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mjbrodack

ARE THERE ANY MACHINE SHOPS LEFT?

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mjbrodack

After  43 years my '74 Simplicity 3410's B&S 10HP now needs rebuilding (developed a piston knock on the last lawn cutting this past November).  This machine is in great shape having never been stored outside, and is well worth rebuilding.  My other '73 3416H's engine likewise 'shot craps' about 2 years ago (lost compression with smoke & bad blow-by).  Problem I've discovered is that there are no machine shops anymore who are willing to do the long-block overhaul for small single (or twin) cylinder engines!  I'm looking for a shop to do the needed bore & honing, press in new valve seats, check & dress the crank, piston & rod, etc.).  I now live in South Carolina, and there are NO machine shops still doing small engines.  I've called a number of power equipment dealers & repair services in surrounding states and they all say the same thing: "The old machinist who did our work retired and we now have no one". 

I'm to the point where I'm willing to crate these engines and send them to an out of state shop as long as I know I'll get a quality job.  Can anyone in the SimpletrACtors community make a recommendation of a shop who can do my engine overhaul work? 

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MercerRec

Last summer I rebuilt a Kohler engine using a shop that was recommended to me; it was reasonably close at 60 miles away.   My service request for them to inspect the bore and associated tolerances on the crank, cam, etc and advise me on what parts to order.  Some discrepancy occurred after I left in regards to crankshaft wear limits.  I was not able to assess the situation and allowed them to determine the grind on the crank.  I ordered the parts and had them shipped direct to their door.  Then there was an issue re: threads requiring heli-coil repair, which I declined, but was done when I picked up the block. And then an issue with the tappets.   I can't recommend a shop for you, but I can suggest you search high and low for someone close to you for services.   I have close to 450.00 parts/machine services in that 12hp motor and it easily could have been 1-200 more if the machine shop was able to maximize their invoicing methods.   Finding someone you can trust can make the process more enjoyable.  I am very happy with my motor, the quality of the work was high, however there were some details that I just wanted to be able to control but couldn't.

A local speed shop might have a resource to refer you.   Your local garden tractor pulling club might be able to point you in the right direction as well.  Here is one I found via google, I have no affiliation:  http://www.carolinagardentractorpullers.com

Good luck and I hope this info helps you.

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hurleyii

Searching Craigslist for a shop and even FB may help. Another option is a go kart shop perhaps. Lots of people race them little buggers. There machinistshould be able to do the same job on your engine without the 40hp alcohol engine! Lol

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Chris727

You might run into some parts availability problems with the 10hp. Only the STD and .020 O.S. pistons are available and the undersized rod is NLA. The STD rod is available. It is possible to have the crankpin welded and reground back to standard if needed as well as to have the bore sleeved if needed. Those will be costly alternatives. A new .020 piston through B&S is $125. What I like to do is determine what basic parts are needed by taking measurements and showing them to my machinist. Then I have a better idea what I will have to put into it. If the parts are NLA I add them to an eBay watch list and when one comes up with an agreeable price I buy it. Then when I have all the parts in-hand I take back to the machinist and he does the  machining and sometimes the assembly. Sometimes I do the assembly myself. 

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gwiseman
22 hours ago, maxwood said:

Hello,   this website does rebuilding  and sells parts  , I have no experience with them .

Thanks Ken in Mi

http://gardentractorpullingtips.com/index.htm

 

I have talked with this fellow, he is w/i an hour of me. He is all knowledgable about Kohler and I understand he does a good job however is sometimes a bit slow. I use a Precision Machine http://www.precision-machine-jcmo.com/parts-tools/brands-we-work-on/ here in Jefferson City, MO. Those fellows are really good, actually are race car enthusiasts. 

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fishnwiz

"The old machinist who did our work retired and we now have no one". 

This sems to be a larger part of the problem than finding a shop itself. With the money shops charge for their services the most important thing is to find a shop that HAS a guy who knows what he is doing.

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GregB

Not long ago I stopped at a local dealer for some Briggs parts.  They are an old family run business that started with the Farmall and Cub lines.  carry other brands now also.

 

I asked him about machine shop services, for cylinder work.   He said they use the NAPA down the road.  For as few as they do it makes no sense to have someone, or the equipment.

Unfortunately a lot of "mechanics" these days are just parts replacers.

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fishnwiz
42 minutes ago, tadams said:

The last I heard the local NAPA shop was going to quite doing machine work when the present employee retires.

Another one bites the dust!:(

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mjbrodack

Thanks, guys.  I assume I'll be looking at $500-$1,000 per motor depending what each will need, and will gladly pay it as long as I'm getting  a quality job.  Thanks Chris727 for the info about the 10HP and what parts may no longer be available.  As far as shops no longer in business, we had a local NAPA store here in SC who did a lot of machine work in the past on these engines, and they still have their machine shop, but no longer have anyone qualified to do the work aside from turning brake rotors.  Their other equipment is just sitting unused- sad, very sad.  Thanks to you-all who listed some other possible shop-sources; I'll make some inquiries. 

For the near term, the grass is starting to green-up down here in SC, and I want to put some sod down in my side yard and will need to prep the area with my Revitalizer attachment.  So, I'm going to need to somehow get one of the machines running ASAP.  I've got a low-hour 16HP B&S motor I bought on EBay from a guy in Michigan a couple of years ago for $75.  The motor looks to be the configuration similar to the old Allis B- series / Simplicity 700 engines, but I'm going to have to swap the oil pan and install a magneto with an external kill wire (the motor has the points & condenser under the flywheel with spark-stop strap above the spark plug).  Hopefully this will buy me some time for the rebuilds on the other engines. It will be an interesting conversion project- maybe I'll post the progress!.  

Thanks again, everyone!

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MARK (LI)

Briggs gave me this guy's information      his name is Mike    he really helped me out....he used to work for B&S and told me that he has a lot of NOS laying around   I hope he can help you..he was one heck of a nice guy...and ridiculously inexpensive...he is located in Maryland I don't think he does any machine work, but has hard to get parts

image.png.5357b16244e64f4bb4de29752d7e62bb.png

 

 

Edited by MARK (LI)

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720nut

Been debating about posting this but, I got fed up with local shops and went and bought my own machines and do everything myself.

Took a little while to teach myself as I've had no formal training, but after better than 10yrs I feel confident with everything I do.

Just a thought for those of you who have the skills and realizing that most don't.

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fishnwiz

So what Lloyd is saying is ship your engine projects over to his place and he will rebuild them for you.:D

I told you we have an AWESOME membership. !

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