Made by Monkeys

Homebuilt Mower Is Better Than a New One

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Me too, but choose to modify my Pressure Washer.
Amclaussen   7/24/2014 5:51:34 PM
I did some modifications to my newly purchased Pressure Washer: a Gasoline engine powered of the famous brand "Kärcher"... Being a German brand, you would expect a througly designed and tested product, but it was a case for a "Designed by Monkeys" example.

As it came form the factory, the Washer had the pressure hose and gun support on its right side, but the gas engine (Honda) had its starting cord facing the same side, so that, to start the engine, you have to take the hose and gun from the support and place it on the floor, in order to have room to be able to pull the starting cord. This was a little more than a small inconvenience, as the hose tended to collect dirt from the floor and therefore produce small scratches in the paint of the cars I wanted to wash, and required me to have to clean the hose after finishing washing the car!

Visiting a local COSTCO store, I noticed they started to sell another Pressure washer brand called "Powerstroke", that had exactly the same Honda model 160 gas engine as my Kärcher one, but I noticed the pressure washer looked somehow different to my Kärcher model.

I took a quick picture of the Powerstroke washer with my cellphone and compared it to my Kärcher when I returned to home.  Then it became obvious that the layout was almost exactly the same on both washers, except that the Powerstroke had its Honda gas engine turned exactly 180° around...  I took a look under my washer and discovered it had three bolts attaching the engine-pump unit to the cart base, so it was very easy to drill an additional 1/2" hole in the cart base to be able to turn the engine those 180° and reinstall it so that now the starting cord pointed to the front left side.  Now I just put my foot on the front of the washer to hold it while I give a strong pull to start the engine without having to remove the hose and spraying gun from the cart handle. As an added benefit, now the pump unit that is under the gas engine is orientated in a better position to allow me to connect and disconnect the small detergent hose from the pump, because it now faces the other side and has much more room to grasp the hose from the hose barb on the pump. Maybe latter on I could fit a small valve in order to shut down the flow of detergent when I finish spraying the car with detergent.  The detergent also needs to be completely flushed from the pump unit if you want to extend the life of the pump. (Maybe Kärcher wants you to buy a special liquid to preserve the pump on storage, but it is never available at my Kärcher distributors, and anyway it is expensive.  A small quarter turn valve on the detergent line would be nice, but that goes against Monkey Designers policies!)

Another mod I did to it, was to add a second small muffler after the original one, as an "After-muffler"... this reduced the annoying "bark" of the engine and allows me to use it even as late as nine o'clock at night without bothering the neighbors!

The third and last modification involved going to a nearby Goodyear/Gates hose shop, where they reused the quick fittings on the terrible, stiff and tenacious plastic high pressure hose originally supplied by Kärcher to a much better handling rubber pressure hose by Goodyear.  Even when it is not as nice as some beautiful light blue or red colored polyurethane hoses I've seen recently, that have a very nice almost "oily" texture surface cover that seems to repel dirt and sand particles (which are the real culprits of scratching the car paint), the rubber hose from Goodyear is much softer, and the hose does NOT have the terrible tendency to coil itself of the rigid plastic factory supplied one, that kinked badly and got easily damaged.

On the DESIGN aspect, the Monkeys at the factory decided the original hose was to be only 8 m long (about 25 ft.), which is a pain the lower part of the back because it is just  too short enough to complete a turn aroud a midsize car, so that I had to go back all around my car to reach the point where I started to hose it down... Now my new hose is about 11 m (36 ft) which is more that enough to allow me to complete my walk around the car without being too long to be cumbersome.

The only thing that is left to do on my pressure washer, is to correct the wrongly jetted engine, because Kärcher de Mexico delivers all these engines with the carburetor jets chosen for sea level altitude, which makes the Honda engine run too rich at our altitude in Mexico City of more than 7350 ft (and closer to 10,000 ft.  density Altitude on warm summer days)... That proves Japanese Monkeys at Honda to be on par to their German colleages!

Amclaussen, Mexico City.

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electric mower
patb2009   7/24/2014 12:58:41 PM
I'm surprised you didn't convert to an electric.  no noise, no pollution.



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