Small Gas Engine Repair Paperback – May 8 2008
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It cleared up all the mystery and was well worth the price. I had 2 string trimmers/edgers not running at all and my 10 yr old lawnmower was running poorly to say the least. With this reference and the cost of a few carb rebuild kits I found on EBAY for $5 ea (with free shipping) a few new spark plugs and a can of carb cleaner I was able to get each of these pieces of equipment running at least as good as new. Next I'll do my Stihl chain saw since its 30 yrs old and has never been serviced!
Aside from the cost of this book I spent appx $30 dollars in parts and probably saved myself at least $100-150 this season. I'll never have to have another small engine professionally serviced again and I can even help some of my friends as I live in Florida and it seems all we do around here is yard work.
I highly recommend the book and would say anyone with a few very basic tools (screwdrivers, pliers, wrenches and a work bench) will probably never have to worry if the mower, chainsaw, weed whacker, etc will start and run consistently ever again.
My wife decided that I needed another hobby and stongly suggested I learn to fix things that are driven by gasoline engines. So with her encouragement, my quest has begun. I have made some progress, I will admit to that, but I can still be classified as clueless. I will also state right here that I have not yet given up!
Enter this book. I admit right here that I checked it out of the library and did not buy it and thank goodness I did not! Remember, I am a mechanical idiot. To be quite frank this book was way, way over my head right from page one. Chapter one is entitled "Basics." The first few sentences under the first subject "Four-cycle engines," reads "Figure 1-1 illustrates the internal components that make up a four-cycle engine. The example shown has a horizontal crankshaft, side valves, and splash lubrication."
Folks, even with a picture I have no clue as to what a four-cycle engine is, or what a crankshaft is, or what a side valve is, and I have absolutely no idea what a splash lubrication is! I am not even sure if this is a part or if it is a method or a function of some other part. See where I am going with this? Well let me tell you, it gets worse. Within a few pages we get in to displacement, Power, Torque and RPM. And it gets even worse, page after page. Choke, Choke Butterfly, Choke Link Clips, Pulsa-Jet malfunctions, Kill Switch, Condenser, Needle Valve, Welch Plugs...For someone like me, this is like trying to read the tech manual for the Star Ship Enterprise written in the Vulcan language.
Now you would think that at this point I would slap a one star review on this book, post it and stomp off in a complete huff. Well I cannot do that. I actually took this book to three other individuals. The first was my neighbor who helps me from time to time keep my motors running. He is no "Pro" just a good old boy who works under a shade tree. I showed him the book and he was as impressed as heck and decided right on the spot to buy one. I then took it to two different highly skilled professional...hey they have made a fortune from me over the years fixing my stuff, and I showed them the book. Both thought it was absolutely delightful. The understood ever word they read and one even stated that it was the best book on the subject he had ever seen. Now both of these professionals did point out to me that they felt it was way and by far over my head and that I should probably stick to their services for a bit longer.
This work covers the basics, troubleshooting, ignition systems, fuel systems, rewind starters, electrical systems and engine mechanical issues. I did not understand one word of what the book was trying to tell me.
Now I did bother to read a great deal of this book and read it with chunks of mowers in front of me and I did seek the advice and judgments of people I know for a fact know what they are doing. I have come to the conclusion that if you have some mechanical ability, have some previous basic knowledge of the subject and are comfortable in this area of mechanics, then you will probably find this book to be extremely useful. The author (I researched this too) is quite competent and a master mechanic. On the other hand, if you are a complete neophyte, and do not know a hammer from a screwdriver, then you probably should look elsewhere and slowly work your way up to this book. I cannot in good faith recommend it to the rank beginner with no mechanical aptitude or skill.
I am going to give this book a benefit of a doubt and give it five stars because I truly feel it is a good book; just not the book that meets my needs at this stage of the game. Bottom line is that I simply cannot bad mouth what is obviously a good book simply because I am a mechanical klutz. I plan to find something more basic and keep on supporting my local economy. Hey, the guys at the repair shop need to feed their families too.
When you get the Dempsy book, read the Preface. It is not your usual small engine repair person that quotes from Voltaire's Candide to make a case for keeping your small engines out of the landfill in in good working condition so you can use them to garden.
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