A Time of Misery

Back in the day I had a HomeLite trimmer and edger.

Not a big fan of homelite. They are generally low end machines.

The weedeater gave up the ghost a long time ago and was replaced by a TroyBuilt, which is fantastic. Reliable as dirt. The edger gave up the ghost this spring as I was struggling to get my lawn into shape. I’ve been futzing with it trying to clean the carburetor and figure out why fuel doesn’t seem to be pulling from the tank. I’m gonna guess that the filter on the end of the tube is jacked. I think I forgot to winterize it. Usually what I do is put in plain gas and run it a bit to clean out the fuel system and the carb. I think I was reasoning that since I use only store bought two-stroke I’d be OK. NOT.

So I had a decision to make.

Buy a new carburetor and tank, which at the time looked like it was going to tip towards 100 bucks, or flat out replace the thing. I was commiserating with a friend, who like most Texans that know what they’re doing, and buys good outdoor gear like Stihl and Echo, said buy an Echo. Much as I’d love to do that, you’re looking at about 400 bucks for a trimmer.

What I was looking at was a Ryobi 18V edger that takes the same batteries that I have for all my tools. I really love the blower I bought. But that would put me back around 120 toadhides.

In the end I went to a different parts outlet. I probably have three such places that I buy parts for stuff, and this one had the carburetor at a reasonable $30 or so, and the tank was $12 I think. I’m probably getting that screwed up. So a carburetor and two tanks for about $67 bucks. (You know, a few years ago this stinkin carb was $17.)

So I put it all on. Used a 9mm deep socket and a T20 torx, even though I think it was a T21 it needed. All I had in that size was an ancient and cheap Torx driver I think I’ve had 45 years. I’ve done this before. Twice I think.

Ancient Torx – like from the ’80s

I got T30 and up sockets, but no smaller ones. Dammit.

Still, it worked and the unit fired right up. So I put a new blade on it and got to work.

The Homelite gets to live another year.

What to do now?

I think I’ll clean out the carb for the next time, and stow the tank after cleaning it. I still have a new spare tank. Once i go fuel in the carb it barked off. So I’m thinking it’s still good, on some level.

In the end, I bought a set of Torx on Amazon. They were cheap. But, they came in a cool hi-tech case. Too bad. I’ll peel the sockets out and stuff them in the little drawer all my weird sockets live. I have a system. It must be observed. The only thing that lives in fancy cases in my world are high tech instruments, drill and router bits. The rest goes where it makes sense.

That said, I’m certain I’ll rummage around my tool chest and grab the old, shitty, Torx when I need it. Sometimes, I’m a man of zero patience. I’ll grab the piece of shit if it gets me where I need to go. I have a shitty Channellock imitation, and a weird craftsman ‘Channellock’ that automagically sets itself in my sprinkler parts box. A sprinkler pipe isn’t worth my fine Channellock pliers. Don’t care if they get muddy.

Back to the miserable HomeLite; as long as I can score parts, I can fix these things indefinitely.

I’m proud of that.

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