummm??? WTF??

OK check spark plug and on off switch...installed cleaned plug tested primary on finger with switch off.. nothing....with switch on....Hurts!!!!
Plug wire to spark plug...starts but still falls flat and quits...damnit!!!

Hell  this is a $400 Echo commercial machine...  I WILL figure it out!!

Google carb... Place I buy a lot from--- E-Replacment parts--has it for $66...bare carb ....hummm not bad

BUT Wait!
There are thirty other Google hits for this modle trimmer Carb---and in view is a e-bay listing for $9.99...hummm lets check this out

BUT--- as we know when you hit a e-bay link from Google you get that ITEM on top---- BUT a lot of...Other ...similar items down below

Humm lets see if we can find a cheap one in THE USA (don't really want to wait on $9.99 from China warehouse)

Damn...here is one for $16.99 in Calif that INCLUDES...teh carb, both gaskets, new air filter, three felt clunks, plus the total plug and three line fuel rig from tank to carb including a clunk, three Primer bulbs extra and one already on the crab, and a new spark plug....Man that is a lot of stuff for $17!!!

Pictures match, part number and description match....and get this..... FREE SHIPPING!!!!!

Ordered Monday...estimated delivery this Sat..but arrive 2 hours ago on Thursday...installed...

Nirvana!!! fully operational weed eater

Damn It!!

Now I got no excuse this weekend

OH the Free advice... shop around and search against the Model of the item... and part numbers you need

By the way I did a good close side by side of my Factory Carb and the replacement carb...bugger has all the exact same sub assy part numbers and is identical in EVERY way...so I assume my Echo original came from same factory as this very very cheap replacement item.... go figure

BTW#2 tear down analysis of factory non behaving carb... one or more air passages clogged...I think...OR the goobers of black crud I dug out were there to Block the air passages and just deteriorated....dunno...don't care
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Free! Re: Advice on finding replacement stuff for DIY home owners

Post  roddie on Thu May 11, 2017 6:44 pm

Wow Phred... you certainly covered all the bases. How old is the machine? Are there a lot of hours on it? You know how bad today's gasoline is for small IC engines.. and their fuel systems. I'd recommend (moving forward.. and if you haven't already..) using an ethanol-treatment/stabilizer added to your fuel. I assume that the machine uses pre-mixed 2-stroke fuel? Attach a tag to the spout on your fuel-can.. and record the date of refill.. and "type" of additive. I've had good luck with "Startron" (made by "Star-Brite"). Granted; my lawn equipment uses 4-stroke engines.. but they start-up reliably.. year after year. Startron is expensive.. but an 8oz bottle treats 128 gallons of fuel. Startron is recommended for all 2 and 4-cycle gasoline engines. I use 1/3oz. in a 2.5gal jug. I NEVER drain my tanks for off-season storage. I actually try to keep them topped-off.. and leave the fuel-valve open. I'll start them off season too.. and work the throttle for a few minutes... to help keep the carb from getting gummed-up. It helps to purge any stale fuel in the line.. or in the carb itself. A simple five-minute "off-season" session.. running the engine, can make a difference when it comes time to actually use it. Be also mindful of air-filter maintenance.

The "Echo" machines are great! The back-pack blowers are terrific!
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Free! Re: Advice on finding replacement stuff for DIY home owners

Post  pkrankow on Thu May 11, 2017 7:00 pm

There are 2 competing theories on winter storage: "Dry" and "Wet"

Dry storage involves draining all the fuel out, and (optionally) applying a protective oil such as "fogging" oil or some type of after run oil. The biggest advantages to dry storage are no water can get into the fuel as there is no temperature difference to cause condensation. The fuel cannot go bad if the storage period is longer than expected as there is no fuel. The biggest drawbacks are the time to drain and clean the system, and the needed steps in bringing the machine back into service.

Wet storage involves topping up the tank as much as possible and (optionally) using a "fogging" oil or other after run product. The fuel is protected from moisture due to there being little volume of air to exchange inside the tank. This will limit how much moisture CAN get in. The biggest advantage is the machine can typically reenter service immediately. The biggest drawback is the possibility of the fuel going bad if the storage term is longer than expected. Alcohol content in modern fuel exacerbates extended storage problems.

Since my generator has a shutoff on the fuel line I take a halfway approach. I fill the tank, and I run the carb out of fuel. I have considered switching methods to dry storage since I have used my generator but not actually "Needed" my generator since buying it.

