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Thursday, June 17, 2010

Feeling Manly

Our camera is broken so I don't have any pictures again, but I just had to post about my accomplishment today. I have been trying to mow the lawn the last couple of days (the second mowing of the season - lots of other things to do but it needs to be mowed when I feel like I will lose the kids in the front yard). So the lawn mower would work fine until I started the mower up. Then it started popping, slowed down, and died. I was lucky if I got 2o feet.

Today I pulled out the manual and went to trouble shooting . . . hmmm . . . engine runs erratic . . . maybe I'll try that. So here were my options and thoughts:
* Unit running with choke activated - nope
* Spark plug wires loose - umm, might try that later
* Vent in gas cap plugged - hope that's it! . . . It wasn't
* Dirty air cleaner - hasn't been changed/checked since we got it and is overdue
* Water or dirt in fuel system - yikes, lots of bug parts in the gas tank
* Blocked fuel line or stale fuel - good chance with all of the bug parts

So here was my attack. I started with cleaning the air filter since the steps to clean it didn't look that bad. Unfortunately, they didn't write the manual for a woman though because they didn't have anything in there telling WHERE the air filter was! After a five minutes of flipping through the manual and a few minutes of staring and looking around, I found some yellow wingy nuts holding on a cap and looked under there. There were some things that looked filterish (they didn't have a picture of the filters either), so I decided to just clean those assuming they were the right ones. :) After washing the foam filter with detergent, letting it air dry, and then re-oiling it with engine oil, I put it all back together with the little yellow wingy nut things. Next step - the gas line.

Thank you manual writers for again writing the manual for people who probably don't need it. This time there was not only no pictures of what to do, but also no description of how to do it. But since the trouble shooting guide told me to, I was going to figure it out by following their "corrective actions" with or without their pictures or descriptions (okay, I guess just without).

So after spending another 5 minutes looking through the manual and more time staring at the engine, I found what I thought might have been the fuel filter that I was supposed to "replace if so equipped". It looked pretty secure on there so I got on the internet just to make sure that was what it was. It was. So I proceeded to take it off of the fuel line and eventually got it off. It was no surprise that there were bugs stuck in it. Well, I was not "so equipped" to replace it, so I shook it and tapped it around until it seemed I got all of the bugs out.

Next, the buggy gas tank. (Don't ask me how they all got in there.) After staring yet again for some time, I decided that I was not going to be able to get the bugs out with the gas in the tank. I went inside and got an empty milk jug and lowered the fuel line into the jug to drain the gas. After draining the gas (and momentarily trying to picture what would happen if I capped the jug and threw it into a fire), I checked inside the tank. Gas out. Bugs in. Shoot.

So then I got the idea to just take the gas tank out of the lawn mower. It wasn't too hard since I had already unattached the gas line, but I felt cool when I got it out. I took it over to the hose and washed the bugs out.

After I got the tank put back in and gave it sufficient drying time, I reattached the lines, fuel filter, and poured in some gas. One problem. The gas was blue.

I called Ethan and found out that I had chosen the gas can for the chainsaws that had oil mixed in it. Thankfully I hadn't poured that much in, but I did have to take the hose back apart and redrain the tank.

Thankfully we did have a small bit of mower gas around so I could see if my time spent was worth it.

I am pleased to say that I ended up mowing the front lawn without any mower problems! And that is why I feel manly.


Anonymous said...

Well done! You showed a lot of patience and persistence! I bet hubby was proud ~smile~

goatlady said...

Way to go. 2 thumbs up

Tim said...

2 thumbs up for realizing that the "blue gas" wasn't lawn mower gas!

~*~ Jennifer ~*~ said...

Once my dh put that "blue" stuff in the windshield wash fluid container. That was not a pleasant mistake.

You are amazing my friend. I'm an instruction reader... but am not sure I could tackle that task.

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