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Ethanol Ate My WeedEater

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Beth Stackpole
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On-going design refreshes
Beth Stackpole   9/19/2012 7:21:10 AM
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Would use of ethanol in this machine have been an after-the-fact development post its original design or should it have been designed that way from the get go? I'm asking because I'm assuming not much changes on a WeedEater machine, albeit a few bells and whistles here and there. That said, there such be some sort of regular revisting of requirements to keep up with new fuel standards. The other big question is likely where you bought the WeedEater. Perhaps some stores still have old inventory on their shelves that aren't retrofit to meet new requirements.

naperlou
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material evolution
naperlou   9/19/2012 8:36:35 AM
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This reminds me of my British sports cars from the1960s.  They used natural rubber, becuase the British with their empire were able to get it easily.  American cars typically used synthetic rubber parts.  These tended to last longer, and changes in the formulation of gasoline tended to impact unfavourably on the endurance of the British parts.  Of course, being foreign, they were more expensive.  We would replace them with American made rubber whenever we could find a match. 

Carmine
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Iron
Re: On-going design refreshes
Carmine   9/19/2012 11:24:04 AM
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Beth,


The Federal Government has been promoting the use of ethanol in gasoline for the past 34+ years.

This was kicked-off by the The Energy Tax Act of 1978 which provided a $0.40/gal ethanol subsidy.

I find it hard to believe the same material has been used for the priming bulb for the last 34 years.

It is certainly plausible that a design change was made and old stock was not recalled.  A small mom-and-pop hardware store might have had this machine on the shelf for a while.

While there is certainly a disparity in the use of ethanol across the states (and in the counties within those states) I would still expect an ethanol-tolerant design.

As you say, I would also expect attention to evolving fuel standards and changes to keep materials in compliance.

 

Michael Corvin
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Iron
Possible Epoxy solution to glue the bulb assembly back together
Michael Corvin   9/19/2012 1:30:53 PM
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Loctite H 4710 or 3M DP 420 should be good choices to take the heat of a weed eater engine.

Thanks for the article, My weed eater just quit on me.  You have given me an additional avenue to explore

Rob Spiegel
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Re: On-going design refreshes
Rob Spiegel   9/19/2012 3:15:05 PM
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Good points, Beth. This all leads me to believe I made the right decision with an electric weed eater. While the cord has to be dragged around, it is overall lighter than the gas-powered version. And, I don't have to worry about Ethanol.

tekochip
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Platinum
Re: On-going design refreshes
tekochip   9/19/2012 4:43:08 PM
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I prefer the electric too.  They don't make as much noise and no noise at idle.  Best of all, they don't spit two stroke oil all over you.

Cadman-LT
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Platinum
Same problem
Cadman-LT   9/19/2012 4:56:20 PM
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I had the same problem with my old weedeater. My next one will be electric for sure. I had a battery operated one in the past, but it was before its time and didn't really even work. Maybe they make decent ones now.

TJ McDermott
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Re: On-going design refreshes
TJ McDermott   9/20/2012 12:13:20 AM
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Beth, I can almost accept the fact that the manufacturer didn't bother to update their materials to stay with the times.  But the unavailability of a simple retaining clip is not excusable.

GOOD customer service would have said, "It's not a replacement part, but If you'll send me a SASE I'll grab one off the assembly line and send it to you for free".

Beth Stackpole
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Re: On-going design refreshes
Beth Stackpole   9/20/2012 7:23:06 AM
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Good point, TJ. That act of doing the simple, but basic things when it comes to customer service is definitely a lost art. On the other hand, I recently had a ceiling fan installed and the electrician who did it (ceiling are very, very high precluding my typically handy husband from taking on the project) commented that the fan motor was very loud and uneven when it ran in reverse mode to keep the heat circulating. The local store where I purchased the fan (I opted for local as opposed to the cheaper Internet sites) not only worked with their distributor to get me a replacement fan, they are paying the not insignificant fee to the electrician to reinstall the fan motor. That, without a lot of run around. I wish more companies practiced that lost art.

Droid
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Platinum
Mine too!
Droid   9/20/2012 9:29:32 AM
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I've had similar problems with my Weedeater, a chainsaw, and a small tiller.  

So congratulations to me!  and - thanks Mr. government genius for ethanol.   I get to subsidize it on the front end, pay extra for food because of it, have my checkbook squeezed at the pump, reduce my gas mileage, and buy new yard equipment every couple years because of its deliterious effects.   Is this a great idea or what?

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