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It's Sad How Many Small Shops Are Closing Up


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#1 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 03:11 AM

I went to a small lawnmower shop that has been in buisness since before I was born. I was stopping to see if he wanted to sell a Ford 100 that he had sitting out back for years, I check time and again but he never wants to part with it. So I decided a year had gone by I will ask again.I got there and the place was empty!! I looked out back everything was gone! ( I like freaked) how could this be? It's only 5 miles from my house! So I got in my truck and headed to our local Kubota dealer because the mechanic there was the small shops owners son. Turns out the owner passed away and the son couldn't afford to keep the little shop open so he scrapped everything (including the Ford 100) :confuse: It just got me thinking. All the small engine shops around here are gone, out of prob 20 from when I was young, there are now 2 (nothing like they used to be either) they don't even have the old junk piles or mowers anymore! it's all gone, because we now live in a disposable society where the majority of the people with throw out there mower and buy new if it doesn't start.Any way I could right a book about this but I think you know what I mean already.
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#2 wvbuzzmaster OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 03:36 AM

That really sucks Chris. Reminds me that I need to check on the Bolens at the scrap yard I told them to set aside couple weeks back (They are good about that).

I hate that the small shops are closing down, but think about it this way, us collectors hurt their business too, because we fix our own stuff, and often our neighbor's stuff. I know the disposable thing is hurting them a lot more, but you can't fix a lot of this new crap very cheaply any more, and everyone wants the top of the line. Those of us that don't care about form from the newer stuff as long as it gets the grass cut... we bypass whats broken and tie up the loose parts so they don't drag or fall off!! LOL

Edited by wvbuzzmaster, February 16, 2012 - 03:39 AM.

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#3 tractorgarden OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 07:34 AM

I will second your motion! Yes we are in a throw away society! Shawn
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#4 HDWildBill OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 08:33 AM

I guess guys like me also hurt the shop's. I work on mowers more as a pass time then an actual business and I don't charge near what the shops do but I do get my parts (when I can) from the local shop. I was talking to the owner a while back and she was telling me how the Government makes it hard to stay in business. It may be different in other parts of the country but here she has to pay city taxes and county tax's plus inventory taxes, payroll taxes plus renew their business license, insurance etc. So they have to charge a high rate which makes fixing a lot of equipment non-cost effective. Why pay a shop $100 to fix a weed eater when you go out and buy a new one for $125? Now enter guys like me that will fix that weed eater for $30 because we don't have all the over head that the shop does.

Also many people don't realize that just because a mower or weed eater won't crank it doesn't mean it is a major repair. I have gotten mowers that all they needed was replace the air filter or replace the fuel line on a weed eater.

The throw away society also comes into play but there are many factors that cause a shop to go under. Chris in your case it is sad that the owner passed away and the kid(s) did not want to continue the business, but running a true business can be a real pain in the rump and if you are not willing to put the energy in it then maybe it is best to close it up sadly.

Edited by HDWildBill, February 16, 2012 - 08:33 AM.

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#5 massey driver OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 08:35 AM

Throw away society for sure.Way to many people think if it says 25 HP nowadays that this is what I need to cut my grass with and blow snow etc: If you advertise a older 10 - 16 HP for sale they think that there's noway its big enough. Its pretty funny how things have changed and people want bigger newer stuff.They don't realize that the new stuff is made to be thrown away after a couple years.The new stuff is getting to be made more and more that way,so that people buy new and keep the makers in buisness.Just think how fast the landfills etc: are filling up with junk.Just blowing off some steam. LOL Larry
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#6 tractorman604 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 08:43 AM

Bingo...... that's exactly right.I would rather have the fun trying to fix it then to buy a new piece of thin tin.To each his own i guess.

Edited by pchili4, February 16, 2012 - 08:44 AM.

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#7 olcowhand OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 09:57 AM

There used to be several small engine shops in my county. You could drive down little side streets in town & even find one or 2. Then there were several scattered in the rural areas. I think our county now has 2 total as far as a small private business. One belongs to my cousin. He just gets by, and has a small beef operation also.

