Prepping: How to Fix Anything School (1)

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? 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,

25 thoughts on “Prepping: How to Fix Anything School (1)”

  1. just a heads up. the pull rope diameter’s are all different from a chainsaw to a lawn mower. oh the art of getting those recoil springs back in and set just right!

  2. So, there’s this Big Scary Crash coming… Been in all the papers… Your IRA goes to zero or “small,” and the chaos level is on pretty loud. You lose your job, or the company you work for closes down.

    Chaos causes new opportunities, even as it shuts off some older ones. Basic American Capitalism and cowboy entrepreneur ethic motto: “Find a need, and fill it.” Get Creative. Fast.


    A trusted mentor once told me that even during the Great Depression, most people who were not totally on their butts with zero dollars, ALWAYS managed to squeeze the turnip for enough (five cents back then) to go to the movies. Escape was (is) a very viable and saleable commodity. Core idea: people will buy stuff they don’t absolutely NEED, IF it supplies some psychological or physical RELIEF from their suffering.


    Most people these days are technologically helpless. I include “repairing a table lamp” here as a technological thing. Products and work of the hands has been so de-emphasized in our modern world, that most folks don’t really know which end of the screwdriver to apply to the screw.


    Put these two facts together, and it becomes clear that for those with a LITTLE money, and a roof still over their heads — and with no hands-on abilities at all will need and WILL afford the services of a “fixer.” You.

    Fixing, in Tough Times, will be preferable to simply buying a new one. And, “a new one” might be unavailable at any price. Fixing becomes VERY saleable as a service.


    It seems that among other things, one could run a First Echelon Repair Facility with a small garage operation and with a few hand and electronic tools.

    There are probably a thousand other things one could do if one is handy at all, and willing to work in service to the Helpless With Some Money Left.


    • Very sound advice, however, when someone starts a “home cottage” business, makes a few bucks for themselves, leeches come out of the woodwork. Convince city admin to licence cottage industry after all there must be standards. This of course requires a standards association, that audits cottage industry, for a fee of course. Then, people doing the work in the cottage industry must be qualified, so mandatory training courses are installed to earn required CE units. The insurance industry comes along making it a requirement to have “errors, omissions” coverage, and it goes on ad infinitum! Then, the owner sees the light, goes out and joins the homeless.

      When I was in junior high school, had part time employment in a radio/TV repair shop. A slick operator came to town, took a TV, jiggered it where it would not work. Then took the TV to repair shops for free estimates to fix it. After that, took out an ad in local newspapers listing results. No, not by name of repair shops, but a tally of honest/dishonest shops. At the end of the ad, the slick operator would go around the city and audit repair shops. Those that passed would have this nice sticker on the shop door claiming the shop has been audited. A conscientious public service. Little known to the public and not disclosed, the shop had to pay $60/month to have that sticker on the shop door.

      One can survive any economic dislocations, but can they survive all those “carpetbaggers” pounding at the front door?

    • Utterly amazing! At least Goog hasn’t blacklisted PN with the other financial sites… yet!

      ‘Was amazed to see backdoorsurvival on the list, too… I’m sure Gaye will be thrilled.

  3. George

    Perhaps this is an appropriate time for:


    I arrived at the appointed place
    of paint and pipe, nail and screw.
    The place of Aces and Master Builders.

    In search of the ancient tool of man be it
    steel or stone. The tool for the hand of
    yore or Cro Magnon. The tool of infinite
    possibilities! The Hammer!

    I approached the holding place, the shelf
    of repose, the shelf of selection.

    There I spied It perched upon it’s holder.
    It gleamed as if made of diamonds!
    It spoke to my mind as if the Force of the
    Light Side was in me. Take Me! Take Me!

    The ancient god of thunder, Thor, whispered
    in my ear. Seize it now, wait not!

    My hand shot from my side and I seized the
    Mighty Tool of power. It rested in my hand
    with the grip and balance of a finely wrought
    sword fit for a Knight.

    I marveled at it’s completeness. The grip of
    rubber so it would not slip my grasp. The shank
    of strength so it would not fail my strike.
    The head of forged steel that it would not shatter!

    And then I saw it. The Makers Mark!
    Twenty ounces it read. Craftsman I Am!

    And there stamped on it’s head I could
    not believe my eyes. On the hardened steel.

    I must have this one over all the rest.
    M eyes darted left, then right.
    The aisle was my mine alone. No one to
    wrest the tool from me as it was without
    kin or kind. Alone in this place it was.

    I rushed to the desk of exchange!
    I placed my baubles in the tally mans hand.
    He bid me a good day and I flead.

    To my abode I rushed. To my Mate I said.
    See what a wonderous tool I have found!
    She laughed with glee and amazement.
    Her happiness for me gave me great strength.

    I rested on my throne and dreamed of the
    infinite possibilities of things I can make.

    And there was Happiness in the land!

    I just had to get that out. A Great day to all!

  4. George, I’m a strong advocate of electric starters, having had to occasionally prop a plane, and even crank an old car with a crank handle. Pulling forever is not the best use of time and energy, IMHO.

