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Small Gas Engine Repair Paperback – May 8 2008


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Small Gas Engine Repair + How to Repair Briggs and Stratton Engines, 4th Ed. + Two-Stroke Engine Repair and Maintenance
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 226 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional; 3 edition (May 8 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 007149667X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071496674
  • Product Dimensions: 14 x 1.5 x 23.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 340 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #142,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description

About the Author

Paul Dempsey is a master mechanic and the author of more than 20 technical books, including How to Repair Briggs & Stratton Engines and Troubleshooting and Repairing Diesel Engines, both in their Fourth Editions and both published by McGraw-Hill.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By The Outcast on Dec 4 2008
Format: Paperback
As an experienced and trained small engine technician, I can tell you that this book is definetly not for the novice. If you are looking for some simple help to see if you can get your lawnmower started or do simple repairs on your own small engine powered equipment, this is not the book. This book assumes the reader to have some knowledge and experience, the sort the ordinary person would not have.
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By Gregg Norrie on Nov. 22 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being a shadetree small engine mechanic since I was about 10 years old. I like to study small engine two and four cycle service publications. Very clear and informative
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By Sergei Nazarenko on Nov. 11 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Book has a lot of principle information but not enough actual repair tips. Quite disappointing.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 44 reviews
104 of 115 people found the following review helpful
READ THIS REVIEW BEFORE YOU BUY THIS BOOK! June 26 2009
By D. Blankenship - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is, for me, was and is an extremely difficult book to review and to judge. When you read this review please keep in mind that it is being written by a person who has absolutely no mechanical aptitude, cannot tell the difference between a sparkplug and a fuel pump (okay, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but not much of one), and has never "fix" or worked on a gasoline engine in his life. Well I currently have a yard tractor, three regular mowers, a large garden tiller, three weed eaters, a leaf blower, a smaller tiller and a chain saw. I can start them and I can use them. My problem comes in when they refuse to start or refuse to do the job I paid them to do. In addition to the list here, I have a barn brimming with mowers and such that have all given up the ghost. I spend a fortune each year keeping this machinery going.

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.

Don Blankenship
The Ozarks
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
My Review June 17 2009
By William Eriov - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
A couple of months ago I spent over $50 having my Homelite blower serviced. Since I'm fairly mechanical I decided to find a book that fully explained small gas engines as they were a mystery to me even though I've rebuilt auto engines and carbs. This book looked like the most complete I could find on Amazon so I decided to try it.

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.
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
Great for Troubleshooting June 5 2008
By Andrew Bell - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This is the best book for troubleshooting that I have seen. There are nice flow charts that really help you to decide where to look. The text is well written and the drawings are clear. You don't even have to read between the lines to understand that an experienced mechanic has written this one. It doesn't just say "remove the flywheel", it tells you how to remove the flywheel. Recommended.
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Farmer Mike March 20 2011
By Spangle Mike - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Being dissatisfied with books on small engines that I had access to I checked out the Amazon reviews and found two that had particularly good ratings--this one and Jay Webster's Repairing Your Outdoor Power Equipment. I wasn't dissapointed in either book. It seemed to me that Dempsey's book emphasized trouble shooting/diagnosis a little more and seemed to be more of a "from the trenches" kind of appoach to small engine repair. My advice -- get both books -- they complement one another.

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.
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
Great Writing, Very Bad Illustrations May 8 2010
By JoWo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this book based on Amazon review samples and it looked like I would get a bounty of useful information. I wasn't at all disappointed by the expert writing, the author is entertaining as well as informative. But the quality of some of the illustrations is very poor. It shows diagrams that have been badly reproduced and details are filling in, some are too small to be useful and many others are way too technical parts break-downs that only a draftsman could appreciate and of no interest to a homeowner trying to repair his lawnmower engine. I am keeping the book because it does have much useful instruction for the backyard repair enthusiast. But considering the lackluster job the with publisher did with the illustrations, the book is limited in value. I sense that the author would agree.


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