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How much for what? You must be kidding...

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  • How much for what? You must be kidding...

    So I grab this mower from the curb the other month and put it with the others for repair. Most of the problems with these finds are bad gas. No one drains the gas for the winter or uses bad gas for the first start of the year and it wont start. So they toss it and leave it and I pull up quick to retrieve it. I spend a little time on them and then off to Craigslist they go. I hope to fund the little ones college education with the extra money.

    Ok, it will probably only add up to enough for a book or two when he get there but I'm trying...

    I have a craftsman mower that looks brand new and wont start. I replace the key for the blade and clean the carb. All looks good but when I pull the rope it tries to pull back. Ahhhhh, I say to my self (I talk to myself often) not only did this fellow hit something with his new mower and shear the blade key but he also sheared the flywheel key. With the flywheel out of time, it is trying to fire before tdc.

    So I pull the flywheel and run down to Sears with the sheared key. And wouldn't you know, they don't have it. They tell me that they would have to special order it and that could take a week. So I come home and look on the net. Sears wants $3.00 for a stinking key. Here is a photo of the thing. It must be made of gold.

    More searching shows prices from $0.50 to $13.00 for one key! Its no wonder that nobody wants to try and fix things themselves anymore. I plan to turn the mill on tomorrow and make a key real quick and off to CL it will go.

    How did I ever make it without my shop?
    Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.

  • #2
    Make that key out of something soft, so it can shear. I've seen a flywheel with a crack starting at the edge of the keyway when a steel key was used and the mower hit something. That could lead to a very unhappy ending.



    • #3
      Doc's right. I fixed a ton of mowers back in high school, Briggs all used a Alum. key. I found if there was even the slightest mark, I needed to replace the key to make it run just right.

      I cut it off twice; it's still too short
      Oregon, USA


      • #4
        I get mine at Wal-mart garden,less than a buck.Some are stressproof and some are zamac many have an offset for you guessed it timing.

        Course my 3hp trim mower lost it's cap years ago along with the key.Cordless drill and a 3/4" socket
        I just need one more tool,just one!


        • #5
          The bearings on the drawer beneath my RCA stove wore out. Basically four "L" shaped nylon (or simular mat'l) pieces with aproximately 1/2" legs. I went to the store where I bought the stove and was quoted a price in excess of $100.00 for the four pieces. I told the guy at the parts counter I reckoned I'd have to make my own at that price, he gave me a look like "Yeah right, buddy." I pity those who are at the mercy of parts suppliers. I wonder how much it would cost to build the whole oven from parts?


          • #6
            A local carquest shop here sells crome plated oversize key stock super cheap.

            Are you griping over $3? man you get no sympathy from me.


            • #7
              My understanding of the newly passed Waxman-Markey bill in congress suggests that many repairs that are already difficult will become illegal. An objective of the bill is to eliminate low-efficiency things and replace them with new energy efficient things.

              As an aside, it is very interesting reading at Section 244 of that bill. Lots of micromanagement of electric motors and things they are used in.


              Edit: It's the climate change bill

              It's worth a read. Especially if you're in the small machine repair business.
              Last edited by dp; 07-04-2009, 12:30 AM.


              • #8
                Briggs Shear key

                Our NAPA store stockes the Al shear key behind the counter. The last I bought were less than $1. I thought they were all the same. I don't understand how such a small dink can keep the engine from running but it does.
                Byron Boucher
                Burnet, TX


                • #9
                  I went to a eyeglass shop today to see about some new nose pads for my glasses. They wanted $5... each! Yeah, right...


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by macona
                    I went to a eyeglass shop today to see about some new nose pads for my glasses. They wanted $5... each! Yeah, right...
                    You can get a whole roll of Duct tape for $5
                    I just need one more tool,just one!


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by tattoomike68
                      A local carquest shop here sells crome plated oversize key stock super cheap.

                      Are you griping over $3? man you get no sympathy from me.
                      Yea I am. It will be $3 plus shipping which will take it to $8 before they are done. This is a $0.25 key at best. Companies are so greedy for not just a fair 10% profit margin but a 80%+ profit margin. It makes me sick. Make

                      Sears is also removing part numbers that have always been good. As of this past few months, they dropped my heater parts list. The number comes back as unknown. I called down to the local ratty garage fix it place (we trade work) and they can still get all of the parts. They tell me Sears is dropping parts so that they can sell new stuff. They dont want to be in the parts supplier busniess. Grrrrrr.

                      So I'll grab an old piece of aluminum from the scrap pile and I'm golden.

                      edit-My buddy from the local place that I buy the hard to find mower parts just called me back an hour ago and told me he buys them in bulk and I can get one from him for free. I asked how much they are for normal customers, $0.30. He buys them in bulk at 10 for $1.00 plus shipping. And Sears wants $3.00, thats my gripe.
                      Last edited by rockrat; 07-04-2009, 01:38 AM.
                      Civil engineers build targets, Mechanical engineers build weapons.


                      • #12
                        Worth it - or not?

                        You might be quite surprised at just how much it costs from ordering to entering stuff on a data-base to taking on in inventory then the "rent" for the shelf-space in a store costs. And that is only up until you pick it off the shelf and then more costs to actually sell it to you.

                        It might be so expensive to keep on inventory that if perhaps your stores didn't stock the item the cost would be moot as they wouldn't have it to sell to you.

                        Its just a judgment call on your part as to whether the cost of the item is "worth it" or not - ie whether you can afford not to buy it - or not.

                        Stores are a commercial entity to show a profit or "go under". They are not a school fĂȘte "lucky dip" or a local Garage Sale.

                        I carry boxes of ranges of sizes of keys, cotters (aka "spit pins"), cir-clips, red-fibre and copper washers etc. etc. that are pretty cheap - and not bad quality either. There are several "steel/material/consumables" stores for the "Trade"
                        here - so keys and bearings are no problem at all.


                        • #13
                          Put a 10 year old portable delta table saw an craig's list yesterday for $60. Paid $99.00 for it (regular $139) with a stand, used the crap out of it at work, but like all my tools I took good care of it. The guy that bought it today did so because he had an identical saw and broke something in the fence, They wanted $149 just for the fence. I kept the stand because it was a good solid stand, and was currently holding up a scroll saw.

                          Witrh repair parts costing that much in proportion to the original parts, it''s a wonder that anything at aall gets repaired theses days.



                          • #14
                            Glad your buddy fixed you up. Looks like a standard Tecumseh key that about everybody used to keep. Used to have a silver or a gold , one of them timed the engine a little different than the other.


                            • #15
                              It has nothing to do with the "evil" company's desire for greed. It's supply and demand, the key is probably a low volume item which takes up self space that could otherwise be used for a high traffic item.
                              What you should do is keep O rings kits, keystock, woodruff key assortments,
                              snap rings etc. on hand. Assortment kits are cheap and you no longer have to worry about the headaches.
                              BTW, you got the mower for free, stop complaining, you sound a like an obama drone.
                              Non, je ne regrette rien.