    Have you thought of setting up a strong 1/2″ drill with a socket driver sockets for the crank nuts on small engines? An impact wrench will work in a pinch, but it’s better to have smooth drive. You can crank to your heart’s content without wearing yourself out. Personally, I avoid small engines where possible, and keep the larger ones in as good repair as I can. Small engines are always a PIA. With battery tech getting better and cheaper, the next challenge will be troubleshooting brushless DC tools.

  5. George, if your daughter has netflix, she would really enjoy the series “Japanese Style Originator”. The english captions are a little difficult to read due to their placement on the screen, but it’s a fascinating look into all things Japanese, in a game-show format!

  6. I never use ethanol gas in my small engines. It’s hell on plastic and rubber components. I use “true fuel” from the orange box store. More expensive, yes, but I don’t have these issues, so that’s a win. I could also get ethanol free gasoline at the station the race car drivers use, but that’s an extra trip when I’m usually at the orange box once a week anyway.

    • Thanks for the info on TrueFuel, didn’t know it existed. Hopefully it will solve most of my misery with my chain saw.

      • More on True Fuel. You can get it as straight 4-cycle gas, or as fuel/oil premixed in at least two different ratios. Plus it’s in a metal can and doesn’t need stabilization. Technically it’s not gasoline; it’s “engineered fuel.”

        Whatever that means, I don’t care as long as it works.

  7. A couple things – first I would think that if a project of any kind has been a ‘to do’ for a while it would be good to check prices for what you want to fix it for some time before as there might me seasonal price changes . . .

    Second – this happened when I was a teenager; I came home from school one day and found Mom in a glum mood. Seems our dishwasher was not draining properly and my parents didn’t have the money to get it fixed.

    Well, I said, why don’t we take it apart and see if we can fix it. Mom was leery of the idea, but I convinced her to let me try. (My dad could sell anything,but repair? No!)

    So after removing the rack, I began taking the parts off the drain and laying them (under the eagle eye of Mom) on the counter so I could replace them in reverse order.

    Finally got down to the actual drain and found a few copper pennies clogging the works. Mom said, “where did those come from?” I said I didn’t know – which was true, but I had my suspicions. I had a little sister (six years old) who liked shiny coins . . .

    Put the thing back together – and as far as I knew – as long as my folks owned the house – eight years it worked fine.

    Point being – even if you don’t know exactly what you are doing being careful works!

  8. Going thru 2 hurricanes in NC this year, when it strikes, forget about going to the store for food & water because the shelves are bare. Also at the gas stations, there are plastic bags over all the pumps saying, we are out of gas.

    But if you watch Glenn Villenuve on Life Below Zero, he has no power tools. He does everything with hand tools. Once you run out of gas, hand tools will be the only option. Based on my weekend living outside in December, I harvested all the firewood with hand tools. It is a lot of work but at least in December it is cold & you don’t sweat to death.

    This weekend , I bought a 12′ Pole Saw to prune the trees. I purchased a hand one, which is more work, but will work fine when the lights go out. Plus it is eco friendly.

  9. Around here, where ethanol free gas cannot be obtained, the bikers deal with the fuel issue by ADDING water to the gas, 10% by volume, allowing the alcohol to be absorbed for awhile, then siphoning off the gas, now ethanol free. A clear glass water container (the old style) works best for this, those big 5 gallon ones. People keep them around to throw pennies and change in. Don’t use plastic unless you test it for compatibility with gas.

  10. You and I have the ability to fix or make anything come true with the hidden technology,,,,, just as soon as those old crony Oil Barons pass away then them ,the new grandkids of theirs we’ll see the light and the possibilities of a new and beautiful Earth that has been set free from their grandparents.

    The grandkids of the old barons will become the wingmakers of the future along with the others that give us guidance for harmony instead of War,……

    May all beings be lovingly fulfilled,financially fulfilled and readily fulfilled,, so be it.

    To know when you came trillions of years ago and all that knowledge has been erased from you and the spirit Souls.

    As member portions will be coming back .

  11. ” it’s time to find yourself a “side-hustle.”