Phil
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Free! Re: Advice on finding replacement stuff for DIY home owners

Post  KariFS on Fri May 12, 2017 4:34 am

I store my Honda motorcycle "wet" over the winter. We also have ethanol in our fuel, 5% in the stuff I use and 10% in the cheaper gas. My garage is insulated but there is no heating yet. I have used fuel stabilizer during storage for a few years and have not had any fuel related problems in the spring since. The "secret" here is that I start adding the stabilizer already in September, which is a month or so before the season ends (I am a fair weather biker Wink ), so the stabilizer-treated fuel will have plenty of time to reach and flush all the little channels and jets in the carburetors.

Before I started using stabilizer, one or both carbs would flood during the first start after the winter. The remedy was to gently tap the float bowl with the handle of a big screwdriver several times, so it was not a big deal except for the mess on the driveway Smile The tank usually gets left half full or so, it depends... But during the first ride I usually stop for fresh fuel as soon as there is room for a few liters (it's an 8 liter tank).

I don't have a generator, but if I had one for emergencies/power outages, I would add stabilizer to the fuel as a matter of course, and also would add some to all the Jerry cans full of extra fuel.

Around here we have a type of special fuel for small engines available, it costs about twice or 3x the price of regular unleaded, but it seems it doesn't "go bad" in canisters and also won't glog carburetors when it sits in an unused engine. Also the exhaust fumes are less smelly. I use this fuel for my lawnmower, it's a 13 or 14 year old push mower with a Briggs&Stratton flathead. The engine still starts after winter on the 3rd pull every year, and during the summer, if it wont wake up on the third pull, I'll start troubleshooting. Usually the reason is that the plug cap is off, it gets pulled when the underside of the mower is cleaned or the blade inspected Smile I have a small lot of about 14k sqft so a basic mower is adequate (especially now when my oldest son does the mowing lol! ) and the fuel cost is pretty much irrelevant. A gallon or two lasts for the entire (short) summer.

I have an old Sachs Dolmar weed whacking thing with a small two-stroke, I sort of inherited it but haven't used it in several years and the small engine fuel was not available at the time I parked it the last time. Didn't really need one at the previous house but now that we moved, I need a big one like that, so hopefully I'll get it working. It needs a new cutting head too. First thing I guess is to follow Fred's good advice and get a copy of the manual with spare part numbers and start googlin' Smile
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Free! Re: Advice on finding replacement stuff for DIY home owners

Post  GallopingGhostler on Fri May 12, 2017 1:10 pm

fredvon4 wrote:this is a $400 Echo commercial machine...  I WILL figure it out!! Google carb... [....] Damn...here is one for $16.99 in Calif that INCLUDES...teh carb, both gaskets, new air filter, three felt clunks, plus the total plug and three line fuel rig from tank to carb including a clunk, three Primer bulbs extra and one already on the crab, and a new spark plug....Man that is a lot of stuff for $17!!! Pictures match, part number and description match....and get this..... FREE SHIPPING!!!!! Ordered Monday...estimated delivery this Sat..but arrive 2 hours ago on Thursday...installed... Nirvana!!! fully operational weed eater

Yup, oft a new carb fixes. Some of these carbs are made out of plastic, better to replace than attempt to fix and no guarantee you'll find parts. Replaced a Briggs and Straton carb to get a lawn mower working 11 years ago.

A year ago, we bought a brand new gas water heater to replace our old one. The new one is kind of nice, has an electronic flame computer that is powered by a low voltage thermocouple. When heated, two dissimilar metals produce a voltage at about 1 volt, so no power outlet is required.



Almost 2 weeks ago, our water heater stopped working. I followed the restart sequence in the owner's manual, which is also regurgitated on water heater tank label. Flashing computer light never came on after holding pilot valve switch for a couple minutes.

Instructions? Contact an official service repairman. What?

Hmmmfff. Devil We're without hot water for dishes and washing machine. I did a search on Whirlpool parts, manuals, diagrams, etc. I netted nothing. Website would allow me to schedule an official "repairman" to visit me. ($$$$)

ID label states, made by A.O. Smith. Okay. I went to their website, looked at all the models until I found one that looked like mine. Then I went to their service manuals page. Manuals aren't very specific to my model, so I downloaded a few.

