Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it – no matter if I have said it! – except it agree with your own reason and your own common sense.” – Siddhartha Gautama, a.k.a. the Buddha

“Planned Obsolescence”

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. idiocracy_city

(and it is for those reasons, I wish it all to fail, so that ‘clean up’ can begin.)


2 responses

  1. Wildflower

    the old ten horsepower “B&S” had a cam driven breaker points, ajustable carb needles, and a rugged body…… easy to maintain or repair

    so you salvaged a generator, good! maybe use the old engine tied to the neck as a politico “swiming aid”

    yes do understand your frustrations at “modern marvels” as am having issues with power tools, small appliances, and even materials which all seem “to fail faster” even before one can purchase them…..

    that is why often speak of “back engineering” with making “obsolete parts and ectra” to building engines, tools, and whatever needed. in the future such systems be repairable, buildable, or maintain at the village tech level while the nation rots into debrie…

    or why “the stick” was created in the first place as 0ne can take note of a lot of “obsolete information” ; ever wondered why?

    January 24, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    • Never doubted the intent of ‘the stick’ (and still working on cleaning up that Database)

      Yupper, Sick of watching tools I need on a regular basis getting replaced by ‘the next latest and greatest’. Ha, I am still using a 3GS Iphone (and if I had my druthers, would still have my original Nokia that was still working up to the day they changed the network protocol and made my brick obsolete) even though they are now up to 5G sumpin or nudder. And there are days where it sits all lonesome on the charger as I forget about it and leave it behind.
      There is something to be said for Village Tech. It may not change fast enough for todays short attention span theater types, but it is robust enough to last generations. The wooden wagon wheels that were made in America in the 1890’s were the same or similar to what they were making in 1776. So things didn’t grow much, but that made the growth that much stronger when it did happen. (and the wagon wheels of the 1880’s were VERY similar to the wheels that H Ford installed on his Model A’s. An example of how change carries history with it.)

      January 24, 2013 at 10:30 pm

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