How to Make Your Engine Drive Last Longer


The farmer loved the amount of work his mule did for him. But, it was always irking him that his mule ate too much. He kept thinking about this problem until he came up with a good plan: reduce a little amount of his food and check it if affects the mule’s output of work.

It worked, he told his neighbour, “I’m going to see if I can keep reducing the food”. A few months went by before he saw his neighbour again, who asked him how his experiment with the mule was working.

“It was great,” he said, “I kept giving him a little less all the time. I was just about getting him to the place where I didn’t have to feed him anymore then he up and died on me.”

So, who’s doing the preventive maintenance on your engine drives? Is it your maintenance department? Can they only get around to doing it when all the major “fires” are put out? Or is there a schedule everyone adheres to. Or maybe it’s your workers who use the machine who are the maintenance team. It’s up to them to make sure the machine is being maintained. They are responsible to find the time and materials to do the maintenance on the machine. And if they don’t …


If your engine drive welder stopped working, what would happen? Would you be desperately looking for
your nitro-glycerine pills or you’d stop working, too? Or, is it no problem -you’ve got a back up machine or a back up plan? You may have to go a distance to get it.
Things aren’t going to get done right now, and the cost of doing the job just went up but it’s manageable. Or, is it the happiest day of your life (if this is you, you can skip the rest of this article…)

You know preventive maintenance is a good thing that can help reduce the risk of serious and costly problems. This article is meant to remind (or point out) some of the things that need to be done and why they are important.

Most engine-driven welders come with maintenance tips and instructions on their users’ manuals. Meanwhile, here are some additional tips:

1. Labels/Manuals:
The labels on the machine are to save you time looking for your manual’s maintenance schedule. The manufacturers are trying to make it easy for you to be doing regular maintenance. And if your label is worn out and missing, you usually can order a new label.
The hourly gauge on the machine is your silent reminder when your next servicing is due. If it’s broken you should be replacing it. And if you don’t have one, you are going to have to figure out a method that works easily for you, letting you know when you last serviced it. We’ve seen the date written in bold black legible letters on a white filter when it was last changed; unfortunately it was 5 years ago.


2. Oil Changes:
OilChangeMotor oil is going to lubricate and protect the motor. It can’t keep working forever-it loses its lubricating properties with use – it has to be replaced.
The more expensive synthetic oils usually provide better protection. It creates a better bond with internal components, reducing motor wear.
You know under filling oil in the engine is bad, but so is overfilling. Overfilling means the excess oil is going to be going where it shouldn’t be going. Maybe up into the carburetor. Maybe down the backside of the fuel pump diaphragm. The right thing is just put in the correct amount of motor oil.


3. Check the Oil Filter:
A filter does exactly what its name implies: it filters. The oil filter’s job is to remove the metallic particles and other contaminants that get into the oil. And in the process of time, it will become clogged (which means it’s doing it’s job) A clogged filter is going to restrict the flow of oil. Then begins the domino effect that can lead to premature wear on your engine’s bearing surfaces.
If your machine is within the warranty period–use genuine manufacturers oil filters. An unapproved filter can void your warranty. The argument is that an unapproved filter may have incorrect filtration media or filtration media of the wrong size.


4. Fuel: Fuel
Use clean fresh fuel. Problems caused by stale fuel won’t be covered by your warranty. If you’re not using the machine for more than 90 days, you should use a fuel stabilizer when you fill up. But fuel stabilizers don’t turn stale fuel into good fuel – it only stabilizes good fuel. Ethanol blended gas can cause problems. Phase separation is one of the common problems with ethanol-blended gas. When the fuel absorbs moisture from the air in the tank, it bonds with the ethanol, separates from the gasoline and settles in the bottom of the tank. This mixture has the potential to cause the engine to seize. Ethanol also has a shorter shelf life than pure gas
Keeping the tank full will reduce the air in the tank that in turn helps keep the moisture down.

5. Fuel Filter: FuelFilter
Most fuel filters need to be changed at 200 hrs. If you think you got a bad batch of gas, you should be changing it. A dirty filter is going to be restricting the fuel going to the carburetor.


6. The Air Filter:AirFilter
A dirty filter is going to prevent the proper amount of air reaching the carburetor. When it does that, the engine is going to get too much fuel and not enough air – i.e. you are running it too rich. Then here comes the domino effect. Spark plugs become fouled. A huge vacuum draw is pulling dirt into the system through any crack available. Dirt can be pulled into the fuel system, working its way into the cylinder and eroding the cylinder walls. There is usually a recommended time to change your air filter (100 hrs) but if you are working in extremely dirty and dusty environment, you might want to be changing it sooner.

7. The Fan:Fan
Air cooled engines depend on their cooling system to reduce excess heat. The fan and cooling fins help bring in cool air. It becomes necessary from time to time to use compressed air to blow out the dust, etc. It’s usually around the 100-hour mark. But, it is good practice to clean out the cooling system every time you change the oil.


8. The Spark Plug: SparkPlug
The spark plug is which ignites the compressed fuel and air within the cylinder. To make sure they continue to provide reliable ignition, replace the spark plugs every 500 hours.


Do It.


We all know that if we try and take some short cuts because we’re too busy, we will pay later down the road – and maybe at an unfavourable time. We would be glad to help you maintain your machine if you don’t have the time. Or get you some new labels or a new hour meter or a paint marker. We want to keep you off those nitroglycerin pills.

Feel free to call us at 604-888-4481 if you have a question or need more information. We’ll be glad to help you.


Ron-Son’s Torch

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