Low and behold, I found one on residential water heaters that has the same fire control. I flipped to that section and found this advice:

If the Pilot Lights but the Status Light does not blink: ....
3. Press the reset button on the thermal switch (TCO switch, see Figure 7).
4. If the switch clicks, it may have tripped."

(TCO = temperature cut-off)

I pushed on the little black switch in the center of the module between the two wires (below). It clicks. Then I go through the starting sequence. Now the water heater fires up, and 30 minutes later I have hot water.



If I called a tech, most likely I'd be on the hook ($90 visit), because there was nothing wrong with the water heater, just needed a circuit breaker reset.

The wonderful world of computer appliances (including cars). Mad  Why does it require a technician to reset a circuit breaker? tongue
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Free! Re: Advice on finding replacement stuff for DIY home owners

Post  fredvon4 on Fri May 12, 2017 1:50 pm

Funny thing is George....I have , as you and all other over 50 folks do.....countless stories where the instructions were useless, the fault NOT obvious (despite all our collective training and knowledge) and the farking factory / engineers actually disguised components***!!!!

I am so great full the rest of the world found out what I found in the 70s... Information is power...and manipulation of the info is exponentially greater Power!!

I designed and ran my first BBS* as early as 1984*******

******* folks who do not know the evolution of modems and computer will not understand the significance of this effort as a $458 dollar a month Army E-6....when 1 MB of slow DIP memory chips were in the $35 per 64 Kb chip and you needed 16 of them ... a mother board that would take (1 MB of memory) 16 DIPs, and a special software to address the excess over 768 Kb...the max... DOS 3.2b(at the time) could address

Decades ago...long before sat tv... I was over seas in Germany

On the "economy" and too far away to get Armed Forces Network Television(AFN) so stuck with German TV with a host of differing broadcast standards that a US TV could not detect and use... Forced to buy a German TV and a ( the point) VERY expensive $690 European Sony Beta Max VCR/Player that could play both German and USA standard BETA tapes

ONE day the Sony quit so I opened it up... nothing obvious to me... BUT Weisbaden Germany had a Sony repair center and mine was still in warranty.....so I found the place, and in my broken German got the tech to understand the problem...review my purchase receipt from the PX and agree to fix it

Weeks later I followed up to find it fixed...inquired about what they did... Old German gent handed me a blown FUSE... I went NUTZ

***!!!!( engineers that HIDE components)
Claiming I am a damned good electronic tech and there were ZERO bad fuses on the main board... He polity unscrewed the cover and slid it off and showed me a 1"x 1" by 1/4" tall black plastic IC looking component...that he popped the plastic cover off of to reveal three 5A typical fuses

* Bulletin Board Service....  a very very basic library of data, for posting by users like me and any subscribers... no where near as robust as today's web forums but still a good exchange of thoughts, ideas and data (facts?)

I guess the take away here is we HAVE infinitely better resources these days....exploit them if you can...if not ask for help
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Free! Re: Advice on finding replacement stuff for DIY home owners

Post  GallopingGhostler on Fri May 12, 2017 8:10 pm

fredvon4 wrote:Funny thing is George....I have , as you and all other over 50 folks do.....countless stories where the instructions were useless, the fault NOT obvious (despite all our collective training and knowledge) and the farking factory / engineers actually disguised components***!!!! I am so great full the rest of the world found out what I found in the 70s... Information is power...and manipulation of the info is exponentially greater Power!!

The engineers may not have much to do with that. Sounds likely that such decisions are driven by management or marketing through management. Old days, HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, Air Conditioning) equipment (including boilers and water heaters) owners manual would at least mention the fuses. When those kept tripping or failed, time to call in a tech. Nowadays, personal responsibility and initiative has gone out the window. Marketing that was handled by engineers or someone with an engineering background is now handled by someone with a marketing / business degree. It's perhaps why we see impractical design features in cars for example, simply to make a buck. Plastic is used where metal or a composite should have been used The cruise control switches on my couple year old Dodge Journey will click but not activate when I want requiring re-pressing, really cheap switches compared with other cars.

