George, prepping costs money.  You talk about getting debt-free and putting something aside for a rainy day, but dammit this all costs money.  Where’s THAT supposed to come from?”

There are extremely simple answers to this obvious question.

You know the way businesses are managed, right?  There are only three keys that you will EVER need to know in order to sort out a business.

First this is income.  If your income is not large enough to support a prepping goal (or whatever), it’s time to find yourself a “side-hustle.

Example:  One of my daughters wants to get ahead in life.  Knows Dad believes in the “do it yourself” path through Life.  So because she wants to prep and she and the hubby are going on a foodie adventure to Japan next year, she ran out and got a great weekend side-hustle.  Bravo!  Makes a daddy proud, know what I’;m saying?

Second part about sorting out a business is to understand the processes involved.  There is a logical orders to everything done in a business.  The baker doesn’t put the frosting on until AFTER the damn cakes are baked.  Yet, people who don’t think business through do a lot of stupid things – like let accountants who idon’t know jack-sh*t about how business really works – run things.  They come up with “cost saving ideas” (frost cakes before baking, lol) that make no sense on the baking floor.

Third secret is to cut all expenses to the bone.  Re-use, re-purpose, re-cycle.

And now we’re ready to attend “How to Fix Anything School.”

Step One:  Define the Problem

Our example this morning is my 10-year old Husqvarna leaf blower.  Wouldn’t start last year – so it went on the “Projects List.”  This week, it came up to the top of the list.  So it was repaired.

Defining the problem:  Put in fresh gas and pulled like a mother for 20-minutes.  Got the pulse up to 120 and decided that smart is better than sweat.

Step 2: Get some Intelligence

Since I had aced gas engines shop years ago, I already had the intelligence to outline where the problem might be.  Gas engines require:  Fuel air Mixture in the right ratio, a spark, and rotation.  Diesels don’t need the spark part…they are compression-firing.  Not so with gas.

Step 2-A:  Find Someone Who’s Fixed a Similar Problem – Video?

RepairClinic.com has some great videos including (happily) one on replacing the carb for the Husq. BT-150 back-pack leaf blower.

The bonus to a video like this (quite good) is you can see exactly the order of disassembly and such and that makes things go quickly.

Step 3.  Devise a Plan

“I will get on eBay and get one of those carb, spark plug, and filter kits.”  Cost $16.00 with free shipping.  “This will likely solve the thing that’s not working…”

Truth Disclosure:  I bought several kits to have a spare on hand.  Some were gasket sets and filters, others had the carb, some had a plug and so forth.  Follow your Jedi-Shop Sense.  Here’s what the one (with plug) looked like.  It was cheaper:> $12…

Don’t watch the mailbox.  That always slows the arrival of parts!

Notice the packaging on this one bent the gaskets?  Straighten them out carefully because a cracked gasket will let in air and that will Gomer-up the works.

Step 4:  Collect the Tools

There are no particular hip-shots to this.  BUT you will need *(if you listened to the video closely!) a 27 mm Torx screwdriver.  This is why Uretopia’s shop has some pretty occult tools.  All home handy-bastards have an equivalent to the TEKTON 26905 Torx Screwdriver Set, 6-Piece collection.  Or, cheaper, a TEKTON Long Arm Star Key Wrench Set, T10-T50, 9-Piece | 25291..  The right-angle Allen-wrench like tools are good on cars.  The screwdriver handles are quicker on s,mall engines and some appliances…(Why did Chrysler go nuts on Torx fittings? I mean to keep people bringing cars in for service?”)

Identify the other tool here?

Sure…your generic chain saw tool.  For plug replacement.

Step 5:  Disassemble and Notice Condition

As I removed the old fuel lines (the black line is in the fuel intake and the clear one is the tank return from the primer bulb to prevent over-pressuring the system) care to guess where I think the problem might have been, comparing the old parts (front) with the new has intake filter (back) shown here?

I’m a genius!!!!

Seems like this is highly suspect, but then again, the carb was 10-years old so I pulled it too and replaced it.  Reason?  For $10-bucks?  You kidding? I bought it, so use it!.  My time is worth something…I mean the damn thing’s apart already anyway, right? ….

Step 6:  Fix Everything While Units are Apart

In the picture below, you’ll see the carb and notice the primer bulb, a bit discolored.  Seems likely enough goo in the carb (thanks ethanol-gypped gas!)…yeah, replacing is a good idea…

With most “broken things” the effort is in obtaining the parts and getting the tools, time, and motivation to take on the project.  So once you have things apart put everything in that can be replaced.  (Electric motor brushes and small filters are a couple of good examples, though not on a leaf blower, lol):

Step 7:  Reassemble

Put it all back together, pulled the starter a dozen times and presto!  Not only was my heart rate up to 120 (BP 150/92) from the workout, but the leaf blower was happily running.

Step 8:  Now Test, Test, Test

OK, leaf blower was running.  Deep breathing, heart rate coming down.  Growing sense of pride sets in.

Oh-oh…why is the grass now blowing furiously where the nozzle is pointed?

I took off the nozzle (leaving the blower running) only to discover that the Texas Mud-Dauber Wasps had built a large colony inside the nozzle.

Good news and bad showed up in rapid sequence:  No one was home, so a few solid knocks on the welding table and that problem was fixed…..

The BAD news was by now, that formula f=ma had kicked in and the (still-running full speed) leaf blower was spinning in circles on the ground.  I got a good laugh out of that part…..  Reminded me of all the times Elaine had come over to the shop and offered unsolicited advice like “You know, standing in a spaghetti bowl of air and electrical hoses could trip you and cause an accident?”

Naw…not to the Chief Instructor, lol.

Stepping confidently into the ring with the twirling leaf blower, I was laughing so hard I could hardly see…which in truth I can’t without the contacts in.

Finally, the blower was subdued, the kill switch activated, and it was time to get to the most important two steps of the project.

Step 9:  Clean Up

Put the old parts in the garbage.  Clean the tools because they’re the center of your arsenal.  Wipe down the bench.

Pick up and sweep…looking good?

Step 10:  Reward Yourself with a Libation

No project is done until you’ve had a toast to success.

Yeah, I know, people with an AA background may not approve, so use some sparkling cider.

Point is:  When you approach something methodically, in a workmanlike manner and ‘get ‘er done’ there should be a reward.

That’s one of the Keys to Life, in my book:  If there’s a reward for doing something brilliantly (except maybe stepping into the ring with the blower) you’ll be more inclined to take on the next project.  And that’s how you turn yourself from being a couch potato, social-media addicted puss into a kick-ass, take names Master of Your Own Future capable of ANYTHING life throws at you…..

If you want to be, that is…

Write when you get rich,

george@ure.net

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