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I live about two hours from the nearest town where you can get anything done (including engine repair). I've gone through a small engine course and have torn down and rebuilt a few engines. I want to start a small shop out of my backyard shed to service all those engines that folks take two hours away. This would include chainsaws, smaller engines (less the 10hp) used to move wheel irrigation lines, and maybe a few tillers thrown into the mix. I have started accumulating tools but would welcome any suggestions from those who do this for a living (or as a professional "hobby") about a minimum tool inventory. Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

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i started the same way you are talking about , if you are planning on setting up to pay taxes on your hobby / profession , then i'd do so under soul proviedership , thats what i did and got a sales tax license because when you replace parts for a customer you charge them sales tax , and if you set up your taxes you can write off some of your gas , mileage , phone bill ( whatever phone you use for business ) , tools ect last yr i got to write off my laptop and shed extensions . (i have a smart shed they sell them at sams club ) but i work out of a 8 x 20 ft shed / shop at my house and i stay pretty busy , if you set up your business / taxes you can get a acct w/ stens , they are quick on delivering parts plus you can become a karcher certified repair shop which will bring you some business too .i went through foley belsaw's small engine courses but i was already taught the basics before hand .i have ran my business for 5 yrs now , every yr i get more and more cusstomers , i think you'd do very well because you don't have to much local competition . a few things to do is stock up on your basic or commonly used air filters , spark plugs ect you don't need 50 of them just 10 - 12 , also get a good program that will allow you to print work tickets , estimates , ect those programs are about 30.00 you can find them at staples ect but you can get better programs that keep track of your invitory ect , thats what i use it makes keeping track of things alot easier , another thing check w/ your local lowes / home depot and ask to speak to their rtm / rtv vendors in shipping & recieveing and ask to buy the broken returns that can't be fixed ect (ie: mowers w/ bent crankshafts , seized motors ect ) you can get them pretty cheap and w/ a crankshaft straightener you can fix and resell them pretty easy .good luck , let me know how it goes
jay
 

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Jay-thanks. I also run a small nursery and market garden, so I'll just run the shop as an extension of that--kinda of a "service" department. Inventory and accounting also already taken care of through software. But what abouot tool recommendations beyond the obvious hand tools?
 

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boondock ,
heres what i did i had some basic tools already , but i bought a good wrench set and some other stuff from harbor freight , i know some ppl like them , some don't , i have always had a great experience w/ them , get yourself a chainsaw chain sharpener from there , i got mine for 40.00 , and have done quite a few jobs on it and it will pay for itself , another thing is a crankshaft straightener , you can find them on ebay , through foley belsaw , stens , ect .if you can look into getting a stens acct because your starting out small and sometimes cash is limited , stens will most likely give you a 1000.00 credit limit , so if you need a spindel for a customers rider you can order it , it should come with in 3 days and once your paid by the customer you can pay for the part through stens . also get yourself a goof puller for flywheels i got mine through harbor freight , a compression tester , spark plug tester , ring compressor , also when you can get the walbro and zama carb tool kits , they will help you on rebuilding weedeater carbs , you can make close to 45.00 for rebuilding a weedeater or chainsaw carb here in md and it takes usually under a hr . if you can go to foley belsaw's website and request a catalog on their small engine parts tools ect , they have some good stuff .but if you have your basic tools (screw drivers , allen keys , wrenches , socket set , air compressor , air impact gun , ect ) then focus on getting specialty tools like the carb rebuild tool kits for zama and walbro carbs , pullers , ring compressor , valve lapping tool , valve grinding compound , compression tester , spark plug tester , ect also get a good bench grinder w/ 2 wheels , you'll use that to gring down valve stems , sharpen blades ect . the crankshaft straightener will run you about 200-300 thats shipping included but it will pay for itself intime .
jay
 

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I have a lawnboy mower model number 10520 serial number4902319, I need to replace the left rear wheel, I have a new wheel, can anyone come up with a shop manual which I can download , or tell me how to remove the existing wheel and install the new one , Thank you Alex
 

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jetrail said:
newz7151 ,
i have been useing a puller simular to one like this
http://www.harborfreight.com/cpi/ctaf/displayitem.taf?Itemnumber=32184 and never had any problems yet . and about the crankshaft straightener ,if it is risky straightening them they why does most places like foley belsaw , stens and m-and-d still carry them ? do some big shops still use them ?
The reason straighting out a crankshaft is risky is because most crankshafts are cast iron, when they get bent they actually get twisted. Tiny microscopic fractures are created and straightening the shaft (or bending it back straight) creates more fractures, the risk of the crankshaft breaking off from the engine while running is greatly increased. I have actually seen this happen and it's kinda scary when it happens.