I designed and ran my first BBS* as early as 1984******* ******* folks who do not know the evolution of modems and computer will not understand the significance of this effort as a $458 dollar a month Army E-6....when 1 MB of slow DIP memory chips were in the $35 per 64 Kb chip and you needed 16 of them ... a mother board that would take (1 MB of memory) 16 DIPs, and a special software to address the excess over 768 Kb...the max... DOS 3.2b(at the time) could address

Back in 1986 I had bought on sale 2 Radio Shack Color Computer 2's (CoCo's) with standard BASIC ROM and 16kb dynamic RAM for $20 each. Upgraded both to extended BASIC, hacked the motherboard to replace RAM with 2 - 64kbx4 and EPROM to replace ROM. Required jumpering a few pins with a few added discrete components, wired circuitry so I could bypass the RF modulator and drive a monochrome computer monitor directly. Color Computer Club I was with had an EPROM burner.

Used a transistor with resistors on a cut piece of perf board to invert a control signal on an Alphacom thermal printer, so I could connect it to the CoCo's printer port, made up my own printer cable. It printed on 4" wide thermal paper, 40 characters wide.

I bought a used Radio Shack 300 Baud modem from the club president and bought I think it was Tom Mix's Micky-Term modem communications program. I was working local dial up bulletin boards from a 32 character by 16 line screen. Boy, I was in hog heaven then. Very Happy

Back in 1982 while working at Douglas Aircraft, I had heavily hardware and software hacked a Timex Sinclair 1000 home computer, the one with black and white 32 character by 24 line screen. (I think it was that, its been a long while.) modified and Interfaced Steve Ciarcia's parallel port sound board by memory mapping it to the TS buss on back accessing CPU address, data and control lines directly. Steve's circuit used a TI 76489 sound chip available at radio shack.

Then after a stint with civil service returned to Douglas in the latter 1980's, where I upgraded a Xerox 820-II CP/M-80 computer to hard disk based dual processor 16/8 business system running CP/M-80, CP/M-86, and MS-DOS generic 2.0. Had to modify the BIOS to use a non-Shugart Miniscribe 10mb hard disk. Heads and cylinders were different.

Weeks later I followed up to find it fixed...inquired about what they did... Old German gent handed me a blown FUSE... I went NUTZ. ***!!!!( engineers that HIDE components)  Claiming I am a damned good electronic tech and there were ZERO bad fuses on the main board... He polity unscrewed the cover and slid it off and showed me a 1"x 1" by 1/4" tall black plastic IC looking component...that he popped the plastic cover off of to reveal three 5A typical fuses

* Bulletin Board Service....  a very very basic library of data, for posting by users like me and any subscribers... no where near as robust as today's web forums but still a good exchange of thoughts, ideas and data (facts?) I guess the take away here is we HAVE infinitely better resources these days....exploit them if you can...if not ask for help

If you had the schematic, you would have found it right away. I find the schematics indispensable. Fortunately the tech manual is left inside the console of our Admiral (Whirlpool) washer, replaced the temperature mixing valve assembly on it, went out after 5 years. Kenmore Elite (Whirlpool) gas dryer we bought in 2001 went out 4 years ago. Troubleshooting found it was the thermal fuse, a couple buck item. Also found the computer board bellied up, tech diagnostics no longer would work, so I replaced with rehab'd board (new not available and if were too expensive. Also is a good reason why Whirlpool no longer offers auto-moisture sensing plus feature, system failed often requiring repairs. We were lucky to have run our dryer for so long). Allowed me to clean all the exhaust air passages of lint dust, could have had a fire. Estimated gas dryer life is about 19 years, so I want to achieve that. Since still works fine and saved me shelling out more bucks. Saved a bunch on both by repairing them myself.

Also repaired our Kenmore Elite (Whirlpool) refrigerator, motorized temperature control damper and condenser cooling fan motor went out shortly after warranty expired. Ice maker went out during warranty, so Sears fixed that for free.
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Post  pkrankow on Fri May 12, 2017 9:05 pm

Thermal fuse in the dryer: a cheap part that fails to remind you to buy a slightly more expensive brush (compared to the thermal fuse) to clean the dryer duct regularly so you don't burn your house down.

Yea, I have replaced thermal fuses. I now brush my dryer duct a couple times a year. Check out repairclinic.com for appliance parts, I have had really good luck dealing with them and my older appliances. There are how-to and diagnosis guides too.