    phew.. been there.. I thought I had the world by the tail when I was a kid.. then the realities set in.. it doesn’t matter how smart you are.. if your from a wealthy family or one with some political pull..then doors are opened up for you that will never exist for someone from the bottom feeder class..
    in reality even though statistics say everyone is making thirty dollars an hour the vast majority are not.. those working part time or day labor jobs have children.. many waitresses and delivery boys work for tips and mileage.. many that are considered wealthy are only that way on paper.. they stage their homes during special times buy fancy cars to show off just how much money they had..( did I mention the bently that was five years old under ten thousand miles on it.. LOL they were asking thirty thousand for a two hundred and sixty seven thousand and change car.. and the salesman told me that if I offered him ten grand I could walk out with it.. )
    part time jobs.. phew now how much is that part time job going to cost you.. it cost me family life.. my church family.. seems they feel like your not religious enough to be one of them if you work.. or have enough money to show status and prestige. seeing the child hit that home run.. or the school play.. all of these things are a price you pay.. an egg timer as your alarm clock driving from one job to another ask any truck driver just how that works or anyone in the Navy or other career that keeps them far from home.. the mileage.. the dinning out at burger joints.. I have a serious problem with eating in the car.. I hate it.. I have to sit at a table.. since washed dishes and seen first hand waitresses going home with tears in their eyes wondering how they would put milk on the table.. well I am overly generous to them they serve me let me serve them a little respect and me it does come back..
    Now what I tell the kids.. check out the jobs you get.. ask Why.. why are they looking for help.. what is the turnover rate of the company.. if it is thirty percent and below it is a good company.. that hires college and highschool kids to teach them a trade the main staff is stable and happy( it costs money to train people if they have a high turnover rate ).. forty and above.. serious industry problems really bad management.. ( ninety percent of the time it is a serious problem with management.) to figure that out go have a cup of coffee.. sit down with the staff working for them and listen.. it won’t take but one cup to know what the serious situations that are lying in wait for anyone working for them.. ( now if you are in a bad job situation like you have none.. then take it.. learn what you can while you wait for the next best career path to open up.there are thousands of industries that would rather have another company teach you so you don’t have to be trained )
    what is the extra mileage.. the costs of the part time job.. put away your change.. pay yourself first.. if your young and don’t have thousands of dollars to invest then buy savings bonds.. your money will double every seven years and with that gives you some savings that will grow.. depending on how much you buy ( ten percent of the income and above) you can become a wealthy man or woman .. what benefits does the company hold.. in the old days all of the employees part or full time today some companies only hire a skeleton crew then leave the rest to squander..
    how many does it take.. if you have kids.. well the teller at the bank.. makes two dollars a week after daycare and insurance.. she is only there for the insurance.. you will see that a lot.. for these people there aren’t any big trips planned..if they are lucky they can get to spend a little time at home.. where I worked you couldn’t plan a vacation.. they hire points.. point one means they guarantee you one day every two weeks.. if you take five days off.. you don’t get the vacation.. in the end I was giving away a month of vacation a year to people sick because I couldn’t take it anyway and I couldn’t bank any more.. for the bottom feeder.. its a lot rougher.. a young person no kids.. they can go and do something.. so I tell them.. go get a friend that wants to build a career path first.. have a sex partner.. don’t have kids.. and work your butt off.. I cannot tell you how many part time jobs I have had through the years or the day labors.. been there done that.. seen the ugly side seen the good side.. in the end. they own you .. there is a reason why 76 percent of all laborers get a govt hand out.. ( eic tax credit as one) and one in three are on a monthly federal assistance programs reliant on govt programs for their daily living expenses..
    it all changes when you are old.. have children.. how many millions do you have..that you can you survive in a nursing facility for.. do you have family that will pick up the pieces when your broke financially can you survive your spirit….
    as for the videos.. LOL I never could qualify for any of the giveaway home purchasing programs so I had to build my own.. the first home I built was after I watched this cute little blonde woman.. swinging her hips and hammer and building a house in a half hour.. yup I can do that.. read all the books on it.. and set out.. only to figure out it wasn ‘t as easy as it looked.. I still got it up and in it in a few months.. the house I have now I built it in three months and worked three jobs while doing it in my spare time.. it can be done.. everything is available for you .. never argue with someone that does a job day in and day out.. he seen all sides of the coin and it doesn ‘t matter what your college training tells you.. he has tried it.

  12. If every being on the Earth was given 60 billion bucks what do you think would happen within a hundred years.

    The future has told us what happens without rules and regulations.

    The future has told us what happens when there are guidelines and everyone has 60 billion dollars.

    The future has shown us what happens when we give everybody 60 billion dollars and we don’t use the technology that’s available.

    The future has shown us what happens when everybody gets 60 billion dollars and they do use the technology that’s available

  13. Economics is the belief system talk to you by people who make the money and rule you .

    what kind of economic system is there on an island with 32 to 300 other people there is none .
    economics is a farce that was created to control you and make you slave to their debt system.

    In the future once the Technologies are released there will not be any economic system.
    There will not be patents .,,there will not be corporations ..,there will not be a money system,,.

    This is where the new technology will be taking us into a sphere where we have the ability to expound upon our individual dreams.

    With unlimited resources and no restrictions on a money value or debt we will be able to create and be creators.

    The technology is expanding so fast but it’s already been here it’s just been restricted buy a money dip slave system once that’s put to rest then everybody on the planet will have the ability to spring forward with ideas that will travel throughout the Universe the galaxies and the solar system and the planet and on that parcel of land that you are using

  14. One of the reasons the United States will become great again is because we recognize women we recognize all beings compared to these other nations that look at women as subhuman so we will regain that right again using Trump Hazard mouthpiece and using the set aside military from Obama.

    the feature will change positively and watch the borders come down as Trump ask you individually through the new voting apps what you want then you’ll find out that your whole world has been manipulated by a few at the top of the pyramid and what you’ve wanted all your life you’ve been restricted by those at the top and now it’s all getting ready to bust loose.

    are you happy or are you sad .?

    which one of those you choose determines your future.

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