As for the flywheel puller, using one that pulls from the outer edges can stress the flywheel and cause a fracture, the flywheel can explode while running. I have seen plenty of cracked flywheels but have never had one explode (thank God) but I have heard of it happening.
 

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30 yr i go have the briggs flywheel puller that screws to the flywheel , but don't use it that often , i'guess when it comes to the crankshaft straightener ya learn something new everyday , i just can't see why they would continue to sell them when small shops like mine have been useing them , it seems decieveing on their part especially when someone who has you straighten their crankshaft could be at risk
 

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Can't say as tho I've ever heard of a crank coming apart... straightened or not. Flywheels, yes. I am not set up to straighten cranks, but a guy down the road from me is. On a regular basis I will R&R an engine to take it to him, get it fixed and make a small profit for myself as well. (keeps my customers happy, and it gives him a little extra jingle in his pockets) I might have to re-think this if there is a real threat of the crank coming apart. Can anyone tell me if this is a real problem that does happen, or a theoretical problem that could happen?
 

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AcreFarm04 said:
Can't say as tho I've ever heard of a crank coming apart... straightened or not. Flywheels, yes. I am not set up to straighten cranks, but a guy down the road from me is. On a regular basis I will R&R an engine to take it to him, get it fixed and make a small profit for myself as well. (keeps my customers happy, and it gives him a little extra jingle in his pockets) I might have to re-think this if there is a real threat of the crank coming apart. Can anyone tell me if this is a real problem that does happen, or a theoretical problem that could happen?
acrefarm04 ,
i personally have never had it happen , but i would not doubt what they have said , guess thats why alot of shops will just tell the customer to can the mower instead of straighten the shaft
 

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There is potential for the crankshaft to break off, I can't say that they always will. I did have one break off on me while I was running it, knocked the tire off the mower and scared the heck out of me, but for the most part the blade and shaft stayed under the mower until it stopped spinning.

I have never had a flywheel explode on me, but I know a mechanic that was working in a shop where one came apart on a unit that someone else was working on. That guy had major head trauma, so I was told.
 

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30yr ,
so the puller that pull from the outside are what cause the flywheels to explode ? , this is off the subject but the thing that scared me the most ever was i was working on a starter clutch and useing my air gun and starter clutch remover it remove it , and the end of the air hose broke , it sounded like a shotgun went off right in front of me , and the hose nearly hit me in the face , bad part was these were brand new hoses from ace hardware
 

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If you apply pressure to the outer circumference of the flywheel it can cause a crack in the thinner area between the outer edge and the heaver inner mounting hub. You should us a puller that attaches to the hub on the inner most part of the flywheel to avoid this. Tecumseh flywheels will crack easier then the briggs ones as they are very thin in the middle.
 

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Major no no! I'm with 30 yr and Newz on the crank straightening issue. Cast metals do not bend back reliably. Danger!

It's a crap shoot for sure. If your starting a new business isnt that risky enough? Why invite the devil you know to dinner?

Educate your customers. It's their life and your reputation. Sell a crank and be done with it. No worries.

If someone wants you to jump off a bridge, send them to your competition. HeHeHe. Maybe they'll go with him if your lucky. For a fledgling business, check your margins quarterly so your not giving things away. Have your books/taxes done independently, dont be the owner operator and the bookkeeper. Do check your books periodocally. Incoroporate (LLC) and shield yourself. Rough figure your profit percentage monthly; how many dollars in, how many dollars out. Always pay yourself.

Use/buy quality parts. Generic parts can be good too. If it's junk it's your a$$. Keep the normal nicknack stuff on hand. Nothing looks worse to a customer than not having something common in stock. Build your customer base from people who listen to good sense, and value your concern for them and the safety of others.

Groom your customers from the get go. Get them into your program. Earn their loyalty. Be honest, careful and thoughful, but dont take any crap either. Send all peewhiners, spend a dollar to save a dime, lets do something stupid customers to the guy up the street. Cutting the finger off to save the hand should be practiced at all times. You'll be miles ahead.

Which would you rather do? A hundred methodical jobs @40% margin or 200 firedrill jobs @20% margin. Always keep this in mind.

Keep your premises neat and your shop neater! It's a direct reflection on you.
Consider it an investment and time well spent.

Good luck on your new venture. It'll be one of the best thing you ever do.

BH
 
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