Phil
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Post  GallopingGhostler on Fri May 12, 2017 10:15 pm

Actually, I ended up taking apart the dryer to include removing the drum, so I could vacuum and remove all lint throughout the dryer. It was a thorough cleaning. I'm not sure if you are referring to that.
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Post  fredvon4 on Sat May 13, 2017 7:38 am

George... cool that you played with the Timex Sinclair 1000

Mine was built by me from a kit in a magazine ad
Thankfully helping my Dad build Heath Kit stuff in the 60s gave me the skills to read instructions, schematics. And know what the basic components looked like and the proper orientation of the legs...as well as the training he and I learned together about how to read resister color code

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Post  pkrankow on Sat May 13, 2017 7:45 am

GallopingGhostler wrote:Actually, I ended up taking apart the dryer to include removing the drum, so I could vacuum and remove all lint throughout the dryer. It was a thorough cleaning. I'm not sure if you are referring to that.

I have never needed to remove the drum to vacuum and brush around it, just the back panel. Been there. Helped other people who have been there too.

I have found that with brushing the duct out regularly, less lint builds up inside the machine.

Phil
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Post  GallopingGhostler on Sat May 13, 2017 9:04 am

fredvon4 wrote:George... cool that you played with the Timex Sinclair 1000. Mine was built by me from a kit in a magazine ad. Thankfully helping my Dad build Heath Kit stuff in the 60s gave me the skills to read instructions, schematics. And know what the basic components looked like and the proper orientation of the legs...as well as the training he and I learned together about how to read resister color code

My father was the electric shop teacher at my high school. He taught me a jingle to remember the color code, learned it in the Air Force. Bad Boys R*pe Other Young G*rls But Violet Gives Willingly. (black=0, brown=1, red=2, orange=3, yellow=4, green=5, blue=6, violet=7, gray=8, white=9.)

Yours was probably either the Sinclair ZX-80 or ZX-81, which were kits. The TS-1000 was the assembled clone of the ZX-81 with a few very minor changes to the case and 2k RAM instead of the 1k with the ZX-81. Couldn't do much without the optional plug in back 16k RAM module. I also had bought the companion electro etching 4" wide roll printer. Paper was aluminized, the print head would dot matrix burn away the aluminum leaving dark dots, had an odd burnt smell.

pkrankow wrote:I have never needed to remove the drum to vacuum and brush around it, just the back panel.  Been there.  Helped other people who have been there too. I have found that with brushing the duct out regularly, less lint builds up inside the machine. Phil

My particular model, you have to lift the top, disengage the drum drive belt, remove the front panels, then remove the drum to gain access. I was able to clean all the way from the underside of the filter module basket, catching the entire duct. There is no way to gain access from the back like some. Wasn't difficult, just a little more involved. There is no way a brush could access or do do what I did. I found just after the filter housing how crudded up it really was.
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Post  fredvon4 on Sat May 13, 2017 10:26 am

I am sure George and others can relate

Living in Government quarters (on base housing) and even off base housing--- just about required one to learn how to be semi competent in House wiring, plumbing, appliance repair, sheet rock repair, door knob repair, and eventually become a professional interior painter....grrrr...grin

By the time I was 18 I had helped Dad on just about every brand of washer/dryer, refrigerator, hot water heater, stove and the occasional dish washer

Dad believed, and I know it is true...If you can understand HOW IT WORKS you can usually be successful gaining access, logic trouble shooting and find the non working component

Hell I even remember one assignment that to find a part for some appliance my Dad found a junk yard (acres of) just household appliances. We played the " BYOT pull your own part" game there several times

Those early tinkering out of necessity gave me such a solid foundation that when the Army Drafted me I was mostly bored in every tech school I attended....

George mentioned Electronic training...The Army called it BET- Basic Electronics training... and a whole host of different Military Occupational Schools teach it as a foundation necessary course for what ever the soldier was eventually going to be trained to do... say Armament Repairman or Radio repair man etc etc...

When I attended BET I was such a bored smart ass, the SSG instructor made me teach the class as punishment... school houses have monitors that sit in and critique the instructors... the day I was instructor I got critiqued instead of the SSG. When the observer figured out I was supposed to be a student... they graduated me on the spot... and I moved early to the next set of classes for Aircraft Armament Repair

In this now 23 years in same place permanent house there has only ever been one repairman dispatched... New Kenmore Elite series front load washing machine quit in warranty and I was out TDY someplace... Sears sent the contract repair guy who replaced the Brain board ($689 Part)...and when I returned, I immediately signed up for the 5 year extended warranty

Damn now I jinx it...the warranty is up this year and it is getting in the area of diminished returns
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