In Case You've Wondered

My blog is where my wandering thoughts are interspersed with stuff I made up. So, if while reading you find yourself confused about the context, don't feel alone. I get confused, too.

If you're here for the stories, I started another blog:

One other thing: sometimes I write words you refuse to use in front of children, or polite company, unless you have a flat tire, or hit your thumb with a hammer.

I don't use them to offend; I use them to embellish.

Saturday, June 5, 2021

The Old Line Trimmer.

 I have a Stihl FS74 line trimmer. Made in the early 90's, it was a commercial grade trimmer, and much better than the "throwaway" trimmers I bought before. It's been a good machine, and basically trouble free, until late last summer.

After a few minutes of running, it would die. If I let it sit for a short period of time, it would start again, run for a few minutes and die again. It sufficed for being late in the season, and I knew I would need to find the problem.

Three weeks ago, I removed the tank, changed the fuel lines, and the filter. It started right up, ran for a few minutes and died. To make things worse, gas was dripping from the carburetor. Knowing I either had to rebuild the carburetor, or replace it, I did some web searching for what I needed. 

I found a new carburetor, with gaskets, filter, fuel line, primer bulb, and a spark plug for about 20 dollars. I was hesitant to buy online, but thought if it wasn't right, the twenty wouldn't be a big loss. I spent the same amount on the new filter, and fuel line from the Stihl dealer. 

The kit came in, I installed the carburetor, primed it, and held my breath. A few pulls and it started, but died, when I tried to speed up the engine. A little adjustment of the jets, and a long afternoon of trimming showed the problems were fixed, and maybe...I can get another thirty years out of the machine. I'll have to cross my finger, because they quit manufacturing it a long, long time ago, and some parts might not be available in the future.  


  1. Smart move.
    I just had a similar adventure with a lawn mower that I finally got to run today. New float as the old one was full of gas.
    Pull and start and die.
    Turns out the the fuel bowl retaining screw doubles as the main jet and a fine piece of wire clear debris I couldn't see.
    Runs fine.
    But like an idiot, last year I bought a new Stihl chain saw to replace my 30 year old Stihl, because it needed a carburetor.

    1. I was surprised to find a carburetor online. If I had tried to find it at the local Stihl dealer, it would have been substantially more expensive.

      My backup plan was to just buy a new line trimmer, if I couldn't get the old one to work. The only problem was to buy a comparable Stihl, I would have had to spend north of $300.

  2. Good thought on replacing the carb. I did same on my old Bolens a couple years ago, and it still runs fine.

    1. I've been wary of carburetor replacements for years. I had a '68 Dodge van that needed a replacement, so I bought one, and spent hours trying to get it tuned. After careful inspection, I found the vacuum port clogged with pewter. After an exchange, the problem was fixed.

  3. Pugsley has been nursing our 2005 vintage riding lawnmower for several years. Finally, when going up hill last weekend, something snapped and he started rolling (at speed) downhill toward the lake. Brakes gone. He swerved and took the tumble.

    Probably not going to fix that one.

    1. We are paid for our luxuries, with devil machines that punish us for impunity.