Backup Generator

Category: Small Engine Repair

Backup generators are very useful in the event of power loss. Purchasing a generator is the best way for large amounts of power. A home built generator can generate smaller amounts of power, enough for the freezer and a few lights. This is definitely a project for someone with mechanical background and maybe a little electrical know how. You could go the route of purchasing all the same components that a regular generator uses, but then the cost would no longer be effective. Also the speed regulation can be very tricky and require alot of tuning. A popular alternative is to use parts much more common, thus cheaper. Many of the parts can be purchased used for VERY cheap. A push lawnmower is a good mounting platform that already has an engine on it. Building a homemade generator will require some fabrication skills. A car alternator is used as the source for converting power into electricity. The mower blade will need to be removed. Then you will need to find a good flat spot to mount the alternator.

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Rotary Valve Engine

Category: Snowmobile Engine

A rotary valve engine is always a two stroke engine. Most rotary valve engines are rotax engines. Although other rotary engines such as suzuki and kawasaki have been made. Rotax engines are used in snowmobiles, jet-skis and motorcycles and aircraft engines. A rotary valve refers to the intake of a two stroke engine. There are three types of intake designs for two stroke engines. Simplistic two strokes are piston port, meaning that the piston movement past the port controls the incoming air timing. The piston port engine doesn’t do a very good job of keeping the airflow to stay in the engine. The air can simply travel back out of the engine. The most popular intake air induction is the reed port engine. It uses reed petals to allow the intake air in the engine and traps it there. The tension of the reed petals can change with the use of different petals and can provide some power improvement at certain rpm ranges. A rotary valve engine has the best intake air control.

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Engine Surging

Category: Auto Tuning

A car’s engine can surge for many reasons. Generally the ignition, wires, spark plugs, or the distributor rotor and cap will cause this problem. Another possibility is that your fuel filter is clogged. Injectors could also possibly be clogged on a high mileage vehicle. This is where a tune up can help your car. A vacuum leak can also cause surging problems. First inspect all hoses and fittings then around the carb or throttle body. Run the engine and spray carb cleaner on areas that could be leaking, the engine will die or speed up when you spray if there is a leak. A vacuum leak may or may not make your check engine light come on. Surging could come from a sensor problem or a leak causing the sensor to not operate correctly. It is always good to check your computer codes first if the light is on. This will help you to identify the problem area.

Snowmobile Engine

Category: Snowmobile Engine

Snowmobile engines are generally two strokes except for a few new four strokes. Repair and troubleshooting is similar to any other vehicle. First you want to identify if it is a fuel or ignition problem. Remove the spark plugs and look to see if they are wet or dry. Do they both look the same or are they different? If different then one cylinder’s carb or ignition may have a problem. A wet spark plug could be many things. Take the spark plugs, dry them off with a clean rag and place them back into the plug wire. Lay the spark plugs on a metal part of the engine and spin the engine(try to start) Look at the plug gap as you spin the engine over, do they all spark descent? If some of the sparks look weak you could have an ignition problem. Hopefully the plug is fouled out and just needs to be replaced, try that first. If weak spark remains, check that the ground wire for the ignition coil or system is good. Worst case you could have a bad charging coil or bad wires shorting out somewhere.

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Piston Ring

Category: Snowmobile Engine

piston ring
Piston rings are a very crucial part of a two stroke engine. If the rings stick they can be freed up, assuming there was no cylinder damage involved. If the cylinder is smeared vertically with aluminum it is damaged. The cylinder will need to be cleaned up with muriatic acid then honed out until the lines are gone. If too much honing is required the piston may not be large enough anymore and may need to be replaced. If the rings are only stuck then they need to be removed. If they are stuck hard you can try to soak the piston in diesel fuel or pb blaster. The ring may need to be pryed out carefully.

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Boat Propeller

Category: Boat Motor

The height of outboards in relationship with the bottom of the hull is very important. The higher or “drier” the motor is the faster the boat will go until it reaches the point of ventilation “pulling air into the propeller” which will instantly slow you down. Most motors will be set a little bit lower to take off best. The motor can be trimmed, meaning hydraulics will rotate the engine higher at an angle, this will speed you at higher speeds. This works unless the boat front starts to bounce or “porpose” then the motor trim will need to come back down a little bit. Idealy the motor will have a jacking plate that moves the engine straight up and down instead of on a pivot like the trim. The propeller is very important and has to match the motor and boat to obtain the best performance. A prop that limits the motor speed to max rpm at wide open throttle is ideal. Some people use different pitch props to gain acceleration or top speed. Two numbers describe prop pitch the first number tells the diameter of the prop and the second tells the pitch.

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Compression Test

Category: Auto Tuning

A compression test is a way of testing an engine’s condition without tearing the engine apart. A compression tester or tool is used to check the compression pressure. An engine compression test will let you know if there is excessive wear between the cylinder and piston. When the seal between the cylinder and piston rings wear out the engine’s compression will drop. This sealing failure will also cause the vehicle to use excessive oil and the car may start to smoke out of the exhaust. A four stroke engine, usually found in cars, will vary per car but should be around 170-200+ psi depending on the static compression ratio of the vehicle. With high performance cars having higher psi numbers with the exception of turbocharged cars having low psi numbers. Two stroke engines and small garden type engines will have considerably lower compression. Generally these engines will be around 80-140 psi. These are the steps to check your engine’s compression.

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