Learning in lockdown

Under the tutelage of SpecsGTP I’ve been carrying out small engine repairs. Specifically, I’ve been cannibalising one lawnmower engine to the benefit of another. Both are by Briggs and Stratton. B & S are an American company who’ve been making these little aircooled sidevalve units since God was a boy so I was concerned that the fastenings would be in Imperial sizes, which is a pity when you don’t have any Imperial tools.

It started out well. The starter cover is held on by 10mm bolts, the flywheel has a 24mm one and the tank is held on by a 10 and a 13mm.

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Then the fun started. This bolt and its comrade hold down the entire ignition system (which isn’t very extensive). Two more just like it secure the inlet manifold (can you still say manifold when you have just one carb and one cylinder?).

Illustration for article titled Learning in lockdown
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It transpires that to turn them I’d need an eight and a bit mm socket, which unfortunately I don’t have. I guess they’re seven sixteenths of a hogshead, a rood and three bushels or something. Sadly they’ve got about the consistency of toffee so making do with a vice grip is something to be attempted with considerable caution and equally considerable clamping force lest they round.

But they’re off. The replacement of one plastic manifold with a hole in the side in place of one without has been carried out.

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