#8 skyrydr2 OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 10:33 AM

I laugh every time I see the neighbor hacking up his lawn, and he watches me groom mine to perfection with a mower from 1972 , and then asks " how many horse is that? It really cuts well. LOL . I try to buy all my parts local and even offer help to the shop owners on the old iron, and I must say, I'm lucky as they are both great places to go when needs be.
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#9 daytime dave OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 12:05 PM

It is a shame that society is more disposable. People want cheaper and they get cheaper. You can't fix some things at a decent price at a shop.
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#10 caseguy OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 12:27 PM

We still have a few "local" shops. There are 3 that I deal with regularly. Several others have gone the way of the Dodo bird. The true "Hardware store will soon be a thing of the past too I fear! We have 3 of those left also, but only one of them is still independent.

#11 trowel OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 02:08 PM

Guys, i could go one for hours regarding this topic, i mean hours, this trickles down to part timer mechanics such as myself and full timer mechanics such as my uncle, i have no interest whatsoever on any of the threads regarding the fixing of the newer GTs, none, im sick of turning out garbage only to watch them break after a year or two or come back for all sorts of problems that should never have broken in the first place, im sick and tired of trying to turn a profit from garbage that's made in such a way that WE, the buyers, sellers, mechanics all lose in the end.
So many shops have closed out in the past 10 years it makes me sick, so many of the parts have become outrageously expensive or obsolete, use to be that a part could be bought cheap, then modified to fit to replace the existing obsolete component but now that has gone out.
I shall stop here and let you guys take it further, educate the younger generations in what we have lost and is currently losing.
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#12 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 02:49 PM

I knew this would be a sore spot for many (as it is for me also!) I still buy parts from the local shops when I can. One thing I realy miss is going to the little shop looking for an old part and the owner telling me " Just go out back, I think I saw one of those in the junk pile" I got many great machines that were " out back" and many the owner of the shop would tell me that the person didn't want to spend the money to fix it so, they bought a new one and left this one here. Anyway I could go on for hours! I'll just save that for future threads lol. Chris
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#13 Cvans OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 09:29 PM

I don't see how these shops stay in business using factory parts. B&S anyway. In the last year I have worked on a couple older B&S engines. These are the ones with the updraft carbs and external points. Carb kit made in Tiawan. Low speed needle came unusable. The thread pitch was correct but the OD was .005 over sized. wouldn't screw into the carb body. Had to run it through a die before it would work. Points set was made in Brazil. The adjustment screw was correct pitch but the diameter was .010 too small. Would slip in the block when trying to adjust the points. Had two sets like this on two different engines. Had to make my own adjustment screws. One of the insulators was loose where the condenser wire attaches so when tightening the screw it would ground itself. These were all factory parts. How would a guy make a go of it while having to work with JUNK like that. It would have to be very frustrating as trouble shooting these problems can use up quite a bit of time.
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#14 Delmar OFFLINE  

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Posted February 16, 2012 - 09:44 PM

I got my start with a real GT a lot of years ago. Arnolds in Kansas City had a boneyard out back with some old mowers, etc. I used to wander around there looking for something to work on. Found an old Sears ST 10 I liked. Bought it for 75 bucks. carb bowl was solid gunk. bought a new walbro carb for it for 50 bucks and had one heck of a tractor. That 10 hp tecumseh had all the power it needed. They went out of business and closed the shop at least 15 years ago.

Edited by Jimbobbillyray, February 16, 2012 - 09:46 PM.


#15 chris m OFFLINE  

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Posted February 17, 2012 - 12:15 AM

I don't see how these shops stay in business using factory parts. B&S anyway. In the last year I have worked on a couple older B&S engines. These are the ones with the updraft carbs and external points. Carb kit made in Tiawan. Low speed needle came unusable. The thread pitch was correct but the OD was .005 over sized. wouldn't screw into the carb body. Had to run it through a die before it would work. Points set was made in Brazil. The adjustment screw was correct pitch but the diameter was .010 too small. Would slip in the block when trying to adjust the points. Had two sets like this on two different engines. Had to make my own adjustment screws. One of the insulators was loose where the condenser wire attaches so when tightening the screw it would ground itself. These were all factory parts. How would a guy make a go of it while having to work with JUNK like that. It would have to be very frustrating as trouble shooting these problems can use up quite a bit of time.

it's funny you mentioned about the screws being right pitch but wrong O.D., I had this happen to just 2 weeks ago on a Honda clone engine on my compressor, the bolts fell out of the engine side cover while it was running! I was sand blasting outside and heard a strange noise. I looked and oil was everywhere! anyway after checking everything out. I noticed the same thing, pitch was good but the screws them selves were undersize! I have lost count how many times I have seen this same thing with threads in say the last 5 years.
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