Sharon mentioned in comments what part of our economic woes are called. I made a detailed though crass description of some of that while talking about that Genny and lack of cover plates or inspection plates etc etc. Today Snake and I successfully pulled it apart in tear-down to find the real issue.
It is actually a bit complicated, though the failure is pretty simple. The actual failure was the exhaust valve seizing in its guide in the open position. No damage to the piston, nor anything else I could see, but what would have caused that.
What I can figure is that the machine is running extremely lean to keep emissions down. That actually causes the exhaust gasses to be so hot, that they cook oil in the head right around the valve itself.(this is obvious once the valve cover is off) Eventually, what happens is the guide is no longer lubricated and of course, lube is what keeps little parts moving against small stationary parts, and then things get all locked up. Machines do not like it when parts don’t move correctly.
Now, as the discussion took place in the shop, “Is it worth fixing?”. My assessment is “no”. The real issue is a carburetor that is locked into a setting that we can’t control, nor correct. I won’t go into the myriad of rabbit holes that one item could lead to (*cough * EPA *hack-cough*) but why go through all of this trouble for an engine that isn’t even worth its weight in scrap metal? What is salvageable is the generator itself. Yes, it has a tapered shaft on one end (the engine side): big deal, That is why we have a machine shop. We can mount the current generator body into a frame, attach a pulley to it and run it from pretty much any motor or other energy input system. I am looking at the setup of it and the possible governor needed but hey, it is doable. Yeah, redneck engineering, but at least the money spent on the machine is not completely wasted as they intended. Personally, when I buy a machine, I expect to get my money out of it, and then some, I will do what I have to, to get the most life out of it as possible, but I see the “Planned Obsolescence” as ‘renting’ of materials. Fuck that!
It’s when dealing with stuff like this, that I truly can’t wait for certain “Just In Time” systems to fail, so that we can get on with rebuilding things of substance and longevity. May seem narrow minded of me to say that, but I compare the tools from different eras and KNOW what is right and what is junk. The ‘modern’ stuff is pretty much all junk. (there are exceptions of course)
What’s the solution? It has to start at a personal level, like any other solution in this world. We have compromised ourselves to death as a nation. Compromise in ‘regulations’, compromise in the economy and even in what we can afford we have been forced to compromise. (and I am just as guilty as everyone else) Stop buying the junk! Save a little more for the expensive stuff that ls still built with pride and a future in mind. (and not the future replacement, three days after the old one is out of warranty)
“Planned Obsolescence” is stupid. Stupid and potentially dangerous.
(and it is for those reasons, I wish it all to fail, so that ‘clean up’ can begin.)