The warm weather this week put me in the mood to break ground. I went out a few days ago to till up a spot at the back of the fence.
The tiller sprang to life but then coughed and sputtered as if it had mechanical emphysema. I stepped to the shed to fetch my tools and cleaned the spark plug but when I tried to crank it I got the same result.
I checked gas, cleaned the filters and kicked the tires a couple time just to show I meant business, but
This is not my first planting season so I knew it was the old gum in the carburetor routine. My tiller is so old that Methuselah bought it used from an antique dealer and sold it for scrap to an ancestor (150 generations back) of the gentleman who sold it to me.
I've been using my local parts supplier for many years. Some of the parts they stock are marked with hieroglyphics instead of part numbers, so I felt sure they'd have a carburetor for my tiller.
When I walked in yesterday and asked for a rebuild kit or a replacement carburetor, the clerk asked for the model of the tiller. When I told him, he and the guy a few registers down snickered audibly....which is NEVER a good sign.
That usually means that the price of the part is way beyond what I could get by knocking off a liquor store....I'd would have to donate a kidney.
When he told me they could have one of their old machinists build me a new carburetor, I walked out shaking my head.
I brooded about it for a while, but then I decided to have a shot at working on the carb myself. What could it hurt.
So after coffee and our morning walk, I put on my coveralls, fetched my tools and set to work. I removed the carb, disassembled and gently cleaned it as if it were a newborn baby that wasn't allergic to cleaning fluid.
When I put it back together and reinstalled it on the tiller, I had no idea if it would work or not. I filled the tank with gas, crossed my fingers, and pulled the crank-cord. It sprang to life and ran as solid as the day the cavemen built it. I was so happy, the twirling tines tossed freshly tilled earth into my teeth.
It feels good to fix something that not even I thought could be fixed